It could be easy to make fun of Grimm as the epitome of hipsterism. It is a brewery headquartered in Brooklyn started by artists and musicians who strive to use locally sourced ingredients and the official name of the brewery is Grimm Artisan Ales (italics mine).
However, then you taste the beer and you understand they are serious beer makers. While the brewery is best known for its double IPAs and sours, the Double Negative Imperial Stout is my favorite of their beers and highlights how serious Grimm is about making good beer.
Weighing in at 10 percent, Double Negative isn’t as inky black as you would expect. It is a deep brown almost black color like that of a good French roast coffee with no cream. I had a slight haze and good carbonation. You get a nice tan almost light brown head on the pour that dissipated quickly in my glass (I’m assuming it was beer clean since I cleaned it.)
On the nose, my bottle had a slightly leathery aroma up front that turned into dark fruit and bitter chocolate as it warmed in the glass with little hop aroma.
I immediately got the taste of coffee up front followed by bitter chocolate as the beer worked through my palate. I got very little hop bitterness. All the bitterness comes from the dark malt giving the coffee taste but there is just enough dark chocolate sweetness to offset it.
My bottle had a surprisingly medium mouthfeel. It didn’t cling to my tongue and palate and finished nice and clean. The chocolate and alcohol linger a bit and there is a nice alcohol warmth in the beer. The carbonation helps keep it crisp and provides for that clean finish.
This is an overall excellent beer and serves as a good base for its barrel-aged variants.