It’s November. I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month for the
third consecutive year. I’ve been up since 6:30, writing
sporadically. It’s cold and blustery outside but I have a fire
roaring in our buck stove and I’m downright toasty. I’m four
thousand words and two lage cups of coffee deep into this
November’s portion of my novel. I’m warm and cozy and in need of a
What better way to take my mind off my monumental task than
enjoying the first beer of the blog’s second annual Maple Month?
Yeah, I couldn’t think of one either. So, take a break from writing
with me by reading about this beer I’m about to start writing
about. Does that makes sense? Who cares! Today’s brew: Octopi’s
Double Maple Imperial Morning Stout.
Octopi is a unique entity here on the blog–to my knowledge,
I’ve never written about a company like them before. They’re
co-packagers, a contract brewery. Sure, they brew beer under their
own brand (case in point: today’s stout), but they also brew beer
for their clients’ brands, on top of other things (creating
recipes, serving as an idea incubation service, etc). Founded by
Isaac Showaki, Octopi is an extra arm for their clients as those
clients move through the beverage industry. This is all really
interesting stuff and I recommend you head on over to Octopi’s “About” page to read
more about it.
This brings us to today’s beer. Double Maple Imperial Morning
Stout (Double Maple, henceforth) can be found on Octopi’s “Order” page
(you’ll note that it’s currently not available for purchase). It’s
a 11% ABV imperial milk stout with adjuncts of maple syrup and
coffee beans. Sounds like a near perfect Maple Month beer to
I immediately need to let you know that Purrl doesn’t care for
this beer. She gave it a single whiff before turning away. It’s
just not her thing.
You know what? I think she’s in the wrong here. This is a
wonderfully aromatic stout. The maple’s big on the fore of my first
waft, and the coffee’s there, too. The maple’s sweet while the
coffee’s deep and roasty with a mild bitterness. There’s a candied
sugar quality attributed to the stout’s style (milk stout) and
possibly the maple in tandem. If there’s a single thing I’m mildly
suspicious of, it’s that there’s no hint of that high ABV in the
bouquet. None. If I was going off the stout’s nose alone, I’d peg
it at 5 or 6%.
Candied maple sweetness is big in the stout’s flavor profile.
It’s nowhere near cloying; that sweetness is definitely an appeal
for me. The coffee’s here, too, although this is much more present
in the finish where it melds with the hops and malt to give the
stout a roasty, slightly bitter grounding. The ABV is here in the
flavor, as a boozy punch between the maple, milk sugar sweetness
and the roasty end. It rises again as warmth in my face a minute or
so after each swig. This is a wonderfully tasty beer that’ll
definitely wake you up before knocking you right out again.
There’re dark fruits present (which are staples of imperial
stouts), figs and plums, and a bit of dark baker’s chocolate, as
well. But these take a backseat to everything else the stout has
going for it, those big and bold breakfast flavors.
Double Maple is a velvety smooth drink. Feeling big and bold in
my mouth but drinking deceptively easy for how strong it is. This
is one you’ll need to be careful with.
During November mornings, especially because I work to get two
thousand words written on weekdays during the month, I wake up a
little early. Usually a half an hour to an hour before I’d
regularly rouse, ll so I can get some solid writing in before I
have to leave for work.
It’s dark and cold those mornings. We keep our thermostat lower
when we sleep, meaning I’m awake and at my laptop as the heat’s
slowly catching up to speed. I’m groggy for a little bit until I
get to settle down with my morning meal.
I always have a cup of coffee and chocolate chip oatmeal. That’s
the breakfast that gets me writing the quickest. Double Maple
reminds me of that, bold and invigorating, just the kick I need to
get going, only this can has booze and maple for good measure.
We’re starting 2020’s Maple Month strong. Octopi’s Double Maple
Imperial Morning Stout is an exceptional maple beer, toeing that
maple sweetness line expertly. I’m giving my bottle a 9.5/10. This
needs to be a compulsory purchase for you (assuming you like maple
in your beer) if you come across it in the wild.