Lost Forty – Nighty Night
Lost Forty Brewing – Little Rock, AR
I’m really excited about tonight’s entry, our eighth in the 25 Beers of Christmas, as it gives me the chance to highlight not just an amazing brew, but the incredible gem of a brewery making it, located right here in central Arkansas. Lost Forty Brewing is only a year old, but has consistently put fantastic beers in its taproom and into the market, culminating with tonight’s selection: Nighty Night Imperial Stout.
Early in 2015, Lost Forty brewed a large batch of an imperial stout and aged it in a combination of cabernet barrels, rye whiskey barrels, and bourbon barrels. The final product is a blend of the three aged beers after several months in the barrels, and the result is an incredibly nuanced barrel aged beer, rich and heavy without feeling overly dense, and retaining characteristics of all three processes. You’ll get something like cherry pits and raisins (the cabernet barrel), a light bite on the finish (the rye whiskey), and a warm vanilla sweetness (the bourbon barrel), along with coffee, chocolate, and some light piney-herbal hop notes from the base beer. This one deserves to be sipped slowly, in my favorite location: a chair next to (but not too close to) a warm fire.
Nighty Night is best poured into a snifter, preferably close to room temperature, though starting it at around 55 degrees will do just fine. This beer was unfortunately a one-time limited release, at least for now, but it was still available in cans to go and on tap from the brewery taproom about a month ago. If you know me personally, there’s a good chance you could come over to my house and share on with me, at least if you make it happen soon.
If you can’t get your hands on Nighty Night, there are still plenty of other fantastic brews available from Lost Forty. Their Love Honey Bock has been extremely popular, and I prefer their straight-up Pale Ale. Those two, along with the Bare Bones Pilsner, are widely available in cans in most quality beer stores in central Arkansas. However, the taproom-only beers have been among my favorites, especially their Baltic Porter, various saisons (some of which are Bretts/sours), and my hands-down favorite, the Centennial IPA. They also have had a variant on the Nighty Night, the imperial stout from JUST the Cabernet barrels, on tap recently, and it’s fantastic.
This is a big imperial stout, so it will take some serious chocolate richness to match up well. Triple layer chocolate cake, chocolate truffles, rich fudge, chocolate lava cake, etc. You get the picture. Any of those items with an element of a dark, rich fruit, like raspberry, should also make a great partner for this beer. Honestly, I usually drink these beers on their own, as they are a dessert unto themselves.
One last note on the brewery: The Lost Forty taproom is among my favorite I’ve ever been to, and not just because it’s “my” local place. Their cheese dip featuring Petit Jean bacon, sausage entrees, and brunch options are all fantastic, and their pimiento cheese is a miracle. They also have a Play Choice 10 set up for free play in the corner, and two-player Double Dragon was never quite as good as it is here. Well worth checking out, and not just to pick up a growler.
And finally, just an interesting thing I noticed today. As of right now, my review is the ONLY review on Beer Advocate for this beer. So if any of you use BA to check ratings, my opinion is literally the only one that matters on this beer right now. Awesome.
JAB - 12/8/15