Back in January Cigar City partnered up with Perrin in Comstock Park, Michigan to brew a batch of Jai Alai in Michigan for the first time. This was possible since Cigar City and Perrin, along with Oskar Blues and Utah Brewers Cooperative are owned by Fireman Capital. For now this was a one-time occurrence and only released at Perrin, but hopefully it nods towards a future where Cigar City finds further distribution in Michigan. Perrin, after all, did just enter Florida.
In the meantime the only way to get our mittens on Cigar City up north are through trading, schlepping some back after Spring Break or Triangulation, a collaboration between Perrin, Cigar City and Oskar Blues. The collaboration actually predated that batch of Jai Alai, taking place back in December, but cans of this imperial oatmeal stout just started hitting Michigan and Florida shelves a little over a month ago. Even as a one-off, there’s still a decent chance of finding a can or two at your local bottle shop.
Collaborating on a stout makes a lot of sense for the brewers behind Ten Fidy and Hunahpu’s. The 9% ABV stout brought together a wide variety of malts for a complex grain bills, plus experimental hops like HBC 472, a hop known for imparting flavors like vanilla and macaroon more associated with bourbon barrel aging. A special London ale yeast added the final touch.
The resulting dark brown beer pours with a thin khaki head and sends off aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt and vanilla. The taste follows much the same with the addition of bitter hops and a touch of pine resin, followed by dark fruits. The medium mouthfeel is helped by the oats which provide a slickness and smooth it out.
At this point I’ve completed two thirds of this triangle in several ways. I can get two thirds of the breweries in Michigan. I’ve been to two thirds of the breweries. Hopefully in the distant future I’ll close the triangle with a visit to Colorado and the availability of Cigar City in Michigan. But until then I’ll just enjoy this stout.