Beer Review: Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Stout

January 30, 2010

Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Stout

It’s awfully cold here in Middle Tennessee, and the roads are pretty near impassable in places, thanks to the ice and snow we received in the last 36 hours. It’s a great time for a stout! Unfortunately, I don’t think I have any stouts on hand to enjoy, so instead I thought I would post a review of one I’ve tried recently: Oskar Blues’ Ten Fidy Stout.

About the Brewer

Great canned beer? The term has been an oxymoron for craft beer lovers used to getting their full-flavored beers from bottles only. But in November of 2002, Oskar Blues Brewery (in tiny Lyons, Colorado, pop.1400) changed that by launching its “Canned Beer Apocalypse.”

The brewery began hand-canning its hoppy, assertive-but-elegant Dale’s Pale Ale on a table-top machine that sealed just one can at a time. The move made Oskar Blues the first US craft brewer to brew and can its own beer.

(From Oskar Blues’ Web site)

The Pour
This pours thickly out of the can to a very thick, dark caramel colored two finger head.  The beer looks as black as black can be…as a matter of fact, I think it sucked some of the light out of the room, like a black hole in a glass!  The head doesn’t lace very much to speak of.

The Nose
This has a great stout nose.  There is a great deal of roasted malt and smoky notes, with traces of caramel and oak also popping up now and then.  There are strong hints of espresso.  This smells like it’s going to be one big bold beer, one that lives up to the moniker, “stout”.

The Taste
This beer seems very thick (which is fine) and overly sweet (not so fine). The sweetness lingers well past the finish.  It is the very epitome of full-bodied, like a fine 10W-40 motor oil.  There is some roasted malt flavor, but it is quite overpowered by what tastes like a heavy dose of saccharine sweetness.  You only slighty notice that is has a higher ABV, and as it warms, it gains a hoppy edge on the finish.  More espresso notes, hints of chocolate and some slightly musty, dark fruit flavors (raisins?) also make an appearance as the stout warms.

This could have (should have?) been a better beer.  It seemed to me they sweetened it too much, perhaps to make the higher ABV less noticeable?  A higher ABV, and the flavors and warmth it can bring, is not necessarily a bad thing…as a matter of fact it can add great character to a beer. They shouldn’t have tried so hard to hide it.

Recommended: Not really

Price: Not sure…was part of an auction package

ABV: 10.5%


  1. Sweetness is very common in high gravity Imperial Stouts, or high gravity beers in general. This has to do with yeast attenuation. Various strains of yeast crap out at certain abv levels, thus they don’t get to convert all the sugars. This is about middle of the road for sweetness. You don’t want to have an over attenuated imperial stout. Roast bitterness is overbearing and you get fusels on the finish. It looks like you are not a Stout person! LOL. Come to a tasting soon. I will convert you to the dark side

    • On the contrary, I am very much a stout person…I don’t know everything there is to know about beer, but I know what I like 😀 and this is not it

  2. Interesting review. I haven’t had this beer yet, but I know what you’re saying about knowing what you like. That’s what matters most really! I love stouts and I’m still going to try this one if I can ever find it – seems to get a lot of thumbs up.

    • Do try it for yourself. I’m a beer snob, but not an expert, and everyone’s tastes differ. I should give it another shot sometime

  3. It does get a lot of thumbs up, but I found that it had too much pruny, dark fruit notes going on. For all the Impy Stouts that I have tried, it’s really middle of the road for my tastes.

  4. The big number that (I think)explains everything is 95: Ten Fidy has an IBU of 95 (according to my sources). My own personal crackpot theory is that the super rich maltiness of the beer gave them the color and flavor they were looking for, but to give it a modicum of drinkability they had to crank the hop content through the roof. I love the beer myself, but without that hoppy backbone it’d be like drinking a can of Hershey’s syrup.
    Maybe the fruitiness of the hops adds in to the edginess and saccharine fruit? Just a thought…

    • You may be right…I’ll definitely be giving this another shot

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