We’ve definitely had our ups and downs with this brewery. Namely the old Rasputin as the upside and the blue star wheat as the down. This stout as the label shows is a shout out to the “retired California Western railroad steam engine”. What it’s connection to the beer is is uncertain.
Anyhow, we served just below room temperature into a beer tulip. The opaque black pour generates a creamy 2 finger head that steadily deconstructs and forms a well retained layer of tan foam that leaves quite a bit of thick, sudsy lacing. Unfortunately there isn’t a great deal of rich and moreish aromas, what we can detect are subtle wafts of dark chocolate powder, molasses, sour cherry, espresso, lactose and licorice. Slightly average. The mouth feel is nice and thick with mild carbonation. The body is a round medium with some good grip on the way down. The flavour proflie kicks off with an earthy mix of hops and damp wood. Through the mid a touch of chocolate tries to get something going but eventuates in a bone dry, bitter espresso finish. 5.6% ABV. We’re a little undecided here, there are some nice qualities to this beer but the lack of pizzazz lets it down. A little too safe but on the flip side it is quite approachable and a perfect entry level stout. Not bad but not memorable.