With the end of the year approaching, we figured it was time to open a 2013 bottle of Airways Brewing Co. Final Departure. After all, the label for the imperial stout—first brewed in 2012 due to the popular (though misinformed) belief the Mayan Long Count calendar predicted a cataclysm for Dec. 21 of that year—reads “You can drink it at the end of this year or next—or anytime in between.”
Strong cappuccino laced with slight milk sweetness and faint nuttiness rises off the inky pour. The first sip reveals a brief yet lovely impression of light chocolate, coffee and faint raisin backed by ashy roast. Unfortunately, gushing carbonation quickly whisks all flavors away from the taste buds. Subsequent swigs all repeat the same issue: the fizzing bubbles carry the fleeting, cohesive taste combination to an abrupt conclusion.
It’s hard to say whether more aging would help or hurt this beer without knowing the exact cause of the overt CO2. We certainly enjoyed the robust roast and cocoa; we just wish we could savor the tasty blend longer on the tongue.