|Die Triple Sticke|
It's a German-style ale brewed by Fox River Brewing for the Old Bavarian Brewing Company in Appleton. Fortunately, we’re getting a dose of it in Oshkosh.
A Sticke (pronounced Shtick-ah) Alt is an amped up version of a traditional Altbier that’s usually released as a fall or winter seasonal. Literally meaning “Secret Alt” it’s meant to be something of a special treat for a brewery’s more faithful customers.
They’re working the “secret” part of it pretty hard at Fratellos. Their beer list describes it as a “special reserve Altbier" with a “snappy bitterness" and "pleasant malt flavors.” It has all that, but it also tastes as if it’s been barrel aged. Check out the thundering notes of brandy, plum and oak that come booming through and tell me what you think. At 9.4% ABV and 45 IBUs, this beer is a surprising mouthful. If you go, you may want to make this the last beer of the night because (along with your memory) it’ll blot out anything that comes after.
It’s been almost a year since I last had this beer. That’s too long. This is one of my favorite American-made doppelbocks. DD is a full-bodied, dark lager with a bold, caramel aroma and a wonderfully creamy mouthfeel. The beer leans slightly to the sweet side, but there’s enough hop bitterness in the finish to keep it from turning gummy on you. At just over 8% ABV, it’s definitely a warmer.
Vader’s Imperial Stout
A lovely Russian Imperial Stout, this one checks in at 7% ABV. The snifter comes to you pitch black with a cap of brown foam and a roasty aroma that smells like a small campfire. This is a mouth-coating, rich ale with chocolate, molasses and a good deal of black licorice flavors presenting themselves. The finishing bitterness is very firm, the equal of all that lush malt flavor that precedes it. A nice beer to spend some time with as you sit at the dining room bar at Fratellos and stare at that big, frozen river (insert sigh). A beer to keep in mind. Remember, we still have February ahead of us.