24 Nov 11 Below Negative Space by Nick B
11 Below Brewing
“Extra Fancy” Chocolate Milk Stout Aged on Cinnamon, Cacao Nibs, and Ancho Chilies
Packaging: Draft, 12oz. Cans
I should preface this review of Negative Space with this information: I did not think much of this beer when it came out last year. Something just wasn’t right about the flavor and it made me think of grape medicine, and I don’t mean the good kind (it’s possible I had a bad batch at my local watering hole). This year, it sure seems like the crew on Bourgeois Rd went back into the lab and came out with a solid, “fancy” stout.
Despite my skepticism from last year, I went out to 11 Below’s 11-11 Celebration for the release of Negative Space. It ended up being the only beer I drank while I was there! It pours jet black with a trace amount of copper, off-white head. The nose smells heavily of cinnamon with green pepper undertones.
This stout has a big body and mouthfeel, but won’t leave you feeling full quickly. The cinnamon is heavily dominant in the flavor profile with some chocolate coming in midway and the slightest fire in the back of your throat from the ancho chilies. If you let it warm up to closer to room temperature (as you should!), you’ll get more flavor balance, as well as a greater burn.
In my opinion, 11 Below has some of the most attention grabbing cans out there and this one is their most fun. Clean aluminum silver, a skull in a reddish moon/planet, and the flying Eagle 5 adorn the can. I love the movie Spaceballs so that added just a little more for me.
Negative Space is well deserving of 4.5 stars from me due to the variety and complexity of flavors. The balance is just amazing once you let it warm up!
You can find this beer all around Houston and College Station in 4 packs of cans or on draft (regular AND nitro). The brewery’s website has a tool that will help you find their product nearest to you.
I can’t say enough good things about this stout this year! Although, as fun as it might be, I think if I were to drink a four pack in one sitting, I would go to plaid or possibly end up in some Winnebago. Let us know what you think about it!