Bottle Logic Brewing | Roll For Initiative
It is important to first realize that Bottle Logic Brewing was founded only five years ago in 2013 and they have been doing big things ever since. Their tasting room opened its doors just a year later, and in 2015 they were ranked up on BeerAdvocate’s ‘Best New Beer’ list. It’s no surprise that their initiative and passion has led them to plans for a tasting room expansion later this year to accommodate the beer heads that come from all over to try their stuff.
Bottle Logic has never been afraid to rewrite the rules and live on the edge with their beers. Their mantra is “Process and Science Reduced to Art and Magic,” and they have lived up to it without a doubt. Easily their most popular and most sought after series is the Stasis Project. Focusing on barrel-aged masterpieces, Stasis has released some of the most incredibly complex and sought after stouts in the secondary market. It may only be less than a week until Space Trace releases, but people are still reeling over the last and newest addition to the Stasis lineup, Roll for Initiative. I did not miss this release, and I knew before it touched my lips that this would be my next beer showcase. Here’s why…
The day of this online Eventbrite release I was on vacation standing outside of Fenway Park. The clock struck noon (west coast time), and my passion for the Red Sox, as well as my freezing cold fiancée and family members, were quickly ignored for a brief moment. Unlike most, I wasn’t looking to break the bank and drop over $150 on a full allotment. I was just looking to reserve a single bottle and that’s it. These bad boys sold out in minutes, but I locked mine in.
I drove to the OC and grabbed my RFI during the last week of pickups, and was lucky enough to try it fresh on draft as well. The label read “Imperial Stout finished with Madagascar vanilla & cassia bark and aged in bourbon barrels,'” so basically a cinnamon roll inspired stout. Now I’ve tried some of the Stasis whales like Fundamental Observation, Number Crunch, Darkstar November… but I’ve never been so excited for a release. Here’s how it went down.
When poured from the tap handle, Roll for Initiative was viscous, vicious and black. The tan head quickly settled and tucked itself away into the beer. Thin retention clung desperately to the glass, but didn’t have the grip to stick around.
The nose on this was all cinnamon roll, right away. Tons of cinnamon bursts out the gate, swirling in harmony with that potent Madagascar vanilla. I couldn’t believe how closely they nailed this aroma profile. Keep in mind, this beer is nearly 14% ABV, and even in the finish I was just getting a sharp spiciness from the cassia and notes of black licorice to round it out.
I love beers where I can easily pick out every ingredient mentioned. It shows a brewery’s true expertise in their craft.
The syrupy bliss hit my lips, and the cinnamon hit first right away. It was followed closely this time with that anise that the nose finished on. With the quick 1-2 jab from those two out of the way, the dust settled and I was left with all that vanilla perfection, and was finally hit with that boozy 14% presence.
That oaky bourbon finish is literally the only reminder that you weren’t at a new hipster blendery that was serving up organic cinnamon roll smoothies.
The body was great throughout—thick and viscous as foreshadowed from the pour. The beer has low carbonation and is incredibly smooth with a nice subtle burn and a sticky bun finish.
Roll for Initiative is amazing. In fact, according to my BeerAdvocate statistics, it edged out Fundamental Observation’s 2017 Batch 3 by 0.01 points. Given the fact that that cinnamon rolls are one of my all-time favorite foods—Bottle Logic nailed it. In the secondary markets, bottles are still going for around $100 minimum but once the hype dies down a bit, it is worth trading up for. And, luckily, since I tried this gem on draft, my bottle gets to experience the cellar for the next year or two. Maybe.
Feature image courtesy of Bottle Logic Brewing’s Facebook page.