A standard session stout
A Review of Jefferson Stout by Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co.
Posted on 1/27/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
Being the stout lover that I am, I can openly admit that it takes a lot for one to really impress me these days. I have sipped and gulped my way through countless pints, and while some have disappointed me, and a few have blown me away, the majority of them land in an overpopulated middle ground. They aren't terrible or bad beers necessarily, just sometimes less than memorable. More often than not, they are easily drinkable, and just as easily forgotten. A nice way of putting it is that most of them could be called baseline. Such a beer crossed my path recently when I found myself mouth to glass with a Jefferson Stout from Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company.

In the glass, Jefferson Stout is the darkest of browns, basically coming as close to black as you can be without actually being black. A little over a fingers worth of light beige head sits on top for quite sometime, eventually fading into a thin layer that leaves some faint, but still noticeable lacing from start to finish. The aromas are somewhat muted and need to be actively searched for, but after some deliberate digging, the most interesting aspect slowly starts to make itself known. Jefferson Stout is brewed with sweet potatoes, which provides for an unusual, but quite intriguing backbone for the bouquet. Once you move past it, the typical stout aromas such as chocolate and coffee are present, while notes of toffee and caramel fade in and out randomly.

The first taste brings no surprises, and is almost identical to the nose. The sweet potatoes provide a bit of an interesting twist, but never take away from the overall stout experience. The chocolate taste is pretty basic, and the coffee flavor relatively generic, but both are still easy on the taste buds. A roasted nuttiness lays close to the coffee, and it seems to have a hard time distinguishing itself. Caramel comes though a little more than one might expect, but in this case, its not a bad thing. Only at the very end will one find just a bit of a hops flavor, and if you aren't careful, you may miss it completely.

Seeing as how it is also made with lactose, Jefferson Stout has a somewhat creamy body, but somehow still manages to have an overall thin feel. I couldn't help but find myself slightly confused by that. I don't understand how it happens, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it is distracting. Just more head scratching than anything else. For some reason, I felt thought it needed mentioning.

Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company has a good standard stout on their hands, but that's about it. Jefferson Stout is a perfect example of a brewery getting all the basics right, but not blowing you away in any area. It has all the flavors that a standard stout needs, one that adds a bit of a twist, none that aren't supposed to be there, and a high level of drinkability that is also a plus. It would make for an ok bridge beer for beginners, and a decent session beer for veterans, but I don't know that I could go much past that. Overall, I wouldn't have a problem telling anyone to try the Jefferson Stout if it came across their path, but I also wouldn't recommend anyone actively seek it out. For me, it just kind of falls into that crowded middle ground, and that's an easy place to get lost in.

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Jefferson Stout by Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co.
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