Scofflaw Maple Absentium Imperial Stout

Review Date 9/20/2019  By John Staradumsky

I have a confession to make. It’s been over two years since I’ve had a Scofflaw beer. It’s not because there’s anything inherently bad about them-the ones I tried before my hiatus were good overall, if a bit pricey. Scofflaw beers got to be all the rage as I recall, and the brewery had some growing pains. Among them were complaints from fans of inconsistency in their beer, even, to hear some tell it, within cans in a six-pack. I’ll confess I never had the latter problem. I did, though, have a problem with Scofflaw.

Specifically, in how they handled the criticism. I saw this in a now-infamous Facebook post they made, with the brewery staff in a photo, all of them giving (I assume) their critics the bird. Look, I’ve been a craft beer drinker for a long time, and I can tell you that Scofflaw was hardly the first brewery to have quality control issues. I’ve never seen one make a PR blunder like this, though, and I told them as much. Their answer was to the effect of “Drink somebody else’s beer.” So I did.

It’s not healthy to hold a grudge, however, so when Taco Mac announced that the featured brewery of the month for September, 2019 would be Scofflaw, I decided it was time to let bygones be bygones. Two years seemed plenty of time to serve as penance, and besides, the perfect beer to end my absence was on tap: Scofflaw Maple Absentium Imperial Stout. Who knows, maybe Scofflaw expressed regrets while I myself was in absentia.

I have to say, this was a great beer to come back with. Truth be told, I had a few other Scofflaw beers in the prior weeks: a Dirty Beaches Wheat the very same night, a POG Basement IPA, and a Scofflaw Golden Ale. Far and away, Maple Absentium was my favorite of these and, for that matter, and Scofflaw beer I’ve tried.

I paid $8.50 for my 11-ounce glass of Scofflaw Maple Absentia Imperial Stout, which seems reasonable to me for a beer clocking in at 13.9% by volume. That’s barely legal here in Georgia, where the alcohol limit for beer is 14%. This was not one of the 4 featured Scofflaw beers but was instead a special release.

My glass of Scofflaw Maple Absentium Imperial Stout arrived jet black in color with almost no head. It was full of rich maple aroma in the nose, and thick and smooth in the palate as I sipped. Light roast and chocolate came through, but more than anything else the beer bursts with slightly sweet maple flavor. As one might expect, it finishes rich and boozy, but not quite as boozy as to suggest the true strength. More maple goodness lingers at the last as well.

This is just an amazing sipping beer, and one I would expect to be perfect as the weather starts to cool. I’m glad I gave Scofflaw a second chance. Hey, if they’re beer of the month at Taco Mac, they must be doing something right.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned