15 Dec Running Walker Stout by Nick B
Packaging: Draft, 12oz. Cans
Down in Richmond, there’s a new brewery that started putting out cans of its fresh, new beer. That brewery is Running Walker. I happened upon their canned goods at Total Wine by my house and decided to take some of their Running Walker Stout home.
The canning is quite simplistic, but not in a good way (Buffalo Bayou’s Gingerbread Stout is a great example of simplicity done well). The cans are bland and monochromatic with only differing shades of grey. A Labrador retriever adorns the label as the brand’s logo with Running Walker underneath and “STOUT” wrapping around three quarters of the can. Perhaps it is meant to give a look of worked steel to give the allusion that the beer inside was made from hard work.
I poured this black as night stout from the can into my snifter and it produced two fingers worth of tan head. The head quickly dissipated, but not before I caught a whiff of mostly allspice, some vanilla, and less cinnamon. The aroma sort of made me think of when my wife makes Abuelita brand Mexican hot chocolate. I had 11 Below’s Negative Space a few weeks ago so I was hoping I might encounter something akin to that based on the aroma.
Now, here’s why I started this review with a description of the can: It mirrored its contents. I took a drink of this “stout” and it had a water thin mouthfeel with no real complexity in flavor. There was a wave of allspice mixed with vanilla notes and trace chocolate that was washed out by a metallic, bitter coating and aftertaste. After a few sips, I think I came to the conclusion that this was maybe meant to be a hoppy stout, but was just poorly executed. I finished the rest of it and was left completely unsatisfied.
I’m giving Running Walker Stout a single star because I want to guess that it was meant to maybe even be a very entry level stout, but there’s just nothing stout about it. The only beer to compare it to is Guinness. The good news is that this brewery is still young so maybe this recipe just isn’t dialed in yet (or maybe it is and it’s just not for me personally). Have you had a chance to have this stout? If so, let us know what you think and whether I am crazy or not! Beers to you, Houston.