What you're drinking: A light-colored and sweet pale stout, which shouldn't be confused with a typical dark-brown stout, like Guinness. Here, the word "stout" harkens back to its original British meaning of "strong." And Tamarack's 1806 certainly is strong, checking in at 8 percent alcohol by volume.
What you're drinking it from: A snifter. This is probably a good thing, because unlike many other powerful brews poured into a snifter, this one goes down smoothly.
Elaborate on that taste, please: There's a lot going on here. It's flavorful, with almost a creamy finish and no hint of the heavy alcohol content. Tamarack brews it with two-row pale malt and Fuggle hops, and it's fermented with London Ale yeast. The fermentation process finishes in used oak barrels—a nice touch that certainly adds to the taste. The brewery describes it as having a "sweet malty body and balanced earthy and woody hop character."
- photo by Skylar Browning
The backstory: This is the second year Tamarack has put its own spin on Barclay Perkins' famous 1805 Pale Stout. Perkins ran the Anchor brewery in the London borough of Southwark, and his exact recipe—dated Friday, May 10, 1805has been preserved for future brewers (Google it to see the original logbook entry and exquisite penmanship yourself). Since this is Tamarack's second attempt, they switched the year to 1806.
Where to find it: Tamarack's original Lakeside brewery is located at 105 Blacktail Road. The Missoula ale house also has 1806 on tap at 231 W. Front St.
Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email firstname.lastname@example.org.