Newport Has A New Sheriff

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Big, bad…and dark.

We got an invitation to meet the new sheriff in town and had to bite. All during the 4th Annual Newport Craft Beer Festival, we got word that something big was coming out of Newport Storm. The name associated with it?


We’ve long thought that Newport Storm brewed their best beer when they went dark and strong. The imperial stouts towards the end of their Cyclone Series were the best they’d done. Vlad was a Russian Imperial Stout weighing in at 9% abv. Zach was an outrageous 10.1% abv Oatmeal Stout.

Then they started playing around with barrel-aging, re-using the oak barrels they age their Thomas Tew Rum with. The first attempt was Angel’s Envy…which we unfortunately missed, so we can’t really comment on. The second was InfRIngement, which is by most accounts including our own, the best beer Newport Storm ever brewed.

InfRIngement was a 10% abv Russian Imperial Stout barrel-aged that utilized all of Newport Storm’s strengths. A big, dark beer…with a little (okay, a lot of) rum flavor thrown in on top. Unfortunately, it was a very limited release, so we were just a little frustrated with our local brewery. Here they were, demonstrating that they could make amazing beers that blew everything else in their portfolio away…but they’d only do it on a limited basis.

The SheRIff Of Rock RIdge


Of course, when we got offered a chance to get a sneak peak (and taste) of their newest limited edition BIG beer, we jumped at the chance. We stopped by the Newport Storm Brewery while they were bottling The SheRIff of Rock RIdge to taste the new beer.

IMG_7492This is a really big beer. At 12% abv, it’s the strongest beer Newport Storm has made to date. It’s a complex Belgian Dark Strong Ale with a lot going on.

A recipe of chocolate wheat, North American oats, pale malt and wheat malts was chosen for the base beer and put into 8 Thomas Tew Rum barrels. Brewing with high proportions of intense darker malts brought forth aroma and tastes similar to that of a rich coffee roast and baker’s chocolate. With The SheRIff, our brewers wanted to dabble into natural spiciness adding in German chocolate rye, a malt never before used in the brew house, and an aggressive Belgian yeast strain.

Needless to say, The SheRIff is an intense beer. Maybe just a little too intense. In fact, once the beer is available in bottles, Newport Storm recommends purchasing them two at a time. One to enjoy immediately and the second to cellar, as a little aging will mellow out the beer and cut down on the bite of the rum.

One thing you notice with this beer is its dry finish, which is pretty unique considering the notes of chocolate and the overall booziness.

As for the beer’s title, it continues a long Newport Storm tradition of bringing a little movie magic to the beer world…

Newport Storm is celebrating American Craft Beer Week by breaking out The SheRIff of Rock RIdge at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick and Doherty’s East Ave Cafe  in Pawtucket today(5/13/15) and tomorrow.

The bottles will be available once Derek and the crew get done hand-labelling them all.

-Tristan Pinnock, Blast Beer Correspondent

Tristan's just this guy, ya know?