Enlightment Ales is a nanobrewery out of Lowell producing a labor-intensive American bière de champagne. That beer is the only one of its kind being made in the U.S., and it's delicious. Enlightenment's third-ever batch of beer is Cosmos, a foreign export stout that I sampled recently.
Cosmos is unlike any beer I've ever had. It's a "kind of big export stout", according to brewer Ben Howe, who also had ideas of making this beer an imperial stout and aging it in Port barrels. The creativity is unsurprising considering Howe used to work at Cambridge Brewing Company, one of the more experimental brewpubs in the region. I couldn't wait to give this beer a shot.
Cosmos pours pitch-black into a tulip glass with a big, reddish brown head. Chocolate and dark fruit dominate the nose.
The first sip is complex and drier than expected. Brittle dark chocolate crumbles around my tongue, and the mouthfeel is relatively light. Roasted malt is balanced by jammy notes of raisins and cherries. The slightly-tart fruit is a welcome respite from many of the heavy, sticky stouts that dominate the season.
More good news for fans of local beer is that unlike Enlightenment's flagship bière de champagne, which sells for around $18, Cosmos is more affordable. I bought a 750-ml bottle at Social Wines in South Boston for around $9. All Enlightenment beers are limited, and this one is worth seeking out.
Note: The original version of this posting incorrectly stated that Cosmos was aged in Port Barrels.