Sunday, August 3, 2014

Guest Tasting: Imperial Stout

This was passed to me via a friend of a friend

I'm referencing the BJCP guidelines, although I'm not a judge

A very gentle hiss upon opening, this pours thick and very-dark-brown-to-black leaving no head, just a faint ring of foam around the edges:

Maybe I poured too carefully. Poured the rest, trying to agitate it a bit, result was about the same:

Not a big deal, this style should carb to 2.2 volumes of co2 according to some priming calculators I checked, and this is not flat

The smell is right on target, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt. Not much alcohol or esters.

Taste is sweet, lightly bitter. It's not a cloying sweetness, like so many bad tripels and quads I've had lately. It's a pleasant sweetness. Not much alcohol. Rich mouthfeel, coating. It tastes quite a bit like it smells: roasted malt, coffee, chocolate but balanced with that nice sweetness. While the bitterness is low, it doesn't taste unbalanced.  It has a balance more like a scotch ale than an imperial stout, and I don't mind that at all.

As it warms:

More alcohol coming through in the nose. It's still well hidden in the taste, offset by the sweetness.

Final thoughts:
Great beer, in the top tier of the style I've tasted. I would say my favorite 2 are Goose Islands BCBS and Stones Russian Imperial Stout. Those are a bit more bitter than this example(from memory) but this is comparable in overall impression.  A few(again, from memory) that I prefer this to: Sam Smith(AKA soy sauce) & Old Rasputin.

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