Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels 2017- Twin Sails Brewing


From Twin Sails Brewing in Port Moody comes their “Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels” a beer aged for one year in Bourbon Barrels for their second anniversary.  This was bottle 309 of 468.  The beer poured an opaque black with a brown head.  The aroma consists of vanilla, bourbon, roasted malts, toffee, brown sugar, chocolate, anise with a sweet finish.  The flavour was of vanilla, bourbon, oak, anise, chocolate, toffee, espresso, roasted malts, brown sugar, coconut and very little bitterness.  The alcohol content is a cool 11.6% that is partially masked by the flavour of this beer.

Commercial Description:  Aged in select bourbon barrels since September 2016, this dense, inky imperial stout has big aromas of fudge, vanilla and espresso.  The palate brings an intense mix of chocolate, char, and coconut and a thick luscious mouth feel that leads into a warming, rich finish.  An intentionally low carbonation brings an exceptional spirit-like character to the beer.

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The Bottle Imp – Beau’s All Natural Brewing


From Beau’s All Natural Brewing in Vankleek Hill Ontario comes their “The Bottle Imp” Russian Imperial Coffee Stout.  This brew is the 9th beer in Beau’s pro-am series.  The beer pours an opaque black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of coffee, ash, roasted malts and dark chocolate.  The flavour is of bitter coffee, hops bitterness, earth, burnt malts, dark chocolate, hint of vanilla, ash with resin in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 9% with an IBU of 81.  If you enjoy a good bitter Russian Imperial Stout with a big coffee hit this one is definitely for you.

Commercial Description:  The Bottle Imp is a strong, dark, roasty and rich creation. This rendition of a Russian Imperial Stout is also infused with a blend of Nicaraguan and Guatemalan fair-trade organic coffee. Complex and contemplative, and with well-integrated alcohol warmth, The Bottle Imp is best served in a snifter, sipped slowly and savoured.  eau’s first brewed The Bottle Imp in 2013 as part of its Pro-Am Series. The recipe was co-created with David Thompson, who won the Toronto Beer Week Homebrew Contest and the prize of coming to Beau’s for a day to brew a beer. In 2014 The Bottle Imp took Bronze at the Canadian Brewing Awards, as well as first place at the National Organic Craft Beer Competition in California.  The Russian Imperial Stout is brewed to weigh in high on alcohol, with the roasted, malty character typical of a stout. These imperial stouts were first brewed in England in the 18th century, and exported to Russia for the pleasure of Czarina Catherine II and her court.  And the name? The Bottle Imp is a haunting turn-of-the-century tale by Robert Louis Stevenson about risking eternal damnation of the soul to have everything on earth one’s heart desires. We suggest pairing the beer and the story on a cold night by a crackling fire.

Food pairing as per the brewery:  Pumpernickel bread, trifle, dark chocolate fondue, coffee cake, grilled steak, truffle-oil-infused mashed potatoes, & sharp cheddar or stilton.

Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout 2017 – Cigar City Brewing


From Cigar City Brewing in Tampa Bay Florida comes their “Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout” 2017 Vingate.  The beer pours a jet black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, molasses, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, chocolate and some alcohol.  The flavour is of roasted malts, burnt coffee, ash, molasses, caramel, toffee, dark chocolate, anise, dark fruit, maybe some umami, alcohol and a bitterness in the finish. The alcohol content comes in at 11.2% with an IBU of 70.  This is a seriously big beer and right up my alley.  I wish I could have brought more of this beer back or visited the brewery while in Florida but there is only so much room in your luggage and we had to leave Florida in a hurry to avoid Hurricane Irma.

Commercial Description:  This Russian Imperial Stout is dedicated to Georgy Zhukov, arguably one of the finest generals of World War II. Opaque black in color, with notes of espresso, chocolate, dark toffee and hints of blackstrap molasses. The English hop varietals provide a subtle herbal dryness, and the beer finishes with a hearty slap of roasty espresso. Pair Marshal Zhukov’s with mushroom solyanka, dark chocolate, cherries and ground wars in Russia.

Commander Imperial Stout 2017 – Dead Frog Brewery


From Dead Frog Brewery in Aldergrove comes their 2017 vintage of the “Commander Imperial Stout”.  The beer pours a deep opaque black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of roasted malts, chocolate, toffee, caramel, earth and a sweet finish.  The flavour is of roasted malts, milk chocolate, toffee, caramel, mild coffee, ash, earth, very mild oak, alcohol and bitterness in the finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 10.5% with an IBU of 60.  I wish the beer had been aged in a barrel and not just on oak for 60 days as that would have taken this really tasty Imperial Stout to the next level.  But there is no doubt this is a great vintage of this beer.

FOOD PAIRINGS AS PER BREWERY:  ROAST BEAST WITH THICK GRAVY, CHOCOLATE CAKE AND ICE CREAM

Commercial Description: A DARK ROASTED STOUT FEATURING A DEEP, LAYED MALT PROFILE WITH FLAVOURS OF WHITE OAK AND WHISKEY.  AGED FOR 60 DAYS BEFORE BOTTLING.

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Singularity 2017 – Driftwood Brewing


Victoria’s Driftwood Brewing releases a very limited release Russian Imperial Stout every year in the winter months.  This beer is called “Singularity 2017”.  The beer pours an opaque black colour with a brown head.  The aroma consists of bourbon, oak, chocolate, toffee, roasted malts and some ash.  The flavour is of and alcohol.  The alcohol content comes in at 13.2%.  This beer is always a winner and they have really outdone themselves this year.  If you can find this beer make sure to pick up a few bottles so you can age at least one.

Commercial Description:  Beer of infinite density. Massive, rich coffee and chocolate flavour mingle with the vanilla and dried fruit. A beer to be shared and savoured. Can be cellared. Enjoy with (or as) dessert!

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