From Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks in Richmond comes their “Dark Side Russian Imperial Stout” from the December 2016 Vintage a beer I have had in my cellar for a year. The beer pours an opaque black with a brown head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, chocolate, pine and some floral hops. The flavour is of roasted malts, chocolate, earth, ash, caramel, toffee, pine, resin and alcohol with bitterness in the finish. The alcohol content comes in at 9.9% with an IBU of 40. I wish this was not my last bottle in my cellar as it was really tasty and had aged well loosing its almost Imperial Black IPA notes.
From Bomber Brewing in East Vancouver comes their “Bourbon Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout”. The beer pours an opaque black with a brown head. The aroma consists of bourbon, oak, chocolate, toffee and vanilla with a sweet finish. The flavour is of bourbon, oak, tannins, earth, roasted malts, burnt coffee, ash, chocolate, vanilla, tofffee, caramel and bitterness. The alcohol content comes in at 9.5%. While I prefer my Russian Imperial Stouts sweet this one is very well executed and well worth picking up multiple bottles.
Commercial Description: Bomber Brewing in Vancouver BC has announced the release of a special limited version of their Russian Imperial Stout that has been aged for over six months in Heaven Hill Distillery bourbon barrels.
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.
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.
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.