Bourbon Romanov

Brodies: Bourbon Barrel Aged (Jack Daniels/Jim Beam) Empress Romanov Stout (England: Imperial Stout: 12.1% ABV)

Visual: Black with caramel froth head.

Nose: Milky coffee. Bitter chocolate. Vanilla toffee. Black cherry. Soft with no alcohol feel. Elderberry liquore(or how I would imagine it to be).

Body: Liquore like. Very bitter chocolate. Bitter coffee. Roasted. Vanilla edged. Fudge. Froths in the mouth. Shortbread. Very thick texture. Cake sponge. White grapes.

Finish: Bitter coffee. Roasted hazelnut. Vanilla yoghurt. Cake sponge. White wine and juicy grapes.

Conclusion: This is one of the big guns of beer, creamy thick texture, huge bitter coffee and bitter chocolate. Initially that is all you get, but trust me on this one when I say there’s more to come.

But before we get onto that, we need to first spend a bit more time on the texture. Seriously this is a heavy duty, almost milkshake thick beer, and yet the aroma does not hint at but the barest drop of alcohol. How does it do that?

Ok, that little digression gave me time to acclimatise to the beer’s sheer bitter chocolate and now I can give it its true examination. Now you get the soft toffee, cake sponge and vanilla, all I presume bourbon ageing notes slowly seeping their way in. They are gentle notes around an intense body that, while more alcohol touched than the aroma, is nowhere near its abv.

Finally as you get towards the end of the beer, fully acclimatised, and more than a touch inebriated, you get the oddest elements. A slight white wine and juicy grape freshness that is enough to pull the beer back from the edge of being too heavy to handle.

Even with that it is still a raw and massively bitter Imperial Stout in the Speedway Stout mould, but those small tweaks make me much amenable to this beer over the more publicly lionised Speedway. Huge, intense, and maybe just a touch too raw at times, but gives more than enough with that, that it is well worth it.

Background: Interesting, when I looked for more information on this I found that there were several Bourbon aged versions of Romanov, with Jack Daniels, Jim Beam and a mix of the two aged versions. I have no idea which version this one is. I have a short tweet conversation with The Barley Mow where I drank it and Brodies who made it, trying to establish which version it is. Will let you know if I get any luck. (UPDATE: Brodies confirmed it is a mix of Jack Daniels and Jim Beam aged, many thanks!)I have drunk a few version of Romanov now, and first drank this version after a catch up with my family. I was a tad too merry that night to do a write up, so I returned a week later with notepad in hand. As you can tell, I am a fan of the varied versions of this beer. Also the Barley Mow is an excellent little beer haven tucked away behind the Bristol train station, highly recommended.

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