Tag Archive: Imperial Stout


Weird Beard Sadako Ardbeg Barrel Aged

Weird Beard: Sadako (貞子): Ardbeg Barrel Aged (England: Imperial Stout: 9.2% ABV)

Visual: Black. Thick creamy brown head of half a cm size.

Nose: Chocolate. Iodine. Beef slices. Peat and smoke. Brown bread.

Body: Thick. Brown bread. Charring. Iodine. Drying salt. Greenery. Sour dough. Some malt chocolate behind. Meaty back.

Finish: Brown bread. Smoke. Drying. Bitter chocolate. Salt and rocks. Sour dough. Iodine.

Conclusion: When you have a cask as booming as Ardbeg, you really need a big beer to go against it for cask ageing. For a case of it being done right check out De Molen’s Hemel & Aarde Octomore Barrel Aged (Yes I am aware that Octomore is from Bruichladdich – I’m just comparing intense whisky casks).

This, well oddly it tastes more Laphroaig than Ardbeg to my eyes – possibly because the barrel ageing only lets the harsher and more medicinal elements through, without the weight of the base whisky to contrast. Ardbeg was always a peaty beast, and you get that here, but it never was as medicinal as Laphroaig, which is why this is such a surprise.

The aroma is sheer quality Ardbeg, with the depth that entails, but the body comes in more as an assault of medicinal, salt iodine and the like. As I say, very Laphroaig. The feel backing it is a thick bready character – a heavy texture but flavour wise it feels quite neutral as a base for the whisky influence to work from. As it warms you do get a much needed peat meatiness that comes out, the whisky aging now giving it the backing it needs.

Now, you may notice at this point I’m talking a lot about the whisky influence but very little about the beer influence. There is a reason for that. The beer is damn near killed here – on the finish there is some bitter chocolate, and all throughout there is some sough dough, but generally? The beer just can’t compete.

Overall it is a hell of an experience, but not overly a great beer. For Ardbeg and Laphroaig fans this may mix things up a bit for you by delivering flavour but in a thicker, longing lasting experience.

For most everyone else – it just doesn’t gain much from the beer side of the equation. Just backing Ardbeg with brown bread. Meh I guess, it definitely shows the Islay style, but doesn’t add anything to it. Ah well.

Background: I tried to guess this thing’s translation without looking – I failed. I recognised the second Kanji as “Child” so, knowing this is a barrel aged beer, guessed it may be barrel or oak child. Then I found out there was a non barrel aged version so that screwed up that idea. Anyway, turns out Sadako is a women’s name, with literal translation of Chaste Child. In my defence I really haven’t needed to know the Japanese letter for “chaste” much in my use of Japanese. I’m fairly sure it is also the name of the antagonist ghost in “The Ring” but I may be wrong in that. Anyway, yes Ardbeg aged – Ardbeg is one of the heaviest duty Islay whiskys, so this should be interesting. Drunk while listening to early era Slipknot. No mocking me, I was a kid when I got into them and I like to listen and reminisce sometimes. This beer was grabbed from Independent Spirit. Incidentally, wax on bottles of beer was amusing for while, now so many beers have it that it just gets annoying. Stop putting tests between me and my beer damnit.

Mikkeller Black Speyside tequilla

Mikkeller: Tequilla and Speyside Aged Black 黑 (Denmark: Imperial Stout: 18.8% ABV)

Visual: Black (No surprise there). Thick browned froth head.

Nose: Strong spirit. Vodka and jelly babies. Toasted teacakes. Milky coffee. Cocoa. Light cherries.

Body: Tingling. Sweet chocolate fondue. Jelly babies. Bitter chocolate hints. Orange liqueur. Noticeable alcohol. Toffee notes. Burn on swallowing. Pear notes and strawberry late on.

Finish: Spirity. Very bitter chocolate. Tongue numbing. Smoke. Brown bread. Crème brulee.

Conclusion: How big is too big? And no innuendo please. Mikkeller black was always an intense one, utterly bitter black chocolate with no compromises. Always single minded. This? Well it is different, but even bigger and more intense.

Initially it seemed too spirity – there is a definite alcohol harshness and prickle, which, along with the immensely bitter chocolate finish, makes for a very harsh way out for this beer.

What I find interesting is how the barrel ageing has altered the main body – previously the chocolate was bitter as hell – now it comes in sweet and with an almost chocolate fondue style – this makes for a much needed contrast to the very spirit heavy influence, especially the harsh tequila alcohol air and slight smoke.

It is an odd mix, once you get used to the harshness there is reasonable depth to the main body, with the varied ageing adding different spirit, sweet and fruity notes to the chocolate body.

The finish however is a clumsy mess of harshness, where the main body has quirks – rough edges but in a charming way – the finish doesn’t work. A pity as it lets down the rest of the beer massively – especially as the finish lasts so long so it will be what you are experiencing about half the time.

So, I think they went a bit too big here, all the elements are trying to shout all the time and that means half the time you can’t hear anything but the loudest voice. So, it still has the impressive base of black, but there is too much clashing here. Not bad, but not really a refined beer, nor worth the price tag, So, especially at the insane abv, it doesn’t give you a better beer for it

Background: For anyone wondering, yes 黑 is the kanji for black. If it wasn’t obvious. Anyway, I have had black a few times, but never got around to reviewing it, it is a very bitter chocolate and coffee beer. So when I saw a double barrelled aged version at independent spirit I grabbed one. Well technically I grabbed two, one as a present for a friend. So that may introduce some bias into this review. Drunk while listening to Against Me! White Crosses which continues to grow on me. In fact the beer took so long to drink at the abv that I also listened to the Guilty Gear soundtrack as well. yes I took my time with this one.

Dieu Du Ciel Bourbon Aged Peche Mortel

Dieu Du Ciel: Peche Mortel: Reserve Speciale 2013: Viellie 12 mois en fut De Bourbon (Canada: Imperial Stout: 9.5% ABV)

Visual: Black. Brown medium sized head, similar to the colour of chocolate milkshake.

Nose: Bitter coffee. Fudge. Bitter cocoa dust. Very rounded in all elements. Chocolate cake and sponge. Roasted nuts.

Body: Oatmeal flapjack. Massive rounded coffee. Raisins. Vanilla toffee. Frothy texture. Rye bourbon. Shredded wheat. Sharp orange liquore.

Finish: Bitter Belgian chocolate and chocolate sponge. Bitter coffee beans. Vanilla fudge. Vanilla spirit air – bourbon style. Sharpe orange crème centres.

Conclusion: Ok, this is a beer balanced on a knife edge. I very much enjoyed Peche Mortel, but this, oh this just adds that little edge to it. It still has that booming bitter coffee, but more rounded and refined. The time in the oak gives it much more complexity in both chocolate and coffee, giving additional layers of sweetness and bitterness to both. It is that accentuation of the pre existing characteristics that pushes that part up there with Beer Geek Brunch Weasel for massive complexity to coffee expression. You can take your time even with just the aroma, feeling the fudge come out, and the coffee progressing through the aromas.

The body is buoyed by the spirit elements, an almost shredded wheat bourbon roughness, combined with vanilla sweet spirit rises up, prickling through the strong main body. This is the knife edge, the element the beer balances on. At times the perfect balancing of flavours makes it one of the all time greats, at others it rises just a tad too spirity. In both it merges all those elements before with what is an almost sharp orange liquore sub note that adds another layer of intrigue. The mix of spirit is seen even in the texture, a mix of frothy smooth and spirit needle prickles.

So, it varies, at its best it is truly up there with the best – bringing everything Peche Mortel did, but more rounded, backed by subtle extra notes and showing the full complexity of the coffee. At its worst, and this is comparative worst, not absolute – it is still very good – it is very bourbon heavy, almost like the stout is backing the bourbon rather than the other way around. Not a bad thing, but not a patch on the other way around.

Because it has that variance, even in a single bottle, it is not quite an all time great, but it has those moments where it does reach it with mad genius. This is an excellent beer. Give it a try – the standard Peche Mortel is more consistant, but this has occasional moments of absolute greatness.

Background: It has a gold band! Yay! Yep, that is the only difference is a gold label indicating it is Viellie 12 mois en fut De Bourbon – or as I put it, 12 months in Bourbon oak. I picked this up from Brewdog Bristol after the Dieu Du Ciel meet the brewers event. I had also had standard Peche Mortel on tap then, very nice.

Horizon Tokyo Black

Nøgne ø: Mikkeller: Brewdog: Horizon Tokyo Black (Norway: Imperial Stout: 16% ABV)

Visual: Black. Grey dust over it in the centre, and brown bubbles at the edges.

Nose: Real bitter chocolate. Real roasted nuts. Sour dough. Resin. Alcohol touch.

Body: Cherries. Chocolate liquore. Black cherry. Jelly babies. Bitter cocoa. Sugar cane. Orange liquore. Toasted tea cakes.

Finish: Bitter chocolate and milky coffee. Cream. Nuts. Alcohol air.

Conclusion: I was expecting to be mainly making jokes about this being a superfluous review, having already reviewed a different version of this. However, it turns out this is pretty different. This is heavier and darker, with more bitter flavours. It has some of the big sweetness, especially mid body where you get lots of fruit and jelly babies, but top end and tail it is much more raw bitter cocoa and coffee. It still had that noticeable alcohol air, but I think the heavier bitter emphasis helps offset that an makers for a better beer.

Here the sweetness mid body is a treat, not a sugar shock and, while it grow over time, the heavier sweetness doesn’t hit until the end when it is more manageable.

Overall this is a lovely imperial stout, like its Brewdog predecessor it could probably do with some time in a cellar to let the alcohol air lighten a little (I have tested with the Brewdog version, it works – two years in it was smooth as silky and lovely)

So a big gun of a beer, a bit alcohol touched, but apart from that a lovely mix of dark bitter chocolate and coffee, toasted tea cakes, dark fruit and jelly babies. Even better at 25ml it is the perfect size for beer of this strength. Now both versions of this beer I have had are excellent, but I will give the nod to the Nøgne ø version this time.

Which, considering my massive Brewdog bias, is saying something.

Background: Some of you may be thinking “Hold on, haven’t you revived this before?” In which case can I be the first to say … holy shit you have a good memory. I have reviewed the Brewdog version of this, which has slightly different abv This is the Nøgne ø version, so I thought it would be interesting to compare the two. Anyway, broke this open with a bit of “Rise Against”, because I finally pulled my thumb out and picked up one of their CDs.

Black Eyed King Imp

Brewdog: Black Eyed King Imp (Scotland: Imperial Stout: 11.8% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Brown bubbled rim and island of suds over the body.

Nose: Vinous. Bitter cocoa and white grapes. Chocolate dust. Rum soaked black cherry. Raisins. Coconut macaroons and treacle. Riesen chocolate chews. Hot fudge cake. Brown sugar. Nougat.

Body: Smooth chocolate liquore. Salt touch. Toasted teacakes. Chocolate chews. Bitter cocoa. Touch of alcohol feel at back of the throat. Sweet red wine. brandy snaps. Raisins. Golden syrup cake.

Finish: Malt chocolate. Oak. Touch of smoke. Toasted teacake. Bitter raw chocolate. Light marshmallow. Some bitter coffee. Fudge cake. Slight clean antiseptic alcohol.

Conclusion: There are so many beers in existence that, if they could deliver on what their aroma promised, would be the greatest beers ever. This is one of those beers.

It has all of my favourite things for an Imperial Stout aroma: Coconut macaroons, seriously, coconut notes in stouts are a thing of wonder – Vinous notes, always good for a bit of depth and a chewable aroma – chocolate, this beer definitely goes the heavy chocolate route with bitter, sweet and dusty chocolate elements. Oddly, up front I got none of the coffee notes that I would have expected in the beer. Finally hot fudge and brown sugar, to make sure the sweetness is not all chocolate based. Ok not quite final, there are side notes that pop up occasionally, the most fascinating of which is a faint nougat. I love how it uses the bitter chocolate to break up the sweetness, without breaking the overall feel of the aroma.

So, yeah, note how I bring this all up in relation to how it only shows up in the aroma. I’m about to slag off the main body aren’t I? Actually, no. The body is smooth as hell, some occasional harsh notes, especially at the back of the throat, but for the most part close to the too light side, without becoming so. Still all about the chocolate, but a bit more standard than the aroma. Great chocolate, great vinous and dark fruits, but loses a lot of the other elements. Still cool, but a bit more mainstream than the excellent aroma.

No coconut. No nougat. *Sob*.

First world problems eh?

The finish against is its own thing. It is dominated by bitter chocolate, and a slight clean alcohol touch, with a few hints of oak and smoke for weight. Here, finally, some bitter coffee becomes evident. It is the harsh end of the flavours, but no burn at all here.

So the progression from aroma to finish is one of simplification at each step, but matched by a sweep from sweet to bitter. It works, the aroma drags you in, the body satisfies and the finish locks it down so it doesn’t outstay its welcome and become sickly.

Not the awesome coconut and nougat beer the aroma promised, and I so wish existed, but I can dream. The only real flaws is a tiny touch of alcohol in the super smooth body that keeps it from being the most deluxe decadent stout out there, but it is lovely chocolate and bitter imperial stout.

So, not the beer the aroma says it will be, but still an excellent beer.

Background: I think I saw mentioned somewhere that the base for this was the prototype that became cocoa psycho. I could be wrong, anyway, it was a prototype, made with cacao nibs and coffee beans, and aged in oak for two years. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. This was drunk shortly after I had heard that the opener of the new series of Doctor Who was going to be shown in cinemas. So I put some Dr Who OST on to enjoy with it.

Sugar Lumps

Elixir: Sugar Lumps (Scotland: Imperial Stout: 7.7% ABV)

Visual: Black. Browned dash of suds.

Nose: Roasted and boozy. Chocolate treacle. Dry roasted peanuts. Brown sugar. Bitter. Orange sherbet.

Body: Treacle. Milky chocolate. Lactose. Chocolate liquore. Fruit sugars and sugar cane in a Brighton rock stylee. Rhubarb and custard hard sweets (but nothing like actual rhubarb). Orange sherbet.

Finish: Brown sugar. Cashew nuts. Candyfloss. Raspberry hard sweets (but nothing like actual raspberry). Orange sherbet.

Conclusion: I can see why they called this Sugar Lumps, you can almost feel two cubes of sugar dropped into this beer. It is like an oversweet cup of tea. If that tea was an imperial stout. That sentence made sense in some universe I am sure… It’s because it has that same feel on the mouth, despite the smoothness of the body you can imagine sugar granules wearing away at the upper roof of your mouth and teeth enamel as they pass by.

Oddly enough for that it starts off tasting quite like a traditional imperial stout, delivering roasted nuts, treacle, chocolate and lactose. Together it does give a milk stout touch, but mainly standard strong stout. and then the sugar rises.

Lots of elements float up, half way between fruity Belgian esters and the artificial flavours of hard sweets. These grow to an almost orange sherbet presence that becomes as present as the stout itself.

I found myself licking my teeth as if trying to dislodge an errant sugar grain, the sweetness matches the name that much, with the more bitter stout darkness submerged below. It is tasty but I will admit I kept expecting that if you put a spoon in it, that it would point straight up and not move an inch. For me that is a tad too sugary. Yes, that is the beer’s unique element, and the candy cane/hard sweets elements are nice, just a tad overdone.

Great idea, but pushed a tad past its welcome. The first half a bottle is very welcome, the second half less so. Make of that what you will.

Background: Apparently this was brewed in collaboration with Ben Hislop. A quick google brought up a mercenary from Mass Effect. I presume it is not that Ben Hislop. Unless fictional characters have started brewing now. Which would be kind of cool. I call dibs on reviewing Hank Schrader from Breaking Bad’s home brew. That is pretty much all I have to say on background this time. Picked up from the ever awesome Independent Spirit of Bath.

Paradox Heaven Hill

Brewdog: Paradox: Heaven Hill (Scotland: Imperial Stout: 15% ABV)

Visual: Black. Large creamy brown head.

Nose: Raisins and figs. Chocolate. Vanilla. Toffee. Coffee touch. Stewed fruit. Treacle sponge.

Body: Slick chocolate liquore. Roasted nuts. Bitter chocolate. Raisins. Fudge and Toffee Pavlova. Creamy and milky. Condensed cream. Plums.

Finish: Bitter chocolate. Bitter coffee. Frothy creamy coffee after. Vanilla toffee. Big bitterness. Creamy chocolate. Rye dry notes.

Conclusion: I think I’m having a high quality Imperial Stout blasé burnout again, aren’t I? That really does have to be the epitome of first world problems. Whining that you have had so many awesome barrel aged, smooth as Tom Jones dance moves, imperial stouts that you can feel slightly let down when one doesn’t instantly stand out from the crowd of other quality competitors.

Life is pain.

So, you may have guessed, yet another great paradox imperial stout. Smooth as silk with a chocolate liquore like feel and taste. Yep. Frothy bourbon toffee and vanilla notes. Yep. Seriously, you must know the deal by now. And the deal is good. If Noel Edmonds’ banker asks you, then take the deal.

(A little side note – I was in the audience for Deal Or No Deal for two episodes. Noel Edmonds is friendlier than you would think. Also they provide you with free beer so you are drunk and laugh more during the show. The beer was rubbish)

So, yeah, what is new then? Well the main element is that you get more dark fruit. There is very obvious stewed fruit characteristics in the aroma, and while they are slow to reveal, similar in the main body. When you do get them though they are equally distinct.

More expected is the bourbon aged vanilla and toffee I have already mentioned, but yeah, for a bourbon aged beer that is almost expected by now. The thing is, for all I am being blasé, this is probably one of the best Paradoxes I’ve had. By far not the most complex, but everything works together so well. Dark fruit, chocolate, and smooth, they all complement each other.

So a wonderfully done Imperial Stout. Even as one of the best Paradoxes however it still barely touches the greats in its style. Then again – first world problems.

This is a wondrously rich Imperial Stout. Well worth it.

Background: Yet another Paradox oak aged beer, still at the higher 15% version. This one aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels – the first Bourbon aged Paradox…i think. There have been a hell of a lot of them by now so I may have missed one. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. This was drunk while listening to some 4bitten, been a while since I broke their album out

Brooklyn Black Ops

Brooklyn: Black Ops (USA: Imperial Stout: 11.5% ABV)

Visual: Black. Moderate coffee brown layer on top.

Nose: Vinous. Sour grapes. Vanilla. Chocolate dust. Bourbon. Bitter chocolate. Bitter coffee. Hazelnuts. Creamy ice cream. Vanilla and chocolate. Slight chilli warmth.

Body: Hazelnuts. Caramel. Frothy. Bitter chocolate. Molasses. Vanilla toffee. Grape and white wine notes. Sour cream. Light black cherry.

Finish: Coffee. Chocolate ice cream. Hazelnuts. Vanilla. Toffee. Bitter chocolate. White wine.

Conclusion: Yes, I am blasé. Very blasé when it comes to Imperial Stouts, but despite that Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout holds a place in my heart. No it isn’t perfect, yes it is boozy, but it is just so damn earnest. Rough as a badger’s arsehole at times, but such a kick of flavour.

Anyway, that’s a review for another time – I bring it up as I was expecting the base of this beer to be roughly similar, instead this thing is smooth as silk. Froths up easily and feels very easygoing for 11.5% abv. In fact it has an almost ice cream or milkshake chocolate character in both feel and taste. There’s a big bitter chocolate flavour that comes in after as well, mixing luxury chocolate with that cheap guilty joy of thick unhealthy milkshakes.

The bourbon notes in this are actually quite subtle, it comes across more as vinous, white wine like notes than anything I would usually associate with bourbon. I mean there are vanilla and toffee notes, but nowhere near as heavy as I would have guessed. It gives a surprisingly fresh feel to the beer. The strange things is that the vanilla, while not a main note, can still gain an almost cloying edge near the end of the beer, not quite sure how it manages that.

It is very nice, very big, big bitterness, big roasted character and subtle oak ageing. The usual problem with beers this price comes up. For example, quality wise, this one is in the same ballpark as, say Bristol beer Factory’s Ultimate Stout, or the whisky aged variants of their Russian Imperial Stout. Those on the other hand are much cheaper and just as good. I repeat, this is nice, smooth and complex to a great degree. It is well worth trying, just be aware for the cost you can get quite a few similarly good beers.

A very chocolate, roasted and subtly oak aged beer that makes great use of its milkshake like texture. Not the best, but very complex and very nice.

Background: Didn’t think I would find this in the UK, but once again Independent Spirit of Bath came through for me. I love the bottle label text on this

“Brooklyn Black Ops does not exist. However, if it did exist, it would be a robust stout concocted by the Brooklyn brewing team under cover of secrecy and hidden from everyone else at the brewery. Supposedly, “Black Ops” was aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat, and re-fermented with Champagne yeast, creating big chocolate and coffee flavors with a rich underpinning of vanilla-like oak notes. They say it’s vanishingly rare. We have no idea what they’re talking about.”

Anyway, that pretty much explains what it is. This was drunk with friends, while being very amused at my friends’ confusion on playing Antichamber for the first time. Oh that game is a complete brain fuck.

Bumaye

8 Wired: Bumaye (New Zealand: Imperial Stout: 16% ABV)

Visual: Black. Rim of suds.

Nose: Raisins. Figs. Fruity red wine. Brown sugar. Hint of smoke. Dates. Fruitcake. Coconut. Treacle. Nougat.

Body: Syrup and treacle. Charring. Liquore texture. Bitter chocolate. Coffee notes. Nougat. Spiced fruit notes. Cherries. Truffles. Red grapes. Cinder toffee.

Finish: Very bitter chocolate. Glacier cherries. Shortbread. Coffee. Bitter red wine. Brown sugar.

Conclusion: So it’s that time again, insanely high abv, barrel aged Imperial Stouts. Ok, I’ve got a lot to say on this one, so give me a moment to sit down and compose my thoughts. Though mainly the sit down part. My alcohol tolerance has gone with age.

This things tastes like those cherry liquore filled bitter chocolate sweets you can get. Very harsh at first, but richly rewarding. The massive bitter chocolate even manages to push the pinot noir influence into second place for influences on the beer and that is saying something. Not to say that the barrel ageing isn’t influential, especially in the aroma, it just isn’t the number one influence.

Speaking of the aroma…daaamn.. seriously if anyone can make a beer that tastes like this smells then I will love them for at least five minutes. Maybe even six. There are dark fruits, coconut, red wine, nougat. It is like someone took all my favourite Imperial Stout elements and put it in one haze floating over the beer.

The body just can’t live up to that. Sorry, it just canna. It is great though, nougat through chocolate then down into a finish of red wine…through chocolate. I did mention chocolate has a big influence right? On the other hand there are so many elements that make it almost triflesque with the fruit and wine rising up, but a trifle layered in chocolate fondue. That analogy also just about fits with the spiced side of the fruit you get. Presumably someone had soaked the fruit for the trifle in rum, because, why wouldn’t you?

It is spicy, dark, refined and heavy. Great, even if not quite what the aroma promised. When you accept what it is you find something not entirely unlike an alcoholic Turkish delight and lovely at that. Albeit with much more bitter chocolate.

I very much enjoyed this, the closest comparison I can find is the 666 version of hel and verdoemenis, though I would say this is the sweeter take. This happily manages to stand alone on its own two feet, maybe not the best, but as the unique thing it is it manages to make itself the best in a crowd of one.

I’m glad I’m sitting down. Wow that was good beer.

Background: 8 Wired have been my favourite brewery from NZ for a while now, so when I got the chance to get my hands on this Pinot Noir aged Imperial Stout, well of course I did.

Old World Russian Imperial Stout 2013

Brewdog: Old World Russian Imperial Stout (2013) (Scotland: Imperial Stout: 9.5%)

Visual: Black. Larger charcoal touched head than expected.

Nose: Roasted hazelnut. Milky chocolate. Some roasted hop character.

Body: Sour cherry tang. Milky chocolate. Cloying cream. Roasted nuts. Twigs. Slight pepper character.

Finish: Roasted nuts. Cloying cream. Bitter earthy hop touch. Slight cherry notes. Pepper.

Conclusion: Hmm, not bad. Wow, again I damn with faint praise huh? Ok, here’s the thing – in my youth this would have blown my little brain. Smooth chocolate, small tart notes, roasted character and that cloying cream back than I now associate with Bristol Beer Factories’ stouts. There are touches from so many stout styles all shoved into this one beer. Shown to a young me this would have a been a bowling ball of new experiences crushing my brain.

Nowadays? Well it is an above average Imperial Stout. I am so blasé. It is well made and I like that they have taken the cloying cream element and pushed it against the fruit like tartness. It pushes that element a bit further than most and gives it that bit more effect, which is cool. However despite that the base beer doesn’t quite rise to the occasion, it seems to be clamping down on those interesting elements rather than letting them shine.

I think it is partly because they are going for something closer to the more traditional Russian Stout style, which I will admit it does well. There’s earthy rough hops, that sour elements, and, while I’m guessing the smoother chocolate is more new Imperial Stout style (I guess – not a beer historian) it doers mostly trend towards the older elements. While I don’t complain about the more roasted and traditional elements I do dislike when they hide the cool tricks brought to the game.

Then again, I’m a blasé beer snob and alcohol aphorist. This is a good mix of old traditional and new tweaks, it just is far from the best. I am however glad to say that it would have blown a less blasé me’s mind. I’m just getting old it seems.

Background: This is not the original Old World Russian Imperial Stout, the original version was basically just riptide in a cooler bottle. This is a whole new beer, in a cool bottle. I had tried this on tap a while back and it didn’t really grab me, so the bottle languished in my cupboard for a while. However bottle and tap can vary so I dug it out for a try and a quick review. This was drunk while listening to Moonlight Sonata (1st Movement) Meets Metal, which was kinda cool. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers, or someone who can use a camera well.

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