Imperial StoutMarch 1, 2009 Imported by: Merchant du Vin
Samuel Smith, Tadcaster, England
Imported by: Merchant du Vin
Available: nationwide except where ABV is capped.
Russian Imperial stout was originally brewed in Great Britain to satisfy the Czarist courts, great connoisseurs of Champagne, caviar and the art of the table. Because it was transported across the freezing Baltic, Russian imperial stout was brewed with a high level of alcohol.
Original gravity: 1070
This was my first imperial stout, which I enjoyed many years ago. It's still as delicious now as it was back then (and remains one of the more drinkable imperial stouts on the market). Deep, rich flavors of black strap molasses, burnt raisin, espresso bean, fig cake, black licorice root and dark chocolate. If only I aged this gracefully.
- John Hansell
Imperial stouts are sufficiently diverse these days they almost need substyles to demarcate the line between aggressively roasty and more gently rounded. This definitely would fall in the latter class, with ample dark chocolate and prune notes on the nose and a soft, creamy body featuring more chocolate along with notes of burnt toast and hints of black licorice and over-roasted coffee, with a soft, soothing finish. A gentle, slightly minerally Imperial with an affinity for robust stews and long, cold nights.
- Stephen Beaumont
John Hansell is an equal-opportunity drinker. He writes about beer, wine and spirits. He is the creator, publisher & editor of Malt Advocate, a magazine for the whisky enthusiast.
Stephen Beaumont boarded his first plane at the age of 15 and hasn't looked back since, obsessing about travel to the point that he gets nervous if he doesn't have a ticket or two stacked on the corner of his desk. When he's not running around in search of new taste experiences, he makes his home in Toronto, where a new cultural experience is only as far away as the next neighborhood.
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