imperial-stout

10

If it’s spring, it’s flea market time in Helvetiaplatz! Pretty much in the middle of the redlight district of Zurich, every Saturday starting in March will bring together professional or amateur hagglers for another happy round of exchanging valuables. I’m not saying the stuff there comes cheap, no way, yet still the market is filled to the brim with almost everything you can imagine (except tanks or livestock) and the lookers are pouring. I must have missed the market for too long but I noticed a new category of visitors - the young hipster and/or boho looking for vintage extensions of their selves or just browsing through shabby vinyl covers. Which I did as well thank you very much.

I’m not sure what’s the best Swiss beer match but a Perla Nera from Flims brewery shall do it. A wonderful toffee caramel nose with a rather disappointing watered down taste (and looks), this imperial stout with its great start only managed to confuse me.

Dirty Commie Heathen (The Unknown)

Brewery : The Unknown
Beer : Dirty Commie Heathen
Style : Russian Imperial Stout / Imperial Stout
Variance : Brewed with Bourbon Aged Oak Added and Red Cherries

9 / 10

Ok, so I’m feeling nice tonight so I’m going to give you a heads up : This review will talk about how amazing this beer is, Stalin, Trump, and probably some other random shit so if you don’t want to hear it, stop reading after this next sentence. I absolutely love this beer and I’m really hoping this 12.4% powerhouse allows me to get through it sober enough because I definitely feel the need to persuade you to drink this. Ok, now if you’re still reading thanks for joining me on this journey so buckle up and let’s get down to it.

The Unknown basically looks like a pussy compared to Stalin because this beer only slayed the 10,000 taste buds I have in my mouth but Stalin ended up with a body count somewhere around 20 million. Oh, and did I mention your taste buds replace themselves every 2 weeks or so? Yeah, didn’t think you’d learn something did you? Anyways, Stalin was a piece of shit and The Unknown definitely nailed the description of him with the name of this beer because he’s not even the worst dictator ever so rot in hell fuckface. Come see me when you reach Mao Zedong level evil! Ok, now on to Trump. Besides the fact that every Russian I’ve ever met seems like they are miserable and pissed at the world every second of the day, they are also sort of responsible for president Macaroni and Cheese Von Twitterwig. I mean, basically everyone on his staff has talked to Sergey Kislyak at some point and then denied it including Jeff Sessions, Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, J.D. Gordon, and Carter Page and that’s on top of the fact that those filthy commie heathens only hacked the DNC emails to make Hillary look like dog shit and that’s on top of the fact that Russia has a video of Trump getting pissed on by hookers. Ok, I think I’ve made my point so back to the beer.

An absolutely amazing chocolate covered cherry flavor starts things off with a mix of sweet, bitter, and mild tartness before some vanilla and oak mix in with some dark chocolate and smoke before ending with another explosion of cherry flavor and milk chocolate with no sign of the 12.4% ABV anywhere which is basically fucking magic. That’s right, The Unknown shall now be know as The Unknown The Grey (Lord of the Rings anyone?) because any beer this incredible and powerful could only be the work of a wizard. Ok, this review is way too long but thanks for hanging in there with me and make sure you pick this up regardless of your political affiliation, thoughts on Russia, or drinking experience level because this is fucking delicious and deserves to be tasted by all. Na Zdorovie!

Written by: Steve B.

Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout (2013). Picked up in 2013 at a Bev-Mo. A 4 of 4. Yep, this is big and good, and deserves its high marks. Lots of complexity in the nose with caramel, chocolate, an almost savory and woody quality, and some faint booze. Drinks much the same on a thick and sweet body, which quickly fades to booze, roast, and some almost candy-like sweetness. Very well-balanced, and deeply complex. Awesome.

2

Takashi Imperial Stout / 志賀高原(長野)
たいへんグラッシーなアロマの漂うインペリアルスタウトなのだが、飲み口のまろやかさはあるものの飲み応えは強い。なんというか。。。おいしいスタウトってこうだよねえー!という感じ。甘みのとバランスも良い。

ラーメンとは合わないかも……。

Boulevard Brewing Company Imperial Stout X: Aztec Chocolate, 750 ml., 11% ABV, 63 IBUs. This is the first of the new Boulevard stout series that I’ve tried; the promise of xocoatl-like flavors was enough to entice me. I could have gone for a bit more chili spicing, but it’s still good. Just makes me wish it wasn’t 100° F outside.

2

Dogfish Head, Miles Davies’ Bitches Brew 9.0% abv

This here inventive beer, a blend of imperial stout and tej (Ethiopian honey wine bittered with gesho. No hops y'see) was originally brewed by Delaware’s Dogfish Head to honour the 40th anniversary of Miles Davis’ legendary perspective shifter. Cheers once again to the awesome lesseifer and lisaseifer for sending me this, it more than lived up to my stupidly high expectations!

‘Tis a smooth and silky brew and lighter than a typical impy. Medium sweet at first, intense flavours erupt and develop in my salivating face hole. There’s dark roast coffee, toasted cacao nibs, chopped mixed nuts, vanilla, and luxurious dark chocolate up front, whispy smoke trails and an old pirate treasure chest follow, and a nicely earthy bitterness creeps in at the end.

I really did enjoy this, a surprisingly easy to drink brew considering the boldness and depth of flavour. If I’d created something as underwear moisteningly awesome as Bitches Brew (rather than just generally being underwear moisteningly awesome) I’d be tickled pink and whatever other colour you like by this tribute. A triumph, I say. Cheers!

2

Evil Twin “I Love You With My Stout”

90 A-


I Love You With My Stout is an Imperial Stout sold in four-packs with an ambiguous release schedule. This is reportedly an offshoot of Evil Twin’s Even More Jesus. I don’t typically mention labels, but they seriously need a new in-house designer! Aromas bring malt notes of cocoa powder, roasted hazelnuts, caramel-drizzled sweet bread, oatmeal, licorice, and smoked barley. Hops give a very minor impression of citrus.


The palate is initiated by robust sweetness carrying flavors of raw sugar and whipped cream. Roasted barley immediately gives way to a vast body of chocolate. Up from the middle, flavors of vanilla swirl into creamy lactose sugar, and a nutty taste of almond milk. Sweetness continues to press on, surging up to the rear with a weighted infusion of molasses and toffee. Hop oils eventually settle, merging with the dark roast to produce a flavor of burnt, black coffee. A fruity addition of star anise, dates, prunes, and raisins add seductive complexity. The back-end tastes as if simmered in a pan to a rich reduction. Aftertastes bring a touch of spice, along with sour acidity, and residual malt sugars. Mouthfeel is chewy, wet, and slightly syrupy before oils bring a drying conclusion.


This is most certainly an after-dinner, dessert beer. I was immediately struck by the high level of sweetness, to a point that tastes uncharacteristic of the typical approach to this style. Alcohol still manages to shine through more than I like, but 12% is a tough digit to hide. I personally find it a touch too sweet. The price tag is slightly higher than other comparable four-packs from Evil Twin, but the lofty ABV at least helps offset this figure. I’m not crazy about it, but only because I’ve had better from Evil Twin. If you’re a fan of their work, and you love your Double Stouts, then I recommend it.


12.0%

? IBU

(Denmark) Brewed by Two Roads, Stratford, Connecticut

Super Afrodisiac / Funk Estate (New Zealand)
たいへん強いチョコレートやカカオのようなフレーバーの漂うインペリアルスタウト。副原料を本当に何も使っていないのか?!と驚くような香りで、もはや飲むチョコレートである。飲み口は軽いのだが香りから連想される甘みと苦みのバランスがあまりピンとこない感じ。この香りならもう少しボディ重いほうが美味しいかな?

3

BrewDog Paradox Compass Box (15% abv)

BrewDog’s epic saga of two barley kernels on different paths reunited by fate continues. This time the sublime Paradox imperial stout joins forces with the Compass Box Whisky Co, sitting in barrels that previously housed the rather special blended Scotch whiskies from their Great King Street line for 221 days before bottling. A highly promising union, but then it needs to be. Y’see, when many think of BrewDog they think of super hoppy pale ale styles, but for me it’s their stouts, and the bigger the better. The small batch Paradox series has ‘til now delivered some of my all time favourite barrel aged impy’s and the level of expectation I have for a new release is quite honestly absurd. So just being good won’t be good enough. 

I needn’t have worried. The sweet whisky goodness caresses my taste buds with notes of caramel, vanilla, subtlety charred oak, and undertones of wildflower petals. Rising from the depths come increasingly bold, decadent flavours of  juicy dates, overripe figs, molasses, liquorice, bonfire toffee, bittersweet chocolate, and dark roast coffee. There’s a mildly earthy, spicy hop presence at the end, with the pleasantly warming, bittersweet and woody finish lingering for an age. As you’d expect it’s full bodied, soft, oh-so smooth, and nothing short of a luxurious experience for y’r gob. 

Aye, I adored this intense, complex, boozy, hella pricey, sumptuous delight. I’d go as far as to say it’s right up there with my very favourite Paradox releases, and as such my favourite BA impy stouts full stop. Phenomenal stuff, but absolutely not for the inexperienced or those with a more err, delicate palate. Cheers all!

2

Evil Twin “Christmas Eve At A New York City Hotel Room”

92 A-


Christmas Eve At A New York City Hotel Room is an Imperial Stout released as fall seasonal. This is most certainly the longest beer name I’ve ever seen (it’s a little ridiculous). Aromas are heavy on the roasted malts, giving rise to notes of coffee, fudge brownies, toasted bread, roasted walnuts, and smoke. Faint spice can also be detected. Sweetness is reminiscent of molasses and vanilla wafers.


The palate starts in a weak display of caramel sweetness acting on the tip of the tongue. Flavors of coffee flow into a more textured body of chocolate. As the malt roast develops, grainy characters emerge as oatmeal and roasted hazelnuts. More decadent layers of dark chocolate settle onto the underbelly, where the barley tastes as if reduced to ash. A spicy touch of piperine (black pepper) precedes the arrival of mild bitterness. Light vinous qualities evoke cherry and licorice, then alcohol leaves a medicinal tinge of cherry cough syrup. Mouthfeel starts smooth, carbonation rises, and it finishes a little dry.


This is by all means a malt-forward, ultra-roasted Impy Stout. It really digs deep into the darkness and smoke, which I love. The spicy and sour features stand out as oddities. Sweetness keeps fairly consistent to properly balance the bitterness (which tastes somewhere around 75 IBU’s). One big downside is the thin mouthfeel. Evil Twin has loads of Double Stouts, and this just might be the darkest. I’ll have to re-evaluate it next year to form a more concise opinion. It tastes very much like other ET Double Stouts. If you have a passion for this style, and you like em’ real dark, then check it out.


$11.99 / 4-pack

10.0%

? IBU

Brewed in Stratford, Connecticut