imperial-stout

Dire Wolf Canis Mexicanus (Wolf’s Ridge)

Brewery : Wolf’s Ridge
Beer : Dire Wolf Canis Mexicanus
Style : Russian Imperial Stout / Imperial Stout
Variance : Brewed with Chili Peppers, Cinnamon, Cocoa Nibs, One Line Coffee Espresso, and Vanilla Beans

8.5 / 10

What exactly does a Mexican wolf sound like? Does it go “El Owwwwwwwwwwwwww” when it howls at moon? I just picture a wolf wearing either Fubu or Paco clothes that carries around a switch blade and tells other wolves “What are chu looking at holmes? Chu want me to bite chor fucking face off ese?” while riding around around in a El Camino. I felt bad for about one second for stereotyping Mexicans that bad but then I remembered Donald Trump existed and instantly felt way better. This is my final variant of of Dire Wolf and unfortunately my final Wolf’s Ridge beer and if I’ve learned anything after drinking all of these it’s that you NEED to try their stuff and check them out ASAP. They are fucking awesome and this beer is no exception starting with a nice spiced cinnamon flavor to start with some dark chocolate and bitterness mixing in before some coffee and alcohol join in before a nice chili burn mixes in at the end with a little more spice to wrap things up. Even though this isn’t my favorite of the 2 variants that I’ve tried so far it definitely still makes my tongue smile more than the thought of spending a day as a hair on Brad Pitts mustache. If you can’t figure out why then clearly you haven’t seen his track record with the ladies you idiot! This is a damn delicious stout and all of the flavors are just about perfectly balanced and if you get the chance to check this beer out, you should take it. For the experienced drinkers out there, this is the stuff dreams are made of because of it’s bold and scrumptious flavors and for you rookies, this is a great entry point and a unique take on the style so make sure you head to Ohio and snag a bottle! Salud!

Written by: Steve B.

Iron Hill’s Russian Imperial Stout at their Ardmore, PA location. A 3 of 4. A good exemplar of the style – big, boozy, and quite a lot of chocolate sweetness to help balance. Decent complexity to the roast and some dark fruit candy-like sweetness in places. Somewhat thicker on the palate, but stays quite drinkable, particularly at the ABV.

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

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!

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

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

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!

5

This stout game is strong son! Salted Belgian Chocolate from New Belgians Lips Of Faith series, Legion Russian Imperial stout from Community, Stone’s Coffee Milk Stout, Firestone Walker’s Velvet Merlin and I grabbed a glass of French Quarter Temptress from Lakewood Brewing. Stout coma!