Review - Boston Beer Company's Imperial Stout
"Our take on the stout brewed by 18th century English brewers for the Russian Imperial Court of Catherine II. The special malted barley in this intense and massive brew delivers rich flavors like dark chocolate, coffee and anise." -- Boston Beer Company
Pours a motor oil black producing a very healthy frothy gold-hued head with excellent retention. Body is black as night with no opacity. Tight lacing leaving thick bands. As the head dissipates, it breaks apart leaving large pockets of air bubbles. As the head retreats further, it leaves almost a spiderweb-like trail behind. The aroma contains a dominant burnt malt/roasted nuts notes with a noticeable alcohol presence. As expected, the hops are overpowered by the strong malt backbone. The aroma puts forth it's dominance. Initial taste is slightly tinged with alcohol with a mouthful of sweetness from an absurd amount of chocolate that matures into a bitter finish with increasing alcohol heat that is in no way masked. An oily film immediately covers the mouth and sticks around for a while. The Imperial Stout is medium bodied, creamy, and warming. It's rather young in age, so over time the alcohol will mellow and become hardly noticeable. Right now, it smacks you in the face. BAMM. I'm a BIG BEER.
This is not for the weak hearted. It's not difficult to drink, but it's dark. It's strong. Dark beers sometime scare people away. I say, BRING IT ON!!
Reviewed on March 22nd, 2009.