Gigantic Brewing Company Most Most Premium Russian Imperial Stout (#33) – Russian Imperial Stout at 11.5% ABV | 60 IBU

Gigantic Brewing Company Most Most Premium Russian Imperial Stout (#33) Russian Imperial Stout at 11.5% ABV | 60 IBU (C$16.23 at Willow Park Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, no bottle date or best before, acquired 16-Mar-2016, reviewed 24-Jan-2017)

Appearance: inky black with a short, short-lived loose beige head, no lacing. (4/5) Aroma: roasty malt, chocolate, bourbon, oak, liquorice. (7/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium-full body tending slightly watery, moderate-low carbonation, lingering bitter and warming finish. (3/5)

My second bourbon barrel-aged stout of the evening, and perhaps I did them in the wrong order, but this one suffers slightly by comparison. Decent enough on the front end, with roasty malts, chocolate, and bourbon, but finishes just a little thin in the body, with an emphatic, slightly unbalanced liquorice note. I’m a little puzzled by the best before (OK, fine, the “NOT AS AWESOME AFTER” – seriously, that’s what the bottle says) date of 2016, since it would seem to me that this should cellar and age, for an extended period, fairly well. And seriously – why does the word “premium” on the label seem to, without fail, lead to abuse? Here’s an example of a beer that could probably carry off a “premium” designation. “Most premium”? Hmm… maybe. I don’t think it’s that, but some might. “Most most premium”? Nah. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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