Bellwoods Brewery Bring Out Your Dead (2014) – Imperial Stout at 12.2% ABV

Bellwoods Brewery Bring Out Your Dead (2014) Imperial Stout at 12.2% ABV (C$13.00 via trade – thanks, Chucksahoy!, 500 ml, packaged on 5-Nov-2014, acquired 17-Jul-2015, reviewed 30-Oct-2017)

Appearance: mercilessly black with no hint of relief at the margins, a short, short-lived loose beige head, no lacing. (4/5) Aroma: brandy, dark chocolate, coffee, dates and figs, nuts. (9/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (9/10) Palate: full slick body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering and building bitter and warming finish. (4/5)

Something a little special from the cellar tonight (numbered bottle 1885 of 2100, ooo, fancy!), because fuck it, why not? Like my sticker says, life is short, so you might as well drink the good stuff first, right? And three years is long enough to leave it in the cellar, even if it does leave double digit ABVs well in the rear view mirror. (And, by the way, if the name doesn’t evoke Monty Python for you, you might as well just uncircle me now, because you’re not my kind of people.) This is, by any metric you care to use, a monster: a big, boozy bastard that doesn’t give two shits what you think. That being said, I’ll list my (very short list of) perceived defects, because it’s easier than listing its merits: I’d like to see better head retention/lacing; the carbonation tends slightly high, making the body (in my opinion) feel slightly lighter than it really is; and even three years in, it’s still hot. That’s it. I won’t elucidate any deficiencies in the aroma or flavour, because I think it’s totally personal preference, and someone else might well go higher or lower. I’ve gone on record as saying McAuslan’s St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout is one of the best Canadian beers around – and this is better. This might actually be the very best Canadian Stout that can be had for love or money, despite its extremely reasonable price point. (Well, originally, anyway – I have no idea what it’s doing in the secondary market.) Do what you have to do to get one. (19/20)

9.5/10 #ryansbooze

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