Stone Brewing Company Imperial Russian Stout (2016) – Russian Imperial Stout at 10.8% ABV | 65 IBU

Stone Brewing Company Imperial Russian Stout (2016) Russian Imperial Stout at 10.8% ABV | 65 IBU (C$13.85 at Crowfoot Wine & Spirits, 650 ml, packaged on 23-Mar-2016, acquired 23-Feb-2017, reviewed 17-Oct-2017)

Appearance: nearly opaque black with minimal relief around the margins, one fat finger of fluffy beige head, good retention and moderate lacing. (4/5) Aroma: dark chocolate, caramel, mild coffee, dark fruit, light herbal. (9/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (9/10) Palate: full slick body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter warming finish. (5/5)

That is some good shit right there. It’s almost good enough to make me OK with calling an end to summer and moving on to cold-weather beers. (Yeah, it was 24ºC [75ºF] here today, but it’s dropping to freezing overnight.) Almost. I friggin’ hate winter, but boozy goodness like this dulls the pain. I decided to finish this one off since my plans for a multi-year vertical were cruelly dashed by a complete absence of the 2017 vintage in my area, but I’ve still got a 2015 ageing in my cellar. I think I’ll give that one another couple of years and see what happens, but to be honest, this one at only a year and a half old is already pretty smooth and defect-free. (18/20)

9/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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