“Translation: Hell & Damnation. Brewed with brown malts, an English traditional specialty malt, we created an Imperial Russian Stout that has won prizes at festivals across Europe from Sweden to Italy. It’s big (10% ABV), black, roasted and complex. We are convinced that not trying this ale will be a mortal sin to your taste buds and beer experience.”
Served in a snifter. As predicted this monster hits the glass with an impenetrable black body that dons a thumb of foamy brown head on top. Steady reduction with thick blotchy lace decoration following it down.
Geez the aroma is rich and really complex. Every scent that has ever crossed our mind when reviewing dark beer is right here. It’s roasty, charred and leathery with everything from dark chocolate, coffee, licorice, molasses and burned wood to sweeter notes of toffee, treacle, vanilla, fig and marzipan. Getting hints of stewed and dark fruits as it warms. Wow.
Oh bejeezus! The range of flavours covered from start to finish is simply incredible. It starts somewhat late with a fusion of sweet dark fruits, roasted coffee and bitter chocolate before a crescendo of rich, charred and slightly peated flavours dominate the palate. It further intensifies with Sherry, burnt toast and a firm presence of booze just for good measure. It rolls in to a bittersweet finish that lingers for an eternity on the rear.
Dense and full bodied in the mouth. Quite dry and bitter with a good warmth provided by the 10% ABV. “Hell and Damnation”. It sounds sinister and slightly undesirable but once this sweet sweet liquid passes the taste buds it’s anything but! 100/100 on Ratebeer too we might add. Faultless.