“This beer refers to a historical episode, in which the Russian Czarina, Catherine the Great couldn’t get enough of the deep, dark and heavy English stouts. The trip from England to Russia took a long time. Extra alcohol, was, therefore, necessary to guarantee the shelf life. Still one attaches in those parts of a root beer, in the lowlands, the popularity was rapid. Notes of dark chocolate and coffee are to be found and is no problem in this harmonious beer as the cane sugar softens the bitter character.”
Served in to a beer tulip. The opaque black pour arouses a two finger tanned head that steadily reduced, holding up a thick covering over the top with excellent retention and lacing. The aroma is so potent that we don’t even need to bring the glass to our nose to smell the goods. Moreish aromas consisting of dark chocolate, espresso coffee, licorice, charred wood, molasses, acetone, alcohol and toasted nuts all come forward in this huge wave of dark, roasted complexity. So many layers of thick viscosity, it’s just brilliant. In the mouth it’s oily and silky smooth with a hint of hoppy bitterness and charred roast as it progresses toward the rear. The 11% ABV is noticeable but it’s at that perfect level where it’s in support and not overpowering. This is shaping up! Hefty astringency attacks the taste buds on entry. Everything from saliva-sucking hops, charred malts, alcohol warmth, molasses sweetness, and coffee bitterness is all let loose on the palate upfront. As it progresses, the harsh bitterness and alcohol burn subsides and allows the sweeter flavours to descend in to a bitter and roasted finish with outstanding duration. This is one palate wrecking, saliva sucking, roasted and toasted stout. Certainly for the adventurous beer drinker only. Once these Dutch brewers showed their nous with their creme brulee stout we knew they were world class and this R.I.S just emphasizes that. Superb stout.