“The Roman Empire had a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ – festive food culture, extravagant architecture and spectacular live entertainment. Some might argue the Emperors were brutal, mad and hungry for power, and the people vain when taking baths and working out all day. Listen – that’s still all part of the secret Imperial ingredient – keep it cool, clean, confident, arrogant and flamboyant. Forza Imperiale.”
Appearance: Impenetrable black with a thumb of finely beaded foam resting atop. Reasonable retention and a cascading lace down the glass.
Aroma: Oh wow is this a pastry Stout or a creamy iced coffee with almond powder and vanilla?! And where the hell is that ominous-looking 11.5% ABV hiding? This gunna be dangerous First thing off is the coffee – sweet yet nutty and a little fruity. The Stout base, although reserved, still hits with a one-two of roasted malt, chocolate, beef jerky and molasses. Creamy vanilla/lactose and subtle almond/hazelnut to round it off. Supoib.
Flavour: Exact mirror image of the aroma. First up are the sweet and creamy aspects i.e vanilla, muscovado sugar and cocoa powder which passes the baton to the nutty, fruity and slightly acidic coffee. An inkling of warmth creeps in as it hits a gentle roasty note midway which then carries it all into an unbelievably smooth, creamy, slightly roasty and nutty finish that really draws out nicely.
Mouthfeel: So creamy and dense yet so well aerated. The 11.5% ABV…oopht… incredibly well concealed. Medium-full body, super tight carbonation.
Overall: You know what this is…this is The Bruery style pastry Stout without the price tag. It’s been a long time between drinks for us and Evil Twin and this corker of a beer is a reminder to keep in touch! Brilliant.