“As black as the uncaring hearts of the czars of Russia, as rich as their estates, as decadent as their palaces, and big enough for their empire, this imperial stout is nothing if not premium.”
Appearance: As we’d hoped – dense black with a wispy brown overlay. It eventually forms a halo with little lace as we go.
Aroma: Pretty menacing. It’s got that gritty earthy-ness in spades. Sweet rich molasses and toffee, soft cherry-like tones, iodine, coffee, dank herbals, toasty malt, chocolate, sweet dark fruits i.e raisin and blood plum, licorice/aniseed and toasted coconut. It’s interesting because it starts out pretty fierce but it mellows as it settles.
Flavour: Somewhat mild but full flavoured which is either a good or a bad thing, we haven’t worked that out yet. Licorice, coffee, molasses, dark fruits and heavily roasted malt get a good run. Lots of charred malt and roasted coffee midway leading in to a toasty finish with hints of cherry cola, chocolate and burnt toast. Good length on it.
Mouthfeel: Dense and syrupy with little help from the Co2. Kind of feels heavy in the stomach…even though it’s only medium bodied. 10% ABV is reasonably well concealed.
Overall: Not totally sold on it. The comic book-like label was almost enough for us to leave it alone and it appears the contents back up that theory. Not the best RIS…lacking the right body and hard to finish unfortunately. Maybe the barrel aged version is the way to go?