“A big, dark, complex, lush and strong dark ale. We used a big malt bill, with lots of dark malts, added muscovado sugar, panela sugar, dark brown sugar, molasses, coffee, chocolate and our own 110 pod vanilla tincture. Based on our Igor, this a barrel aged version with some extra additions. The vanilla and some lactose to make it creamy. Igor was highly hopped with Sticklebracht, as is Dr F but after 6 months in oak, the hops soften and balance all the huge malt, chocolate, coffee, molasses and vanilla flavours.”
Hot off the heels of reviewing this bad boy’s counterpart (La Foret Biere De Garde) this Imperial stout also has tonnes of eye-catching character. The first is the slick Ambassador-style bottle with this cool little strip that wraps around the bottle. Very unique. OK, we served this in to a snifter glass. The impervious black hue is topped off with a short tanned head that gradually reduces to a halo with some spotted lace trails to follow it down. Looks ominous! As we expected, quite pungent on the nose. Plenty of roast, lots of dark chocolate and coffee but a certain tangy scent has us a little intrigued. A hint of molasses sweetness pushes through as do earthy wafts of licorice, lightly charred wood and vanilla. Much to our surprise, it’s actually quite light on in the mouth. The rich malts do offer a bit of weight but the low Co2 and oily texture do make for an effortless progression over the tongue and down the throat. What deserves a mention is how well the 10.1% ABV is hidden. We’re literally lost for words at how well it’s been disguised. A healthy combo of chocolate and coffee flavour hinges on the dominant roasted back bone upfront. A mild bitterness shows up, really developing through the mid, delivering a dry, charred finish with excellent duration. Quite a nice stout here. Nothing overly life changing but it’s definitely one worth noting. Not only is the bottle worth remembering….so is this palatable stout. Not bad at all.