Appearance: Blacker than the ace of spades and topped off with a wispy brown overlay. Despite this it holds up nicely and leaves a cascading lace down the sides of the glass.
Aroma: Big and muscly with layers of molasses, licorice, dark chocolate, ash and prunes/dates. The latter definitely building as it settles. Getting a lot more sweetness out of it now – cola syrup, muscovado sugar, sweet espresso, earthy spice, toasted coconut and or burnt vanilla. Nailed it! Could one expect anything less from such an esteemed RIS?
Flavour: Jeez there’s a lot to unpack. It’s incredible how there’s so little aggression. Slick and velvety molasses, muscovado sugar, licorice, sweet espresso and this pie crust/wheatmeal biscuit-like character which is hard to pin down. Lots of sugary dark fruits i.e dates, raisin, cherry. Subtle vanilla, coffee, molasses and chocolate on the long and drawn out finish.
Mouthfeel: Insanely smooth, sticky and gelatinous. The thing is 15% ABV for Christ’s sake it doesn’t even drink like an 8%er! Full, slick body, low Co2. Perfection.
Overall: Our take on Russian Imperials are that they’re aggressive palate wreckers but not DL! No…somehow they’ve managed to tame the beast and turn it in to a palate-friendly adventure that leaves us wanting more. It’s just in a class of its own really…no other way to put it.