In the late 1880’s the rulers of Russia had a favorite style of beer to drink, Imperial Stout. English brewer’s kept the beer flowing until the Czar’s were thrown out of power. Like India Pale Ales, Imperial stouts had to be brewed with extra malt to raise alcohol content and bitter hops to act as a preservative to survive the trip from England to Russia. This style is still kept alive and American brewers are taking up the challenge to recreate this classic beer style.
San Diego’s Stone Brewery’s Imperial Russian Stout 10.5%abv. has taken up the challenge to brew Imperial Stout and does it great. It pours an opaque black in to the glass with a dark brown head. It has aromas of espresso, toasted malt and flowery dark cacao. The palate is alive with sweet and rich malty flavors followed by dark chocolate, double espresso with a hint of bitter hops on it’s long finish.
The weather may seem too warm to drink such a big beer, but crank the A/C up and enjoy some. At 10.5%abv it is big, so enjoy one after dinner.