Ok, so Spring may feel close - it's still not even February, and I'm gonna sink into the season the best way I know how: with a boozy, dark and richly appointed Imperial Stout.
How did this regal British descendant of the porter, find itself with such a prominent name? Well, as the legend goes (or the history books as it were), British brewers started shipping their famous porters to Russia in the 1700s. Turns out rich people like to get drunk: the Russian royalty defined "appropriately appointed" vs "cheap" beer to liquor strength. So, British brewers jumped on that band wagon and the Imperial Stout was born.
Imperial Stouts are known as the strongest in alcohol and body of all the stouts. This is the big boy on the playground. Boasting all the rich malty goodness you'd expect in a solid stout: chocolate, coffee and maybe some lightly burnt grain.
First up, is Mt Begbie's Night In The Woods. This is a Limited Release, we found a bomber of it at Blind Bay Village Grocer. The bottle shares "this beer was inspired by the boundary signs at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Take the right way and curl up by a fire with this full-bodied Imperial Stout crafted with rich black and midnight malts. Smooth and delicious, this beer is sure to put a smile on your face and warmth in your belly."
Well played, Begbie, well played.
Put a smile on our face? It did. Warmth in your belly? We barely needed dinner! Heavy, strong and filling. It poured beautifully from bottle to glass: smooth. I found coffee bitterness played well off of the sweet tones of chocolates and subtle currant. Y'all know we have a crush on our Revelstoke brewers: this beer lives up to those expectations. Look out: clocking in at 8.1% ABV, you might just find yourself spending the night in the woods!
Next up, from Steamworks' Barrel Aged Series is their Imperial Stout, aged in
bourbon and maple barrels. Yup, had me there! Honestly, is there anything more warming or more winter than bourbon and maple?! If that wasn't enough, Steamworks won me over with their flying Bernese Mountain Dog puppy on the front label: y'all remember who our boss is, right?!
Ok, onto more important things, like the beer! Before you sip, give this beer a deep sniff. OH the sweetness of bourbon and maple. This is desert! And if I were to gamble on finally trying a Stout-Ice Cream Float, I reckon it might very well be with this bottle. That's not my jam...but maybe it should be...
Poured, Steamworks' Stout offered more head than its Begbie Counterpart, and seemed to pour almost heavier, more like syrup. On the tongue, let your nose guide you to look for flavors like bourbon, maple and vanilla. Clocking in at 10% ABV this is recommended as a SLOW sipper. Perfect for a Friday (or Thirsty Thursday) night in, curled up with your pup.
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