Beer 400/365 – New England Brewing Imperial Stout Trooper

New England Brewing Imperial Stout Trooper

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 9.2%

Purchased at: Sent in a trade way back when

What makes this beer different: Almost a milk stout quality to it. Which is odd for a RIS.

Will I be drinking this again: I don’t think they even make this anymore because of a lawsuit that LucasArts filed against the company, but I could be wrong.

Grade: A-

1/12/2012: My updates have went from being every day, to every other month. I apologize for that! I also realize I can’t make any promises as to how often I will update, so your best bet if you want to follow along is to subscribe (over in the right hand column). That way you will get an email anytime I update. WordPress doesn’t share your email address so don’t worry about getting spammed. I finally finished my freelance site, and the side projects that have came to me as a result of having it is what has been taking up all of my time. If you care to see the site here it is: steelcitycreative.com

On to the beer! Imperial Stout Trooper poured out much thinner than I had expected, yet very dark. A very sweet smell akin to a milk stout, with some chocolate and alcohol as well. The flavor was a little underwhelming. I am not sure if this beer was a bit thin to age as long as I did (almost 3 years), or if this is just how the beer tastes. Yes I still gave this an A-, but expected it to be a bit better. Some roasted coffee flavors, vanilla, milk chocolate, and that lactose/milk stout type flavor I was talking about. The mouthfeel was a bit watery for an imperial stout. Overall this was still a pretty tasty beer. I just expected a little bit more.

Picture of the day: Some people may not get this if they don’t watch the show, but it is true for me.

Beer 387/365 – Duck-Rabbit Rabid Duck Russian Imperial Stout

Duck Rabbit Rabid Duck Russian Imperial Stout

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.00%

Purchased at: Sent in a trade

What makes this beer different: Not too much, just a solid beer.

Will I be drinking this again: Yup I got another one in the basement

Grade: A-

4/7/2011: I haven’t had too many beers from Duck-Rabbit yet, but the ones I have had are very good. Their milk stout is one of my favorite, if not my favorite milk stout out there. I’ve got some of their baltic porter in the basement as well. Maybe I will crack one of those open this week.

The nose is pretty typical for a Russian Imperial, dark chocolate mostly, some coffee and dark malt. The flavor is classic RIS, dark chocolate, some coffee, and a nice alcohol punch. Mouthfeel is pretty creamy for the style, and low carbonation. Sometimes I admit I get a bit caught up the the “American” Imperial stouts that add all kinds of crazy ingredients, and forget about how good a simple Russian Imperial Stout can be. What makes a RIS good in my opi9nion lies in the simplicity of the beer, not the uniqueness. Good beer for sure.

Picture of the day: Accidental Penis?

Beer 350/365 – Surly Darkness (2009)

Surly Darkness

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.5%

Purchased at: Sent to me by Mike @ BonBeerVoyage

What makes this beer different: The lightest bodied of the “Mega Stouts” that I have had thus far, pretty hoppy as well.

Will I be drinking this again: Not this years version, but I am trading a Bourbon Barrel Aged Blackout Stout for one of this years. Thanks Doug!

Grade: A

10/24/2010: Okay so the background for this picture was a terrible choice on my part. Of course I wanted to go for the dark theme, but didn’t think the color of Surly Darkness would literally be pitch black just like the background. Well regardless it certainly does prove that this is one super dark brew. Aptly named to be sure. Thanks again to Mike and Ruth from BonBeer for sending me this.

The nose is a bit boozy, roasted chocolate, and hops! That was unexpected. The flavor in order of dominance, roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, booze, earthy hops, dark fruit, and licorice. The mouthfeel is way on the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to Dark Lord. Dark Lord was a bit too syrupy, and Darkness is a little too light in the mouthfeel department. If you combined the two, you just might create the perfect beer. Overall don’t get me wrong this is an awesome beer my only complaints are that the booze is a bit too prevalent, and the mouthfeel is lacking just by a bit. I also cannot imagine how hoppy this must be fresh, as it is by far the hoppiest RIS that I have ever tried, and thats with an entire year of age on it.

Picture of the day: I see digging ditches in this kids future.

Beer 349/365 – North Coast Old Rasputin

North Coast Old Rasputin

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 9.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Probably the best bang for the buck as far as Imperial Stouts go.

Will I be drinking this again: Hell yeah, this one is a staple for me.

Grade: A

10/23/2010: Who doesn’t love an Old Raspy? I don’t know anyone who is a stout lover, who dislikes an Old Rasputin. It probably is the best tasting affordable big stout out there. I really wish I would have picked up some of the Old Rasputin XII way back in December when I made my first ever trip to Vintage Estate. My haul ended up costing me over $300 as it is soooo it was probably for the best that I didn’t buy any.

Chocolate is the headliner through and through in Old Raspy. The nose is full of sweet rich chocolate, and actually a little bit of hops as well. Which is odd because I usually can’t pick out hops in the nose of a beer. The flavor is a bunch of chocolate, a tiny bit of espresso flavor, some sweet caramel, and an over average amount of hops for an Imperial Stout. I’m willing to bet there is a little bit of lactose used in this as there is a milky kick I am getting. The mouthfeel is big and chewy like a giant milky way bar, but silky going down. Carbonation is a bit on the low end. Overally this is one of my favorites, and if you haven’t tried it you really need to.

Picture of the day: Pizza Ad Fail.

Beer 329/365 – De Struise Black Albert

De Struise Black Albert

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 13.0%

Purchased at: Official Struise Yeast Shop

What makes this beer different: Very disappointed as I think it was infected.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes I have two more in the cellar, hoping they are not infected.

Grade: B-(Keep in mind this is based on the infection)

10/3/2010: A few months back I stumbled upon a thread on BA that mentioned buying beer straight from De Struise in Belgium. At first I just ignored it figuring the shipping would be unreal, but it wasn’t. The beer’s themselves are cheap enough that by the time you roll in the shipping, it costs about $5-$6 a bottle. Thats about the price I would pay here for a really good Belgian beer so why not. I also picked up a couple of their Black Damnation Mocha Bomb, and Black Mes.

From what I have read Black Albert is supposed to taste like a cross between a Quad, and RIS. The smell has a lot of cherry, and chocolate… So far so good! The flavor though, instantly I can tell its infected. Its not a terrible infection, but enough to really distort the flavor of the beer. The sour/cherry/lactose thing plays a major part, but I can still tastes a good bit of molasses and dark chocolate. The flavor wasn’t terrible, but I am relatively sure this is not how De Struise intended it to taste. I will have to open up another one this weekend to see if it was just a freak case of one infected bottle.

Picture of the day: Welcome to Chili’s/Friday’s/Applebee’s.

Beer 216/365 – Bell’s Expedition Stout

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.5%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: One of the few Russian Imperial Stout that I have tasted dark fruits in? They are usually more straight forward.

Will I be drinking this again: Depends what else is in front of me but yes

Grade: B

6/12/2010: Anyone else not really “wowed” by anything that Bell’s makes? I really like Hop Slam, but its not something that I would go out of my way to get. Maybe I am a victim of all the extreme beer variations out there. A lot of breweries are making some pretty off the wall stuff (Three Floyds, Short’s), and I am always down to try something new and crazy. Bell’s kind of stays on the straight and new as far as pushing limits goes.

Expedition Stout smells like most Russian Imperial Stouts; Chocolate and booze. The taste is a bit different though. One of the first things I get is some dark fruits, which isn’t usual for an RIS. There is also a lot of bitter chocolate, and very bitter espresso. The beer isn’t all that complex, but the alcohol punches you a little too much for my taste. I know a lot of RIS’s are known for that, but this is a little too in your face. Took me over an hour to finish the beer. Flavors are right, alcohol balance is not.

Picture of the day: LOL House.

Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm  Comments (1)  
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Beer 211/365 – Heavy Seas Peg Leg Stout

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 8.0%

Purchased at: Fager’s Island – Ocean City MD

What makes this beer different: Doesn’t come off as an RIS to me, more like a regular American Stout.

Will I be drinking this again: Probably yes, very drinkable.

Grade: B+

6/7/2010: Last day of vacation! Went to lunch with my two good friends at Fager’s Island in Ocean City Maryland. I worked there the entire summer of 2007. 36 servers, and 30 of them were female. The apartment complex I lived held 16 people, and I was the only guy. Honestly this setup wasn’t as glamorous as you might think. Good times never-the-less. PS That is tomato, mozzerella, balsamic and basil in the background, so so good.

Got this one on a recommendation from my buddy Marcos. The smell is actually more like a milk stout, with some coffee splashed in. The flavor is actually very good, but by no means is this a Russian Imperial Stout. They really mis-categorized this beer. It lacks that punch you get with a RIS, and it was very light on the mouthfeel. This fits right in the regular American Stout category if you ask me. Anyways the flavor is mostly about a light bodied roasted coffee, almost a sweet fruity flavor, and a lot of caramel going on as well. Very good flavor and very drinkable, but again by no means should this be considered an Imperial Stout.

Picture of the day: It’s about damn time this guy showed up.

Beer 182/365 – Three Floyd’s Dark Lord

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 13.0%

Purchased at: Sent to me in a trade

What makes this beer different: One of the first “big beers” I have had that lived up to the hype

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, I stocked up on a few bottles.

Grade: A+

5/9/2010: Halfway here! When I had the light-bulb go off in my head that inspired me to start this blog I never thought it would have the impact that it has on my life. Not just beer wise, but because of the generous people I have met along the way. I have had many different random hobbies and interests in life, but none has had such a unselfish group of people associated with it as craft beer enthusiasts. Not to get all sappy but thanks again for reading. I never could have imagined reaching almost 28,000 page views for the entire 365 days, let alone hitting that halfway in.

I wanted to celebrate the halfway point with a doozy of a beer, so I figured I would go for the most hyped up beer I have ever been able to get my hands on; Three Floyd’s Dark Lord. The g/f and I planned on going to Dark Lord Day until we ended up meeting Phill at Vintage Estate, getting a deal for his two websites, then getting free VIP tickets to the event. Can pass up tickets for free beer. Okay enough BSing, time for the beer.

The smell of this was just awesome. Dark fruit is actually the first smell I am picking up, which is not what I expected. I also get some dark smoked chocolate as well. Enough smelling its time for tasting. Wow. Dark chocolate and smoked dark roast coffee hits you first, and some dark fruits finishes it off. I’ll be honest in saying I can’t pick out the exact dark fruits, probably figs? Maybe some plum/raisin? I am taking off my wanna be beer snob hat to say who cares what dark fruits are in this, it tastes awesome. If there are any hops in this mix here, I am not getting them. The mouthfeel is very creamy for the ABV, but the alcohol bites you just enough to know its there, which really helps balance out the pounds and pounds of malt used to make this. Overall this might be my new favorite Imperial Stout, but I would have to drink one side by side with a Speedway Stout to be sure. I am sure there are better out there, but to be honest this is my first of the “big stouts” I have tried.

Anyone have a stout they like better? I am trying to trade for the Kate the Great or Hunahpu, but that stuff is tough to find!

Picture of the day: I try to keep up with politics and current events as much as can, and I have to say this is very true

Published in: on May 9, 2010 at 9:22 am  Comments (4)  
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Beer 173/365 – Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.1%

Purchased at: Oh man, I don’t even remember to be honest haha.

What makes this beer different: Strong and Chocolately

Will I be drinking this again: Absolutely

Grade: A

4/30/2010: Is it bad that I completely forgot how I even acquired this beer? Was it in a trade, my super bowl poll, did I buy it? Is memory loss a side effect of drinking one beer a day? I think I read something about that but I can’t remember. Regardless it looks like this is the third beer in a row I am rating an A, craziness.

I haven’t had this beer in years, and now that my beer tastes have been refined a bit, I think I will be able to appreciate it more. Brooklyn Black Chocolate smells as advertised, like a Russian Imperial Stout with loads of chocolate. The taste is very very good. Its not overly complex and mostly about the bittersweet chocolate, but not too much chocolate (like Southern Tier Choklat). I love Russian Imperial Stouts because of that little smack of alcohol you get, and Brooklyn for sure satisfied my needs in that department. With a little bit of age I would probably give this an A+. It would mellow out the bitter chocolate and alcohol just a little bit.

Picture of the day: Kermit the frog x-ray.

Published in: on April 30, 2010 at 8:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 171/365 – Stone Russian Imperial Stout

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.5%

Purchased at: 3 Sons Dogs N Suds – Wexford PA

What makes this beer different: A nice punch of alcohol and chocolate, but perfect balance

Will I be drinking this again: Absolutely

Grade: A

4/28/2010: Imperial Stouts are my favorite style, so its I am a little bit pissed at myself for not trying this a bit earlier in life. This also is going to be one of my last “ageable” beers I will be drinking for awhile. I recently organized the pile off beer I had sitting on my dining room table into beers that can and cannot be aged. Turns out I have about 40 non-ageable (sp?) beers in the stash, so I am going to try and power through those ASAP.

This smells like your typical RIS with a bit more chocolate. The beer pours out super thick and dark as night. The taste is almost perfect. Its a dark malt bomb with chocolate leading the way, and that slight alcohol punch you associate with a Russian Imperial. A little bit of hop bite makes an appearance also. Personally I like when a stout punches you in the tongue with some alcohol, but just enough to let you know its the boss. This bottle was fresh, so I could imagine with maybe a year of age this would be a A+.

Picture of the day: This cat is pretty sneaky.

Published in: on April 28, 2010 at 12:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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