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:

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 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 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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