Total Score: 8.35/10
So lately I’ve begun seeking out Russian Imperial Stouts, I yearn for their bold chocolate/coffee notes, and Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout is next on my hit list. Originally brewed in 1994 this Stout has taken home many beer show awards and I’m looking forward to a brew as great as that tasty old Russian monk: Old Rasputin (North Coast Brewing).
Poured from a 355ml bottle into Duvel tulip.
A: Looks exactly as it should with a jet black body and a light (but dense) mocha dusting for a head. So perfect I want to take a picture, get it framed, then take a picture of the picture next to another glass of this and admire its beauty again. 10/10.
S: Whiff of solvent alcohol upfront isn’t doing Brooklyn any favours – follow this with deep dark chocolate, notes of coffee, vanilla & molasses, and you’ll be bang on the RIS nose money. Bit of a mark down for that solvent hit though. 7/10.
T: Bold and delicious, now entering flavour country, population: Me (i.e. you when you drink this). Upfront dark bitter chocolate, hints again of coffee and molasses with brown sugar thrown in. There is a smoky mid palate and slightly bitter aftertaste. The alcohol is nowhere to be found in the flavour profile, which is a surprise given the aroma. Like a big dark chocolate brownie – sweet, bitter and moreish. 9/10.
M: Heavy bodied with a light but dense carbonation, exactly how I like my Russian Imperial Stouts! 10/10.
D: From that sniff of solvent alcohol to one of the best tasting Stouts out there, Brooklyn have managed a few surprises with this “drink of the Czars”. That said it comes close but falls short of the mark set by Founders Breakfast and Old Rasputin, and is more pricy than both of those fine brews… and more difficult to obtain here in Australialand. However if, like me, you have become slightly obsessed with Russian Imperial Stouts and have added: “Dying due to drinking too many Stouts” to your bucket list you should definitely give this one a go. 7/10.
Food match: Borderline dessert sweet – so it’s heavy roasted meats with dark gravies, after dinner cigars or dark chocolate brownies for this brew.