Total Score: 7.6/10
When I first saw Yastrebov Ukrainian Imperial Stout on tap at The Durham I thought “There goes Noisy Minor again with the silly beer names”. As you may recall the last Noisy Minor beer I reviewed was their Admiral Ackbar Anti-Imperial Red Ale. This time however Noisy Minor have a story to go with the name (from their web page): Yastrebov is our graphic designer. He created the Noisy Minor logo. We love him. He speaks Russian. One day we asked him “Is it cold in Russia?” to which he replied, “I AM NOT RUSSIAN, I AM UKRAINIAN”. This beer is named in his honour. Love it!
Poured from tap into a 330ml tulip.
A: Deep black, it’s hard to tell with bar lighting if it’s clear or cloudy but most craft Stouts are, by experience, cloudy. There is a half cm tan head that sticks around quite well for this hefty 9.1% ABV brew. 9/10.
S: Roasted and unroasted coffee bean, dark fruits and brandy spirit. There are some nice overtones of forest berry giving this brew a good organic aroma. 8/10.
T: As per above with the coffee notes front, back and all over. There is a mildly espresso bitter finish which compliments the rest of the flavour. It’s a little boozy with the spirit characters, but that is to be expected from a bold Russian Ukrainian Imperial Stout. The flavour certainly grows on you as the glass drains, however it doesn’t compare as favourably as other RIS’s like Old Rasputin. 7/10.
M: Medium bodied with a nice creamy carbonation. 8/10.
D: Not bad, it’s no Admiral Ackbar (which is more interesting/experimental) but it is a decent example of the style… I imagine Yastrebov is impressed with his eponymous brew. This beer would definitely benefit from less booziness and some chocolate characters, however I am biased towards chocolate-flavoured Stouts. Another decent endeavour from Noisy Minor. 8/10.
Food match: Hearty roasted beef dishes with red wine based sauces are the way to go… along with the staple roasted vegetables of course.