Thursday, May 13, 2010

Emelisse Imperial Russian Stout

Imperial Russian Stout

Brewed by:

Grand-Café Emelisse

Russian Imperial Stout

11.00% ABV


Commercial Description:
*  Style: Imperial Stout, refermentation in bottle
* Alcohol Content: 11%/vol
* Format: 10 oz bottle
* Color: pitch black; creamy, khaki head
* Tasting Notes: dark roast, richly complex, berries, black coffee, bitter chocolate

General Pricing:
10.14 oz bottle, ~ $6.50

This is next to the last of the Bier Cabinet Spring Cleaning reviews. The Kwak was consumed when family was over in April. That only leaves Old Rasputin 20th Anniversary Stout and I plan on doing that tomorrow with the BierVlog but I can’t talk him into vlogging it.

The Easter Bunny left a second one of these when he left the other Easter Basket Beers (ink). I really don’t know anything about this beer other then the fact that it is imported by 12 Percent Imports. And quite frankly that’s enough for me. I have only had exceptional brews imported by 12 percent.

The beer pours a dark brown completely opaque with no light whatsoever getting through. The beer also has a very rich dark tan almost a chocolate milk color.

The nose on the brew is wonderful. Very rich dark roasted malts with strong notes of chocolate, dark fruit and some coffee aromas are all on this nose.

Oh Man is that good. Wow, what a stout. I’m just floored by that first sip. It had just about everything you would expect in an imperial stout and then some. I could almost swear that I tasted cinnamon in the finish of that first sip. Let me attempt a better explanation.

Sweet rich dark roasted malts upfront on the tip of the tongue, then an exquisite, very creamy mouthfeel in mid-sip. This smooth creamy mouthfeel carries through to the back-end. There is a slight robustness that also builds though the middle of the sip. The back end is velvety smooth throughout the swallow. You can taste the alcohol as it goes down but in almost enhances the smoothness. There is also the most comforting warming effect as this delectable brew goes down. The finish is rich with roasted malts and notes of dark chocolate, a touch of black coffee along with a very interesting spicy quality. I can’t put my finger on the spice; it may just be the dark chocolate notes but there is a very pleasant rich spicy character to it. In the finish of the first sip it had an almost cinnamon quality to it.

Wow, this is another amazing brew, what a treat!

As it warms and opens up a little I’m picking up more flavors. Especially dark fruit notes are coming through more strongly now.

This is going down too easy for an 11% stout. I’m almost to the bottom of the snifter and it seems as it I just started this review.

The head retention has been pretty good on this one. Even now at the bottom of the glass there is still a thin layer covering the top of the beer. There has been moderate to good lacing also.

Well, you can start to pick up the alcohol as this warms. Don’t get me wrong this is still an exquisite brew.

Ok technically I don’t know if it can be call the sediment on the bottom of this one Lees since it’s not a Belgian. I have been holding it back and just poured the last couple of ounces into my empty glass.

It’s not funky like a Belgian. It’s not even enjoyable.  It is very bitter and chalky. It actually has an almost medicine taste to it; really not good at all. But the general rule still holds true for this one also. Do not pour the Lees/Sediment from a bottle conditioned beer into the glass, it will change the taste of the beer. I’m so glad I didn’t pour this directly into the glass it would have dramatically changed my experience.

Actually I wished I hadn’t tasted these at all. Now I have a medicine taste in my mouth instead of that luscious imperial stout.

Final Thoughts:

This is an exceptional Imperial Stout. I highly recommend this to any imperial stout lover. It is fairly expensive at $6.50 or so for only a 10.14oz bottle. But it was a nice treat from the Easter Bunny just the same.

I’m going to end up with A+ on this one. This is an Exquisite Imperial Russian Stout. Another great import from 12 percent imports.

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