Review – Smuttynose Imperial Stout
From Smuttynose Brewing – Originally brewed in the early 19th century for export from Britain to the imperial court of Russia’s Catherine the Great, imperial stouts are characterized by their dark color, full body and high alcoholic content. This style features a rich, malty sweetness coupled with aggressive hopping (especially in American interpretations). Notes of dried fruit as well as roasted malt flavors are typically present.
Smuttynose Brewing – Imperial Stout – 22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. 10% abv. Purchased at Dawson’s Liquors in Severna Park, MD.
Appearance: Black, lets no light through, with a milk chocolate head. Very fine lacing.
Aroma: IPA levels of pine, but no citrus. Hints of cocoa powder and anise (smells a bit like a Sharpie, actually).
Taste: The first sip was very sweet, but once the hops get a chance to linger in your mouth for a while, the subsequent sips present you with much more bitterness. Extra dark chocolate clings to the back of your throat with roasted malts on the rest of the palate. I had a hard time picking up any of the dried fruit notes listed…. maybe dried currants.
Mouthfeel: Viscous but not quite chewy. Finishes nice and dry.
Overall: This is a fantastic beer with plenty of complexity for fans of all styles of stouts and pale ales. It’s also one of the least expensive. I’d rate this a “best buy” , however it’s a limited release, so pick up some before it’s all gone.