Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout Tasting Notes
From Stone – This Odd Year addition was brewed in the authentic, historical style of an imperial russian stout, but with the addition of several hundred pounds of espresso beans from our friends at Ryan Bros. Coffee. Actually, this could be considered historically accurate, since the Russian nobility were as fond of earthy breakfast beverages as they were of hearty dark beers. Catherine the Great herself bolstered her finesse for ruling an empire by drinking five cups of black coffee every morning during her lengthy reign. While we couldn’t fit five cups coffee in every bottle of this darkly delicious libation, we assure you that the deep, rich espresso flavors are unmistakable and meld beautifully with the roasty bitterness of the dark malts. Catherine would have whole-heartedly approved.
Stone Brewing Co. Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout – 22 oz. bottle poured into a goblet. 11% abv.
Appearance: Pours black with a small sudsy tan head that subsides to a mere ring.
Aroma: Cold coffee, roasted malt, anise and a touch of alchol.
Taste: Big mouthful of roasty fresh acidic coffee. Some spicy herbal hops wedged between the coffe and the bitter chocolate like roasted malt. Bitterness lingers. Not too far off from the classic version at all.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, a tad rough with prickly active carbonation.
Overall: As with any coffee beer, I either like it or hate it with nothing in between. I’ll file this under like. The espresso addition was very tasty, and was pretty well integrated into this roast heavy beer. As for aging it, I suppose it’s worth a shot. The bitterness will mellow, but I would hate to lose that espresso freshness I experienced.