Hello beer fans!
I do hope this post finds you well and that you are staying cool in this summer heat! Even though many consider stouts to be more of a winter beer, I just can’t get enough of ‘em. When I see the words ‘imperial’ and ‘stout’ together, well friends the only words that can improve the phrase are ‘chocolate’ or in this case, ‘Russian.’ As so aptly said on the Rogue website, “Imperial Stout, also known as “Russian Imperial Stout” is a variety of ale that was originally brewed in England for export to the court of the Tsar of Russia. Its high level of hopping is intended to preserve it during long trips and to provide a more bracing drink against cold climates.” There, you learned something!
On deck this evening we have a beer that bears three of the words above from our friends out at Rogue. I’ve got to admit, it’s hard not to get excited when I see the Rogue label. These guys pump out some fine beer and tonight’s example is no exception. I picked this particular example up from our friends out at Vic’s Package Store in North Knoxville.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Rogue XS Russian Imperial Stout is that it seems like a small bottle. Give yourself a pat on the back there Sherlock, as this baby cranks in at 7 oz which isn’t such a bad thing for a beer with 11% ABV. At this size and ABV it makes it a little easier to drink on a weeknight or before church on Sunday morning.
According to the bottle, this beer is best after aging for one year and my example was bottled in 2010. This beer is unfiltered and looks like an imperial stout, smells like an imperial stout but for a beer in such a tiny bottle, it makes a statement when you take that first sip. You get all the typical scents you would get from an imperial stout – the chocolate, the coffee, some sweetness, some oak but this beer has a bit of a pop to it. If you take a big sip (and there isn’t many in 7 oz) the chocolate taste is there but there is a distinct bitterness to the beer, you get the roasted malt, and a very bitter backend. If you sip this beer, it is much sweeter and the chocolate is more distinct initially while still finishing with a distinctive bitter finish.
Final snobs: Don’t let the bottle fool you, this ain’t no puny beer. I thoroughly enjoyed this imperial stout and if you’re a fan of this type of beer I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.