It’s been snowing all day today, and we’ve gotten about 9 inches of snow. I went out for a little bit and blew the snow off the drive, only for it to snow another inch or two afterward. This evening, my wife and I worked on a puzzle and relaxed. Afterward, I decided to crack open a beer. My sister brought me a four pack of this one from St. Louis. The last one I had was awesome, so I was looking forward to sipping on this one this evening. It’s an imperial stout with maple and aged in whiskey barrels.
Location: Poured into a large snifter style glass from the 16oz can at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 11.5% ABV, ~420 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s as black as could be with thin dark brown head on it, which fell to a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The aroma is incredible, with a sweet malty, bourbony-boozy aroma with hints of vanilla and maple.
Taste & Feel: The body is super thick and viscous, and the mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, but bordering on syrupy. The flavor up front is sweet and malty with some vanilla flavor. In the middle, the bourbon barrel booziness comes through in a big, good way. The finish is a rich mix of sweet maltiness and bourbony booziness with maple and vanilla flavors in the background. The sweet malty and bourbon flavors last for a minute or so in the warming aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This is definitely a big, rich, sweet beer all by itself. I’d love some angel food cake with this just to enjoy a complementary flavor and something to soak up the 11.5% ABV. Since this is such a huge, sweet beer, I’d pair it with something equally as rich and savory, such as a steak or burger.
Overall Impression: This is a huge, thick, ssweet imperial stout with a ton of flavor. I really enjoy the sweet maltiness mixed with the appropriately balanced bourbon barrel flavor. There was a really good vanilla and maple flavor in the background that added to the flavor. It reminds me a lot of Bourbon County Stout, but the addition of the maple gives it another layer of sweet complexity. Overall, this is an incredible beer and I’m definitely going to see if my sister can get more of this anytime it’s available.