It’s New Year’s Eve. I took the day off of work today and homebrewed a double batch of a Russian imperial Stout. I’ve got a bourbon barrel ready for it to go in. So, it’s been a long day, and I just picked up some Chinese food for dinner. So I’m ready to settle in, have some food, enjoy this beer and watch the ball drop. My sister picked up this beer on a recent trip and brought it when she came to visit over Thanksgiving.
Location: Poured from a Crowler into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 9.2% ABV, ~320 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s clear with a straw-golden color and a huge, fluffy white head that stuck around for quite a while. It has a light citrusy, almost lemon and floral hop aroma.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium – lighter than I was expecting for such a big beer – and the mouthfeel is fairly smooth and slightly oily from the hops. It’s light and citrusy up front with an almost lemony flavor. In the middle, the sweet maltiness grows, but is quickly met by a citrusy-floral bitterness. In the finish, the bitterness grows, giving way to an extremely dry mouthfeel. The dryness and citrusy-floral bitterness last for a couple minutes in the aftertaste.
Food Pairing: This beer has a lot of citrusy and lemony characteristics, which paired nicely with the Chinese food we had for dinner. I think it would also go great with something like a shrimp scampi or other hearty (as this is a DIPA) seafood dish.
Overall Impression: For as big of a beer as this is, it was pretty light and easy drinking – it’s definitely a summer beer. For me, the citrusy flavors are a bit lemony. This, combined with the very dry finish of the brut style, made it a little much for me. While it was a decent beer that fit the style, and I might have enjoyed it more on a hot summer Saturday, it probably wasn’t the best beer on a cold, windy New Year’s Eve like tonight.