Sizing Up Imperial Stout

March 15, 2011
Imperial Stout

Imperial Stout was previously released in fall of 2009

The 2011 edition of our Limited Release Imperial Stout hits retailer shelves this week, just in time to raise a glass and say, “Sláinte!” to our favorite patron saint of Ireland. Imperial Stout is one of our barrel-aged beers, which means the brew’s characteristics can vary based on the previous use of the barrels, the blending process executed, the length of time dedicated for maturing, and the overall climate conditions during the aging process. Approximately half of the beer made for this year’s release was aged in oak whiskey barrels anywhere from six months to two years. The other half was fresh Imperial Stout brewed in late 2010. The beers were then blended together and bottled in our 750mL Smokestack Series bottles. Our 2011 version of Imperial Stout is perfectly black and opaque with a tan head. It has an earthy aroma with hints of toffee, vanilla, oak and bourbon. Roasted coffee flavors with hints of chocolate and molasses are balanced with a slight hop bitterness. The full body of the beer is velvety and warming. Our sensory panel also picked up “Brett-character” in some of the bottles from this years’ edition. Brett is otherwise known as Brettanomyces—a wild yeast that produces distinctive flavors and aromas. While it is not a desirable characteristic for most wines, craft beer connoisseurs tend to embrace its presence for adding complexity and a touch of distinction to the brew. Our Limited Release Saison-Brett, for example, is a beer that contains this yeast for the specific purpose of imparting these qualities. The wild yeast is not harmful, but beer fans will recognize that it could change the characteristics of the beer as it ages. If you enjoyed the 2009 Imperial Stout, we hope you will savor the 2011 release just as much. It’s rapidly becoming a springtime favorite for the brewery. For more information on this release, please visit this page. Please Note: There’s no reason to wait. This beer has already been aged so pop the cork and enjoy. Cases produced: 1,396