Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Samuel Adams Imperial Stout review

Samuel Adams Imperial StoutTonight's brew just hit the store shelves here in Colorado recently (early 2009). I had asked my local beer store to look for it and I was pleasantly surprised to see it waiting for me upon my next visit. The Boston Beer Company has had an imperial stout on tap at their brewery for many years but are now just releasing it to the public in the form of a new beer in their "Imperial Series". This brew is aptly named Samuel Adams Imperial Stout.

It's still officially Winter here in Colorado as evident by the recent dusting of snow yesterday morning and therefore it's still dark beer season in my household. I grabbed this new 4-pack quickly and put a couple of these in my cooler and put the other two away in my cellar for later. At 9.2% ABV, this imperial stout should age well I believe. Even the label on the bottle invites you to age this beer. I'll take them up on that suggestion.

Appearance: Sam Adams Imperial Stout pours black with hardly a trace of dark mahogany on the edges of the glass. I served this brew cold and got very little brown head to arise from my beer goblet. This beer was brewed to resemble the old 18th century Russian Imperial Stout recipes and at a glance I'd say they got the style down.

Aroma: The aroma on this beer gave me a full experience of dark unsweetened chocolate, a hint of coffee and a whiff of molasses and licorice. The higher alcohol also gave off a slight alchy bite but it was only moderate.

Mouthfeel: Upon the first sip, the beer felt creamy and full bodied and left a slight coating on not just the tongue but also on the roof of my mouth. It felt fairly carbonated for a dark beer and tingled a bit on the tongue. The brew finished with a slight drying effect.

Taste: The taste of this beer is of bitter chocolate and molasses with a nice bitterness. The coffee flavor wasn't very prominent as the chocolate, but it was far from sweet. After swallowing, you get a slight after taste of molasses and licorice on the palate. I'd almost call it a "twang" effect.

The alcohol was noticeable in this brew so I'd suggest just having one of these 12 oz bottles at a time. I could tell that aging this beer would do this beer some good and should mellow the alcohol bite over time. This beer was good now, but I would like to see how it improves over the next 8-12 months. It needed to mellow a bit more.

Overall: I've targeted Thanksgiving and Christmas 2009 to revisit this beer again. That should give this beer plenty of time to settle in. But right as it was now, this beer was still enjoyable. I couldn't help but think that this beer was begging to be paired with ice cream, so I went and got a small cup of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream and poured some of the imperial stout over the top of it. Yum!!!

I think I will now have to go out and try their Double Bock and Imperial White counterparts in the Imperial Series. This beer was good enough to warrant further purchases in the future as well as putting some away for a future cold night.

I'll give Samuel Adams a big Thumbs Up on this imperial stout. It hit the spot and gave me a nice warm glow on a cool evening. Serve this one cold but then let it warm up a bit. The flavor comes out as it warms.

Related articles:
- Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock review.
- Samuel Adams Beer Dinner in Denver May 2008.
- Stone Imperial Russian Stout review.
- Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout review.
- Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2008 review.

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