Friday, October 16, 2009

Top 12 Imperial Stouts you must try

Are you a fan of the dark side of craft beer? Ever get the urge for a beer with something extra? Do you want something thick and creamy and loaded with flavor? Then you are probably a fan of Imperial Stouts. Imperial Stouts come in an assortment of style variations, are in general black as night, have at least an 8.0% ABV and are loaded with calories and flavor.

During the Fall, Winter and early Spring months when there is a cold wind blowing, there's nothing better than getting together with friends and sharing a big bottle of a dark, roasted Imperial Stout. The list below shares some of the best available imperial stouts in the Rocky Mountain region.

The following list, in alphabetical order, is a sampling of 12 of the best Imperial Stouts I've found in stores around Colorado. Not all of these Imperial Stouts come from from the region (to be fair) and at least 1 of them are from overseas.

Click on the links below to read a review of each of these outstanding representations of the Imperial Stout style. You too might just fall in love with one of these. Embrace the dark side.

The Top 12 Imperial Stouts List

1. Avery The Czar Imperial Stout - Avery Brewing Co. (CO)

2. Deschutes The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery (OR)

3. Dogfish Head World Wide Stout - Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (DE)

4. Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout - Great Divide Brewing Co. (CO)

5. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout - Goose Island Beer Co. (IL)

6. Left Hand Oak Aged Imperial Stout - Left Hand Brewing Co. (CO)

7. Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout - Nøgne Ø (Norway)

8. North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout - North Coast Brewing Co. (CA)

9. Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout - Oskar Blues (CO)

10. Samuel Adams Imperial Stout - Boston Beer Co. (MA)

11. Stone Imperial Russian Stout - Stone Brewing Co. (CA)

12. Victory Storm King Imperial Stout - Victory Brewing Co. (PA)

According to the BJCP Style Guidelines, they describe an Imperial Stout as follows:

"An intensely flavored, big, dark ale. Roasty, fruity, and bittersweet, with a noticeable alcohol presence. Dark fruit flavors meld with roasty, burnt, or almost tar-like sensations. Like a black barleywine with every dimension of flavor coming into play. Variations exist, with English and American interpretations (predictably, the American versions have more bitterness, roasted character, and finishing hops, while the English varieties reflect a more complex specialty malt character and a more forward ester profile)."

Don't see your favorite Imperial Stout listed here? There are a lot of good ones available across the USA. Chances are your favorite local brewery makes one or is thinking of making one. Encourage them to make more!

Follow-Up Notes: In the months and years following the original posting of this article, I've reviewed even more remarkable Imperial Stouts. Here are several more beer reviews of beers in this style.

- New Belgium Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout - New Belgium Brewing Co. (CO)

- Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout - Goose Island Beer Co (IL)

- River North Avarice Belgian-style Imperial Stout - River North Brewery (CO)

- Loveland Aleworks Imperial Stout - Loveland Aleworks (CO)

- Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout - Great Divide Brewing Co. (CO)

- Avery Mephistopheles' Stout. (CO)

- Grimm Brothers Brewhouse The Count. (CO)

- Lost Abbey Serpent's Stout - The Lost Abbey (CA)

- Full Sail Black Gold Imperial Stout - Full Sail Brewing (OR)

- Great Divide Belgian-style Yeti Imperial Stout - Great Divide Brewing (CO)

- Odell Bourbon Barrel Stout - Odell Brewing Company (CO)

- Clown Shoes Blaecorn Unidragon Russian Imperial Stout - Mercury Brewing Co (MA)

- Santa Fe Imperial Java Stout - Santa Fe Brewing Company (NM)

- Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout - Great Divide Brewing Co. (CO)

If you love stouts then you'll love The Darker World of Porters.

Related articles:
- Sinfully delicious list of Colorado winter seasonals.
- 12 Beers at 12% ABV for 12-12-12.
- Colorado Breweries and Brewpubs list.
- More beer reviews sorted by style.

This article came from
Help us grow. Forward this article to a friend and have them subscribe here