Stag and Pheasant Imperial Stout – Main Street Brewing (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Stag and Pheasant Imperial Stout – Main Street Brewing Company, 9.3% ABV, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

Before brewing beer, Charles Doering, co-founder of the Vancouver Breweries which is now houses Main Street Brewing, owned the Stag & Pheasant saloon to follow his passion of opening a brewery. It is with this same passion to brew beer that we tip our collective hats to Charles with our ‘Stag & Pheasant’ Imperial Stout. This stout is a combination of rich roasted malts which give a deep, earthy taste, while interlacing chocolate, coffee and a touch of pine with a hint of smoke. The bitterness balances out the sweetness to finish of this delicious winter warmer.”

(left)


  • Style: Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Thick barley sweet malt controlled alcohol dark choco piney hop roasted coffee
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $9.30 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: sure

Visual: (cellared for almost 2 years). Red wax & bottle cap sealed. Pours jet black-brown with no head, very thin ring with an off-shape island, surfacing slow bubbles, barely visible micro sporadic streams here and there.

Nose: sweet thick caramel malt, molasses. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: oily-thicker, light crisp, thick malt-tangy alcohol impression

Mid-palate: tingly, (lvl-6-sweetness), controlled alcoholic weighty, sweet roasted barley malt

Finish: dark chocolate, moderate piney hop bitter, light burnt roasted coffee

Summary: A bit too bright and hoppy at the start and mids which are competing with the roasted malt sweetness at the beginning to mids. Eventually the roastyness and hopped bitter zen out at the finish. Not the smoothest imp stout but at least decent; I’d like to try the BA limited edition.

Elijah Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout – Longwood Brewery (Nanaimo, BC, Canada)

Elijah Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout (Imperial Stout) – Longwood Brewery, 8.2% ABV – 650ml., (Nanaimo, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-right label:

“Small Batch Series #3. Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout Aging for 6 months in ‘Ex’ Heaven Hills Bourbon barrels has transformed this Imperial Stout into an Ode to Elijah Craig; the founder of charred oak barrel aging.”

(right)


  • Style: (Heaven Hills bourbon barrel aged) Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Big dark winey pukey sour light wet woody barley malt roasted exhale
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $8.60 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 650ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah, not the BBA imp stout you want

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours jet black with a lasting medium 2cm thick frothy head, tight clusters of micro streams, no lacing.

Nose: mild funk’d light tangy roast barley malt. (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: creaminess, immediate acidity, soft crisp, sour malt impression

Mid-palate: big tangy sourness (!?), (lvl-4-sweetness), light wet woody barley malt, sour dark winey prune

Finish: cacao, sour pukey, lingering sweet barley malt, roasted exhale, subtle stealth bitter hops

Summary: Totally NOT what I was expecting – Big acidic dark fruity sourness complimented by roasted malt in BA imp stout?? Nonetheless it is decently balanced and still interestingly drinkable. The sourness is a bit harsh for a stout, I would rather more dark caramel roast instead. The more I drink it, the more apparent the sourness becomes offensive – rogue yeast for sure.

Red Racer Habanero Stout – Central City Brewers (Surrey, BC, Canada)

Red Racer Habanero Stout – Central City Brewers & Distillers, 8.5% ABV, 650 ml., (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


printed on the front-left label:

“Red Racer habanero stout is a classical Russian imperial stout with subtle addition of habanero chilis to create a warming and spicy mouth feel. Pronounced notes of coffee and chocolate balanced with Northwest hops and a touch of heat produce an exceptional imperial stout.”

(left)


  • Style: (flavoured – habanero) Imperial Stout
  • Taste: balanced sweet soft roasted barley malt chocolate light coffee negligible heat
  • Where I got it : Liquor Barn / Burnaby
  • How much: $6.50 CAD (after 10% off) – 650 ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah, not memorable

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours clear and a very dark brown without much of a head, a thin ring with a medium island, micro bubbles surfacing here and there.

Nose: chocolatey roasted barley malt, molasses, hints of nutty coffee. No notes of habanero. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: light tingly-soft crisp, sweet roasted malt impression

Mid-palate: slight thicker mouthfeel, 50/50-bitter/milk chocolate, (lvl-6-sweetness), soft roasted barley malt, licorice

Finish: nutty coffee, very  subtle non-invasive heat, light bitter cocoa, residual bittersweet roasted barley malt

Summary: There’s no real standout flavours or textures but the overall tranquil balance of soft roast, sweetness, and alcohol means that this brew still goes down easy after the halfway mark. Good quality craftsmanship permeates the palate from start to finish.

Garún Icelandic Stout – Borg Brugghus (Reykjavik, Iceland)

Garún Icelandic Stout – Borg Brugghus (brewed at Ölgerðin Egill Skallagrímsson), 11.5% ABV, 11.2 fl.oz., (Reykjavik, Iceland)


on the back label:

“Garún is named for the strong and brave heroine of one of Iceland’s most popular folktales “The deacon of Dark River (Myrká).” A tale of ghosts, undying love, and life triumphing over death told against the backdrop of elements essential to Iceland’s character: ice, snow, and flooding waters whirling dark and mysterious. The same elements that inspire this rich, intense, bold and swirlingly varied Icelandic stout. Garún is a dark aura of intense richness and haunting aroma with notes of chocolate, licorice and coffee. Skál!”

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  • Style: Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Easy sweet roasted chocolate barley malt some coffee licorice
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Bby
  • How much: $4.15 (after 12.5% off) – 11.2 fl.oz., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: easy for 11.5%

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours jet black, barely any head, a super thin ringed retention, a few small islands and a few bubbles here and there.

Nose: sweet dense roasty-toasty barley malt, molasses, light coffee. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: much thicker viscosity, trace tingly-fizzy

Mid-palate: background subdued tangy alcohol, chocolate, (lvl-6-sweetness), liquid roasted barley, intermixed coffee notes, subtle sweet licorice

Finish: residual chocolate barley malt

Summary: Wow, drinks a lot smoother than a 11.5% should. It goes down easy but I feel it’s missing some pop to make it really stand out.

Black Chocolate Stout – Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, NY, USA)

Black Chocolate Stout (Limited Bottling – Winter 13-14) – Brooklyn Brewery, 10% ABV, 355ml., (Brooklyn, NY, USA)


on the neck label:

“In the last century, British brewers made strong stouts for the Czar’s Court. They were called Imperial Stouts. Our Black Chococlate Stout, brewed once yearly for the winter season, achieves a chocolate aroma and flavor through the artful blending of six varieties of black, chocolate and roasted malts.


  • Style: Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Heavy med-sweet roasted barley malt alcoholic burnt bitter
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Bby
  • How much: $4.25 CAD (after 10% off), February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: not after my 2nd tasting

Visual: Pours jet black with a smallish dissipating head, a big island w/ ringed retention, micro fine bubbles on top, barely visible slow micro bubble streams.

Nose: roasted caramelized barley, molasses, brown sugar, faint coffee/fig. (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: slick-thick, slight crisp

Mid-palate: heavy malts, lingering (lvl-7-sweetness), espresso

Finish: sweet liquid roast barley, mild alcohol hit, burnt toast bitterness, mild chocolate notes

Summary: Although clocking in a whopping 10% ABV, this stout drinks pretty smooth and with some alcohol in the backend. The flavour is predominantly roasted barley and halfway through it becomes rather predictable. Above average, but there are more interesting imp stouts out there.

Imperial Russian Stout – Brouwerij Emelisse (Netherlands)

Imperial Russian Stout – Brouwerij Emelisse, 11% ABV, 33 cl., (Kamperland, Netherlands)


  • Style: Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Superbly hidden ABV smooth thick composed sweet roasted barley malt cocoa bittersweet finish
  • Where I got it : Bainbridge Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $5.70 CAD (after 10% off) – 33 cl., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: worth a try

Visual: Pours jet black with a small slowly dissipating head, micro fine ringed retention with a medium island, barely visible far scattered super slow micro streams.

Nose: sweet medium roast barley malt, molasses, hints of vanilla. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: half thick-slick, subtle crisp

Mid-palate: medium-heavy thick barley malts, (lvl-7-sweetness), medium woody roast, cocoa,

Finish: background alcohol tangy on the tongue, soft burnt bittersweet, half licorice notes, vanilla, lingering roasted barley notes

Summary: 11% ABV nowhere to be seen –  almost completely hidden alcohol unless you look for it. Impressively balanced sip from start to finish. It doesn’t have particularly bold flavours but what is noticeable about this one is its agreeable entry and its firm body. Great composure.

Grande Noirceur – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel (St-Jerome, QC, Canada)

Grande Noirceur (Imperial Stout) – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, 9% ABV, 341 ml., (St-Jerome, Quebec, Canada)


info from ratebeer.com:

The Grande Noirceur is an intensely black and dense beer with pronounced roasted flavours. The bitterness is very imposing but is balanced by a malty-caramel taste. The alcohol content is quite high, but its presence remains discrete in this beer.

ABV initially 8.5%, changed in late 2012 to 9%.”


  • Style: Imperial Stout
  • Taste: Sweet alcoholic creamy smooth thick caramel barley malt coffee vanilla bitter roast
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $4.60 (after 20% off) – 341ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, a balanced Imp stout it is

Visual: Pours pitch black with virtually not head, fine ringed retention, a few micro bubbles popping sporadically at the surface.

Nose: marshmallow, vanilla, mocha – all subtle. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: slick-thick, soft crisp, oily

Mid-palate: long (lvl-7)-sweetness, tangy alcohol detection, milky CO2, thick caramel barley malt, vanilla,

Finish: woody bitter roast, lingering bitter hops with roasted coffee

Summary: It goes down very smooth and it’s gone with each sip before you know it. The vanilla-roasted coffee flavours are the ‘like’-factors in this one. Recommended for imp stout lovers. I wished for more spice/vanilla in the mids to push it to an A-rating.