Fellow beer enthusiasts: It's time.
It took several self-pep talks, but I'm finally doing it. I've stared down the cans (the old cans from my trip down to Guelph last month, and more recently some of the new ones that our buddy Andy picked up for us last week.) I've put this stout up on a silver platter for some time, and I've been afraid that it wouldn't hold up. My tastebuds have evolved in the recent past, and while I fell in love with this beer only a year ago, I couldn't quite define why. Back then, either I liked something or I didn't - I never really stopped to ask why.
Today I stop and ask why.
Do I need to talk about the company before I get into this? Honestly, I wouldn't know what to say. During my last trip down to the G-town, they blew me away. Their tour was awesome: both extremely informative and enjoyable (it's the best five bucks you'll spend in Guelph.) We got to chatting with Bryan, one of their brewers and self-proclaimed resident beer geek (seriously, he evens claims it on his Twitter account. Follow him, he's an awesome guy.) Do yourself a favour and have a serious beer chat with him if you can - he's both down-to-earth and enthusiastic about his craft. Anyway, about the company itself? Bah, you're not here for a history lesson, you'd go to their website if you wanted that - or even better, you'd stop in for a tour. So, what are you here for? If not for a history lesson, or my stunning good looks (seriously ladies, check out the mug in that profile picture, you know you love it) it must be for a review of the beer I have gone on record as claiming to be the best beer brewed by a man (or a woman.)
Here we go!
The Imperial Russian Stout comes in a standard 473mL can, and weighs in at an 8% alc./vol. (Loving the new cans by the way Welly!) It pours a near-black with a beige head that quickly dissipates, leaving a thin lacing. You get a rich blend of dark chocolate, coffee and roasted malts in the nose. The mouthfeel is smooth and light with low but adequate carbonation. There is more of the aroma in the flavour: dark chocolate and coffee with a slightly earthy hop finish.
Conclusion? I love it as much as the day I first tried it, even more now that I can define it better. This stout just does it for me. And on a side note, it's absolutely amazing with a bit of dark chocolate.
While my fellow Ottawans (Ottawanians? Ottawites? Whatever...) can't get it in any LCBOs I can find yet, it should make it's way up here soon, or so Welly has promised since we've been bugging them on Twitter about it.
Along with a couple cans of this bad boy, I managed to snag some of the Welly's current one-off, their Boot Chuck IPA. A review of that will be needed very soon... mainly because I lick my lips everytime I see the cans sitting in my fridge.
So thanks for reading beer lovers. I hope it was a pleasant distraction. Now speaking of pleasant distractions... time for more Stout and a little more Lindt dark chocolate.
Oh, yeah, before I go... As I expand my beer horizons, I've come to realize I love dark ales and stouts. What are some fantastic stouts that you've come across in your travels? (preferably something I can get ahold of here in Ottawa or within a reasonable distance.)