I made my first trip to Bières du Monde in Aylmer, Quebec last night. I'll admit, my knowledge on Quebec microbreweries is limited, we just don't see a lot of their work here in Ontario (although, the LCBO has had more and more lately.) At any rate, I've heard of most of the breweries BDM carries, but it was still incredible to see everything they had. To be honest, I started feeling a little anxious. For a craft beer lover from Ontario to step into that store for the first time, it's like discovering a whole new world. I wanted to try everything, but I had to limit myself to a reasonable budget (especially since I was there dropping $70 on the case of St-Ambroise stout that I reserved.) Well, I'm glad to report I got over my anxiety and walked out with a few new beers to try. Today we look at L'Alchimiste's Imperial Stout.
I picked this up as a single 341mL bottle for $2.99. As an Imperial Stout, you'd expect a high ABV, and this is no exception: 7.9%.
It pours a thick jet black with a very thin (almost non-existant) beige head.
The aroma is strong on the roasted malts with hints of dark chocolate and just a touch of vanilla and coffee.
Roasted malts up front, vanilla and chocolate sweetness in the middle, and a slightly boozy and dry coffee finish: everything you would expect the flavor to be based on the aroma.
The mouthfeel is creamy with a good coating of the tongue. The carbonation is on the light side.
Overall, this is an excellent representation of the style. While I mentioned booziness, it's on the light side. Incredible balance for a high alcohol brew. You could enjoy a few of these without realizing that you were drinking a 7.9% beer - until you tried to stand, that is.
I love my stouts. Anytime someone asks me to name off my Top 5 stouts, this'll definitely make the list. Well done, L'Alchimiste, well done. I award you 4.5 stars out of 5.
If you're a stout lover give this a try, you won't be disappointed.