Dark Lord 2016

Image courtesy of beerunderthelabel.com

Image courtesy of beerunderthelabel.com

I’m special to someone.  He shared his bourbon-barrel aged variant of 2016 Dark Lord Russian-style Imperial Stout with me.  We are now truly brothers.  Dark Lord (Three Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, IN) is black motor oil that’s got a few thousand miles too many on it, with a nice bouquet of licorice, smoke and peppery Brazilian hard woods with a boozy sweetness throughout.  The texture is super-smooth and the body full and inviting.  Dark Lord is a real gut warmer at 15% ABV.  It’s a sipper, and I think a 22 oz. bomber is good split between four people.  Drink it at basement temperature so that you don’t miss any of the subtle scents and flavors.  When you are finished, save the glass and take an occasional whiff.  It’s still good.  Excellent stuff, very rare, and chances are you’ll never get a chance to try it.

As I said, I’m special, and so is Dark Lord.

95/100 Imperial Stout

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Deth’s Tar

Image courtesy of Revolution Brewing Company

Image courtesy of Revolution Brewing Company

Deth’s Tar, a play on Revolution Brewing Company Managing Partner Josh Deth’s name and tribute to Star Wars, is one of the best Russian Imperial Stout’s you’ll ever have.  This bourbon barrel aged beauty is as opaque as 8,000 mile old 10W30 drained from an old Chevy six-banger.  This stuff is thick and black.  The minimal beige has a bit of a red hue to it, and the bouquet is sweet and rich, boozy and chocolatey.  Maybe a hint of dark cherry?  There’s a touch of tartness on the tongue, but maybe that’s more of an alcohol bite.  Deth’s Tar is not as creamy as Very Mad Cow, (the bast tasting beer I’ve ever had) but it’s close.  There’s a touch of coffee bitterness in the finish, and the thick, smooth texture is soothing to the tongue.  Don’t make the mistake of drinking it too cold, you’ll miss some subtleties in the overall taste profile.  Another amazing beer from Revolution’s Deep Wood Series, Deth’s Tar is one you don’t want to miss.  It’s sold in 22 oz. bombers and it’s not always easy to find, and not cheap at $16.99 a bottle, but there’s no doubt it’s worth the price.

98/100 Russian Imperial Stout

Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout

Image courtesy of beerstreetjournal.com

Image courtesy of beerstreetjournal.com

Here’s a nice offing from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company:  Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout.  I don’t know who this Big Eddy chap is but he must be huge, based on the massiveness of this beer.  Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout is black with a rich putty colored head that would float a fifty cent piece, if you had a fifty cent piece.  Is that a term from the 1880s?  Fifty cent piece.  Hmm.  Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout will leave lashings of Brussels lace on your glass once that head starts to dissipate. The bouquet is smokey and has a Graham cracker sweetness to it.  Thick, oily, sharp, bitter and earthy with a huge roasted black patent malt foundation.  There a lot going on with this 9.5% ABV beauty, and as the warm days get shorter and the cool nights get longer this one will be nice to enjoy next to a fire.

85/100 Russian Imperial Stout

B.O.R.I.S.

Image courtesy of Hoppin' Frog Brewing Company

Image courtesy of Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Company

B.O.R.I.S. stands for Bodacious Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout , and it also calls itself a Barrel Aged Oatmeal Imperial Stout, but acronyms aside, Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Company of Akron, OH has gotten this beer right!  They claim to be rated one of the 50 best beers in the world, and maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t, but it is damn good at the very least.  B.O.R.I.S pours black as the old oil from my ’69 Nova looked when I changed it, but this beer produces a rich, medium brown head and generous, gooey head, whereas the Nova drippings just produced a rainbow film and a leaded gasoline funk.  Anyway, back to the head, a barrista could draw pictures and patterns on it it is so thick initially, and it produces lashings of gooey lacing.  Whiffs of cocoa, vanilla extract, coconut, whisky, coffee, smoked cherries, they’re all there.  It’s a treasure trove of great smells, and the beauty is that the taste follows closely, but add some licorice and finish it off with a healthy dose of bitterness to complete this very complex flavor profile.  It’s really good, but share the 22 oz. bottle with someone to enjoy the experience even more.  B.O.R.I.S. is a social drink (beer is in general), and one that you will enjoy comparing notes on.