There’s nothing like a monstrous 12.0% abv Imperial Stout to get you revved up and ready to go. The seasonal release of Evil Twin Brewing’s, ‘Liquid Double Fudge,’ is one of those monster beers with big, dark flavors that make this dessert in a bottle something worth remembering.
First thing you must do before consuming this sucker is to wrap it in a 22 oz bomber jacket to keep it at a good temperature. Even though it’s okay for a stout like this to warm up a bit, the thickness of this will make it a slow drinker, so be prepared. Upon cracking the top off of it and pouring it into a traditional pint glass, there was immediately some big, strong aromas of cocoa, chocolate syrup, and heavy dosages of caramel. The name itself summed up the smell of this beast perfectly. The pour on this thing was as dark as the midnight sky, like motor oil, and a nice dark brown head that rested undisturbed in the top of the glass.
After taking some deep whiffs of this brew, it was time to consume it. If it tasted as good as it smelled, I was in for a treat! Oh yes, just like the smell, I’m greeted by big and bold flavors that attack the time of the tongue with a frenzy. It’s low in carbonation but the heavy, dark and rich chocolate fudge flavors feels like a ton of bricks resting on the top of the tongue (in a very good way). There’s definitely a pretty heavy dose of alcohol, obviously from the 12%, but the darkness of the malts and richness do a solid job of not making it overbearing. That’s not to say that you won’t a fairly decent wallop of booziness that jumps out at you in the aftertaste.
Sitting back, sipping this brew slowly is the way to go. Its thickness and richness is like a huge satisfying piece of chocolate cake that makes you want to savor every single bit. This is a very solid beer from Evil Twins Brewing, so if you happen to run across this one, don’t hesitate to snatch up a bottle or two. Just look out, it could get downright evil on you, and knock you for a loop after mowing through a couple of them.
The great Northwest has some of the most pristine wilderness, raging rivers, unmatched beauty, and yes, some of the most fantastic beer in the country. Located in Eugene, Oregon is the home of Ninkasi Brewing Company; one of the breweries that seems to be popping up all over the place. I have tried several of the brews in the past, and have yet to be disappointed by any of their offerings. With that thought stirring in my head, I spotted the colorful bottle of “Maiden the Shade,” swooped it up and decided to give it a go.
This American Pale Ale is a great way to kick off a day of consumption, as it comes in at 6.8% abv, which makes it good to get the party started, but won’t knock you out flat before the party has shifted into high gear. Anyway, as beautiful as the bottle was, I knew that this would be a slower consumption, so I wrapped it in my favorite bomber jacket to keep it snug and cool and was ready to give it the almighty taste test. To get a good idea of the look of this sucker, I still poured it directly into a pint glass to get a better look at the color, clarity, and the makeup of the bubbles.
After a good solid pour, a nice two-finger head of foamy white sat atop of the medium golden color brew. It looked very nice in the bottle, and upon first whiff of this stuff, there’s definitely that strong pungent grapefruit aroma that is so prevalent in so many west coast IPA’s. It smelled nice and balanced, which was a nice change from some of the hop-bombs that come out of some of the western states.
Tasting it is where you really get a good amount of the citrusy, piney hop flavors. The earthy hops of this brew blends so well with the biscuit type of malts that leaves a nice lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue. As the foam head subsided, the lacing covered the glass, and the aromas continued escaping from the top of the glass. As I sat there on a warm, spring-day, I couldn’t help but think that this is a really fantastic beer for this type of weather. As the days get longer, the sun begins to burn a bit brighter and a bit warmer, this very consumable beer is big enough that you can tie one on after a few, but not such a beast that you’ll be done by nightfall. I say wrap this sucker in your bottle bomb to keep it cool, sip slowly and enjoy the warming of the seasons. Next time you’re out an about and see this colorful bottle staring back at you, it may be a good idea to grab a couple. A bit of “Maiden the Shade” on a warm, spring or summer day? Yes, please!
Portland, Oregon continues to rise to the top of the beer geekdom world, as places like Hopworks continues to turn out one good beer after another. As we settle in on winter, the lighter beers have drifted off into old hangovers, and have been replaced by thicker, darker, more aggressive stouts like the Organic Motherland Russian Imperial Stout. This seasonal brew is quite the beast at 9.8% abv, so sit down, relax, and prepare to drink this dark, roasted monster.
Hopworks has pretty much run the gauntlet in different types of styles and tastes, and this winter they have released a solid, Russian Imperial Stout. The Motherland is part of a revolving series of imperial ales that are released throughout the year. They’re not meant for the chug and fall down type-of-a-crowd, but are better meant for the slow-sipping, sniff and smell type of connoisseurs.
A nice pour into a pint glass delivers a dark color, not quite the ‘black as a Siberian winter’ as mentioned on the brewery website, but more-so a dark, intense cola color. A one finger tan head fills the upper part of the glass, but dissipates somewhat quickly. It’s a nice looking beer, and from a foot away, it’s easy to smell the loads of cocoa, some anise, and dark chocolates. It’s a solid looking beer, and it’s now time for consumption.
The taste is a bit unexpected, after initially smelling the chocolate and cocoa. As the liquid bounces across my taste buds, I’m greeted with more of a roasted barley, some nice toffee notes, and a generous dose of alcohol, thanks to that aggressive 9.8% abv. It delivers a nice warm feeling in the gut, as the booze flows around and swishes throughout my insides. It makes me want to put on a nice warm hat, some thick winter clothing, grab another bottle of the Motherland, and wrap this bad boy up in my favorite 22oz bomber jacket and take a seat by a raging fire. This is a cold weather beer, no doubt about. You won’t be sipping this guy at your next raging pool party, or kick back barbecue with the in-laws. Nope. This beast is meant for the winter months, so seek it out because it won’t be long before this one is off the shelves and the next in the series of imperial ales shows up.
Overall, the Organic Mother Land Russian Imperial Stout was a solid beer. Does it stand up against some of the world-class stouts of the world? Probably not, but that would not stop me from grabbing a few of the 22oz’ers and knocking back a couple (slowly of course, because as mentioned, this is not a chug-a-lug-lug type of beverage). This is for those looking for something big, bold, and something that will provide a nice punch of alcohol to fire up the evening. Nostrovia!