Thursday, January 6, 2011

Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout

Today I'm drinking Big Daddy Vlady's Russian Imperial Stout brewed by Terrapin Beer Company in Athens, Georgia. This beer is Side Project Volume 13 in Terrapin's series. For the record, I absolutely adored Volume 12, Hopzilla! According to the side story, this beer is "brewed under the strictest Socialist guidelines". That's cool. I run my office the same way! Yada! Yada! Yada! "...hammer and sickle down on your little girly man's palate."

Spike then gives some words of wisdom. "Feel free to serve in shot glasses!" At the end is the Russian phrase Na zdorovje! Go look that up on Google and you will feel the weight of a thousand Russian KGB agents come down on you to NOT use that phrase to say "Cheers!" Not sure how much international research Spike and the guys up in Athens did before using it, but let's start with the Facebook page dedicated to stop using it, which suggests the phrase is just stupid and that Hollywood should "feel free to ask Russian alchocholics for free creative help". Love that!

Next a more calm foreigner says, "furthermore, there is no universal drinking cheer in Russian, however paradoxal it might sound. Sometimes they say "Budem zdorovy" meaning "Let's stay healthy". Which sometimes is shortened to just "Budem" (see Ukranian version), or "Chtob vse byli zdorovy", i.e. "Let everybody be healthy". OK that sounds fine, but we may as well go all out with основывает вверх по! Am I right? I thought so!

Wow, 22 ounces later, I better get started writing the beer review, which accounts for 40% of my grade. Let me comment that the presentation is great as usual, with Vlady raising a bottle of Terrapin Beer. My theory is that the idea creators over at Terrapin, when they started this series, did so because they were so freakin' tired of turtle themed labels, they needed some creative relief. I could be wrong! Gold foil over the cap for an extra notch toward the civilized life.

Rich roasted chocolate and molasses aroma. I opened this up outside and could smell it on the breeze. Chocolate and rich molasses start. It was "hot" chocolate but only because from the get-go, the 10.25% alcohol starts to take its toll. Some sweet brown sugar flavors lead you to the next phase of licorice and vanilla nuances, followed by some roasted coffee. Big Daddy isn't overly sweet though. Rather, there is an astringent bitter component that is fairly annoying and persistent. The alcohol is very hot throughout, and by the end of the beer gives it a chem lab feel. And trust me, I know. I can't stop thinking bathroom cleanser, though that's really not that fair.

What did we learn today? "Terrapin Side Project" does not automatically mean you are about to drink an instant classic. This one was a little rough in some aspects. By the end of the big beer, it seemed the alcohol was not as much of an ass. Could be the warmth or the drunk palate. I'll leave you with a quote.  "Just OK Equals No Way!" You can repeat that over and over at the $10 price tag for this OK!

Not terrible by any stretch, but I'd pass on this one. Sorry.

Grateful Dead Terrapin Dance Tapestry 60x90"

Faberge Spring Flower Egg - Russian Imperial Easter Egg

Russian Imperial Eagle Charm, Sterling Silver

See? I was leaning before I even drank any of this beer!


marie said...

I see the problem here: there's no turtle on the bottle. The magic is in the terrapin turtle.

Beer Drinker Rob said...

Perhaps you are right. I like most of the turtle-labeled ones and love some of them, but the theme is a little old. Oh well, it's tough when your brewery is called Terrapin Beer.

This series without the turtles, though, had a spectacular one called Hopzilla several months back. I know, wait, wait, wait... Perhaps they need a reptile (assuming Hopzilla is a reptile) as their good beer charm.

Anyway, we should keep researching. Hopsecutioner coming your way in the next few weeks!