Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout

Today I'm drinking Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout brewed by Stone Brewing Company in Escondido, California. This is an "embellished" version of their wonderfully delicious Russian Imperial Stout, being brewed with Anise, Oak Chips, Belgian Yeast and "copious doses of decadence". Yeah, you get the point. Their story on the back shows Stone is certain that this is the most awesome creation since Creation. Read it below if you don't believe me. Of course the gargoyle adorns the front of this "2011 'ODD YEAR' RELEASE", and this time, he's in a star. This beer is recommended for cellaring.

Nice head if you care. Luckily it went away fast as the aroma on this mama was super inviting! Rich chocolate and licorice in my nose and everywhere, though I thought there may be more licorice. Anyway... The licorice flavors are much more pronounced than in the aroma, very powerful, you know, in a way that can clear your sinuses. Add the boozy 10.5% alcohol and it is quite the experience!

Now this beer does taste a little sweet at first glance, but some balance is there in the form of the aforementioned alcohol and some light coffee bitterness. That great chocolate aroma doesn't disappoint in the flavors either, very rich and luxurious, excellent smooth consistency. Vanilla and wood and the faintest of raisin flavor add some nice subtleties here and there. A boozy chesty warmth and alcohol burn in the throat are also themes to this beer, and the hot finish is a little uncomfortable by the end of Big 22.

I love black licorice, but for real it was overdone in this beer. I much prefer the anise "notes" of their original and not the "screams" this bottle brags about. With that much licorice, I'll just enjoy some Sambuca instead. The alcohol was also a little much in this beer. Some real nice flavors happening here, but those are my comments. And one more aside... I didn't really feel the Belgian yeast; it was probably dominated by too many other Generals. What do you think?

Red Vines Black Licorice Twists, 64-Ounce Tub 

 USP Labs Oxy Elite Pro, 90-capsule


Michael Jurewicz said...

I was not a fan of this at all. I bought a bottle then Phil opened a bottle and we didn't like it. Now I'm stuck with this one. I prefer the regular IRS much more.

Beer Drinker Rob said...

Yeah, wasn't terrible but I certainly think there's too much licorice. Their normal RIS is great.

Similarly, I have a bottle of Southern Tier Cuvee that I hate, don't know what to do with it.