A while back I caused a stir when I asked people their least favorite beer of 2011, I feel that this beer was the overwhelming winner, although I still feel that the Mikkeller Peat Barrel Black Hole nightmare was the worst, ho hum, here you go.
Stone Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout 10.6% abv
A: Deep motor oil black with no light opaque tones, not the deepest black I have seen but the coating lets you know that it has a huge malt to it. Mocha colored head with lacing that sticks to the glass. So far so good, now for the smell-
S: The anise is light and reminiscent of a sweeter licorice like a box of good and plentys. There is chocolate and some cocoa dryness to it. it’s like the lovely Stone IRS with an angry dark demon living inside of it. Why did this interloping licorice jerk have to show up? Many tears are shed into Hello Kitty diaries over this mishap.
T: The licorice is present in a strange resonant way. It imparts a sweetness with the Belgian sugar at the front that is really present and then rides the palate not unlike Ginuwine’s pony throughout. The coffee supports the tail end of it and the chocolate notes are suspiciously absent.
M: The mouthfeel isn’t as thick as I was bracing myself for and it is a better beer as a result. The dryness from all of the complex herbal notes really makes this interesting and crisp. It feels like an imperial black ale with all the hops and grassy notes happening but the complexity is certainly welcome. I cannot imagine how they are breaking even on such an exceptional beer for $5.99 a bottle.
D: This is incredibly drinkable, and not in a cop out “for an imperial stout” sort of way, it is just flat out good. The abv is there, the taste supports it, it isn’t overly filling, you can put it away without chewing the inside of your mouth off due to dryness. Just a total package present in a ridiculous inexpensive format. As a caveat, everything that I enjoy about this beer is present in the Stone IRS in a better way, this beer is only redeemed because it is technically a Stone IRS at heart. The anise is horrible.
Narrative: “Rinse, gargle, spit.” The adolescents that visit Raven Perchmoor D.D.S.’s “Bastion of Oral Hygenicide” never really knew what they were in for. The Misfits played nonstop at levels that were uncomfortable even for 13 year old discretion. “And from when thine recalcitrant dental alignment was once begot, now BEGONE!” Dr. Perchmoor chanted as he tightened the bands deftly on the aching face of a My Chemical Romance fan. Some would consider his practice unorthodox, notwithstanding the gargoyles and dry ice buckets bubbles upon entry. However, he did accept HMO insurance and his work was nothing short of amazing. “And you are absolutely sure the ZOOM whitening is your choice? To cast out the vilest intentions of foul stains and the reproach of plaque and murky taint?” “Uh…yes?” He threw the oversized switch and watched the laser burn away the darkness, much to the chagrin of the macabre dentist.