Alright, barrel aged stout week continues with yet another top 100 imperial stout aged in NONE OTHER THAN PAPPY VAN WINKLE BARRELS. The catch here is that, like the disappointing BA People’s Porter, they spent a hot minute on the barrels. A hot 4 months, to be exact. By my BA standards, that is barely what you serve for repeat domestic violence charges. I want some straight up lifers when it comes to ba stouts. Anyway, people love this beer, I am not a huge fan, but who am I to deny you my erudite take on this revered libation? Let’s take a look at this blacksploitation ass bottle
Foothills Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States
Russian Imperial Stout | 9.75% ABV
A: This follows in the same vein as my review of Great Lakes barrel aged Blackout Stout in that it is incredibly thin for an imperial stout. Think Czar Jack levels. I am not sure if this makes stoichometric sense, but, I feel like barrel aging this beer actually made it considerable thinner. The sheeting is minimal and the carbonation is reluctant as a C student in madrasa. The look is a nice pentel ink black with a slick shine to it like boot black.
S: This has a great nose to it, and is probably my favorite part of this beer. I enjoy the chocolate, sweet cocoa notes, you get some light oak, there’s a touch of macaroon and butterscotch to it, but again this is all set forth on the stage of immense chocolate. Again, I feel that even that aspect from the base beer has been ratcheted back, for obvious reasons. I am not sure that the tradeoff for the brief jaunt in a barrel was really worth it. Then again, this beer usually hovers around 1000 bottles, so obviously the clamoring masses know better than I.
T: There is a light sweetness of coffee and some fleeting notes of caramel bourbon, similar to 4 roses treatments. Again, the whole affair is very brief and imparts a very gentle introductory and impartially administered hand to the BA Stout crowd. If you are coming off the heels of BCBS or something like that, this is going to seem downright sessionable. There’s a light cola aspect to it, but the thin tepid nature just doesn’t deliver huge on either a chocolate cake or illiterate gold miner bourbon aspect either. It’s like when Super Mario Bros 2 came out and everyone was like “wait wat.”
M: Just rehash all I said above and use your imagination for once. This beer is thin, crisp, lightly slick, and doesn’t hang around for very long. This is by no means a bad beer and I welcome variations in execution, but this just doesn’t suit my particular stout needs. Insert innuendo re: thick, black, sticky, what have you.
D: This is exceptionally drinkable. The 22oz bottle drinks like a 6% import stout and this beer soars in this category. However, the last release was what, 1200 bottles? So this isn’t exactly like Stone IRS where you can just chain combos together for maximum points. If you are into sweeter BA stouts like the Eclipse treatments and that sorta jazz, this will probably be up your alley, but for all the trouble associated with trading for it, the base beer is arguably superior.
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