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Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout 2011 Review

Finally I am able to try the 2011 St. Ambroise Russian Imperial Stout. I found 2 bottles at an Oakville LCBO I wandered into after stopping in the plaza for some coffee. For $6 you get a 341 mL twist off bottle housed inside an attractive cardboard tube with a lot of writing on the back.

The beer, as expected, pitch black and pours smoothly with a short to medium, brown head with some lacing and a good retention time. The aroma has a smoky character and is very complex with a blend of vanilla, coffee, chocolate and dried fruit notes (mostly raisins). The taste is very rich and absolutely astonishing. The beer is very creamy and its complexity is at a completely new level. Dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla, caramel, oak - these are some of the flavours that jump to the front and help create a masterpiece. But that's not all. Hops begin to emerge towards the finish to satisfy even the biggest hop heads on the market. The finish is very long, warm, smoky, a tad sweet with more of the characterstic flavours - espresso, chocolate, vanilla and oak. There is a mild olive flavour which develops at the very end, but since I love olives, I enjoyed it very much. The 9.2% ABV are barely noticeable, however, I recommend this beer be sipped and enjoyed slowly.

The second bottle is currently being aged and will be opened in the next year or two.

Cost - $6
Taste - 9.5/10
ABV - 9.2%

Overall - 9.5/10...amazing stout

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