Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sorry Dave a New Czar is in Town

We’ve already visited the point that Super Dave has undying man love for Bridgeport’s Hop Czar Imperial IPA. Well sorry Dave there’s a new Czar in town and it is damn tasty.

10.82 ABV

70 IBU

There are a couple of things I liked about the Czar right off the bat; the $5.99 price tag, and the declaration on the bottle that is was bottled in 2009. In today’s craft beer boom the imperial stout plays a prominent role in many breweries offerings. Whether it be a year round offering or an annual release, there are more imperial stouts out now than I can count. One of the beauties of these monster brews is that they age very well. They can be aged, or cellared, for a very long time. Generally speaking, the longer you age an imperial stout, the better it will taste. As it ages the harsher flavors will mellow, the heat of the alcohol will subside, and you will be left with a flavorful masterpiece. On the contrary the younger imperial stouts will have harsher flavors and more hot alcohols. I’ve run into these immature brews with Goose Island Big John and recently with Lagunitas Imperial Stout. The problem I have is there is usually no indication as to how long the imperial stout has been aged. I wish there were a universal standard in labeling requiring information to be published regarding how old the imperial stout is. The real downer is a lot of these highly sought after limited edition imperial stouts are difficult to acquire and are pricey. If you drink them too early (less than 6-12 months old), it will not be an enjoyable experience and the consumer is shortchanged. If you knew the special edition imperial stout you just purchased is only a month old, you would be able to make a decision to age it. Therefore, I applaud Avery for posting the bottling date and giving me the peace of mind that this is a properly aged imperial stout.

The Czar poured inky black with a quickly receding head. There is big malt and roast with a little booze in the nose. This imperial has a decent mouthfeel that leads you into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Deep dark chocolate notes are apparent with enough bitterness to keep The Czar from being too sweet. The brew finishes with a satisfying bittersweet farewell. This is a nicely complex imperial stout and was a pleasure to drink. Oh did I mention it’s $5.99 and widely availabe? I’m adding this to FatCat’s Epic Brews list so check it out at the top of the page.


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