Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sam Adams Imperial Stout

9.2% ABV

As if you couldn’t tell my favorite beer style is stout. Imperial stouts in particular tickle my fancy but I love all stouts. The Sam Adams Cream Stout is one of my favorite beers of all time, so I had high hopes that the imperial stout would be stellar as well. I remembered trying this back when Sam Adams first released their imperial series but didn’t remember liking it all that much. My recent encounter with the Sam Adams Wee Heavy gave me renewed confidence in the imperial series.

The imperial stout poured midnight black with a nice thick head that receded fairly quickly. The nose was very pleasant with strong malt and faint hints of roast chocolate. The imperial stout was dry in taste with no real roasted malt or chocolate character present. Without the supporting sweetness the dark malts used in the brew left a bitter/dry taste. As it warms you do get some anise and/or black licorice flavor showing up in your palate. If you really push your taste buds to “listen” to the brew you can imagine super dark plum flavors in the background. Since the brew was so dry, the anise/black licorice flavor dominated the character and resulted in a one-dimesional brew. There was not the complexity that I hope for in imperial stouts and I was not impressed the second time around either. I’m going to age another bottle for a while to see if anything changes and I will report back.


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