Victory Storm King Imperial Stout

VictoryStormKingImperialStout.jpg This Imperial Stout is unusual in that it has been hopped more heavily than is typical for this style, but the brewers have maintained this addition with a great degree of balance that gives added complexity without detracting from the traditional elements of the style.

This delicious Imperial Stout pours up a rich amber black with a full frothy head that remains and moderately laces the glass. The nose presents full coffee, molasses, and cocoa aromas, with a distinct and enjoyable tart hoppy fruit overlay and quiet alcohol background.

The taste continues this balanced interplay of the Imperial Stout style with the clear hop notes that makes this beverage very distinctive. It begins with a caramel malty sweetness that is quickly overtaken by powerful roasted coffee and and bitter chocolate flavours. The hoppiness is present throughout without ever distracting or overwhelming. This hop flavour becomes more pronounced just prior to the complex dry finish.

This somewhat smooth, medium to full bodied Imperial Stout has a deliciously complex aftertaste that lingers long. It is well-crafted and manages to offer both balance and complexity without that becoming a distraction from its enjoyment.

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Oskar Blues Ten FIDY Imperial Stout

I don’t generally drink beer that comes in a can. Mostly that’s because I prefer craft brewed beers which ordinarily come in bottles. There is an exception.

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I love a good Imperial Stout and while this one doesn’t take the place of my all time favourite, it certainly gives it a run for it’s money. I was completely surprised! This brew lives up to its reputation. (It get’s a 100 rating from Ratebeer.com and an ‘A’ from Beer Advocate Magazine.) An Imperial Stout is typically a high gravity beer and thus has a higher percentage alcohol by volume (ABV). This one gets its name from its 10.50% ABV.

It pours up licorice black with a deliciously dark chocolate coloured head. The nose is wonderfully unique, offering a rich mixture of sweet caramel and malty dark roasted barley. On the palate it gives up full and smooth chocolate and coffee flavours. I think the uniqueness of the nose and the palate may also have something to do with the addition of flaked oats (giving it some of the qualities of an oatmeal stout) as well as the way it’s been hopped. It’s definitely everything the brewery advertises.

Ten FIDY Imperial Stout – This titanic, immensely viscous stout is loaded with inimitable flavors of chocolate-covered caramel and coffee and hide a hefty 98 IBUs underneath the smooth blanket of malt. Ten FIDY (10.5% ABV) is made with enormous amounts of two-row malt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops. Ten FIDY is the ultimate celebration of dark malts and boundary-stretching beer.

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