Avery’s The Czar Imperial Stout has a good name and a good reputation, it was highly recommended to me by the guys working in the shop, and at 10USD a bottle you’d expect it to be. You probably know already where this is heading, but keep with me here. Imperial Stout – US version – is a very new type of Stout for me, especially when I am used to the Irish versions, and some of the English versions. It is meant to be bitter, it is meant to taste like you are drinking something with a hefty dosage of vodka in there, and you’d love to imagine the brewer drinking the vodka at the same time and constantly adding more and more in to get the potency right; of course this doesn’t happen, but the general strength and bitterness expectations do wonders for the imagination. Old Rasputin was like drinking something the ghosts of the Imperial Russian court have had a go at so as not to forget them, so this has set the expectations for all Stouts of the Imperial kind.
The Beer: 10.77%, 70 IBU; Jet black with a tan head; heavy aromas of roasted coffee or burnt toast; incredibly bitter to taste (although it is only 70 IBU) giving way to those dark roasted malts and coffee elements; aggressive assault on the tongue and back of the throat ut with pleasant coffee-drak chocolate traces, full bodied; gives a warm feeling as you swallow it.
This is a style of beer I might never get used to. My expectations, after paying so much and listening to endless adulation for it, were high enough to expect to be able to finish it. In truth I couldn’t nor did I particularly enjoy the exerience. I will defer any further opinions of this beer to those people who really enjoy this style of beer and say how good an example of Imperial Stout it is. One comment I would make is that the bottle states a 10.77% abv and other beer sites suggest a higher abv, obviously I will reference what the bottle says.
Website: Avery Brewing