A couple of months ago I attended the The Thirsty Chef 2, which is The Drake‘s 2nd anniversary event in Victoria’s market square. Gigantic was sharing a space with Ninkasi and were serving up a beer labeled only as “bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout.” I liked it so much that I went back three times. Sadly, the girl serving was just a volunteer and couldn’t tell me what it was called. 🙁
Then, a couple of weeks later I was at Cook Street Liquor and I saw this incredible label for a beer from Gigantic called Most Most Imperial Russian Stout. Suddenly, I realized I’d found my dream beer. I was like Prince Charming finding Cinderella again… *ahem*… on with the review!
Bottle: 650 ml bomber
ABV: 11.5%; IBU: 60
Description: Blacker than the uncaring hearts of the Czars of Russia, richer than their estates, more decadent than their palaces, and larger than their empires, this bourbon barrel aged imperial stout is truly most most premium.
This beer pours out blacker than the blackest black, times infinity. The head was pretty thin and dissipated quickly—the carbonation level was very light (though this bottle was aging for a while), something for which it’s been criticized, but imperial stouts are not meant to be heavily carbonated! I would suggest drinking it out of either a tulip or a snifter.
The aroma is incredibly sweet and rich with notes of chocolate, caramel, and coffee. The first sip was surprisingly sweet and smooth for an imperial stout with such a high alcohol percentage. The palate was toasted malts, bourbon, toffee, caramel, and licorice.
Overall, this is one of the best imperial stouts I’ve ever had. While not as bitter as other examples of the style, it’s still definitely a sipping beer and not for the feint of heart.
Gigantic knocks it out of the park again!