Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rogue Russian Imperial Stout Vintage 2009

Brewery: Rogue Brewing Company
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 11%
Country: USA, Oregon

I found this on my way back from Vermont at a store in Maryland called State Line Liquors which, as its name suggests, is located near the PA and DE border. This store had the best beer selection I've ever seen with an entire section dedicated solely to Belgium beers. I couldn't spend as much time here as I would have liked since we were near the end of a long drive and four buses of tourists were showing up to overwhelm the place.

According to the bottle, this beer is best after aging for at least a year. Luckily for me this was a vintage 2009 bottle, so no waiting for me to enjoy this. The aging allows for some of the harsher alcohol flavors to mellow out and make the drink more smooth overall.

Poured out thick and pitch black with no trace of any other color. Dark brown head lingers a long time. Strong roasted aroma with traces of coffee, chocolate, earthy flavors and a bit of alcohol. First sip showed an incredibly thick body that was almost syrupy. Massive amounts of roasted flavors all over the place. Both a roasted barley and a roasted coffee flavor dominate. Feels like sipping on an espresso in some ways. The hops imparted some herbal and earthy flavors that complemented the roasted flavors well. The malts had a small hint of sweetness near the end that transitioned into a bitter finish that was well complemented by lingering roasted flavors. Not a trace of alcohol was present at all in the taste. There was nearly no carbonation and the body was incredibly smooth. This was supremely drinkable and delicious. My only complaint with this was that it came in a 7oz bottle and I would have loved to have savored this much longer. A+

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