A few months ago well known Yorkshire Brewery, Black Sheep did something a little bit different.
Known for producing a solid range of tasty cask and bottled beer they decided to brew a beer they’d not tried before…an Imperial Russian Stout, weighing in at 8.5% ABV, what’s more they then sent the beer on a little adventure across both the North Sea and the Baltic Sea from London to St Petersburg on a 60ft Clipper (you can read more about the journey here).
As soon as I heard what they were doing I had to try it, luckily for me, on a trip to York I spotted the really funky, label standing out on the shelf behind the bar and bought a bottle to bring home.
It didn’t stay in the beer cupboard long before I succumbed to the urge to open it, It poured thick and viscous, almost treacle like, it was a really dark brown with a hint of ruby red when held up to the light, the head was thick and bubbly, a lot lighter than I expected when I saw the colour of the beer.
On the nose there was plenty of coffee, a little bit of liquorice and some dried fruit, there’s also a little bit of alcohol poking through.
In the mouth it was medium bodied, maybe not as full as I’ve come to expect from an Imperial stout, the coffee and liquorice came through as did a little bit of pepper and spice, there was also that unmistakable Black Sheep character, you know the one that some breweries have where if someone put a pint in front of you and said where does that come from, you can tell immediately.
On the whole I really enjoyed the Russian Imperial Stout, it’s like their Ruddy Ram porter (or wooly jumper as it was known when we went to the tasting night) but with the volume turned up a notch or two.
Fore more info on Black Sheep Russian Imperial Stout check outtheir website, it was limited edition but a few places still have it in stock so if you see it it’s worth a try….I wish I’d bought another bottle to keep for a bit to see how it changes, plus the label is really cool and it looks great on my empties shelf.