A few years ago I was sitting at the bar of the Brass Taps in Toronto, Ontario, when a chap picks up the Great Lakes Brewing News and starts reading from my column to his mate. He finishes reading what follows and then says to his friend, ‘now that is pure poetry’.
From the Great Lakes Brewery of Toronto slides in the Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout with a whacking good read of 11 percent abv. Aged for three months in Kentucky bourbon barrels, this beer, as part of the brewery’s 25th anniversary celebration, pours a polished ebony colour with a creamy, dense chocolate coloured head. While the nose is rather subdued in nature, gently revealing bourbon scents, with wisps of roast and chocolate. On the palate, it comes forward with smooth booze with a roasted malt edge. There is a long boozy led finish with a kiss of roast and chocolate flavourings. This beer has a disturbingly smooth delivery of alcohol. But it is gentle sipper that is ‘black gold’ of a beer kind! There is some cellaring potential if you can dare to wait that long for another tussle with your taste buds!
Originally published in the Great Lakes Brewing News in 2013.