Posts Tagged ‘Russian Imperial Stout’

The age of the domestic beer monopoly in the United States shrinks with each passing day. The beer industry around the world dominates the alcoholic beverage industry, as consumers drink 3,500 bottles of beer for every one glass of wine – that makes 8,000 times more beer consumed by the liter. Annually, consumers worldwide drink 189 billion liters of beer, but only 24 million liters of wine. While drinking habits may peak during certain times of the year such as holidays, the consumption of beverages remains fairly consistent and rarely makes huge changes in consumption from one day to the next. The changing seasons do have a great effect on the types and styles of beers consumed, as more people start to prefer full-bodied beers. While fall should tune the weather down a bit, Southern California remains hot as ever. Tons of pumpkin beers start to surface around this time, and perhaps the people have gotten tired of seeing pumpkin beers everywhere. However, some breweries continue to brew new pumpkin beers, reimagining how we will perceive these fall-style beers. If you still have room for pumpkin beer in your system, read on for five fall beers that I recommend trying this season, all of which you can find at your local bottle shop throughout Southern California.

5. Rogue Ales & Spirits‘ Honey Kolsch

Most businesses start off specializing in one or a few products. During the initial years, the business focuses on getting their products done right while growing the business. Over time, once the business grows larger, that business may consider expanding their product line. If not, they can at least find other ways to expand, such as how In-N-Out keeps adding stores without expanding their product selection. For other businesses, once you have maximized return on your current products, the time comes to start looking into what else to sell, and Rogue has done just just by turning into Rogue Ales & Spirits. No longer just a brewery, Rogue now also carries their own line of spirits. Despite this addition, Rogue still churns out lots of beer, including some of their odd, eccentric brews. For those less inclined to try their odd brews, you can stick with something more familiar, such as their Honey Kolsch. At just 5.0% abv, this German style ale pours a beautiful copper color with rolling sweet honey aromas using Rogue farms hopyard honey and wildflower honey harvested from bees right at Rogue farms. While smooth and refreshing for warmer days, the Kolsch style fits right in with autumn for its defined body. The Honey Kolsch also fits right in with any Oktoberfest party, so enjoy one with some sausages this season.

4. Evil Twin Brewing‘s “Ryan And The Gosling” All-Brett Pale Ale

Sometimes people need to take a step back and understand that famous people have human lives and emotions too. We cannot treat such people as objects, discounting them as some random thing that we can cast aside when we do not feel like dealing with it anymore. As such, we remember such certain famous figures in mysterious ways, although I have no idea why showing one’s genitalia pays homage for remembering someone. Anyways, to idolize someone famous, sometimes an item gets dedicated to that person, something that Evil Twin Brewing does. Originating in Denmark, Evil Twin boasts a huge portfolio of brews, a handful of which bear the face of someone significant. However, none appear as significant as the so-called Ryan And The Gosling. This 4% all-brett pale ale falls under multiple styles, from pale ale to saison to farmhouse ale and more. It pours hazy golden with aromas of yeast and sweet orange. The brew has a bready flavor with hints of orange zest that finishes slightly bitter. The low abv and intense flavors makes this the perfect beverage to share with a loved one, or someone you simply admire.

3. Sound Brewery‘s Mortal Kombat X beers

Intellectual property should remain in its medium. This holds largely true for movies and video games. Historically, movies based on video games have never done well, and video games based on movies have never done well. When one industry tries to cross over into another, it tends to end tragically. In the case of Sound Brewery, they managed to get this done right. Washington’s Sound Brewery actually got the chance to brew a limited edition series of beers to tie in with the video game Mortal Kombat X. This series contains three imperial brews that pair a style to one of the game’s characters: Raiden has a saison, Scorpion has a stout, and Sub-Zero has an IPA. The Scorpion Imperial Stout sits at 8.5% abv and represents heat for Scorpion’s Hellfire abilities. It contains southwest chilies as well as Madagascar vanilla for a cooling and sweet element. The Sub-Zero Imperial IPA also sits at 8.5% abv and represents the cold for Sub-Zero’s cryogenic abilities. It represents a balance of hops and malt, and you can control how much of each you can taste based on the temperature that you drink the brew at. I did not get a chance to taste the Raiden Imperial Saison, but I strongly suggest you try all three from your local bottle shop.

2. Saranac Brewery‘s Pumpkin Ale Growler

To ring in the new season, a new harvest appears right before our eyes. Fall represents a change in local produce, notably in fruits and vegetables. Some key produce includes yams, sweet potatoes, eggplants, corn, and pumpkins. Pumpkin tends to take the most hype out of anything edible, from pumpkin spice lattés to pumpkin pies to pumpkin ravioli to pumpkin beers. Pumpkin beers tend to get a lot of hate in the recent years with people trying to bash it down as a gimmick style. However, when brewed right, pumpkin beers taste phenomenal, something that Saranac Brewery has done right. Out of New York comes Saranac, a brewery that has garnered quite a bit of popularity over on the east coast. Saranac brews many different styles of beers, including their fall seasonal Pumpkin Ale that comes in a 32oz growler jug. This hearty 5.3% abv ale comes with cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and vanilla. It pours boldly with a deep color profile that looks good going down. This Pumpkin Ale pairs well with traditional autumn foods such as poultry and pastries.

1. Alaskan Brewing‘s Perseverance 30th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout

When a business has remained in the industry for decades, it stands as a testament to the fortitude of that business to stick with it for that long, especially a business that remains a local mom & pop business. Truly, to hold onto a business for that long represents the American Dream. An aspiring entrepreneur dreamed of a business long ago, and to this day can rightfully claim the legacy of having raised something from the ground up. Alaskan Brewing has remained in the industry for over three decades with sheer determination and understanding of the market. Sometimes a local legacy proves your worth, and Alaskan Brewing has built a legacy on their own. It all culminates with their 30th anniversary ale, Perseverance Russian Imperial Stout. At only 9.0% abv, this approachable Russian Imperial Stout comes with Alaskan birch syrup to lend a dark yet slightly tart flavor to the malts, while wildflower honey adds sweetness and a floral component. Balanced exquisitely, this brew contains a bold profile without the excess alcohol. Celebrate this season with Perseverance and taste perfection.


When you ask a random person if they drink beer, typically they will answer no, as the majority of the world does not purposely consume beer. But for those that have drank beer, what you do expect they will answer with? Some sort of fizzy yellow beer? Everybody has at least heard of the standard mass-produced beer that costs cheap, lacks flavor, and lacks alcohol content. As a general rule, if you can see through the beer, avoid drinking it. With this said, how can you determine beer worth drinking? One cannot simply look for the alcohol content, as that alone does not govern the preference of a beer. I have tried the (current) world’s strongest beer, and that 41% beer did not taste that good. On the other hand, many beers I have tried from 12% to 27% taste amazing. In order to determine the quality of beer, just like food, you have to look at the entire taste experience, from start to finish. To find a beer that delivers layers of flavor throughout the drink, look no further than Widmer Brothers.

Famously known for their Hefeweizen, Widmer Brothers brews diverse a slew of craft beers out of their Portland brewery. Featuring a beer for every taste imaginable, Widmer clearly shows that they place only one egg in many different baskets. From IPAs to ambers to wheats to stouts, Widmer covers the entire spectrum of ales. Sadly, over 90% of everyone who has heard of Widmer only knows them for their Hefeweizen, which sucks because they make lots of awesome brews. Take their Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout for example. Weighing in at 9.3% abv, this Russian Imperial Stout gets infused with real Raspberries to give it a subtle aftertaste once you get past the strong espresso and chocolate notes expected in most Russian Imperial Stouts. Up front, a blast of dark chocolate and roasted malts hits your taste buds. Moving forward, you being to taste hints of vanilla and a sweet fruit, as the espresso builds up. After the espresso hits you in the nose, the raspberry kicks in as you down your brew. This may surprise many consumers, but this layering of flavors perfectly highlights what craft beers should aim to do with their ingredients. Why drink a beer that always tastes the same? You might as well throw a burger, fries, and a milkshake in a blender. You want to absorb the flavors at intervals, not all at once. Some may criticize the raspberry for only slightly showing up at the end, but think logically about the order of which you receive the flavors. You have may heard of chocolate-covered fruits like raspberries, but do you ever see raspberry-covered chocolates?

I posted a picture of the Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout’s 2012 version above. By now, they have already released a 2013 version on limited release. Luckily they have a beer finder on their website that you can utilize to locate a bottle near you. If you desire a beer with fruit that does not necessarily taste like framboise, seek out a bottle of Widmer Brothers’ Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout while supplies last. Keep the bottle too – it makes a great decorative ornament.

When most people around the world think about beer, they think about a fizzy transparent yellow liquid that men like to drink out of a can. This conception draws from the power of money, that large corporations can continually shell out massive quantities of such a low quality product because of the money thrown into marketing and advertising. When 1% controls 99% of the market, one can afford to dupe the blind customers into consuming any product and believe in the hype. Luckily I see through their foils and seek the producers of quality products. When it comes to beer, I carry high standards and adhere to certain rules, such as not drinking any beer that I can see through. I have no need to worry about the latter when I drink any beer from Hangar 24 Brewery.

What started as a group of friends meeting in an empty hangar for drinks has expanded into a growing legacy of craft beer. Located in Redlands next to the Redlands Municipal Airport (hence the name of the brewery), Hangar 24 Brewery creates some of the finest craft beers on the market today. Hangar 24 features a lineup of amazing and unique beers such as Orange Wheat, their flagship beer. In addition, Hangar 24 deploys seasonal series of beers all year round based on what ties the series of beer together. Hangar 24’s most elusive series, the Barrel Roll series, consists of only barrel-aged beers in small batches made once a year, meaning they tend to sell out fast. I managed to taste their latest Barrel Roll release, the Pugachev’s Cobra. Hangar 24 ages this Russian Imperial Stout in bourbon barrels for at least eight months, resulting in an ABV of 15.8%. This incredibly dark beer smells and tastes like pure candy, so pure that you could taste the alcohol deriving from the candy. The overlaying chocolate flavor encapsulates the vanilla, oak, bourbon, licorice, dark fruits, plum, sweet malt, bourbon, roasted coffee, and maple syrup in every sip. Thanks to the aging process, an unopened bottle of Pugachev’s Cobra bears a long shelf life, and aging it this way actually enhances the flavor by allowing the alcohol to extract from the sugars and syrup, resulting in an ABV greater than the stated 15.8%.

You had better go find a bottle fast. With only 6,000 bottles released on December 8th a few weeks ago, expect to no longer see it for sale anywhere after Christmas. Follow Hangar 24 on Facebook and/or Twitter to find out where you can obtain a bottle of Pugachev’s Cobra locally. If you have the time, head on over to the brewery in Redlands for a great experience, and fill up a growler of any of their amazing beers.