- Style: Russian Imperial Stout (RIS)
- ABV: 9.00%
- Season: Starts showing up in November and lasts most of the Winter season. This is an excellent snowy day sort of beer
- Ease to locate: Relatively easy as long as you live East of the Mississippi River (or in Minnesota. They must be fans of the Cohen Brothers.) Here's a link to their beer finder, dontcha know?
- Color: Black and completely opaque. I've had dark RISes before, but this one seemed like it could suck my soul right into the bottle. Sweet.
- Head: Almost two finger khaki head with oodles of thick lacing sticking to the snifter. And yes, oodles is a technical term.
- Aroma: A heavy nose with dark chocolate, roasted malt, some coffee, bits of caramel and vanilla with a slight hint of alcohol on the very tail
- Mouthfeel: Medium body yet still creamy and slightly carbonated.
- Finish: Long with a tasty almost citrus bitterness on the end. A warmness from the alcohol shows up on the tail as well.
- Food friendly?: RIS is a difficult beer to pair with food. If you absolutely needed to serve it with something, try a grilled medium rare (err on the rare side) hunk of beef. It's basically desert in a glass, but you could also try it with a couple of homemade butter cookies on the side. Personally, I like a mild yet nutty cheese such as Blarney.
Apple Users Link: Here's another thing I should probably remember, but don't. Anyone recall Peter Wolf???? Anyone? Bueller?
Apparently back in the Summer of 2003 there was a massive blackout that affected a good portion of the Eastern half of the US. But not Chicago. So I have absolutely no memory of it beyond a vague feeling that there was a How I Met Your Mother episode devoted to it that Fall (although, it could have been a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy show now that I think about it. I'm almost definitely sure that it wasn't Star Trek: Enterprise. Maybe.) Luckily for us, Cleveland was in the dark. Well, maybe not so lucky for them, but we got a really good beer out it at least. So that's worth almost utter chaos and apocalyptic fever, right? Thank god Facebook wasn't a huge thing then or else people might still be in therapy over the unfortunate day. I don't even like it when I can't get my email to immediately load.
My Blackout Stout was a dark as a moonless night. Black, black and deeper black liquid poured into the snifter (and why yes, that is a 25th Anniversary Great Lakes snifter. Nice huh?) resulting in a completely opaque beer. Almost two fingers worth of khaki foam rose in the glass and took it's RIS sweet time in settling down. Clumps of sticky, thick lace clung to the sides of the snifter. It's been a while since I've seen such gorgeous lacing in any sort of a stout. The nose was a honker too. So looks AND substance? Be still my beating heart (well, not literally. Because then I'd be dead and it's difficult to drink when one has expired. Not impossible though. I am Irish after all.) I could smell the dark, bitter sweet chocolate immediately. Roasted dark malts and coffee were layered under the chocolate with bits of caramel with a little vanilla as well. The taste was similar to the nose, with an abundance of bitter, dark chocolate. To a lesser extent there was roasted malt, a good amount of coffee and chewy dark fruits. There was an underlying sweetness playing around in the mouth too.