Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Stout - and why you should give it a go or Thornbridge St Petersburg Imperial Russian Stout

Let's get on with talking about this beer.  No pissing about here.

As you'll have seen in the bio, Stout isn't my favourite style of beer.  Recently though, I've started appreciating some of the darker arts involved in the process, with some black lager rom a local microbrewery/pub and a wicked black IPA from Buxton.  So I picked up a couple of these when I did my ales by mail shop.  One admittedly was for the wife who is a confirmed stout fan, but as I'm such a fan of their other beers, I thought I should give it a go.

So what do you get?

Well, as always, it's a nice looking bottle and a lovely label - but you didn't really want to know about that did you?

Cracking it open doesn't reveal much, a wisp of smoke and you're done.  Not much doing in terms of smelling the bottle either, so on to the next stage.

When you pour it, it pours, for want of a better word, smoothly.  The picture shows you what happened once I'd finished pouring.  I'm not an aggressive pourer of beer, but it did require me to stop for a moment and take stock of the situation, I spent the few seconds waiting time checking the fridge for likely snacks, you may wish to do the same.

It didn't give away much on the nose either, despite the lovely off white creamy head.

So, first impressions?  It was smooth in my mouth.  Then it wasn't, the bubbles, miniscule though they are, were slowly working their way through the ever so slightly viscous texture and moving the flavours around my mouth.

So what were the flavours?  I picked up some chocolate in there, lovely bitter dark chocolate, some mild hoppiness which was surprising but welcome to a non-stout person like me and then at the end, some lovely coffee, but not an overpowering lasting on the palate forever kind of coffee like some stouts, just some residual decent ground coffee, enough to give you that bitter hit.  I didn't catch much of the peat - but I've been smelling Jura whiskey all over xmas, so I'm a bit spoilt in that sense.

At 7.7% abv, it's a bit of a beast, but it's definitely a beer to savour, I'm savouring it right now in fact.

This beer has opened the door to stout for me, no longer will I worry about the memory of trying the last dregs of a warm can of Mackesons my mum used in her christmas cake.  This has really opened my eyes, and my mouth.

I think the moral of this post is the old, old story, 'try this beer'.  You really won't regret shelling out for it.


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