Feb 21, 2012

Brewdog Old World Russian Imperial Stout

Old World Russian Imperial Stout

I’ve had a variety of stouts from Scotland’s Brewdog. From their fairly standard Rip Tide Stout to their monstrously potent and tasty Tokyo to my favorite of the bunch thus far, their BrewDog Paradox Islay (Batch 009). That’s quite a gamut of stout styles, but it’s this more traditional Russian Imperial Stout that’s really won me over.

Old World Russian Imperial Stout is brewed with a mind toward recreating “… beers of years gone by…” Now, I’m not entirely sure how true to the older styles this modern version really is, but what I can say is that it’s one hell of a tasty brew. Weighing in at 8.2% ABV, the beer has a rich, robust character that reflects what I’ve come to love of this genre of stouts.


A rocky, tan head rests atop the dark, dark brown stout. It certainly looks good in a glass.


Roast coffee, dark malts and subtle chocolates come together nicely on the nose. There’s a touch of hops in the mix, but it’s dominated by the otherwise malt-forward nature of the aroma. The higher alcohol is masked quite well.


This is certainly a robust stout. It starts off with dark, roast malt, light sweetness, strong black coffee and distant chocolate flavors before a late forming hop presence arrives in the glowing warmth of the finish. There’s an earthy quality to the beer that gives it — for lack of a better word — an authentic and old (not as in aged, though) feel. The alcohol is in the mix, but only as a warmth in the chest. It doesn’t really affect the flavor any. A full body and slightly viscous mouthfeel are more than appropriate for the style.


Each of the stouts that I’ve had from Brewdog have been different and complete animals of their own devices. Each has had qualities that I have absolutely loved and others not so much. But what I can say about this Old World Russian Imperial Stout that I can’t say about the others, is that I would love to have this one in permanent residence in my house. It’s a great example of the style with an earthy character and great flavor profile.


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