Dec 22, 2016

Stone Brewing Give Me Stout or Give Me Death

Give Me Stout or Give Me Death is the first special release from Stone Brewing’s Richmond, VA location. It was developed in conjunction with Hardwood Park Craft Brewery and Ardent Craft Ales — both located in Richmond, as well — as a tribute to the California’s expansion to the east coast. The 9.5% ABV imperial stout was brewed with locally sourced raspberries and blackberries as well as Belma hops.

The press material that accompanied this bottle describe it as bold and assertive — it certainly is that. Give Me Stout or Give Me Death has a strong roasted malt character which carries a bit of an acrid char at the edges. It’s not quite in the Rauchbier range by any means, but it’s enough to distract from the berries that linger in the background with hints of cocoa. Toss in a solid helping of hop bitterness and the big, full-bodied stout gets even more in-your-face with its assertive nature before finishing fairly dryly.

Stone, Hardywood and Ardent have crafted a beer that isn’t for everyone. It’s a big, heavily roasted stout that takes some time to get accustomed to and also one that allows that roast to dominate, burying the fruitiness of the berries in the background. Once the beer has had a chance to warm in the glass, everything starts to come out some more from the dark depths, but you’ve got to work some to get to that point. If you’re up for a bit stout and want to challenge your tastebuds some, then Give Me Stout or Give Me Death is your beer.

This is a review of a promotional sample.