May 4, 2018

Evolution Bourbon Barrel Aged Rise Up

I’ve seen Evolution’s Rise Up Russian Imperial Stout on shelves before finally picking up a bottle this past April. Why I never purchased it prior to this review, I can’t tell you. I’m sure that some other colorful label grabbed my short term attention. No longer, however, will I pass up a bottle of this 10% ABV Bourbon barrel aged stout brewed with whole Sumatran coffee beans.

This full-bodied, viscous brew offers up a pile of coffee aromas and flavors as the opaque brew slowly disappears from the glass. The barrel influence isn’t overly strong, but does impart a wonderful touch of latent woodiness and peppery Bourbon notes to accompany a fairly robust array of cocoa, dark coffee and roasty notes. A touch of vanilla and anise linger late in the lightly drying finish. I like that the barrel aging hasn’t overtaken the coffee presence here. It instead compliments everything else going on as the big stout progresses to a glowing warmth across the chest with each sip.

Rise Up is an assertive stout, which both surprised and delighted. I supposed I was expecting something a bit more decadent, but in the end was throughly pleased with the strong, dark coffee notes that dominate this Russian imperial stout. While I though the barrel influence was at a good level for everything going on here, I wouldn’t mind it being bumped up just a hair. Needless to say, I won’t be passing this one up again if I happen to cross paths with it in the future.