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BARREL-AGED IMPERIAL STOUT
The first imperial stouts were brewed for the czars of Russia. Our own bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout absorbs the tannins of Burnt Church Distillery’s bourbon barrels, resulting in huge roasted malt, chocolate mousse, vanilla, and caramel flavors that may leave you feeling like a bit of a king yourself.
Roasted malt, chocolate mousse, vanilla, caramel.
2-row pale malt, Munich, Special B, roasted barley, Carafa II, pale chocolate, dark chocolate, flaked oats, malto-dextrine, dextrose.
Flavors of moderate vanilla, roasted malt, chocolate mousse, and caramel with an aroma of leather and smoke. Strong bourbon carries through the finish, along with some molasses sweetness and medium alcohol. Thick, chewy body, and a sweetness that lingers. A bit of umami in the aftertaste, with bitter hops and alcohol warmth.
Imperial stout gained its title in the late 18th century as a drink originally brewed by Thrale’s Anchor Brewery in London for the Russian imperial court of Czarina Catherine the Great. In 1781, Robert Barclay and John Perkins bought Thrale’s Anchor Brewery, and it was Barclay Perkins’ Russian imperial stout that became the classic example of the style.
Soon, other London brewers became famous for this powerful beer, including Reid of the Griffin Brewery, which offered nothing but stout and porter until 1877, including the XX Imperial, the strongest imperial stout at the time. Russian desire for this beer fueled the British export market.
However, by World War I, most British brewers abandoned the Russian market, and it wasn’t long until Barclay Perkins was the only British brewery left making imperial stouts. With the disruptions of two world wars, Barclay Perkins switch its focus from Russian exports to supplying English pubs with a warming winter stout matured in bottles for at least one year at the brewery. Barclay Perkins eventually extended the maturation; in 1953, it offered an imperial stout with a 1949 vintage.
In the early 1980s, British beer-maker Samuel Smith brewed an imperial stout for export to the United States, which helped inspire American interest in the style. Today, imperial stout is among the most popular strong beer styles among American craft brewers, and the United States now produces more of it than any other country. Imperial stouts tend to be perfect beers to enjoy in front of a winter fire, and they make fine accompaniments to cheeses and desserts. Good examples, if kept well, can age and improve in the bottle for decades.
Oysters, mussels, lobster, crab, scallops, and calamari. Ham, prosciutto, pancetta, and bacon. Hearty beef stews, short ribs, root vegetables, potatoes, and stuffing. Chocolate-based desserts, such as truffles, crème brûlée, raspberry tart, and strawberry tart.
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