They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Three Imps

It was one of my wishes for 2013 to see (and drink) more Imperial Stouts from UK breweries. It's not even February yet and it seems I've already had three new ones come my way! Hashtag Winning!

The first was a gift passed on to me by brewer Ed. You know Ed... if not, check his good and informative beer blog here. Tsar Top, "...a beer to ruminate over", certainly looks the part. I've only ever had a couple of beers from Old Dairy Brewery and none of them have ever been 10% before. Leigh wrote a good piece recently about some of their other beers here. The first thing that struck me about this beer was the blurb on the bottle: "this export strength Stout undergoes a secondary fermentation with a Brettanomyces yeast isolated from an English Stock Ale in 1910." - That sounded like something I wanted right away! I opened it with a friend (Matt Lovatt) who's well into his Brett and we discovered an absolute gem of a beer.
     It had a really large fruity aroma, blackberries, plum and apple skins ran riot with dark smooth chocolate. It started quite sweet with tiny hints of toffee and honey. Obvious booze warmed the throat while you got flavours of liquorice, slight tobacco and some black treacle. The finish drops away quite quickly but we both agreed this was one of the best things about the beer. It was so packed full of flavour, but the dryness and accessibility of it doesn't destroy your palate and you're left wanting more and more. Thanks to Ed for passing this beer along, I'll look forward to more being available for purchase in about 6 months!

The second Imperial Stout confused me slightly, because I wasn't sure if it was one I'd had before just under a different name... (Impy Stout.....Goo Goo g'joob??) We got Arbor Impy Stout in the shop a couple of weeks back but it didn't take long for James to sell most of them, likening it to De Molen's Hel & Verdoemenis Imperial Stout. It was big on the roasted coffee aromas, very big... quite a bit of dry dark chocolate too with some woody notes. I also thought I possibly got a little hint of sulphur? On initial sips you really notice how thick the body and mouthfeel is, it's truly a bruiser at 11%. Burnt and bitter, a perfect winter warmer. Earthy and nutty, it has a great amount of flavour. The finish is really worth noting. The bitterness just goes on and on, in fact it's quite the opposite of Tsar Top, where Tsar drops away quite quick making you want much more Impy is rather extreme making you wait for the next sip.

Last but no means least is a very new beer to us, in fact it came in the shop today and I heard so much about it I just had to try it tonight! I take an inhale and have to double take... People who want an Espresso usually go to somewhere like Starbucks... they should really come to Beer Ritz. You wanna talk about a beer with coffee in it, you talk about Wild Beer Co's Wildebeest!! I've heard this beer is produced using the finest chocolate available and coffee from Columbia and it certainly shows. At 11% it's another one to respect, but you could probably get that sense from just smelling it. It's an incredible beer for sure. It takes you back to your childhood, when you got desert in a buffet restaurant. You rocked up to the self serve ice cream machine, put some vanilla ice cream in a big bowl and filled the rest up with the chocolate sauce until it was almost overflowing. Now this child has grown up and discovered coffee though, and you've ladled that on top of the bowl too - it's just like that. Decadence in the extreme. Truly stunning, and I'm really not just saying that. It's up there with the best Imperial Stouts I've ever tried, and I only paid £4.99 for this beest. We have another few beers from Wild Beer Co at the shop, and if this is the quality to go by you can bet the rest will be coming up in a blogpost very soon. Get it. Drink it. Trust me

Three new Imps in a month... can't wait to try some more. Keep it up GB!


  1. Great writeups, wild beer co truly ones to watch, both modus and epic saison excellent in my opinion.

    got an impy in the garage to drink sometime soon, thanks for the reminder

  2. Glad you liked the beer Ghostie, the next batch is due to have the Brett added tomorrow. :-)