Review: Beau's The Bottle Imp Imperial Coffee Stout


Thanks Jack for bringing this for me to try! When Jack emailed me a few weeks ago that he was going to bring me a bottle of Beau's The Bottle Imp, I immediately thought "you've already gotten me to try this beer before!" Well, I knew I had tried it before just from seeing the name of the beer. It turns out the reason why the beer was incredibly familiar to me was because it was one of the very first Beau's products I ever tried. The first time I ever had Beau's Bottle Imp was at Blackstrap BBQ in Verdun, Quebec (Montréal) back in 2014.

Blackstrap BBQ is easily one of my favourite restaurants to go to while in Montréal because their southern-style barbecue beats out every single BBQ joint in Manitoba. I asked the staff what beer would pair well with brisket, they all suggested Bottle Imp because the flavours just compliment each other so well.. that and Beau's just entered the province only a few months earlier. The pairing of brisket and Bottle Imp was absolutely perfect, the coffee notes complimented the rich beefiness of the brisket. I didn't realize that the beer was 9.0% ABV... so I had a hint of a buzz by the time I left, eep! Aside from yesterday, this is the first time since 2014 trying this beer, so I wish I had some brisket or ribs in front of me.. but I'll be fine with the beer on its own.

Appearance: Rich, heavy, black-as-the-night stout with a hint of a cola hue. The head starts out with a thick, frothy, burnt caramel look, diminishes to a moderate yellowish-beige look at the end.

Aroma: I'm getting rich roasted coffee notes with a bit of dark chocolate, a hint of cream, black licorice, and a hint of caramel. More bitter than sweet for the most part... which I like.

Taste: The aroma is essentially what I'm tasting! This starts off with a hefty dose of coffee, notes of dark chocolate, a hint of an earthy peaty presence, a light amount of caramel, and surprisingly a hint of smoke popping up at the very end. Creamy mouthfeel, bitter aftertaste.

Overall Thoughts: The biggest shocker is that this is 9%! While it's quite roasty, this stout is incredibly easy to drink, no boozy presence in the flavour or in any burning sensation. Stouts and winter time go well so easily. Rich, roasty, a bit earthy, and somewhat sweet - absolutely delicious stout!

PS: Aside from Blackstrap BBQ, if you're ever looking for great food while in Montreal: Chez Claudette has some of the best poutine in the province, Burger Royal has easily some of the best burgers I've ever had in my life plus their owner was telling me he's wanting to get craft beer (esp. Beau's) in stock eventually, and for delicious fried chicken and southern cooking, check out Dinette Triple Crown before you head to Vices & Versa! Oh, don't forget Schwartz's (or The Main if you don't want to wait in line) as well.. that's always a given!

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