Review: Fargo None More Black Russian Imperial Stout

It's crazy how time flies by - I remember the very first brewery from North Dakota I ever tried was Fargo's Fargo Brewing back in the late 2000s/early 2010s. For many years, I felt that Fargo would likely be the only brewery to ever exist in the state, but then.. wham! The craft beer industry exploded, even before Winnipeg, a city that has roughly the same population as the entire state! 

Back in the summer I was in Minot and my awesome friend Amanda drove from Bismarck just to hang out and sample beers together, she also had a box full of beers for me to try, predominantly North Dakotan but also beers that I mentioned I'd love to try. She dropped off a can of Fargo's None More Black Russian Imperial Stout, a stout that tops out a whopping 9.9% and in a 355mL can! I'm not sure which year this is, but likely a 2017 just by judging the label/cans used in 2018 and 2019 but when I scan on Untappd it takes me to 2016 edition.

I picked this out of my hoard the other day and had no idea to expect a Russian Imperial Stout... and I'm someone who loooooves Russian Imperial Stouts, so I'm absolutely excited to try this, especially as the third wave of winter hit my neck of the woods yesterday.

Appearance: Pours a very dark cola black body with a bit of a black cherry hue near the bottom of the glass. The head is fairly light and minimal with a yellowish hue to it. As the beer warms up a bit, there's only a small amount of bubbles that are mostly near the side of the glass.

Aroma: This RIS smells sweet with notes of toffee, a bit of a boozy burn, cocoa nibs/cocoa, hint of coffee from the roasted malt, hint of vanilla and a bit of a hint of a red wine-like presence.. perhaps it's barrel aged? It's not oaky so I'm not sure. 

Taste: Surprisingly smooth for a Russian Imperial Stout, though it is definitely boozy with giving off a bit of a Brandy-like presence to it. Decently caramelly, a hint of nuttiness, mild notes of coffee, cocoa nibs, vanilla and a bit of peat at the end. The mouthfeel is a fairly smooth and sweet, while the aftertaste is a bit boozy and notes of cocoa nibs.

Overall Thoughts: This RIS is actually quite a bit smoother than I ever experienced but as I finish this review up I definitely feel the 9.9% hitting me hard. I do wish this had a bit more of a roasted malt flavour to it but considering it's winter weather again on the prairies, this hits the spot and more!

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