Review: Nickel Brook Winey Bastard Imperial Stout (2017)

Nickel Brook Winey Bastard Imperial Stout (2017)I've been waiting for a good time to review this, but the present is better than never! A few years back my parents were in Winnipeg for a weekend and picked me up a couple nice treats over at Quality Beer Store, Nickel Brook's Winey Bastard Imperial Stout. I was a huge fan of their Kentucky Bastard Stout, to the point that it's still one of the best Imperial Stouts I ever had in my life. I believe you can find the 2019 editions of Kentucky Bastard and Winey Bastard at Quality Beer Store, so check them out! As for today, I'm checking out the 2017 edition of Winey Bastard.

From the label: Can you believe Nickel Brook took some of the best Pinot Noir barrels from the Niagara wine region and tossed their bastard of a beer in it? I mean, what have they done to the soft oak and subtle, earthy fruit notes from the barrel?! Their Imperial Stout has WAY too much chocolate, coffee and dark fruit flavours for the delicate notes imparted by the barrel-aging process. I don't know what they think they're doing. So what if it's delicious - Winey Bastard! Drink it today, or cellar it to enjoy later as it matures. À votre santé! 11% ABV

Appearance: Heavy black stout with a finger and a half's worth of brownish/burnt caramel head. As the beer diminishes, there's a couple bubbles sticking to the glass, close to no lacing.

Aroma: Sweet, boozy and lots of wine. It has a very liberal amount of red wine popping out to give it good amount of sweetness, grape juice, raisins, dark fruits and oak. Good amount of red wine vinegar presence to give it a sourness. Notes of roasted malt to give it a light coffee-like aroma to it, a bit of dark chocolate, a tad of nuttiness, and a bit of caramel to it. Very aromatic.

Taste: Winey Bastard is the perfect name for this beer, it has a heavy amount of red wine to give it notes of grape juice, vinegar and oak, quite sweet! There's a bit of caramel in this stout, a moderate amount of roasted malt, dark chocolate. Quite boozy but no surprise with it being 11%! For some reason I expected a Bourbon/Whisky forward booziness but this is all about the Niagara-region Pinot Noir! Fairly silky for mouthfeel with a red grape aftertaste at the end. Slight boozy burn at the end.

Overall Thoughts: I've had wine connoisseur friends tell me that wine will always be better than wine, but I feel like if they tried this, they would certainly agree that wine and beer can easily compliment each other. There's a lot of notes of wine in this beer but also beer, notes that compliment each other a lot, so both beer and wine connoisseurs would agree that this is an amazing tasting beverage! Most aged Imperial Stouts I've ever had have a Whisky/Bourbon forward presence to it but this one has none of it, it's quite different and very sweet. I'm glad I have this entire bottle to myself, I have zero desire to share this masterpiece!

https://nickelbrook.com/winey-bastardo

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