Review: Nonsuch Russian Imperial Stout

It was July or August when one of the peeps over at La Brasserie Nonsuch let me know that they were working on a Russian Imperial Stout. As a self-proclaimed Russian Imperial Stout fan, I was immediately excited to hear about that, it’s typically a solid style that does well.. especially several months later when it’s cold here in Manitoba, it’s possibly the perfect style for the long windy winter nights. I was meaning to review this around three weeks ago but I had a pretty mild case of COVID so I couldn’t review any beers until my health got better. 

The 2021 vintage of their Russian Imperial Stout is aged for four months in Bourbon barrels. This rich, decadent stout features vanilla and oak notes. Enjoy at 8-10C with charcuterie. 9.2% ABV

Well, I don’t have charcuterie but I had some really good wings earlier so good enough? 🤷🏻‍♂️

Appearance: Dark-as-the-night stout, thick, black no noticeable carbonation to it.. almost like a molasses appearance to it. The head has a light-to-moderate thickness of a burnt caramel hue to it, fairly creamy, turns from burnt caramel to a yellowish-beige as it settles.

Aroma: Quite a boozy one. It’s got a moderate Bourbon presence to it - notes of oak, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla, chocolate, peat and a bit of a booziness of Bourbon. It’s nice but it’s not as in your face as I was hoping, it’s mostly faint.. but it’s all there.

Taste: Okay, I take back what I said in my last sentence - it’s BOURBON IN YOUR FACE! It’s incredibly boozy with a heavy taste of Kentucky in every sip. Lots of oak, caramel, vanilla, chocolate and a hint of roasted malt to it. Fairly dry on palate and the aftertaste has a bit of peat, roasted malt and a hint of caramel with a tingling presence that lingers on the tongue for a good couple minutes. Later on when the beer warms up, the Bourbon fades a bit, letting the peat and vanilla to pop out more.

Overall Thoughts: Boozy-tasting Russian Imperial Stout that warms up quite nicely on a cold winter night. A tad creamy, a bit of roastiness to it, good amount of sweetness to it (caramel, chocolate), lots of Bourbon, oak and peat. It’s a tad pricy at $15 per 750mL bottle but definitely worth it, I’m glad they’re still using glass and corked bottles for their high end releases as everything has moved towards cans.. which I like but not for beers like this. 

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