Friday, December 23, 2011

Beer Review: Candy Cane Bourbon Russian Imperial Stout

Reviewing the Candy Cane Bourbon Russian Imperial Stout from Goose Island Brewing Company.
Score: 95

Fresh tap pour at the Goose Island Clybourn Brewpub served in a 12 oz snifter glass. 9% ABV

Appearance: Thick, get black body. 100% opaque -- no light cuts through this one. Pours with no head other than a thin tan ring around the glass (see image to the right). Average lacing. 4/5

Smell: Light bourbon and molasses. Maybe a little maple. Some sweet figs. A little brown sugar and vanilla. Light booziness too. Not detecting lots of peppermint in the nose, but I'm enjoying what I smell. 4/5

Taste: Wow. This is very smooth and complex. Peppermint, dark unsweetened chocolate and bourbon without the alcohol bite hit up front. Some sweet tobacco too. Peppermint candy spice kick really "pops" on the mid-palate like a pop rocks candy (only much more subtle). Mellow bourbon, light marshmallow and fig finish. Increasing molasses sweetness on the mid-palate as the beer layers. This one rivals King Henry in terms of flavor. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and perfectly carbonated. Really viscous and palate-coating with robust flavor. Finishes sweet. 4.5/5

Overall: An absolute must try Russian Imperial Stout with a peppermint twist. This beer is part of Goose Island's toy drive special release series for the holidays and is only available at the Goose Island Clybourn Brewpub while supplies last. Well worth $9. I really wish they bottled this one (or at the very least, would let me take home a growler of it).

Recommendation: Beer geeks absolutely must seek this beer out before the tap runs dry. Casual beer drinkers should enjoy this one too.

Pairings: Warm chocolate cake.

Cost: $9 for a 10 oz pour.

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