Profiled by Ken Carman for professorgoodales.net
Laughing Dog Brewery, Idaho.
Here’s the problem: this is everything a Russain Imperial should be, especially one fermented in bourbon barrels, however I think the barrels took over and made it alcohol hot. If I judged it in competition I would have to rate it well, but tell the brewer not to leave it in so long. Instead of adding that extra abv-like push and a hint of bourbon sweet, we got defect-like alcoholic hot. It dominates what’s otherwise obviously a grand RIS.
I don’t get all the fruit that everyone else gets. To my palate what most folks claim is “fruit” is usually malt, or hops or yeast. and the similarity is forced: at best. Plus claiming such does an injustice to beers that actually have fruit, and chocolate and all these interesting additives to them. I think it’s a carryover from wine snobs who review their fav quaffs, a “carry over” we don’t need.
Pours with a nice big head that fades fast. Thank God: there was so much head in my wife’s glass it was hard to get at the beer.
The mouthfeel is full and a bit slick: what one might expect from so much malt and a bourbon barrel sense. The vicosity on this has to be high, making me wonder what the OG, and the FG was on this. There’s a deep, dark, complex malt sense, as one would expect from the more extreme Russians.
Thick, black as hell, nice head. You would think, considering my love of the style, I’d be in heaven. But there’s still that harsh, hot, alcohol sense that ruins it, somewhat. Both in taste and the mouthfeel. Aroma is a little let on the hot and very promising. sadly: doth not live up to that “promise.”
Welcome to the new PGA rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.” This beer was rated…