Limited Release / Rarity – Imperial Stout, 10% ABV, 85 IBU, 22 oz bomber
Rhinegeist Brewing Co., Cincinnati, OH
By Bill Lau
Posted February 10, 2015
This was one of those serendipitous finds; I hadn’t been looking for it or even aware of its existence in late December when I came across it at the store, but I had been thinking about imperial stouts, what with it being a week or so officially into winter at the time. This is the time of year that I tend to go for the big stouts to sip and enjoy in front of the fireplace. Now, Rhinegeist brews a lot of sessionable beers, so this truly is a bit of a rarity at 10% ABV. Needless to say, Ink found a spot to ride shotgun on the way home.
Served in a 10 oz Rhinegeist snifter, appropriately enough.
Appearance (4/5): Opaque black body (like black ink!) capped with a head of tan foam that gradually settles and fades until only a collar and thin central island remain.
Aroma (9/10): Roasty with notes of rich espresso and dark cocoa. Some dark, baked fruit in the background (Boston brown bread with raisins). Alcohol note evident.
Palate (5/5): Very fine, tingly carbonation up front, followed by a moderately-full body with velvety texture. Possesses some viscosity without seeming heavy. Smooth. Very nice.
Taste (9/10): Opens with dark malts with an initial light sweetness, joined by a gentle roastiness with coffee and some cocoa, and then a slowly building bitterness leading into more roast and cocoa. Subtle notes of baked raisins, burnt currant, and a hint of molasses float behind (again, reminiscent of Boston brown bread), with a touch of a tangy bittersweetness.
Overall (18/20): Balanced interpretation of the style. Nothing quite like a good imperial stout at this time of year!