St. Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe

Beer:  St. Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe
Brewery: McAuslan Brewing
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.2%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Wine glass
Drinking Establishment: Ally’s Apartment
Primary Consumer: Ally

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Looks like a well-made shot of espresso.  Pitch black and completely opaque.  A thick, deep chestnut-brown head, about 2 fingers worth, that settles to a thin layer of bubbles, big and small.  Nice lacing.

Scent: Roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, and chocolate, all in perfect unison.  A slight note of alcohol.

Flavor:  Bitter hops are the predominant flavor, but the coffee and bittersweet chocolate notes help balance it.

Feel:  Smooth, full-bodied, with moderate carbonation.  A bit of a lingering tingle from the hops, but this fades as the beer rests.

St. Ambroise, from Canadian microbrewery McAuslan, is like Québec’s version of Brooklyn Brewery; and just like Brooklyn, they have some stand-out beers–the Stout Impériale Russe among them.  This Special Reserve brew is nice and bold, like a Russian Imperial Stout should be, and the flavors are well-balanced–not too bitter, not too sweet.  I wish I had the patience to age it, because I’m sure it would bump it up to 5 Pint Glass status; and I wish I lived in Canada so I could drink it more regularly.

Concluding remarks: No need to fly to Russia to find a great Imperial Stout; just drive on up to Montréal.  Za vashe zdorovye!  Santé!  Cheers!

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