Grande Noirceur – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel!

Stout Impériale Russe, 9%, de Montréal, Québec.

Imperial Russian Stout, 9%, from Montréal, Québec.
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5 = 4.08/5

Aged around 8 months: Opaque black. Creamy brown 3-4 finger head, lasting around 10-15 minutes, with strong lacing but not much legs nor swirl effect. Flavors of dark grains, walnuts, wood, raisins, plums, coffee, cocoa, toffee, vanilla, and herbal hops. Silky light creamy medium body with a light crisp. Strong strength finish, impressive barrel aging effect, with some rauch style smoked hops. A bit leathery with a moderate earthy feel, some brown sugar and cinnamon. Lightly sour from the aging process although manageable. The smell is highly alcoholic but hidden in the mouthfeel, though a highly warming brew that is not overly dry nor lacking much freshness. Rich and densely flavorful, superb balance and intensity, deep complexity although shy in the smell department. Makes a really nice appetizer, yet easy to drink in big quantities. Overall superb quality craft.

Stout Impérial Russe (Rum Cognac) – Frampton Brasse

Stout Impériale Russe, 10.5%, de Frampton, Québec.

Russian Imperial Stout, 10.5%, from Frampton, Québec.
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25 = 3.22/5

Aged around 6 months : Opaque black. Thick creamy brown 3-4 finger sparkling head and floating yeast, lasting around 10 minutes, with light legs and swirl reaction, but a strong lacing. Flavors of raisins, dark berries, chocolate, coffee, black liquorice, vanilla, smoked dark grains and herbal hops. Slick and oily medium body with light crisp. Medium to strong strength finish, dominant smoked grains similar to bacon, lightly earthy feel, slightly vinous, dry and minty. A bit sour with diacetyl from the aging session, still bearable but didn’t age as expected. Lack balance and proper « Russian barrel » sensation, more like a dry stout. Although the alcohol is well hidden, so it’s at least pleasantly warming. Overall decent quality craft.

Rang 10 – Microbrasserie Du Lac-Saint-Jean

Stout Impériale Russe, 9.5%, de Saint-Gédéon, Québec.

Russian Imperial Stout, 9.5%, from Saint-Gédéon, Québec.
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5 = 3.52/5

Aged around 8 months : Opaque black. Thick creamy and frothy brown 3-4 finger head, lasting around 15 minutes, with serious legs and lacing, good swirl reaction. Flavors of raisins, plums, coffee, cocoa, molasses, liquorice, vanilla, walnuts, clove, dark grains and herbal hops. Slightly creamy and silky medium body with a light crisp. Extra strong strength finish, chalky and deeply earthy, almost leathery, lightly sour from the aged feel that makes it more powerful. Extremely tongue coating, highly fruity, rich black coffee and barrel aged feel. A little unbalanced there, quite bold, yet it feels somewhat proper to the style. I don’t recommend cellaring this one, makes it overly acidic and alcoholic. Intensely rich and robust, highly warming in bad weather. Good appetizer qualities. Overall good quality craft.

No. 13 Tennessee Imperial Porter – Microbrasserie Pit Caribou

Porter Impérial, 10%, de l’Anse-à-beaufils, Québec.

Imperial Porter, 10%, from Anse-à-beaufils, Québec.
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2 = 2.55/5

Aged around 6 months : Dark brown/dark red, almost black and opaque. Creamy brown 3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with good legs and a decent swirl effect. Flavors of chocolate, coffee, sour dark fruits, toffee, molasses, dark grains and herbal hops. Oily medium body with sharp crisp carbonation. Super strong finish, acidic and quite sour, not sure if it aged well, probably not cause it’s hitting the throat like vinegar. Balsamic vinegar feel, very dry and wine like, really unbalanced. Notes of barrel, prunes and plums, with some whiskey. Down the drain, undrinkable like a powerful flanders red, also too alcoholic. Did not react well the the cellar, can’t tell how good it is when fresh. Until then nice try but overall bad quality craft.

Propeller Revolution – Propeller Brewery

Stout Impériale Russe, 8%, de Halifax, Nouvelle-Écosse.

Imperial Russian Stout, 8%, from Halifax, Nova Scotia.
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25 = 4.03/5

6 months old bottle : Almost opaque very dark brown color with a copper hue. Creamy brown 2 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with decent legs. Flavors of plums, dark berries, orange peels, coffee beans, toffee, vanilla, liquorice, clove, peppercorn, walnuts, oak and smoke, dark roasted malts with leafy herbal hops. Slick and creamy full body with light crispy carbonation. Very strong finish, dry and slightly vinous, thick resinous feel on the tongue that last for a moment, although very well balanced and still enjoyable. Deeply sweet and earthy, while highly acidic. So it’s a pretty good solid interpretation, highly spicy as it should, still with an inch of remaining freshness that makes it more drinkable. Densely malty and fruity similar to a barleywine, while smokey and coarse like a Baltic Porter. Very tasty with a comforting warmth. Lots of character and refinement. Overall excellent quality craft.