Friday, 13 January 2012

Itchen Valley Brewery Russian Winter

Good evening all. It's time for another beer this evening, as I'm trying to clear some space in my cellar for some beers I'll be bringing back from Utobeer Ltd tomorrow. One of my resolutions for 2012 is to drink more Belgian beer, as I don't like the fact that I can only just count the number of true Belgians I've had in the past on both hands, so hopefully I'll be able to pick up some interesting ones tomorrow. Back to tonight though, and a beer from Hampshire that I received from my sister for Christmas (in addition to a number of other beers from Hampshire and the surrounding areas). This is Russian Winter from Itchen Valley Brewery. Review after the pic....

Russian Winter (5.3% ABV) is billed as an Imperial Russian Stout although, judging by the ABV percentage, I don't think it would get to the Tsars in a drinkable condition! Regardless, I'm looking forward to having something dark and complex after my steak dinner, so I'll let semantics fall by the wayside. The beer pours a rich black colour with a thick beige head that settles to a patchy covering over the surface of the beer. The aroma is predominantly roasted malt accompanied by a light coffee quality and a subtle sweetness in the background. Nice, but definitely doesn't knock you back! The taste is malty, with more coffee flavours coming through and a very slight bite in the finish. Very reminiscent of a latte or, in beer terms, a milk stout. The mouthfeel is light with low carbonation. If I was assessing the beer on the grounds of it being an Imperial Russian Stout, it wouldn't qualify at all as the flavours are far too subdued and the alcohol content is too low. As a stout though, it is very good. It's well-balanced, creamy and very drinkable- definitely a good after-dinner drink. Based on this offering, I'd definitely like to try more beers from Itchen Valley Brewery, even if they might be advertised as 4% double IPAs.

Until next time....

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