Sunday, 1 April 2012

#IMPOFF Reviews

Good evening all. Yesterday was #IMPOFF, a blogging/Twitter event in recognition of the imperial stout beer style. I won't go into the specifics of the event (they can be found here: but I managed to pick two choices that weren't even featured in the recommended list of stouts, despite having one of them in the cellar. I ended up having two imperial stouts, and have chosen to review them both in one post. The first was Hel & Verdoemenis Wild Turkey B.A., an Imperial Stout barrel-aged in Wild Turkey bourbon barrels from Brouwerij De Molen. Review after the pic....

Hel & Verdoemenis Wild Turkey B.A. (13.0% ABV) pours a dark black colour with no head formed during or after pouring. There's an alcoholic "halo" around the inside of the glass from the bourbon, good looking stuff! The aroma is fairly boozy, with sweet dark fruits (raisins), candy sugar and licorice. The bourbon is very noticeable but it's not too hard to delve beyond the initial burst of alcohol to reveal the stout aromas. The flavour is composed of yeast extract, bourbon, dark fruits, a hint of coffee, some chocolate and  a candy sugar sweetness, with a creamy aftertaste to the finish but no discernible bitterness. The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin- the bourbon seems to vaporise during drinking which diminishes the mouthfeel- and there is virtually no carbonation present. Overall, a very impressive imperial stout that packs a lot of dark fruit and roasted malt flavours, with the barrel-ageing providing a good alcoholic kick without being too imposing. I'd definitely get this again, despite the slightly high price for such a small serving. 

The next stout was Jahva from Southern Tier Brewing Company, an Imperial Stout brewed with coffee. Based on my last experience with a Southern Tier stout (Creme Brulee) I was expecting good things. Review after the pic....

Jahva (10.6% ABV) pours a dark black colour with an off-white head that settles to a thin halo around the inside of the glass. The aroma is incredibly subtle, with roasted malt, coffee, blackcurrants, a hint of tobacco and a light sweetness. If I had a blindfold on, I could probably mistake this for a milk stout, it's that subdued. The taste is composed of yeast extract, lactose sugar, dark fruits, chocolate and some piquancy from the coffee, with a light bitterness in the finish and a candy floss sweetness to the aftertaste. Most of the flavour comes out in the finish or the aftertaste as opposed to during drinking, which is nice to some extent but somehow unfulfilling. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with moderate carbonation. Overall, a decent imperial stout that is very drinkable but not as impressive or assertive as I was hoping. The flavours and aromas are very subdued, which left me quite disappointed. I might get this beer again to see if I was just unlucky, or if what I experienced is indicative of this particular offering. 

Until next time....


  1. I really enjoyed mine, there was a fair amount of vanilla but the coffee came across strong too. It is kinda an imperial milk stout!

  2. Good to hear, I'll have to give it another try when I can then!