Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The New Sam Adams Imperial Stout

Here is my first taste of something from Sam Adams' new Imperial Series, which includes an Imperial White, Double Bock, and what I have here- an Imperial Stout. Sam Adams describes the beer as having 7 different malts but not being a pure "malt bomb." Nope, this sucker has 50 IBU's of EKG hops added to balance it out and even give it a nice stiff bitterness. While it's certainly not the most by-the-numbers-bitter Imperial Stout I've had (many craft examples hit the 80's or 90's), we'll see if it balances out its big maltiness.

As I dive into this 316 calorie (gotta love the amount of info Sam Adams gives on their beers) and 9.2% ABV beer, I notice right off the bat the maltiness and the roastiness of this beer. The smell is pretty potent. That's a good sign. The body is dark- black, and the head is brown (actually darker than the picture indicates) very densly packed bubbles that sit on top the liquid for quite some time. This beer really reminds me of The Abyss by the way it looks. The smell is a bit roasty, but not over the top like a Speedway Stout that just explodes with a roasted coffee smell. There is caramel and molasses in there as well, and as it warms up I get a little of something fruity. The taste is interesting- the roastiness is held relatively low and other smoother dark malt flavors come out, giving it similarities to the malt profile you may experience in a Belgian dark ale. Still, it's an imperial stout and there's no mistaking that. A lingering bitterness is left on the tongue after the sip. This is a good beer. It's not over the top in any one direction but it's as solid as they come. One interesting thing is as I make my way through the glass I really start detecting no bitterness and it rolls through like a very low bitterness chocolate porter or something. I don't know if that's just how it is when it warms up for if you just build tolerance for the bitterness. That hasn't really happened to me with any other stout. It's easy to drink fast at first and you'll notice the alcohol hit you. Final score: 4.25/5


BeerGuy said...

Its not winter anymore, malt bombs are sooooo February.

Steve said...

you know as much as anyone I've been drinkin IPAs all through the "winter." Maybe my seasonal beer perception is inverted.

Kevin said...

someone is bitter.