Brewsters Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Reviewed by on February 3, 2016 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Brewsters Brewing Company

  • Origin: Calgary, AB, CA

  • Rated On: February 3, 2016

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 11.9%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Imperial Stout

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Calgary’s Brewsters has started releasing some of their bigger offerings in the bomber format, including this, their Imperial Stout, aged in somewhat redundant ‘Kentucky Bourbon barrels’.

This 650ml bottle pours a very solid black abyss, with the slightest of dark cola basal highlights, and three healthy fingers of loosely foamy, yet still creamy beige head, which leaves some streaky storm cloud lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells quite prominently of middle shelf Bourbon, blending fairly easily into a dusty medium baker’s chocolate, sassy black fruit, earthy anise, subdued caramel/toffee malt, and a further wooden leafiness. The taste is a more integrated Kentucky whiskey booziness, with the cocoa-swathed caramel malt taking a further centralized stage position, the dark fruit getting muddled in addition to addled, the black licorice notes digging in, and the leafy, earthy hops stubborn in their refusal to be unheard. The bubbles are expectedly understated and underwhelming in their wan frothiness, the body a dense medium-heavy weight, generally smooth, and a tad creamy in that particular Bailey’s Irish Cream sense. It finishes on the sweet side, duh, as the corn liquor soaked oak, chocolate, caramel, and licorice all collude to codify the experience of this offering.

A well-made version of this typically south of the border endeavor – those spent barrels usually traveling far fewer miles to be drenched in Yankee-style strong stout. Overall – tasty, warming, and just, well, big. What’s not to like, especially from a usually more reserved local brewpub standpoint?

Brady White



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