Elbeck KGB

Reviewed by on April 7, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Elbeck Brews

  • Origin: Edmonton, AB, CA

  • Rated On: April 7, 2017

  • Best Before: nah

  • ABV: 9.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Russian Imperial Stout

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Produced at Two Sergeants, this is the resurrection of the same (?) offering that was made by Alley Kat, for Sherbrooke Liquor Store, via the auspices of homebrewing competition winner Bruce Sample around five years ago or so – ah, to hell with it, let’s just get to the brew(ski), eh?

This 650ml bottle pours a solid black abyss, with the barest of basal amber edges, and three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly light brown head, which leaves some crazy approaching iceberg shelf lace around the glass as it genially subsides.

It smells of bittersweet cocoa powder, bready and doughy caramel malt, subtle cafe-au-lait notes, a bit of black licorice spiciness, and some very plain leafy, weedy, and gently perfumed floral green hop bitters.  The taste is more gritty and grainy dark chocolate, bready and crackery caramel malt, a hint of free-range ashiness, day-old coffee, stale cream, more understated anise edginess, and some consistently meek leafy, earthy, and soused-up floral verdant hoppiness.  The carbonation is adequate in its merely supportive frothiness, the body a dense medium-heavy weight, and sort of smooth, as that big-boy alcohol measure eventually has to have its coming-out party somewhere, yeah?  It finishes off-dry, but not by as much as one might have been expecting – lots of gentlemanly roast and wowee sauce keeping things maniacally tethered.

Overall, this is a very well-rendered version of the style (reminiscent of the original, sure, but that’s a hypothetical comparison for another day), with a certain restraint of reason that I can’t help but appreciate.  Perhaps it’s the lack of barrel treatment to which most of us seemingly have become accustomed to, but I’m very much liking the straight-forward, large and in charge, naked stout character that I’m getting here.

Brady White

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