Olds College Babrewska

Reviewed by on November 18, 2017 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Olds College Teaching Brewery

  • Origin: Olds, AB, CA

  • Rated On: November 18, 2017

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 9.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Russian Imperial Stout

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

A bourbon barrel aged (via Rig Hand Distillery in Nisku, AB) Russian Imperial Stout, created by something called the ‘Saaz Club’ at Olds College.

This 650ml, soft black wax sealed (never a pleasure) bottle eventually pours a solid black abyss, with the scantest of red cola basal edges, and one skinny-ass finger of weakly puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly brown head, which leaves some low-horizon island profile lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of lightly roasted, bready and doughy caramel malt, a lesser biscuity toffee thing, bittersweet cocoa powder, black licorice root, subtle bourbon notes (vanilla, wet wood, and astringent rye grain), and some plain leafy, weedy, and gently perfumed floral green hop bitters.  The taste is gritty and grainy caramel malt, rich toffee squares, medium-dark chocolate, still understated Kentucky (or a decent simulacrum) whiskey essences – essentially the same from the aroma – mild anise spice, and more weak leafy, herbal, and still ephemerally sauced-up floral verdant hoppiness.  The carbonation is fairly sanguine in its lackadaisical frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and generally smooth, with perhaps a touch of alcohol warming messing with the notion of perfection here.  It finishes off-dry, the cocoa, caramel, and roasted character lingering most prominently.

Overall – this is a rather impressive version of the base style, even if the additional barrel notes seem wan in comparison to the norm.  Big, brash, yet also silken in its presentation, which is not a surprise to me for this burgeoning education-based brewing concern.  And anything called the ‘Saaz Club’ surely has my backing.

Brady White

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