Icarus Vlad To Be Here

Tonight’s beer is one from Lakewood, New Jersey. I once went for a job interview in Lakewood. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 14.5%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Jason has wanted to own and operate his own brewery since 2008. In order to turn his dream into a reality, Jason earned his degree in Food Science, specializing in Food Fermentation from The Ohio State University. He then took this further training in Brewlab at the University of Sunderland, training under staff from Heineken and Newcastle, and earning his Diploma in British Brewing Technology. In addition to this academic training, Jason learned from multiple breweries across Sunderland and Newcastle, learning the intricacies of multiple brewing operations and greatly expanding his practical brewing knowledge. Jason supplemented his training with a General Certification of brewing in cask ale from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Subsequently, Jason spent 2 years managing Rinn Duin, a 25 BBL startup brewery in New Jersey. During his time at Rinn Duin Jason earned awards for multiple recipes he formulated and produced including awards from New Jersey Star Ledger, and recognition from Beer Advocate. Most recently, Jason was the Distiller and Head Brewer at Van Brunt Stillhouse in Red Hook, NY. He plans on using the knowledge gained from creating whiskies, rum, and grappa toward a large rotation of barreled beers.”

Random: We went to a distillery in Philly and I really enjoyed it. I may start getting into spirits more.

This beer poured with a two finger, light brown head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a deep black color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with roasted malts, coffee and black licorice. The taste was also filled with dark chocolate and roasted malts. There was some smoke as well. I didn’t pick up any of the licorice in the taste. The alcohol was present, but not overwhelming. It had a thick and chewy body with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with dark chocolate. This was an outstanding beer that I would definitely have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

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Oskar Blues Ten Fidy – Bourbon Barrel Aged

We had a few friends over for New Year’s Eve (luckily, early in the night, since I was so exhausted from work that I didn’t make it until midnight). One of them is really into craft beer, so I opened this to split with him. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 12.9%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Aged through four seasons and from a blend of the top Bourbons around, this Ten Fidy has morphed into a monster of cranked up flavor. Espresso, burnt sugar, rich chocolate, caramel notes are now driving alongside the vanilla, oak, bourbon from the barrel and been smoothed out during maturation. Even at 12.9% (75 IBUs) it is cool and drinkable, letting each sip add more and more complexity.”

Random: This can was a very odd shape.

This beer poured with a one finger, light brown head. It dissipated quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation. The nose was filled with roasted malts, bourbon and burnt brown sugar and a nice espresso. The booze wasn’t apparent on the nose. The taste was really complex. It started with the expected roasted malts and dark chocolate. It went into bourbon, vanilla, molasses and some caramel. The booze made an appearance at the back of the throat. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with bourbon. I enjoyed this beer a lot, although it would have been rough to kill the can by myself.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout

Happy New Year’s Eve! Val and I try to do something low-key every year. Staying off the roads and in pajamas is usually right up my alley. The first year that we were dating, we spent New Year’s in DC, which was great, but now that we have the house, it’s nice to just hang out and watch tv at home with family and friends. Anyways, stay safe tonight!

ABV: 10.2%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A malt-forward monster, highlighting the depths of malt flavor. Narwhal Imperial Stout is inspired by the mysterious creature that thrives in the deepest fathoms of the frigid Arctic Ocean. Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke, Narwhal is a massive malt-forward monster. Aggressive but refined with a velvety smooth body and decadent finish, Narwhal will age in the bottle for years to come.”

Random: I’m really digging Sierra Nevada’s rebranding.

The beer poured with a one finger, tan head. It took awhile to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with dark chocolate and roasted malts. There was a scent of alcohol as well. The taste was much of the same. I picked up some cocoa and dark chocolate. There was roasted malts and a very strong alcohol note. The body was thick and chewy with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with booze and cocoa. A twelve-ounce bottle of this was $2.38, which came to $.20 per ounce. I thought I was going to love this beer, but the booze took over everything.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Yards Russian Imperial Stout

Before the wedding, Val and I spent a lot of time in Philly going to a jewelry store to get our engagement rings and later, wedding bands made. They screwed my band up, so I ended up having to get it remade and had to pick it up days before the wedding (not stressful at all). One day on the way home, we passed the new Yards taproom and Val stopped so we could try a few beers.

ABV: 8.2%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “You don’t have to go far to get away this summer. Our new taproom and brewery at 5th and Spring Garden Streets offers 20 taps of fresh, quality Yards ales and a full beer-friendly dining menu crafted by Chef Jim Burke. Get together with some friends and have a beer and a bite to eat outside in the shade of our towering steel brewing tanks. While you’re here, go on a tour to see for yourself how Yards beers are brewed, bottled, canned, and kegged for the good people of Philadelphia and beyond.”

Random: There’s no information about this beer on the brewery website because it’s a brewery only release.

The beer poured with a finger and a half of tan head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the tulip glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with dark chocolate, licorice and booze. The taste had slightly more depth. It started with dark chocolate and espresso. It transitioned into burnt malts, licorice and leather. The booze wasn’t as apparent on the taste as it was the nose. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with dark chocolate. I thought this was a good interpretation of a Russian imperial stout that was worth giving a shot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Clown Shoes Ohio Unidragon (2016)

During my first trip out to Ohio, they had recently changed the ABV law and bars could now carry higher ABV beers. This resulted in even chain restaurants throwing on high ABV beers. Since I live in Jersey, this wasn’t a big deal for me, but everyone was going crazy for beers that we can get easily here. This beer is one that was created specifically for Ohio and due to the changes in laws in Ohio, they could finally put it on tap.

ohiounidragon

ABV: 12.5%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, this is only available in bombers, but I definitely had this one on tap.

Random: Watching people down full pints of beers over 10% was definitely interesting, although not recommended at all.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was strong with espresso and roasted malts. It had black licorice and smoke. Alcohol came through too. The taste started with bitter, black espresso. It went into black licorice and bourbon. Alcohol came through next with some wood ash and smoke. It had a thick and chewy body with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with espresso and dark chocolate. I enjoyed this beer a lot, but if you get a glass of it, let it warm up for about five minutes before you start drinking it. It really helps to open up the aromas of the beer.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Rushing Duck Ded Moroz Imperial Stout

This is a beer that I picked up awhile back in New York. It’s also my first beer from the brewery. Let’s see how it was.

dedmoroz

ABV: 11.2%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Ded Moroz 11.2%ABV – Meaning ‘Father Winter’ in Russian, Ded Moroz, is pitch black in color. It is an imposing beer that is best enjoyed by slow sipping to fully soak up this beer’s complexity. It has a very deep flavor profile of dark chocolate, coffee, graham cracker, overripe fruit, amongst others. To add to its complexity, it is generously hopped with a large portion of imported British hops to balance the sweetness and keep it true to style. Ded Moroz is a decadent treat perfect for the cold winter months!”

Random: Val and I are watching the original “Ghostbusters” and the special effects are pretty funny.

This beer poured with a quarter finger of off white head. It dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body, as expected, was inky black with no visible carbonation. On the nose, I got a lot of dark chocolate and ash. There was also oak and dates. The taste started with a decent amount of booze and smoke. There was also dark chocolate and wood ash. The taste also had a decent amount of dark fruit that manifested with red grapes, figs and dates. It had a thick and chewy body with low carbonation. The finish was quick for the style with dark fruits. A bomber of this was $12.99, which broke down to $.59 per ounce. This beer was pretty good, but the darks fruits took away from the other flavors. I’m glad I tried it, but I wouldn’t rush back to get it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Demented Wrath

One of the more exciting things about living in New Jersey is all of the new breweries that are popping up. I haven’t gotten a chance to visit this one yet, but found a bottle of this sitting on a shelf at Canal’s.

wrath

ABV: 11%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We are a relatively new craft brewery in New Jersey. We are located in Middlesex, NJ and our production brewery consists of a custom 10 BBL brewing system with 2 10 BBL fermenters, 3 30 BBL fermenters, and 1 15 BBL bright beer tank. Hunterdon distributes our beers to over 250 bars and restaurants throughout the state. We produce a number of core beers, but our focus is on producing a variety of seasonally inspired ‘insanely flavorful ales’ that are on tap mainly in our tasting room. Thanks for checking in and please check back soon.”

Random: The brewery definitely picked out a cool name for the beer.

The beer poured with a one finger, loose, tan head. It dissipated quickly, but left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with no visible carbonation due to how dark the beer was. The nose had a lot of booze on it with cocoa powder. It also had notes of fresh roasted coffee. There was some oak and bourbon, but it was in the background. The taste started with the expected milk chocolate and roasted coffee note. Burnt oak and bourbon came through next. The booze was better hidden on the taste, but still there and created some warming on the back of my throat. I wish the oak taste was a bit more prevalent. The body was thin for the style with light carbonation. It had a long and sticky finish with cocoa powder. A bomber of this was not cheap at $18.49 ($.84 per ounce). I’m glad I got to try it, but it needs to be a bit more refined first.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0