Sunday, July 3, 2011

Stone Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout

When you get something from Stone, you know it's never going to be common or tame. The Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout lives up to that expectation.

Big, bold, black, and very aggressive. You'll need a few pours to fit all this in one glass. The smell is nearly all anise, with some wood. It's quite creamy with a lot of that black licorice flavor, dry wood, roasted malt, spicy hops. Outstanding lacing lures you in to try to find more flavors, the ones more common in a Russian Imperial Stout. If you hunt, you will pick up some of the currants, chocolate, coffee, but the anise is the real star here. I could see where some say it's overpowering, but I love the flavor, so it's working for me. The 10.5% ABV warms through the finish, along with a fun bitter bite.

There are some people who say you shouldn't drink stouts, and especially Russian Imperial Stouts, in summer. I like to call those people "wrong".

Another unique, tasty brew from Stone. But you have to love anise to love this. If you don't, you will hate it.

Grade: A

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