Style Snapshot: A guide to the roasty, contemplative Imperial Stout

Nickel Brook’s Kentucky Bastard. Supplied photos

WHAT IS IT?

A dark malt accented, extremely strong beer, sometimes aged in bourbon barrels

DANGER LEVEL

High

GLASS

Snifter

STYLE STATS

ABV: 8-12%
IBU: 50-90
Colour: Midnight black
Body: Extremely full
Bubbles: Low to medium

ORIGIN STORY

Originally brewed for export as a substantially stronger version of England’s 18th century mainstay, Porter, Imperial Stout was popular with the Russian court who were used to higher test beverages. Although it remained popular with Barclay Perkins and Courage, the style has come into its own in the modern context with adjuncts and barrel aging sometimes coming to the forefront of the flavour profile.

DRINK WITH

• Dark chocolate
• Braised BEef Ribs
• Vanilla Ice Cream

What’s The Deal With the Bourbon Barrels?

Aging in American Oak gives beer a caramel and vanilla character as the beer exchanges osmotically with liquor soaked into the wood. It makes for a thickly textured, high test, practically unctuous beer perfect for late autumn and early winter contemplation.

Six Must-Try Ontario Imperial Stouts

Barrel-Aged Double Tempest, Amsterdam Brewery

Russian Imperial Stout, Walkerville Brewery

Kentucky Bastard, Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

Blackburne, Left Field Brewery

UVB76 Maksim, Wellington Brewery

Fortissimo, Tooth and Nail Brewery

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