The sun is beating down, you’re dying for some refreshment. Water, not today, you need real refreshment. You push aside the soda, juice, and Gatorade for bottle hiding in the back. There’s only one beverage to drink on a day like this: a Russian Imperial Stout.
The bottle I dug out of the recesses of the fridge today was Drake’s Imperial Stout. Drake’s is a small, family owned brewery that most people might not know about outside of the Bay Area. Opened in 1989, Drakes has grown to synonymous with quality, small batch brewing. When I happen to come across a bottle of their brew, espeically their Imperial Stout, I make sure to buy it.
Now this beer started with a bit of fear. Bottled with an ez-cap, I noticed a dark, malty residue around the rubber stopper. Had this bottle sprung a leak? I opened the bottle to nothing more than the sound of the swinging cap. No pop. Was this bottle flat? Even worse, had it gone bad?
I poured this into my snifter, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. The pour was what you have come to expect from a Russian Imperial. Black with a choclate head, no light passes through this beer. Unfortunately, the head was thin as can be. I wasn’t certain this even counted as a head, as the beer poured like milk with a small amount of froth on the edges.
I sipped the beer cautiously. If it were flat, that would be one thing, but if it had spoiled, that would be a tragedy. Thankfully, there were no signs of infection. The beer tasted great. Chocolate up frnt with Chinook hops closing the door. This is a very warm brew, despite a rather meak 8.5%. The beer washes over your mouth with a lot of sweetness, and again, is reminiscent of milk as it coats your tongue. As I said, the beer was flat as can be. This was the only drawback to a truly enjoyable beer.
I’m on the lookout for another Drake’s Imperial Stout. I enjoyed this one, but am left to wonder how much I would like a properly carbonated bottle. Despite that fact, this hot day is no longer a concern of mine.