Brewdog have been impressing me of late. Their core range is always solid, but special beers like the Jackhammer, Hoppy Christmas and their Old World IPA are a cut above.
Hoping to continue this legacy is the Old World Russian Imperial Stout, which I believe is my first stout from the Ellon outfit.
It looks magnificent to begin with, pouring totally opaque black with a light brown head. I've a feeling you could smell this a mile off, such is its pungency. I smells dark, with burnt sugary, raisiny, figgy stuff hitting the nose first. There's no smell of alcohol as such, but the strength of the beer certainly amplifies the phenolic effect. While the smell is nice if uncomplicated, the taste is bold and complex. There's just so much going on, with a whole palette of dark malt flavours ranging from deep toffee to sweet sugary dark fruit, stopping at marzipan and bitter chocolate along the way.
All of this is delivered on a thick and oily body that coats the mouth and lingers long after the beer has left.
This is an absolutely beautiful beer that drinks far easier than it sounds, and while it doesn't play in the same league as the bigger, bolder Black Chocolate Stout (to which I still find myself devoted), it offers plenty of intensity and complexity with impressive smoothness.
Certainly one to try.