This particular Imperial Stout was bottled in 2009. Honestly, I got tired of hanging on to it, so I figured now would be as good a time as any to see how it’s tasting.
From the website, averybrewing.com, we find this bit of information concerning The Czar.
Behold the stunning crimson hues through the inky blackness. Inhale the noble Hallertau hops, spicy and floral. Savor the flavors redolent of English toffee, rich mocha, sweet molasses, candied currants and a hint of anise. We highly recommend cellaring additional bottles, as the Czar will continue to mature and become denser and more complex with age.
This batch has an ABV of 10.82% and it comes in a 22 oz. bottle.
It poured black as night. Absolutely no highlights showing through at all. One of the darkest beers I’ve ever seen. It had a khaki colored collar that was nicely sized, smooth, creamy and compact. The retention time was solid and the lacing looked real nice. It was very clingy and adhesive, which surprised me somewhat considering the high ABV. Quite a bit of clear alcohol feet were shown on the sides of the snifter when tilted as well. Once settled it formed a ring of foam around the edges. A beautiful looking beer in my opinion.
The nose started with hints of bittersweet chocolate. Very relaxed piney hops and a dark fruit of prune quickly followed. Touches of licorice and charred/roasted malts. A solid dose of coffee bean was found too, but the dark fruits are what became most noticeable as the brew opened up. The alcohol was well hidden I thought. Overall, very rich, robust, complex and good.
The taste let the bittersweet chocolate and prune dominate for the first few slurps. Once I got a few sips down the earthy and piny hops made an appearance, however it was evident that they had mellowed quite a bit since it was first bottled. The licorice was found again too along with a slight note of anise. Tons of charred/burnt malts and coffee beans hit hard after the swallow. A significant rum/alcohol taste was easily noticed on the back end as well. The charred malts and dried fruit characteristics are what really began to define the taste towards the end. Like the aroma, gargantuan, strong and very robust all around.
The mouthfeel was full and thick. Very dry, smooth, chalky and chewy. Little carbonation was to be had and a good dose of warmth and burn was felt after each sip. A lot of flavor was left behind drenching the palate after each imbibe as well.
Well, I think this is an excellent brew to say the least. It’s very “big” and strong and it’s most definitely a beer that I had to sip and take my time with. Honestly, it was a little tough for me to get through the entire bomber all by myself. I did complete it however!!! Without a doubt, this is a brew that is probably best enjoyed during the cold Winter months, but like I said earlier…. I just couldn’t wait any longer. I don’t think that I could handle it on a daily basis because it obviously has a great deal of character going on in both the aroma and flavor. Just not something that I would be in the mood for everyday. If you like sturdy and forceful Imperial Stouts though, Avery The Czar would be an awesome beer to pick up and sample. Once you do give it a try be sure to let me know what you thought of it.
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone. I appreciate you all.
Until next time. Cheers.
Score: 4.05 out of 5