Monday, February 14, 2011

Review: BrewDog Tokio* Imperial Stout

I picked this one up at Martin Wine Cellar a week or so back thanks to a tip from a friend about a beer available in Baton Rouge that clocked in at over 14% alcohol.  I still don't know why this BrewDog offering is spelled "Tokyo" in some places but "Tokio" in others, but either way, at $15 per bottle it had better be good!  Since it's final count in 18.2% alcohol, I invited Dustin over and we proceeded to give this one a taste. 

For tasting, I poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a Samuel Smith's snifter. It's dark brown, you can tell it's not black when held up to the light. There's a small tan head, not much retention or lacing, but I wouldn't expect too much head from a beer this strong.

Whoa, the aroma is complex and boozy. It has hints of dark fruits, caramel, boozy spice, tingles the nostrils a bit with the alcohol kick. It's good but it makes me a little nervous of trying this one!  I've never had a beer be so overwhelming on the alcohol, even the ones I've tried that came close to this one in the 13 to 14% range.

The taste is similarly complex but not so boozy that I don't enjoy it. It has the same flavor profile as the aroma. Dark fruits from the cranberries and the jasmine is there too. There is still a caramel note but I don't get the chocolate roasted flavors of a typical imperial stout.

It has a good mouthfeel despite the high abv that is unmistakable. I'd definitely drink another at some point but this isn't meant to be a session beer. It's hard to score the drinkability when I consider the price as well. Still, I'm liking this brew and I'm damn glad I've tried it.  It's certainly not for everyone, but it fulfilled one of my resolutions, counted towards the 365 in 2011, and was certainly an interesting beer to have experienced.

My Rating: B+