The Destroyer! This might be the stout to end all stouts? The big, nay, huge brother of BORIS clocks in with a hefty alcohol content and hopping. In fact, this beer is first wort hopped (hops added to mash) and dry hopped (hops added during fermentation) for maximum domination.
DORIS is extreme, yet approachable as any well-crafted Imperial Stout. In fact, I gave this beer an A+ after sippin’ on half the bottle. Allow me to explain why…
You see, when it comes to Russian Imperial Stouts I like mine on the super astringently bitter side. Almost tastes like pure Black Patent, charcoal, and oh yeah, hops. While many a brewery produce good interpretations of the style, I found that I gravitate towards ones that seem to enter a higher stratosphere when it comes to burnt malt character.
No doubt about it, this beer has all the makings of a great stout from the dirty motor oil thick pour and deep mocha head to the intense aroma that proceeds it. Completely opaque no light gets through this brew. The aroma is monumental. Thick notes of black licorice, tar, blackstrap molasses, charred wood, campfire smoke, and burnt grains prevailed. A spicy and piney hop profile was very noticeable in both the aroma and taste.
The mouthfeel this thick and viscous due to the intense grain bill and oatmeal addition. It is slick, silky, oily, and on the front of the palate velvety. The flavor however, is much deeper than BORIS. It took me some time to warm up to the little brother, but this beer was an instant classic in my mind. Due to the astringent nature, alcohol content that was balanced just right, and the hopping. Not one aspect of this beer was completely overpowering. Yes, the malt profile was dark and burnt, but the hops were something to be reckoned with. The beer was sticky on the lips which moved to astringent and resinous on the finish. When enjoyed with spicy salsa the spiciness cancels out leaving a Rauchbier-like effect on the aftertaste. I was left with an aftertaste that was woody, smokey and tasted like it had been barrel aged minus the caramel and vanilla. Dry and oaky basically layered atop some massive burnt grains. This beer is a definite must try for any Russian Imperial Stout fan.