From Founders website:
"Brewed with ten varieties of malted barley, this stout is smooth as silk, yet complex and rich in body. Serve this guy at cellar temperature. Put another log on the fire, sit back and enjoy the friendship of this ultimate winter warmer."
This will be the freshest bottle of this beer that I have had yet. I have had the 2011 batch several times and it blew me away so I am extremely excited for this batch! Look forward to next years post and I'll have a 2011-2013 vertical to post up for you guys!
Black. Straight black out of the bottle. No brown or red to this beer at all just straight black through and through. The head was a dark brown color that left a 3 finger head on it after an aggressive pour. The head doesn't last long but the lacing from it does. Looks a lot like chocolate milk (bubbles and all) on top of black liquid. Really, really pretty and intense looking beer. I can smell it from here and I am 2 feet away right now.
Big dark chocolate right upfront and even some sweet milk chocolate in there a bit as well. Some roasted qualities come through big time as well. After swirling it and getting a few more whiffs I am also noticing that dark fruit aroma to it that is often apparent in imperial stouts. Raisin maybe? Or some type of berry in there providing a nice fruity sweetness to compliment the bitter dark chocolate and sweet milk chocolate. Amazing smelling beer. I almost wish I didn't have to drink this....almost.
The dark chocolate hits immediately but is quickly followed by roast. A lot of roast. I also get a bit of smoke which is not at all disappointing but something that I am really loving. The roast and the smoke linger through the finish with a very small trace of alcohol (surprising for a 10.5% beer.) A little bit of dark fruit comes into play on the finish as well but mostly roast, smoke, and bittersweet chocolate.
Mouth coating. That is the only term you need to know for this beer. Even after the initial swallow, this beer keeps providing flavor to your taste buds well after the sip is finish. Full bodied beer and exactly what I expect from a russian imperial stout.
Great example of the style but I have come to expect this sort of thing from Founders. While I thought this was incredible, I actually give a slight edge to the 2011 batch. When I had that vintage it was about 10 months old and age did nothing but great things for this beer. I recommend drinking 2 from the 4 pack and throwing the other your basement, cellar, dark closet, or whatever else you have and forget about it until next years batch is released. Either way you will not be disappointed!
Cheers ladies and gentlemen!