WHAT IS IT?
A dark malt accented, extremely strong beer, sometimes aged in bourbon barrels.
Colour: Midnight black
Body: Extremely full
Originally brewed for export as a substantially stronger version of England’s 18th century mainstay, Porter, Imperial Stout was popular with the Russian court who were used to higher test beverages. Although it remained popular with Barclay Perkins and Courage, the style has come into its own in the modern context with adjuncts and barrel aging sometimes coming to the forefront of the flavour profile.
• Dark chocolate
• Braised beef ribs
• Vanilla ice cream
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE BOURBON BARRELS?
Aging in American Oak gives beer a caramel and vanilla character as the beer exchanges osmotically with liquor-soaked wood. It makes for a thickly textured, high test, practically unctuous beer perfect for late autumn and early winter contemplation.
SIX MUST-TRY B.C. IMPERIAL STOUTS
Bourbon Imperial Stout, Barnside Brewing
Russian Imperial Stout, Bomber Brewing
Singularity, Driftwood Brewery
Barrel Aged Foreign Extra Stout, Sooke Brewing
Bourbon Barrel Aged Con Leche Imperial Horchata Stout, Twin Sails Brewing
Truth Dare Consequence Nordic Imperial Stout, Whitetooth Brewing
—with beer picks from Joe Wiebe