But today’s beer, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, is a king among beers, and that’s a fitting way to describe it because it falls into the category of Russian Imperial Stout.
Long story short, Russian Imperial Stout is… well, you might describe it as the IPA of the stout and porter world. It was first brewed in Britain for the court of Catherine the Great of Russia (on the throne from 1762 - 1796), and like most export beers it was brewed with a higher alcohol content to help prevent spoilage on the journey. It’s also said that the higher ABV was intended to prevent the beer freezing on the chilly sea journey from London to St Petersburg.
Unlike IPAs though, the RIS is generally not a hoppy beer. Mostly they tend towards a sweet, malty beverage, but that’s not a golden rule and there are plenty of well balanced Imperial Stouts out there as well as a few that are aggressively hopped, and they are very palatable indeed.
Brooklyn BCS is one of those beers that is bought in larger quantities than are actually drunk at the time, the remainder being cellared for drinking in successive years because it ages particularly well, and there’s always an interesting comparison to be made between this year’s release and those from previous years.
Brooklyn’s Brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, is a noted expert on pairing beer with food. His book ‘The Brewmaster’s Table’ is widely considered to be the book of reference for anyone wanting to put together a beer dinner and wondering what kind of beer to serve with each course.
Jim Hughes, Head Beer Nerd, Alamo South Lamar
“If I had all the money I’ve spent on drink… I’d spend it on drink.” ~ Sir Henry Rawlinson