Brewery: Nickel Brook Brewing
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.5% IBU: 70
Initially I was unsure of this particular imperial stout: The Pinot Noir barrels promised a rather different finish than the Kentucky Bastard’s beautiful bourbon aromas and flavours but the idea intrigued me.
While I do enjoy my occasional glass of red wine, my relationship with the stuff if not always a good one and I tend to reach for a beer over a wine most days. That said, I really like the basis for both of these barrel-aged brews, Nickel Brook’s Bolshevik Bastard, and so I figured it would be worth the experiment to find out just how different the two brews really are. Good thing as this tart imperial stout is highly delicious!
WINEY BASTARD (2014)
Nickel Brook took some of the best Pinot Noir barrels from the Niagara wine region and tossed their Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout in it? … I don’t know what they think they’re doing. So what if it’s delicious? Drink it today, or cellar it to enjoy later as it matures. A votre santé!
This opaque black beast of a beer pours with a half-inch of tan head that is a mix of tiny and big, soapy bubbles. The head dissipates to a thick ring of big soapy bubbles and a thin covering of smaller ones, leaving quite little lacing behind.
Dominated by powerful Pinot Noir notes, the aroma of this strong beer is somewhat sweet with lots of dark fruit and raisin. A touch of sourness comes through, bringing with it some nice booziness and a tart notes.
Closely following the aroma, the flavour of this Winey Bastard is saturated with deep Pinot Noir notes. Tart with plenty of rich booziness, it also has subtle notes of earthiness as well as the dominant flavours of Bolshevik Bastard, the basis for this barrel-aged brew. This brings hints of chocolate and coffee to the beer along with a richness to the dark fruit flavours.
Somewhat syrupy with a lingering tartness, Winey Bastard features medium carbonation and a smooth, medium body. Finishing dry with plenty of heady and tart fruit, it is a rich brew best enjoyed when you have little else to do that evening.