|Picture makes me want hear some Black Joe Lewis.|
These elegant black beauties are of the varietal Russian Imperial Stout. I am a glutton for RISes the way James Bond was a glutton for women with hilariously suggestive names and thick 70s thighs.
The one of the left is Great Divide Brewery's Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout and the one of the right is Deep Ellum Brewery's Darkest Hour. The former is an old-guard workhorse on the original brewing hierarchy, and the latter is a promising newborn hot shot from the brewing dearth of Dallas.
I talked rigorously about Great Divide's Yeti Series in a previous post, and this is one of the options in that brilliant series. Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout is a beastly stout, with heaps of roast up front and all the way back -- with the requisite stout-notes of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. The brewers used French and American oak chips to infuse a very woodsy finish, and they succeeded entirely. As demonstrated by my buddy Chuck, an avid Guinness devotee, upon his first sip of Oak Aged Yeti: "That's a fucking beer, bro!" Those of us who know Chuck just read that in his voice.
What is exceptionally impressive is that upstart Dallasites, Deep Ellum, are brewing with some extreme confidence, coming right out of the gates with a massive beer that typically takes newcomers a few years to attempt, then fail, then attempt again for public consumption. These brewers are like all, "fuck that", which is exactly the kind of earnest mindset one needs to have to be involved at any capacity with an RIS.
At a huge volume of alcohol, Darkest Hour did come off a bit on the boozy side, and not necessarily as complex as the Oak Aged Yeti -- but more in the style of the true RIS -- which, like IPAs were packaged in the UK with enough alcohol to make the long voyage across Europe without spoiling. I felt like this sucker could make the voyage to the moon in a school bus before the alcohol consumed itself. It could be the Yeti talking, but Darkest Hour gave me a significant buzz, which is a nice return on my investment.
Overall -- and with future potential in nind -- I think that Deep Ellum made a very impressionable beer that I will certainly go back to often -- maybe even moreso than the Yeti. They stare it off like Drexyl and Clarence Worley, like he ain't got a muthafuckin' care in the world. And who know? Maybe he don't.
[note: dibs on naming my future Russian Imperial Stout homebrew: Mr. Majestyk.]