Friday, April 20, 2012

Cellar Rats Black Rat Imperial Stout

"All Ohio Beer Weeks" continues here at Chad'z Beer Reviews. This is an oddly-named (and labeled) beer by the also oddly-named Cellar Rats Brewery (eww). Warning: Those of you who can't handle a 20 second anti-communist rant would be advised not to watch this video. But anyway I like a good imperial stout and I assume James Knott of knows that and is why he sent this beer.

P.S. I forgot to say this in the rant: If a brewery put a swastika on their beer it would be a national controversy. So why do we let it slide when any corporation making any product puts the Soviet hammer and sickle on their label? They killed twice as many innocent people as the Nazis! (And the Chinese have killed even more than the Soviets). IT'S NOT FUNNY NOR CUTE! X(

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (650) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 18, 2012
I received a 12oz bottle from a friend in Ohio (thanks, James!). I poured it into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Black body with a tan, creamy head which retains and laces quite well.

Smell: Sweet aroma cream and milk, plus minor dark fruit scents and a hint of vanilla.

Taste: I didn’t know what style Black Rat Imperial Stout belonged to going into it. Judging from the label I thought it would be a Russian Imperial Stout, but only a few swigs into it I pegged it for a milk stout (and according to the brewery’s website I was correct). Too sweet to be an RIS, this beer’s palate is a combination of traditional milk stout, lots of coffee creamer, and a little bit of cola. Mild bitterness throughout but no hop flavor per se.

It starts with subtle black licorice then transitions to iced coffee with a lot of cream in it. The ending is even sweeter and has a distinct taste of milk to it. Not quite chocolate, not quite vanilla. Just a hint of coffee flavor and bitterness plus roasted malts. The palate never really expands beyond this, though, so it’s consistently sweet but never cloying. Unfortunately, the vanilla in the nose never carries over to the palate. Still, it works as a satisfying dessert beer (at least it did for me).

Drinkability: The first thing I noticed was how comfortable and smooth it was in the mouth. A soft, velvety texture but still minor carbonation presence. It’s not quite as thick as you’d expect and finishes quite clean (a little too clean, frankly) with a lightly sweet aftertaste. If I were drinking Black Rat Imperial Stout blind there’s no way I’d know it’s 9.2% ABV as it has the weight of something much smaller and no alcohol presence at all. I wish it had used its potency a little more to its advantage, but the high drinkability makes this beer appealing.

Grade: 8/10

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