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Great Lakes Brewery 30th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout with Steph

Ale
barley
Beer
Canada
North America
Ontario
Review
Reviews with Stephanie
Stout

Another big bottled, high abv, milestone-celebrating weird beer here, with a twist – it’s actually good!

A lot of times these large format beers can be.. um.. challenging. A lot of hops to make big flavour can make something undrinkable or a lot of yeast to kick up the alcohol content can make things a little too “sour” or rank. This is neither of those.  This 30th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout from Great Lakes Brewing has the big rounded corners of a properly mellowed full bore dark beer without falling into any of those above-mentioned traps we sometimes see. Maintaining flavour and structure with a high abv also seems to be a task a lot of brewers aren’t up to, but again, not the case here.

I guess it’s a little weird to write a review of a beer this good that talks mostly about what it managed to not mess up. When you’ve had as many Big Show-Off Beers as we have, meeting a new one is not without some baggage, like “i hope i’m not too drunk after” or “i hope i can still taste things after”. So i should say: It’s really nice to drink a beer that really shows off what a brewery can do. Here’s what we thought:

nose
Steph – roast molasses cookies
Simon – damp fire wood, cherry coke

taste
Steph – caramel, figs, berries
Simon – plums, chocolate

finish
Steph – dark chocolate
Simon – chocolate wafer cookie

overall
Steph – 8/10
Simon – 7.9/10

Great Lakes Brewery 30th Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout – 11.9% 750ml – $15.50 – Ontario

Try it? Yes. Buy it? Yes.

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