Boxing Bear scores one-punch knockout with Vantablack Russian Imperial Stout

Posted: February 25, 2016 by Franz Solo in Beer Review
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And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem, to be born

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born

On the recommendation of Stoutmeister, who managed to grab a taste of this one before me, I was struck with love at first pint by the glory of Boxing Bear’s Vantablack Russian Imperial Stout.

We begin with a roasted, sweet aroma, and a hint of hops. A mighty roar smashes mid-palate with toasty malty goodness, and burns just a hair at the finish. Balance is key here, neither too much, nor too little bite or alcohol burn. Incredibly smooth for a Russian Imperial.

Unlike some other Russian Imperials, Vantablack does not overextend on flavor, nor try to fill too many flavors in one go. The mouthfeel is, simply put, spectacular, just as one would hope from this style. As it warms we are presented with bourbon and vanilla notes, with a tad of raisin and black licorice, but just a hair. Mellow and smooth, unlike any other Russian Imperial Stout I have ever had. The finish is both smooth and bitter, yet clean, with a delightful bit of dark roast at the uttermost end.

To put this in something of boxing terms, Vantablack is an instant knockout punch. That killer blow sends you reeling onto a veritable storm of malts and does not cease. This is the great black whale to your Moby Dick, a denizen of dark currents and places unexplored.

I am told that some of this batch is to be barrel-aged, and that excites me heartily. My pint complete, I awoke as though from a vision of wonders in the abyss. I had drunk of their table and it was blessed, dark and sweet. I wandered through groves of ice and snow unending while the wind froze my limbs, but for the fire bestowed of this mighty draught. I returned an-hungered from my frozen dreams, and dreamed of rivers obsidian and the great beast, Vantablack.

Prost!

— Franz Solo

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