This week I've got a beer that I picked up when I was in Chicago at one of best liquor stores I've been outside of Indianapolis: Binny's. Bear Republic is available in Illinois and in Ohio (as well as about 25 other states). I've found they have a nice lineup of beer and at really good prices. I particularly enjoy their Racer 5 IPA, and Hop Rod Rye beers. All of those beers including this one are $4.99 a bomber. Not bad for a beer from California. I've seen them range in price from $3.99 to $5.49 among the internet beer purveyors. I tend to drink many more stouts in the winter than in the warmer months, but it has been nice all this week and this beer was actually quite nice on a 60 degree day. The other beer geeks have already reviewed this beer before I joined this hedonistic group of beer lovers.
Beer: Big Bear Black Stout
Brewer: Bear Republic, Healdsburg, California
Beer Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Appearance: Pours an opaque black with a minimal brown head on it. Not much lacing to speak of, but the head stayed for the entire beer.
Smell: I get plenty of chocolate, toffee, roasted malt, and even a touch of grassy hops on the nose. The smell is quite rich and makes me think I am about to drink dessert.
Taste: The flavor profile combines roasted malt and chocolate as the most dominate flavors. I also get secondary flavors including toffee, espresso, and an earthy grassy hoppiness finish the beer off.
Mouthfeel: This beer is quite full bodied and almost borders on the "chewy" realm, but overall is quite smooth and creamy.
Drinkability: This is a beer I could get used to having around for when I'm in the mood for a RIS, and at a very good price.
I quite enjoyed this stout from Bear Republic. This is another beer in the line of good stouts out there. If you are in a state that has Bear Republic it is worth your time to pick up a bottle, but you can also get many other stouts here in Indiana that stand up just fine to this one, but I wouldn't mind seeing it on our shelves along with the rest of Bear Republic's lineup.
Other Russian Imperial Stouts to try: Bell's Expedition Stout, North Coast Brewing's Old Rasputin, Storm King Stout from Victory, Stone Imperial Russian Stout (will come out in April I believe), Siberian Night from Thirsty Dog Brewing