Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Drinkable Cultural Mosaic - Kona Imperial Stout

On a recent trip to Sherbrooke Liquor, I was perusing the stouts section (you have to love a store where the stouts occupy a full section of shelving) when I came across a can. Since most stouts come in bottles, this variation in packaging was enough to draw my attention. Seeing a tiki figure on the can intrigued me further. Discovering that it was an imperial stout, one of my favourite styles, heightened my interest, and once I saw that it was a product of the Fort Garry Brewing Company, I was sold.

I decided to forego the proferred Popsicle for dessert this evening in favour of the Kona, and I'm glad I did. It puts a luxurious dark, dark brown, nearly black; you could be forgiven for thinking I had emptied a pint of motor oil into my glass except for the caramel coloured head that resulted. A brief sniff by even my untrained proboscis reveals much in the way of roasted, toasted malts as well as coffee, and appropriately, roasted coffee.

A strong beer at 6.5%, but eminently well behaved, with a full robust mouthfeel. The bitterness of the coffee comes through almost immediately, balanced by the sweetness of the high ABV, but without being cloying or sickly. One of the smoother imperial stouts I've had recently.

I would have to agree with the back of the can: "in-your-face goodness" is as good a descriptor as any. Best of all though, drinking a beer style founded in England, modified by Russia, fortified with Hawaiian coffee and brewed in Winnipeg feels, in a strange way, more Canadian than anything I have ever drank from Molson, y'know?

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