Beers in Review: Dark Collaborations

A pair of big time collaborations are on tap for today's BiR. They are a couple of Imperial Stouts that truly blew me away.

First up is And I Shut My Mouth Imperial Stout, from Columbia's River Rat Brewery and Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, FL. Pouring a very hazy dark brown (though the place I was drinking at was a little low-lit to make a fully accurate determination), I got notes of chocolate and spice, but to me, the prevalent flavor notes were raisins, as well as a fruit cake note. With just the mild amount of booziness, the beer is 9.6% ABV, I could almost reclassify the last note as rum cake or something similar. Some other fruits, such as plums, joined the raisin note. This was a tremendous beer to drink, but was only part of Imperial Stout experience this weekend.

My next collaboration was between Westbrook Brewing Company in Mt. Pleasant, SC and Denmark's eccentric Evil Twin Brewing. They essentially brought their own Imperial Stouts together to form a new Imperial Stout. Evil Twin combined their Imperial Biscotti Break with Westbrook's amazing Mexican Cake, slammed all the words together, and created Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break, and I'm about 95% sure I got all those words in the right order. As expected, this Imperial Stout pours near pitch black, and had a pretty tan head. This beer is 10.5% ABV, but that alcohol blends into the flavor profile very well. Flavor notes include lots of chocolate and vanilla, as well as cinnamon and perhaps some brown sugar (perhaps I am detecting this from another type of spice). There was also a bit of coffee on the back end of the drinking experience. Just like the beer above, this was another excellent drinking experience.