Thursday, February 16, 2012

Beereview: t Smisje Catherine The Great Imperial Stout

I won't deny it. Buying this beer made me feel a little fancy. It has a name like a white stripes album title, a price like a double whopper with cheese, and an ABV like a frat guy on St. Paddy's day. Seemed like a winning combination to me.

I've never heard of the brewery "De Regenboog Brugge" but it sure seems fun to say. Continuing our thread of analogies it sort of sounds like the name of a delightful gnome or hobgoblin but it probably just means something like "The Royal Brewery" or something plain Jane vanilla. For all I know it's the Coor's light of Belgiam, but I'll pretend it's more like the Budweiser of Germany (which is a lot better, if you didn't know.)

First, the review - t Smisje Catherine The Great Imperial Stout:

Is this "t Smisje Catherine, The Great Imperial Stout" or  "t Smisje, Catherine The Great Imperial Stout?" I have no idea, either way: it's a mouthful.

This stout pours a very dark brown and is slightly cloudy, but it's not the solid black I'd usually expect in an Imperial Stout. It's a very active beer but there is very little lacing or head retention. The aroma is very fruity and sweet, almost like raspberry jam with spices. There's a very strong malty (or jammy) aroma and almost a complete lack of hops. Granted I have a cold, but this smells really good. It's like the scent I was expecting from Bad Elf but didn't get. At 10% ABV I'd expect to smell the alcohol, but it's not there.

The flavor is slightly bitter chocolate with a hint of raspberry or cherry. It tastes like the beer equivalent of those cherry filled chocolates, with a slightly hoppy aftertaste. There's a bit of alcohol harshness on the tip of the tongue and after swallowing, but it's not that severe.

Overall, I am very pleasantly surprised with this stout. It tastes like dessert to me, with strong chocolate and coffee flavors complemented by just the right amount of fruit.

After checking some other reviews, I'm apparently way off the mark on this. Maybe I do have a cold.

Have you tried this beer? Are they the Coors Lite of Belgium? Let me know in the comments below!

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