Monday, February 23, 2009

Portsmouth Brewing - Kate the Great - Vintage 2008

This big 9.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout goes on sale once a year at the Portsmouth Brewery for those lucky enough to live within driving distance. It ranks up there as one of the most sought after bottles of beer. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a bottle and I selfishly indulged the entire thing to myself:

2008 vintage bomber. Pours into my glass a deep charcoal black with an inch of dark tan foam on top that leaves spotty lacing on the side of the glass. Rather viscous. Aromas start off with rich dark malts and big bittersweet chocolate. Molasses, dark fruits and somewhat of a spicy aroma as well. Hints of anise and vanilla bean with a touch of alcohol as well. Big, dense and layered.

First sip is big and rich bringing lots of dark roasty malts along with bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder. It melds in with a mix of molasses, dark fruits, licorice and light coffee flavors. Flows down with a bit of a spicy sweet accent and a bit of vanilla flavor as well. Rich chocolate malt aftertaste with a touch of alcohol on the finish as well. This one is big on all accounts and flavor packed. Yum.

Mouthfeel is rich and chewy with a big malt body. Really smooth with a good, more mellow carbonation. Goes down smooth given the ABV. Overall, a tasty, rich imperial stout the brings a great depth of flavor as well. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to try this many time on tap and now finally in the bottle. I'll look forward to having it again sometime too!

Overall I gave this one a rating of Amazing and I find it worthy of the hype!

Check out the entire range of Portsmouth brews by surfing on over to


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