On Lists

Posted on 10.16.09 8:24PM under Stories, Stout, Tasting

When it comes to things that other people like, I go back and forth. At times, the popular seems petty, but then at other times, I fall for that shit right away.

One of my favorite things that are also other people’s favorites is lists, like top ten lists. Perhaps this fascination started in high school when I was first able to stay up late enough to see Mr. David Letterman’s top ten lists. Of course, now I can’t manage to make it to any post-prime time shows, given the kids and all. But I still find a soft spot in my heart and mind for top ten-style lists.

So what does this have to do with beer? I forgot.

Just kidding. I remember.

There was a list on some other blog today (bad etiquette points to me “forgetting other blogs to link”) (edit: actually it’s Chipper Dave!)of the top twelve Imperial Stouts. The list was nice. I love Imperial Stouts, especially in the colder months. And with snow in state today and yesterday, it is officially a colder month.

There were many great and familiar beers on the list. Like Old Rasputin, Yeti, Czar, and a few others I know and love.

Stone IRSThe one that really got my attention was Stone Imperial Russian Stout. You see, until like two weeks ago, Stone was not available in my little corner in a corner of Southern New England. So to me their beers have this mythical quality. This legend was only enforced by my visit two years ago to San Diego, where I happened to spend several hours at their incredibly lavish and fantastically beer-drinker friendly main production facility. The beer there was so good that I’m not exactly sure how I got back to my hotel room that night.

On top of this pedestal upon which I put Stone as a brand, I also happen(ed) to have a big 22-ounce bottle of said Imperial Stout in my beer fridge. Immediately in the middle of the work day my mind was consumed with thoughts of a big roasty beer numbing my mind deep into the night. And the night was in the glass, and in the sky… Eventually I found my way back to Outlook, but the impression was made, and I knew I’d have to take down that bottle tonight.

As fate would have it, I encountered some last minute fire to put out at work (why do they wait until 4PM on Friday to find the software problems?) and ended up leaving work a full 45 minutes late! It was precisely at that moment that I wished I had bad enough judgement to go buy a bottle of the Stone Imperial Russian Stout and drink it on the way home. I can make bad decisions with the rest of ‘em, but not that bad, not today, so I just exhibited some patience. And when I got home it was that much more enjoyable to crack that top on that bottle. Scott was right!

Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout is a monster at 10.5% ABV, with a full in-your-face West-Coast-style Stone Brewery smackdown! It is anything that you could hope for from an American Russian Imperial Stout. As usual with these special big beers, my regrets are few: I didn’t buy a case to age, and 22 ounces of this beer is a lot to consume by one person in one night. I don’t know how this fits in my hierarchy of preferred RIS options, but it is right up there. At roughly $8 per 22 ounces, it is moderately expensive, but worth at least a try.

The list didn’t make me buy the beer, but it made me remember I had it. The list acted like an ad. It served as a reminder to the existence of the thing that was mentioned.

Read Comments

  1. Posted by ChipperDave on 10.17.09 10:15 AM

    The funny thing about lists is that just as soon as you create one you are tempted to change it.

    Glad you found my list useful. It wasn’t until later that day that I felt like I wanted to add even more Imperial Stouts to the list. I’m a big fan of this style and I often go out of my way to try a new one.

    The Stone RIS was definitely a good one on my list. Very remarkable and as you say Stone has a way of getting in-your-face with their beers.

    A couple of beers that missed the list but should have been on there was Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast and also Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter (yes porter, but tastes like an impy stout and won GOLD at this year’s GABF in the imperial stout category – go figure).

    There are so many other imperial stouts I’ve yet to try that I’ve heard of that very well should be on the list, but like I say, lists tend to change and just as soon as they are posted they can become obsolete.

    Glad that the list sparked your enjoyment of the Stone RIS. Cheers!

    Chipper Dave

  2. Posted by Keith Brainard on 10.17.09 8:25 PM

    Take this one step further… I just made my own RIS today. OG 1.100, should be a monster. Let’s hope it can live up to my high expectations!

    Thanks for the note Dave!