Porter/Stout Tasting Series: Left Hand Wake Up Dead Russian Imperial Stout Nitro

Here are the other two reviews in the series so far.

Goin to leave this Broke-down Palace
On my hands and my knees I will roll roll roll
— Grateful Dead, Broke Down Palace

I have no idea what made me think of that song while drinking this beer, but it works.  This should also give you a bright shiny clue as to what the Spotify Playlist will be to accompany this beer and review.

Nitro beers are growing in popularity as well as diversity.  Until recently the only beers you could find on nitro taps in a bar were Guinness or some other stout.  Today, you can find anything from stouts to IPAs to fruit beers with varying results.  For instance the Founder’s Rubaeus works really well as a nitro because the nitro takes some of the sweetness out of the bottle or regular draft version.  On the other hand, most IPAs I’ve tasted as nitro beers don’t have enough of a malt presence to stand up the additional nitrogen for my tastes.

One of the brewers who have been on the forefront of making nitro beers a regular part of their lineup is Left Hand Brewing.  Their Milk Stout Nitro is one of my favorite beers to drink anytime, anywhere.  They now have added a Russian Imperial Stout to their nitro lineup.

20150811_220456The Wake Up Dead Russian Imperial Stout Nitro pours in the classic nitro fashion.  Vigorously pouring it from the bottle produces the cascading waterfall everyone likes to watch as their beer settles.  It produces a healthy off-white head that hangs around for the duration of the beer.  It has the aroma of cocoa or semi-sweet dark chocolate with hints of cinnamon and dark fruits.

When you taste it, initially you get the dark chocolate with a distinct but not overwhelming alcohol presence.  As you drink it the dark chocolate begins to remind you more of cocoa and then you start tasting the dark fruit near the end.  It finishes with a pleasant roasty bitterness.  Being a nitro it has a smoothness that helps belie its high ABV.  Again, the nitro keeps it from becoming too clingy and cloying on the palate.

This is a beer that I liked better with each sip.  It is a well put together beer that you should seek out on nitro tap or in your local bottle shop.

I present the Grateful Dead.