Simen André Sørby Imperial Stout

Simen's imperial stout. Or rather, what's left of it after I've had some sips.

Imperial Stout by Simen André Sørby, Imperial Stout, 9 % ABV, 80 IBU.

I’ve been waiting for so long to try this one, and after an adventurous journey all the way from Kolbotn, it’s finally right here in front of me! Thanks to Facebook, Simen, Tora and Morten!

Unfortunately I was a bit too eager to start the drinking and rating, so I completely forgot to take a picture of the newly poured beer. But I assure you, simply pouring this one is a pleasure! It looks thick and viscous, like raw oil (not that I’ve ever seen raw oil in real life, but you get my drift), and pours a pitch black body crowned by a brown, creamy head that is larger than the average imperial stout head. It reduces to a thin layer with a healthy build-up against the walls of the glass, and leaves a good deal of lacing.

The aroma is strong, very sweet and pleasant. It’s heavily roasted with truckloads of strong coffee, a whiff of chocolate, some vague dark berries, traces of yeast and faint hints of hops. Not as complex as the aroma of a perfect imperial stout should be, but still absolutely inviting.

The taste is moderate to heavy sweet with a long-lasting, heavy bitter finish. The flavours are strong, lovely and follow the aroma, but in addition I also get some salty liquorice. It’s not very complex and doesn’t really open up as the temperature rises, but sometimes simplicity is enough. The alcohol isn’t as well integrated as I’d hoped for, it gives a sharp and stinging bite in the finish. Also the yeasty notes from the aroma manifest themselves as faint metallic notes, but they are not that disturbing.

The mouthfeel is very pleasant, apart from the alcoholic sting: the body is thick and full, the texture is oily to creamy and the carbonation is quite soft.

Conclusion: a quite clean, simple, elegant and very nice imperial stout that is true to the style. Lovely aroma and flavour and a nice mouthfeel, although the alcohol is a bit to aggressive. If the alcohol had been a bit better hidden, this would have been an absolute winner!

Aroma:      7
Appearance: 4
Taste:      7
Palate:     4
Overall:   14
Ratebeer score: 3.6
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