It is college basketball season, and while my team is doing very well this year, it is also the time of year where I start watching my favorite basketball movie of all time ‘Air Bud’. Just kidding. It is ‘Hoosiers’. I don’t get choked up at movies at all, but the scene where they are in the locker room and the preacher starts reading ‘David and Goliath’ really shakes me.
And who doesn’t love an underdog? This is kind of the way I feel about St. George’s in Hampton. As the crow flies, it is the closest Virginia brewery to my house and there is a fair amount of their product out there, but I just have not really been able to wrap my head around any one particular beer. Well that all changed this past weekend when I got into their heavier stuff and found one I really enjoyed.
Imperial Stout, St. George’s Brewing Co. (Hampton, VA)
Imperial Stout, ABV: 8.7%, IBU 60
Presentation: Bomber pour into pint glass.
Appearance: A shade lighter than true black with light brown to brown head settling quickly.
Smell: Medium malt profile with hints of caramel and chocolate, slightly astringent.
Taste: I got a lot of caramel up front with some darker malts towards the middle. This was a thinner stout, but to be expected from an imperial. Faint hop on back end as things died down with alcohol presence noted throughout.
ABV/IBU Feel: Imperial equals higher ABV and at 8.7% it is not through the roof, but it is very noticeable right away and give a slight acidity to the mouthfeel. IBU of 60 was a nice touch at the end to round it out, but was not a complete reset and still had that medium roasted malt taste towards the end.
Overall: If you are getting into St. George’s for the first time, this is a perfect way to start. Their knowledge of the maltier beers is very good, so starting from the Stout/Imperial Stout/Oyster Stout is definitely the way to go. You can find this beer in 22’s now and is worth a round with your friends. It was a very pleasant surprise and hopefully one they keep in their fall/winter rotation.