I couldn't really participate in this weekend's 'Impoff,' a Twitter tasting that seemed a lot of fun when I had the chance to dip my toe in the water. Judging from the comments I've seen today, it also lead to some pretty intensive Sunday morning coffee sessions, this time of the more literal kind rather than a flavour component to last night's rather heady brews!
The Imperial Stout I did get to try was Sam Smith's, it's a brewery I have a long association with since the first pub I started regularly drinking in as a nipper was a Sam Smith's boozer - one that has very much resisted the changes that seem to have happened everywhere else since. The pub on the corner opposite has undergone at least two major refurbishments and name changes, and now seems rather more like a café bar than a pub.
The beer itself is rather more savoury than many Imperial Stouts I've had before, very much a grown up beer. There was lots of coffee and bitter chocolate on the nose and on the palate there was liquorice root and a remorseless bitterness, although I suspect I was drinking it a bit cold since it yielded slightly more mellow cherry and dried fruit flavour as it warmed a bit. Cracking beer though - and good to see it's seaweed rather than isinglass fined.
7% abv. £1.95 (33cl) from York Beer and Wine Shop