Strange Brew: Stone Brewing Co.

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Why You Should Drink It?: These are three beers that may not be for the casual beer drinkers in our audience, as two of the three pack quite the punch clocking in at over 10% ABV (your average beer is somewhere between 4 – 5%). Pouring deep motor oil black, with a caramel colored head and a sweet raisin-esque smell Stone’s Russian Imperial Stout, has a strong,  burnt coffee and dark chocolate taste that coats the tongue with a dry, alcohol finish – perfect for one of those bitterly cold winter nights.

Next up is Stone’s Old Guardian Barley Wine, for those unfamiliar with this style – barley wine refers to beers that has the same alcohol content as wine, and often have a very distinct alcohol taste. This highly potent offering checking in at whooping 11.3 %, pours a cooper, whiskey color with a thin white head. The full bodied beer starts off sweet fruity nose, which is followed by a distinct dry hoppiness and strong alcohol finish.

The last of the trifecta of beers this month is comes in the way Stone’s Sasion de BUFF (which stand for Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor) which is a collaborative effort with the fine folks of Dogfish Head and Victory breweries. Pouring a hazy, golden hay color with a puffy white foam head, you get the instant woody, piney aroma and mouth feel from the parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme that was used in the brewing process. As with all sasions the beer is extremely effervescent, giving it an unexpected crispness to it. The Sasion de Buff is only being brewed three times at each of the breweries, so keep an eye out for it cause it will go quick.

Brewer’s Description:

  • Russian Imperial Stout – brewed in the authentic historical of an Imperial Russian Stout, this beer is massive. Intensely aromatic (notes of anise, black currants, coffee, roastiness of alcohol) and heavy on the palette, this brew goes where few can – and fewer dare even try. The style originated from Czarist Russia’s demand for ever thicker English stouts. Expect our version of this mysterious brew to pour like Siberian crude and taste even heavier!
  • Old Guardian Barley Wine is a stunning representation of all that is big and bold in beer. This beautiful, bold barley wine has a massive malt character and a near-critical level of hop notes. Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine can be enjoyed upon its release or cellared to enjoy in the future.
  • Saison de BUFF – BUFF is a 6% alc/vol Saison collaborative brew from Stone, Dogfish Head and Victory brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. This beer will be brewed three times, once at each brewery using the same recipe.

Availability: Old Guardian Barley Wine mid-winter in 22 oz. bottles and limited draft, Russian Imperial Stout early summer in 22 oz. bottles and limited draft, Saison de BUFF in limited quantities of 12 oz. bottles

Beer Geek Stats:

Russian Imperial Stout – ABV: 10.5%, IBU: 90+, Hops: Warrior

Old Guardian Barley Wine – ABV: 11.3%, IBU: 95, Hops: Varies

Saison de BUFF – ABV: 6.8%

Have you tried any of these offerings? Leave your thoughts about them in the comments section below …

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