Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wet Blanket

The Bruery's imperial stout, Black Tuesday, has garnered significant attention on BeerAdvocate message boards and beer blogs (I am too lazy to link to the references tonight). I'm just not that excited about Black Tuesday and there is no bigger Bruery fan than me. I just don't fall into all the hoopla and hype surrounding imperial stouts. The buzz around annual releases for beers like Dark Lord and The Abyss is incredible. The Bruery is releasing Black Tuesday next Tuesday, on the eightieth anniversary of the stock market crash of 1929. It is a brewery-only release at The Bruery's Placentia location.

Imperial stouts are fine, but I think they are overrated. I had a three-year old bottle of Stone's Russian Imperial Stout earlier in the year and thought it fantastic. And by coincidence, I was in Portland last year at a business meeting across from Deschutes' Pearl District brewery when The Abyss was released and managed to sneak in a small glass and thought it a fine beer. Imperial stouts are so big and full of alcohol they have to be sipped over long periods, there is just no other way to drink them. I don't have many days where I can invest most of an evening drinking one beer, and if I did, I'd choose other high alcohol styles first, like a triple IPA (Alpine's Exponential Hoppiness) or a Belgian quad.

My take on why imperial stouts get such high ratings (The Abyss, Dark Lord and Black Tuesday are rated A+ on BeerAdvocate) is their high alcohol levels. Beer geeks want an excuse to drink high alcohol beers, and Black Tuesday's expected ABV of 19% - 20%, alone warrants its A+ ranking. While others are fighting for a bottle of Black Tuesday, I am going to seek out a bottle of Saison Rue, which I have not yet tried and that the Olive Tree Market just started to stock, and keep my eyes open for Two Turtle Doves, a Belgian quad that's this year's holiday release from The Bruery.


Steve said...

true true true true. I'm not a fanboy of imperial stouts but I'll drink em now and again. Black Tuesday is F'ing good, and so was Melange #3 they made which was pretty similar (high alcohol, sweet, potent). I hated Dark Lord so I know it comes down to individual preference, but I'd try and at least get a taste of Black Tuesday sometime if you can.

Rational Realist said...

Despite the negative tone of the post, I'd surely try Black Tuesday. Hopefully it will be on tap somewhere. I just don't get people rushing across the country for a beer like Dark Lord. There are quite a few negative reviews on BeerAdvocate. I think there would be more negative reviews if people were honest, but I don't think they want to admit they wasted a day or two in their Dark Lord quest. Stone's RIS is readily available in the spring, and I reckon it's as good as any imperial stout, so people that really have a craving for an imperial stout should look for this beer. Getting to The Bruery during its open tap room is a goal of mine, it has so many good beers it does not bottle or only sells at its tap room that a visit is a must.

Dave said...


Look out for their new brewery exclusive White Oak. Should be available the same day as BT. Yes I'm into the BT hype but huge imperial stouts are my favorite kind of beer. I make no excuse for not being part of the hype =)

Dave said...

I meant to say I make no excuse for being part of the hype. Sorry =)

Rational Realist said...


I understood what you meant. I have not heard of White Oak, I will look for it. It was just announced that the The Bruery has formed a beer club where members will get all its special releases. I will post the email I received today. If huge imperial stouts are your favorite style, I bet the Black Tuesday is something to look forward to. Since I posted my original comment, I found out that a local beer store is sending a rep. up to The Bruery on Tuesday and is getting as many bottles as possible for a potential Black Tuesday tasting. I hope I am wowed by Black Tuesday and realize what the hype is about.