I am again indebted to the bibulous proclivities of former Mercury Food & Drink editors—the bottles have been piling so high lately, the man at the front desk has been clamoring for my head. This time it's a Widmer Raspberry Russian Stout—a "cellarable craft beer," one of three from their Alchemy Project.
Weighing in at 9.3% ABV and 70 IBU, this big boy is not messing around. After taking in the delicate, fruity nose, the pleasant and restrained intial raspberry taste lands on the tongue, only to be washed away by high alcohol. It rebuilds pleasantly over a long finish, which features distinct acidity, subtle malt, and a strongly hoppy flavor that is atypical of the style. While I don't think the phrase "session stout" is part of most Western beer vocabularies, it has a distinctly lighter mouth feel than archetypal stouts. It is a guess that the beer will come into focus with cellaring.
Available April 9th, so for those of you looking to finally branch out from the safety of slightly fruited Flemish sours like Duchesse, this will make for an interesting tankard.
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