Imperial Stout • 9.1 % ABV • Bristol, England
The next beer on my list comes from a brewery based in Bristol, where there really is a wealth of craft beer breweries. So much so, that I’m planning on spending a weekend in Bristol in around June to get around a few them.
The brewery is Wiper and True, and the beer I give you today is Winter Palace. An imperial stout which came out in the latter part of 2016.
Winter Palace is described as having a rich sumptuous depth of flavour which combines elements of bitter chocolate, dark fruit and coffee. All brought together in a silky imperial stout form, with a high alcohol content.
I’m a big fan of Wiper and True’s beers, especially after their tap takeover back in January at Small Bar, Cardiff. Really excited to be cracking this one open!
Winter Palace is rich and deep black in colour. It’s so dark in fact, that it’s tricky to establish a clarity or colour level in the stout. It produces a very small, brown head which settles quickly. A little spinning of the glass bring it back to the surface mind.
The aroma balances smooth chocolate with a little vanilla. The dark malts offer a some roast bitterness and there is a little dark fruit tucked in at the back from the yeasty esters.
The first mouthful hits you with bitter coffee ground and leads quickly into the chocolate then a bigger and spicy licorice flavour. The dark fruit esters come in towards the end and leave you with a roast bitterness which may come from the specialist Carafa or DRC (Double Roasted Crystal) malts.
Winter Palace is rich and smooth in body with a creamy texture. Light in carbonation with no astringency and surprisingly easy to drink.
Winter Palace is one of those stouts that really stands out at a higher temperature.
Just out of the fridge, the aromas and flavours were fairly subtle but as the temperature rose, everything became far more pronounced, complex and punchy.
The chocolate, fruit and alcohol warmth really took a leap forward and changed this beer into something else!
The very small head was the only real issue here, but don’t let this distract you from the awesome beer that it is.
If you have had an opportunity to try a bottle then visit @biertaster and let me know what you thought of the Wiper & True’s Winter Palace.