As the weather cools off, it becomes my favorite time of year because the darker beers start to take over. Terrapin Beer Company is apparently embracing this observation by making their next Side Project, Big Daddy Vlady’s Russian Imperial Stout, a huge, dark beer.
Russian Imperial Stouts were a big trend a few years ago, but they lost some of their hype as Wild/Sour Ales and insane Double India Pale Ales started stealing the spotlight. Russian Imperial Stouts were originally brewed in the 1800s to impress the Russian Czar, and it is this tradition of brewing a big, bold beer that still inspires today. What you can expect from this style is a large beer with big time chocolate/roasted malt character, and high alcohol levels. Due to the ABV and typically mild carbonation levels, these beers tend to be sippers meant for savoring. Hop character can range from no hop flavor to incredibly aggressive. They are great because they are versatile, but they still hold a constant charm that you find in each one you try.
It seems Big Daddy Vlady will live up to at least one of these characteristics. I do not know much about the exact malt and hop bill (knowing Terrapin it will probably have a bit of a twist on the traditional style), but the brewery is expecting this one to weigh in at over 10% ABV. This beer should be perfect for the cooler Alabama nights ahead of us. Here is the label description:
“Terrapin’s ‘Big Daddy Vlady’s’ Russian Imperial Stout is Number 13 in our Side Project series of beers. Brewed under the strictest Socialistic guidelines, this Imperialistic Stout will be carefully monitored and allocated accordingly. Black as the coldest Siberian Winter’s night, this colossal, viscous elixir will bring the hammer and sickle down on your little girly man’s palet[*]. Spike’s brewing words of wisdom. Feel free to serve in shot glasses. Na zdorovje!”
*They apparently misspelled palate. I imagine it will be caught before the label goes to printing.
Frankly, I am happy to see Terrapin visiting this style because I am a huge fan of Russian Imperial Stouts, and I have been getting pretty bored with the constant barrage of IPAs/DIPAs. The release of this beer will be well timed and placed as fall shifts to winter in late November to December, and also as a compliment to the release of their new seasonal, Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout, coming in the next few weeks. Big Daddy Vlady will only be bottled in 22 oz bottles (illegal in Alabama), but The J. Clyde tends to land a keg of each Side Project once they are released. Keep an eye out for this brew at your favorite beer bar, or go as far as to request them to try to get a hold of some on your next visit. Should be a tasty brew and worth the effort. Prost!