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Mar 2015

Fuller's Imperial Stout, Fullers

Added: Sunday, March 1st 2015

Style Stout ABV 10.7%

Fuller’s Imperial Stout 10.7%

This addition to the Chiswick brewery’s special edition series pays homage to the strong stouts and porters brewed in London in the 18th and 19th centuries for export to Russia and the Baltic States. The best-known member of the style was a stout brewed first by Thrale’s brewery in Southwark, which became Barclay Perkins. It was held in such high esteem in the Russian court that it was given a royal warrant and was able to be labelled Imperial Russian Stout.

When Barclays merged with the neighbouring Courage brewery in 1955, the beer became known as Courage Imperial Russian Stout. As a result of takeovers and brewery closures, the Courage beer disappeared until it was bought and relaunched by Charles Wells of Bedford.

Fuller’s interpretation of the beer has been brewed in collaboration with the beer writer Melissa Cole who suggested the addition of rose buds to the malts and hops. Along with pale, imperial, brown and choicolate malts, golden naked oats, treacle and No 3 invert sugar,Centennial, Goldings and Sovereign hops add powerful fruit and pepper notes.

The beer pours jet black in a snifter glass, with a deep tan head. Rose buds make their presence felt on the aroma, vying for attention with bitter chocolate, cocoa powder, creamy malt, burnt fruit and notes of Turkish Delight and marshmallow. Smooth creamy malt coats the mouth with continuing notes of earthy rose buds, Turkish Delight and burnt fruit, all underpinned by peppery hops.

The finish is long, deep and complex, with creamy malt, sultana fruit, marshmallow and bitter, peppery hops. The beer is bottle conditioned and the strength indicates it will age and develop well for many years. This is a beer that cries out to be cellared.

Fuller’s Imperial Stout costs £70 for a case of 12 from the brewery’s online shop or £7 for a single bottle plus post and paCKING:

Fuller's Imperial Stout, Fullers