- BJCP Style: Imperial Stout
- ABV: 9.7%
- IBU: 60
- Hops Variety: Unknown
- Malts: Unknown
- Brewery: Reformation Brewery
- City: Canton, GA (Atlanta Metro)
- Aroma: Roasted and chocolate malts, no hops. Alcohol aroma notable, but not prominent.
- Appearance: Black, with thick, mousse-like tan head, excellent head retention.
- Flavor & Aftertaste: Malt forward, roasty, chocolatey, and coffee-like. Medium sweetness, moderately bitter, mild alcohol presence.
- Palate: Full bodied, low carbonation. Lengthy, bittersweet finish.
- Style Representation: Style Appropriate
There are some beer styles that are made for the hot summer months and there are others made for cold winter months. Imperial Stout is definitely a style made for the cold, blustery days of winter. If you have never had an Imperial Stout, it can be best described as a more robust, boozier version of your standard American or Foreign Export Stout. Reformation Brewery introduced Declaration Imperial Stout several years ago and has released multiple vintages and tweaks of it since then. This is a review of the 2019 vintage.
Declaration is another one of those beers I like to dub a “luxury” beer. By my definition, a luxury beer is one that luscious and/or has one or more bold, yet simple characteristics that make it a beer you want to sip, savor and enjoy vs crush. Declaration pours to a jet black color with no discernible haze, producing a nice thick, mousse-like tan head with excellent retention. As you pour it out, you can easily get a whiff of the dark roasted malt and chocolate aromas drifting from your glass. You won’t detect any hops aromas and, even considering the 9.7% ABV, you’ll barely note much alcohol.
Its malty bouquet is just the starting point for enjoyment of this beer. Start to finish, you’ll delight in the complexity of malt forward flavors: roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. It is full bodied and well balanced between a medium malt sweetness and a moderate baker’s chocolate-like bitterness with a minimal amount of carbonation. The finish soft and long.
Declaration is a first class Imperial Stout (the 2017 edition scored a 95 – “Don’t Hesitate” by Beer Connoisseur Magazine) and is one of those stouts that I would love to keep around fall through early spring. Unfortunately, I have yet to see it readily available in the retail stores I frequent and the brewery is about a 40 minute drive away. That being said, it does occasionally pop up at some of the smaller bottle shops in my area. If you live anywhere near their Canton, Woodstock or, soon to open, Smyrna tap rooms, be sure to drop in to try it on tap or purchase a four pack of 16 oz. cans. Here is my recommendation: buy a four pack, drink one immediately, save one for Christmas Eve, and save the other two for a super cold, snowy day in January/February.
Thanks for reading. Until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!
As always – Please Drink Responsibly.