This week I tasted a local imperial stout that I had never tried before. La Barberie is a small cooperative brewery that is based in Quebec city. They pride themselves for their unique brews, local tasting room and their ability to engage with the community.
La Barberie Imperial stout comes in a 5oo ml bottle, ABV of 7.5% and retails for $4.95.
At first pour this Imperial Stout lived up to its name. It poured a rich dark brown colour and gave about two fingers of caramel head. The head settled down to about a 1/8 inch and lasted until the very last sip, slowly lacing the glass on it way down. Once poured it was a dark brown colour that was just a touch lighter than other imperials I have had. For stout drinkers this pint screamed just pick me up and sip me already!
This beer started with a strong roasted oatmeal smell that was followed up by a coffee almost caramel smell that ended with a sharp hoppy finish. As it opened up the smell became a little sweeter and the hint of coffee became more pronounced. The smell led me to expect a rich balanced full body beer that would have a hoppy aftertaste.
The first sip was harsh and more carbonated than I like my imperial stouts to be. Although it had a good medium to heavy body that rolled nicely in the mouth, after about half a pint it became a little sticky on the tongue. It was slightly less balanced than I was expecting and dryer than other imperial stouts that I have tried.
Then there was the taste…
It was roasted, a bit sweet, I could taste oatmeal and a hint of coffee and chocolate. It was well rounded at first with the roasted oatie mildly sweet taste but by the middle the hop took over and as it warmed up it seemed to get more roasted and peaty. A bit underwhelming compared to the original smell.
Overall I like this beer, but it definitely is not one of my favourite stouts. It was a bit of a downward slope of an experience. It started really high with the pour and the smell. The palate and flavour were a bit of a bust. It was much harsher and more one dimensional than I was expecting. I became tired of drinking it about 3/4 of the way through my pint. If you were to try it, I would recommend sharing a 500 ml bottle and using a classic pint glass or even a flute, which I would not normally use for an imperial. For my detailed specs click on read more after the article
Overall I rate this beer a 3.5 out of 5
Cheers and À votre santé.