Mark Twain Brewing Company - Passport to Russia (Bourbon Barrel Aged w/ Vanilla)
- ABV: 12%
- Bottle Size: 750-ml
- Serving Temperature: 52–59° F
- Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, or Small Nonic
Closing out this special offer of exclusive releases from Mark Twain Brewing, we’ve got one further iteration of the aforementioned barrel-aged Passport to Russia: aged inside bourbon barrels, with a final addition of vanilla. As with the other three beers in this offer, only about 25 cases will be sold outside of the Rare Beer Club, solely through the brewery’s taproom.
This version of Passport to Russia pours an inky-black color, with dark brown foam around the perimeter. The initial pour erupts with layered aromatics of chocolate, dried dark fruits, and coffee. Generous from first pour, with the vanilla providing a sweet centerpoint for the whole operation. A massive chocolate- and vanilla-angled imperial stout, smoothly edged.
This barrel-aged Passport to Russia offers up a full-bodied mouthfeel with velvety, smoothly integrated carbonation. The addition of vanilla beyond the previous barrel-aged version adds a further element that works seamlessly with what the imperal stout brings: packed with deep chocolate, roasted coffee, and enough specialty-malt bitterness to steer the whole. Bourbon-barrel influence provides welcome burnt sugar, with touches of vanilla and almond. The final flourish of vanilla just pulls everything together—chocolates, caramels, coffee, fruits.
This is drinking really nicely at the moment but it’s still suitable for a bit of additional cellar time. Similar to barrel-aged Passport to Russia (sans vanilla), it’s potent enough to stand up beside the heartiest steaks—and the chocolate-vanilla combo also has it primed for dessert.
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