Mark Twain Brewing Company - Passport to Russia (Bourbon Barrel Aged)
Serving Temperature:52–59° F
Suggested Glassware:Snifter, Tulip, or Small Nonic
This exclusive version of Mark Twain’s beloved Russian-style imperial stout brings in some vibrant impacts from its bourbon-barrel aging to play off the base beer’s complex chocolate and roasted core. As with the others, only 25 cases will be available outside of this Rare Beer Club special offer, and only through the brewery’s taproom in Missouri.
Passport to Russia (Bourbon Barrel Aged) pours a super-dark chocolate brown color, capped by light-brown foam that lingers as small-bubbled lacing at the perimeter. Top-note aromatics land generous and assertive: baker’s chocolate and cocoa, toasted marshmallow, and caramelized warmth from the bourbon barrels. Gently warming on the whole, with welcome bitterness from lightly burnt sugar and bitter chocolate notes. Layered milk chocolate and dark fruit.
Deep roasted elements and a range of milk to dark chocolates lead the initial impact here. A full-full-bodied mouthfeel, with the alcohol nicely tucked away for 12%. We find deliciously integrated fruit character throughout this imperial stout: dried darker fruits (dates, raisins), plenty of bright red-fruit esters, notes of darker plum and currants… As with each of these releases, the overall range of flavors inhabited by this barrel-aged stout is pretty impressive: super deep, very easy to get into, drinkable now, but cellar ready. Having two takes on this barrel-aged imperial stout (vanilla’s up next) feels like an ideal cap for this special offer.
Like all of these beers, this is drinking super smoothly as it’s arriving to you, but all could stand for some additional cellaring time. We suggest popping a bottle every six months or so to ensure caramelization levels don’t go beyond what you’d prefer. The dark roasted coffee and chocolate character, plus the hefty ABV, position this well for grilled steaks, vanilla and chocolate desserts, or as a nightcap paired with maduro cigars.
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