Wake Up Dead Nitro Russian Imperial Stout

Posted in Eat & Drink
Thu, Aug 27 - 11:19 pm EST | 3 years ago by
Comments: 0
Be Sociable, Share!
  • Tweet
Use Arrow Keys (← →) to Browse

The Beer in Review: Wake Up Dead Nitro

Waking Up Is A Weird Way To Die

Okay, it’s crunch time. Nitros have been a hit and miss game in my book, with Left Hand Brewing offering me one win and one fail so far. The Nitro Milk Stout, covered earlier was surprising in the way in which it delivered a fuller body to an otherwise tame milk stout. The Sawtooth American Ale Nitro however, which I sampled last week on a radio spot you can find here, fell utterly flat resulting in everyone at the table opting for a drain pour. So, let us now see if this Russian Imperial Nitro can save the day.

Beginning with the standard hard pour that all nitros require, this Russian Imperial clouds up beautifully, with the foam head remaining at just the right quarter to half inch I want and the haze beneath swirling like a beautiful storm. Flat black in appearance, save for the off-white head, this stout looks to be the real deal. Taking in a sniff, rich notes of malt and subtle hints of coffee waft through the nose.

Then…the sip.

And it is rich. Very rich. At 10% ABV, the rich creamy flavor of this brew, which is seemingly exacerbated by the nitro spirit itself, blends together a profile of cream, light chocolate notes, even lighter coffee and a malt body that is superb, all while masking any real substantial traces of heavy boozy nature. Feeling rich and creamy in respect to mouthfeel, the brew possesses an altogether decadent feel to it, balancing the harder hitting aspects of an imperial stout with the mellowing qualities of nitro in what is a rather impressive manner.

I am so very distrusting of nitros. So much so, this one sat in my fridge for upwards of two weeks before I finally decided to give it a go. And so with this one, as with the previous milk stout nitro review, I’m tempted to say that, at least in bottle form, nitros require a certain weight and richness to the brews they go into, in order to work right.

With Old Speckled Hen, The Sawtooth and even the Old Chub nitro, the plying of this gassy addition to what are English pub ales, American ales and Scotch ales respectively, always seems to nullify whatever enjoyable aspects they may contain. This of course, speaking only of the bottle format, as it was some months ago during a beer dinner that while sampling the Old Chub Scotch Ale nitro on draft, I found it simply amazing. However in bottles, it would seem as though the best format for such a style is that of the stout and its weighty darker nature.

In this particular stout, as with the milk stout, I find that the nitro actually adds to the brew, rather than detracts. Though slightly mellowing in some respects, such as with the alcohol burn that a 10% brew would be expected to carry, it adds something of a lofty, creamy enhancement that might otherwise not be present. Having held an otherwise suspicious if not scornful opinion of nitros thus far, Left Hand Brewing has – by virtue of their stouts – given me cause to reconsider my position on the matter.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish my beer.


While the brewery may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.

Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.

Read more beer reviews from Goroff by clicking through the gallery below.

Innis & Gunn Original

The general impression of this oak-aged brew is one of curious contradiction.

A Big Bottle of WTF

Why would someone create a lemon donut-flavored beer?

Samuel Smith Tadcaster Oatmeal Stout

You might be surprised how much you like this oatmeal stout.

Braggot Rights

The beer offers a pleasant sort of strangeness.

Samuel Adams Double Bock

In malt, we find a profound form of flavor. In gravity, naturally we find a pleasure. In the Samuel Adams Double Bock we find both these characteristics in fine balance.

Shipyard Imperial Pilsner

This brew is a surprising summer sipper that you should enjoy this season.

Brooklyn Black Ops

Inky and opaque, the Brooklyn Black Ops is a brew of profound and exotic luxury.

Oh What A Pig’s Ear This Is

This dark brown beer has an unusual name, but how does it taste?

It's No Sweat, Right?

The jalapeno flavor in Throwback Spicy Bohemian is more intense than you might expect.

Living Up to Its Rep

Stoneface IPA stands out from the pack.

It's All About Gravity

Check out Parabola -- an annual imperial stout from Firestone.

Founders Centennial IPA

If you are looking for an honest, flavorful beer, give Founders Centennial IPA a try.

Three-Eyed Raven

This dark saison is the latest offering from Ommergang's Game of Thrones series.

Milly's Oatmeal Stout

Though likely a difficult brew to obtain for those outside of New Hampshire or New England, Milly’s Oatmeal Stout is certainly a beer worth seeking out.

Sixpoint Abigale Abbey Style Ale

The packaging is unique, but how does the Sixpoint Abigale taste?

Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout

A great beer occasionally does come from a can. Read the review of Ten Fidy Imperial Stout.

Devastatingly Dank

No, you don't have to be stoned to enjoy Stone's Enjoy By 04.20.15 IPA.

Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve (2013)

Find out if the bourbon barrel aged Old Stock Ale is worth the $25-a-bottle price tag.
Use Arrow Keys (← →) to Browse

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Tweet

Related Posts