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American Double/Imperial Stout

American brewers, inclined as they are to experiment with the limits of beer styles, have pushed American Stout to high levels of malt and hop character. Thus, they’ve “doubled,” or “imperialized,” American Stout into a very strong brew. Expect a very robust, full-bodied stout with lots of complexity in aroma and flavor, with many examples surpassing Russian Imperial Stout beers in strength and intensity. Look for a dark, virtually black color displaying the beer’s roasted malt soul. The rich malts combine with generally high hop aromas and flavors along with alcohol notes and esters of dark fruits. All elements are typically balanced, exhibiting a layered complexity, with many examples aged in whiskey or bourbon barrels for additional levels of aroma and flavor. American Imperial Stout and Imperial Stout beers may be cellar-aged, during which the beer’s character will evolve. These are beers for sipping and savoring. Several popular examples are only available on a special-release basis.

Characteristics: Complex, robust, malty, roasty, full-bodied
ABV range: 7.5 – 13+% IBU: 50-90
Popular American Double Stout and Imperial Stout-style beer brands: Founders Breakfast Stout, Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout, Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout, Bell’s Java Stout, Stoudts Fat Dog Imperial Stout, Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, Terrapin Wake N Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout, AleSmith Speedway Stout, Avery Mephistopheles’ Stout
Serving Temperature: Cellar, 55-57°
Cheese Pairing Ideas: Aged Cheddar, Aged Gouda, Roquefort
Food Pairing Ideas: Smoked meats, cheesecake.

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