I have to get in at least one more stout before the season's over. Soon the warm weather will be here and I'll be on a steady diet of Coppers, Pales, Wits, and Czech Pilsners. So it's time for one last hurrah, and we might as go out with a bang. Here's another Pennsylvania brewery for you: Weyerbacher. They call their imperial stout "Heresy," which seems like a fitting name for any imperial stout you'd consume on Easter weekend.
Imperial stouts are without a doubt the biggest and baddest of beers. In terms of raw flavor power, they are unmatched (except perhaps by Ruination-esque IPAs). And Heresy does not disappoint on this front. Right away you get blasted by an overload of roasted malts and a slight alcohol kick to boot. As the alcohol and malts begin to fade, a collection of other flavors begin to emerge: There's some dark fruit (cherries and blackberries I think), a little bit of vanilla, some black licorice, as well as some mild hoppiness that lingers on after the rest of the flavors have subsided. The mouthfeel is pretty thick, though not as thick as some of the truly devastating Russian stouts (Stone and Lagunitas come to mind).
I'm a big fan of imperial stouts, and Heresy certainly didn't disappoint. It's a little bit sweeter than I would have preferred, though the benefit of the mild hoppiness is that you can really start to pick up on all the other flavors that are hiding in the pitch blackness of this brew (no joke--this beer is an alcoholic black hole). A solid offering--better than most, though not quite up to competing with the likes of Stone and Bell's.