Type: Imperial Stout
So this is the finale of my Brew Dog week on the blog. I have been waiting for a long time to drink this well regarded imperial stout. I think it is one of the pinnacles of Brew Dog's impressive catalogue. A massive 18.2% stout, tokyo* is brewed with ingredients such as lavender and cranberries, dry hopped, and aged on french oak. This stout basically goes through every process in the craft brewers handbook before being bottled and sent off to the lucky few who get to drink it. I actually got this beer from a store in Hungary and held onto it until an appropriate time in which to crack the seal and release the beast that lies within. Today seems like a good day, considering, so lets get to it. Pours dark, black but not the infinite black I expected. There is just the absolute hint of ruby at the edges when held up to the light. Another thing I didn't expect is a decent sized almost one finger head. Tan and tenacious it sticks around forever as it settles into a creamy top for the surface of the beer. The smell is like some kind of fancy liquor, cognac or a strong port wine. Big boozy smell with undercurrents of sweet dark fruit and lots and lots of malt. Hints of chocolate and coffee as well. My bottle has been aging quite a while, I bet this was a monster fresh off the line. I was a bit taken aback by the just overwhelming sweetness of the taste at first. It tastes a bit like ethanol spiked molasses. Way to cold to begin with, I would warn anyone trying this to let it warm to almost room temp. Once it warms up, that sickly sweetness retreats a little and the nuances of the taste really open up. Serious sweetness remains but with a lot of big flavor wrapped up in it. Lots of sugary ripe fruits, but also a good deal of sweet chocolate tones and even a hint of vanilla. This is one of those beers where every sip brings something different. Not a lot of licorice, which always pleases me in an imperial, especially one like this. The sweetness is syrupy, like molasses but less smokey, something like a reduced wine sauce both in taste and constancy. Yes this beer is thick, I feel if I were to drop the cap in it would slowly sink in like a mammoth into a tar pit. There is no way to hide all that alcohol, even though it does a damn fine job of trying. It is hot like a good sipping liquor. But just like that it is not unpleasant. Small amount of bitterness deep down in the corner of the taste, peaking out and waving it's little fist. I bet it had a bit more hop character earlier in its life. Mouthfeel is very full but still silky and smooth. A huge mouth coating thick stickiness with a lasting aftertaste and burn. Certainly a sipping/sharing beer. That being said it is dangerously drinkable for something with such a high ABV.
This beer is epic, there are no other words for it. I have been aging this beer for a long time, waiting for some kind of special occasion. Well buying into Brew Dog seems like a good enough occasion, right? This beer sums up everything I love about Brew Dog. It is huge and unapologetic with a taste that is so damn complex I could probably write a new article for every bottle. A treat I look forward to repeating now that the new batch is available. A great beer and well deserving of a perfect score.