Now here is a brewery with not only a unique line of beers, but also a unique identity. I mean, who makes their beer names all dog related anyway (12 dogs of Christmas, Labrador Lager, Irish Setter Red, Old Leghumper)? Don’t be fooled however, Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. is not just silly dog puns; they have created some truly special beers and Siberian Night is no exception. An imperial stout, making it the “granddaddy of all stouts” according to Thirsty Dog (a description that I agree with), this beer packs a wallop for the drinker that ensures a nice beer sipping experience that will last for a while. Oh by the way, at 9.7% ABV, this is another boozy bottle in perfect proportion.
This is an imperial stout so it is jet black and entirely opaque. The head is a deep brown color with a hint of khaki, however you will rarely get to see too much of it since it only rises up about a quarter inch worth off of the initial pour. But all in all, this is exactly what you’d expect from an imperial stout.
The first smell that hits you is a blast of cocoa, and I do mean cocoa and not chocolate. The difference between those two is the same difference between a candy bar, and semi-sweet baking chocolate; both have the signature chocolaty smell, but only one is sugary sweet. The cocoa scent is warm and inviting like chocolate, but not nearly as sweet. There are also strong coffee notes that pair well with the previously stated bitterness. Finally there is a strong malt note that can be confused with just plain alcohol smell.
Holy malts, Batman! If you don’t get a flavor like chewing on a mouthful of malts then you’re drinking the wrong beer. The hops are almost jarring on the first sip almost making the beer taste burnt, however after sip number three or so, you get very used to it and start to crave the harsh flavor, pushing you to take another sip. Tying together the strong malt presence is that delightful cocoa bitterness that we found in the scent. All being said, the alcohol flavor does pierce through this beer in a very blatant fashion, which may be unpleasant for some.
Siberian Night is definitely a quality beer. You can tell that a lot of care went into producing this beer, as you can tell with pretty much all of Thirsty Dog’s brews. My only gripe with it is that the alcohol taste is a little too prevalent for a stout of any kind, even an imperial one. A lot of people would disagree with me on this point, but I feel a beer like this should be a reasonable substitute for dessert, so it should be as drinkable as possible. Siberian Night doesn’t hit that mark for me, but it is still an outstanding beer.
4.0 Stars out of 5