With the inclusion of this beer, we’ve now tried all of the new Emelisse White Label barrel series beers.
This time we have the Imperial Russian Stout aged in different red wine barrels and then blended for bottling and kegging.
It is a small-ish bodied beer for an RIS, but I think the red wine barrel works well, as it doesn’t have the overpowering nature that a bourbon or whiskey barrel sometimes can.
There is a real woody character, roasted malts with a little coffee hint, dark chocolate, deep over-ripe dark red fruits, red wine which tends a little port-like with the touch of oxidation.
The beer is quite dry, but still smooth. I think it is the balance of all the attributes which works for me here. Nothing is too obvious, but nothing seems out of place.