Kansas’ Tallgrass Brewing Company has just released a canned run of their Big RICC, a 10.5% ABV Russian imperial stout (RIS) that includes coffee and chocolate. Big RICC pours with a dark brown to black coloration with a substantive amount of tannish head. The beer laces its way down a glass, while providing imbibers with a good amount of bitterness (both from the inclusion of coffee and the 65 IBUs of the beer). There is a nutty, bittersweet side to Big RICC that comes through at point, giving the beer additional complexity.
The alcohol content of the beer is hidden masterfully behind the bold flavors that are contained within. The mouthfeel of Big RICC is velvety and thick, but is not overly dense or sludgy; this robustness makes the beer eminently drinkable.
One would do well in these increasingly cold autumn months to pick up a can of Big RICC before it makes its way off of shelves. Due to the strong flavor profile of the beer, we would recommend pairing Big RICC with similarly-bold plates (strong cheeses, smoked meats, stews, and assertively-flavored cuisines), It is an early contender for the best Russian Imperial Stout reviewed at NeuFutur this year. Tallgrass has a strong bourbon barrel-aged program, so here’s to hoping Big RICC finds its way into a barrel. I believe the added complexity would only benefit an already-impressive beer.
For more information about Tallgrass’ full-time and seasonal offerings, their domain has listings for each of the brewery’s efforts as well as an up-to-date list concerning state-level ability of the brewery’s beers. The company is also active on Facebook and Twitter, which will keep friends and followers up to date about new product releases, events, and anything else Tallgrass-related.