Richmond, Virginia’s Strangeways Brewing has created four distinct variants of their Ape Armageddon Imperial Stout, all which have been aged in different barrels. We received the set – a Caribbean Rum barrel-aged, Kentucky Rye whiskey barrel-aged, Tequila barrel-aged and a Kentucky bourbon-barrel aged variant. Ape Armageddon Imperial Stout clocks in at 11% ABV but the actual alcohol burn that is present in the stout is hidden masterfully. The strong flavors that individuals will experience are more than enough to create a harmony of voices in the beer, establishing a luxurious mouth feel that ultimately makes it eminently drinkable and relatively dangerous.
The beer pours with a dark brown to nearly blackish coloration and a small amount of off-white to tannish head. While there is a little bit of alcohol sharpness that is present in the nose of Ape Armageddon, this is not a major component of the first sip one will experience. Rather, Strangeways has created something that links together vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, and even a spicy flavor that outright vies for dominance. It is the large amount of different flavors coupled with the interactions that each have that make the last sip of Ape Armageddon just as alluring as the initial quaff was. I like the fact that Strangeways’ barrel-aging does not impart an overwhelming bourbon flavor to the imperial stout. While the brewery does a great job in moderating some of the sweeter elements that are present when one has an imperial stout, the time spent in its barrel really polishes Ape Armageddon more than overriding the bevy of flavors that are presented throughout. To find a tremendous amount of the full-run of information concerning Strangeways Brewing and their full run of year-round and seasonal beers give their website a spin.
Ape Armageddon (Kentucky Bourbon-Barrel Aged) / Strangeways Brewing / 11.0% ABV / 65 IBU / http://strangewaysbrewing.com/ / https://www.facebook.com/StrangewaysBrewing / https://twitter.com/strangewaysrva