For anyone under the assumption that New Hampshire, the geographically conjoined twin of Vermont—America's greenest state; the neo-hippie birthplace of Ben and Jerry's and Phish—would produce anything but some of the baddest-ass beer in the country, I must correct you. And you're lucky I'm the one doing it, because if New Hampshire were here, she'd probably be a whole lot less polite about it.
'imperial stout' on Serious Eats
If you want to try Black Tuesday, Kate the Great, Sexual Chocolate, Dark Lord, Surly Darkness, or a number of other great "cult" imperial stouts, you should probably prepare yourself for the possibility of waiting in line on release day, trolling Internet forums looking for trades, buying lottery tickets in hopes of winning a chance to buy a bottle, or paying incredibly inflated prices on eBay. But rest assured, there are plenty of top-tier imperial stouts available that require a lot less hoop-jumping to snag a bottle.
I have a long history with The Abyss from Oregon's Deschutes Brewery. Their most recent release of this deep, dark beer was the 6th edition, and I've been enjoying it almost that long. But all too often I'd crack a bottle and think: this should be saved. This bottle could get better with proper storage and a little time. But what exactly would happen to it? I couldn't say. So last year, I tucked my bottle back into the depths of the fridge and forgot about it.
Warming up with a homebrewed Russian Imperial Stout is the perfect way to end a chilly winter day. Rich roasted coffee and chocolate flavors are predominate in this dark and heavy beer style. The hop character can be mild or assertive, but it is always overshadowed by the massive roasty malts and warming alcohol. The high ABV and the large amount of specialty dark grains make this style a little more difficult to homebrew correctly than many of the other beer recipes we've looked at so far, but I'll walk you through it today.