When I started this blog in early 2006, let me tell you what the hot beers were at the time - what I remember beer dorks were spouting off about the most at the one time I was truly engaged in active listening with them. Dogfish Head -anything. They were the top dawg at the time, maybe still are in many respects. Russian River stuff - though nobody outside of the San Francisco Bay Area could find it with any regularity back then. Avery Brewing's "The Reverend". Alesmith "Speedway Stout" was big. This strange little chain brewery down in San Diego called Pizza Port. And of course, anything STONE related, especially Arrogant Bastard and their RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT.
The first time I drank it - the STONE RUSSIAN IMPERIAL STOUT I mean, - in September 2006, it was rated as the #3 best beer in the world by the collective wisdom of Beer Advocate readers. Today it's still at #22 on the charts. I figured after three years it was time to try it again. I bought a 12-ounce bottle of the Spring 2008 version, and let it be said that it was good. This beer is a chocolately, roasted and very, very still ale - surprisingly thin-bodied, and not that luscious, velvety pillowtop-in-my-mouth I was sorta hoping for. Not even toasty-tasting, nor harsh. Nope, either I've progressed or this beer's mellowed or something, but it was pretty easy-drinkin' as these things go. You wouldn't frighten the womenfolk nor the children with this one. It's no twenty-second greatest beer on the entire planet, but it's a very strong 7.5/10 in my book.