Monday, April 23, 2012

Full Sail Top Sail-Return of the Great Imperial Bourbon Porter

The first time this beer came out I absolutely fell in love with it and found my favorite Porter. I unwittingly only bought a few bottles thinking I could get more next year. Little did I know this beer alternates with Full Sail's Black Gold Imperial Stout and only comes out once every 2 years!

Well it's 2012 and it's back. So I bought a case and a few to drink now. This is a beer that can lay down and improve with age but I'll let you know how it is now.

One difference this year is the price. In 2010 it was $10 bottle. This year it was $13. Looks like someone got wind of how good this is. Well I'd rather the brewer get their money to put it back in to more beer than some eBay flipper. (You know who you are!)

It pours thick and black with a tan head. The head sits lightly on top and stays subdued to 1" or so.

The nose is heavy bourbon, vanilla, and alcohol. It definitely helps to let this breathe a bit. Compared to 2010 this beer comes off hotter.

As you take a sip the body is silky and wraps around your tongue. The carbonation is light but adequate. There is a sweet maltiness along with a heavy bourbon bite. The heat stays on your tongue and lingers but doesntt get to hot in your chest or burn the back of your throat.

This years is a little hotter than last year but still enjoyable and drinkable now. It will definitely improve as you lay it down.

You may think my review is somewhat ambivalent but this is a bourbon barrel aged beer so it should be hot now and improve with some age. You probably shouldn't start drinking most bourbon beers for at least a year. It's a bit hot but really enjoyable and excellent now. It's definitely hotter and more bourbons than last time but I think that just bodes more greatness later on down the road.

I'll report out in 6-9 months on how that's going. The only down side is there is no warning as of to the abv of this thing. You feel the warm fuzzier start to cloud you head after the first 12 oz of this 22oz.

Pros: An excellent Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter you can drink now but will get better with age.

Cons: Not quite as drinkable right away so you have to wait and see where this goes...

Verdict: Buy some for now and some for later!

4.5/5 on the Mark-o-Meter

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