A small batch of The Bottle Imp was released last year as part of the Beau’s Pro-Am Series: beers designed by amateur brewers, and brewed at the Beau’s All Natural brewery in Vankleek Hill, Ont. The Bottle Imp recipe was developed in collaboration with David Thompson, winner of the 2012 Toronto Beer Week Homebrew Contest. Thompson’s prize for winning was the chance to work with Beau’s brewmaster Matthew O’Hara to take his homebrew recipe from idea to reality. The Bottle Imp won Beau’s first place in the Stout category in the National Organic Craft Beer Competition, held in California in 2014.
O’Hara says “liquid silk” best describes the mouthfeel of this dark black, rich brew. “The roastiness of the malts is complemented by fruit notes that suggest dates and figs, as well as subtle hints of black licorice. The beer is well-hopped to provide balance to the malts, and to keep the residual sweetness in check,” he explains.
The blend of organic coffee infused into The Bottle Imp pairs a Mexican dark roast with an Ethiopian Limu, both roasted by Bridgehead in Ottawa. The coffee character is fully integrated, and a complement to the roast of the malts. The experience is rich and intense, with gentle alcohol warmth, and a long, complex finish.
The Russian Imperial Stout style is brewed to weigh-in high on alcohol, with the roasted, malty character typical of a stout. The style was first brewed in England in the 18th century, and exported to Russia for the pleasure of Catherine the Great and her court. 600 ml, 9% alc./vol.