Imperial Stout (Midwest Extract Kit) Tasting Notes


Original Post: Imperial Stout (Midwest Kit)
Style: Imperial Stout
Brew Date: October 2011
Original Serve Date: March 2012
I believe that this is the last bottle of this batch. I meant to save more but it was too delicious to resist. That’s how I remember it, anyway.

Opening this bottle, it has a good pop and seems well carbonated. Lots of these “vintage” beers have been way over carbonated. Pouring it, I can see some color creeping through. I looks black in the glass, but the thinner stream during the pour betrayed some red highlights around the edges.

The aroma is not strong. It is pleasant with hints of roast and a surprising yeast character, but neither are strong. The first sip is delicious. It’s roasty, but not overly so. There are definite chocolate overtones. I’m surprised that this has more chocolate flavor than coffee. It tastes great.

The mouth feel is good, too. It almost seems a little thin for an imperial stout, but the tongue coating texture of oats keep it strong. The addition of some oats in the steep were my one change to the recipe, that seems to have been a good idea.

I don’t taste any of that yeast that I thought I caught a whiff of. I’m not sure why I’m picking up that smell, it’s not apparent anywhere else.

I’m still surprised by the chocolate character in this beer. There is some coffee roast in the finish, but upfront it is all sweet chocolate. As I sip, I can see red highlights. The color, the roast, the body… they’re all less extreme than I expect in an imperial stout. This may not register as truly “imperial” to some, but it is truly a joy to drink.


I estimate that the alcohol is around 8% but I’m not sure. It is well hidden. This is definitely not a session beer, you can sense that immediately, but I could definitely drink more than one. It is a great stepping stone between a milk stout and the behemoth American craft interpretations of imperial stout.

I wish I had more of this stuff. I keep thinking about making an imperial stout, but when I do, I think more along the lines of those colossal beers. Maybe I need to rethink that and get this onto the brew schedule. I believe this around the same strength as Samuel Smitth’s Imperial Stout, I may need to revisit that beer. Anyway… if you’re an extract brewer, pick up this kit. It makes a great beer.


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