Two Brothers Brewing | Northwind Imperial Stout
ABV 9.1 | IBU 45
The sun dipped below the North Pole’s horizon long ago — not to be seen again until March. The relentless darkness creates indescribable arctic cold that marches southward all winter. But, there’s more than just frosty breezes arriving from the north, there’s Imperial Stout — Two Brothers Brewing Northwind Imperial Stout.
On January 20, the northern hemisphere reaches its climatological coldest day of the year. Granted, much of the country finds itself in the midst of abnormal warmth – it’s forecast to be near 60 degrees in Chicago on the 20th. Nevertheless, one should not be fooled. Winter is not over. We can be confident the cold will return.
Thus, It behooves us all to prepare for the cold, and nothing prepares us better than a robust, flavorful stout that’s as dark as the skies above Santa’s workshop, such as Two Brothers Brewing Northwind Imperial Stout.
This genre of beer, historically tied to the Imperial Court of Russia’s desire for deep, dark beer during the frigid months, is much like a snowflake; they all seem similar, but no two are the same.
Northwind Imperial Stout is a malt-lovers dream, but it doesn’t leave hop heads out in the cold either. On the nose, one is presented with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, and something resembling black cherry or black licorice. Following that enticing aroma are flavors led by a noticeable roasted nature, as well as toffee, chocolate and vanilla, which is all complimented by the hops.
Most chefs and brewers love a finished product to hit on several flavor notes as well as provide a textural contrast. The textural component is not one that brewers can often address, but the medium-bodied Imperial Northwind Stout enjoys wonderful creaminess that elevates the beer from very good to excellent — suitable for any Czar.
Northwind Imperial Stout, in my view, is best at roughly 45-50 degrees. And, while it is terrific as a sipping beer, I love this beer as a compliment to a meal. I think it not only accentuates the dish, the dish usually elevates the beer, too. The beer’s versatility is one of the reasons that buying a six pack of this is well-worth the investment.
Sure, the groundhog is starting to stir. He is thinking about making his weather prediction. But, do you really want to rely on a rodent? I prefer to rely on the wind — and the Northwinds are still blowing.