The Avarice Belgian-Style Imperial Stout from River North Brewery in Denver, Colorado pours out pitch black in color with no light getting through and is topped with just over a finger of mocha colored, dense, evenly bubbled head that very slowly reduces down to a thin film with a good sized collar. On the nose, big All-American robust stout aromas collide with yeasty Belgian notes. This smells to die for. Aromas of bittersweet chocolate, freshly roast coffee bean, yeast, licorice, a little citrus and earth. In the mouth, rich, bold, yet smooth and quite creamy. Flavors of licorice, bitter chocolate, coffee, deeply roasted grain, faint apricot, Belgian yeast and a little lemony citrus. Full bodied. Good carbonation. Luxurious, rich, creamy mouthfeel that has a chew to it as well. Sheets of lacing on the glass. The finish is very long and quite dry with the big robust flavors clinging on only to be outlasted by the Belgian yeast notes.
A beast of a beer that is HUGE but also very drinkable. A sipper for sure, but one where you eagerly await the next sip. The flavors are complex and thoroughly integrated. It will be a treat to see how this does aging. I'm suspecting that while it is a phenomenal craft beer right now it will age very well and become even better. One of the best beers I've had this year. Highly recommended.
22 ounce bottle, 9.3% ABV, 82 IBU
Beer 306 of 366 for 2012