While this is readily available in Western NY, Great Lakes is pretty sparse in the Capital District so I was happy when Hoosick Street Beverage got a couple of cases of a each of their styles. I picked this up along with some of the Great Lakes Christmas Ale.
Served at room temperature into a Hill Farmstead tulip. Appears medium brown on the pour and settles into a a dark brown, almost black body at rest in the glass, topped with a thick tan head that laces the sides nicely. The aroma is pretty standard here for the style with some roasted malts and coffee notes. Taste is fairly one dimensional with aggressive roasted malts and some bittersweet chocolate. Bitterness sticks around on the tongue for quite a while. The 9% ABV is not as present as with most RISs. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, but is thin and lacking for the style.
Overall, this is an exceptional beer that epitomizes Russian Imperial Stouts with the exception of the mouthfeel, but it does not stand up to the Parabola’s, Damon’s and Luscious’s of the world.