Wellington Brewery Imperial Russian Stout: Brewed in Guelph, Ontario at a strength of 8% abv, Wellington claims to be Canada’s oldest operating Independent microbrewery (they opened in 1985), however I believe Spinnakers actually takes that honour as they opened in 1984. Still, all fact disputes aside, this is a beer I’ve heard about from other’s back east and finally I was able to acquire one to crack open, try for myself and review.
Aroma and Appearance: As shown in the picture, it pours a very dark (almost black) brown colour with two fingers of tan coloured foam and no visible bubbles in the glass. The aroma highlights quaffs of coffee beans, tobacco, very dark chocolate, fresh brownies, Oreo cookies, molasses and hints of tar.
Flavour: A lot of the aromatics are mirrored in the flavour, starting out with a fudgy brownie beginning followed by notes of medium roast coffee, tar, tobacco and soot in the middle of the beer. It has a thick body and finishes with an Oreo cookie covered in milk chocolate flavour proceeded by a dry cocoa and mocha aftertaste that tends to linger at the back of your palate for a while.
Overall Impression: This is an impressive and well made Russian Imperial Stout that lives up to its reputation. It’s the Sierra Nevada Narhwal of Canada I’d say!
Rating: I give it am excellent rating of 8/10, a very good and reliable beer that exemplifies the style quite nicely and delivers some interesting nuances of flavour.
Food Pairing: Oreos, chocolate caramel cookies, or chocolate cake. Bring out the sweets as it has a good base that will enhance the sugary food without wrecking the beer or overpowering the food.
Here’s a good shot from their Instagram page of some samplers from the brewery. It looks like a fun place to visit (if you can make the hours) and they have some very social media friendly branded glassware which is just plain smart on their end.