In 18th century England, a dark and malty beer known as porter grew to such popular demand that it eventually spurred the beginning of commercial brewing as we know it.  Different brewers offered varying interpretation of the style, and eventually the porters that were richer or “stouter” in character had the most appeal. One of the most famous admirers of this hearty new style of beer was Catherine II of Russia -- Catherine the Great. Brewed to a formidable strength in order to prevent spoilage during its long journey to Russia, this rich and hearty brew earned the name Russian Imperial Stout. For the first time, we are excited to offer a Russian Imperial Stout actually brewed in Russia. Za Vas!   Baltika Russian Imperial StoutBaltika Russian Imperial Stout Dark as night in the glass, aromas of rich roasted malt and allspice leap from the glass. The dry palate is accentuated by a fruitiness like prune cake and vintage port before a decadent and bittersweet finish that shows notes of dark chocolate covered caramel. Heavily roasted malts were clearly used in moderation, most likely more for color than for the dark roasted coffee flavors that dominate so many American interpretations of the style. This may not be the Imperial Stout you are used to, but it is a delicious return to form, that you don't need to be royalty to enjoy.     More on the Style   Stouts have continued to evolve over time with a seemingly limitless number of variations from Milk to Dry, Oatmeal to Chocolate. Like India Pale Ale, Russian Imperial Stout is a style that, in the not too distant past, had become all but extinct. That is, until the American Craft Beer industry embraced it with open arms.   American brewers are famous for their brazen interpretations of classic styles. The Russian Imperial Stout with its big and bold malt profile became the perfect backdrop for experimentation. The number of ingredients thrown into the mix has become almost limitless - from dark roast coffee and vanilla bean to cocoa nibs and chili peppers. Resting these bold brews in bourbon whiskey barrels created a whole new style that has skyrocketed in popularity. Now brewers all over the world have embraced this love for the Russian Imperial Stout and it has led to some of the richest and most decadent beers the world had ever seen. Try some other classic examples of this style:   English Versions Samuel Smith's Imperial StoutSamuel Smith’s Imperial Stout Courage Russian Imperial Stout   American Craft Ale Smith Speedway Stout Hoppin Frog Boris the Crusher North Coast Old Rasputin