As five-foot snowbanks become increasingly common in Ontario, many leave their ice-cold beers in the fridge. Instead, they reach for full-bodied wines and hot toddies. After a day of shoveling snow, it’s nice to drink something that sticks to your ribs, and warms you up. That’s why this week I picked up a 473 mL tall can of Nickel Brook Brewing Company’s Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout. I previously reviewed two other beers from Nickel Brook, so check those out for information on them and the brewery.
I imagine snow removal in the Mongolian People’s Republic, on the opposite side of the northern hemisphere from my location, creates the same problems there as it does here. But, I doubt, bolshevik though they may be, that you would find anyone drinking Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout there. Unfortunately for my Mongolian comrades, Nickel Brook brews are only available in Ontario. And, not to rub it in, I’m going to try one now. Erüül mendiin tölöö!
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.: Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout – First Sip
Bolshevik Bastard pours a solid black with a relatively thin layer of foam. This stout is far less heady than Guinness, and I pour the entire contents of the can into a tulip-shaped pint glass without having to tilt the glass or pour in stages. I smell chocolate and roasted nuts as I take my first sip. The chocolate aroma turns into a chocolate flavour, well supported by this brew’s velvety mouthfeel. Bolshevik Bastard’s chocolatey flavour gives way to a well-balanced bitterness, likely a product of its “aggressive hopping” and high alcohol content.
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.: Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout – Last Sip
Much like the Bolsheviks this brew is named for, it’s not to be messed with. Weighing in at a significantly high 9% ABV, you should probably limit your intake to one. This makes Bolshevik Bastard a great beer to start with, especially if you’re coming in out of the cold.
With its heavy chocolatey flavour, I suggest enjoying this brew with something savoury. Luckily, the holiday season is a time for all kinds of foods, not just sweet ones. This is as full-bodied, and about as alcoholic, as any wine. So, if you feel like drinking something with dinner, try this revolutionary beer alongside your turkey, ham, latkes, jerk chicken, or whatever else you’re going to stuff your face with.