I Just Flew This Beer In From California and Boy, Are My Arms Tired
Beer: Stone Espresso RIS / Imperial Stout / 11% ABV
Brewery: Stone / California
Age: Bottled on 3.14.13
Verdict: World Class / 96
Creative Short Story:
As the mist rises from the inside of the glass, the faint sound of groaning can be heard as claws scrape along the outer-edges of the ear drum. The beast is angry. Unusually so, today. The structural confines of his enclosure weaken slightly with every burst of rage that radiates from his vocal chords. His anger has been bubbling, boiling, churning and writhing for years. Escape has never seemed so close, yet so far. The gargoyle within the glass knows there is only a thin layer of melted sand between him and his freedom. Yet, it is this very glass that has been the undoing of his many plans for escape. The anger within him boils. The steam gently pushed upon the underside of the cap that encloses the opening of his prison. Anger takes form and uses its hands to try and wedge its misted claws under the edges of the sealed lid.
Just as the gargoyle is about to begin slamming his immense fists upon the glass wall in front of him, there is a rumble, a hiss, a clash of metal-on-metal, when all of a sudden a beam of light strikes the caged gargoyle in his left eye, blinding him. The pain sends a shockwave from his eye, to his brain, back to the eye with a message with only pain attached to it. He swings his fists, smashing imaginary foes and make-believe monsters to try and stop the onslaught of pain that is attacking his eye. Slowly but surely, his eyes adjust to the illuminated beams streaking through the small opening at the top of his encapsulated prison.
First, only a claw grasps the outer edge of the glass, but soon all nine of its comrades have grasped tight of the edge as they flex and tighten to try and pull the body of the gargoyle free from the glass prison that has been its home for as long as it can remember. Grunts, groans and growls are all that emit from the mouth of the gargoyle. As he frees himself from the opening of the hole, he drapes his legs and arms and closes his eyes as he feels the cold, night air gently numb his body. He swings his limbs to and fro as he sits on the lip of the opening of the prison. Slowly his eyes adjust to the levels of light flooding his cornea.
The image blurs in the eyes of the gargoyle. He rubs them to try and focus his stare on the figure in front of him. Slowly the image comes into focus, with each blink bringing new clarity and resolution to the strange figure. The more the gargoyle focuses, the more he realizes that the figure in front of him has begun its advance towards its current position. A giant, fleshy hand has begun to extend towards the neck of the bottle that has housed the gargoyle for these many years. The figure does not seem to notice the gargoyle as he sits precariously perched upon the lip of the glass. As the hand clasps tightly around the neck of the bottle, the gargoyle falls back into the primordial soup that was his liquid prison for as long as he can remember.
The hand turns…the neck tilts…the liquid content of the bottle slowly begins to pour similar to the stream of ambrosia into the mouth of the Greek gods. The gargoyle is thrown back and forth in the bottle until he notices that the opening of the bottle has been inverted so that the only way out is to lay back and let the flow of liquid carry him out of the opening. Once he has passed the threshold of the bottle, he finds himself plopping into the liquid contents of the cup that the giant humanoid is holding. The content is indeed liquid, but smells different. It has a ‘roasted’ quality, but the gargoyle has a very difficult time finding words to describe the names that might be associated to the aromas of the mysterious brew.
Just as the gargoyle is about to relax and let his feet float up as he tries to decipher the aroma of the liquid, he notices a rumbling in the cup he inhabits and once the cup starts to tip, he turns to find the mouth of the giant has greeted him with its jaws widened as it welcomes to flow of liquid from the cup. The gargoyle desperately tries to claw his way to freedom, striking, thrashing and swiping at the ceramic barrier presented before him.
It takes no time at all for the gargoyle to be swallowed whole by the giant beast. Upon licking its lips, the giant exclaims, “Damn, that is one fine coffee stout. Nothing like adding a little extra cup of Joe to really wake me up on my day off.” As he scrapes and scratches the monster’s tongue on his way down, the gargoyle lets out a blood curdling scream that, unfortunately, gets muted by the belch of the giant. Only legend survives from the giant’s encounter with the gargoyle: nothing but tales and stories passed down to children. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can bring it back from the depths of the giant’s belly, but hopefully the thought of the majestic beast can be passed down to generations so that he may live forever, even if just as a memory.
Legend has it that, with every opened bottle cap, one can hear the growl of the legendary gargoyle as another opportunity of freedom presents itself.
Looks like any other Imperial Stout…NEXT!
Aroma jumps right out of the glass! For a 1 year old coffee stout, the roasted coffee notes are so prevalent on the nose. It has a subtle creaminess to it that really makes it a coffee/chocolate cream aroma. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. 11% my ass. This might as well be a 6% stout.
Flavor explodes on the palate. Coffee is EVERYWHERE and the chocolate is not far behind. Seriously, the level of flavor is legendary. I have never tasted a coffee stout that packed this much coffee into a beer, and that was BCBCS. Again, no alcohol present. It drinks sooooo smooth. That coffee, chocolate cream really plays a huge factor.
This is a beer I can stamp as one of my all-time favorites. I already think that the regular RIS is one of the best ever, but add coffee to it and it just vaults it to ‘legendary status. If you see it, grab it and drink it right there in the store!