We’re in the final stretch of the #8BeersOfChanukah, and my poor liver needs a break. Good thing Christmas is right around the corner… oh wait, never mind. Part of me was really tempted to cellar Amsterdam Brewery‘s Tempest Imperial Stout until next year, as it’s supposed to cellar well for up to 3 years. In fact, I’m inclined to pick up 3 bottles, and cellar them for 1, 2 and 3 years and make it an annual #8BeersOfChanukah tradition to have different vintages of them.

A 500 ml wax dipped bottle will set you back $6.25 at the LCBO for this 9% ABV temptress. A truly Canadian stout, Amsterdam describes this dark lovely as having the drinkability of a British stout and the complexity of an American stout. And what could be more Canadian than describing ourselves with the best attributes of something British and something American? This one is really high on the bitterness scale with 100+ IBU, so it’s not for the faint at heart. But with a beer named after a particular gnarly storm, what did you expect? Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows? (Incidentally, the brewery will be holding an Anti-Prohibition NYE party that looks like a quite the storm. As if I need another excuse to wear a fascinator in public?) We split this between 2 white wine glasses for extra yummies.

Appearance: We had a moment of hesitation when it came to literally “breaking the (wax) seal”. Then we remembered that we have some corkscrews with foils knives, and used one of those to get in. It was black and opaque on the pour with a heavy, thick, creamy head.

Aroma: Coffee, chocolate, and vanilla.

Taste: Strong flavour, smooth and soft mouth feel. The bitter flavours came as quite the pleasant kick. Very bitter and spicy initial flavours. The spicy flavour comes from the infusion of rye grains – oh how I love my malted rye.

Aftertaste: Hoppy aftertaste, more bitter dark chocolate flavours. I do love dark chocolate!

Overall: This dark beauty is well worth the annual hype when it comes out. We actually had some on Saturday at the Indie Ale House’s stout night, but thought this Tempest deserved it’s own tasting. Someone, please buy me a couple of bottles for Festivus tomorrow for me to cellar?

Shawna O'Flaherty

Shawna is a 30-something Montreal native transplanted to Toronto in 2010. Wine loving, beer sniffing and rum swilling come naturally to her, and she is also a certified Irish whiskey taster. She has hosted beer and cheese pairing events in the past.

Shawna has visited vineyards in 6 countries on 3 continents, and has a knack for finding the hoppiest beers around.

She can be found drinking alka-seltzer and coconut water in the morning.

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com

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