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Beer – #437 – Epic – Imperium

I thought I’d have a darker beer, so an Epic Imperium it is then.

“In Luke’s own words, its black, its soft, its malty and with notes of toasty loveliness”

This is a  bottle that is 500ml and has and ABV of 9.0%, which makes it 3.55 standard Drinks and 270 calories a serve.

Epic Brewing Company (NZ) brew this at Steam Brewing Company and it could be described as an: Imperial Stout or Foreign Stout, and they are based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Don't be afraid of the dark

Don’t be afraid of the dark

The Epic Biennial Stout Series present Imperium. You are Tolerant. You are Subservient. Respect the Powerful. Worship the Elite. This is your future. You aren’t strong enough to speak up. Obey unquestioningly. Open the Bottle. Taste this Beer. Enjoy.

Imperium has a rich aroma of melted dark chocolate drizzled on burnt Vogels toast. The flavour is cocoa, salted caramel plums, and burnt fruit cake, a silky voluptuous mouthfeel and a long tarry, and belly warming finish.

Should make a pleasing drink.

Chocolate rich on opening, hints of grassiness hops.

My original B Kliban Fat Cat ceramic money box takes an interest in the beer

My original B Kliban Fat Cat ceramic money box takes an interest in the beer

Great easy pour of darkness, which settles to a nice head of mocha brown but it isn’t persistent and fades to a heavy film. Aroma carries to the glass but doesn’t change.

I was expecting fuller and richer, but there is a burst of bitterness that then is over washed by a lovely richness of roasted malts and then back to bitter for the finish.

Hints of raisins and sweetness in there too, in the middle at least.

But this isn’t a ‘full’ beer, and is somewhat over burdened by the hops in this. Not much to indicate that this is a higher ABV beer either.

What to think then. Well there is expectation and then there is delivery. The gap is the disappointment.

This looks great, pours great, and sits well. There is a lovely aroma of chocolate and you can pick the hops aroma. And, it isn’t bad drinking, but it it is over-ridden by a bitterness from the hops in it and there isn’t a lot of body. I’m not going to say ‘thin’ as this isn’t.

Do like that aroma though. (on a side note I was out with MrsPhil last night having a beer in the local, Deep Creek Brewery, having a Dominatrix IPA, which she described as having the aroma of strawberry herbal tea, and she hates the aroma of beer, the beer was o for Owesum! by the way)

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 7 a of its always random and unpredictable things from the things. This isn’t like a “Stout”, and I’ll admit to being no expert but when I think of Stout I wouldn’t think this.  I wouldn’t say either that it was “soft” as the hops make it somewhat nearer raspy.

Not bad though. But not sure I’d be fishing out to have another.

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? Yes, it improves a little as it warms.
  2. Would I have another? I’m not sure there are a lot of other really good Stouts needing my attention.
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I might, because this is a roller coaster of hops and roasted malts and for that it makes it interesting, although Black IPA comes to mind, perhaps I’m missing a trick?

I found myself listening to Midge Ure – from the Album “Fragile” this is the title track.

The album is soft and easy going.

On the food front, Dinner on Saturday was Port Fillet, with rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes and buttered cabbage, which all came with gravy of course.


Imperial stouts are usually extremely dark brown to black in color with flavors that are intensely malty, deeply roasted and sometimes with accents of dark fruit (raisin, fig) or milk sourness. The bitterness is typically medium and often the low sie of that. Imperial stouts are strong and often exceed 8% by volume.


Foreign Stout began with the beer that would become Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. This was a stronger, extra-hopped version of the basic Guinness Extra Stout, brewed to survive long journeys overseas. The classic FES still exists in a few different forms, but many of the original destination countries (Jamaica, Sri Lanka, etc.) now have their own, locally-produced versions. Foreign stout occupies a position between basic stout and imperial stout. It is sweeter than a basic stout, but not as robust as an imperial. It is less fruity and less hoppy as well. Foreign stouts are sometimes made with local grains and adjuncts sugar is not uncommon. Alcohol ranges from 6-8%.


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