"Belgian Imperial Stout" style question

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Bierman9, Dec 19, 2021.

  1. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (5,376) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
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    One of my local breweries has a beer which they describe on their web as such, below: What style should it go under here on BA? Thnx
    "Belgian imperial stout with dark chocolate notes"

     
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  2. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,243) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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  3. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,921) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Moderator Society Trader

    Okay, Belgium is well renowned all around the world for a wide variety of styles and hundreds of outstanding breweries and thousands of very worthy beers, I’m not sure under which style this will fall on BA.

    @Todd? American Imp stout?

    I mean it’s up to the brewer to label their beers the style they want based on recipes and ingredients?
     
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  4. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,953) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    I see some are put under American Imperial Stout with a Belgian reference under notes.
     
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  5. defunksta

    defunksta Meyvn (1,219) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota
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    Not sure, maybe it drinks similar to a Belgian Quad?
     
  6. cryptichead

    cryptichead Poo-Bah (1,709) Jul 3, 2014 Illinois
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    I say put it under Imperial Stout with complete notes
     
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  7. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (5,376) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
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    No, has lots of roasty, choco notes. No dark fruit typical to a Quad....

    Cheers!
     
  8. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,671) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    It's not really that tricky. Most "Belgian" stouts are classified in one of the various stout categories here. There isn't total science behind which stout category to pick - just go with the one that seems to fit the best. After all, these beers are being marketed as stouts. Sometimes you'll see such beers in the strong dark Belgian category... which could work. One can decide if the character of the beer leans more "stout" or more "dark Belgian" when deciding between those categories, but it's not like there's a universal cut-off that everyone will agree on. Ask yourself if the beer is more Guinness Foreign Extra or more Abt 12. (It seems like you've answered that above @Bierman9 ) Aim for best category rather than perfect.
     
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,299) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Dave, given those details I would place this beer into one of the Imperial Stout categories on BA. Which one to choose ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Cheers!
     
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  10. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,564) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society Trader

    American Imperial Stout is the go-to when in doubt, but I've seen quite a few strong Belgian Stouts dropped into Russian Imperial Stout over the years. Without knowing more, I'm leaning toward the latter.
     
  11. HopBelT

    HopBelT Poo-Bah (1,953) Mar 18, 2014 Belgium
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    I second to that. Labelling beer as 'Belgian Imperial Stout' is marketing...
     
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  12. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,671) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    "Russian imperial stout" is also marketing. I'm not sure why that matters.
     
  13. officerbill

    officerbill Champion (889) Feb 9, 2019 New York
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    Allagash's North Sky is a “Belgian-inspired stout” using their house yeast and it's listed under Stout - English.
    Van Steenberge's Gulden Draak Imperial Stout (buy it if you see it) uses their Belgian yeast and is listed under Stout - Russian Imperial
     
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,299) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Bill, are you able to find this beer in smaller (e.g., 11.2 ounce) bottles?

    Cheers!
     
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  15. officerbill

    officerbill Champion (889) Feb 9, 2019 New York
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    The only place I've seen them is in the Steenberge variety pack, don't recall if they were 12oz or 11.2. Ended up buying two variety packs.
     
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  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,299) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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  17. mikeinportc

    mikeinportc Poo-Bah (1,757) Nov 4, 2015 New York
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  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,299) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Thanks for your tip.

    I do have a Wegman's near me (I grocery shopped there earlier today) but since beer distribution is a State (and local) thing they may have it (or not). I will check next time I am there.

    Cheers!
     
  19. bobv

    bobv Poo-Bah (4,205) Feb 3, 2009 Vermont
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    Happy 20th!
     
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  20. HopBelT

    HopBelT Poo-Bah (1,953) Mar 18, 2014 Belgium
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    That is not marketing, it's historical. The British were brewing a strong stout for the Russian market. It was a popular drink amongst the nobles in the 1700s. Espescially Tsarina Catharina II was a fan. Hence 'Russian' and 'Imperial'.
     
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  21. HopBelT

    HopBelT Poo-Bah (1,953) Mar 18, 2014 Belgium
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    By the way, De Struise Brouwers brew an imperial stout named Black Albert, and label it as a Belgian Royal Stout. Albert is the name of our previous king...
     
  22. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,671) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    "Marketing" and "historical" are not opposed terms. Beer packaging and words on a label are marketing. "Russian Imperial stout" was likely not in use as a term in the period you describe... but was used as a marketing term later. A good example is the advert below from 1934... which was for a beer that wasn't even referred to as Russian Imperial Stout in the brewer's books, but rather, Imperial Brown Stout.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. HopBelT

    HopBelT Poo-Bah (1,953) Mar 18, 2014 Belgium
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    You are correct. I was only referring to the historical background for the marketing of Russian Imperial Stouts, as opposed to the lack of it for 'Belgian Imperial Stout'.
     
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  24. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (5,376) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
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    Huh??

    Happy 21st!

    Prosit!
     
  25. crazyspicychef

    crazyspicychef Disciple (310) Sep 27, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Was it Weyerbacher?
     
  26. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,243) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Except, "Russian Imperial" is redundant... probably another American craft brewing overblown tag.

    I met an old English guy at the Chicago Real Ale Festival pub crawl many years ago who asked me why we had to double up the name, "It's Russian, or it's Imperial, doesn't need to be both."

    That profound thinking has stuck with me.

    Even still, if old Cat hadn't been so hot for the style, it would have never been called Russian Stout, so @zid is right -- the breweries started a marketing trend for sales.
     
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  27. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,243) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    Dec 20, 2001... your inaugural day at BA.

    Time flies. :grin:
     
  28. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (5,376) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
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    White Birch, here in Nashua NH....
     
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  29. Bierman9

    Bierman9 Poo-Bah (5,376) Dec 20, 2001 New Hampshire
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    WTF?!?!! I remember I initially signed onto BA to verify rumors that Northeast Brewing (with Dann Paquette) were closing their doors...... What a long, strange trip it's been....


    Prosit!!!
     
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  30. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (7,934) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
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    Weyerbacher's Tiny is labeled similarly, and is under American Imperial Stout
    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/392/56274/
     
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  31. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,678) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    I'll call it whatever the brewer says it is even if I disagree with the brewer's assessment.
     
  32. UrbanCaveman

    UrbanCaveman Meyvn (1,056) Sep 30, 2014 Ohio
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    Was it brewed in Belgium, or the US? If the latter, I vote American Imperial Stout (infected). :laughing: