Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews


Two Brothers Brewing Company
Warrenville, IL

Style: Imperial Stout

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

The imperial stout style seems as though it was created for subzero weather. Huge body with a massive malt bill and a load of alchohol to boot. There should be hops in there, but just enough to balance out that gargantuan malt. It’s one of the world’s more challenging styles, sending Bud Light drinkers screaming in abject fear like the bleating sheep that they are.

Two Brothers Northwind is one of those arduous brews, although their offering is on the light side for a Russian imperial stout. It pours just this side of an impenetrable black, with glints of ruby and auburn as it streams from the 22-ounce bomber. A generous, fairly thick cap of dark tan foam closes the pour. Nose news says lots of chocolate and mildly roasted malt alongside hints of that 8.5 percent ABV goodness. The sipping is thick and rich, but super smooth—not a wit of harshness—and fairly small-bodied for a big stout. The taste is light roasted coffee and chocolate, with some plum-like esters around the back edges. Although the hops are present strictly for balance and therefore only barely noticeable, they lend a relatively short, dry finish.

This is a sippin’ imperial stout. That smooth body makes Northwind not as challenging a brew as you’d expect, and the alcohol, although evident in the nose, is invisible to the senses (except the ones that detect drunkeness) even as the beer warms up to room temperature. If you absolutely need your imperial stouts to be overpowering gigantors, the Northwind isn’t for you, but for those who want an entry into the style, grab a bomber, sidle up to the fireplace, and pour.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on February 20, 2008.
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