Russian Imperial Stout

Russian Imperial Stout For this ale style, it all began in 1698 when Peter the Great visited England and fell in love with the dark beer that the English called Stout. It seems that this beer really made a strong impression on the Russian monarch, because very soon after his visit ships set sail from the island, loaded with the dark liquid and headed for the Russian royal court. London’s Anchor Brewery sent the first such ship to the Empire, but unfortunately the beer did not survive the 1500 miles long journey. That’s why the beer in the second batch was of much higher alcohol content and bitterness. Also, the long-term aging in oak barrels on board the ships further enhanced the density and character of the beer. All this led to a real “stout” beer. Very strong, very dark. It was a risk that the English took. But the black brew was received extremely well in Russia. The whole court went crazy about it. One of the most avid fans of the new beer was Catherine the Great, who would receive regular shipments (and quite big ones too) for her and the entire Imperial Court. The stout was mainly delivered by Barclay Perkins Anchor Brewery, a British brewery that made huge profits from their partnership with the Russian imperial family. And this is how this beer got its unique name. Even today, its production is a difficult and slow process, fermenting and aging (preferably in oak barrels) lasts for several months to a year. But the taste of the black beer is worth every day of the long wait.