There can only be one undistributed beer of the week. The competition is fierce in San Diego's beer community, but someone has to take the title. This week's best undistributed beer is...
Duck Foot Brewing Co: Ukrainian Imperial Stout
Style: Ukrainian Imperial Stout
Pair with: German chocolate cake or gorgonzola cheese
This big, espresso-flavored brew is full-bodied, thick and loaded with flavors of bitter chocolate and dark fruits.
This beer comes to us from the team at Duck Foot Brewing, known in the San Diego beer community for creating awesome, gluten-free beers.
Co-owner Brett Goldstock said that this Ukrainian Imperial Stout, which is big, chocolatey and bold as hell, was originally meant to be a Russian Imperial Stout, not a "Ukrainian" one.
"The Russian Imperial Stout is a well-known style in beer circles. Inky black in color, potent in strength, huge aromas and flavors of toast, coffee, bitter chocolate and dark fruits," he said. "When Putin decided to 'appropriate' the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine, we decided to have some fun at his expense by calling it a Ukrainian Imperial Stout instead."
This beer is strong in ABV, coming in at over ten-percent, but also quite heavy in flavor. Its complex, espresso-nose leads to an even more full taste profile with notes of figs, dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee. It is immediately clear upon merely smelling this beer that a lot went into the process of this stout. In fact, the amount of grain used to make this beer is kind of a big deal, according to Goldstock.
"The amount of grain we had to use in this beer was pretty amazing. In fact, we ended up overflowing our mash tun which left a bit of a sticky mess on the floor," he said.
The recipe itself was created by Brett and some of his homebrewing friends, who had experimented with it before on a homebrew-scale. After a successful run at the recipe, the crew decided it was time to give it a go on the big system. The outcome was a big, molasses-like Russian stout that eventually became the brewery's new Ukrainian Imperial Stout.
Goldstock also let us in on something else Duckfoot has in the works: A portion of this batch of the Ukrainian Imperial Stout is being aged in Heaven Hill bourbon whiskey barrels. The barrel-aged creation should be ready for patrons to try at the brewery's anniversary party in June. Beer-lovers can also look to try four other variations of the brew in the coming months including raspberry and vanilla, coffee and cocoa nibs, coconut and a Nitro addition.
This beer is currently available on tap at Duck Foot Brewing for a limited time. Get it while it's cold!
Duck Foot Brewing Co., 8920 Kenamar Drive, Miramar. duckfootbeer.com