Bend’s Crux Fermentation Project has released its annual Tough Love Imperial Stout with an event Friday afternoon at The Beermongers in SE Portland, ahead of today’s release party at the brewery’s taproom. Crux founder and brewmaster Larry Sidor gave his signature toast of “Hail to the ale!” to commemorate the release of this year’s version, while noting that new head brewer Cam O’Connor‘s first brew this past week was what will become 2015′s Tough Love.
This Russian Imperial Stout–part of Crux’s [BANISHED] series of barrel-aged beers– has spent the past 12 months in Kentucky bourbon barrels. The barrel-aging has imparted a nice, rounded caramel sweetness and a hint of wood, with almost no heat. This beer has a seriously viscous body that looks like motor oil and drinks with the consistency of a delicious chocolate milkshake. A huge roasted malt backbone yields way to complex notes of vanilla bean, chocolate, coffee, raisin, and a hint of smoke, combining to make for a thoroughly pleasurable drinking experience. Listed at 11.5% ABV (the brewery rep hinted it’s probably closer to 12%) and 70 IBUs, this beer demands your full attention, and rewards it accordingly. Get out and find some, if you can.
Tough Love is available on draft and in very limited quantities of 12oz, wax-sealed bottles. Find it at the brewery, The Beermongers, and possibly other purveyors of excellent beer around town.
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