American Imperial Stout
ABV: 11.1% IBU: 48 SRM: 30
A high gravity smooth-drinking stout for year-round enjoyment.
A bold consistent taste for use in food pairing and
for important events and occasions
as well as a late-night cap-off before bed.
This is a high ABV American Stout with a warm feel but no noticeable alcohol presence. It involves the flavors and aromas of a strategic mixture of dark crystal malts
while keeping the hops primarily for bittering
with a slight dry hop aroma to provide a terrific finish.
Recipe Goals: To create a high gravity stout for year-round enjoyment patterned after Guinness Stout the most popular beer worldwide for decades. A bold consistent stout for use in food pairings and for important events as well as a late-night cap off before bed – A high ABV stout with a minimum alcohol presence.
Background: A big, dark ale with a wide range of flavor balances. Roasty-burnt malt with deep dark or dried fruit flavors, and a warming, bittersweet finish. The components meld together create a complex, harmonious beer. Traditionally an English style here done with an American twist (Pale 2-row US barley). More complex, with a broader range of possible flavors than lower-gravity stouts. Named after the rail station Red Lion formed around. It was a stop on the Ma & Pa railroad between Baltimore and Peach Bottom. The “68” refers to the number of track miles from here to Baltimore. The train stopped here by the Hub to unload construction supplies before going to Station 68, off N Main St., which had a post office, store and tavern.
Tasting Notes: Rich and meaty, with roasted grains, maltiness, fruity esters, coffee, dark chocolate, and slightly burnt tones. The malt aroma is rich and involves a dark fruit (e.g., plums, prunes, raisins) character. Hop aroma low, alcohol character is lightly present. Color is dark brown, opaque. Well-formed head, moderate retention. High alcohol may be visible in “legs” when beer is swirled in a glass. Aggressively high roasted malt/grain flavors can suggest bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate, cocoa, strong coffee. Full-bodied, chewy, velvety, luscious texture. Gentle smooth warmth from alcohol noticeable. Carbonation moderate.
History: A style with a long heritage. Traces roots to strong English porters brewed for export in the 1700s, popular with the Russian Imperial Court. After the Napoleonic wars interrupted trade, these beers were increasingly sold in England. The style eventually all but died out, until being popularly embraced in the modern craft beer era, both in England as a revival and in the United States as a reinterpretation or re-imagination by extending the style with American characteristics.
Ingredients: Well-modified pale malts (US 2-row Pale, Maris Otter, Munich), with roasted malts (Caramel 10L, 40L, 120L, Roasted Barley, Chocolate) and flaked/roasted wheat. Complex grain bill. Fuggles, Magnum hops for bitterness and aroma. SafBrew S-33 yeast for its high attenuation (alcohol formation) and flavor profile.
Food Pair: Almost any beef dish would pair nicely, a pork chop or leg of lamb would also be phenomenal. Stinky cheeses are perfect to pair with Imperial Stout. Camembert, brie and anything that says “triple cream”. Stouts are magnificent with lobsters, crayfish and scallops. Anything with a noticeable sweetness which is perfectly complemented by dryness of a stout. Dried meat and ham are good since the dry intensity of beer opens the salts and increases the essence of ham’s aromas. Stouts are extremely nice with veal and lamb as well. As for desserts, the dark malts to hold up nicely next to anything rich and chocolate.
Vital Statistics: BJCP American Porter and Stout (20C) With American Porter and American Stout
For Style ABV: 8.0 – 12.0% IBU: 50 – 90 SRM: 30 – 40
Station 68 ABV: 11.1% IBU: 48 SRM: 30
ABV is Alcohol by Volume. Listed as a percentage volume. Average commercial beer ABV = 4.2%
IBU is International Bitterness Units. Measures bittering chemicals ranges from 0-120, but most beers are from 15-80.
SRM is Standard Reference Method. Measure of color. Scale of 0-40. From yellow, to amber/gold, to brown, to black.
Commercial Examples: Guinness Stout, Yuengling Stout, Bell’s Expedition Stout, Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout, Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout, Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout