Ever since I had my first Lenny’s R.I.P.A. I have loved Schmaltz Brewing. Which is just as well, because frankly, none of their other beers have lived up to the “Chosen Brew”. That one beer is however more beer than many breweries achieve with a full catalogue! Hearing that Coney Island is owned by Schmaltz, it wasn’t hard for someone who has spent 20 years on stage to love this colourful brewery, and seeing that the proceeds go to a non-profit (coneyisland.com), made me chomp at the bit to try this “Imperial American Bock, 100% barrel aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels”
It pours a gorgeous, dark, deep ruby-red colour, with a two-finger dirty-white head. The nose is the first thing about this beer to remind me of the “Gouden Carolus Blauwe Band”: Sweet, rich malts, rich fruits, figs mainly, in brandy.. Hence; Lots of booze! The taste is more of the same; Malts, booze and figs; This really feels like a big Belgian! If you like that style, you will love this, and probably even more if you buy two extra bottles, and cellar them; The one fault I found is a slightly rough edge (read: heat!) which would smooth a lot if given some time. But it is very enjoyable as it is! This s not a session beer (unless you invite your local burlesque and circus-troop around to share it..) It is a brew for a special occasion… as an aperitif, or as a digestive… But let the genie out of the bottle at your peril!! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.. Solid top tier, with room to grow..