Opinion

Nelson Brewing Co. Column: The Imperial Forces at Christmas

  - Chad Hansen photo
— image credit: Chad Hansen photo

It’s a special time of a year! A time when no one really pays attention if you’re day drunk, and if they did the turkey becomes the scapegoat for the need of an afternoon nap. It’s all the spare time you have to fill up.

Just like it’s okay for you to have Baileys in your coffee in the a.m., no one bats an eye at wine or beer with lunch. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

So with that in mind, for our last beer article of the year, let’s talk about those beers that leave you forgetting much of the previous nights events — the Imperial’s. An Imperial is any regular style of beer but with an alcohol content higher than 7.5% Vol Alc. These big beers can either be sweet bliss, or leave you questioning where beer in BC is actually going.

A well made Imperial can have a wine-like quality with notes and flavours that open up as you nurse a pint. On the other hand, if it’s not made perfectly you’ll be punched in the mouth with an overwhelming boozy taste followed up by a sharp unbalanced combo leaving your beer swirling down the drain mixed with tears of regret as you wonder to yourself, “why didn’t I just buy the Faceplant!”

 

Full Nelson Imperial IPA – Nelson Brewing Company

The Nelson Brewing Company released our Full Nelson Imperial Ale last spring. Not really a typical summer beer, it did quite well. But it’s the winter crowds that are buying up every last bottle on the shelves.

Our head brewer Mike Kelly likes to refer to it as the Nelson triple threat, as its made in Nelson, BC, with hops from Nelson, New Zealand called Nelson Sauvin (plus North American hops as well).

Bursting with tropical fruit flavours, notes of Sauvignon Blanc grapes, balanced with hints of grapefruit, mango and peach. Best thing of all, it tastes as good as it sounds. One of the best beers the brewery has ever produced, it’s a great beer especially at the holidays!

 

Pothole Filler Imperial Russian Stout – Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

After more than 100 ratings on beeradvocate.com this giant of a beer has received an outstanding 91 points. An amazing score for such a big beer!

It’s a strong, inky dark ale, brewed with six malts and blackstrap molasses. She’s a thick beer, with an intense roasted barley flavour, with notes of chocolate and licorice. Like Full Nelson, it might have the perfect name for the content of the bottle.

Only thing you really need to be careful of is having any room left if you drink one of these before dinner!

 

Amnesiac Double IPA – Philips Brewing Company

Amnesiac Double IPA is a barn full of hop. At 8.5%, a slightly boozy smell joins the citrus lemon and orange peel along with a piney hop bitterness. The beer itself is a golden colour.

The taste is quite intense with floral and citrus notes adding to the strong hop finish. This beer is intense and may be a bit much in the hop category for some. But if you like a strong IPA, the Amnesiac is a great tasting beer!

 

Any of these beers — or really any BC Craft beer for that matter — will make the beer lover in your life squeal with delight as they pull a bottle or can out of the stocking this year!

Happy Holidays, from everyone at the Nelson Brewing Company!

 

The Nelson Brewing Company Column appears monthly in {vurb}.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.