Imperial Selections By Imperial Beer Club
With craft beer subscription boxes becoming a more popular option, it is no surprise to see services dedicated to stand-alone styles like the one I’ve tried out from Imperial Beer Club. Subscription boxes are perfect if you keep missing out on that all in important release of a beer, or a imperial beer that you have been eager to get your hands on.
Imperial Beer Club subscription box is dedicated solely to the higher, imperial side of the craft beer spectrum. The first box I tried did have a few IPAs in there from Tempest Brewing, Siren and Mad Hatter Brewing but I really liked these additions to be honest.
The addition of a imperial focused box is something that really excited me to see in the subscription box market and I can’t wait to see what sort of service may pop up in the next few months or years. I mean, who knows! We could see a sour subscription box, India Pale Ale, or a subscription box solely focused on the exclusive beers to collaboration beers. The possibilities are endless.
Imperial Beer Club fit in to a small fragment of the craft beer world as not so many people understand or like imperial strength beers (unless you have been drinking high ABV beers for a long time.) By Imperial strength (if you haven’t heard of this style/term of beer before) is a term that is used to describe a beer that is brewed to a significantly higher original gravity, and therefore a higher alcohol percentage.
The first box from Imperial Beer Club really did wow me, and I was incredibly pleased at the variety of Imperial styles that were showcased, in this post I will be picking out my favourites from their first box, as well as a beer that didn’t really nail for me.
Inside the box it contains everything you need to get started, obviously including the booze and a booklet that tells you about each of the beers before you get stuck in. I kicked things off with Tempest Brewing’s Brave New World IPA, a gorgeous beer that has a very crisp mouthfeel and a very succulent citrus and grapefruit body. I have tried this in the past at Brewdog Shoreditch on tap and it was as just as gorgeous as it was the first time I had it.
In the box there were also beers from Mad Hatter Brewing, a Liverpool based brewery that has been producing beers since 2013. Their Scwarzwalder Kirschtorte Porter (or Black Forest Cake Porter) is a scrumptious Baltic Porter, oozing with cherries and forest fruits that really make this beer unique. You really get a sense of the cake in this ale, with milk/dark chocolate notes that stand proud on the palette. I would definitely go out and grab another bottle of this, and perhaps age it also, as this beer comes in nicely at 10% ABV. It’s nice and boozy with that warm sensation that high ABV beers tend to have when they’re going down the hatch.
The second from Mad Hatter but, was not my favourite, was the Return to Madness Imperial IPA with a ABV of 11%. Prior to drinking and receiving the box of Imperial Beer Club, I’ve read reviews on Ratebeer.com about the beers and the Return to Madness’s reviews really intrigued me. I’ll be completely honest, I found it disgusting. Mad Hatter are not a bad brewery as I adore their Toxteth IPA, Pinch Punch Sour and Moment of Sanity, they have indeed brewed some outstanding beers. But this, this was not up there. Opening the beer was like a reenactment out of an American movie of kids doing the Volcano experiment in their Science club.
To cleanse my sorrows I had to give the second Tempest beer a try and rolls in as my 3rd top pick. Their 11% imperial stout, Mexicake, this imperial stout is Mexican inspired and involves chillies, vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon all being perfectly balanced and work together. The best news is that Tempest are also offering a Bourbon Barrel aged version also, which has been aged for 5 months and my taste buds can’t cope to imagine the immense flavours.
Mexicake is a gorgeous example of a fluffy, smooth imperial stout when the flavours come together and make it a really enjoyable beer, with a really creamy mouthfeel it is a perfect combination with Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Ice Cream or even Apple Pie I would pair this with.
My 4th favourite from the first box was Pressure Drop & BrewDog Camden’s collaboration beer “Syd Strong” for #CollabFest2014. It is a Cascadian Dark Ale/Black Rye IPA and comes in at 7.1% ABV. I really enjoyed this beer, after seeing this beer floating around Social Media and seeing photos of this beer, I was quite amazed to see this included in their first box.
The beers description on BrewDog states “Syd Strong’s uses a fair whack of rye malt to give a spicy and unique edge to the hoppy Cascadian Dark Ale / Black IPA base.” and boy, it really is noticeable. Not in a bad way, the spice isn’t over powering but comes in towards the back end and adds a depth of dryness to the palette. It has a citrus and sweet grapefruit body but what impressed me the most was that it smelt exactly like an IPA should but drank like a stout.
My 5th and final favourite was from the ever impressive, Siren Craft Brew Co. Their Pompelmocello, Sour Grapefruit IPA coming in at 6% ABV. I was ultimately taken back by this sour mainly because of how delicious this was. The sourness was perfect and it was equally quaffable, on the nose it was really fruity with whisks of blood orange and intense grapefruit. A light golden hazy colour and immense citrus notes with a sharp, pucker sour dryness. This is by far my favourite beer at the moment, until I find a more sour beer than this (other than Wild Beer Co’s Sourdough Sour).
The remaining beers of the box were of fantastic quality, but instead of listing them all out I decided to highlight some key stand outs of the box which really got my tastebuds doing the Drake Hotline Bling dance, however, I do encourage conversation and if you feel as though any of the beers in the images on the post are well worth a shout, share your thoughts in the comments.
Imperial Beer Club is available to join by clicking here and starts at £42.00 per month and includes shipping and you will receive 10 beers per month of an average ABV of 8–9% and can be higher. Boxes can also be purchased as a gift to a special someone or someone who loves high ABV beer.
Let me know if you have enjoyed any Imperial style beers recently by dropping a comment below.