Style: Russian Imperial Stout
- Untappd: 4.21/5
- Beer Advocate: 4.23/5
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
- Untappd: 4.07/5
- Beer Advocate: 4.08/5
ONE"When we set out to launch Castle Island, our goals were humble – great liquid, done right and without pretense. We quickly learned that you also had a thirst for this vision, and the passion you’ve shown us over the last year fills us with gratitude and joy. This year, we say “thank you” with ONE. A beastly, belly-warming Russian imperial stout, ONE is a toast to you, our loyal fans, for your unwavering enthusiasm for our efforts."
TWO"We set out to launch Castle Island with a humble goal- great liquid offering relief from the hassle of everyday life. We quickly learned that you also had a thirst for this vision, and the passion you’ve shown us over the last two years fills us with gratitude and joy, as we did last year, this year we say “Thank You” with TWO. Our beastly, belly-warming Russian Imperial Stout, TWO is a toast to you, our loyal fans, for your unwavering enthusiasm for our efforts."
ONEPitch black in color with no light getting through. I got some ruby red on the edges when held up to the light. The pour produced a finger of off-white head.
TWOLiterally the same as ONE. Same dark abyss of a body devoid of color with an identical finger of matching head.
ONEA subtle aroma of light coffee and mellowed dark fruits on top of almost an oak character and a bit of pipe tobacco.
TWOThe fresher vintage has a bigger pop of the coffee, but also dark chocolate syrup and cherries. Digging deeper there is black licorice and some leather too.
ONEUp front there is more of the aforementioned oak (though, I don't think this was aged in oak). The second half starts to shine with a lot of dark fruits, especially cherries, which envelope the back of the tongue. Near the end, a distinct hop presence almost spikes the palate and leaves delicious lingering bitterness. Plums, figs, dates, and raisins really pop here on the taste after being a little too silent on the aroma.
TWOEverything I said about ONE's taste can just be inserted here, but like the aroma, it has added elements of that dark chocolate and black licorice. That hop bitterness is the same, but the bitter bite is also being influenced by that dark chocolate. Again, to my knowledge, these weren't oak aged, but there is an undeniable wood, smoke, char, and tobacco profile to the taste. More chocolate notes emerge as it warms which give off a fudgy, brownie batter flavor.
ONEThe body is full and perfectly suitable for the style. It feels like a big beer, but I think it could have been thicker and more mouth-coating for an 11% RIS. Aside from some subtle warmth, there is no alcohol to be found.
TWOThis one on the other hand has a more distinct, inky, thicker body and a more luscious feel. TWO also has a slight warming sensation on each sip and no alcohol presence to be found.
ONEThis is a massive, double-digit RIS that you can sip on for an hour or two and keep picking out flavors over the course of the time of consumption. The nose was a bit muted, but the taste still yielded all the things you love in a big Russian Imperial. The body seemed too thin, but at the same time, it was in line for the style.
TWOThe fresher vintage has everything I liked about ONE, but all of the flavors are bigger and brighter. On TWO, the body was exactly what I want from an RIS, and this was really a selling point in this battle. I didn't see an advantage is letting ONE sit for over a year as aging it didn't bring anything to the table.