When I realized that today was John Bonham’s birthday, I had to abort my plan to sample my recently brewed wit in favor of something a little more big and mean. Dark and assertive. Yet nuanced. Just like old Bonzo himself.
Unfortunately, I’m all out of the John Bonham Barley Wine I brewed a couple years ago. Instead, I turn to the Russian Imperial Stout that took me ten years to brew, a little something that I call Molotov Cock’d Ale.
This beast is jet black and thick, and pours with a tan-colored head that is surprisingly persistent, given the alcohol happening (the OG was 1.112). Full-bodied and packed with flavor–intense roastiness, espresso, chocolate–a malt-a-licious slurpy of love. In addition, there’s a solid earthy hop presence (East Kent Goldings and Fuggles). While this is absolutely an explosion of flavor, it is somehow smooth. Dangerously drinkable.
Though you wouldn’t have but one. I’d hope. This is one to sip by the fire. As I think about that fire, with the proverbial snow falling down, I really get in the mood to go camping. The best food pairing I’ve ever had was a Russian Imperial Stout with roasted marshmallows sitting around the campfire with friends and family. That was a brewvana day. And now, thanks to John Bonham, this is, too.