Tsarry Night is back!
And for those of you who think your palate has never been graced by this brew’s rich malty wonder, think again. If you’ve ever enjoyed one of our anniversary beers, you were actually drinking what started out as Tsarry Night. This Russian Imperial Stout is what we use as the base for several of our limited edition big bottle brews. And that black-as-night coloring… it’s thanks to a blend of roasted malts and barley. These grains also impart a dry, roast grain character with notes of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, and licorice.
Now that this brew is back on tap, it’s time to turn to our Brew Master Ashton Lewis to learn how this tipple came to be included in the SBC rotation.
When did Tsarry Night first come out?
We first released it in February, 2014.
What was the inspiration for this brew?
We had been brewing a Russian Imperial Stout as the base for our anniversary beers for several years, and we never sold this beer without the various fruits we add to these beers, so we decided to brew a double batch and sell a portion on draft as Tsarry Night and use the remainder for our anniversary beer.
What exactly is a Russian Imperial Stout?
This is a style of strong stout that gets its name from stouts brewed in England that were exported to Czarist Russia. The name Tsarry Night was selected with the artwork in mind since it gave Cat Wellever, or Cat the Great as we like to call her, a fun project to marry Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” with imagery that tied Russia with our robust stout. In all seriousness though, a great beer deserves great art, which is what Cat created.
So what does it mean that this beer is a base for our barrel aged brews?
Some beers undergo a transformation after the initial beer has been brewed. One sort of transformation is when beer is aged in a barrel. When beer is aged in a used barrel (like a wine or a bourbon barrel), it picks up flavors from the beverage previously aged in that barrel. Another type of transformation that a beer can undergo is when fruit is added during the aging process. We have crafted several beers at SBC that are a blend of bourbon barrel-aged stout, fruit-aged stout, and straight stout. It takes a hearty canvas to lay down this much color without ending up with a beer that lacks balance, but Tsarry Night is definitely a hearty canvas and is a really great beer to enjoy on a cold winter’s night. Oh and for all the beer geeks out there–Tsarry Night is brewed using a healthy dose of Weyermann Carafa I.