Back in December 2014 I reviewed the Troubadour Magma, an excellent beer standing somewhere between IPA and tripel. It’s taken a long time to come back to the four musketeer brewers , but here I am with their Troubadour Imperial Stout.
I tasted the Black Albert Imperial Stout from de Struisse as few weeks ago; 13% alc. vol., pitch black and a complex mix of tastes: more than a match for the best the USA can offer.
The Troubadour has (only) 9% alc. and in the glass it is dark brown, rather than black, with a hint of amber red when held up to the light. The head, however, is impressive; at least at the start.
Huge and medium beige which recedes to normal proportions to leave a nice lace effect on the glass. The aroma, at first, is mostly bready yeast. Leave it to warm up a bit and some non specific fruit and malt come through.
At this stage it seemed to be falling short of my expectations of an Imperial Stout but maybe the taste would set things right, I thought.
A medium bitterness and typical dark malt tastes; chocolate, weak coffee and smokey wood came through but not overly intense and the fruit aspect brought in some sweetness but well balanced with the bitterness (45 IBU). Overall a smooth feel with medium carbonation. The alcohol stays well back.
A nice drink, but not a classical Imperial Stout. Nonetheless, a very good Belgian variation on the theme; Belgian Imperial Dubbel Stout, if you like. Perhaps it was to be expected; the Magma also sits comfortably between two beer styles.