It is commonly known in the adult beverage enthusiast’s world that even though the wine and craft beer industries have so many similarities there is still some type of wall that keeps the two from ever crossing paths. Well Golden City Brewery in Golden Colorado looks at this wall of division and puts a crack in it with their Imperial Noir. Imperial Noir takes the brewery’s excellent imperial stout and ages it in Pinot Noir barrels to create something truly unique.
Imperial Noir pours a completely opaque pitch black that holds up an espresso like tan colored head that remains for most of the drink providing sticky rings of lacing around the glass after each sip.
The beer kicks off with a big dark chocolate note with deep roasty characters followed by a dark coffee note that pairs well with the chocolate and roasted malts. A slight fruitiness comes through along with a small vanilla and oak note.
Much like the aromas lead the pallet to believe the beer starts with a big flavors of roasted malts, dark chocolate and bold coffee. While these flavors cover the pallet through the entire drink they allow a very soft and complimenting vanilla from the oak to come through along with a sudden powerful flavor of red fruits.
The pallet is quickly covered in a semi thick full bodied liquid with light to medium carbonation. The brew has a slightly dry feel on the tongue but maintains a very smooth silk like texture. On the finish is a small warming sensation hits the back of the throat due to the higher than average ABV.
Imperial Noir by Golden City Brewery bridges two worlds that are so similar but yet so different. By bridging this gap enthusiasts can sit at the same table having the same drink seeing that the differences that divide them can easily be overcome by the similarities that often times are overlooked. This is a beer that is easy drinking but also offers a level of complexity that will be appreciated by even the most critical of pallets. This is a very limited review that can be enjoyed for a short time at the Golden City Brewery and while enjoying this brew in the fresh Colorado air a drinker must remember this is an imperial beer and is best served in a snifter style glass with each sip being slowly appreciated to its maximum potential.