Heavenly Goat Brewing Company Dyatlov Massacre Russian Imperial Stout (8.5% ABV)
Pour: on tap into a 12oz. glass
Appearance: Jet black. Blacker that Satan’s asshole black. An inky mass that no light can penetrate black. With about an inch of tannish head that dissipates somewhat quickly, but leave some nice edging and a surprising amount of lacing. Also, did I mention that it’s black?
Aroma: Lots of toasted malts, some bitter coffee notes as well.
Flavor: Fairly mild up front, toasted malts and coffee-like acidity in the middle. Bitter through the finish and into the aftertaste, along with a bit of alcohol warmth
Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy bodied, medium-light carbonation. Moderately astringent finish.
It’s been a little while since we’ve checked in with Granger’s Heavenly Goat Brewing Company, but since they just released their Dyatlov Massacre Imperial Stout, it seems like a good time to check back in. After all, the season is starting to turn to fall, which means that stouts season is upon us.
The Imperial Stout, also referred to as the Russian Imperial Stout, is a style with a long history. Developed by Russian brewers in the early 1800s in an attempt to curry favor with the tsar. As a style, it has two main characteristics: a lot of malt characteristics across the flavor profile, and a higher ABV. The best-known, most widely available examples of the style are probably North Coast Brewing Company’s Old Rasputin and Oskar Blues’ Ten FIDY. A good percentage (though not all) of barrel-aged stouts are also Imperials Stouts, including Three Floyd’s Dark Lord and Goose Island’s Bourbon County.
Before getting into discussing the beer itself, it’s worth taking a minute to unpack its name. The Dyatlov Massacre, also known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident, refers to the mysterious, as-yet-unsolved murders of nine skiers in a northern region of the Ural Mountains in 1959. The region was renamed the Dyatlov Pass after Igor Dyatlov, the leader of the expedition. The details of the case are pretty gory (but a bit too involved to summarize here - check the Wikipedia page if you want to read more about them), meaning this is one extremely fucking metal name for a beer.
As for the beer itself, it runs very true to style (as tends to be the case with the Goat’s brews). With seven separate malts, including Chocolate and two varieties of Cara, it definitely has those toasty characteristics that one would expect from an Imperial Stout. There might be a slightly higher hop presence in the Dyatlov than some other Imperials, but they seem to bring more balance to the flavor profile than actual hop notes. On the whole, this is a very smooth (another defining characteristic of head brewer Joel Miller’s beers), highly drinkable beer that strikes a healthy balance between bitter/acidic notes and robust malt flavors. I expect I’ll be drinking quite a few of these over the coming colder months.