I’m frustrated with last night’s Stanley Cup Final Game 1, so I am submitting a little Tampa love in the hopes the hockey gods shine upon the Boys in Blue in The Big Guava on Saturday Night.
And I do that with a beer whose name clearly makes me think of this song:
Not too long ago, Cigar City Brewing and the relatively new Coppertail Brewing recently got together for a collaboration, something Coppertail and Cigar City are both pretty fond of recently. Since Coppertail had been wanting to produce a Russian Imperial Stout for some time, they decided to brew just that, under the moniker Sabotage (Russian Imperial Stout, 11% ABV). It’s being bottled for the Tampa bay area, but a keg made it’s way to Funky Buddha for their recent Two Year Anniversary party.
For a Russian Imperial, it’s surprisingly drinkable and smooth. Gone is the overly brutal undertones of aggressive hops and thick, foreboding malts. It feels a little lighter, drinks a little smoother, and bites a little more gently than other Russian Imperials.
Adjunct-wise, the brewers used cocoa nibs and cascarra, which, according to Coppertail brewmaster Casey Hughes, is that fruity, soft outside of a freshly-picked coffee bean. The beer was then further aged on coffee beans roasted by Tampa’s Buddy Brew.
For all of that, the beer doesn’t feel overly coffee-esque. The cocoa helps to regulate a lot of the coffee flavor nicely. But the cocoa doesn’t overly power the beer either. Instead, everything is expertly blended and controlled to where you get a matured, meaty beer with big roasted notes and a slight hint of sweetness that masks the whopping 11% alcohol lurking in the background. The hops tend to be understated; the malt is what’s center stage with this beer.
In all, it’s a fantastically hand-crafted beer. It’s very skillfully blended, and comes out wonderfully complex with no overly accentuated notes anywhere in the beer. An excellent representation of the wonderful brewing going on in the City of Champions.
Now, to get a certain silver Cup to fill with it…
Drink Florida Craft,