As far as I know, there is no one on the Wynwood Brewing staff named Catherine. Not too terribly familiar with their roster, to be honest.
That’s actually a bit superfluous to the story of this beer, too. To understand that, we need to go back around 300 years to England.
It’s there that legendary Russian Czar Peter the Great first tasted and enjoyed the dark, rich brew that was to be commonly known as the porter.
Since he was royalty, and loaded, he ordered a shipment to be sent back to Russia. When it arrived, he cracked the barrels open to find all of the beer had spoiled and was completely undrinkable.
The solution British brewers came up with was to do the same thing they did when shipping Pale Ales to India. Basically increase the hops and the alcohol, both of which tend to stave off spoilage very well.
And thus the Russian Imperial Stout was born. The big, scary, usually brutal Russian Imperial Stout. Beloved by Russians including Catherine the Great.
And there it is, the Catherine connection. We go back to Miami to finally try the beer version of Catherine (Russian Imperial Stout, 8.3% ABV, 63 IBU).
So big. Russian bear big. Very thick and chewy, as an RIS should be. It’s incredibly dark, brimming with heavily roasted malts resplendent with coffee, woody, and molasses notes.
In terms of mouthfeel, Catherine tends to smooth out some of the roughness that other RIS varieties tend to have. That’s no small order since it’s a variety that tends to be spiky and rough.
It’s rich, rich, rich, and flavorful. But it’s quite a heady brew. This is definitely not a session beer, dear readers.
Just the way Russia would like it.
Drink Florida Craft,