For many years Fort Garry was the big boy in the Manitoba Craft beer scene. Until Half Pints opened its doors they were the only one. Recently several big bottle seasonal brews from Fort Garry have been sent to Alberta. Several months ago I did a blog entrty on Portage & Main IPA from Fort Garry Brewery. Fort Garry was started in 1930 but was merged with Molson later on. It was not until the mid 1990s that a craft brewery of the same name was opened.
Kona Imperial Stout is a 6.5% abv stout brewed with coffee from the big island of Hawaii. At 6.5% I fear this may lack the buzzing warmth and thick richness of a true Russian Imperial stout. Most Imperial Stouts are upwards of 8% ABV with most falling around 9 or 10%. Kona coffee is arabica bean grown on the slopes of Hualalai or Mauna Koa and as such is rather expensive. Due to rarity and cost most coffee roasters or brewers whole sell Kona coffee often use a blend of Kona arabica and other coffees grown from elsewhere.
Pouring a dark as night black with a thick foamy beige mess on top this looks more like an Oatmeal stout to me The head srays rather bulging and thick for a while before settling down to a few small bubbles. The nose has a moderate roast with big coffee and espresso aromas floating peacfully together. Earthen and smoky notes although subtle are also duly noted. Mild sweet coffee and chocolate flsvours up front with mild roasted malts coming in soon. The finish is roasted and mildly bittered but lacks the big smack in the face of roasted malts I love. This is a solid brew but has neither the finishing warmth nor the full roasted malt I love. I think this could be a great Imperial Stout if brewed in the traditional Russian Imperial Stout style with more roasted malts and a higher alcohol content.