Friday, February 1, 2013

February 1: Karl and the Tale of the Ladyface Russian Lullaby





A flight of tasters at Ladyface is always an interesting endeavor (Russian Lullaby pictured on the far left)
February is upon us, and to celebrate the coldest month of the year we are attacking some Russian Imperial Stouts. I happen to be out and about for today’s post, and I snag some brew from a local joint, Ladyface Alehouse and Brasserie. Ladyface has just celebrated its 3rd year of delivering its brews to the suburbs on the northwestern edge of the Los Angeles area, and tonight I get a series of tasters to help them celebrate. I feel that Ladyface takes the carpet bombing approach to brewing: Lay a whole lot of bombs and hope one hits the target. They brew a wide variety of styles, from respected IPAs to Belgian-style trappist beers to sours to cask ales, and everything in between.  While I applaud their efforts, there aren’t usually many of their beers that convince me to devote my pint dollars towards instead of their usually great guest taps (Russian River is a regular house guest here).

No you can't read my Ladyface
The Russian Lullaby is an exception. This 10.6% imperial stout is well crafted and pretty delicious, if something of this fierce nature is what you are seeking out. Pouring black like a Siberian winter’s night with a roasty tan head, the nose gives of an aroma of coffee and raisins, with a slight hint of sourness, a little peculiar for the style. The taste continues to break from the mold with some heavy sweetness from the aforementioned raisins and a touch of stone fruits, with heavy charred wood, roasted malt and coffee complimenting it. It is both sweet and bitter, much like Russian playwright Chekhov’s the Cherry Orchard. Continuing the obscure but fitting  analogy, the finish is more bitter than sweet, with a slight hint of licorice. All in all, it’s a good beer, and one to sing you to sleep on a cold night.
Chekhov originally wrote the Cherry Orchard as a comedy. It seems that history has lost its sense of humor when it comes to the plight of the Russians.

Rating: B- 

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