Barley Mowat 

April Beer of the Month — Yaletown Brewing Rocket to Russia

with one comment

Last month, I decided to highlight a noteworthy beer periodically. These beers are not meant to be the best, or even particularly good, but instead a beer that is interesting for one reason or another. A great example of this is Storm’s 11 12 13 year old sour lambic that is increasinly looking like it will gain the right to vote before we drink the last of it. I might highlight this one in a future article, but safe to say there’s no rush. (When Nigel feels compelled to comment on someone having their third pint of the same beer in one sitting, you know that beer is not in any sort of demand crisis).

She was unreachable for comment.
Likely because her taste buds exploded and she is now dead.

So today I take down the little badge honouring Driftwood’s fine CuvĂ©e D’Hiver, and replace it with… drumroll please…

Yaletown Brewing’s Rocket to RussiaBourbon-Oaked Russian Imperial Stout

I picked this beer for a number of factors. First, it’s an oak aged beer, and that’s a trend that’s only starting to catch on in Vancouver, despite its near-always delicious results. Second, it’s a Russian Imperial Stout, another type of beer that’s semi-rare locally, likely because of how expensive making this style is both in ingredients and in time. Ultimately, though, the main reason I picked this one was the back story.

RtR was conceived by a pair of gold-medal winning home brewers (Matt Anderson and Danny Seeton). They worked with YBC’s Iain Hill (also a medal winning brewer, although this time of the professional variety) and produced this sticky black bastard. Only 14 kilolitres were produced (usually beer is produced in hectolitre lots), so availability is not fantastic. Rumour has it that the Alibi Room and YBC still have some on tap… and that’s about it (please correct me if wrong).

This is what most rockets to russia look like.
Although technically I guess this is a rocket from Russia.

Is it a particularly good beer? Well… not so much. Of course, it’s a Russian Imperial Stout, and saying a beer is not a great RIS is like saying “that sex was subpar” or “this meth didn’t get me that high.” It’s still a freaking good beer. Even so, I found the flavours a bit cartoonish and unbalanced, coming at you one after another until you want to give up and look down the menu for the lagers. Time to age would likely help correct this, although aging costs money and raises the uncomfortable question of what to age it in, as the beer was already positively soaked through with bourbon and oak flavours.

Still, go drink this beer while you can, as the model of breweries sub-leasing out their spare capacity to homebrewers can only increase the variety and awesomeness of local beer. That the first time this was tried in BC resulted in a RIS is absolutely proof of this.

Where to get it: Alibi and YBC on tap. Soon to be gone forever, so go quickly. Also in limited quantities in Matt’s basement, probably.
Where not to get it: Anywhere else.

Written by chuck

April 1st, 2011 at 10:30 am

One Response to 'April Beer of the Month — Yaletown Brewing Rocket to Russia'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'April Beer of the Month — Yaletown Brewing Rocket to Russia'.

  1. If the Rocket to Russia Was Meth it got me high, but if it was sex, it was subpar. Not aggressive enough. I did enjoy it, and I would drink again.


    1 Apr 11 at 19:06

Leave a Reply