ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?! Of course you are. As Brian and I began nearing the weekend we felt it would be best if we got together and worked on a podcast...and drank beer(for research purposes). With all of the delicious Oklahoma brews that have been hitting our shelves as of late, especially from Roughtail Brewing Co.(Split Decision, Polar Night, 12th Round, Roughtail IPA) we thought it would be great to review their newest offering, Rock Tsar. Having just released within the past week we were eager to see what we were in for. Neither of us had heard anything about the brew prior to drinking it, there were actually only 26 check-ins for it on Untappd, so we were in for a true beer adventure. We were fortunate enough to have Jonathan and Trae from 405 Brewing Co. join us via phone for a virtual toast and review.
The first thing you notice before even opening the 750mL bottle is the vibrant label. Sitting on a canary yellow background is a grey Tsar atop a horse. Both figures being statue-esque, the Tsar is draped in bright yellow tassels, pink beard and hair, pink boots, and wielding a neon pink and blue dual neck Dean Dave Mustaine guitar. This dude IS the party. And what a terrific introduction to this beer.
If ever you could judge a book, er...beer by its cover label this is the point at which you can do so. The cool thing about Roughtail, among other things, is that they have a guide for serving temperature, glassware, food pairings, and in the case of this beer..MUSIC PAIRING! For all you headbangers out there you can now throw on some proper heavy metal tunes while you enjoy the proper beer. I for one think this is really cool. As a music lover and beer lover, I really like what Roughtail did. Rock Tsar’s is labeled as a Double Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout. The tasting guide says that the beer is aggressive with lots of bitterness. Instantly, I’m thinking coffee, chocolate, roasty notes….but interested to see where the bitterness comes.
So here we go! We cracked our bottles and we were ready to ROCK! You definitely get the traditional chocolatey roasty Russian Imp. Stout notes in the nose. The beer pours a nice opaque black with a caramel head. With a clink of the glasses and cheers to our pals in Norman, we entered the moshpit. Boy, did we ever. To put this into perspective, imagine you are drinking an imperial stout. Nice. Chewy. Chocolatey. Roasty. And out of nowhere Axl Rose busts through the wall (Kool-Aid style) and asks “DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU AHHHH?!” That’s the hops and bitterness on the back-end of this beer. This is definitely one of the most unique beers I have had in quite some time. But the bitterness and hops are balanced out nicely with the traditional Imperial Stout flavors. Everyone was in agreement that Rock Tsar is very delicious. As it warmed, you got more of the roasty notes. One review on Untappd said it has heavy coffee flavor and was spicy. Between the 4 of us many of us are black coffee drinkers and not one person could point to any coffee and certainly no spice. You can cellar this beer for up to 5 years. It would be interesting to see how this mellows with some age on it. Right now, it is not overly bitter, but The Tsar will definitely catch you slipping in the mosh-pit. Protect your neck.
*Note We had a wonderful podcast with Jonathan and Trae as well as a great interview, but unfortunately we lost the hard drive containing that podcast via theft. Hopefully, we will get that back *fingers crossed* and we can present it for you guys, but either way we will bring you more info on 405 Brewing in the near-future.
Wonderful piece D’Wain. While we are dealing with a set back I wanted to thank D’Wain and the boys of 405 for their time and we will certainly get a show recorded. It’s a shame we have to deal with desperate crimes these days. I don’t want to dwell but pass along a message to take the extra time and dollar to be safe and secure in your home. I am blessed and fortunate to have amazing friends in times of trouble and want to thank them for all their help.
On a brighter note, we were picked up on Stitcher Radio. Hopefully we will get back soon with fresh episodes, in the mean time please download the Stitcher app and subscribe to our show.
Here’s to a better start to 2014 and “Cultivating the Craft!”