Today takes us over the half way line. Six beers in, six to go as we build toward New Years Eve and the end of 2014. Tonight’s beer is an interesting one. Meantime Brewing’s Black Russian was not originally part of my #12BeersofXmas and a beer that I found in my possession due to being tagged in a competition that was entered by fellow craft wanker beer nut Greg from Twitter. You can read his blog today for the full details rather than me repeat it here.

So, about the beer… Well the first thing is what is it? Is it a Russian Imperial Stout or a Black IPA? Various websites list it as one or the other and the Meantime website doesn’t really help. In my opinion, it’s a black IPA, the roasted hints are very subtle and its the citrusy hops and carbonation that play centre stage.

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Now, I’m going to be honest here… I’m not the biggest fan of Meantime’s beers. They have a solid core range and I absolutely love their Yakima Red but the majority of other beers that I’ve tried have left me wanting so I approached this beer with a little apprehension.

The presentation is stunning though, a 750ml corked bottle in a cardboard tube. Upon popping the cork the initial aromas are light and citrusy and like rolling around in a fresh field in the middle of summer. Which is in stark contrast to the black liquid now residing in my glass, the aromas don’t match the scene and my senses are into overdrive. The body is light and really easy to drink. Maybe a little too easy for 7.5% and 750ml! There are some roasted hints in the background, but they are way in the background and it’s the big hoppy citrus hit that comes through every time. This beer is right up my street, and a much needed IPA in a line up of impy stouts and barley wines.

I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s beer, Buxton/Rooie Dop/Oersoep ‘Grain & Grape’ which is a Red Wine Oatmeal Stout but before then check out what else has been going on through Storify below (or on our Storify page) and check the ‘blog directory’ here for the latest writings.