Awkward second date

Detail from the label of St Petersburg Stout (via Thornbridge website)

Do you ever avoid a spe­cial beer you’ve real­ly enjoyed in the past because you have a feel­ing it just won’t excite you the same way sec­ond time around?

We have won­dered why we haven’t got round to hav­ing a sec­ond bot­tle of Thorn­bridge’s St Peters­burg Impe­r­i­al Russ­ian Stout and per­haps that was the rea­son, as we real­ly did enjoy it last time, back when Thorn­bridge were up-and-com­ing and caus­ing a buzz.

For­tu­nate­ly, it did­n’t dis­ap­point, although we detect­ed a more pro­nounced, pleas­ant­ly funky bret­tanomyces and tobac­co char­ac­ter this time, remind­ing us of Har­vey’s or even that 1983 Courage we enjoyed in Antwerp. Com­plex yet com­fort­ing, a per­fect, slow-sip­ping Christ­mas beer, despite it’s taste­ful label and rein­deer-pun-free name.

8 thoughts on “Awkward second date”

  1. If I loved a beer 1st time round then yes I will have it again. How­ev­er, if I did­n’t like it then I will be put off try­ing again or try­ing dif­fer­ent ver­sions.

    I’m not actu­al­ly a fan of St Peters­burg for instance. Just tastes like cof­fee flavoured stodge to me and as such I haven’t returned to it. Haven’t tried the keg ver­sion either which is on quite often at the Thorn­bridge pub near­est to me. Haven’t tried it since they reduced the strengh to 7.4% either.

    But the thing is, some­times it is pos­si­ble to return to a beer and find it’s much improved or you can taste things in it that you could­n’t 1st time round!

  2. I was­n’t that tak­en with it, as it tastes like it’s got smoked malt in it which real­ly isn’t my thing. I’m tempt­ed to give it anoth­er go now though.

  3. Just the right amount of smok­i­ness for us, but can see how it might be too much for some peo­ple. (I don’t mean “ha ha, you’re a wuss”, I mean it’s one of those flavours that can eas­i­ly turn a good beer into a bad one, depend­ing on indi­vid­ual taste.)

  4. T_i_B – are you a fan of impe­r­i­al stouts more gen­er­al­ly? Cof­fee-flavoured stodge could apply to quite a lot of them…

    1. Not all Impy stouts are cof­fee flavoured stodge. I’ve just been drink­ing some Spire Prince Igor that that’s got some love­ly liquorice notes in it. And I cer­tain­ly don’t recall Dark­star Impe­r­i­al Stout being cof­fee flavoured stodge.

  5. Hel­lo, Knut! Nice to hear from you. There are so many inter­est­ing beers that we hear about but nev­er have chance to try. I imag­ine it would age very well – pos­si­bly a lit­tle brash as it is.

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