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Published on November 13th, 2012


Top Five Imperial Stouts for a Social Scientist

By The Beer Baron

When enjoying a late drink with old and new academic friends after long sessions with workshops and academic discussions why not drop the traditional wine or brandy and try something more exiting? My recommendation is an imperial stout. This type of beer got it roots in an old 18th century trading route: English brewers traded stout to the Russian empire, and it needed to be strong to still be tasteful when arriving at the court of Catherine III.

An imperial stout is a complex beer, it is an explosion of different tastes, but the different tastes are quite easy to differ between. This makes it unnecessary to have a fine tuned nose to understand its quality, and is also what makes it a nice conversation starter when sharing a fine bottle of beer with a new acquaintance.

Beer is the working class drink, and this makes beer especially suited to sociologist and other left orientated social sciences. However, recently more and more craft breweries have popped up, making quality beers for the more educated part of the society. Beer has got a long tradition, but is in these days associated with industrial production, which makes it hard for others to confuse you with an anthropologist.

This is the reason why Popular Social Science is going to guide you through our top five imperial stouts:

5. Yeti Stout, Great divide brewing co

A strong taste of the best coffee you ever have tasted made by loads of roasted barley, made even better by a hoppy sting that takes over when the malt no longer has something to tell you.  It is an unusual dry taste in a relatively strong beer, which makes it a bit different compared with the other four beers in this competition. It is a quite available beer, and you should be able to find it in many bars that focus on quality.




4. Paradox, Brew Dog

Paradox is brew dog’s series of cask aged imperial stout’s; the specific one I tasted for this competition was “jura”. Strong beers get a taste of port. A taste of paradox jura (Abv 15) overwhelms you whit a sweet taste of port, before the aftertaste of whisky finishes of your experience. Even if the whisky and port dominates, a balanced background of roasted malts and coffee makes this stout an intense experience. Other editions of the paradox series are not quite that strong, and give’s a more balanced experience. But if you can choose, pick the jura.








3. Black chocolate stout, Brooklyn brewery

The taste of dark chocolate is the first thing that hits you with this imperial stout. The other tastes you probably  notice (Vanilla, brown sugar(molasses) and espresso coffee beans) are quite distinct, which makes it a nice choice if you are introducing others for the world of imperial stouts. The bitterness is balanced and not to intense. It is maybe not a high- end beer, but its widely available, which makes it number three in this contest.







2. Gipsy juice, Grassroots/Mikeller/Stillwater

Dark chocolate and coffee dominates this imperial stout, but still, hints of fruit balanced with a modest acidity lift this beer to the next level. One may argue that Mikeller’s beer Geek Breakfast would be a better choice if you want a top imperial stout. But a bottle as this can start a conversation even before the cap is off the bottle. And to continue the conversation, you can tell the story of the gipsy brewer Mikeller, who is one of today’s most famous beer makers.






1. De Molen Rasputin, Brouwerij de Molen

De Molen present its beers better than most breweries, a classic black and white label and with a wax seal covering the cap. The inside of the bottle follows the first impression, dark creamy and tasteful. The taste is dominated of dark chocolate, balanced with coffee and malt. This is a Classy and well composed beer in all aspects, and Popular Social Science’s favorite choice.






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One Response to Top Five Imperial Stouts for a Social Scientist

  1. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and also the rest of the website is extremely good.

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