It's a story as old as craft beer: coffee plus imperial plus stout equals delicious. OK, well that's not always true, and it's far from as old as craft beer...but, that said, there is something about the way the deep roasted aromas of coffee play with the sweet, chocolaty tastes of imperial stout that make it, when done well, a match made in heaven. Although, when done badly, you'll get an overly dry, astringent beast. But Resurrection is definitely the former.
Made by Backlash Beer Co. out of Boston, MA, this isn't much of a surprise. They burst onto the scene a few years ago like a pair of brass knuckles to the jaw (check their logo). Starting out with high gravity Belgian style ales, they moved on to IPAs and have now put out an imperial coffee stout that I've already got my eye on for a Best of 2014.
Pitch black with a short, creamy head that suggests all the subtlety of Allston Christmas, you'll find that you can and can't judge a beer by its label. One whiff and you know there's a load of coffee in here that's just pent up and waiting to smack you in the face (this coming from a guy who drinks upwards of four cups of black coffee per day). Try it again, though, and you'll dodge that smack in favor of something more akin to the cocoa and cafe au lait that you'd find in a mocha. It's inviting.
On the first sip, you'll find a barely sweet, full bodied stout ripe and bursting with coffee goodness. If you don't like the black stuff (and I don't mean Guinness) then this might not be for you...but you never know! As it warms, you'll get a little but of enjoyable alcohol while the chocolate comes more to the front and the coffee continues to stay right in the middle. Honestly, this is one of those where it changes as you sit with it and evolves...bit it doesn't get worse. It's delicious throughout so I'd recommend finding a good, solitary night and sip it as you contemplate whatever it is that you do. Oh, and keep you eyes out for the barrel aged version I'm to by the Backlash Beer team!