Last week it was Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout, this week sees the release of the latest batch of St Austell’s Black Square Russian Imperial Stout.
Down our way, this is just as big a deal, as more matured bottles of the collaboration with Moscow’s New Riga’s Brewery hits the shelves.
2018 Vintage Black Square (10.4% ABV) was brewed in December 2017 and has spent the year maturing in bourbon barrels in Cornwall, to bring the authentic brew to its very best condition.
Strong, rich and complex, this powerful stout carries a rich balance of tannic oak, bitter chocolate and berry fruit. The brewing team in St Austell brew the beer annually between Christmas and New Year for a special limited release the following winter. Only 5,000 bottles are available each year, while stocks last.
Black Square was conceived and originally brewed by St Austell Brewery’s brewing director, Roger Ryman, alongside the team from the New Riga’s Brewery back in 2016. The award-winning partnership resulted in Black Square being released in keg into the Russian market. It quickly became one of New Riga’s best-loved craft ales and remains a best-seller to this day.
The collaboration between the two breweries was formed to showcase St Austell Brewery in Russia, cementing its reputation for quality beers and to position the company as a premium producer to the Russian marketplace. The creation of Black Square also served to enhance New Riga’s reputation as a brewer of quality craft beer.
Roger said: “When New Riga’s first opened their new brewery in 2016, we’d already been working with them for a number of years as a distribution partner. To celebrate the brewery launch, it made perfect sense to go to Russia and create a brew together that meant something to both of us and would work for both markets.
“Black Square is a fantastic brew and our collaboration and genuine friendship with New Riga’s simply adds to the beer’s authenticity. We’re delighted at how popular it’s become over the years and hope Black Square fans enjoy this year’s vintage batch.”
• Black Square is now available from St Austell Brewery’s Visitor Centre and online shop (12 x 330ml bottles) — click here for details