Tokio, or Tokyo as they refer to it on the BrewDog website, is an American Double/Imperial Stout. This was also the beer that put the brewers in the “bigger is better” mindset. This cranberry and jasmine infused ales has a whopping 18.2% ABV! That is almost double that of your traditional imperial stout. Needless to say when I saw a bottle of this sitting on the shelf at my local liquor store I had to pick it up. This past Friday we were having a little beer tasting at our place and I felt it was the perfect time to crack this beer open. Without further ado…
The irony of existentialism, the parody of being and the inherent contradictions of post-modernism, all so delicately conveyed by the blocky, pixelated arcade action have all been painstakingly recreated in this bottles contents. This imperial stout is brewed with copious amounts of speciality malts, jasmine and cranberries. After fermentation we then dry-hop this killer stout with a bucketload of our favourite hops before carefully ageing the beer on French toasted oak chips. It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times.
Tokio pours a deep, deep, deep brown. There are faint hints of chestnut brown when held to light. The head starts as a thin strip of chocolate that fades to a bubbly ring of film. Practically no lacing is left behind when the beer is done.
The nose is big on bourbon, wood stain and molasses. Cocoa nibs are hiding in there somewhere, with a backbone that reminds me of chocolate wafers.
OH MY GOD that is a BIG beer! Flavor is big bourbon soaked chocolate with hints of cranberry (I didn’t actually expect taste the cranberry). Wood comes through toward the end with a backbone of cocoa. There was a sweet fruitiness in there that reminded me of chocolate-covered oranges.
Mouthfeel is medium-to-thick and big. There’s a syrupiness that slides down your throat and dries out your mouth. I was prepared for a huge alcohol burn, but it was relatively mild. This is a definite plus.
Wow. I went into Tokio/Tokyo expecting something big, but I didn’t really know what else to expect. I knew it would be big, but it wasn’t as off-putting as a lot of similar beers (especially considering this is a beer with liquor like ABV). I’m really interested in trying the rest of BrewDog’s “big” beers. Maybe I’ll have to fork out the $200 to pick up Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink the Bismarck!
Overall: 8.5 out of 10
As an IMPERIAL STOUT: 8.5 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: BrewDog TACTICAL NUCLEAR PENGUIN, BrewDog THE END OF HISTORY, Dogfish Head WORLD WIDE STOUT