Review: Barrel Full of Monkeys Imperial Stout

Paddock Wood Barrel Full of MonkeysBeer: Barrel Full of Monkeys Imperial Stout
Brewery: Paddock Wood Brewing (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
Style: Imperial Stout
Alcohol: 10% ABV

I remember the day I became a beer geek forever, and the beer that changed me was an imperial stout. So with that in mind, you can imagine how I look forward to finding delicious imperial stouts to settle back with after a busy day, enjoying their full flavours, rich bodies and high ABVs.

During a road trip to Edmonton in the spring, I raided Sherbrooke Liquor Store and came home with several imperial stouts, including a six-pack of Paddock Wood’s Barrel Full of Monkeys. It didn’t last long enough to turn into a review. But thankfully, there are always more bottles available, and here I am with another Barrel Full of Monkeys.

Here are my thoughts on this brew from Saskatoon.

From the first pour, this beer is beautiful. It pours deep black in colour with a tan head. With great retention and even lacing down the sides of the glass, it looks like everything an imperial stout should be.

The aroma fills the nose with strong hints of espresso, chocolate and bourbon. There are plenty of roasted malts — and even some booziness — in the nose. It smells delicious.

Rich in body and flavour, the Monkeys hit hard and leave a fair bit of alcohol in the finish. The aroma hinted strongly at the taste, and it doesn’t disappoint. The chocolate and espresso are front and centre with a full body. The bourbon is there in the finish, offering a hint of that sour mash bourbon taste that I’m not always fond of (but in this case, it works very well).

It’s amazing how well this beer comes together. The flavours linger on the palate in a considerably long finish, making for a great sipping beer. And at 10% ABV, it’s good to just sip it. As imperial stouts go, Paddock Wood’s Barrel Full of Monkeys is one of the top ones available. If you can get it, buy it … a lot of it.


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