Stout Month & Heart of Darkness Imperial Stout Festival

It’s time for an annual tradition. Astoria has Festival of the Dark Arts, but in Portland we have Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom’s Stout Month that kicks off with this weekend’s Heart of Darkness Imperial Stout Fest. With the opening of the 2nd location on NE Alberta, the Imperial Stout celebrations are bigger than ever this year, with a hangover-inducing lineup of awesome events this Saturday and Sunday, February 3rd and 4th. There are four premier events, headlined by the main Heart of Darkness Imperial Stout Fest, details and beer lists are outlined below. Note the location of each, as Imperial has the original pub on SE Division and the new NE Portland location on Alberta. 

Heart of Darkness Imperial Stout Fest
Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom
3090 SE Division & 2006 NE Alberta
Saturday – Sunday, February 3rd & 4th

Imperial’s 4th annual Heart of Darkness Imperial Stout Fest is being held at both their original location on Division Street and their new Alberta location for the first time. This means that the number of Imperial Stouts is more than doubling, going from 16 in 2017 to 38 in 2018!

Entry is free, however you will need to purchase a $5 commemorative glass. Drink tickets will cost $2 each (note: some beers may be 2 tickets per pour). All beers will also be available by the glass.

On tap at Division will be a selection of 16 imperial stouts, mostly chosen from Imperial’s cellar:

– AleSmith Brewing Company “Thai Speedway Stout” Imperial Stout with coconut, ginger, lime, lemongrass, basil, and coffee

– Aslan Brewing Company “Satan’s Airport” Imperial Milk Stout with coffee

– Avery Brewing Company 2016 “Vanilla Bean Stout” Imperial Stout with vanilla beans added and aged in Bourbon barrels

– Bell’s Brewery 2015 “Expedition” Russian Imperial Stout

– Coalition Brewing 2015 “Barrel-Aged Bring out the Imp” Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels

– Crux Fermentation Project 2016 “Tough Love” Russian Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels

– Dogfish Head “Oak-Aged Vanilla World Wide Stout” (over 16% ABV!!!)

– Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom 2016 “Imperio” Imperial Stout served on nitro

– Evil Twin Brewing / Westbrook Brewing Company “Imperial Mexican Biscotti Break Cake” Imperial Stout with coffee, cinnamon, almonds, cocoa nibs, vanilla beans & habanero peppers

– Fremont Brewing Company “Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Star” Imperial Oatmeal Stout

– Full Sail Brewing Company 2016 “Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout”

– New Holland Brewing Co. “Dragon’s Milk Reserve: Mocha Mint” Imperial Milk Stout

– Santiam Brewing Co. “Govna’s Reserve Pirate Stout” Imperial Stout aged in bourbon and rum barrels and finished with coconut

– Southern Tier Brewing Company 2015 “Creme Brulee” Imperial Stout brewed with vanilla beans

– The Bruery “Share This: Coffee” Imperial Stout with coffee

– Worthy Brewing 2016 “Barrel-Aged Dark Muse” Russian Imperial Stout aged in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels

On tap at Alberta will be a selection of 21 imperial stouts, including:

– Alesong Brewing and Blending “Vanilla Rhino Suit” Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels with vanilla beans and cocoa nibs

– Avery Brewing “Tweak” Imperial Stout with coffee added and aged in Bourbon barrels (16% ABV!)

– Backwoods Brewing Company “The Stumbler” Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels

– Baerlic Brewing Co.c “Collusion” Russian Imperial Stout brewed with house-made dulce de leche

– Base Camp Brewing Company “Imperial Barrel-Aged S’more Stout” Imperial Stout aged in Eastside Distillery’s Burnside Bourbon barrels

– Block 15 Brewing Co. “Imagine” Imperial Belgian Stout aged in Bourbon barrels

– Culmination Brewing Company “Multnomah County Stout” Imperial Stout aged in George Dickel whiskey barrels

– Deschutes Brewery 2016 “Abyss” served on nitro

– Ecliptic Brewing Barrel-Aged Oort

– Epic Brewing Company “Big Bad Baptista” Whiskey Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with Mexican coffee, cacao nibs, vanilla, and cinnamon

– Ex Novo Brewing “Kill the Sun” Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

– Fort George Brewery “1000 Years of Silence” Mexican Chocolate Imperial Stout

– Gigantic Brewing Company “Most MOST Premium” Russian Imperial Stout aged almost 2 years in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels

– Great Notion Double Stack

– Lagunitas Brewing Co “Willet-ized Coffee Stout” Imperial Stout with coffee aged in Willet rye whiskey barrels

– Melvin Brewing “Unkle Rukus” Imperial Stout

– Ninkasi Brewing “Ground Control” Imperial Stout brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs and aged in Woodford reserve Bourbon barrels

– Perennial Artisan Ales “Abraxas” Imperial Stout brewed with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and cinnamon sticks

– pFriem Family Brewers “Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout”

– Ruse Brewing “Deep Sleeper” Barrel-Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout with Vermont maple syrup

– Three Creeks Brewing Company “Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged Frontier Justice Coffee Stout”

– Wander Brewing “Barrel-Aged Earlybird” Imperial Breakfast Stout brewed with dulce de leche, oatmeal, and coffee, and aged in bourbon barrels

Into The Abyss
Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom
3090 SE Division
Thursday, February 15th
5:00 – 8:00 PM

Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom on SE Division St has been saving up kegs of Abyss for 3 years to pour you a special Abyss vertical right in the center of Stout Month. Imperial will be pouring 2015, 2016, 2016 on Nitro, and 2017 The Abyss by the glass or as a $13 sampler tray. And if you need something a bit more refreshing to cleanse your pallet, they will also be pouring Deschutes’ new Pear Bergamot Sour (50 cents off 12 oz glasses with purchase of a sampler tray).

The Abyss is a legendary Oregon imperial stout brewed with Blackstrap Molasses, Brewer’s Licorice, Vanilla Beans, & Cherry Bark, and then 50% aged in Bourbon, new Oregon oak, and Pinot Noir casks. Distinct and delicious on release, the flavors meld and fuse into an entirely different pleasure after a year or more in the cellar.

Perennial Stout Night
Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom
3090 SE Division
Thursday, February 22nd
6:00 – 10:00 PM

Perennial Artisan Ales out of St Louis is known country-wide for their amazing imperial stouts, including the infamous Abraxas. Imperial has collected a handful for you to taste side by side including:

  • Fantastic Voyage: a smooth yet strong imperial milk stout with a heap of dried coconut. The result is a luscious blend of baker’s chocolate, subtle roast, and sweet coconut. 8.8% ABV
  • Sump Coffee Stout: Imperial coffee stout made in collaboration with South City’s Sump Coffee. This year’s batch uses a coffee from the Cauca region of Colombia, which provides a classic coffee stout profile full of caramel, maple, and pecan.
  • Abraxas 2017: An Imperial Stout brewed with ancho chili peppers, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and cinnamon sticks. Pouring deep brown with a thick head, this beer has a complex body with a delicious lingering roastiness. Abraxas is brewed with unique ingredients intended to challenge and excite the palate.
  • Abraxas 2016: Abraxas may be enjoyed right away or allowed to age in the bottle. In fact, Perennial encourages vertical tastings, so we aged a keg a year for you so can experience how the aging helps mellow and meld the aggressive flavors.

All beers will be offered by the glass or as a 4-beer sampler tray for $15. Imperial is also popping open two bottles of Barrel-Aged Abraxas, aged 12 months in Rittenhouse Rye barrels. They’ll be offering 3 oz pours, so should have about 16 pours available. Barrel-Aged Abraxas will only be available as an add-on to the sampler tray for $4.

Founder’s Pancake Brunch
Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom
2006 NE Alberta St
Sunday, February 25th
11:00 – 2:00 PM

Imperial on Alberta St will be pouring Founder’s beer, featuring their delicious line of breakfast stouts, to help wash down plates and plates of pancakes!

The beer lineup includes Rubaeus Raspberry Ale on nitro, Breakfast Stout, Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS), and Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS).

Imperial will be offering plates of oatmeal pancakes (chocolate chips optional) with your choice of KBS maple syrup or a Rubaeus Raspberry syrup. And of course, we wouldn’t leave out bacon.

Details on pricing, etc. to be announced soon on Imperial’s website, facebook page, Instagram page, and twitter.

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: