Well, how the bloody hell are ya bro!? ….This is what I expect my Hop Hooligans Koschei Russian Imperial Stout to ask me as I delve into my first sip of this extraordinary crafted beer.

Oh, yes.. I have to say, that after a slight hiatus without posting… it is f#@k’n GREAT to be back!  My world travels have definitely given me so many experiences that I will never forget. And it is a beer like the Hop Hooligans Koschei that gets my blood really pumping, and hoping that I will never forget the taste and feeling I have right now while drinking this perfectly crafted beer.

Have you ever bought that beer that you have never tried before, but by merely pouring it into a glass you can already tell it is going to completely blow your mind? ….Yeah?  Well this is one of those my friends. It is one of the darkest crafted beers that has been living in a cave (or a maybe just a barrel) somewhere, and now it is lose…. out on the prowl, looking for it’s next victim. Well, I am so glad it chose me because I am flabbergasted by the complexity of what sits before me.

Hop Hooligans must have been doing ‘high fives’ when they crafted (and tasted) this one! Before coming to Bucharest, Romania, I had not heard of Hop Hooligans, but they will be planted firmly in my mind now. So much that I will be adding a bottle of Koschei to my luggage and take it on the rest of my journey, before reaching it’s final resting place back in Melbourne, Australia… where I will share it with a selected 2-3 of my craft beer loving mates.

So… lets do this! I believe I have created enough hype on this one that you are ready to either explode, or walk away…. and you do NOT want to walk away bro, because this is a craft beer created for the gods!

Koschei is a Imperial Russian Stout (or known as a RIS) by all craft beer lovers. It is pitch black with a seductive viscosity to it that makes the glass seem like someone just switched off the lights. The head on this beer is like you have just been given the worlds best espresso, thick and creamy and full of body. Then the taste…. oh my god the taste! It is basically a ‘wet dream’ in a glass, Koschei is so thick! Full of that espresso goodness, a dark creamy malt and the presence of dark fruits such as prunes is completely captivating. But it just doesn’t stop giving, because all of this is wrapped up in dark chocolate and just the perfect amount of sweetness. The ABV on this one sits at 11%, and I think the brewers got this calculation so right. At a certain point a RIS can be overcome by alcohol, but this sits in that perfect ‘sweet spot’ where all the tastes and flavours sits perfectly side by side with the alcohol.

I am over the moon that I had the chance to experience a beer such as this, and I am sure the lucky few mates back in Australia that I share this with will feel exactly the same.

Cheers to you Hop Hooligans for doing exactly as one of your taglines state: ‘We only brew the beer we want to drink…and we like powerful, flavorful crazy shit’.

Taste: 10/10

Cost: RON 25.00 (AUD$ 8.55) per 330ml bottle

Value: Romania! You have left a craft beer mark on me I will NEVER forget.

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