Ziko’s Rage

American Imperial Stout 26º Brewing Co.

3.5

Ziko’s Rage, an American Imperial Stout by 26 Degrees Brewing Co.

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Ziko’s Rage is an American Imperial Stout brewed by 26 Degrees Brewing Co., and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a can.

Appearance

Pours an oily black with no light showing through. Topped by a thick latte-brown pock-marked head that shows fine retention. Steaks of residue cling to the glass, reducing to a soapy collar.

Aroma

An aroma is a mix of sweet of roast. Notes of vanilla, chocolate, and cherry blend with a light coffee roast.

Flavor

The palate begins with a taste of black tea with apple and transitions to a bite of floral hops and citrus. Black coffee roast follows before mellowing with sweet notes of dark chocolate and molasses.

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel seems just a bit thin for the style with a body that’s a shade over medium. The feel is relatively smooth with moderate carbonation and finishes dryly with a mild warming alcohol sensation.

Overall

Aroma and appearance meet expectations. The feel could use a little more heft. But it’s the lovely coffee roast and sweet chocolate finish that highlight this brew. A relatively high ABV has a negligible impact on the aroma and taste. Ziko’s Rage is an all-around nice representation of an Imperial Stout.

A Turtle With Some Bite

Ziko’s Rage was named in honor of Ziko, the loggerhead turtle. Discovered on a reef with a steel hook lodged in his mouth, he was given extensive medical treatment by the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Ziko was naturally mistrusting of humans and he had a tendency to bite his healers. But it was his fierce nature that made him endearing and served as the inspiration behind this Imperial Stout.

From First to Second

Ziko’s Rage was the first beer brewed at 26 Degrees back in July 2015. Nearly a year later, the brewery took home a silver medal for Ziko’s Rage at the 2016 Best Florida Beer Championship.

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About the American Imperial Stout

Rich, dark, and complex, the American Imperial Stout has a strength similar to that of an American Barleywine. Its bitterness typically runs high from hops, roast, or booze, and it should have a silky, luscious feel. The style originated in the Russian Imperial Court, became popular in England, and then all but disappeared. The modern craft brewing renaissance resurrected the style in America and in England.