Black Market RIS

Black Market RIS
Gifted by the brewer, 10% ABV

Handed over at a Make-a-Wish Fundraiser

This beer won 1st place at the 2013 Southern New England Home Brewer competition. I pick my home brewing friends wisely.

lbAs I’ve made my way up the Connecticut craft brewing food chain, I’ve had the good fortune of meeting some really, really good people. I’m not just talking about the brewery owners and brewers, no matter how much street cred name dropping the likes of friends Matt Westfall, Mark Sigman or Aaren Simoncini gets me. I’m also talking about the “crew” of local craft beer fans that has gathered, mainly via Twitter. (There are all those other beer apps that these folks utilize on their fancy video phone things, but I don’t. Untapp this..

Seriously, I’ve (so far) met at least 15 people I’d be quite happy to hang out with on any random night and discuss beer – but more importantly, also discuss things other than beer. The sense of community that has quickly built up around good beer and the friendships that have developed in such a short time is pretty remarkable. Through this network I’ve been able to score some difficult to get Connecticut beers for this website/throat/belly. And through this network a great thing happened in 2013 when the so-called Connecticut Brew Crew joined forces to raise $5,375 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation through a great event at J. Timothy’s in Plainville.

That was the highest total of any participating teams – by FAR – and I’m not really sure it had much to do with the fact that head CT Brew Crew guy CraftBrewGuy a.k.a. Aron Daniels was a former Wish Kid himself. Regardless, it matters not: Great group of guys raised money for a great cause. (Read more about it here). I’m proud to say I’ve become friends with all 5 of the guys on the team.

And besides raising all that money selflessly, that night another trait of the “culture” that has grown up around our burgeoning craft beer scene came to the fore: Helping a brother out.

I mean, sure, helping cancer kids out is great and all, but scoring (and bringing) ME a fresh growler of once-per-year Coriolis from New England Brewing? (Thanks Jay!) Scoring (and bringing) ME a can of the NEB rarity Weiss Trash Culture? (Thanks Aron)!) Scoring (and bringing) ME an even rarer bottle of Lasting Brass Russian Imperial Stout? (Thanks Ed!)

ED 385389_527930717298342_1532437907_nI am a pretty lucky dude. And it was especially cool to have some time to talk with Matt from New England Brewing for a while for once. I love that man. (And I’m not alone, for the CT Brew Crew wing eating team all dressed up as NEBCO beer characters. Which was fanflippingtastic.)

But you know what? I’m coming to love Ed Silva (a.k.a. fittingly the Imperial Stout Trooper at the wing challenge, here at left) too, the young buck behind the Lasting Brass home brewing operation I am supposed to be talking about here. The wax-sealed and beautifully labeled bottle of his imperial stout was handed to me with little fanfare.

Oh. Hey. Awesome? Deinitely.

Lasting Brass Says:

“Some things should last”

Over the centuries, people have gathered together to enjoy brews crafted by local artisans. The experience draws us in… the taste, the smell, the feel of the cool glass in your hand and a goodness that fills the soul. Nothings compares to a pint of finely crafted beer who’s process remains as important as the final product. No matter what uncertainties come our way, we will always have this. This is Lasting.

Quite poetic. Ed was probably drunk on the sauce when he came up with that, lovely as it is. Due to an error in printing (remember, this is all DIY and gratis), the font size was impossibly tiny. But I, your intrepid Connecticut beer reviewer went to the store and bought a magnifying glass – Just. For. This. You’re welcome.)

Ok, so what’s going on here? In short, Ed Silva is a home brewer that kicks the butt of many licensed “professional” breweries. I’ve had maybe 10 home brews in my day (not many, I know) and Lasting Brass is the best. Period.

This stout clocked in at 10% ABV and tasted like a roasty, malty, chocolatey, java-y, slightly boozy but totally not alcoholly… just delicious. And having seen Ed’s set up in an fairly roomy in-law suite, I’m simply amazed at what he’s able to do.

My A rating below is not some syrupy mash note to Ed. I have not given him a letter grade because he keeps empty storage vessels in an unused bathroom in his house. And no, just because this bottle was given to me (which legally is has to be) did not compel me to like it extraspecialmore.

I have integrity, so screw you.

This beer is just really, really good.

Overall Rating: A
Rating vs. Similar style: A+

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