This Russian Imperial Stout is my first from Birrificio del Ducato, and my first from Italy that isn't Peroni or Moretti. A section of their range was recently added to the line-up at Bradley's, but at €4-5 for a bottle, they are probably better served as gifts. Also in the cupboard is their Sally Brown, an Irish Dry Stout, which should be an interesting one. If these two bottles pay off, I may take the plunge and explore the rest of the available range.
Verdi Imperial Stout, along with the rest of the 'Classic' bottled range, comes in a rather unusual but very attractive bottom-heavy bottle. Outside, it pours a black with highlights of a dark brown, and a great creamy tan head. Already I can tell there's a good thick body to it, as the head starts to leave behind a sticky lace. On the nose there are some nice medicinal and herbal notes, quite like the Ocean Goteborgsporter. Coffee and smoke lend a distinctive Irish-pub-stout character to the aroma, followed by the roasted malts, fizzy and sharp dark sweet fruits and brown sugar. Very nice to smell. Gorgeous chocolate malt with swirls of caramel open up the flavour, followed by coffee and dark fruit, with alcohol heat and a maple syrup hint signing off.
This is a very intense and sweet stout, with more of a smoky 'Irish' element to it than any of the other Imperials I've had. It's extremely tasty, with a great Imperial Stout opening and a lovely hot Belgian quad-like finish. Very enjoyable, but perhaps not worth the price when there are better things for cheaper.