Cismontane’s Black’s Nocturne: imperial stout + bourbon barrels

For some reason, 2012 brought a penchant for bourbon to my palette that I had never experienced before. I blame it on a delicious mint julep I tried at happy hour once… in addition to my West Virginia upbringings. That being disclosed, Cismontane Brewing (one of my fave local breweries) has truly crafted a bourbon-drinker’s gem with Black’s Nocturne. Here is how the brew is described in their words:

“We took everyone’s favorite Imperial Stout (sans coffee) and aged it for nearly a year in fresh Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels, which we then blended in an attempt to tame the bourbon beastliness. Creamy vanilla and smooth oak on the nose complement and round out the roasted, bitter chocolate characteristics. A kiss of bourbon booziness on the palate provides the perfect finish for this rich and decadent tribute to the dark months ahead. Be prepared…winter is coming.”

I love this beer! At 12% ABV, Black’s Nocturne certainly is more of a warming, wintery beer than some of Cismontane’s lighter offerings, which is perfect for the cooler weather we are finally experiencing. I tried a tulip of it recently ($1/oz in the brewery’s tasting room), and fell in love with its vanilla and toffee notes, as well as the prevalent bourbon flavor throughout. It finishes nicely with lingering warmth and silky mouth feel. Not too sweet, and not too boozy. I am already regretting that I didn’t buy a bottle to bring home…

For more info on Cismontane’s other offerings, visit their website at


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