Monday 30th March 2020
I don’t usually drink on Mondays. Back in the real world, Monday was my day to rest my liver and catch up on writing up the weekend’s taproom adventures. A day for going to the cinema or for a long walk. Of course, we could still go for a long walk, but yesterday’s torrential downpour put pay to that, and wasn’t exactly great for lifting our Blue Monday spirits. Instead, we watched a film at home (The Platform – we’re not shy of a little apocalypse-viewing during an apocalypse), tried to pretend we were in the cinema (not so difficult when it’s pitch back outside, although I did have to keep reminding JB that talking isn’t allowed!), drinking a few beers and cooking up an unusually complicated meal – score!
Destihl Privyet Russian Imperial Stout
As I was cooking a special treat of lamb steaks on the bone (which have premium meat status and pricing here in Texas for some reason) with cranberry-wine sauce, spicy kale and black beans and mash (I know!), I wanted a high quality dark beer to accompany this complex culinary endeavour. As regular visitors to Central Illinois, we’re very familiar with Destihl’s brews, and had a lovely visit to their Normal, IL taproom with JB’s wonderful friends who live nearby on our most recent trip last year. Their space is welcoming and family-friendly, and we all shared our (several) flights around the table, tasting and comparing our beers and having a wonderful time. Oh, those were the days.
This beer was definitely among my favourite Destihls to date, its texture thick and oozy with a rich, oil-like quality that allowed it to roll playfully around the mouth. The chocolate and dried fruit flavours were present without dominating, and the deep roasty malt worked nicely with the sweet, juicy lamb. It also boasts super-cool Sovietesque can art which I shall be adding to my fast-growing beer-sticker collection. I’m still new at switching out wine for beer with a fancy meal, so Monday’s success felt particularly rewarding, especially in such trying circumstance where I am doing my best to seize on every win, however small it may be! Who knows, I may come out of all this as both a better cook and a better food-beer pairer – this could be the start of a comforting silver lining.