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Stone Imperial Russian Stout (2014)

in Libation Station  · 

Well, it’s not too different from the previous years, and that’s fine. Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout has always been a favorite, and as we haven’t talked about it in a few years, we figured it was time to celebrate its greatness again.

Everything here is as it should be: the pitch black pour and the tan head greet you with a warm embrace, stroking your hair, telling you how beauty is about more than a bag flowing in the wind. Beauty, it seems, is what you’re about to imbibe.

Notes of roast and anise dance on the nose, playing hacky sack with the chocolate and coffee. The flavor reflects all of this, making for a deep, flavorful 10.5% ABV ride.

Yada, yada, yada. You already knew all of that. The flavors haven’t really changed much over the years. There is one thing, though, that has improved, and I am happily surprised that it has.

My main issue with the previous IRSs has been the mouthfeel—great as the flavors might have been, the mouthfeel really didn’t measure up. Not a huge deal, I know, but I like my imperial stouts thick.

And this year Stone really has hit that home better than they did over the previous years. It will still need to be aged to reach its optimal level, of course, but I was surprised exactly how thick the 2014 felt, right off the bat.

That sets this year’s edition apart for me. It’s tasty as always—no surprise there—but this (to some) minor detail makes a difference.

Of course, the price of the beer has steadily increased, too. I’m not quite cynical enough to blame Stone for that, but we’re close to what I’d consider to be a pretty steep point. Something to keep in mind.

It’s worth it, though. The Imperial Russian Stout is a great beer. Go drink it, and be appropriately happy.

Miguel’s Mexican Restaurant and Tequileria

in #SpoCOOL  · 
 ·  3029 E 29th Ave , Spokane, WA 99223

«Miguels [sic] now open»

Had I taken notice and had I remembered what I already knew, I would have given Miguel’s a miss. Driving by Fiesta Mexicana’s sign, our experience with Miguel’s all of a sudden just made sense. Those patented stylings of Fiesta Mexicana making their way into our food… Of course the two places shared owners.

So, for the sake of stating the obvious here: Miguel’s might have a slightly different menu than Fiesta Mexicana, but all in all, it’s all the same. Place two dishes from each menu next to eachother, and there’s no way you’d notice any difference. In fact, mix the two, and it’d be one big plate of sameness.

I could go into details about above dish—arroz con pollo, which also is their signature dish—but why bother? It’s a mess, like something from a frozen TV dinner. 

To add insult to injury, you can’t get a decent horchata here either: it’s a complete watered down rip-off. I mean, really. If you can’t get the horchata right, there isn’t much hope.

So, there you have it. Short and sweet. Another Spokane Mexican spot that’s way on the bottom of mediocre, borderlining awful. The only reason I can think of going there, is for the hundred tequilas, but the jury is still out if any of those are worthwhile.

The food certainly is not worth much. Stay in the car until you hit Michoacana—it might be a trek, but it sure the hell will make you happier than Miguel’s does.