Known as Tokyo* in Britain. $9 a wine glass. That's about the retail cost (on a per-ounce basis) you would pay in the UK, to be honest. And that's including the shipping cost almost free.
It's an 18.2% stout, basically competing with Dogfish Head World Wide Stout. But while DFH WWS is ink-black and intense, actually feeling like it's 18% and then some, Tokyo*/Tokio is splendidly tasty yet not overpowering, malty and sweet with an intense fruity character (probably stemming from the infusion of jasmine and cranberries) and more subdued roast/stout flavors than most imperial stouts. I let a couple folks try mine "blind," and they guessed it to be 10% or so; it's dangerously drinkable for its strength. It packs an incredible complexity, far more than any other barleywine or "extreme beer" I've tried, and garners loads of descriptions and comparisons from online reviewers--not all of them positive, as some folks just don't seem to care for it.
What it really comes down to is the perfect quote about such a beer, from beer importer Patrick Casey, co-founder of Legends Limited in Baltimore: "The Scots in particular have a way of doing things very subtly. We Americans must always do things big and boldly. I would not want the truly Scottish ales to become more like what the Americans produce." (Incidentally, Legends passed on the chance to be the importer for BrewDog in the States: "At the time they were looking for an importer, they were just promoting their three or four more mainstream beers [Punk, Riptide, Hardcore, and the now-discontinued The Physics], and it was expensive per bottle," said sales rep Erin Tyler. "And then they start doing all those big beers. Who knew?")
Tokio is a more subtle, yet more complex, beer than World Wide Stout, or DuClaw Colossus, or any of those other "extreme beers." It's still extreme, but.............. let's put it this way:
Dogfish World Wide Stout is that Playboy centerfold, that Megan Fox or Pamela Anderson. Or Jessica Rabbit.
Colossus is that sexy movie starlet--Julia Roberts, Jennifer Anniston, Charlize Theron, take your pick.
Tokio is that lovely lass across the street that's attractive, yes, but ends up winning you over more with her smile, her wit, her laugh, her grace, and her charm. Oh, yes, and her good taste.
And to make the evening complete, another patron at the bar graciously shared with me a sample from his "birthday bottle" of beer. The bottle? Sam Adams Utopias. Thanks again, anonymous patron. Life is good............
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