When Fort George drops Matryoshka Imperial Stout, Dark Beer fans across the Pacific Northwest drop whatever they’re doing. Suddenly, a drive out to the tiny coastal town of Astoria, Oregon starts to look a lot more reasonable!

This year’s version is really something special — even the brewers call it their “best Matryoshka yet!” Judging by the mammoth 4.46 Untappd rating, fans agree.

To create this one-off release, the brewers aged Matryoshka (2021) a full year in a combination of Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Westward Whisky barrels. Every sip overflows with smooth, oaky vanilla, rich, roasty coffee, and hints of barrel char. Dave Coyne — Fort George’s ‘barrel baron’ — describes it as “reminiscent of melted chocolate and vanilla bean ice cream.”

We’d add a drizzle of espresso to the mix, but other than that, Dave’s description is spot on. Open it now and you can bask in Matryoshka’s boozy complexity, or cellar it for a year or two, where it will grow even smoother and more chocolatey with each day. Or, snag two and try both!

If you’re not in the Northwest, that drive out to Astoria might be a little TOO long, even for such an incredible beer. Luckily, we’ve got a little stash to share.