A barrel-aged, strong-ale with a soft and rich caramel-malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones dancing in an oak bath.
Black in color, american-style imperial stouts typically have a high alcohol content. generally characterized as very robust. the extremely rich malty flavor and aroma are balanced with assertive hopping and fruity-ester characteristics. bitterness should be moderately high to very high and balanced with full sweet malt character. roasted malt astringency and bitterness can be moderately perceived but should not overwhelm the overall character. hop aroma is usually moderately-high to overwhelmingly hop-floral, -citrus or -herbal. diacetyl (butterscotch) levels should be absent.
The number one reason is craft beer tastes better than the "beer water" that is mass produced and mass marketed by the big beer companies. Craft beer tastes better because craft brewers spend their time focusing the quality of their beer rather than focusing on their marketing campaigns and stock prices.
Oh yeah! Craft beers can pack a punch. Most craft beers range from 5-10% ABV, but some can reach 20%, 30%, and even 40% ABV.