Category Archives: Stout

Burlington Beer Co ‘Seances & Sacrifices’ BA Imperial Maple Stout

Rating:

Seances & Sacrifices Imperial Maple Stout aged in Maple Bourbon Barrels showcases the best of Vermont’s maple traditions. This stout’s rich maple flavor and aroma are derived from local maple sugar from Butternut Farm. The beer is then aged in freshly-emptied maple bourbon barrels, which infuse the beer with additional notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak.

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as midnight with a short brown head which disappears rather quickly. Practically no head left so no lace on the glass.

Aroma: Ooft…smells fiery. This is the 2023 vintage so we dare say the booze is going to burn. After a few whiffs it still maintains the warming booze but the sweet Maple Bourbon barrels are beginning to filter through. Thankfully! Other than that it’s just all out richness – leather, molasses, licorice, dark chocolate and espresso. We’re somewhat priming our palates for what we believe is coming.

Flavour: Much to our surprise it’s nowhere near as fierce as we’d anticipated. Yeah there’s a booze burn but that’s just immaturity which will settle after a year or so. We get some spice from it, reminiscent of rye but we’re pretty sure they haven’t used any in this brew. Most likely a by-product of the Maple Bourbon which is unfortunately shy and could do with a bit more oomph. Rich chocolate, molasses and oak rounds it all out. Good length on it.

Mouthfeel: Slick and oily, medium-full body, low-ish Co2. The 11.5% ABV doesn’t try and hide. It’s all out there baby.

Overall: Nothing will ever top Founders’ CBS in our opinion. Not a whole lot of breweries try their hands at Imperial Maple Stouts so there’s not much to compare to. This one clearly needs aging but even then the beer itself is only OK.

Ballast Point ‘BA Victory At Sea – Dulce De Leche’ Imperial Porter

Rating:

“High West Bourbon barrel aged Victory at Sea Dulce de Leche Imperial Porter. Brewed in New Zealand by Behemoth Brewing Co.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black pour and a thumb of light brown head perched on top. Steady reduction and a wet lace is dragged down the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Smells super sweet initially – vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, a hint of maple. Then the dark roasty malts enter the fray and bring light smoky notes, coffee and chocolate. The High West barrels are a little shy unfortunately. Prairie is one of our favourite Bourbons at the moment so it’s a shame not to get more oomph out of it. Nice wood character though.

Flavour: Picking up more of the Bourbon here which is great. The dominant sweetness on the nose is dialled back which allows the Bourbon/oak and roasted malts to shine. Kinda wishing that sweetness would come back coz it was damn delicious…not to mention that it’s all a little dry without it. There is a very subtle return of it in the finish but it’s mostly shadowed by the booze, roast and Bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Slick, somewhat oily and surprisingly lean for what it is. Medium body and a noticeable 12% ABV.

Overall: We won’t lie we were expecting a bit more from it. The aroma was superb but the flavour profile and texture left us wanting a little bit. Not bad though.

Deeds ‘Fade Into Darkness’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“The bottle, viewed in the dimmest of lights from the storm outside the cave, was full of promise.  As you desperately tip the bottle, nought comes out. It’s empty. As the shattered glass falls from the cave wall, thrown in disgust, a single drop of liquid forms. You watch petrified as it rolls to the shadows and grows into the shape of the beast. Your scream cuts out as a creature grabs your neck. Eyes wide in fear and disbelief; can this be real? You cling to this, weakening though as you fade into darkness.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Holy hell. It pours like engine oil but it whips up a frenzy of dark brown head which quickly recedes. As it ebbs it drags long wet legs down the glass. Similar to wine.

Aroma: Insanely rich, indulgent, nutty and warming. The roasted walnuts have an immediate effect and impart an almost buttery accent which softens the overall intensity of the aroma. The Bourbon/barrels are equally fantastic, adding caramelized sweetness, vanilla and burnt sugars. Vigorous dark chocolate, espresso, licorice and leather provide an ample foundation for it all to work off. Brilliant.

Flavour: Heavens to Betsy. Intensity overload. The palate is in a scramble trying to break down the set of flavours. The richness upfront is immeasurable…packed in with molasses, licorice, dark chocolate, vanilla, espresso and charred malt. The Bourbon/barrels are also layered over perfectly…integrating the sweet and spicy notes and rounding it all off on a nutty, rich, roasty and warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly lighter than expected. Oily, warming, medium-full body. The 13% ABV was pretty well behaved.

Overall: It’s clear now. These guys wear the crown for the best BA Imperial Stouts in Australia. This expression right here is exactly why we say that. Magnificent.

Boatrocker ’23 ‘Ramjet’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Ramjet 2023 is even more special than ever, signifying 10 years of big, bold and boozy brilliance.  As always, this incredible stout is carefully cellared, integrating the flavours beautifully.  Dark roast malts, low carbonation and the signature whisky hit are all best delivered at around 8c.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a short brown cap forming on top. The head slowly dissipates and leaves a beautiful cascading lace down the glass.

Aroma: Ooft. Smells big, rich and burly. Lots of that rich intensity is coming from the whiskey barrels but there’s also a massive push from the molasses, licorice and Vegemite. Dark salty chocolate also adds to the complexities. As usual the Starward whiskey barrels impart old damp wood/oak alongside the vinous red berry-infused apera notes.

Flavour: Right off the bat it’s too young and fiery. It could certainly do with a little time in the cellar. That aside, there’s still a tonne of flavour on offer – good integration of vinous barrel-infused whiskey into the base elements of molasses, licorice, salty dark chocolate and espresso coffee. It finishes with strong espresso bitterness, molasses and dark chocolate and draws out nicely on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Rich, heavy and sharp. Medium-full body, low Co2. The 10% ABV is more noticeable than we’d like.

Overall: 2023 marks 10 years of this brilliant series. We remember trying one for the first time back in 2015 and being blown away. We must say, other breweries like Deeds and Hawkers have caught up (and even surpassed) but Boatrocker will always be an OG in the BA Imperial Stout department in our opinion.

Banks ‘Whats The Word’ BA Imperial Pastry Stout

Rating:

“Barrel aged Imperial Whiskey Stout. Need we say more? Aged for 18 months in Starward Whiskey Barrels and conditioned on toasted Hazelnuts, Organic Cacao Nibs & Tahitian Vanilla, it’s like childhood Hazelnut Spread Nostalgia mixed with the good parts of being an adult (drinkin Whiskey) Contains Lactose.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: An unsurprisingly dark and ominous pour meets our gaze. It forms a thumb of brown head which gradually reduces. Minimal lace is left behind though.

Aroma: Jeez this bad boy was aged in Starward whiskey barrels for 18 months! That’s a substantial amount of time. We’re not the world’s biggest fans of Starward whiskey but we are hoping we could be swayed. Right off the bat we’re getting a hint of ammonia and ink. Not a great start. The adjuncts do eventually begin to creep through which is good but the base Stout seems like it’s a little weak. Hhmm.

Flavour: What we like about it initially is that the adjunct flavours shine through a lot more opposed to the aroma. The nuttiness, the sweet vanilla and bittersweet cacao own the front palate and only start to loosen their grip around the mid where the kind of cheap, tacky fruit notes from the whiskey/barrels merge. It improves a bit in the finish as the barrels taper out and the toasted nuts, vanilla and chocolate return to punctuate.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full, hefty yet kind of oily and smooth. Low-ish Co2 and the ABV (10.6%) hides in plain sight.

Overall: Maybe Banks have the same issue as Mountain Culture – can brew the best Hazy IPA’s in the country but struggle with Stouts 🤷 average at best.

3 Ravens X Carwyn Cellars ‘BAPIOS Conspiracy’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Aged in American oak rye whisky barrels that had previously held our 18% peated imperial oatmeal stout – this beer has continued fermentation in barrel (due to the enzyme/yeast blend used in the previous beer) resulting in a drier, stronger beer that features characteristics from both previous contents – the sweet oak, spice and spirit character of the rye whisky as well as the smokiness and almost port-like qualities of the BAPIOS.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a fine light brown overlay. It quickly forms a collar and struggles to produce any lacing.

Aroma: It appears quite weak and tired. The package date was November ’21 so it does have some age already on it. There’s a very delicate hint of Vegemite which is a sign that a BA Stout is on its last leg. Basically, it means the yeast has died and the resulting flavour is that of Vegemite/Marmite and sometimes even soy sauce at its worst. The whiskey/oak notes are still hanging around so…not all bad.

Flavour: My oh my. This isn’t getting any better. It’s straight into an acrid, face-wincing astringency further emphasised by an unchecked booze burn. The subtle whiskey really is the only aspect that is offering something in this transaction. The base Stout also seems a touch too weak to handle the complexities of the whiskey and oak. Also the finish is overly bitter and pulls up short. Sheesh.

Mouthfeel: Not bad, holds up ok. It’s oily and sharp with medium-full body. The 11.5% ABV is too noticeable though.

Overall: It’s clear this has passed its BBD. But even tasting it in its current form it’s hard to say that the fresh product would’ve been much better. It’s just not an enjoyable beer. Period.

Good Land ‘Jazeker – BA Edition’ Coffee Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Yeah sure! Conditioned on a blend of coffee beans roasted by our mates at Fat Cat Roasters and some thick as vanilla beans for good measure. Jazeker is what Good Land is all about, daring yet refined with this warming, intense imperial stout.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as the ace of spades with a loosely packed two finger head which slowly peels off. Hardly any lace sticks as we go.

Aroma: The heavenly marriage of coffee and vanilla tantalises the olfactory’s. Buffalo Trace is our most favoured Bourbon cask for Impy Stouts to be aged in so we would’ve loved for that to be amplified a bit more. This could also just be our love for that (rather cheap 😬) Bourbon talking. Nice and robust Stout base as well – dark chocolate, molasses, cacao, light char. Smells the goods!

Flavour: Ok, they were saving all that Buffalo Trace for the palate! Big helpings of coffee, vanilla, molasses, treacle and leather but the Bourbon comes through with that orchard fruit, caramel and brown sugar. A really nice woody oak is fused through it all as a warmth from the booze peeks through then a roasty, bittersweet and coffee-laden finish punctuates it.

Mouthfeel: Dense, full and muscly. Co2 seems low but the hop bitterness takes its place. The 11.7% ABV is pretty well concealed.

Overall: Pretty damn good. If Ramjet and Deeds’ Into The Fray series are class A then this release fits comfortably into a class B Aussie-brewed BA Stout. Well integrated Bourbon oak, well balanced, rich and aggressive. Quality stuff.

Mountain Culture X Bottle Logic ‘Imperial Logic Imperial Pastry Stout’

Rating:

“How do you begin to describe a beer as special as this? A beer that, during recipe formulation with our friends Wes and Stephen from Bottle Logic, we very quickly realised was going to be the thickest, sweetest, creamiest stout we’ve ever produced. By a long shot. Using twice as many adjuncts than our regular stouts, we had to source specialised equipment in order to fit them in the beer. A whole pallet full of shaved coconut, freshly roasted coffee beans and cinnamon have been added to a rich, dark malt stout base that meld together for a syrupy, velvety and decadent finish.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pours like engine oil. We always get a little excited when we see a big Stout pour this dark. It forms a finger of tightly held brown foam which holds its shape. A wet spotty lace falls down the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: The way we see it this collab is taking arguably the best Australian brewery and (maybe even more arguably) the best American brewery and putting them together to produce one of our most favourite styles of beer – an Imperial Pastry Stout. That all equals an instant purchase on our end…no matter the cost. So now, because we’ve waffled on so much already let’s move to the flavour profile.

Flavour: Ooft! Thicc, luscious and indulgent. It has a rather sharp booze burn upfront but it’s saddled with a tonne of dark chocolate, charred malts, espresso coffee, burnt spices, toasted coconut and licorice so you don’t actually realise how pissed you’re getting. It gets real harsh, almost acrid through the mid but thankfully it settles a bit and finishes charred, spicy and bitter with a significant sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Dense, muscly and warming. Full body, low-ish Co2. The 10.7% ABV doesn’t try and hide.

Overall: We’re unsure about it to be honest. Started real strong but the harsh and ferocious nature was left a little unchecked. It’s slightly disappointing coz we’re left wondering what it could’ve been.

Vocation ‘Imperial Affogato’ Coffee & Vanilla Stout

Rating:

“An opulent double mashed coffee and vanilla imperial stout, brewed with coffee beans from Halifax small batch coffee roasters, Antonia & Panesar. Deep, dark malt flavours with full-bodied roast espresso aromas, notes of sweet vanilla, and a creamy finish from a touch of milk sugar.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a thumb of brown foam nestled in on top. The head is retained rather well but only manages a sparse wet lace on its way down.

Aroma: Those that have been following us for a while would know that we’ve embarked on a mission to find an Affogato Stout that actually tastes like Affogato. Years into this quest we’re still to find one. Already we can tell that there’s hardly any similarity to the elusive dessert here. Yes, we get bittersweet coffee, spicy vanilla, burnt sugars, chocolate and marshmallow but it doesn’t smell like Affogato!

Flavour: Very sweet. Lots of caramelised sugars and dark fruits which kinda steal the limelight away from the milk-sweetened coffee. Delicately roasted malts… we’d even say not enough roast as the sweetness is too dominant. Enhanced even further by creamy vanilla also. It all just slides off a cliff and hardly produces any discernable flavour in the finish, other than a mere residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky, medium bodied. Too light for 10.7% ABV but we must say the booze is concealed incredibly well.

Overall: Another complete strike out in terms of an Affogato Stout. You’d be hard pressed to even call it a Pastry Stout. It’s just too sweet, timid and lacking any kind of cut-through. Disappointing.

Sauce ’23 Whiskey/Bourbon BA Imperial Stouts

Rating:

“Bourbon – The 2023 batch of imperial stout has been aged in a new set of ex-bourbon barrels, so expect plenty of bourbon up front, followed by a smooth, roasty and subtly oaked extra strong stout.

Whiskey – We’ve received a new set of ex-Aussie whisky barrels, so this batch of imperial stout has plenty of whisky character, followed by a smooth, roasty and subtly oaked extra strong stout.”

Glassware: Snifter.

WHISKEY BARREL EDITION.

Appearance: Solid black with a finger of brown head topping it off. Gradual reduction with wavy lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Quite sweet for a whiskey barrel. Smells much too mild and green to be anything but an Australian whiskey. Really nice Stout base…big, robust and charred. Plenty of coffee, dark chocolate and cocoa. We like it.

Flavour: We’re usually always Bourbon barrels when it comes to BA Stouts but we really like this whiskey that has been used. It’s quite green but its nice and mellow, moderately sweet and spicy character integrates well with the base Stout.

Mouthfeel: Kinda chewy, silky and full bodied but quite palatable for 11% ABV.

BOURBON BARREL EDITION.

Appearance: Pours exactly like the whiskey edition – solid black, one finger of brown head which forms a thin collar. Wavy lace as we go.

Aroma: Pretty shy and unusual Bourbon qualities initially. Somewhat hard to tell if it’s an Australian Bourbon or a poor use of American Bourbon barrels. The stout base, again, is good but it gets a little muddled in and amongst the barrel notes. Weird strike out as the BBA editions in the past have been the standout.

Flavour: Yeah they’ve changed the barrels that they’ve used in previous releases. From memory they used Buffalo Trace and this doesn’t come across as the same. This year the whole beer has astringency, obscure Bourbon flavours, and that affects the base Stout. Not digging it.

Mouthfeel: A little sharper and less palatable than the whiskey edition. Full bodied and the booze is a little more pronounced.

Overall: Well…it appears the pair have done a full switcheroo. Last year the BBA was the fave and the WBA was the least. We’ve noticed there’s no Rum edition this year which is a shame as we kinda liked that expression. Yeah, not all that enthused this time around.

Deeds BBA Peanut Butter Imperial Stout

Rating:

“There’s nothing quite like the taste of chocolate and peanut butter layers on top of ech other. A little bit of sweet and a bit of salt, sometimes even crunch. No matter what time of the year we’re in, it feels very much like pastry stout season here at Deeds. So why wouldn’t we organise a dessert for our staff and customers for the foreseeable future.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Matte black with two fingers of creamy brown head nestled in on top. Excellent retention and spotty lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Smells fantastic but we’ve really gotta dig our noses in deep to get the full conveyance. It’s certainly not short on complexity and depth…a beautiful nutty sweetness runs deep, nicely blended bourbon oak and spice, peanut brittle, burnt toffee and then the solid Stout base of coffee, dark chocolate and molasses. The only thing it lacks is intensity. It’s just not lifting out of the glass like it should be.

Flavour: Oohh baby. So rich, so complex and so nicely structured. We remember the base peanut butter Stout clearly so it’s a treat to have it built upon with bourbon/oak, spice and an accentuated caramel and nut-infused toffee sweetness. No issues with lack of intensity here as it drives forward with a rich, warming, boozy and charred finish that provides a long and delicious finish.

Mouthfeel: Slick, a little oily but unbelievably easy to put back for 11.7% ABV. Full bodied. Low-ish Co2.

Overall: Not a part of their black & white BA series but one that could almost be held to the same standard. It just falls short on that final blow that releases like infernal agreement and desperate invocation had. Still, a very respectable drop.

Deeds ‘Empty Man’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Nestled in the darkest part of the cave, you can finally rest. Here the fingers of the icy winds could not pick apart your clothes and race over your bare skin. You hear a strange whistling and almost in a trance you step forward. There is a presence in the cave that beckons, it tugs at your sanity.  As the uncontrollable shivering starts, you kick a bottle out of its hiding place. Was that there before? The bottle rolled about and came to a rest against your feet. The bottle’s label gives away no secrets. You crack the top off the bottle and inhale.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pours like engine oil. Blacker than midnight with a short brown head which fades rather quickly. It forms a collar with spotty lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: So, this purchase was solely on the fact that Deeds’ BA Stouts are the best in the country. Fun fact: both of us dislike jaffa (orange-flavoured chocolate) so this should be fun 😆. And straight out of the blocks is a huge jaffa scent. It has this Cointreau-like note which is actually quite pleasant. Unfortunately the jaffa totally drowns out the Bourbon/oak and base Stout aromas.

Flavour: We were sincerely hoping that the orange component was toned down here but much to our dismay, it isn’t. The orange-infused chocolate flavours are pretty overcooked…we can’t taste much of the Bourbon, oak or the base Stout until later on in the piece when a hint of Bourbon spice and caramel come through and assist the jaffa-laden finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous but with a nice oiliness to smoothen it out. Low-ish Co2, full body. The 13.4% ABV is pretty well behaved for its size.

Overall: Not for us. We admitted we don’t like jaffa but that aside, we feel it was unbalanced and it drowned out the Bourbon and base Stout qualities. One for the jaffa lovers.

Durham ‘Dark Angel’ Stout

Rating:

“Drinks much bigger than 4.3%. A robust and full-bodied stout with coffee roast bitterness and rich caramel notes. Seven different grains including oats create a complex malt body. This is balanced by good old English hops.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Matte black and topped off with a short tan head which gradually peels off. It eventually forms a collar with rings marking each sip on its way down.

Aroma: The description states that it drinks much bigger than 4.3%. We’d also add that the aroma punches way higher than 4.3% as well! Off the bat it’s big and roasty. It’s chock-full of rich molasses and licorice then backed up by heady roasted coffee, marzipan, wafer biscuits and toffee. Lovely addition of old world English hops give it the extra earthy and spicy characters.

Flavour: This is super impressive considering its size. Brawny roasted malts are throwing out all the big dark chocolate, coffee, molasses and ashy notes while the lighter biscuity and toffee flavours provide the balance. Soft grainy oats and marzipan also adding to the depth. It rounds off on a light roast and a dry wafer-like note. Good length on it too.

Mouthfeel: It holds a good weight for 4.3% ABV. What it sometimes lacks in body is made up in bitterness. Perfectly balanced.

Overall: We weren’t too sure what to expect from this but going off our previous reviews this brewery rarely disappoints. Seriously impressive for what is technically a session Stout.

Lost Palms ‘Second Rodeo’ Imperial Affogato Stout

Rating:

“We’ve been there. We’ve done that. This is not our first rodeo… It’s our Second! Rich, dark & roasted malts play well with flavours of coffee & vanilla ice cream. You’ll find light notes of almond biscotti which round out the experience. Yee-all the way-Haw.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: It pours an opaque black with two fingers of loosely held brown foam forming on top. The head slowly recedes but doesn’t offer much in the way of lacing.

Aroma: We’ve been on the hunt for a good quality Affogato Stout for something like 5 years now. We’ve tasted 4 or 5 attempts from different breweries and not even one can come close to the true flavour profile of an Affogato. Here’s hoping that ends now. It has a nice and solid Stout base – chocolate, very mild coffee, vanilla and treacle. Hints of marshmallow, cherry and marzipan. Not sold yet.

Flavour: Well, it’s not a full strike out as it’s still a decent pastry stout. God dammit how hard is it to emulate coffee, vanilla ice cream and nutty liqueur?! Upfront it’s slightly bitter yet reminiscent of coffee and marshmallow. There’s a very very subtle almond accent as it shifts into the roasted mid. We must hand it to them coz the finish and back palate is mildly sweet and heavily roasted and draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Slick and oily, medium-full body and low-ish Co2. The 9% ABV was very well hidden.

Overall: Well, the search continues. Although this was a half decent beer it still misses the mark on what an Affogato, in our opinion, actually tastes like. We won’t give up!

Trillium X Garage Project Soufflè Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Home & Away, a series of rebrews bringing some of our funnest overseas collaborations back to the Garage. For this release we turn to the dark side with South Pacific Soufflé Stout, first brewed with Boston’s beer bosses, Trillium. Brewed with Tongan vanilla pods, cacao nibs and Timor-Leste grown coffee beans from Wellington’s own Flight Coffee, this huge dessert stout pours an opaque jet black with luscious layers of vanilla gelato, burnt marshmallow, chewy dried fruits and mocha latté. Bringing home the goodness.” 

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black pour with a thumb of brown head assembling on top. It retains relatively well and leaves wet patchy lacing on the glass.

Aroma: We’ve been eagerly awaiting this for weeks now. Sometimes the pent up excitement can be detrimental but not with a GP X Trillium collab…you could almost bet your house on it being amazing. Coming off are big roasty notes backed up by melted chocolate, spicy vanilla and cocoa. The coffee is also quite succinct. Hints of toasted marshmallow, roasted almonds and rum-soaked raisin. Hot damn!

Flavour: Wow, it’s multi-layered and super complex. The evolution of it is insane…it’s morphed like 4 or 5 times already. Wow! Upfront it’s rich and sweet but also kinda tart, like blueberry and blood plum. The chocolate is fudgey and melted, the coffee is mocha-forward and the vanilla is spicy. There’s quite an aggressive roasted quality that carries all the way into the finish which provides chocolate powder, raw cacao and ash for days.

Mouthfeel: Dense and muscly yet surprisingly elegant. The Co2 is slightly higher for the style and the 12.4% ABV comes in and out.

Overall: Two heavyweights from each side of the earth collaborate on another absolutely cracking beer. How original! Nah, in all honesty this was superb. How we wish Trillium were more readily available here in Australia. We’d be broke but it’d be worth it.

Bottle Logic ‘Crust To Core’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout collaboration with our brothers-in-adjuncts, Equilibrium Brewery. This liquid erupted from a combination of Heaven Hill, Elijah Craig, and Old Fitzgerald barrels at a molten 15.5% ABV with a gooey chocolate-brownie character that we finished with a crater-full of cacao nibs and a 300lb peanut butter treatment for a beautifully balanced, bottled Peanut Butter Brownie.” 

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a thumb of dark brown foam that vanishes as quickly as it assembles. Leaving nothing but a dark boozy abyss to look down in to.

Aroma: Smells incredible. Should we expect anything less from the Stasis Project though?! There’s traits of real peanut but also plenty of peanut butter emanating as well. As it settles it starts to release the hounds…raw cacao, Belgian chocolate, fudge, treacle and a faint yet noticeable Bourbon spice and oak profile. They’ve somehow even managed to get that slightly burnt crusty scent we get on really well made brownies as well. Oooft!

Flavour: Wow it gets really hostile here. Most likely from the 15.5% ABV but the Bourbon punches through harder and the chocolate goes from milky, fudgey and nutty to rich and dark. There’s also a more strident roast to it… probably more of a charred/ash quality actually. Yet, in typical BL fashion, they still present a mildly sweet, nutty, chocolatey, Bourbon-filled finish that goes for days.

Mouthfeel: Thick, full bodied and soupy. Low Co2 and a fairly well behaved ABV considering its size.

Overall: We’re running out of adulations to give to BL. These guys are just on another level.

Boatrocker ‘Ryejet’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“We are always looking at new treatments for what we consider a beer style that can have many different faces.  This time around, we chose Rye barrels from Dickel’s to give us a unique, yet delicious alternative to the bourbon barrel variants of Ramjet that people are familiar with.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a thumb of finely beaded brown foam forming on top. The head gradually recedes and leaves random blotches of lace on the glass.

Aroma: Not getting a great deal off it to be honest. It can be said already that rye whiskey barrels have far less penetration than their bourbon or straight whiskey counterparts do. Thing is we love rye malts and we love rye whiskey but we find when some brewers use these barrels they end up with a cat piss and or squashed ant scent that comes off like ammonia. Eventually some dark chocolate, coffee and roast comes through but it’s subtle.

Flavour: It’s improving here. The rye whiskey barrels emanate their true colours and produce that spicy, vanilla and bubblegum-like character they’re so well known for. At the same time the classic Boatrocker Impy Stout base emerges with dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, ash and licorice. It sets up for a nice melange of big roasty coffee notes and spicy rye that draws out well.

Mouthfeel: Dense and viscous. A little oily too. Full bodied and a fairly noticeable 10.6% ABV.

Overall: Not their best iteration of Ramjet but one that can be ticked off and possibly left alone as they keep moving forward.

Bottle Logic ‘Red Eye November’ BA Imperial Coffee Stout

Rating:

“We’re thrilled to announce the release of the fifth bottled batch of our legendary RedEye November, a Stasis Project variant that features an exclusive blend of coffee beans masterfully roasted by our friends at Mostra Coffee.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as midnight with very little head formation. Minimal lacing as we go.

Aroma: As expected it’s oozing with sweet espresso and molasses but also well supported by the spicy Bourbon oak barrels. There’s a few interesting little adjuncts swirling around too – cherry being one of the more noticeable – but we’re also picking up hints of blueberry and dried prunes. The addition of rye malt just goes to show the class these guys possess…just hinting at enough peppery spice to bolster the coffee and Bourbon. Love!

Flavour: Trust BL to start with a BA Imperial Coffee Stout and take it to new heights. It’s like they’ve perfected the base Coffee Stout then their creative genes have kicked in so they’ve barrel aged it, then thrown in some rich molasses, then countered that richness with some spicy rye malt and the result is this next level BBA Stout on steroids…which is literally like a drug to the taste buds. Anything less than amazing won’t do for BL.

Mouthfeel: Dense but still oily enough to roll over the tongue with ease. Full bodied with just the slightest amount of warmth from the 13% ABV.

Overall: What more can we say? These guys just don’t take a step back. By now, we’ve tried dozens of beers from their Stasis Project and they have a 100% success rate. We’ve never had anything less than superb when it comes to this range. We may pay a high price for it but damn, it’s worth every penny.

Bottle Logic ‘Memory Systems’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

 “Fellow Rebels! We’re bringing a new hope to the year with our first #StasisProject release of 2022! Memory Systems is an Imperial Stout brewed with a caramel-toned, baked pastry malt base and aged in a braid of Old Fitzgerald, Heaven Hill, and Elijah Craig barrels that strike back with a finished 14% ABV. We conditioned the beer with a four-day marshmallow steep and a recirculation through Madagascar vanilla beans, Vietnamese cinnamon, and cassia bark. An opening crawl of cinnamon awakens the senses and swirls into a vanilla frosting mid-palate with galaxies of marshmallow as the liquid warms.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a fat thumb of uber dark brown head which vanishes pretty quickly. It’s left with zero head so not a skerrick of lace in sight.

Aroma: Honestly we don’t think there’s anything more indulgent and sensually gratifying then a hot fresh cinnamon bun so the second we saw this beer the price tag became irrelevant. We simply had to have it….and thank God we did. It literally smells like a fresh American cinnamon bun. Complete with the frosting on top. Getting the sweet vanilla and white marshmallow. Zero Bourbon/barrels but who cares at this stage?

Flavour: Man the progression is something else. Actually tasting the Bourbon and barrels here, albeit conservatively. Delicious cinnamon sugar woven through the rich and chocolatey base Stout. This is while all the adjuncts are firing as well – marshmallow, vanilla, delicate Bourbon spice and oak. It eventually rolls into a sweet, cinnamon-filled finish with some Bourbon char and oak for days.

Mouthfeel: Not overly heavy…medium body, slick, chewy texture. Co2 is spot on and the 14% ABV is well behaved.

Overall: BL can do no wrong! We’re sat here shaking our heads in disbelief. This is literally Bourbon-infused cinnamon bun in liquid form. And it gets us drunk! Mind officially blown! 🤯

Boatrocker ‘Fat Santa ’22’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“This year’s edition of Fat Santa was aged in Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey barrels for 12 months.  As with previous years, we’ve loaded a Ramjet beer base with tonka beans, Madagascan vanilla beans and dark roasted coffee beans to craft a beer of wonderful richness and depth.  The tonka beans always bring the goods, and this year’s edition with the barrel type really work incredibly well together.  This beer is the perfect way to start or finish Christmas Day!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black pour and a healthy three finger head nestled in atop. Excellent retention and lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: Woah this smells the goods. The fact that they acquired Jack Daniels barrels is impressive enough but they way they’ve integrated the cinnamon spice, nutty caramel and signature toasted banana that JD brings into their base Ramjet Stout is next level. The all round roast and oaky accents only add further sophistication to it. Diggin it big time.

Flavour: Pretty burnt/charred notes on entry – bitter espresso, dark chocolate and ash then the sweet and spicy Bourbon kicks in with a nice booze burn behind it. The burn and the roasted bitterness intensifies as it hits a smoky note late in the piece. Surprisingly, it all mellows into a charred yet slightly sweet and spicy finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Dense, chewy and slightly oily. Medium-full body. The 11% ABV definitely isn’t shy…even though it’s noticeably lower than some of its BA counterparts.

Overall: It did start showing mild signs of weakness as it progressed but essentially it’s another damn fine addition to this series. It certainly deserves its spot in the cellar let’s put it that way. Looking forward to how it improves over the coming years.