Category Archives: Stout

Evil Twin Brewing ‘Bozo Beer’ Imperial Stout


35519849_873438429506970_3512158984603697152_n“This is a really big beer and we wanted to put it in small bottles, but the two bozos were so fat they couldn’t fit on the label. Enjoy this rich, ridiculous and screwball-ish Imperial Stout with hints of: molasses, lactose, chocolate, almond, hazelnut, vanilla bean, cinnamon, oak spiral, chilli, marshmallow, muscovado sugar, chestnut and coffee. Made for Bozos.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Black as midnight. It caps off with a pancake head which holds together really well but only manages a patchy lace as we go.

Aroma: Before we say anything we have to commend them on somehow disguising that incredibly high ABV (17.2%). Tonnes of raw cacao powder, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, molasses, vanilla, nutty malts, espresso, salted caramel, peppers and Asian spice. As she warms we start to pick up that marshmallow accent… lovely touch. What an excellent aroma!

Flavour: Holy moly the palate is totally inundated as a tidal wave of bitter dark chocolate, raw cacao, vanilla and residual sugar pounds the taste buds. We can pick up those sweet marshmallow notes coming through. The booze burn through the mid is colossal but we’re quickly diverted on to the bitter espresso, earthy spice and warming chillies instead. It finishes with a slightly harsh bitterness, peat, charred wood and espresso.

Mouthfeel: Dense and viscous. Nicely carbonated with full body. 17.2% ABV. Outrageous!

Overall: We’d say it’s borderline insensible! But that would be our boring selves talking. It’s huge, full of character and really fun. We’ll finish on two words though….be careful!!

The Bruery ‘Share This Mole’ Imperial Stout


35377556_871128166404663_3447460636638838784_n“Let’s move beyond the concept of grabbing a beer, and reach for something bigger. Share This beer and be part of helping friends become mobile for the first time in Mexico – the source and inspiration of select ingredients in this beer. Each release in our Share This series spotlights unique ingredients and an important cause. Share This: Mole is a mole-inspired imperial stout collaboration with Chef Anne Conness, featuring ancho chilies, chipotle peppers, cinnamon, vanilla and cacao nibs. For each bottle we produce, Free Wheelchair Mission receives one dollar.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Pours like engine oil but it whips up a healthy two finger head that persists. We’re seeing a dense lace clinging to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: So much complexity but it’s also well balanced. We’re picking up a healthy dose of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate and cacao which is nicely softened by a touch of creamy vanilla and toasted coconut. Delicate layers of roasted peppers, chipotle, nutty spice, a sweet-ish hint of marshmallow and even some peppermint for good measure.

Flavour: More of the same – big roasty malts, charred wood and raw cacao on entry. The peppers begin to open up early mid way and hints of earthy and nutty spice make way for molasses and a belly warming booze (11.1%). A flutter of bitter espresso, toasted malts and vanilla completes this remarkably flavoursome yet well balanced impy stout.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly leaner than we anticipated. Slightly oily and sharp with the 11.1% ABV discernible but well tempered. Mild Co2.

Overall: Another detailed and seriously intricate offering from these master brewers. She’s rich and very decadent so abide by the label and Share This! Top notch.

Dogfish Head Oak-Aged Vanilla ‘World Wide Stout’ BA Imperial Stout


35246346_870452443138902_8801834513014456320_n“Rare and often rumored about in the darkest corners of the beer community, World Wide Stout is dark, rich, roasty and complex, and lingers somewhere beyond the limits of the average beer. Brewed with a ridiculous amount of barley, we’ve now taken this Dogfish Head classic and aged it on oak with real vanilla beans! With a little tender love and care we foster this beer from smooth, sweet wort into the big, bad blackend stout it always longed to be. Its bold, port-like complexity goes great with (or as) dessert.  With its high ABV, this is an excellent candidtate for cellaring, so grab a few bottles to enjoy now and lay the others down for a few years.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a finger of brown foam which rapidly reduced to a collar. We’re seeing a wet lace drag as we imbibe.

Aroma: Pungent! The two feature flavours both dominate the nose…with the vanilla slightly outweighing the oak. Unfortunately it appears to be a bit of a one (or in this case two) trick pony with only very gentle glimpses of molasses, subtle peaty notes and licorice backing it up. The upside is the extremely high ABV (16%) is nicely disguised.

Flavour: So much more complex than the aroma. Some vanilla and oak but there’s a wealth of other flavours like earthy tobacco, burnt wood, toasty malt, cherry fruit sweetness, prunes, licorice and dark chocolate. There’s an insane amount of booze carrying through to the finish with a stack of roasted and burnt notes going the distance.

Mouthfeel: Oily and astringent. Surprisingly well carbonated with medium body.

Overall: It’s a memorable beer but it’s just so damn extreme. It’s just like the 120 minute IIPA in terms of it could be an all time beer but the slight overreach actually detracts from it. Great drop but rather tough to finish.

Firestone Walker 2018 ‘Parabola’ BA Imperial Stout


35043496_868797883304358_20831175501152256_n“Parabola is a beer of darkness and immensity, a barrel-­aged beast that is routinely ranked as one of the top beers in the world.  This Russian imperial oatmeal stout is aged for a full year in  Heaven Hill barrels, developing flavors of rich, chewy roasted malts, charred oak and bourbony vanilla. Parabola bares its teeth with its impenetrable black hue and soaring alcohol, yet its bite remains refined with a silky, balanced finish.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Virtually impenetrable black with a short tan head which gradually recedes to a collar. We’re seeing some decent lace sticking to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Big impressions of the bourbon barrels coming through. Tonnes of warming booze, molasses, sticky syrup, toffee fudge, dark chocolate, leather, licorice and charred wood make up the bulk of it. There’s a complex spice flowing through too, it’s got a hint of creamy vanilla with a flutter of earthy nutmeg and tobacco. Some nutty malts as well. Wow she’s intricate and really well layered.

Flavour: Oh my goodness! Plenty of bourbon character initially but nicely countered by the sticky caramels/toffee, dark chocolate, mild coffee and vanilla cream accents. Picking up some faint oak flavours along with a belly warming booze (12.7% ABV). Sweet dark fruits, treacle and earthy spice finish it off with raw tobacco and charred wood on a length.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, warming and oily. Somewhat leaner than expected. Low co2 and does well to hide that enormous ABV.

Overall: Simply brilliant. It has that KBS quality with an extra earthy complexity added. We can’t wait to see how a few years will improve it. Magnificent!

Pure Project & Horus Aged Ales ‘Chocolate Mountain’ Imperial Stout


35076656_868067313377415_2596320666873495552_n“A deep, rich, luscious Imperial Stout, with intense notes of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. This dark beauty features sweet and velvety layers of flavor, a super lush mouthfeel, and a distinct warming finish.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: As black as midnight with a finger of finely beaded brown foam assembling on top. The head slowly reduced to a ring with healthy lace work on the glass.

Aroma: Smells of rich chocolate and cocoa with a gorgeous creamy vanilla flowing through. It’s remarkably smooth and well layered with virtually no trace of the hefty ABV (13%). Also picking up hints of nutty malt, dark fruits, caramel and subtle woody tones to fill it out even more. Indulgence!

Flavour: Absolutely brimming with it! Big impressions of roasted malt, chocolate, cacao and a hint of creamy vanilla come on instantly. It intensifies through the middle with a bit of warming booze, roasted dark and chocolate malts, molasses and charred wood. The finish is robust and drawn out with everything converging on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous. Full bodied with moderate co2. 13% ABV – a tad more distinguishable in the mouth.

Overall: Incredibly smooth for its weight and a real winter warmer. Perfect for a night cap or as an after dinner dessert beer (which is how we enjoyed it!). Brilliant.

Epic Brewing ‘Big Bad Baptist’ Triple Barrel Aged Imperial Stout


34667600_866556666861813_1007798489570082816_n“Three’s not a crowd in this limited edition Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist. We aged coconut and Blue Copper’s Colombian coffee beans in fresh whiskey barrels, while our imperial stout aged in both rum and whiskey barrels. The trio was then hand blended, creating our most over-the-top version of Big Bad Baptist yet. Best enjoyed slowly, three sips at a time.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Opaque/black with a thumb of loosely held foam sitting atop. The head settles to a ring with a wet lace drag as it ebbs.

Aroma: Oozing with rich and layered notes of cocoa, toasted coconut, sweet espresso, cane sugar, marzipan, vanilla, earthy spice, subtle whisky and rum along with caramel/toffee fudge and something rather sweet and nutty like snickers or Hershey’s bar. Absolutely mind blowing!

Flavour: Incredibly smooth as that silky chocolate, cocoa, vanilla and toasted coconut washes over the palate. Enter the espresso, burnt maple, caramel and subtle sweet rum but again it’s so smooth and well balanced. Some warmth developing late as it finishes toasty/roasty with lingering dark sugar sweetness and delicate coconut/vanilla notes on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Muscly but still somehow composed. 11.4% ABV – ridiculously well buried. Silky smooth texture, medium-full body and moderate co2.

Overall: Mind literally blown! Here’s a tip….if you see this on the shelf then don’t hesitate….bag it! And buy a few of them because this would age gracefully. Shame we didn’t take our own advice! Phenomenal!

The Bruery ‘So Happens It’s Tuesday’ BA Imperial Stout


33825687_862077533976393_3398614720905740288_n“Our infamous Black Tuesday® stout is named in honor of the great stock market crash of 1929. So Happens It’s Tuesday is similarly dark and delicious, but in a more affable format, reminding us that there is always a bit of good to be found within the bad. Things happen, life goes on. This beer can be enjoyed in all of those moments and seasons.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Impenetrable black pour which holds a sturdy three finger head on top. It gradually recedes to a film with some spotty lace in its wake.

Aroma: Completely and unequivocally massive. It reeks of bourbon, charred oak, cocoa, toasted malts, molasses, dark fruits (prune, raisin, fig), vanilla and chocolate. There is a pretty hefty booze presence in there but everything is so in-sync that it just sings! Simply divine!

Flavour: Sweet baby jeebus that is good! There’s rich and intense flavour coming in from all angles. There’s waves of oak, bourbon, licorice, chocolate and vanilla wrapped up in a warm alcoholic blanket. An astringent dark fruit sweetness (kind of like booze-soaked raisins) annexes and flows through the mid. The bourbon, chocolate, oak and toasty malts return for a big, warm and drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body with a slick and oily texture. 14.6% ABV….yep. Fierce!

Overall: Well it ain’t a Tuesday but it does happen to be a Wednesday! So Happens It’s Tuesday, S.H.I.T for short, (we wonder whether that was intentional) is an absolutely mammoth beer so proceed with caution, but most of all relish in its boozy, rich complexity because it’s absolutely superb.

Goose Island Beer Co 2017 ‘Bourbon County’ BA Imperial Stout


33183998_859652774218869_3584134304248102912_n“The Original Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout. Intense aromas of charred oak, vanilla, caramel, smoke.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short brown head forming on top. It reduced to a ring with minimal lace sticking to the glass.

Aroma: Heaven! Absolutely crammed full of bourbon, roasted sweet malt, vanilla, coffee, charred oak, molasses, licorice, dark chocolate, dates and subtle smoky notes. We don’t think there’s anything else one could want from a big bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. It’s as good, if not better than KBS, Old Money and Ramjet. Superb.

Flavour: A mouthful of everything that made the aroma so good – trick loads of bourbon, charred oak, vanilla, cocoa/chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits and mild smoky notes. The ABV (14.7%) is incredibly well concealed but offers that gentle warmth through the mid. She’s big and roasty in the finish but nicely tempered by a bit of vanilla and sweet toffee malts.

Mouthfeel: Dense and chewy with full body. It offers a subtle carbonation with a very well hidden alcohol warmth.

Overall: Brilliant, no better way of explaining it. It’s up there with the best Imperial stouts we’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking. We can only imagine what a few years aging could do. Very impressive.

Dainton/Brisbane Brewing ‘The Cold Brew’ Baltic Imperial Stout


31398037_848172145366932_6200295838833442816_n“Baltic Imperial Stout, brewed with Commonfolk Coffee. Brewed to be served as a black & tan with BBco/Dainton Stratisfaction Cacao Cream Ale.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: As black as midnight with a loosely packed two finger head perched on top. Steady reduction with patchy lace as we go.

Aroma: There’s no doubt this huge impy stout has a brawny bottom end. The base malts offer all those rich and indulgent regulars like coffee, roasted dark malts, burnt toast and tobacco but it just seems to be lacking that intensity expected from this type of stout.

Flavour: Like the aroma those big hallmark flavours of coffee, toasted malts, licorice and leather come on strong. Getting hints of that 10% ABV through the mid but a faint vanilla note soothes it. Bitter cocoa, roasted malts and warming alcohol round it all out.

Mouthfeel: Oily and rather light on for a stout of its size. Plenty of warmth and quite a surprisingly high bitterness level (50 IBU). Mild-moderate body and co2.

Overall: She’s rich and comforting but it’s the lack of body that really detracts from this stout. We’d be lying if we didn’t say we were expecting a lot more.

Batch Brewing ‘Elsie The Milk Stout’

 Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Black with a thumb of well retained foam. It’s actually quite hard to see through this layer of micro bubble that has stuck to the glass and gives it this frosty look.

Aroma: Rather sweet and creamy, full of lactose, vanilla and milk sugars but nicely countered by a hearty roasted character. An abundance of dark chocolate, coffee, licorice, toffee and roasted almonds. Some subtle dark fruit sweetness creeping through too. Solid!

Flavour: A big step down from the aroma. It’s weak, watery and lacking penetration. We taste light creamy vanilla, lactose, chocolate and roasted malt but it’s too delicate and develops quite late in the piece. The finish is the most flavoursome part!

Mouthfeel: Same issue as the flavour profile – thin and watery with no body whatsoever. It just falls apart in the mouth. Disappointing.

Overall: We hate to say it but this is typical from Batch. We’re still waiting to try that beer that blows us away. You’d hope it’s better on nitro from the taproom as the flavour and texture experience is underwhelming to say the least.


Drake’s Brewing Co ‘Drakonic’ Imperial Stout


27971850_814728222044658_2449728514515034882_n“A big, malty beast of a beer that exemplifies the way we roll here at Drake’s. Two-row malt is blended with Chocolate malt, roasted barley and dark Crystal malts to make up the grist. Only one hop addition, Columbus, is added for bittering, allowing the abundance of malt in this beer to shine through. Drakonic is smooth and dense with flavors of licorice, coffee and chocolate and a slightly dry finish. Enjoy.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Predictably black as midnight with a big and well retained three finger head perched on top. Thick, blotchy lace is sticking to the glass as we indulge.

Aroma: Big, rich and muscly with this subtle emphasis on bourbon whisky. Huge presence of licorice, dark chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, charcoal, glazed cherries and coffee in support. A soft vanilla bean and plummy accent to it as well, has a bit of sweet and sour to it. Good depth and complexity going on.

Flavour: It has the roasty/toasty notes dialled in. It’s getting a fair bit of help from this mostly sweet but ever so soft tart cherry character. Licorice, coffee, powdered cocoa and what seems to be a herbal hop flows through the mid and lands on a dry finish which provides charred wood and light chocolate in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Chalky, rather dry and direct. Medium body, mild-moderate co2. An assertive 40 IBU and a punchy 8.7% ABV.

Overall: Not completely sold but it’s a decent imperial stout. Lovely aroma, good follow through in flavour, good body. It just seemed to lack that knockout blow. We were hoping for a bit more to be honest.

Alvinne ‘Mano Negra’ Bordeaux BA Chilli Stout


27973845_812251938958953_7079274328034130698_n“Variant of the regular mano negra with chill added & aged in bordeaux wine barrels. Abv: 10%.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Bit of a gusher! Pours a deep cola hue with some light penetrating around the edges. Fizzy two finger head which vanished almost immediately. Zero lacing as we indulge.

Aroma: Quite funky. Lots of red wine, vinegar, musty oak, truffle, dried chilli, earthy spice and berries/cherries. Lots of vinous tannins beginning to open up as it warms, really starting reveal those complex, dry and musty Bordeaux barrels. Very elegant.

Flavour: Lots for the taste buds to isolate here. Funky and slightly tart upfront. Woody oak and wine tannins quickly overtake as the subtle warmth from the chilli weighs in around the mid palate. Then ash, bitter dark chocolate and peppery spice before a long drawn out heat from the chilli is enjoyed on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, dry and warming with a focus on that vinous tannin. Mild-moderate body and high carbonation.

Overall: Not a beer we’d normally reach for but we’re thoroughly glad we did. It’s fun and rather unique. We’d love to try the bourbon barrel aged version!

Founder’s Brewing ‘CBS’ Canadian Breakfast Stout


27540815_809845042532976_3869567755264525454_n“CBS was born when we stumbled upon some bourbon barrels that had previously housed maple syrup. We opted to put the same base beer as KBS, an imperialized version of Breakfast Stout, in the maple barrels and, after one taste, we knew we had something special. Rich maple syrup, roasted coffee and velvety chocolate meld together in what can only be described as a transcendental drinking experience.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Black as midnight. It builds a healthy two finger head that retains extremely well. Good lace work as we indulge.

Aroma: Oh my goodness! Take the breakfast stout and blend it with the KBS then add a good helping of maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla and voila! You have an unrivalled aroma that can only be drooled over. I mean, sweet baby Jesus how the hell do they do it?! Just magnificent.

Flavour: Perfection, absolute perfection. For one, the 11.7% ABV is somehow nestled in and among a litany of incredibly delicious flavours. Everything that makes the KBS so good – whiskey, oak, dark malts, molasses, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, caramel and dried raisins – is right here. But it’s boosted by a syrupy sweetness….an elegant sweetness that is just…oh man.

Mouth feel: Thick, chewy and silky. Just a hint of warmth as it hits room temperature. Low co2, full body.

Overall: We’re almost speechless. OK, it’s only February ’18 but we may have already found our beer of the year. This is bloody phenomenal, it’s going to take something monumental to beat it. A masterstroke from Founders.

Moylan’s ‘Ryan Sullivan’s’ 2015 BA Imperial Stout


27750373_809673702550110_1021722607295274813_n“Chocolate truffles, cocoa, espresso coffee, burnt currants, the sweetness of a sherry – all come to mind when enjoying an Imperial Stout. A rich porter of English origin brewed to withstand the long voyage from London to Czarist Russia. The classic “Winter Warmer”. Big, Strong, Malty Stout.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: It hits the glass with an obsidian hue and three fingers of brown foam emerging on top. Decent retention and wavy lace work as we imbibe.

Aroma: Very complex. The years this was allowed to age has really rounded it out. Some initial tartness which is a little unwelcome but it softens in to an oaky, cherry-like character once it settles. Getting some charred malts, dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, dark fruits and currants with an earthy truffle note coming through gently.

Flavour: It has that hint of barrel aged tartness on entry. Cherries, plums and vinegar explode before it mellows in to mild chocolate and coffee notes in the middle. Nice transition in to an earthy finish with that tart cherry sticking to the gums.

Mouthfeel: Oily, astringent and sticky in texture. Lifted booze (10% ABV) and mild-moderate co2.

Overall: A pretty damn fine impy stout if you ask us. Tonnes of cherry aroma and flavour but enough barrel and earthy malt to pull it back in to line. Not really what we expected but a good drop either way.

Stockade Brew Co ‘Old Money’ 2017 Barrel aged bourbon Stout


imageWell it’s about time we got around to this. We have heard so much good stuff about it. So this drop has been aged in Kentucky oak barrels. It uses Cluster, Centennial, and Cascade hops and 4 different malts, including chocolate. It has an IBU of 28. Oh yeah..and its 12.5% Alc vol. Here goes…

Poured into a shaker we see impenetrable black with lots of tiny carbonation seen bubbling away. The head fades quickly leaving a tan rim. On the nose its rich and complex. We get roasted malts, bourbon, chocolate, dark stewed fruits, brown sugar/molasses, vanilla, and some espresso. Heaven. First sip is ridiculous. It’s so smooth and balanced. This is supposed to be 12.5%?! Warming bourbon surrounds the mouth. It’s surprisingly light on the palate. We were imagining this oil slick. Bitterness is really restrained and the sweetness of the chocolate just slow burns without being prominent. More flavours of vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, oak, booze, fig, and raisin. Got a lovely earthy base flavour. This must be the hops? Obviously low carbonation in the mouth. It’s definitely a sipper. A warming glow around the forehead tells me the 12.5% has registered. Just so well hidden. It’s right up there with the ramjet or Founders in terms of flavour and balance. As it warms up and we sadly near the end its just so oaky with bourbon, vanilla and dark fruits. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Will I go and buy another 4 pack because we are going to have another and I really should cellar these? Absolutely. Is it a 10/10 beer? Absolutely. Stockade Brew Co know how to brew a dark beer that’s for sure.


Boatrocker Brewers Oatmeal Oyster Stout


26907231_802424703275010_7022751970775280188_n“We started with a classic Oatmeal Stout and added 12 kilos of fresh oysters to 1300 litres of wort. This created a subtly briney, full bodied English style oatmeal stout brewed in collaboration with our good friends, Pambula Oyster Co.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Jet black, maybe just an inkling of light penetrating around the edges. Sturdy two finger mound with good retention and fine lace as it subsides.

Aroma: Hearty yet well balanced. Brilliant application of the oysters here – briney and slightly salty, the perfect way to offset the big roasty malts, chocolate and oats that are in absolute abundance. A little bit of coffee, a touch of molasses sweetness and salt water to round it out.

Flavour: A little slow to get going to be honest. Certainly displaying the salty and somewhat gamey oysters initially with a delicate backing of nutty malt. She definitely intensifies as the soft nutty notes become roasty, eventually leading in to a robust finish of coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate and mild soy sauce.

Mouth feel: Mineraly and kind of watery in texture. Unexpectedly thin for a Boatrocker stout. The light-ish 5.4% ABV could be playing a hand in that though. Mild-moderate body and co2.

Overall: Not exactly what we were expecting. It’s actually much more approachable than it looks. The addition of oysters is well presented and that dark roasty base is there to balance. Not bad, it’s just lacking the knock out blow in our opinion.

Boatrocker Brewing Co ‘Fat Santa’ BA Imperial Stout


25507642_788432194674261_7929524104610143556_n“Fat Santa is a rich, decadent example of a whisky barrel (ex-red wine) aged imperial stout. Aged for 6 months, then racked onto whole coffee beans, vanilla beans and tonka beans. Think dark chocolate, whisky, red wine, coffee marzipan and vanilla – all the things that Santa loves. A perfect match with Christmas pudding, custard and cream. Merry Christmas!”

Served in a snifter. Fat Santa pours as black as the midnight sky with a foamy and well retained thumb of brown head taking shape on top. We’re seeing a spotty lace clinging to the glass as it ebbs.
The nose is big, boozy and reveals glimpses of their ‘Ramjet’ stouts. There is layer upon layer of dense, rich and roasty malts, coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, oak barrels and vanilla essence hitting the olfactory’s. Lovely wafts of licorice, subtle smoke and chocolate mud cake add complexity and further intensifies this hedonistic aroma. Brilliant.
Pow! The flavour profile is rich and in-your-face. Upfront we taste loads of coffee, roasted malts and dark chocolate with subtle earthy/woody oak barrel developing early in the mid. A strong warming booze is injected midway, opening up on to an assertive bitterness which delivers a dry, smoky and uber roasty finish that offers magnificent length in the tail.
The texture is sharp, oily and astringent with a nice little co2 level. Big and warming booze (10.7%) held up with a medium-full body.
Sensational drop. Boatrocker have comfortably taken their position as one of Australia’s best when it comes to experimenting with barrels. Although it’s very similar to their Ramjet series it still provides an absolute wealth of aroma and flavour. Maybe not as refined as the Ramjet but still an excellent offering.

Boatrocker Brewing Co 2017 ‘Ramjet’ WBA Imperial Stout


25299386_785460868304727_7341734905627922861_n“Starward whiskey barrel aged imperial stout. 2017 release.”

Served in a snifter. Pitch black appearance with a finger of brown foam topping it off. Head retention is good and the lacing is thick and webbed as it subsides.
The nose? Just as we expected…huge!! Prominent booze and coffee with pronounced whiskey, oak, molasses and dark chocolate notes. A wealth of vanilla, marzipan, licorice, charcoal and treacle along with undertones of glazed cherries, fig jam and rum. Sheesh…bloody complex but absolutely brilliant.
Strong follow through in flavour. The taste buds are abuzz with warming alcohol (13.6%), coffee, whiskey, oak barrel, licorice and hints of vanilla around the edges. So much roast….picking up burnt wood, heavily roasted malts, ash and tobacco with that rich molasses sweetness leading to an aggressive finish with burning booze, espresso and dark chocolate lingering forever on the back end.
The texture is oily and astringent but the weight is still held around that medium-full mark. Mild-moderate co2. Definitely one for a highly seasoned palate.
Boatrocker do it again! To be honest we only boarded the Ramjet plane last year but we are absolutely hooked! For us, this is Australia’s version of the KBS and once again it’s tough to say which one is better. Can not fault it. Superb drop.

Brouwerij De Molen ‘Push & Pull’ BA Imperial Tiramisu Stout


24296416_778752955642185_8684357365362226548_n“Bourbon barrel aged imperial stout brewed with almond, coffee, chocolate & vanilla.”

Served in a snifter. Pouring blacker than the ace of spades. It builds a finger of brown head that holds its shape well, gradually receding to a fine overlay that deposits a spotty lace down the sides of the glass.
Not too sure if we’re digging this aroma. It’s really medicinal, brimming with cherry sherbet, plum jam, marzipan, icing sugar, some bourbon sweetness and a strange hint of citronella. Kind of questioning if we got given the right bottle here?! Maybe a hint of vanilla too but Tiramisu? Gotta be smells like benadryl. This isn’t the De Molen we’re used to that’s for sure.
We’ll admit, they’ve saved themselves flavour-wise. That unsavoury medicinal character is much less pronounced and replaced by a bold whisky sweetness and slightly tart cherry notes. Still no Tiramisu though, a victim of the barrel aging process perhaps? Some marzipan and a hint of roasted nutty malt develops before a sweet and somewhat fruity finish reveals light milk chocolate notes on the rear.
They have struggled to shake the medicinal texture though – quite direct and a bit oily. To their credit they’ve hidden the booze (10.5%) well. Medium body and co2.
De Molen…we’re not angry, just disappointed! We’ve reviewed about a dozen of their beers and this one could possibly sit at the bottom. We don’t mean to harp on about this medicinal note but it really impedes on some of the more enjoyable flavours. And where’s the Tiramisu? It’s non existent. Looks like they’re human after all! 

Brouwerij De Molen ‘Heaven & Hell’ Bowmore BA Imperial Stout


24067943_777632492420898_2913534585530038999_n“Although hard to comprehend for many, this is the big brother of Hel & Verdoemenis. With loads of dark malts in both back and foreground, supported by strong but smooth bitterness from hops and roasted malts. Flavor indication: chocolate, coffee, toast.”

Served in a snifter. She pours a menacing black colour with an extremely well retained thumb of brown foam assembling on top. Impressive lace work clinging to the glass as we imbibe.
Oh wow, there’s peat and dark chocolate and tonnes of it! It smells oily and super rich with that salty soy sauce and molasses intensity to it. On the flip side there’s a dense and gelatinous aspect….chocolate mud cake and carob spring to mind. Once it settles in the glass the whisky notes begin to shine through. Really potent stuff.
Just as we thought, with a bit of time to warm this huge stout unveils that unwavering Islay whisky character – smoke, peat, salt and slightly medicinal with a big and warming booze burn (12.9% ABV). Undertones of ash, burnt chocolate and dank woody notes deliver a smoky and peaty finish with hints of salted chocolate and a persistent warmth from the booze.
The mouth feel is slick, oily and aggressive. The whisky texture really comes through with intent here as does the ABV but can you blame it when it almost clocks in at 13%?!
Tell you what, we had our reservations to begin with. But once those smoky and peaty whisky notes came through it almost takes on the strength of a boilermaker. The whisky flavours are absolutely dialled in. We’ll hold out until De Molen age a stout in Lagavulin 16yo barrels. Now that would be heavenly.