Category Archives: Stout

50/50 Brewing 2019 ‘Eclipse BKR’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Now in its 12th vintage, 2019 Eclipse is our rich Imperial Stout aged to perfection in whiskey and spirit barrels. All Eclipse starts with the same base beer bringing hints of dark chocolate, espresso, and a smooth complexity, with each barrel treatment delivering its own unique character after a minimum of 180 days of aging. Booker’s (code BKR) is aged in select bourbon barrels. Dipped in yellow wax.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with the usual diminishing head which settles at the rim. It posts a good set of rings with some cascading lace in between.

Aroma: It’s been a while since our olfactorie’s have been graced with an Eclipse Stout and can we just say that it’s like welcoming an old friend. Huge bourbon component i.e vanilla, spice, toffee and oak alongside a roll call of impy stout characters – charred malts, coffee, dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, raw cacao, tobacco, shredded wheatmeal, a hint of acetone and rich fudge. Hell to the yes!!

Flavour: Ok it’s obvious that the Eclipse Stout range is getting better and better. Although totally peeled back it still displays an enormous array of bourbon oak (spicy vanilla and rich toffee), heavily roasted malts, espresso, dark chocolate, ash, molasses, licorice, cocoa powder, glazed cherries, stewed prunes and a slightly smoky accent to finish. The duration on this bad boy is remarkable too.

Mouthfeel: As anticipated it’s big, chewy and viscous. Low-ish Co2. That 12.2% ABV is noticeable but we wouldn’t have an impy stout any other way.

Overall: Very impressed. Somehow we totally skipped the 2018 range which is super disappointing. What’s not disappointing is this 2019 release…it is freaking incredible. Classic 50/50 Eclipse…the stuff of wet dreams.

Alesmith ‘Philosophy & Velocity’ Imperial Stout/Quadrupel

Rating:

“Philosophy and Velocity combines two iconic imperial beers from East and West: Brewery Ommegang’s Three Philosophers, and Alesmith Brewing’s Speedway Stout. For this project, each brewery crafted a singular blend to release through their own channels. From the East Coast, Ommegang brewed a Belgian-inspired version of Speedway Stout to blend with their Three Philosophers Quadruple Ale. From the West, Alesmith brewed an American ale variant on Three Philosophers to blend with their robust, coffee-infused Speedway Stout. The result? Two incredible imperial ales, released simultaneously for side-by-side comparison.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a finger of finely beaded brown head. Good retention and wavy lace work as we imbibe.

Aroma: There’s so much happening we don’t know where to start. The bittersweet coffee and charred malts are so well integrated with the sweet and fruity Belgian yeast profile that it’s hard to tell where the impy stout starts and Belgian Quad finishes. Everything from fruitcake, rum & raisin, cherry, blood plum, toffee, banana bread, allspice, tobacco, carob, raw cacao, subtle booze and tar. Amazing!

Flavour: At first it’s a little harsh, a tad phenolic and boozy but it morphs in to this big, roasty and bittersweet mid palate full of coffee, charred malts, dark chocolate, tobacco and raw cacao. Just hanging back a tad are the yeasty components…playing an excellent albeit subtle support role as it finishes quite brash and dry with mild smoke and mildly burnt wood on the back.

Mouthfeel: Dense and slick yet it still feels somewhat light on. Finely carbonated, full bodied. 11.5% ABV does reveal itself a fair bit.

Overall: Put simply…it’s a bloody ripper of a beer. We weren’t aware that there’s an East Coast (Ommegang) version where they flip the blend around and focus more on the Quad as opposed to the Stout. Now we want it! Bad! Impressive stuff.

Thirsty Crow Vanilla Milk Stout

Rating:

“In March 2011, Wagga got hammered by crickets. The brewpub was covered in millions of hopping black insects. We needed a brew so dark, so original, and so delicious, that if a little bugger hopped into a customer’s glass they wouldn’t even notice and/or care. So was born Vanilla Milk Stout.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black complexion with a frothy two finger head. It quickly peels off and forms a bubbling island in the middle. Minimal lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: We remember drinking this fresh from the Brewhouse taps many years ago and being blown away. All these years later as well as pouring from a can and it’s still as good as we remember it. The gorgeous vanilla and lactose sweetness offsets the robust stout base of chocolate, coffee, treacle and burnt toast. Also getting a subtle hint of white marshmallow which is very alluring! Superb.

Flavour: Follows through nicely. Again, perfectly balanced between the roasty chocolate malts, coffee, toast and sweet vanilla, lactose and marshmallow-like candy. Just a slight lick of bitterness midway before it lands on a sweet yet roasty finish which endures nicely.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, velvet smooth, medium-full body which is commendable considering its low ABV (5.2%). Finely carbonated. Exactly how we like our stouts.

Overall: It’s great to see nothing has changed with this beer. It’s such a well structured and ultimately delicious milk stout. Top notch stuff.

Hop Nation 2020 ‘The Kalash’ Russian Imperial Stout

Rating:

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a sturdy thumb of tanned foam resting on top. It gradually reduced and leaves a smattering of lace on the glass.

Aroma: Nicely charred, lots of burnt toast, dark chocolate, ash, licorice and a very faint hint of acetone which we find synonymous with the style. The downside is that it seems a little too reserved… we’ve come to expect olfactory-invading scents where this one is lacking that intensity. Hopefully the flavour profile is where it’s at.

Flavour: Yeah see, it’s the same issue… nothing wrong with the flavours as we’re getting dark chocolate, licorice, burnt toast, coffee and ash but it’s this lack of intensity and bottom end that’s MIA. It’s still OK though, getting that touch of silky sweetness and the roasted and charred finish. Good length to it too, really draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Oily and a little thin. A little too slippery for a barrel aged RIS. Medium body and Co2. 10.7% ABV is fairly well behaved.

Overall: Yeah it never really had us from the get go. There’s not enough bottom end and overall grunt. It’s not a bad beer by any means it just doesn’t cut the mustard when we’re talking big barrel aged Russian Imperials.

5 Barrel ‘Night Cap’ Milk Stout

Rating:

“Milk Stouts contain the non-fermentable lactose sugar to add a velvety smooth body to a rich roasty beer. These are the original dessert beers, and are a perfect way to cap off a meal or just enjoy whenever you please. Enjoy a little warmer and observe how the flavours develop.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with a short cappuccino head which quickly retreats to the rim. Minimal lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Classic notes of coffee, chocolate, porter-esque dark fruits, vanilla/lactose, cocoa, lightly toasted malts and toffee. Caramel and candy-ish scents also coming through…not going to go as far as saying they’re candi sugars but it certainly has a crystallised sugary sweetness which works in well. A little nutty and a little earthy as well. Diggin it.

Flavour: Very nicely layered with good progression. It kicks off with the classic four-to-the-floor stout characters; coffee, chocolate, dark fruits and a hint of creamy vanilla and or lactose. Hits a lightly charred note through the mid and carries the aforementioned, along with added licorice and ash, in to a dry and nicely drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: A tad too light on for our liking. Medium body, mild-moderate carbonation. 6% ABV is well placed for the style.

Overall: A pretty decent drop. The one thing we usually find with Aussie milk stouts is this weak and almost watery texture. For us, any stout whether it be imperial, BA, milk or even session it needs to have a dense and almost chewy body. Still, not a bad offering.

The Bruery ‘Nana’s Famous Pain Perdu’ Spiced Imperial Stout

Rating:

“You’re awakened from your slumber by the sweet aromatics radiating from Nana’s kitchen. Your nose guides you to a decadently sticky plate of Pain Perdu just waiting to be consumed. This breakfast-inspired imperial stout serves up bold, roasty flavors, laced with maple syrup and graham cracker with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Solid black with a thumb of brown head perched on top. It gradually forms a thin film and provides a healthy lace as we go.

Aroma: Smack my ass and call me Judy! This is next level. The overall balance has to be commended here. The intensity of the cinnamon and maple would almost be too much if not for the biscuity elements and hearty impy stout base which consists of dark chocolate, coffee, sweet dark fruits and cocoa. There are still so many more subtle aromas here but we don’t want to turn this in to an essay!

Flavour: And it all transfers on to the palate too. Mammoth amounts of spice and maple sweetness all wrapped up in a neat and lightly charred roasted malt base. The Graham Crackers are subtle but offer that biscuity wheatmeal-like savoury edge which balances it all out. Chocolate/cocoa, coffee and campfire to finish.

Mouthfeel: Dense and super chewy. The viscosity is amazing…full body, low Co2. 9.7% ABV showing a little but that’s expected considering its weight.

Overall: The Bruery would have to be one of the best in the world when it comes to pastry and dessert stouts. This is simply world class stuff. Love it!

Boatrocker ‘2020 Fat Santa’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Fat Santa 2020 has jumped on the jolly train of 1st use Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. This vintage has loads of dark roast whole coffee beans, Madagascan vanilla pods, and the incredible tonka beans…
All these plus bourbon and American oak character lead to a decadent and truly feast worthy Christmas beer. Merry Christmas!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short brown head resting atop. It slowly retreats to the rim with scarce lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: Holy moly this smells freakin incredible! The bourbon barrels lift out with sheer ferocity then make room for the base stout characters to shine – dark chocolate, molasses, licorice, espresso, toffee fudge and ash. All of those gorgeous bourbon qualities really open up as it settles… vanilla, spice, caramel etc. Stunning.

Flavour: This release just keeps getting better and better. The front palate is completely inundated with bourbon barrels, vanilla, spice, dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, coffee and treacle. This hedonistic fusion of flavour stretches well in to the burnt and warming finish then draws out for an eternity.

Mouthfeel: Dense and oily yet surprisingly smooth for its size (10.4 % ABV). Low Co2. Dangerously drinkable.

Overall: Would near have to be one of the best vintages yet. We’d give almost anything to do a vertical tasting of all the Fat Santa vintages. Boatrocker are without a doubt one of the best BA stout producers in the country.

Aether Brewing ‘Creature Of The Night’ Peanut Butter Stout

Rating:

“Heavy aromas of peanut butter and peanut brittle, further accentuated by the mouthfeel and oily slickness of the malts. Subtleties of chocolate and caramel can also be found. Quite dry for a dessert beer due to the lack of lactose.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: As black as midnight with a thumb of fizzy brown head which quickly fades. Scarce lace as we go.

Aroma: Holy moly even someone with hyposmia would be able to smell the peanuts here! Extract-alicious! That aside it’s still an unbelievably alluring aroma, the level of peanut is immense and it’s also supported by hints of milk chocolate, mixed nuts, coffee and brittle.

Flavour: As anticipated it’s heavy on the peanut extract. Not so much peanut butter though…more peanut brittle. Unfortunately the back up that was there in the aroma hasn’t transferred to the palate. She’s a one trick pony and that’s a bit disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Light on for the style. Flat-ish Co2. The 7% ABV is pretty well hidden though.

Overall: Not what we expected from this Brissy brewery. We’ve had these guys on our radar for years and it’s unfortunate our first entry was a little negative. Core range is up next!

Six String ‘Mr Black’ Coffee Milk Stout

Rating:

“Brewed using coffee from Mr Black Coffee Liqueur this Six String X Mr Black Collab combines two unique products into a rich, lush Stout. The bitter of the coffee with the sweet milk stout gives a bittersweet balance. The rich malt bill and unapologetic coffee hit from the cold brewed Mr Black coffee gives a bold and complex aroma and flavour to this big roasty full flavoured beer.”

Glassware: Snifter

Appearance: From the get go we feel like we’ve got Co2 issues here. The can opened strangely and it’s poured about 90% head….and it’s taking ages to reduce!

Aroma: Not smelling right either. Very gassy, some milky/lactose sweetness mixed in to the milk chocolate and vanilla but we can literally smell the carbonation…it’s kinda like smelling soda water. Some light roasty-ness also here but yeah, this could be a sink pour unfortunately.

Flavour: Although it’s overcarbonated for the style it doesn’t totally explode in the mouth. Instead we get this bubbly, weak and watered down mess. Milk chocolate, coffee and vanilla are so far in the distance it’s almost hard to call it a coffee milk stout. It finishes on a somewhat decent roasty note but man this is bad.

Mouthfeel: Obviously overcarbonated, gassy and light on. They did hide the 8% ABV quite well but nothing will save this beer from its eventual meeting with the drain pipes.

Overall: Terrible. Not enough to ever try another 6 String beer ever again but breweries do themselves a lot of damage by not double checking stuff like this before it goes out. Holy moly, get it together 6 String!

Bottle Logic ‘Leche Borracho’ BA Spiced Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Imperial Stout brewed with ancho peppers, cinnamon, cacao nibs, and lactose sugar aged in tequila and bourbon barrels.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short brown head. As it peels back it reveals lots of small red flakes which we’re guessing are the leftover ancho chillies! Very cool….or very hot?

Aroma: So much happening yet it’s still so smooth and luxurious. The main scents are sweet chocolate, vanilla/lactose, spicy ancho chillies and cinnamon. Peppery spice turns up late as we pick up sugary dark fruits like dates and raisin. Bourbon oak creeping in as it settles. The tequila barrels are a bit muted but we’re not at all bummed by that!

Flavour: As anticipated the ancho chillies have an immediate effect, dropping subtle heat alongside bittersweet chocolate, cacao and milk sugars. A touch of molasses and licorice nicely integrated amongst the spicy and warming bourbon, cinnamon and pepper. Kinda sweet yet roasty and spicy finish which goes the distance.

Mouthfeel: She’s oily but holds a nice viscosity. Warming as well. Mild-moderate Co2. 11.7% ABV showing through a smidge.

Overall: Classic BL. Complex and layered but so so smooth and decadent. Superb.

Vocation ‘Breakfast Club 2.0’ Blueberry Waffle Breakfast Stout

Rating:
  • “Seeing as you enjoyed the first round so much – how about seconds? Presenting Breakfast Club 2.0, remixed to be bigger, thicker and fruitier than ever. Hold on to your belt buckles, this one’s a proper feast.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a thumb of terracotta head. It slowly peels back and forms a halo. Beautiful cascading lace is left on the glass.

Aroma: Avery alluring. We’re aware of stating the bleeding obvious but it literally smells like blueberry waffles…with additions of icing sugar, caramel, vanilla, puree, spice and cake mix. There’s definitely something sweet and sugary in here but we can’t quite put our fingers on it. Pretty nice aroma though.

Flavour: Nice contrast upfront. Getting the tart blueberries against a light roasty malt backdrop. Chocolate notes here and there, a hint of vanilla sweetness and doughy cake mix. Then it all seems to just fall away. The finish is weak…a flutter of blueberry and doughy sweetness but that’s it.

Mouthfeel: Thin, oily and slippery. Way too lean for the style. Mild-medium body. 6.9% ABV is reasonably well buried.

Overall: Not huge fans but then again it ain’t a bad drop. It just lacks body and the lengthy finish we come to expect from pastry stouts.

Cigar City ‘Beoir Bairille’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Brewed in collaboration with our friends at Jameson® Irish Whiskey, this robust Imperial Stout has notes of bittersweet chocolate and burnt sugar juxtaposed against a touch of lactose, crafted to beautifully compliment aging in Jameson® Irish Whiskey barrels. Rich and robust, this beer celebrates Jameson’s Caskmates Program and our mutual love of ‚”barrel beer”.

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black as midnight with a wispy head that snaps back to the rim. Very little in the way of lace.

Aroma: We can certainly detect the Jameson whiskey…in our opinion Irish whiskey is notably smoother and sweeter with a touch of florals and Sherry and it definitely shines through the big and aggressive malt body – rich molasses, licorice, dates/prunes, dark chocolate, treacle and decadent caramel fudge. There’s a bit of toasty oak also coming through.

Flavour: Quite similar to the nose in the sense that the Jameson whiskey provides a subtle lick of Sherry, florals and pear while the heaving malts give us the classic rich molasses, bitter dark chocolate, licorice and subtle espresso. Toasty oak, maybe a fleeting hint of vanilla and soy sauce as it wraps up with a nice warming finish that goes the distance.

Mouthfeel: Oily, medium-full body. Ever so slightly lifted Co2. Fairly well behaved for 13.2% ABV.

Overall: Although it’s a cracking BA stout we’ve had far better from CC. Admittedly we’re not massive fans of Irish whiskey either but we can dig what they’re doing here.

Big Shed ‘Mega Golden Stout Time’ Dessert Stout

Rating:

“Double Golden Stout Time! Enough Said.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with a fine dusting of microbubble on top. It completely disappears bar a very thin halo. Hardly any lace sticks as it ebbs.

Aroma: Exactly like its younger brother but slightly bigger and sweeter. That supremely decadent scent of caramel ice cream jumps out of the glass while a more subtle support role of Anzac cookies, vanilla, coconut, honeycomb and melted white chocolate plays out. We’ve been trying to pin down a certain character and we finally got it…Arnott’s Hundreds and Thousands!

Flavour: She’s a carbon copy of the original Golden Stout Time just bigger and sweeter. Expectedly, there’s a bit more fire (being 8% and all) and that stirs up a bit of rich toffee but yeah…it’s all caramel, honeycomb, biscuits, vanilla and coconut from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, a little sticky, medium body. 8% ABV a little noticeable but fairly well kept. Low-ish Co2.

Overall: Look it’s absolutely divine and so indulgent but honestly what’s the point when the only thing that sets it apart from the original is a bigger ABV?! At least barrel age it so there’s a distinct difference. Still, it’s a corker of a beer.

Boatrocker ‘Oakey Dokey’ Oak Aged Stout

Rating:

“Full of Luscious British and New Zealand malts, balanced by classic hops and an oak finish. Full bodied and satisfyingly moreish.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a thumb of light brown foam perched neatly on top. Good retention and a wet cascading lace being strewn down the glass.

Aroma: Nothing extraordinary. It has a reasonably dense bottom end of dark chocolate, sweet espresso, subtle roast, toasted marshmallow, musk and rich toffee/caramel. The oak chips are too timid for our liking plus the stout as a whole (considering its substantial ABV of 8%) is a bit too reserved.

Flavour: There’s a wee bit more here but again, not enough for an oak aged quasi-imperial stout. It’s a mirror image of the nose; chocolate, coffee, light roast, toffee and treacle/burnt brown sugar shifting in to a pretty passive finish of mild roast and kinda sweet sugars. Decent length to it at least.

Mouthfeel: Oily but a little too lean. Mild bitterness in the swallow. Low-ish Co2. 8% ABV fairly well behaved.

Overall: For a brewery that has one of the best barrel aged stouts in its arsenal this is painfully mediocre. Considering the world class quality of the Ramjet and Roger Ramjet series we were expecting a lot more from this stout.

Mikkeller ‘Beer Geek Breakfast’ Vanilla Maple Shake Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Imagine a huge imperial stout clocking in at 11.8% brewed with coffee and vanilla. Then add a shitload of maple syrup. Yes! This is a real treat.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pours like sump oil with a thumb of brown head resting atop. It slowly recedes but works a reasonable lace down the glass.

Aroma: Hold the phone this smells bloody magnificent! Nice and rich, roasty, full of molasses, espresso and dark chocolate. Enter the adjuncts. Those sweet sweet (literally) adjuncts: maple, vanilla, butterscotch, marshmallow, brown sugar, oatmeal, lactose, subtle spice and burnt toast. Burnt toast with blackberry jam to be more specific. Soooo good.

Flavour: We were hoping it all transferred from the aroma and it does! Big and menacing yet so sweet and decadent. Robust coffee, charred malts, dark chocolate and molasses are countered by the hedonistic licorice, vanilla, maple, butterscotch, toffee, lactose and spice. Oats and burnt toast giving it that brekky stout quality. Superb!

Mouthfeel: Luscious, rich and velvety. Full body, moderate Co2. 11.8% ABV comes through intermittently.

Overall: This is 100x better than the Waffle Breakfast. Here we’ve got that in your face Impy Stout aggression with the soothing touches of maple, vanilla, toffee and the rest of the cabal. Sensational drop.

Mikkeller ‘Beer Geek Waffle Breakfast’ Pastry Stout

Rating:

“Aromatic toasted coffee notes with hints of cinnamon waffle and rich maple syrup..”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a wispy brown overlay. It all disappears bar a bubbly island which hangs around. It somehow leaves a beautiful cascading lace though.

Aroma: Smells absolutely amazing! The structural scent which we don’t even see on the label is chilli peppers but they’re perfectly passed off as cinnamon, licorice and paprika. We even get more subtle hints of nutmeg and cumin as well. Maple, coffee and oatmeal pale in comparison to the levels of spice going on. It’s incredible but we wish they dialled the spice back a bit.

Flavour: Hot damn. Like the aroma it’s definitely spice-driven but it’s backed up with robust coffee and lightly smoked malt. The cinnamon cuts through but the maple is unfortunately missing. Mixed spice continues in to a slightly bitter finish with charred malts going the distance on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thin for the style. Dry and kinda course texture. Low Co2. 7.5% ABV shows its hand a little.

Overall: Surprisingly unrefined for Mikkeller. Way too much spice and little balance on show. Thankfully we have the imperial version still to come. Let’s hope there’s more joy there.

Hawkers 2020 Imperial Stout

Rating:

“A big beer with intense malt complexity. Rich and velvety.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Light black with a short brown head. It holds up relatively well and weaves a healthy lace down the glass.

Aroma: Surprisingly light and quite muted for the style. Just like the whisky barrel aged version there seems to be a serious lack of depth. The prominent scents include a somewhat artificial dark berry sweetness, a cloying doughy-ness, toffee fudge, a flutter of molasses, licorice and Jaffa. Very ordinary.

Flavour: Ok there’s a bit more bottom end here. She’s a lot richer with an aggression unfortunately missing in the aroma. Slightly sweet dark roast and mild coffee, chocolate and dark fruits then a more defined coffee bitterness opening up late in the piece. Nice roasty finish with a slight sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Dense and silky. Full body with low-ish Co2. The 10.3% ABV reveals itself a bit.

Overall: Another disappointing Impy Stout from Hawkers. It seems the darker styles aren’t their forte. Which is strange coz everything from their Pilsner to their darker Belgian styles are world class. Won’t be returning to these annual stouts again.

Hawkers 2020 Imperial Stout – WBA version

Rating:

“A beer with big roast and vanilla character. Beautiful and luscious.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with two fingers of well retained head resting atop. Good lace work as we imbibe.

Aroma: It has certainly piqued our interest. Initially we picked up a strange funky-ness but that tapers off and it now offers a touch of red wine barrels, vinous berries, vanilla, tart dark fruits, sauna room, Sherry and aniseed. What the?! We literally had to double check the label to make sure we were drinking a whiskey barrel aged Imperial Stout. Turns out we are.

Flavour: It’s acting a bit more like a WBA Impy Stout now. Still struggling to work out why we’re getting such strong red wine characteristics. We’re unsure of the barrels used here but our guess would be Starward’s wine cask barrels as the typical notes from that whiskey are red wine, vanilla and Sherry. Throw in a flutter of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee and that pretty much sums this up.

Mouthfeel: Has a reasonable weight to it. Full-ish with a slightly lifted Co2. 11.9% ABV is evident but well buried for its size.

Overall: Not feeling it. We had high expectations with this (can you blame us when it has a $44 a bottle pricetag). Unfortunately it doesn’t back up.. the whiskey component is muddled and this strange funky-ness doesn’t help either. Very meh.

Rusty Penny ‘Nostalgia’ Stout

Rating:

“The oldest beer in our collection. We have been brewing this beer since 2007 and nailed it so early on it has hardly changed. Very very malty with coffee, burnt toast, and bread flavours. It has a healthy amount of English hops to balance the beer out perfectly. If you’re a dark ale fan, and always chasing those big flavour beers, this one’s for you.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black with a thumb of light brown foam perched on top. Kind of a wet lace being dragged down the glass.

Aroma: Shy at first but once it settles the subtle smoky notes, earthy/roasty malts, coffee, chocolate, metal, toast and even a fresh grassy note (or is that coz I mowed the lawn this morning?! Ha ha). It’s a reasonable aroma it’s just lacking a bit of depth. It’s almost light enough to be a dark ale.

Flavour: He’s packing a bit more heat here, thankfully. There’s a nice roasty-ness up front then mild coffee bitterness, chocolate, toasty malts and a delicate hint of earthy hops. The roast kicks up again late in the piece and leads in to a rather smooth finish with coffee and burnt toast on the back end.

Mouthfeel: A little too lean for a stout. Slightly tinny, moderate Co2. 5.7% ABV neither here nor there.

Overall: Pretty stock standard and nothing really memorable about it. The artwork on the strip is a bit tacky, kind of reminds us of a poorly executed tattoo on the arm of a confused teenager. We’ve had better.

Sauce Brewing Imperial & Barrel Aged Stouts

Rating:

“Indulge yourself with our very latest and best barrel-aged imperial stouts! Four, yes FOUR, to choose from!
– Whisky BA Imperial Stout 11%
– Rum BA Imperial Stout 11%
– Bourbon BA Imperial Stout 11%
– non-BA Imperial Stout 12%”

Glassware: Snifter.

Straight Imperial Stout: Solid black with a finger of brown foam. It steadily reduced and laced well. Nice and meaty with prominent roasted malts, espresso, soft smoky notes, baker’s chocolate, gritty earthy-ness and a flutter of vanilla. Again, a lovely charred malt flavour profile with espresso, dark chocolate and burnt wood. Dense, sticky and full bodied. Low-ish Co2. 11% ABV is evident but pretty well behaved. Decent base to work off. Very keen to try the barrel aged variants now!

Starwood? ( I think they mean Starward 😂): Looks slightly more menacing that the straight impy Stout; solid black but with a darker shade of brown foam. Similar retention and lacing. Instantly getting the effect of the Starward barrels. They impart a rather deep vinous character alongside the classic Sherry-based sweetness and subtle fiery notes. Flavour offers a mirror image of the aroma but with added Port sweetness and sticky toffee and caramel. Nice plump body with well balanced Co2 and booze (also 11% ABV). Certainly a step up from the straight impy Stout.

Beenleigh Rum: Almost a step up again…black with a dark brown head but with an almost deep reddish tint. Reasonable lace as we go. Not as intense as the Starward expression. There is a subtle sweetness, mostly spice and caramel/toffee, maybe a touch of molasses creeping in. Pretty subtle nuances in flavour too. Not that dissimilar to the impy stout just a little smoother with the spicy and caramel-esque sweetness separating them. Nice full body like the rest, slightly silky texture with mild Co2. Booze about the same too. We’d probably be putting this one last at the moment.

Buffalo Trace: Similar appearance to the Starward expression – solid black with a dark brown head. Steady reduction and reasonable lace. Huge difference here.. the American bourbon characters jump out immediately. We get the classic vanilla, caramel and spice but with unique scents of black ants, brown sugar and kinda spicy rye. So so smooth, laden with vanilla and peppery rye, caramel and toffee, dark fruits and brown sugar. Warming yet super smooth. Full body and mild Co2. This easily sits at the top for us.

Overall: Excellent release from Sauce. Such a great idea and uber fun to review. The pick of the bunch had to be the Buffalo Trace expression then the Starward, the straight impy Stout and then the Beenleigh Rum last. Big ups for this release. Sensational stuff.