Category Archives: Stout

Drake’s Brewing Co ‘Drakonic’ Imperial Stout

Rating:

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

Rating:

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

Rating:

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

Rating:

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

Rating:

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

Rating:

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

Rating:

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

Rating:

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

Rating:

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 kidding.it 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

Rating:

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.

Sailors Grave ‘law of the tongue’ Oyster stout.

Rating:

imageThis smokey oyster stout has been brewed with Wapango oysters and Sunrise limes from Murray View Organics. Brewed in the deep sou’east of Victoria.

Poured into a shaker glass, we see a 5-10mm tan head that is full of tightly packed carbonation. Retains fairly well, leaving just a patchy rim. Mat black appearance here. Fine carbonation seen. Aroma of roasted malts, espresso, some molasses, sea salt/brine, and some smoke or ash. First sip yields more roasted malt, definite smoke, bitter espresso, game like meat, more salt, and little lime. We trying to detect the limes here, and obviously the whole salt/sour thing is the way to go but it’s minimal to our tastebuds. Sure there is a bitterness on the palate but we can’t definitely say it’s lime. There is an oilyness to this brew and we see no lacing down the glass. It’s sticky on the lips after each sip. Light to medium body here with a good smoky, ashy, roasted malt backbone. It’s 5.5% Alc vol and it’s well hidden, basically imperceptible behind the smoke and malt. Minimal carbonation being a stout but there is a subtle spice or bubble on the tongue. As we near then end, we get all the flavours as described above. It’s a meaty brew with the use of oysters adding to this mouthfeel. Taste of the sea here with a decent smoked malt backbone. A tad more lime would have been better. It’s no 3 Boys Oyster Stout but it’s enjoyable.

Cupitt’s BA Russian Imperial Stout

Rating:

22730173_763821070468707_3851724669412759526_n“A rich and indulgent Stout with dominant dark chocolate and coffee flavours. 12 months of maturation in Shiraz barrels adds layers of complexity that will continue to develop in the bottle. Dangerously drinkable.”

Served in a snifter. As predicted this R.I.S pours as black as the night sky with a dense and foamy two finger mound. It holds its shape extremely well and weaves a very healthy lace as it ebbs.
The aroma is bursting at the seems with dark and heavily roasted malts, ash, singed wood, Vegemite, molasses and leather with hints of vanilla and coffee. There’s quite a firm creamy sweetness pushing through too….not so much in lactose or milk sugars but it’s more like marzipan in its delivery. Little hints of cocoa here and there. Very nice aroma indeed.
Flavour wise it’s not as forthcoming as it is on the nose. It’s slightly unrefined and a little bitter upfront but it does mellow out in to a much more creamy and roasty mid palate. Those subtle coffee notes begin to come through late as does the ash and light woody tones. A bit of that bitterness creeps in again as it finishes dry and toasty with coffee and bitter chocolate on the back end.
It’s sharp, dry and slightly unbalanced in the mouth. Quite boozy as well (8% ABV). Mild co2 with medium-full body.
Is it a decent R.I.S? Yes. Is it memorable? Not so much. The 12 months in barrels hasn’t done a great deal to it which is a bit of a shame. There are some really good elements but it just seems to fall short of the line. It’s good without being great.

Omnipollo ‘Noa Pecan Mud’ Imperial Stout

Rating:

22290053_755785907938890_2422864796795902777_o“When I was 12 I dreamed of becoming a pastry chef. Call this a creative outlet. Thick, rich and excessively decadent, this beer aims to bring back childhood memories. Brewed with aromas.”

Served in a snifter. We’re met with an impenetrable black pour with a thumb of brown foam topping it off. Slow reduction, settling to a film that provides a healthy lace as it subsides.
The nose, although similar to the original Texas pecan Ice cream, is unique in its own right. It’s definitely a lot more centralised on the roast and the true character of the pecan nut. It’s big on cocoa, chocolate and vanilla. It’s so nutty that it also brings out hints of Brazil nut, hazelnut and roasted almonds. It’s caramelised and sugary, packed with chocolate, vanilla and marshmallows. Hot damn!
This is truly and incredible taste sensation. On one hand we have the earthy, roasty and nutty pecan pie and on the other is this delicious hint of artificial sugars like marshmallow, cotton candy and vanilla slice. Erm….how the hell do they do that!? The booze (11%) and some bittersweet chocolate then leads in to a long and drawn out finish that provides sweetness, bitterness, warmth and roast.
The body is full and the texture is chewy and sticky with low co2.
Another sensational drop from Omnipollo. It reveals a bit more unrefined sharpness as opposed to the pecan ice cream. That is literally the only criticism we have. That aside, it is a remarkable drop. World class stuff.

Omnipollo ‘Selassie’ Imperial Coffee & Vanilla Stout

Rating:

22140818_754646994719448_1032221227691968140_n“10 speciality malts make up this majestic Imperial Stout conditioned on heaps of coffee and vanilla beans. Simple, yet complex.”

Served in a snifter. This literally pours like engine oil. It constructs a healthy two finger head which holds together remarkably well, eventually establishing a thick overlay. Lacing is thick and soapy as it ebbs.
There’s more than a few words that come to mind here. Big, black and dangerous are the first. Rich, sweet and complex would also pass as the coffee, cocoa, chocolate, vanilla and spice takes the lead. The depth just keeps diving as we uncover hints of licorice, raw cacao, leather, heavy roast and an inkling of booze (which is amazing considering the hefty 11% ABV).
Holy moly the palate is totally inundated with moreish flavour here. What we can isolate is coffee, dark chocolate, charred wood, heavy roasted malt, tobacco, molasses, subtle whisky and a gorgeous hint of vanilla. It has a slightly nutty note in the middle before delivering a kind of semi sweet, roasty and almost creamy finish with vanilla, coffee bean and bitter dark chocolate on the back end.
Thick and dense texture, almost syrupy with full body and low co2. The booze is warm without any harsh and unrefined nature to it.
Sweet baby jeebus that is a damn fine drop. There is actually nothing more they could do to improve on this…..seriously amazing stuff. Kudos Omnipollo.

Wells & Youngs (Courage) Russian Imperial Stout

Rating:

22007487_753004418217039_8198147773603105582_n“As Originally brewed in 1795 for Catherine the Great of Russia. Enjoy now or allow to mature in the cellar. Brewed to perfection only once a year, Courage Imperial Russian Stout enjoys a rich, espresso body with pear overtones and an intriguing fresh smokey, fruity finish.”

Served in a snifter. It hits the glass with a black that is literally blacker than midnight. It aroused a short brown cap which deposits a consistent set of rings down the glass.
Wow, lovely aroma, very well composed but also bursting with rich dark chocolate, coffee, dried dark fruits, cocoa, treacle and roasted malt leading out. Certainly getting that subtle pear/apple note that is prevalent in these old school English porters and stouts. Getting hints of booze coming through but for 10% it’s very nicely contained.
It’s pretty full on upfront. Not sharp or aggressive but just packed with rich roasty flavour such as bitter dark chocolate, coffee, earthy malt, raisin, peat, tobacco and a subtle spicy aniseed/licorice accent. The booze does come through but it also brings a hint of Sherry and rum with it. A touch of crusty bread before a roasty finish with a bit of dryness rounding it out.
It’s not overly heavy in the mouth. It’s dense but progresses well over the tongue. A bit of warmth and a bit of drying bitterness developing late.
Flavor and aroma-wise this RIS sits quite high on the list but historically this beer is somewhat of a trail blazer. There wouldn’t be such a thing as Russian Imperial Stout if this particular beer was never brewed. Respect to Barclay Perkins and Courage who now brews the exact same recipe that was brewed for Empress Catherine II back in 1781. Incredible.

Brouwerij De Molen ‘Hel & Verdoemenis’ Imperial Stout

Rating:

21766479_751657141685100_572248130306343406_n“Translation: Hell & Damnation. Brewed with brown malts, an English traditional specialty malt, we created an Imperial Russian Stout that has won prizes at festivals across Europe from Sweden to Italy. It’s big (10% ABV), black, roasted and complex. We are convinced that not trying this ale will be a mortal sin to your taste buds and beer experience.”

Served in a snifter. As predicted this monster hits the glass with an impenetrable black body that dons a thumb of foamy brown head on top. Steady reduction with thick blotchy lace decoration following it down.
Geez the aroma is rich and really complex. Every scent that has ever crossed our mind when reviewing dark beer is right here. It’s roasty, charred and leathery with everything from dark chocolate, coffee, licorice, molasses and burned wood to sweeter notes of toffee, treacle, vanilla, fig and marzipan. Getting hints of stewed and dark fruits as it warms. Wow.
Oh bejeezus! The range of flavours covered from start to finish is simply incredible. It starts somewhat late with a fusion of sweet dark fruits, roasted coffee and bitter chocolate before a crescendo of rich, charred and slightly peated flavours dominate the palate. It further intensifies with Sherry, burnt toast and a firm presence of booze just for good measure. It rolls in to a bittersweet finish that lingers for an eternity on the rear.
Dense and full bodied in the mouth. Quite dry and bitter with a good warmth provided by the 10% ABV. “Hell and Damnation”. It sounds sinister and slightly undesirable but once this sweet sweet liquid passes the taste buds it’s anything but! 100/100 on Ratebeer too we might add. Faultless.

5 Barrel Brewing 2017 Imperial Stout

Rating:

21192968_742416079275873_3736388087475583771_n“Imperial Stouts are to be savoured entirely. They are strong and rich with big roasty flavours and sweet, malty bodies to balance out the alcohol. Our Imperial Stout is brewed in January and aged on oak for 4 months to absorb the flavours of the barrel and mature slowly. The strong coffee/chocolate flavours work wonderfully with the plum and raisin qualities from the Shiraz. The body is full and rich, clinging to the glass and providing a sweet stickiness giving the hint that you’re sipping a wonderfully warming port.”

Served in a snifter. This bad boy pours like engine oil with a short brown head forming on top. It’s quick to reduce to a halo which posts a consistent set of rings as we indulge.
Big charred notes on the nose. In support are firm wafts of wet ash, dark chocolate, heavily roasted malts, molasses, cocoa and vanilla. Getting subtle hints of plum jam, licorice and gingerbread with a dank grassy note around the edges. Quite a complex little number.
The flavour really embraces the rich dark chocolate, coffee and charred malts. There’s a very subtle woody note that entertains the spicy licorice and molasses which in effect brings on the warming alcohol (9.6% ABV). A short burst of vanilla is introduced as it finishes rich, boozy and roasty with hints of plums and subtle dark fruits in the tail.
Although it’s big in flavour and aroma the mouth feel is oily and astringent with a firm bitterness developing late. Medium body, mild-moderate co2.
She’s a little rough around the edges but ultimately it’s a decent imperial stout. We’ve locked a few of these away so hopefully so hopefully they will settle down and drink like boozy liquid chocolate in a couple more years! Until then…

Amager Bryghus ‘Gone Porto’ Port Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Rating:

20994010_739838622866952_7273089219294227128_n“Gone Porto is a brand new slow-cooked Imperial Stout from Amager Brewery, which we have stored for an immensely long time in large Niepoort port wine casks. The result is a nicely juicy case out. Gone Porto is a lovely visit and ideal for the quiet, contemplative hours. Alternatively it can be used as a standard beer for the family reunion in. Case out!”

Served in a stemmed tulip. Displaying a black body that sports a healthy two finger crown. Head retention is excellent, depositing a thick sticky lace down the walls of the glass.
The nose comes through with some vigour! It is super rich, intense and absolutely luscious. She opens up with bitter dark chocolate, cocoa, molasses, raw coffee bean and licorice. After she gets comfortable in the glass those gorgeous port aromas begin to surface with prunes, dates and spice tantalizing the olfactory’s. (Apologies, we may have got a bit carried away with the whole first date with a lady thing here.)
This beauty is offering some rich and intense roasted notes upfront leading to a dank middle that displays oak, cellar room, molasses and hints of ash. Just a slight uncovering of the 10% ABV before the rich, roasty and syrupy molasses notes deliver the long drawn out finish. Finally we taste a bit of our beloved tawny port in the tail.
Big, full bodied and intense in the mouth, coating the whole palate as it washes over. A firm warmth from the 10% ABV but that is to be expected.
We admit that we can’t be too critical because it is only a barrel project but damn! We want more port flavour! On its own it’s a brilliant stout…but add in those subtle port flavours and it becomes exceptional. But add MORE port flavour and we’d be handing this a certain 10/10. This top shelf stout only just fell short. Too bad.

Colonial Brewing ‘Inquest’ Imperial Stout

Rating:

20882122_737161199801361_4987215847832628008_n“Introducing the limited edition Colonial Inquest. Big, dark and bold; at 11.7% ABV our imperial stout is liquid gold not to be forgotten. “We’ve created something special here, employing a brewing method we’ve never tried before to create our biggest release yet. It’s big, rich, loaded with malt and complex flavours but doesn’t completely overpower the palate, remaining balanced and moreish.” said Head Brewer Ash Hazell.”

Served in a beer tulip. This beast pours as black as midnight with a finger of finely beaded foam forming on top. Reasonable retention, eventually settling to a film that weaves a webbed lace as it subsides.
Quite an interesting aroma here. It’s obviously rich, dark and gluttonous but the use of Bavarian Mandarina hops adds a certain lift. Just like orange flavoured dark chocolate. Deep-seated notes of coffee, cocoa and earthy spice seem to give way to the fruity hops a bit too easily. Tough to pan it though it’s pretty damn good.
Sonewhat staggered in its progression on the palate. It’s boozy (11.7%) upfront which transforms in to a kinda hoppy bitterness that is complimented by a subtle dark chocolate richness through the middle. The big stout notes finally come through, albeit a bit late with cocoa, roasted malt, licorice and leather. It finishes roasty and dark but slightly bitter with a hint of jaffa on the rear.
Creamy and somewhat frothy in texture. Medium-full in body with mild-moderate co2.
Definitely projecting from the left field here. Initially we liked the presence of the citrusy hops, then we went off them…but we came around again in the finish. It’s a brave addition to such a rich and heavy stout which only just came off for us. Not bad.

Pirate Life Brewing Stout

Rating:

20729250_735329749984506_3592257732585976592_n“We hope that this beer finds its way to you sometime this winter, on a cold day when you left for work in the dark and arrived home as the sun was going down. When you need something to wash away the cold. A dessert in a can. Pirate Life Stout. You might end up wishing winter lasted longer…”

Served in a beer tulip. Dense black appearance with a healthy two finger head perched on top. Retention is firm, holding together well and weaving a fine lace as it subsides.
This aroma is packing some heat. It’s dark, roasty, rich and luscious with a real complexity to it. Plenty of coffee, dark chocolate, licorice and molasses but it’s strangely fruity and that would have to be due to the use of Columbus hops. Ash, dried oats and earthy forest floor also come through with intent. Lovely stuff.
The hops play a much bigger role in flavor. Upfront it’s all malt though with bitter chocolate, roasty espresso, cocoa and ash with those piney and slightly citrusy hops washing over the palate midway. Traits of black IPA come forth with this delicious fusion of toasty malt and fruity hop leading in to the dry and bitter but somewhat citrusy finish.
The mouth feel is dry and prickly with an aggressive hop bitterness. The 7.2% ABV is intermittent but ultimately well hidden. Medium body and co2.
We had a preconceived belief that this was going to be an American style stout. What we didn’t expect is the level of bitterness. May have been just a tad too heavy handed in our opinion. She certainly would have gained from a bit more balance but hey, at the end of the day it was a pretty good drop.