Category Archives: Stout

Range Brewing Oatmeal Stout

Rating:

70597867_1166452346872242_1652343626090414080_n“This creamy oatmeal stout was brewed to be a smooth mid winter delight. We’ve used to massive quantity of oats in this batch, as well as editions of chocolate malt and roasted barley to the malt bill. It is jet black, with a creamy espresso coloured head. We get a beautiful balance between toasted notes and a light malt sweetness and a super smooth bitterness to finish.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a short yet finely beaded brown head emerging on top. It doesn’t hold together long, dispersing and settling at the rim. Fine rings stick to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: There’s a discernible savoury sweetness that we were detecting even as our glasses sat idle on the table. It’s somewhere between honeycomb and pistachio. And then there’s the delicate touch of cherry too! All the while that creamy, porridge-like oatmeal underlines it all. Subtle notes of vanilla, chocolate shavings and French toast just for good measure!

Flavour: It’s a bit slow out of the gates. Slightly watery with the oatmeal front and centre. Then the magic happens…it’s like an explosion of flavour goes off and sends coffee, chocolate, roasted nutty malts, dark fruits and earthy wood in each and every direction. This cluster of flavours reaches well in to the finish and goes for days on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth. Could have a little bit more weight but we’re not going to nitpick. Nicely rounded with the 6.1% ABV buried well.

Overall: Not as good as the pale ale but it’s still a cracking drop. Dead set…where did these guys come from?!

Goose Island 2018 ‘BCBS’ BA Imperial Vanilla Stout

Rating:

69268730_1162342700616540_3170632642743762944_n“This long time favorite makes a long-awaited return to the Bourbon County Stout roster. Utilizing whole grade A vanilla beans from Madagascar, Vanilla delivers on all the quintessential things fans love about this variant: aromatic vanilla, marshmallow, toffee, oak, and floral notes highlighting the creamy mouthfeel and enhancing the chocolate flavors that are ingrained in Bourbon County Stout.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as midnight! Hardly any head forms in the pour and whatever does vanishes almost instantly. No lacing whatsoever.

Aroma: It literally jumps out of the glass! The vanilla is so creamy and sweet that we just want to bathe in it. The sticky and rich molasses, the heavily charred malts and dark chocolate, the coffee…as big and menacing as they all are that vanilla still comes out on top. Then there’s the barrels imparting georgeous oak and subtle bourbon…good heavens!

Flavour: The progression of flavour here is off the charts. There’s a huge surge of bourbon, molasses and vanilla upfront which rolls in to further notes of licorice, star anise and brown sugar. There’s a tussle between vanilla and bittersweet chocolate that goes for days but it’s backfilled with hints of woody oak, toffee, charred malts, coconut and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Oily and viscous. Minimal CO2 with a belly warming 14.9% ABV. Yet for its size and immaturity it’s still reasonably well balanced. Incredible.

Overall: Taking the above in to consideration we still think this bad boy needs at least 5 years in the cellar. It’s still quite brash. We’re not taking anything away from it though…the BCBS range is still one of the best in the world.

Stone & Wood/Counter Culture ‘It’d Be Rude Not To’ French Toast Stout

Rating:

68439605_1153780061472804_5667870016121339904_n“Prepare to salivate. Our delectable French toast stout, It’d Be Rude Not To is the third release of our limited Counter Culture range – and a beer for those times you just can’t refuse. Dark, decadent and oozing with patisserie goodness, we admit It’d Be Rude Not To is a little bit naughty.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short but finely beaded brown head. Reduction is slow and steady and leaves a cascading lace down the glass.

Aroma: Definitely dominated by the winter spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice) but well supported by sweet and syrupy maple and caramel, melted chocolate, vanilla and milk sugars, toasty malts and sugary coffee. We can even pick up subtle hints of banana, toffee fudge and toasted marshmallow. Incredible aroma!

Flavour: Nice and creamy but jam-packed with rich maple and cinnamon, toasty malts and coffee, some dry bitterness, bittersweet chocolate and light black strap molasses. As it progresses it changes lanes again and finishes on a base of sweet caramel and maple, spice and toasty malt.

Mouthfeel: There’s a good weight to it but it’s still somewhat approachable. Slick texture and well concealed ABV (7.4%). Low CO2.

Overall: In our opinion this Counter Culture series is their best work yet. Even as avid IPA lovers we think it’s better than Fixation. They’re playing around with exciting flavours and it already enjoys a bit of a cult following. Can’t wait to see what they come out with next! Top drop.

Dainton ‘Shellraiser” Oyster Kilpatrick Imperial Stout

Rating:

67812030_1143796119137865_8311881909655306240_n“Another year and another ‘collab’ with these crazy folks. Also some NSW farmer helped source the actual 110 dozen oysters in this brew. Note – there is no bacon, though it does taste a bit like bacon … ‘Facon’, I call it. I don’t. You do.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a frothy two finger crown. The head holds together and laced well.

Aroma: Definitely getting a salty/briney note hitting the olfactory’s first…surely the oysters. Some sweet and smoky notes which remind us of honey glazed ham also getting amongst it. Hints of mild roast and licorice, chocolate and a subtle candied scent which we can’t quite put our finger on…we want to say musk but we’re not certain of it.

Flavour: Again quite salty and briney upfront. Mild gamey-ness from the oysters, bitter sweet chocolate, some vanilla, some warming booze and roasty malts. It moves in to delicate licorice and or molasses with soft smoky notes rolling in to a salty finish which provides lightly charred malts and soft bitterness on a good length.

Mouthfeel: Nice and balanced – not too heavy not too light. Oily and well rounded. The 9.5% AbV is really well hidden.

Overall: Look it’s not going to set any records but it’s a fairly decent drop. The actual collaboration is the craziest thing about it! I mean there’s Dainton from Victoria, Van Dieman from Tassie and Bright Tank and Rocky Ridge from WA! The logistics alone is nuts! The beer though…not bad.

Deschutes 2016 Brandy BA ‘Abyss’ Imperial Stout

Rating:

67097311_1137911909726286_6522436742723665920_n“Enticingly ripe, earthy fruit rudiments awash in the open salt air of Normandy, lightly augmented with mushrooms grown in the depths of the Tronҫais forest. Delicate notes of Livarot glazed with an orange reduction and textured with toasted coconut shavings. Distinct aromas of cinnamon and ulster cherry, foxtrot in time with tangs of vanilla and brown sugar. Balanced, approachable wood zests meld charmingly with the finish of figs and Allegheny plums.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as midnight! It forms a dark brown head which swells to two fingers before it gradually recedes. Healthy lace clings to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: It’s remarkable how much of an impact the brandy barrels have put on this stout…cognac-like sweetness supported by dark fruits i.e raisin and dates, rich toffee, caramel and vanilla. So much so that it resembles a top shelf barleywine with its hallmark residual sugars and caramelised malts. Not to mention the warming booze and oak that isn’t shying away!

Flavour: Jeez even after three years in the cellar this bad boy still packs some heat! A wave of stinging booze, bitter espresso, molasses and charred malts hit the palate like an overhand right from Riddick! Brandy takes the back seat with its semi-sweet dark fruits and spice developing late in the piece. There’s little respite as it finishes with an aggressive espresso bitterness and an enduring burn in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Dense, oily and viscous with low Co2 giving it that extra weight. 13.3% AbV – explains that lifted booze burn.

Overall: Still a bit too aggressive in our opinion. The aroma was bang on point but the flavour is too heavy on the booze and bitterness. A bit of a shame coz this cost a few pennies!!

Moon Dog ‘Captain Raisin Beard’ Rum BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

67552946_1134364183414392_3785834541222985728_n“Captain Raisin Beard and his motley crew of brewers ventured to the Caribbean to collect very special small batch rum barrels. These rum barrels survived the high seas and landed safely at the Port of Abbotsford where this Rum ‘n’ Raisin Imperial Stout has sat aging. This Imperial Stout is Raisin’ the bar on barrel aged greatness and this dark confectioner’s dream is full of the rum booty!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a billowing three finger tan head. It’s loose and rocky but it persists and works an excellent lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Holy moly…decadence is the name of the game here. Alluring wafts of Caribbean rum, dessicated coconut, cinnamon, oak barrels, toffee fudge, caramel, vanilla essence, fruit cake, melted chocolate, coffee and some warming booze tickling the nostrils. Man it really comes together once it settles in. This is a world class aroma right here.

Flavour: Showing a bit more aggression as opposed to the aroma. The booze burn, charred malts and bitter coffee come on hard but mellow in to those delicious Caribbean rum flavours, vanilla, chocolate, treacle, burnt brown sugar and dark caramelised fruits. Touches of woody oak and charred malt through to the drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous…some real density to it. Low co2 and high AbV – 12.9% which understandably has presence.

Overall: It has been a long time since we’ve been this impressed by a Moon Dog beer. We’re confident in saying its the best we’ve ever had from them…alongside the 2015 edition of JTS of course! All it needs is a few years in the cellar and this will really come in to its own. World class.

 

Bentspoke Brewing ‘Descent 19’ Russian Imperial Stout

Rating:

67144560_1133881550129322_7750274120629092352_n“Introducing Bentspoke Brewing’s 5th Birthday Beer! The roasty, bitter black malt and leather-like esters from the stout integrated with the bourbon barrel ageing complete this complex and rewarding Russian Imperial Stout.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a finger of dark brown foam emerging on top. Sturdy head retention with slightly streaky lace dragging its way down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Wow this is surprising. Very hop driven and that has seriously caught us off guard. Almost a Juicy Fruit chewing gum like flavour which finishes just as fast as it comes. We’re absolutely baffled as to where these tropical fruity notes are coming from…and what the hell are they doing in a Russian Imperial Stout?! Still, there is a nice roasty backdrop to it…charred, smoky and oaky with a hint of cherry. Somewhat confusing.

Flavour: Again this emphasis on tropical fruit is extremely weird in a Russian Imperial Stout. Subtle cherry and other mixed berries like raspberry getting amongst it. Black forest cake, some oaky accents alongside chocolate then we get that charred, ashy and woody presence like a good ol RIS on the back palate. It’s very uncommon and it’s throwing us off…non traditional that’s for sure.

Mouthfeel: Its a whopping 10% but you don’t really get any booze burn. Its fairly nice and smooth…very texturally drinkable. Length is decent and it carries well. Full body there’s no doubt about that.

Overall: Look this is a tad confusing for us. We are sitting on the fence as we are a tad traditional here in terms of that big, dominant punch in the face RIS. The inclusion of dominant fruits has thrown us but it doesn’t mean that it’s bad it’s just a hybrid style of RIS. Craft brewing at its core methodologically speaking. Try it for yourself and judge.

Firestone Walker ’17 ‘Velvet Merkin’ BA Oatmeal Stout

Rating:

66174459_1121749588009185_6528339423652741120_n“Velvet Merkin is the beer that almost wasn’t…Indeed, this vintage oatmeal stout’s comical  (or is it scandalous?) name went off the grid for several years, but now it’s back due to popular demand. Velvet Merkin is aged for a full year in retired spirits barrels from Heaven Hill, Woodford Reserve and others, yet manages to offer mind-­boggling balance and restraint.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown with a wispy tan head which retreats to the rim. The wet foam drags the lacing down the glass as it subsides. Quite a light pour for a barrel aged stout!

Aroma: What it lacks in EBC is instantly made up by huge wafts of bourbon barrels, vanilla spice, coffee, toasted coconut, dark fruits, milk chocolate, brown sugar, an undertone of honey and subtle nutty malts. The oatmeal is very faint but it provides a smooth and somewhat dry creaminess that works well alongside the rest of the rich and decadent aromas. Classy stuff.

Flavour: Incredibly smooth and effortless notes of coffee, mildly charred malts, vanilla, chocolate and bourbon barrels to the fore. Some underlying sweetness pulling it all in to line…we want to say caramel and honey but it’s thicker like molasses or toffee. Some cocoa and earthy spice forming late and rolling in to a kind of milky finish with mild roast and coffee lingering on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: So smooth, silky and creamy. Lighter in body than we had anticipated with the 8.5% AbV also very well hidden. It literally drinks like a sub 6%er. Wow!

Overall: Look it’s not the most mind-blowing barrel aged stout FW have released but it’s insanely sessional. How they mask the AbV like they do is seriously impressive. Dangerous! But impressive.

8 Wired Brewing ‘iStout’ Affogato Imperial Stout

Rating:

62216818_1105067969677347_3053648324990074880_n“The “i” might be in lower case, but beware – this is a capital beer. Brimming with luscious roasted coffee and chocolate malt flavours drizzled over a scoop of velvety ice cream. iStout Affogato is balanced by a brisk bitterness and bold, hoppy freshness, remixed by the addition of lactose, coffee, and vanilla in the brew.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Dense black with a finger of brown foam which quickly deconstructs. Still seeing a healthy lace as it ebbs though.

Aroma: Smells of deep roasted coffee, vanilla, licorice, molasses, ash, chocolate, treacle, burnt toast, earthy truffle and booze as it comes up to room temperature. For one of us this is our all time favorite desert and as much as it is brilliant we can’t really get the actual true Affogato character. It kind of gets a bit diluted in this dark forest of aromas. Still a bloody top notch aroma though.

Flavour: It kicks off with an assertive espresso bitterness paired with a bit of warming booze, raw cacao, dark chocolate and a subtle line of vanilla sweetness. The coffee enjoys a 2nd wind through the mid and as it surges toward the finish it picks up burnt toast and slight smoky notes then lands on bittersweet chocolate, coffee and charred earth.

Mouthfeel: Dense and muscly…yet rather silky. Pretty well carbonated for the style with the 10% AbV poking through at times.

Overall: It’s a superb stout but we can’t help thinking why they didn’t just keep it simple? An Affogato only require three things: coffee, vanilla ice cream and Frangelico (my preference anyway). Not going to complain it is a really solid offering.

Wicked Weed ‘El Paraiso’ BA Imperial Coffee Stout

Rating:

61475601_1098524066998404_5320470005836414976_n“For those who think paradise cannot be improved upon, we offer this liquid of extreme repose. Bourbon Barrel Aged El Paraiso is decadence encapsulated. Madagascaran vanilla layers with the bourbon barrel flavor in a flawless and intoxicating wave. Dark cocoa nibs and obsidian coffee lend a roasted indulgence fit for an island king. Transform your paradise, and slide in to the warmth and wonder that is Bourbon Barrel Aged El Paraiso.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a thumb of tan foam perched on top. The head holds together well and draws a nice lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Don’t know how many times we’ve said this over the years but the combination of coffee and dark beer makes for one of the best aromas known to man! Then add cocoa nibs to the mix and it’s a feast for the senses. It’s further complimented by a direct vanilla sweetness, woody oak and a distinct bourbon character from the barrel aging process. Caramel/toffee, maple syrup and coconut also creeping in as it warms. Good god!

Flavour: Plenty of bourbon, warming booze and woody oak tannins but where has all the decadent coffee, caramel and vanilla sweetness gone?! We can detect a bit of it but the intensity has completely dropped out. Some of the coffee tails in late but it’s more of a bitterness that pairs up with a hearty roast to finish things off. Good length on offer though.

Mouthfeel: Dense, oily and aggressive…the latter spurred on by the 11.5% AbV. Carbonation is low and the body is as full as a goog.

Overall: Brilliant aroma…not so brilliant palate. Which is such a shame because there was so much potential. That’s the 2nd one in as many weeks! We found the Dark & Stormy had the same issue. Thankfully we still have the Milk & Cookies to come – let’s hope it can break the cycle.

Wicked Weed ‘Milk & Cookies’ BA Imperial Milk Stout

Rating:
61329725_1099127483604729_6003428281880150016_n“Crafting the ultimate comfort beer was a winter challenge we happily embraced. Our Milk and Cookies Stout is a cold weather classic, and this version cranks up the comfort through barrel aging. We entrusted our Imperial Milk Sout with Golden raisins, cinnamon, and vanilla into the warming embrace of Kentucky Bourbon barrels to carry us home for the holidays. Relax. Drink up. You’re home.”
Glassware: Snifter.

 

Appearance: Dark brown/black with a 10mm dirty looking head that has plenty of fizz but recedes rather fast, leaving a tiny rim around the glass, made up of similar minute carbonation. Thin sets of rings left behind as it ebbs.

Aroma: The first thing that springs to mind is raisin toast! Just without the cholesterol building layer of melting butter on top. Big impressions of the bourbon barrels, cookie dough, Vegemite, Anzac biscuits, brown sugar, vanilla and booze. As it breathes a bit we detect the cinnamon spice, some chocolate alongside some lactose sweetness. Pretty lush. We can really get this Imperial Milk Stout that’s brewed with golden raisins, vanilla and cinnamon…hope to really detect golden raisin.

Flavour: We’ve recently found that the intensity of Wicked Weed’s big barrel aged pastry stouts have been lacking in flavour. This does not! This one follows on with the this delicious beer version of raisin toast. Booze heat which is not overbearing, moreish cookie dough, vanilla, Anzac biscuits, sweet cinnamon, roasted caramels and a biscuity cookie dough malt, milk chocolate, stewed fruit but it’s hard to detect golden raisins per se. The bourbon barrels really drive this bad boy all the way through to the finish.

Mouthfeel: Ridiculously smooth to taste. It’s 11.3% Alc volume! It’s hidden so well. Stickiness on the lips roughly half way through but not an overpowering sweetness. Minimal bitterness makes it so easy to keep gulping down. Full bodied with great length…namely that bourbon barrel heat. Carbonation minimal as expected.

Overall: Such a tasty stout. The highlights are the bourbon barrel aging that gives it a mustiness as well as the drinkability given its pretty hefty in alcohol volume. It’s rich, but not too sweet, nice use of the cinnamon…prominent but not overdone. Bloody delicious and hard to fault. Would love a tad more raisin but sheesh don’t want to be picky!

Hope Brewery Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Rating:

60294122_1089088771275267_5847992620868960256_n“Ball-Tearer Noun – Australian (informal). Something outstanding of its kind. Rich notes of vanilla and mocha arise from a distinctively dark body. Some careful barrel conditioning adds an edge of smoke and spice. Strong alcohol meets strong bitterness to carefully chisel a warming finish fitting of this ball-tearer of a Stout.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with faint cola edges. It notches up a short brown cap which persists and leaves healthy lace trails as it ebbs.

Aroma: Subtle yet complex aromas of vanilla and caramel sweetness, milk chocolate, tobacco, white marshmallow, musky notes and caramelized sugars. It also has this weird floral thing going on which is baffling…especially considering the style. A bit undecided at the moment.

Flavour: It continues with this vanilla-laden, musky and somewhat artificial sweetness alongside hints of toasty malt and very mild coffee. A hint of oak and warming booze roll in to a roasty finish with strange pear/apple notes on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full. Surprisingly smooth and hiding the 9.5% AbV quite well. Mild-moderate co2.

Overall: We’re not totally sold on it. If we’re drinking a BA Imperial Stout we want big and aggressive roast, bitter coffee, dark chocolate etc and we’re just not getting it here. Maybe the beer doesn’t suit the barrels? We love French oak but the vanilla and all round sweetness is over the top. Had better.

Wicked Weed ‘French Toast’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

60511329_1088055718045239_6535119566400389120_n“We don’t recommend trying to drink from a bottle covered in syrup. It’s difficult. Sticky, also. French Toast Imperial Stout has finally made its way into package. We loaded this with copious amounts of cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup. Available now at both the Brewpub and Funkatorium. Expect this in distro within the next couple weeks.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a finger of brown foam capping it off. The head retreats to the rim but still manages to weave a fine lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Oh wow…sweet sensory overload! If you were diabetic forget the insulin just keep a bottle of this in your pocket! It smells of maple syrup, caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, caramelized banana, cinnamon and melted chocolate. The time spent in bourbon barrels has further accentuated the spice and vanilla and added a slightly charred oak accent. Holy moly!

Flavour: It transitions with pin point precision. There’s a wave of caramelized sweetness upfront…we’re talking maple syrup, caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon. Yet behind it all there’s a roasty component which hints at espresso coffee, charred oak and dark chocolate. This all carries in to the finish and keeps going and going and going…

Mouthfeel: Big and boisterous. The body is dense and slick with the hefty 12.3% AbV adding some expected warmth. Mild-moderate co2.

Overall: That’s about as sweet as one could take it until it starts getting in to cloying territory. Thankfully this has just pulled up short. Gotta admit it though…we absolutely love it!

Ekim Brewing Special Release Oatmeal Stout

Rating:

57467771_1084954581688686_4747454238211178496_n“We are a small craft brewing company based in Sydney. All Ekim beers are unfiltered & unpasteurised; made in small batches with only malt, hops, yeast, water & a rebellion against mass produced brews.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As expected…impenetrable black with a short brown cap forming on top. It reduced to a halo which clings to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Beautifully rich and complex. The porridge-like oats come to the fore supported by mild roasted coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate, fresh vanilla bean, earthy spice, dark fruits and truffle. As it warms it develops this sharp molasses and or Vegemite quality which shows off the depth on offer here. Excellent aroma.

Flavour: It’s a little slow off the mark…we get a hint of metal initially but once it hits its stride we get that delicious roast, coffee, lightly charred malts, cocoa, dark chocolate and subtle vanilla. Maybe a touch of smoke/peat seeping through late in the piece. Oatmeal and porridge also making a late entrance as it finishes slightly dry, roasty and bitter sweet.

Mouthfeel: Metallic yet fairly soft and rounded. Much lighter than your average 6.8% stout.

Overall: This little microbrewery in northwest Sydney has a knack for brewing super clean and on point beers and this one is no exception! One of Sydney’s most underrated brewers in our opinion. Classy stuff.

Insel Braurei Baltic Stout

Rating:

59685822_1083686328482178_1490895225613189120_nNO DESCRIPTION

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Mat black with a finger of light brown foam atop. Decent retention and fine sudsy lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Initially it has a touch of metal/iron which is a shame. Thankfully it subsides and we get more of the blood pudding, leather, dark chocolate, coffee, licorice, clove and lightly charred malts. There is a hint of sweetness here too…fresh vanilla bean and maybe even a flutter of maple. It actually develops in to quite a nice aroma.

Flavour: Heavy on the iodine/metallic notes upfront. It mellows in to smoother and more rounded rum and raisin, licorice and almond. It’s actually rather hoppy…leaning towards the spicy and herbal spalt variety if we had to guess. Toasty, mildly sweet and malty finish.

Mouthfeel: We don’t want to say it’s thin but it’s dangerously close. Rather light on and metallic in texture. The upside is the 7.5% AbV is nicely tucked away.

Overall: To be honest we’re a little underwhelmed. That unwelcome metallic character is too prominent throughout and there really isn’t anything here that excites us. Just above average in our opinion.

Insel Braurei ‘Insel Kap’ Oatmeal Stout

Rating:

58372458_1078275025689975_7016163273716269056_nNO DESCRIPTION

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short and finely beaded brown cap. It forms a halo and leaves spotty lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: There’s an initial roasty bitterness which makes way for more sweeter notes like vanilla and lactose…yet even with that sweetness there’s an undertone of toasty malt and espresso coffee. We definitely detect the oatmeal with its distinctive grainy porridge-like characters. We totally understand how 19th century Europeans would consider this a healthy breakfast!

Flavour: Like the aroma it starts with a mild roasty bitterness which unfolds in to chocolate, coffee, a hint of cherry, porridge and toasty malts. Maybe a very subtle underlying smoky/peaty note here to. It finishes with a soft dry bitterness and faint roasted coffee on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat dry and grainy texture. Medium body with a touch of bitterness. Low IBU and a modest 5.6% AbV.

Overall: A decent oatmeal stout at a very good price. The outstanding aspect here (and across their whole range) is the artwork on the paper wrapping…very eye catching. We dig it.

Boatrocker 2019 ‘Ramjet’ BA Imperial Coffee Stout

Rating:

57008983_1070232043160940_5364499072797376512_n“Pretty much everyone knows our infamous Ramjet STARWARD whisky barrel aged imperial stout. It’s a big luscious beast of a beer, with lovely whisky notes, and delicious aromas and flavours of dark chocolate, coffee, and malt. Inspired by some classic overseas versions of Bourbon BA coffee beers, we wanted to create a uniquely Australian version, using the wonderful whisky barrels of STARWARD. So we decided to up the natural coffee character that is present in Ramjet by infusing the beer with whole dark roast coffee beans.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with two fingers of brown foam emerging over the top. It holds together well and weaves a decent lace down the glass.

Aroma: Holy moly this bad boy packs a punch! It honestly smells as good as the KBS with a certain emphasis on the coffee. It has this bourbon-bbq sauce scent to it which makes us want to throw it all over our next meat lovers pizza. Then there’s the added molasses, toffee, tree sap, licorice, vanilla, marzipan, coconut and tobacco. Brilliant!

Flavour: It comes on quite slow but it definitely intensifies. Initially bourbon and charred malts, coffee, booze and toasted coconut moving to campfire, molasses and vanilla sweetness. It keeps creeping forward with smoke/peat, charred earth and coffee finishing on a deep roasty note with subtle vanilla sweetness cutting in late.

Mouthfeel: Dense and meaty. Full bodied with that 11.2% AbV quite direct. Pure indulgence!

Overall: Without a doubt this is Australia’s best barrel aged stout. Up there with the likes of KBS, Bourbon County etc. Sensational.

Northern Monk X Against The Grain ‘Kentucky Shire’ Breakfast Stout

Rating:

54730296_1057502374433907_3598156676684840960_n“When looking to brew with our good friends from Against the Grain, we looked to brew an American classic but with a decidedly Yorkshire twist; and like our previous collaborations together, with a touch of Southern hospitality! The result? This delicious Anglo-American inspired stout!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with two fingers of creamy brown foam emerging on top. It holds its shape and weaves a fine lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Dark, roasty charred malts, coffee, peppers, nutmeg and chilli-infused dark chocolate. Definitely getting raw and almost bitter cacao working in to the mild campfire and peaty notes. Just a flutter of fresh vanilla bean hidden deep in there too.

Flavour: Nice transition from the nose. Big impressions of bitter roasted coffee, dark chocolate and cacao are brilliantly balanced by sweet vanilla and hints of chewy treacle. All the way through is this interesting spicy accent – best described as red peppers or some version of peppercorn – which carries in to the warming finish. Superb length on offer.

Mouthfeel: Not as meaty as were anticipating but still it holds up on the palate with a mild warmth from the 7.3% AbV. Mild-moderate co2.

Overall: It wasn’t just the potential KBS factor that led us to try this…it’s also the incredibly eye-catching artwork on the can that naturally stands out on the shelf. Definitely isn’t on KBS level but it’s still a worthy drop.

Wilkadene Woolshed ‘Firehouse’ Coffee Stout

Rating:

54727683_1054729138044564_1649706236997795840_n“The Riverland’s only coffee roaster comes to the brewery once a year to produce each batch of Firehouse Coffee Stout. Arrosto coffee use a unique cold extract method to produce a clean and fresh coffee flavour, using single origin Colombia beans.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with two fingers of loosely packed foam atop. It slowly deconstructs leaving a healthy lace clinging to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Luscious coffee emanating off the nose! It’s underlined by rich notes of chocolate, toasted marshmallow, mild roast, vanilla and toffee. We’ve noticed that the coffee drops out as it warms and is replaced by the sweetness of the vanilla and marshmallow. Love an evolving aroma!

Flavour: It seems that as it warms the coffee drops out in flavour too. It’s all roast upfront with a pinch of vanilla to balance it out. Hints of the marshmallow are there in the background as it picks up some coffee late in the piece. Nice finish with lingering roast, chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel: Rather light for a stout. There’s a lifted co2 that adds a bit of vibrancy to the texture. 5.6% AbV so she’s definitely on the milder side.

Overall: Look it’s a good drop but it’s a little too approachable in our opinion. We would have loved to see more body, more coffee and definitely some more roast. If someone was looking at taking their relationship with stouts to the next level then this would be a good option. Not bad.

Pirate Life X Limeburners BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

53377821_1045308418986636_6686031759265497088_n“The story of the Limeburners x Pirate Life Whisky Barrel Aged Stout truly begins many years ago when Great Southern Distillery founder Cameron Syme began to hear the tales of his rebellious Scottish ancestors, who gave up the whereabouts of their illegal distillery and used the reward money to start a new one. A successful career in law took him to the UK where he took every chance to visit the birthplace of whisky – Scotland. After years of research and planning Cameron distilled his first whisky in 2004 and hasn’t looked back since. Today Cameron’s team, led by distiller Benjamin Kagi, makes some of the best whiskies and gins in Australia.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a big and foamy three finger head forming on top. It gradually reduces to a thick overlay with a smattering of lace on the glass.

Aroma: Big, dense and viscous…as anticipated! The influence of the whisky is front and centre as it punches through with caramel, vanilla, a hint of spice and a honey-like sweetness. That all offsets the roasty and toasty elements of the stout beautifully. It’s quite amazing how they’ve managed such a pleasant nose considering the style.

Flavour: Absolutely delicious! This whisky is just made for this stout….the two combine incredibly well. There’s just the perfect amount of sweetness and spice in the whisky which is infused through the roasty, lightly charred and smoky notes and together they offer this decadent and super moreish flavour profile.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and full bodied. Unbelievably well hidden AbV (8.6%). Mild-moderate co2.

Overall: We among many others turned away from PL when they sold out but there is no denying the brilliance of this imperial stout. P.s let this baby warm up as she really reveals the true whisky notes once it does. Kudos PL!