Category Archives: Stout

Bottle Logic ‘More Time To Explain’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Late last year we blazed through an unexpected hit of a canned sweet stout release — there were astronauts and maple syrup! There were grizzly bears and blueberries! There were DeLoreans! There was No Time to Explain! We’ve applied that absurdly delicious finishing treatment to a mix of Fundamental Observation barrels filled throughout 2018, 2019, and 2020, then blended with a chewy, lactose-based sweet stout for a liquid that can only rightly be called: More Time to Explain!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short and wispy brown head that quickly retreats to the rim. Scarce lacing as we hook in.

Aroma: We look at BL’s Stasis Project the same way we look at ecstasy…intense satisfaction but with an unpleasant come down. The thing is though, with the Stasis Project, it doesn’t look like there’s a come down anywhere in sight! It just bounces into this next palatable experience with a tonne of sweet yet tart blueberry, indulgent maple, vanilla/lactose, spicy Bourbon/oak, sweet coffee and dark chocolate. Oooft!

Flavour: Heavens above. The palate is in a mad scramble trying to work out what has just been put before it. The blueberries play a major role, really emphasising that tart yet sweet juiciness. The maple and vanilla/lactose come in hard with further sugary sweetness but it’s so perfectly balanced by the spicy Bourbon, woody oak, coffee and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Dense, muscly and almost soupy…although it does thin out once it warms. Low Co2 and a dangerously unnoticeable 12.4% ABV.

Overall: Nothing else to add really. BL are bloody maestro’s and this BA Brekky Stout is the perfect example why.

Deeds ‘Give Me Shelter’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“The storm continues to pound, but our traveller has no choice but to venture on. In the distance, you see a gaping dark mouth. The cave offers respite but even with a flint there’ll be no fire as everything is frozen, it’ll be dark, cold and damp. Even so, your pace quickens as a way out of the elements grows nearer…This Imperial Stout was aged in Bourbon Barrels for 12 months and then conditioned on pecan and vanilla pods resulting in thick chocolate notes, backed by vanilla, coconut, whiskey, and oak.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black pour with two fingers of finely beaded brown foam converging over the top. Good retention and lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: These guys just get better and better with every BA stout they release. This expression has the perfect amount of bourbon/barrels coursing through it. The addition of pecans is a bloody master stroke too…the sweet and nutty profile compliments the bourbon exceptionally, and then the vanilla rams it home. Not to even mention the brilliance of the base Stout. World class stuff right here.

Flavour: Upfront it’s just this mass of unbelievably rich deliciousness. It’s not until early in the mid-palate does the pecan begin to break away and lead the charge. Followed closely by the bourbon oak, vanilla/coconut, dark chocolate, espresso and charred wood. The finish is considerably smoother than anticipated and chock-full of bourbon, oak, chocolate, vanilla and toasted pecans.

Mouthfeel: Thick but not soupy…just the right amount of viscosity. Low-ish Co2 and a well behaved 13% ABV.

Overall: Here we were obviously reading too much in to Deeds’ ramblings about Desperate Invocation being their last release in this BA series. You could only imagine our delight when this new one dropped. Keen em comin!

Pure project ‘Situational Gravity’ Imperial Stout w Coffee & Vanilla

Rating:

“Introducing the third in our new series of core stouts, Situational Gravity. We added organic La Cañada coffee from Oaxaca, Mexico (roasted by our friends at Mostra) and organic Tahitian and Mexican vanilla beans to this imperial stout, resulting in a multi-faceted sensory experience. Aromas of vanilla bean ice cream, dark chocolate, coffee, and blueberry wine give way to flavours of rich chocolate ganache, espresso and caramel amidst a full body and velvety mouthfeel.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black with a wispy brown overlay which quickly forms a collar. Minimal lacing as we imbibe.

Aroma: Never have we met such a rich and delicious Imperial Stout where we don’t have much more to add other than what’s on the label. This is just an impressive straight up Imperial Stout filled out with sweet espresso coffee and spicy vanilla bean. Maybe some molasses, cigar box and licorice in there too. Peeled back but still very opulent.

Flavour: Holy moly it’s almost edible. Rich chocolate mud cake vibes but nicely lifted by the spicy vanilla and espresso coffee. Picking up small doses of molasses, licorice and treacle/toffee along with fleeting notes of fairy floss and raw cacao. Rich chocolate brownie also comes to mind as it finishes with pure thick chocolatey extravagance.

Mouthfeel: Beer soup. Probably to the point where it’s overcooked. Literally, you could spoon this out of a bowl and slurp it. Co2 is kept low and the 11.5% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: We’re all for viscosity when it comes to Stouts in general but this one might just be tipping the scales, even for us! Great flavour and aroma…it’s just too thicccccc

Bottle Logic ‘Ghost Proton ’22’ BA Imperial Pastry Stout

Rating:

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black pour with a wispy brown head emerging on top. It quickly forms a collar which leaves a fine lace in its wake.

Aroma: Heavens to Betsy! Can these guys stop being so damn good!? It just has everything working in unison. Firstly the Bourbon – sweet, spicy and woody. Then there’s the Stout base – chocolate, coffee, licorice, cacao, and then the adjuncts – soft, sweet and sugary marshmallow, caramel, cinnamon and spicy vanilla. Ooopht!

Flavour: If this doesn’t get your eyes rolling in the back of your head then we don’t know what will. Incredible depth and complexity here. It pretty much has everything we’d want in a big BA Pastry Stout…a big hearty Stout base, enough sugary adjuncts to fill a candy shop, spices and woody oak coated in a delicious Bourbon sweetness. Perfection.

Mouthfeel: Heavy but quite oily too so it doesn’t have that thick, soupy texture to it. Low-ish Co2, full bodied, the 13.5% ABV…well, it’s discernible but of course it is!

Overall: Hot damn. We’re gonna call it. This is the best of the lot from the last shipment to Aus. It’s beer drugs. We need more but we can’t afford it!

Stockade ‘Old Money – Reserve Rare Cask’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“These barrels were once lost in the in the brewery delivery of our inaugural 2016 Old Money release. The taste is amazing. Six years in American Oak Bourbon barrels have made this richer and even more complex than before with notes of rich dark chocolate, peppercorn spice, and Turkish coffee combined with rolling bourbon and oak flavors. Rejoice, you are one of the privileged few that are able to enjoy this extremely rare limited release.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a rapidly vanishing brown head. No head so no lacing.

Aroma: Definitely smells complex. Kinda has this sharp ink-like astringency that’s mostly woken up when the liquid is disturbed. If the glass is kept idle the aroma is next level. It has this old sauna room musty-ness, rich licorice and molasses, sweet and spicy Bourbon, dark chocolate and spicy coffee. Quite salty too…we wouldn’t go as far as soy sauce but it’s close. Wow.

Flavour: That sharp, almost tart astringency follows it over. The good thing is it eventually tapers off and is replaced by a big dose of spicy oak-infused Bourbon. As it rolls on it shifts through sweet espresso, dark chocolate, boozy licorice/molasses and charred wood then it finishes with mildly bitter coffee, Bourbon oak and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Dense, oily and viscous. Mildly carbed, full bodied. The 12.5% is understandably noticeable.

Overall: Pretty cool back story to this. We can only imagine the reaction when they stumbled upon this hidden treasure! Although still very rich and complex the extra years in barrel have certainly mellowed it all out. Solid offering.

Bottle Logic ‘Darkstar November ’21’ BA Imperial Rye Stout

Rating:

“Like the Stealth aircraft that inspired it, this bourbon barrel aged stout is shrouded in mystery. While its secrets may remain hidden forever, you hold in your hand a piece of the puzzle.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a short dark brown head which collapsed rather quickly. It forms a thin ring around the edge of the glass and only manages a sporadic wet lace as we go.

Aroma: The depth on offer here is remarkable. At first we’re getting a sharp, yeasty/molasses-like note which is super rich in its delivery. Dry and spicy rye malts do a sterling job at cutting through it though. Some heat from the 14% ABV, black peppery spice and bourbon finished off with suggestions of licorice, espresso and ash. Come at me!

Flavour: Wow the licorice aspect which was merely a back-note on the nose pushes its way up to the front here. Certainly spurred on by the similar tasting notes of molasses, star anise, fennel seed and even a bizarre hint of chamomile. It works though! Loving the spicy/peppery rye factor then the sweet and spicy Bourbon kicks into gear, finishing roasty yet kinda sweet and spicy with a lingering tobacco-esque earthiness.

Mouthfeel: Noticeably lighter on the palate… oily, smooth and silky. Medium-full body, low-ish Co2. 14% ABV is well behaved for its size.

Overall: Once again, very impressive stuff from BL. It didn’t really have the penetration that other Stasis Project releases have had in the past but it’s still a very respectable drop.

Bottle Logic ‘Lost Coordinates ’22’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Project Brief: Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels with a vanilla bean blend. This three-vanilla bean blend is the grand finale of our Fundamental Coordinates vanilla showcase series. The base liquid is a diligently selected blend of Fundamental Observation 2019 for a little extra-aged complexity and Double Mash Fundamental Observation brews from 2020 for a chewy, silky body. Once our favourite casks were selected, they were aged with a combination of Cook Island, Comoros, and Costa Rican vanilla. Floral aromas (Cook Island) melt into sun-soaked dates and raisin on the mid-palate (Costa Rica), with a nutty, brown butter-chocolate finish (Comoros).”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a rapidly vanishing brown head. Minimal lace as we go but you know what, we wouldn’t have a monstrous BA Impy Stout any other way.

Aroma: We don’t claim to be Nostradamus but we can already tell this is going to be an absolute pearler. The sheer complexity and layer upon layer of rich malt, bourbon and decadent sweetness is a dead give away! Really tickles the nostrils too…at 14.5% ABV we can’t be surprised by that. Ridiculous amounts of caramelised dark fruits but it’s just so insanely well balanced by the spicy Bourbon and rich roasty malt. Oooft!

Flavour: Holy hell where do we even begin? Seriously, we’re lost for words right now, this is freakin amazing. It’s like this ominous advancement of Bourbon-infused rich dark malts with molasses, Barleywine-like residual sugars and spicy vanilla protruding off a big black mass. The warming booze comes in and out and then it finishes with a spicy Bourbon sweetness, mildly bitter roast and a good old fashioned sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Thick-set, oily kind of viscosity. Low-ish Co2. The 14.5% ABV was quite noticeable throughout.

Overall: This was something else. We don’t say that lightly either. The intensity was off the charts but they just managed to keep a lid on it. Delicious and decadent but bloody dangerous!

Bottle Logic ‘The Fourth Wall’ Imperial Sweet Stout

Rating:

“Almond Joy-inspired sweet stout brewed with lactose, cacao nibs, fresh and toasted coconut, with sliced and roasted almonds.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As expected, an impenetrable black pour with two fingers of finely beaded foam nestled in on top. Good head retention and healthy lace as we go.

Aroma: We must say the almond/nutty side of it is really noticeable. In a good way of course! There’s also fairly prominent scents of peanuts, hazelnut and pecan. Simply loving the coconut aspect. The cacao nibs are a little muted and the lactose isn’t as sweet as we’d anticipated but don’t for one minute think that’s a criticism as there’s already enough happening.

Flavour: The nutty flavours are getting most of the attention again. Actually the sweet milk sugars/lactose have been beefed up here…we can really taste the creamy vanilla-esque sweetness it brings. It dips into a quick roasty note but not before the nicely tempered sweetness takes hold and steers it all into a sweet, nutty and toasty finish which dries out the longer it sits.

Mouthfeel: Sturdy with a high viscosity. Co2 is rightfully kept low and the 10% ABV is well behaved.

Overall: It’s getting to that point where we couldn’t decide whether BL or The Bruery holds the crown for Pastry Stouts. Both equally as good but both equally expensive AF! Haha.

Bottle Logic ‘Mint Condition’ Imperial Mint Stout

Rating:

“Mint Condition is a 10% dessert stout inspired by mint chocolate chip ice cream. Brewed with lactose, chocolate malts, and mint, then finished through 95lbs of TCHO Chocolate Ecuadorian cacao nibs — this beer is just dead-on ice cream. It’s utterly perfect.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a finger of brown foam resting atop. The head gradually recedes and forms a ring which draws a wavy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: This is literally like boozy after dinner mints in a glass. Usually, we get turned off when these kinds of beers get artificial, but this may well be an exception. The mint aspect resembles creamy mint frosting then the big Stout base comes through with dark chocolate, molasses, cocoa and chocolate biscuit. Hot damn this is gonna be mint! ????

Flavour: Wooowwwww! We don’t think an Imperial Mint Stout could be brewed better than this. It’s literally a mirror image of the aroma. Tasting like a boozy after dinner mint in liquid form but the clincher is the 10% ABV is so well buried. At no stage does it decelerate either…it’s just an absolutely delicious mint-infused, dark chocolate biscuit in liquid form from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly light texture for the style. It still feels like it has weight to it though. Low-ish Co2 and a very well hidden ABV.

Overall: There really isn’t much more to say. This is bloody superb. If you (like one of us) could easily sit down and polish off a packet of Mint Slice biscuits in one sitting, then wrap your laughing gear around one of these. It will cost you a little bit (roughly $30-35 bucks a can) but it is worth every cent. Magnificent.

Bottle Logic ‘Leche Mole’ Imperial Sweet Stout

Rating:

“Chocolate Mole-Inspired Sweet Stout • 10.6% ABV • Leche Mole is a mocha milk stout brewed with lactose and finished through cacao nibs and a medley of Anaheim, Ancho, Chipotle, and Guajillo chili peppers for a rich, chocolate mole-toned flavor.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a wispy brown overlay which disappears almost instantly. And where’s there’s no head there’s no lace.

Aroma: Well she’s definitely deep and complex. Not only can we get the heat from the chilli’s but we can pick up the capsaicin (the ingredient which gives chilli its red capsicum aroma and flavour) as well. Then there’s the rich notes of raw cacao, molasses, creamy lactose, spicy vanilla bean, cinnamon, white pepper and a very faint hint of Vegemite all competing for the attention of the olfactory’s. Ooft!

Flavour: Bottle Logic hey…these guys are freakin masters. There’s a really short cameo of sweet lactose/vanilla and what seems like either maple or honey before the tidal wave of heat from the chilli encapsulates it all. What’s impressive is behind the chilli’s are the robust flavours of heavily roasted malts, coffee, raw cacao, nutty chocolate and peppery spice which all extend into the long and fiery finish.

Mouthfeel: Extremely dense and muscly. Full body, low carbonation. The 10.2% ABV is well hidden by the heat from the chilli.

Overall: Once again we thank not only BL for being so awesome but Carwyn Cellars for having the amazing nouse to get these world class beers to our shores again. High fives all round.

Banks ‘Pecan Can’ BA Imperial Pastry Stout

Rating:

“Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Pastry Stout. Conditioned on toasted pecans, marshmallow fluff, toasted coconut, and vanilla bean after being aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. We advise sharing and enjoying this luxurious, intricate, and utterly excellent barrel-aged stout slowly, like a great wine, to allow the beer to open and highlight the lovely components on exhibited by this special brew Contains lactose.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black pour with a short and finely beaded brown cap. It gradually reduces and settles at the rim. Nice legs on the glass as we hook in.

Aroma: Smells good. Exceptional balance between the sweet and spicy Bourbon/oak and the rich, roasted malt structure. The toasted pecans are pretty subtle…picking up their nutty and mildly woody profile which is impressive considering everything else happening within the beer already. Definitely getting the coconut and vanilla too. The marshmallow opening up later on. Wow, it’s all here.

Flavour: Pow! Is this The Bruery or Banks?! They’ve hit this one outta the park. Seriously complex upfront – super roasty, nutty but also a tad sweet from the vanilla, marshmallow, Bourbon/oak etc. Actually the latter really doesn’t show through a whole lot but it’s not that big of a deal as it’s so incredibly well layered with everything else. A nice big roasty bitterness to finish too.

Mouthfeel: Dense AF. Full bodied, low-ish Co2. The 10% ABV is well integrated.

Overall: Just pure Pastry Stout goodness. Absolutely jam packed with flavour and character. Tell ya what if they could’ve pulled more out of the Bourbon barrels it’d be an easy 10. Still, a very impressive offering.

The Garden Brewery Double Imperial Affogato Stout

Rating:

“Huge pastry stout inspired by the Italian classic. Laden with cold-brew Espresso, Cacao Nibs, Tonka Beans, Milk Sugar and Madagascan Vanilla pods.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black complexion with a rapidly vanishing head. No head = no lacing.

Aroma: Our quest to find an Affogato Stout that even remotely tastes like Affogato now brings us to the Garden Brewery. And on first acquaintance we’re not overly impressed. We get this weird and unnecessarily sweet confectionary character that doesn’t resemble Affogato at all. Once we break it down we do pick up the Tonka beans, vanilla and coffee but it just doesn’t vibe.

Flavour: OK it’s gelling a bit more here. The Stout base has turned up and is now offering a bit of bottom end – raw cacao, espresso coffee and chocolate. Still, this weird artificial sweetness we got on the nose is spoiling it. Kinda reminds us of a nutty syrup (probably their way of promoting the liqueur aspect). Then it all drops into a weak and molasses-like finish which ain’t working.

Mouthfeel: Nice and slick, medium-full body. Co2 is spot on. The 10.7% ABV is well concealed. This is probably the best part of the beer.

Overall: Well the quest continues. Seriously, why is it so effin hard to find a Stout that can portray the basic flavours of an Affogato?! We think this is our 5th attempt with no joy. Good thing we’re committed!

La Sirene X Starward ‘Dark Star 2.0’ BA Chocolate Stout

Rating:

“Part 2 of our long standing collaboration with one of the pioneers of Australian Whisky. DARK STAR is our well-known Praline that has been thoughtfully aged in freshly disgorged premium STARWARD whisky barrels for 12 months.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Matte black with an extremely fizzy brown head which disappears rather quickly. Only the finest of rings is left and there’s no surprises that it doesn’t lace one bit.

Aroma: We remember all those years ago when the OG Praline Stout was released. Way back before the explosion of Pastry Stouts. We recall being blown away so it’s really cool to see this barrel aged expression. Big wafts of Belgian chocolate, hazelnut, nougat and toffee upfront (just as the original did). The Starward whiskey is nicely woven through…adding a touch of Port/Red Wine, Apera/Sherry, orchard fruits oak and spice.

Flavour: Hhhmmm we had an inkling it was going to display a bit of tartness and it does. Thankfully it’s only a short cameo and the nutty, chocolatey and caramel-filled middle washes over. There’s a slight bitterness and a robust roasted malt which sets up for a nutty, mildly roasty and vinous finish which lingers on the back palate nicely.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light and effervescent. A little pucker on the lips too. Medium body. The 6.3% ABV is uncommonly low for a BA Stout. We don’t mind it though.

Overall: Not as thrilled by it as we had hoped. Starward are yet to produce a whiskey we like though so that could have something to do with it. The Praline Stout base was the best part in our opinion.

De Molen ‘Mout & Mocca’ Imperial Coffee Stout

Rating:

“Bourbon infused coffee imperial stout-ish, released at Borefts Beer Festival 2019.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black with a thin tan head that quickly fades. It forms a wafer thin ring and unsurprisingly lacks in the lacing department.

Aroma: Smells good but quite muted. We get subtle soy sauce/Vegemite which usually indicates age and funnily enough this bad boy was bottled in November ’18. Normally we’re not averse to buying already aged Stouts (actually, we actively seek them out) but buying one expecting it be fresh-ish then receiving this reflects poorly on the bottlo. Anywho…we press on.

Flavour: We’re not totally sure if the beer has turned or not. The big roasty base, dark chocolate and coffee is certainly detectable but they’re tired and as it progresses the subtle Vegemite and soy sauce creeps in and somewhat spoils it. The finish is still nice and roasty, chocolatey and the coffee features rather well.

Mouthfeel: Pretty full, chewy, a tad oily. Low-ish Co2. The 10% ABV is very neatly tucked away.

Overall: Our guess is this Stout is right on its turning point. 4 years isn’t too bad for a non-barrel aged Impy Stout so no ill feelings toward the brewery. We do feel a little ripped off by the bottlo though, at the very least they should make buyers aware of its age. Especially when paying full price!

Working Title ‘Seduction’ BBA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“An Imperial Stout boasting 12 different malts and hopped with Simcoe and Columbus. It was aged for 16 weeks in Makers Mark bourbon barrels and then split three ways to create three different, yet complementary brews. Coffee and cacao add complexity to this iteration, highlighting the pine and woody notes, while silky smooth vanilla rounds things out.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black with a finger of tan foam resting atop. Reasonably good retention and a fine lace in its wake.

Aroma: This already smells 100x better than Temptation, although we must take in to account the addition of the trifecta (coffee, chocolate and vanilla). These 3 adjuncts – even by themselves – are game changers so we won’t get too carried away. Anywho, those 3 magnificent aromas are backed up by a healthy dose of Bourbon/oak and the base Stout is bloody brilliant.

Flavour: It’s coming unstuck a little bit here. Granted, the trifecta of adjuncts, the Bourbon/oak and the rich, roasty Stout base make for a big and hearty beer but the lack of cohesion throws cold water on it all. Still even with said lack of cohesion the intensity of the ingredients refuse to take a backward step and march right into a rich, robust and roasty finish which draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Slightly rigid but full bodied, oily and dense. Low-ish Co2 and an intermittent warmth from the 10% ABV.

Overall: So as one would expect it’s far better than the un-flavoured base version (Temptation). Not bad but not great.

Working Title ‘Temptation’ BBA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“An Imperial Stout boasting 12 different malts and hopped with Simcoe and Columbus. It was aged for 16 weeks in Makers Mark bourbon barrels and then split three ways to create three different, yet complementary brews. This batch is just straight-up delicious Imperial Stout with no extra additions, allowing the barrel influence to shine through.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black with two fingers of light brown foam emerging on top. Good retention and healthy lace work as it ebbs.

Aroma: We honestly don’t know what to expect from this little BA Imperial Stout series. We recall a few years ago having an awful Stout from these guys but then they go and brew one of the best Stouts for GABS ’21 (or 2022. Forgive us our memories of those nights are a bit hazy…as you could imagine 😉). The first few whiffs are unfortunately uninspiring. Lackluster Stout base and shy Bourbon/oak notes. Hhmm.

Flavour: Thankfully it picks up a bit here. We’re getting some much-loved ferocity from the charred malts and dark chocolate along with hints of sweet and spicy honey and nutty/toasty oak from the Maker’s Mark barrels. On that, Maker’s Mark are very impressive barrels to acquire and were not 100% sold that they’re getting the full potential out of them. Whether they’re first use or not hasn’t been disclosed so our guess is that they’re not.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full, muscly and oily. Co2 is right on the money and the 10% ABV is intermittent.

Overall: Look, it’s nowhere near Deeds or Boatrocker level but it’s OK. We’d say more on par with the Hawkers stuff – decent but with some flaws. A real positive with this is its price point (around $12 a tinny) which is very affordable. Unlike uh hum…Hawkers.

Fox Friday ‘On The Couch’ Imperial Stout

Rating:

NO COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Dense black with a fizzy three finger head which breaks over the rim. It takes an age to recede but as it does it leaves a magnificent wavy lace on the glass.

Aroma: Oh wow this is intense. Straight off the bat the vicious roasted malts throw out everything from espresso coffee and dark chocolate to raw cacao and charred wood. Then, like sun breaking through dark clouds, the heavenly toasted coconut and spicy vanilla lightens the vibe. We can’t wait any longer we’re going in for a taste.

Flavour: Well the intensity is unrelenting. Very fierce, quite bitter and a bit of a sting from the 9.1% ABV as well. That on top of the heavily roasted malt, espresso coffee and dark chocolate certainly makes for the more adventurous Stout drinker. Unfortunately the toasted coconut and vanilla has been drowned out and is hard to even pick up. Alas, it still surges into a burnt, bitter and warming finish which goes the distance.

Mouthfeel: Big and hefty. Nicely carbed though so it feels lighter than it actually is. Medium-full body. The 9.1% ABV shows through a bit too much for our liking.

Overall: Some definite strong points but also some weaker ones too. But hey, for $12 a tinny we ain’t gonna complain! That is very sharply priced for what it is.

3 Ravens ‘Nevermore’ Mulled Stout

Rating:

“Nevermore are small batch seasonal beers brewed just once. This sweet stout is gently spiced and designed to be drunk hot.
Method: Pour the beer into a saucepan and gently heat to around 60C before decanting carefully to a heavy glass or warm mug. Be careful not to overheat it! Optional extras: a teaspoon of honey, brown sugar or malt powder; a nip of whiskey or brandy. Serving suggestion: Garnish with a slice of orange and/or a cinnamon quill. Enjoy!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Matte black with a short tan head which disappears pretty quick. Minimal lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Pretty interesting beer this one…we bought it purely on intrigue. To see what the differences are we thought we’d pour half into a glass cold and heat the other half up to 60°c as suggested on the can. So the aroma of the cold pour gives off copious amounts of spice, licorice, molasses and salted caramel. Soft bourbon notes come through as well. The aroma when heated up offers more of the same, just with added creaminess, warm air and dirty socks 😂

Flavour: So far the little experiment has been a fail so hopefully it turns around here. This time we’re going to go the other way around and try the hot version first: immediately we’re thinking dark beer tea. It’s really warm and comforting and the spice, licorice and sugary sweetness certainly displays the mulled vibe well. It just seems wrong to be drinking beer at this temperature. When cold the spice, licorice, molasses and Brandy-esque flavours are notably stronger. And we must say more pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Warm: much thinner and creamier. Cold: a bit more rigid and fuller in body.

Overall: Points for such an edgy and clever beer. Did they pull it off? Hhmm not really in our opinion. The hot version lacked flavour cohesion and the cold version, although better, was still a tad thin and baseless. Very cool idea though.

Deeds ‘The Fourth Horseman’ Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Dark and thick, our 2022 Imperial Stout is reminiscent of old timey chocolate milk, where they used to melt bars down and add cream right into the cauldron. Built upon this sweet base are layers of heavy chocolate, coffee, and balancing booze on the back end. The fourth beer to be released upon the world in our straight Imperial Stout series is a nod to the skeletal rider upon the Pale Horse, wielding his scythe. Death, the fourth and final of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As expected it’s as black as midnight with a firm brown head. Excellent retention and healthy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Just a straight up hostile and vicious old-school style Imperial Stout. It’s throwing out everything from heavily charred malt, burnt wood, dark chocolate and coffee to some lighter and more congenial vanilla sweetness, burnt caramel, toffee and white marshmallow. Some more delicate hints of ash, chocolate powder and black forest cake just for extra measure!

Flavour: Man these guys really know how to brew a killer stout! We’re loving the old-school, peeled back nature of it…brimming with heavily roasted malt goodness – bitter dark chocolate, cocoa powder, burnt vanilla, toffee/treacle, espresso coffee, ash and a soft smoky note. It doesn’t wither either…this bloc of robust and fiery flavour surges into the charred and warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Dense and viscous, full bodied and with low-ish Co2. Although it weighs in at 12% ABV the booze is pretty well behaved.

Overall: Well what can we say, Deeds keep producing in the Impy Stout department. When they brew base versions like this it’s no wonder their BA versions are the best in the country.

Mountain Culture ‘Way Of the Road’ Imperial Maple Stout

Rating:

“Knowing this beer would be released on Canada Day, eh, we decided to finally brew with an adjunct we have been eager to use since the early days of Mountain Culture – poutine! No, we mean maple syrup. We use a bankrupting amount of the liquid gold both in primary and secondary fermentation to aggrandise the sweet character of this beer and to complement the rich, malt driven body and flavours of chocolate and coffee. Be mindful though, one too many of these and you may find yourself living in the back of a broken down truck and using milk jugs not for their intended purpose.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a short and fizzy brown cap. The head gradually fades and settles at the rim with little to no lacing as we go.

Aroma: We’ve now said it multiple times that we were going to steer clear of reviewing MC beers but sometimes they brew beers that are too damn irresistible. Example A right here! What they don’t normally do, though, is miss the mark and it appears that’s the case here. The description on the can states a ‘bankrupting amount” of maple was used but it’s still way too subtle for us. Considering it’s an Imperial Maple Stout!

Flavour: Again, the maple is there but it’s agonisingly weak up against the rich Stout base. Big, roasty flavours dominate with chocolate, coffee, singed wood and earth then the shy caramelised sweetness of the maple tries its best to counteract. This unfortunate little set of events carries forward into a rather bitter, roasted and mildly sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Oily yet fairly chewy texture. Medium-full body and perfectly carbed. The 10% ABV is pretty well concealed for its size.

Overall: Not sure what’s happened here. DJ is nothing short of a maestro, but it seems his Stouts can sometimes fall short on expectations. Very average for his standards.