“What we’ve got here is an imperial stout brewed with a massive amount of coffee and chocolates, then cave-aged in oak bourbon barrels for an entire year to make sure wonderful bourbon undertones come through in the finish. Makes your taste buds squeal with delight.”
Served in to a wide rimmed tulip glass. As anyone would expect, this monster pours pitch black with a finger of brown foam forming on top. The short head retains really well and leaves a nice trail of thick, blotchy lace on the glass as we imbibe. The moment you put the beer to your nostrils it’s instant excitement. Rich, voluptuous wafts of dark chocolate, espresso, oak, bourbon, charred malts, chocolate bullets, spice, alcohol and Christmas cake just billow out of the glass. A lovely vanilla sweetness ties in beautifully along with a kind of creamy lactose undertone that takes the edge off the huge roasted notes. Oh…it’s simply indulgence in a glass. So good. The mouth feel is slick, oily and sharp with a developing warmth from the 12.4% ABV. Bitterness is kept low and the body is medium-full. Quite a pronounced bourbon bite on the front palate. Hints of oak work their way through indistinctly as an espresso bitterness begins to open up early midway. As this baby warms she becomes more viscous and complex, really taking on the bourbon and oak firmly as burnt chocolate and a touch of molasses joins the party. A delicious dark fruitiness imparts flavours of alcohol soaked raisin and or prunes before an extremely lengthy finish offers everything from bourbon, oak, chocolate, coffee, licorice and a lingering alcohol warmth on the rear. How does one sum up a beer like this? Well, for starters it’s quite rare so if you’re agile enough to get your hands on one (don’t just buy one) then cherish it, lay one down for a year, as we plan to do, and see how the flavours mature. Remember to leave it out of the fridge for about 20 mins before opening, she gets better as it comes up to room temperature. Character-wise it’s flawless. The only downside is seeing the bottom of the glass as we take our last sip. Just world class stuff.