Hawkers 2021 BBA Imperial Stout


“Having slumbered in ex-bourbon barrels for over 8 months, this imperial stout has awoken with resurrected ferocity and ramped up flavours of bourbon and vanilla. Drink now or cellar for another day—the choice is entirely yours, however there’s nothing like having one now and cellaring a second one for later.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pours solid black with a brown three finger head which maintains its shape. Excellent lacing clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Smells freakin incredible! The way the bourbon pops but is so nicely fused through is testament to the brewers. Behind the magnificent bourbon are decadent notes of vanilla, caramel/toffee, mixed spice and bourbon oak. The base Stout is solid too; dark chocolate, molasses, a hint of licorice and coffee. Some gamey characters as well. Brilliant aroma…really complex with lots of depth.

Flavour: Not as perfectly refined as the aroma but it’s still delicious. The bourbon has slightly rougher edges but the sweet vanilla and toffee/caramel keeps it in check. Bitter dark chocolate, ash, raw coffee bean, tobacco and licorice all combine to provide a sturdy bottom end. Some warmth late in the piece then punctuating on a roasty, charred and bourbon-infused finish. Excellent duration too.

Mouthfeel: Pretty fierce, sharp and dense. Medium-full body. Low-ish Co2. The 12.8% ABV is fairly noticeable but at that weight it’s fair enough!

Overall: We were so close to giving this mixed barrel series a miss solely on its price point. Almost $30 a can is ridiculous (luckily we get them a bit cheaper!). For the price we honestly can’t say that this expression is worth it but, and that’s a big but, it’s pretty impressive and glad we took the leap.