Hawkers ’21 BBA Imperial Stout – Coffee Edition


“Is there as harmonious a match than between coffee and imperial stout? Add in the many months’ rest in ex-bourbon barrels and you’ve got the divine trinity from the ethereal Book of Stout.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a thumb of light brown foam emerging on top. Good retention and healthy lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: We haven’t been blown away by this mixed barrel series so far but this could be the turning point! Man this fusion of coffee into the bourbon and oak is mind-blowing. This is what the previous releases (straight Impy, Bourbon and Rum barrel) were missing – that one feature flavour to bring it all together. And in this instance the coffee is that bridge between a passable barrel aged Impy Stout and a world world class one. Superb.

Flavour: One thing we’ve found across this series is the way they’ve hidden the booze. This expression highlights it thoroughly. The way it slides on to the palate with this silky smooth texture but then explodes with bourbon oak, coffee, dark chocolate, spice, toffee, molasses, charred malt and ganache is simply incredible. The roll on into the decadent, bourbon-fuelled yet smooth and roasty finish is just divine.

Mouthfeel: Not as thick and chewy as we’d expected. A higher carb is here but it doesn’t mess with the overall silky texture. Medium-full body, 12.9% ABV.

Overall: They’ve found their niche here. Their BBA Imperial Stout was good but their BBA Stout with ‘X’ flavour is where they should be aiming going forward. This is more like it!