“Big, dark, and beautiful. Bourbon on the nose with oak, vanilla, light coconut highlights. This beer is simply luscious. A rich Imperial Stout aged in rum barrels to give aromas of vanilla and freshly cut wood with smooth molasses and a warming spirit on the palate.”
Appearance: Impenetrable black. It forms a cm of dark brown foam which quickly retreats to the rim. Scattered lace as we imbibe.
Aroma: Rich and aggressive but well polished. Strong impressions of espresso, licorice, old leather and tobacco with a flutter of sweet dark fruits and vanilla to balance. The rum comes through gently with notes of caramel and burnt brown sugar. Delightful!
Flavour: Dead set spot on! Well tempered in its delivery of rich dark malts, espresso, tobacco and molasses. The subtle creamy vanilla, toasted coconut and sweet rum flavours balance it like a beer on a barrel!
Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth for its size (11.7%). Oily, warming and dense with medium-full body.
Appearance: Exactly like it’s twin – dense black but with a big and well kept two finger head. Laced a lot better as well.
Aroma: Wow the difference is really significant. The bourbon barrels are much more aggressive, more pronounced and oaky. It still displays plenty of raw earth, charred malt, licorice, peppery spice, toasted coconut and vanilla with super subtle dark fruits down deep.
Flavour: It has that complex fusion of dark chocolate, espresso, bourbon barrel, charred malts, toasted coconut, molasses and subtle vanilla. There’s a bit more of a booze burn but that can be forgiven for being a bit stronger.
Mouthfeel: Slightly different to its twin – it’s bigger, prickly and warming. Creamy and full bodied.
Overall: Two extremely impressive offerings from Hawkers. It is really hard to choose which is better, they both display their respective barrels impeccably. It is so encouraging to see Aussie brewers producing world class beers like these. We knew Hawkers had serious potential but they just went up a few more notches. Kudos!