“Murray’s iconic ‘Wild Thing’ Imperial Stout once again has been transformed – this year with luxurious Madagascar vanilla beans (the fruits of an orchid). Not to be underestimated – Wild Thing Vanilla is just as fierce as her sisters! Dominant lashings of roasted chocolate, aggressive bitterness and a silky smooth body, flavour and fragrance of soft, sweet vanilla.”
Served in a snifter. As predicted she pours as black as midnight with a finger of brown foam assembling on top. It doesn’t hang around for too long as it peels back to a halo which still manages a set of rings as it ebbs.
The aroma is big, dark, boozy and malty but there seems to be one key ingredient missing…the vanilla! Not to worry though as there is plenty to make up for it. We pick up hearty roasted malts, coffee, aniseed, truffle, chocolate and oh, hold the phone, there she is. As the beer settles in the glass the scent of fresh vanilla bean begins to come through. Well worth the wait too because it ain’t no fake vanilla that’s the real deal.
In the mouth it’s dense, luscious and full bodied. Jeez it’s almost edible! Low co2 with a relatively well concealed 10% ABV.
The flavour profile is just as enormous with roasted malts, dark chocolate and alcohol getting a boost by a somewhat astringent bourbony sweetness. The delicious vanilla bean reenters the fray with its soothing, licorice-esque texture that leads in to the rich and boozy finish. Excellent length shown here.
Big, big beer. If you’re unsure whether you like stouts then our advice would be to give this a wide berth as there’s enough size here to make Dirk Diggler jealous. We feel it could have done a with a bit more vanilla but ultimately it’s a pretty damn good stout. One that would surely warm up the bones in the middle of winter.