Newstead Brewing ‘Working Title’ 2019 Solera Stout


“13 months ago, we brewed a seductive, smoky stout. Where chocolate and caramel flavours, with a minty spice, were balanced by a subtle cherrywood smoke character. This beer was aged in used tequila barrels, to garner a mouth-coating oak element. One month ago, we brewed that very same beer… and this is where the fun starts. Blending portions of old and young beer, allowed us to perfect the balance of chocolate, oaks, spice and smoke. The rest of the young beer, was used to fill up the old barrels, so the beer can effectively live on. Forever evolving, as each year we take portions out, only to add young beer into the barrels.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as midnight with a billowing three finger head. Excellent retention and healthy lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: We get the feeling this ain’t gonna be your typical Impy Stout. There’s a certain edge to it which is hard to explain…it comes off as an acrid acetone-like note but once it settles it takes shape as a herbal, agave and tequila-like character. The typical roasty malts, coffee and chocolate pale in to insignificance really.

Flavour: Just like the aroma – sharp, acrid acetone flavours probably acting for the tequila barrels. Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, gentle smoke and meaty beef jerky also getting amongst it. Kind of a weird soapy finish to it which literally leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Mouthfeel: Way too thin for the style but in saying that it’s hiding the 9.9% ABV really well. Co2 is spot on though.

Overall: The brew team must be given credit for this very complex and painstaking process they went through to put this beer together but we’ll admit we’re not fans. This, in part, could be due to our dislike of tequila but then again we ask why age stout in tequila barrels? Personally we feel the characteristics clash. Very average stuff.