“Jet Black and one to be savoured. The mouth feel is silky smooth, the nose has roasted malt and a touch of caramel. A rich deep mocha and coffee flavour, is accentuated with caramel and smoky flavours. Willamette and Goldings hops were used in 3 additions to create a ale with a big bitterness and an assertive hop character.”
This, for some reason, is our first crack at this breweries range. We were somewhat coaxed into this by our good mate Ian from the Oak Barrel in Sydney city. He’s suggested beers to us before and more often then not he’s spot on so it was an easy buy for us. Let’s proceed. Served in to a beer tulip. The jet black pour struggles to generate this meagre fingers worth of tan foam before collapsing to a collar with minimal lacing to be shown. To be honest, the aroma isn’t packing as much heat as we were hoping. Front and centre sits the nice roasted malts, cocoa and caramel but hints of licorice, subtle smoky notes and a complex fruity sweetness which offers scents of dried fig and stewed plums work themselves in beautifully. Not bad. Definitely doesn’t feel like an imperial stout in the mouth. A tad thin and a little slippery in texture. As to be expected the Co2 level is low and the body is medium, mainly because of this fluent progression of flavours that play out on the palate. Upfront the taste buds are treated to a hint of smoked malts, dark chocolate and a slight warmth from the 8.1% ABV. A smooth transgression into the mid displays a mildly assertive grassy hop bitterness which in turn leads on to the lightly roasted, malty finish. Great length too, as the back end stretches out, hints of cocoa, dark chocolate and roasted espresso coffee creep in. Not a bad way to kick things off for this brewery. A couple of facets could have been better but all in all it was a highly palatable stout. Not bad at all.