Upfront Brewing Bourbon Oaked Imperial Milk Stout


“A complex multi layered bourbon oaked imperial milk stout, with toasted coconut flakes, coconut cream and sticky Tongan vanilla beans.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with a short and loosely bound head which retreats quickly. It settles at the rim with fine rings being left after each sip.

Aroma: Very underwhelming to be brutally honest. When we see “Bourbon Oaked Imperial Stout with coconut cream and Tongan vanilla” we’re expecting something pretty damn impressive. What we’re actually getting are hints of acrylic, cheap leather, bakers chocolate and fresh vanilla but it’s more about what it’s missing; Bourbon oak, coconut cream and most importantly a sense of structure…it just seems extremely untidy and muddled to us.

Flavour: We were hoping things would turn around majorly here and although it’s a little better assembled it’s still way off the mark. Initially we get this acrid type of flavour which if it weren’t for the lovely vanilla sweetness this would be a sink pour. It shifts into a mildly roasty mid palate where a touch of that acrylic/acetone creeps in. Vanilla, some lactose sweetness and chocolate thankfully see it off in a rare glimpse of style.

Mouthfeel: Pretty dense and muscly, flat-ish Co2. The 10% ABV shows through more than its warranted. Medium-full body.

Overall: It’s probably no surprise that this didn’t do it for us. Very poorly executed, unbalanced, unstructured and some of the feature flavours are completely MIA. Very average stuff.