Following on from Moon dog’s ‘Jumping the shark’ cognac barrel aged imperial stout at 15.4% ABV comes this kiwi version that blows it out of the water at a cracking 16% ABV (Taking the crown for the strongest beer we’ve ever drunk).
Served in a beer tulip and aged in Pinot Noir barrels this imperial stout pours an expected dense, opaque black with a small tan ring and no lacing. No matter how aggressively we spin our glass whatever head appears vanishes in seconds. Aroma is obviously cognac driven with potent hints of oak, molasses, port, vanilla, licorice, dates, leather and booze. Some muted espresso notes in there too. It’s a formidable scent! In the mouth it’s actually quite thin and oily with mild carbonation and bitterness. There’s a firm alcohol sting all the way through with an astringent mix of soy sauce, molasses and dank earthy tones kicking it off. Through the mid a subtle fortified wine sweetness comes through but is quickly drowned out by smoky charcoal and oak wood. Bitter espresso coffee and a hint of treacle lingers softly on the back end. Good length. We are becoming big fans of these ridiculously strong and hostile barrel aged beers. So unique and complex but surprisingly enjoyable. Go easy on it, but its definitely worth a try.