Bandicoot Brewing ‘Southern Courage’ Russian Imperial Stout


18033810_681835542000594_7662937028270555479_n“Bandicoot Brewing’s “Southern Courage” RIS is aged in Lark Distillery’s Port Whisky Barrels. It’s a big, bold 10% Russian Imperial Stout that you can cellar now and enjoy later. This is a collaboration with Hopdealz Australia. It has whisky characters on the nose that are juicy and enticing. The blending and ageing has been judged to the point that the beer is rich, thick, dark and creamy. Enjoy.”

Served in a beer tulip. We’re met with an impenetrable black body that’s complimented by a fizzy dark brown head that swells to two fingers before retracting to a collar. It generates a steaky drag as we indulge.
Where to start with this aroma?! Initially we get a complex tart cherry note that has this medicinal influence. It eventually flows in to more appealing scents of earthy malt, licorice, dark chocolate, molasses, leather, alcohol, acetone and charcoal. The term “appealing” is used loosely, perhaps we should say aggressive and totally in-your-face! Heavy as f*%k but it’s so damn good!
In the mouth it’s thick and syrupy with next to no carbonation. The body is predictably full with the slightest hint of hoppy bitterness forming around the edges. The 10% ABV is evident but it behaves quite well.
The palate is where it’s all happening. Rich toasty malts, molasses and black coffee pave the way for those sweet and somewhat tart cherry notes to present through the middle. The malts take on a burnt character as the cherry becomes sweeter, concluding in this absolutely delicious fusion of the two with suggestions of burnt chocolate, espresso and roasted malt on the rear.
Wow. This is our first crack at their range and they have just hustled themselves on to our radar. This RIS is enormous. Rich, syrupy, burnt, boozy and dense but this unexpected cherry character offers a light and at times tart sweetness that provides a brilliant balance. Sensational.