Banks ‘Whats The Word’ BA Imperial Pastry Stout


“Barrel aged Imperial Whiskey Stout. Need we say more? Aged for 18 months in Starward Whiskey Barrels and conditioned on toasted Hazelnuts, Organic Cacao Nibs & Tahitian Vanilla, it’s like childhood Hazelnut Spread Nostalgia mixed with the good parts of being an adult (drinkin Whiskey) Contains Lactose.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: An unsurprisingly dark and ominous pour meets our gaze. It forms a thumb of brown head which gradually reduces. Minimal lace is left behind though.

Aroma: Jeez this bad boy was aged in Starward whiskey barrels for 18 months! That’s a substantial amount of time. We’re not the world’s biggest fans of Starward whiskey but we are hoping we could be swayed. Right off the bat we’re getting a hint of ammonia and ink. Not a great start. The adjuncts do eventually begin to creep through which is good but the base Stout seems like it’s a little weak. Hhmm.

Flavour: What we like about it initially is that the adjunct flavours shine through a lot more opposed to the aroma. The nuttiness, the sweet vanilla and bittersweet cacao own the front palate and only start to loosen their grip around the mid where the kind of cheap, tacky fruit notes from the whiskey/barrels merge. It improves a bit in the finish as the barrels taper out and the toasted nuts, vanilla and chocolate return to punctuate.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full, hefty yet kind of oily and smooth. Low-ish Co2 and the ABV (10.6%) hides in plain sight.

Overall: Maybe Banks have the same issue as Mountain Culture – can brew the best Hazy IPA’s in the country but struggle with StoutsĀ šŸ¤·Ā average at best.