Category Archives: Stout

Lost Palms ‘Second Rodeo’ Imperial Affogato Stout


“We’ve been there. We’ve done that. This is not our first rodeo… It’s our Second! Rich, dark & roasted malts play well with flavours of coffee & vanilla ice cream. You’ll find light notes of almond biscotti which round out the experience. Yee-all the way-Haw.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: It pours an opaque black with two fingers of loosely held brown foam forming on top. The head slowly recedes but doesn’t offer much in the way of lacing.

Aroma: We’ve been on the hunt for a good quality Affogato Stout for something like 5 years now. We’ve tasted 4 or 5 attempts from different breweries and not even one can come close to the true flavour profile of an Affogato. Here’s hoping that ends now. It has a nice and solid Stout base – chocolate, very mild coffee, vanilla and treacle. Hints of marshmallow, cherry and marzipan. Not sold yet.

Flavour: Well, it’s not a full strike out as it’s still a decent pastry stout. God dammit how hard is it to emulate coffee, vanilla ice cream and nutty liqueur?! Upfront it’s slightly bitter yet reminiscent of coffee and marshmallow. There’s a very very subtle almond accent as it shifts into the roasted mid. We must hand it to them coz the finish and back palate is mildly sweet and heavily roasted and draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Slick and oily, medium-full body and low-ish Co2. The 9% ABV was very well hidden.

Overall: Well, the search continues. Although this was a half decent beer it still misses the mark on what an Affogato, in our opinion, actually tastes like. We won’t give up!

Trillium X Garage Project Soufflè Imperial Stout


“Home & Away, a series of rebrews bringing some of our funnest overseas collaborations back to the Garage. For this release we turn to the dark side with South Pacific Soufflé Stout, first brewed with Boston’s beer bosses, Trillium. Brewed with Tongan vanilla pods, cacao nibs and Timor-Leste grown coffee beans from Wellington’s own Flight Coffee, this huge dessert stout pours an opaque jet black with luscious layers of vanilla gelato, burnt marshmallow, chewy dried fruits and mocha latté. Bringing home the goodness.” 

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black pour with a thumb of brown head assembling on top. It retains relatively well and leaves wet patchy lacing on the glass.

Aroma: We’ve been eagerly awaiting this for weeks now. Sometimes the pent up excitement can be detrimental but not with a GP X Trillium collab…you could almost bet your house on it being amazing. Coming off are big roasty notes backed up by melted chocolate, spicy vanilla and cocoa. The coffee is also quite succinct. Hints of toasted marshmallow, roasted almonds and rum-soaked raisin. Hot damn!

Flavour: Wow, it’s multi-layered and super complex. The evolution of it is insane…it’s morphed like 4 or 5 times already. Wow! Upfront it’s rich and sweet but also kinda tart, like blueberry and blood plum. The chocolate is fudgey and melted, the coffee is mocha-forward and the vanilla is spicy. There’s quite an aggressive roasted quality that carries all the way into the finish which provides chocolate powder, raw cacao and ash for days.

Mouthfeel: Dense and muscly yet surprisingly elegant. The Co2 is slightly higher for the style and the 12.4% ABV comes in and out.

Overall: Two heavyweights from each side of the earth collaborate on another absolutely cracking beer. How original! Nah, in all honesty this was superb. How we wish Trillium were more readily available here in Australia. We’d be broke but it’d be worth it.

Bottle Logic ‘Crust To Core’ BA Imperial Stout


“Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout collaboration with our brothers-in-adjuncts, Equilibrium Brewery. This liquid erupted from a combination of Heaven Hill, Elijah Craig, and Old Fitzgerald barrels at a molten 15.5% ABV with a gooey chocolate-brownie character that we finished with a crater-full of cacao nibs and a 300lb peanut butter treatment for a beautifully balanced, bottled Peanut Butter Brownie.” 

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a thumb of dark brown foam that vanishes as quickly as it assembles. Leaving nothing but a dark boozy abyss to look down in to.

Aroma: Smells incredible. Should we expect anything less from the Stasis Project though?! There’s traits of real peanut but also plenty of peanut butter emanating as well. As it settles it starts to release the hounds…raw cacao, Belgian chocolate, fudge, treacle and a faint yet noticeable Bourbon spice and oak profile. They’ve somehow even managed to get that slightly burnt crusty scent we get on really well made brownies as well. Oooft!

Flavour: Wow it gets really hostile here. Most likely from the 15.5% ABV but the Bourbon punches through harder and the chocolate goes from milky, fudgey and nutty to rich and dark. There’s also a more strident roast to it… probably more of a charred/ash quality actually. Yet, in typical BL fashion, they still present a mildly sweet, nutty, chocolatey, Bourbon-filled finish that goes for days.

Mouthfeel: Thick, full bodied and soupy. Low Co2 and a fairly well behaved ABV considering its size.

Overall: We’re running out of adulations to give to BL. These guys are just on another level.

Boatrocker ‘Ryejet’ BA Imperial Stout


“We are always looking at new treatments for what we consider a beer style that can have many different faces.  This time around, we chose Rye barrels from Dickel’s to give us a unique, yet delicious alternative to the bourbon barrel variants of Ramjet that people are familiar with.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a thumb of finely beaded brown foam forming on top. The head gradually recedes and leaves random blotches of lace on the glass.

Aroma: Not getting a great deal off it to be honest. It can be said already that rye whiskey barrels have far less penetration than their bourbon or straight whiskey counterparts do. Thing is we love rye malts and we love rye whiskey but we find when some brewers use these barrels they end up with a cat piss and or squashed ant scent that comes off like ammonia. Eventually some dark chocolate, coffee and roast comes through but it’s subtle.

Flavour: It’s improving here. The rye whiskey barrels emanate their true colours and produce that spicy, vanilla and bubblegum-like character they’re so well known for. At the same time the classic Boatrocker Impy Stout base emerges with dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, ash and licorice. It sets up for a nice melange of big roasty coffee notes and spicy rye that draws out well.

Mouthfeel: Dense and viscous. A little oily too. Full bodied and a fairly noticeable 10.6% ABV.

Overall: Not their best iteration of Ramjet but one that can be ticked off and possibly left alone as they keep moving forward.

Bottle Logic ‘Red Eye November’ BA Imperial Coffee Stout


“We’re thrilled to announce the release of the fifth bottled batch of our legendary RedEye November, a Stasis Project variant that features an exclusive blend of coffee beans masterfully roasted by our friends at Mostra Coffee.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as midnight with very little head formation. Minimal lacing as we go.

Aroma: As expected it’s oozing with sweet espresso and molasses but also well supported by the spicy Bourbon oak barrels. There’s a few interesting little adjuncts swirling around too – cherry being one of the more noticeable – but we’re also picking up hints of blueberry and dried prunes. The addition of rye malt just goes to show the class these guys possess…just hinting at enough peppery spice to bolster the coffee and Bourbon. Love!

Flavour: Trust BL to start with a BA Imperial Coffee Stout and take it to new heights. It’s like they’ve perfected the base Coffee Stout then their creative genes have kicked in so they’ve barrel aged it, then thrown in some rich molasses, then countered that richness with some spicy rye malt and the result is this next level BBA Stout on steroids…which is literally like a drug to the taste buds. Anything less than amazing won’t do for BL.

Mouthfeel: Dense but still oily enough to roll over the tongue with ease. Full bodied with just the slightest amount of warmth from the 13% ABV.

Overall: What more can we say? These guys just don’t take a step back. By now, we’ve tried dozens of beers from their Stasis Project and they have a 100% success rate. We’ve never had anything less than superb when it comes to this range. We may pay a high price for it but damn, it’s worth every penny.

Bottle Logic ‘Memory Systems’ BA Imperial Stout


 “Fellow Rebels! We’re bringing a new hope to the year with our first #StasisProject release of 2022! Memory Systems is an Imperial Stout brewed with a caramel-toned, baked pastry malt base and aged in a braid of Old Fitzgerald, Heaven Hill, and Elijah Craig barrels that strike back with a finished 14% ABV. We conditioned the beer with a four-day marshmallow steep and a recirculation through Madagascar vanilla beans, Vietnamese cinnamon, and cassia bark. An opening crawl of cinnamon awakens the senses and swirls into a vanilla frosting mid-palate with galaxies of marshmallow as the liquid warms.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a fat thumb of uber dark brown head which vanishes pretty quickly. It’s left with zero head so not a skerrick of lace in sight.

Aroma: Honestly we don’t think there’s anything more indulgent and sensually gratifying then a hot fresh cinnamon bun so the second we saw this beer the price tag became irrelevant. We simply had to have it….and thank God we did. It literally smells like a fresh American cinnamon bun. Complete with the frosting on top. Getting the sweet vanilla and white marshmallow. Zero Bourbon/barrels but who cares at this stage?

Flavour: Man the progression is something else. Actually tasting the Bourbon and barrels here, albeit conservatively. Delicious cinnamon sugar woven through the rich and chocolatey base Stout. This is while all the adjuncts are firing as well – marshmallow, vanilla, delicate Bourbon spice and oak. It eventually rolls into a sweet, cinnamon-filled finish with some Bourbon char and oak for days.

Mouthfeel: Not overly heavy…medium body, slick, chewy texture. Co2 is spot on and the 14% ABV is well behaved.

Overall: BL can do no wrong! We’re sat here shaking our heads in disbelief. This is literally Bourbon-infused cinnamon bun in liquid form. And it gets us drunk! Mind officially blown! 🤯

Boatrocker ‘Fat Santa ’22’ BA Imperial Stout


“This year’s edition of Fat Santa was aged in Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey barrels for 12 months.  As with previous years, we’ve loaded a Ramjet beer base with tonka beans, Madagascan vanilla beans and dark roasted coffee beans to craft a beer of wonderful richness and depth.  The tonka beans always bring the goods, and this year’s edition with the barrel type really work incredibly well together.  This beer is the perfect way to start or finish Christmas Day!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black pour and a healthy three finger head nestled in atop. Excellent retention and lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: Woah this smells the goods. The fact that they acquired Jack Daniels barrels is impressive enough but they way they’ve integrated the cinnamon spice, nutty caramel and signature toasted banana that JD brings into their base Ramjet Stout is next level. The all round roast and oaky accents only add further sophistication to it. Diggin it big time.

Flavour: Pretty burnt/charred notes on entry – bitter espresso, dark chocolate and ash then the sweet and spicy Bourbon kicks in with a nice booze burn behind it. The burn and the roasted bitterness intensifies as it hits a smoky note late in the piece. Surprisingly, it all mellows into a charred yet slightly sweet and spicy finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Dense, chewy and slightly oily. Medium-full body. The 11% ABV definitely isn’t shy…even though it’s noticeably lower than some of its BA counterparts.

Overall: It did start showing mild signs of weakness as it progressed but essentially it’s another damn fine addition to this series. It certainly deserves its spot in the cellar let’s put it that way. Looking forward to how it improves over the coming years.

Bottle Logic ‘More Time To Explain’ BA Imperial Stout


“Late last year we blazed through an unexpected hit of a canned sweet stout release — there were astronauts and maple syrup! There were grizzly bears and blueberries! There were DeLoreans! There was No Time to Explain! We’ve applied that absurdly delicious finishing treatment to a mix of Fundamental Observation barrels filled throughout 2018, 2019, and 2020, then blended with a chewy, lactose-based sweet stout for a liquid that can only rightly be called: More Time to Explain!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short and wispy brown head that quickly retreats to the rim. Scarce lacing as we hook in.

Aroma: We look at BL’s Stasis Project the same way we look at ecstasy…intense satisfaction but with an unpleasant come down. The thing is though, with the Stasis Project, it doesn’t look like there’s a come down anywhere in sight! It just bounces into this next palatable experience with a tonne of sweet yet tart blueberry, indulgent maple, vanilla/lactose, spicy Bourbon/oak, sweet coffee and dark chocolate. Oooft!

Flavour: Heavens above. The palate is in a mad scramble trying to work out what has just been put before it. The blueberries play a major role, really emphasising that tart yet sweet juiciness. The maple and vanilla/lactose come in hard with further sugary sweetness but it’s so perfectly balanced by the spicy Bourbon, woody oak, coffee and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Dense, muscly and almost soupy…although it does thin out once it warms. Low Co2 and a dangerously unnoticeable 12.4% ABV.

Overall: Nothing else to add really. BL are bloody maestro’s and this BA Brekky Stout is the perfect example why.

Deeds ‘Give Me Shelter’ BA Imperial Stout


“The storm continues to pound, but our traveller has no choice but to venture on. In the distance, you see a gaping dark mouth. The cave offers respite but even with a flint there’ll be no fire as everything is frozen, it’ll be dark, cold and damp. Even so, your pace quickens as a way out of the elements grows nearer…This Imperial Stout was aged in Bourbon Barrels for 12 months and then conditioned on pecan and vanilla pods resulting in thick chocolate notes, backed by vanilla, coconut, whiskey, and oak.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black pour with two fingers of finely beaded brown foam converging over the top. Good retention and lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: These guys just get better and better with every BA stout they release. This expression has the perfect amount of bourbon/barrels coursing through it. The addition of pecans is a bloody master stroke too…the sweet and nutty profile compliments the bourbon exceptionally, and then the vanilla rams it home. Not to even mention the brilliance of the base Stout. World class stuff right here.

Flavour: Upfront it’s just this mass of unbelievably rich deliciousness. It’s not until early in the mid-palate does the pecan begin to break away and lead the charge. Followed closely by the bourbon oak, vanilla/coconut, dark chocolate, espresso and charred wood. The finish is considerably smoother than anticipated and chock-full of bourbon, oak, chocolate, vanilla and toasted pecans.

Mouthfeel: Thick but not soupy…just the right amount of viscosity. Low-ish Co2 and a well behaved 13% ABV.

Overall: Here we were obviously reading too much in to Deeds’ ramblings about Desperate Invocation being their last release in this BA series. You could only imagine our delight when this new one dropped. Keen em comin!

Pure project ‘Situational Gravity’ Imperial Stout w Coffee & Vanilla


“Introducing the third in our new series of core stouts, Situational Gravity. We added organic La Cañada coffee from Oaxaca, Mexico (roasted by our friends at Mostra) and organic Tahitian and Mexican vanilla beans to this imperial stout, resulting in a multi-faceted sensory experience. Aromas of vanilla bean ice cream, dark chocolate, coffee, and blueberry wine give way to flavours of rich chocolate ganache, espresso and caramel amidst a full body and velvety mouthfeel.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black with a wispy brown overlay which quickly forms a collar. Minimal lacing as we imbibe.

Aroma: Never have we met such a rich and delicious Imperial Stout where we don’t have much more to add other than what’s on the label. This is just an impressive straight up Imperial Stout filled out with sweet espresso coffee and spicy vanilla bean. Maybe some molasses, cigar box and licorice in there too. Peeled back but still very opulent.

Flavour: Holy moly it’s almost edible. Rich chocolate mud cake vibes but nicely lifted by the spicy vanilla and espresso coffee. Picking up small doses of molasses, licorice and treacle/toffee along with fleeting notes of fairy floss and raw cacao. Rich chocolate brownie also comes to mind as it finishes with pure thick chocolatey extravagance.

Mouthfeel: Beer soup. Probably to the point where it’s overcooked. Literally, you could spoon this out of a bowl and slurp it. Co2 is kept low and the 11.5% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: We’re all for viscosity when it comes to Stouts in general but this one might just be tipping the scales, even for us! Great flavour and aroma…it’s just too thicccccc

Bottle Logic ‘Ghost Proton ’22’ BA Imperial Pastry Stout


Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black pour with a wispy brown head emerging on top. It quickly forms a collar which leaves a fine lace in its wake.

Aroma: Heavens to Betsy! Can these guys stop being so damn good!? It just has everything working in unison. Firstly the Bourbon – sweet, spicy and woody. Then there’s the Stout base – chocolate, coffee, licorice, cacao, and then the adjuncts – soft, sweet and sugary marshmallow, caramel, cinnamon and spicy vanilla. Ooopht!

Flavour: If this doesn’t get your eyes rolling in the back of your head then we don’t know what will. Incredible depth and complexity here. It pretty much has everything we’d want in a big BA Pastry Stout…a big hearty Stout base, enough sugary adjuncts to fill a candy shop, spices and woody oak coated in a delicious Bourbon sweetness. Perfection.

Mouthfeel: Heavy but quite oily too so it doesn’t have that thick, soupy texture to it. Low-ish Co2, full bodied, the 13.5% ABV…well, it’s discernible but of course it is!

Overall: Hot damn. We’re gonna call it. This is the best of the lot from the last shipment to Aus. It’s beer drugs. We need more but we can’t afford it!

Stockade ‘Old Money – Reserve Rare Cask’ BA Imperial Stout


“These barrels were once lost in the in the brewery delivery of our inaugural 2016 Old Money release. The taste is amazing. Six years in American Oak Bourbon barrels have made this richer and even more complex than before with notes of rich dark chocolate, peppercorn spice, and Turkish coffee combined with rolling bourbon and oak flavors. Rejoice, you are one of the privileged few that are able to enjoy this extremely rare limited release.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a rapidly vanishing brown head. No head so no lacing.

Aroma: Definitely smells complex. Kinda has this sharp ink-like astringency that’s mostly woken up when the liquid is disturbed. If the glass is kept idle the aroma is next level. It has this old sauna room musty-ness, rich licorice and molasses, sweet and spicy Bourbon, dark chocolate and spicy coffee. Quite salty too…we wouldn’t go as far as soy sauce but it’s close. Wow.

Flavour: That sharp, almost tart astringency follows it over. The good thing is it eventually tapers off and is replaced by a big dose of spicy oak-infused Bourbon. As it rolls on it shifts through sweet espresso, dark chocolate, boozy licorice/molasses and charred wood then it finishes with mildly bitter coffee, Bourbon oak and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Dense, oily and viscous. Mildly carbed, full bodied. The 12.5% is understandably noticeable.

Overall: Pretty cool back story to this. We can only imagine the reaction when they stumbled upon this hidden treasure! Although still very rich and complex the extra years in barrel have certainly mellowed it all out. Solid offering.

Bottle Logic ‘Darkstar November ’21’ BA Imperial Rye Stout


“Like the Stealth aircraft that inspired it, this bourbon barrel aged stout is shrouded in mystery. While its secrets may remain hidden forever, you hold in your hand a piece of the puzzle.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a short dark brown head which collapsed rather quickly. It forms a thin ring around the edge of the glass and only manages a sporadic wet lace as we go.

Aroma: The depth on offer here is remarkable. At first we’re getting a sharp, yeasty/molasses-like note which is super rich in its delivery. Dry and spicy rye malts do a sterling job at cutting through it though. Some heat from the 14% ABV, black peppery spice and bourbon finished off with suggestions of licorice, espresso and ash. Come at me!

Flavour: Wow the licorice aspect which was merely a back-note on the nose pushes its way up to the front here. Certainly spurred on by the similar tasting notes of molasses, star anise, fennel seed and even a bizarre hint of chamomile. It works though! Loving the spicy/peppery rye factor then the sweet and spicy Bourbon kicks into gear, finishing roasty yet kinda sweet and spicy with a lingering tobacco-esque earthiness.

Mouthfeel: Noticeably lighter on the palate… oily, smooth and silky. Medium-full body, low-ish Co2. 14% ABV is well behaved for its size.

Overall: Once again, very impressive stuff from BL. It didn’t really have the penetration that other Stasis Project releases have had in the past but it’s still a very respectable drop.

Bottle Logic ‘Lost Coordinates ’22’ BA Imperial Stout


“Project Brief: Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels with a vanilla bean blend. This three-vanilla bean blend is the grand finale of our Fundamental Coordinates vanilla showcase series. The base liquid is a diligently selected blend of Fundamental Observation 2019 for a little extra-aged complexity and Double Mash Fundamental Observation brews from 2020 for a chewy, silky body. Once our favourite casks were selected, they were aged with a combination of Cook Island, Comoros, and Costa Rican vanilla. Floral aromas (Cook Island) melt into sun-soaked dates and raisin on the mid-palate (Costa Rica), with a nutty, brown butter-chocolate finish (Comoros).”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a rapidly vanishing brown head. Minimal lace as we go but you know what, we wouldn’t have a monstrous BA Impy Stout any other way.

Aroma: We don’t claim to be Nostradamus but we can already tell this is going to be an absolute pearler. The sheer complexity and layer upon layer of rich malt, bourbon and decadent sweetness is a dead give away! Really tickles the nostrils too…at 14.5% ABV we can’t be surprised by that. Ridiculous amounts of caramelised dark fruits but it’s just so insanely well balanced by the spicy Bourbon and rich roasty malt. Oooft!

Flavour: Holy hell where do we even begin? Seriously, we’re lost for words right now, this is freakin amazing. It’s like this ominous advancement of Bourbon-infused rich dark malts with molasses, Barleywine-like residual sugars and spicy vanilla protruding off a big black mass. The warming booze comes in and out and then it finishes with a spicy Bourbon sweetness, mildly bitter roast and a good old fashioned sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Thick-set, oily kind of viscosity. Low-ish Co2. The 14.5% ABV was quite noticeable throughout.

Overall: This was something else. We don’t say that lightly either. The intensity was off the charts but they just managed to keep a lid on it. Delicious and decadent but bloody dangerous!

Bottle Logic ‘The Fourth Wall’ Imperial Sweet Stout


“Almond Joy-inspired sweet stout brewed with lactose, cacao nibs, fresh and toasted coconut, with sliced and roasted almonds.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As expected, an impenetrable black pour with two fingers of finely beaded foam nestled in on top. Good head retention and healthy lace as we go.

Aroma: We must say the almond/nutty side of it is really noticeable. In a good way of course! There’s also fairly prominent scents of peanuts, hazelnut and pecan. Simply loving the coconut aspect. The cacao nibs are a little muted and the lactose isn’t as sweet as we’d anticipated but don’t for one minute think that’s a criticism as there’s already enough happening.

Flavour: The nutty flavours are getting most of the attention again. Actually the sweet milk sugars/lactose have been beefed up here…we can really taste the creamy vanilla-esque sweetness it brings. It dips into a quick roasty note but not before the nicely tempered sweetness takes hold and steers it all into a sweet, nutty and toasty finish which dries out the longer it sits.

Mouthfeel: Sturdy with a high viscosity. Co2 is rightfully kept low and the 10% ABV is well behaved.

Overall: It’s getting to that point where we couldn’t decide whether BL or The Bruery holds the crown for Pastry Stouts. Both equally as good but both equally expensive AF! Haha.

Bottle Logic ‘Mint Condition’ Imperial Mint Stout


“Mint Condition is a 10% dessert stout inspired by mint chocolate chip ice cream. Brewed with lactose, chocolate malts, and mint, then finished through 95lbs of TCHO Chocolate Ecuadorian cacao nibs — this beer is just dead-on ice cream. It’s utterly perfect.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a finger of brown foam resting atop. The head gradually recedes and forms a ring which draws a wavy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: This is literally like boozy after dinner mints in a glass. Usually, we get turned off when these kinds of beers get artificial, but this may well be an exception. The mint aspect resembles creamy mint frosting then the big Stout base comes through with dark chocolate, molasses, cocoa and chocolate biscuit. Hot damn this is gonna be mint! ????

Flavour: Wooowwwww! We don’t think an Imperial Mint Stout could be brewed better than this. It’s literally a mirror image of the aroma. Tasting like a boozy after dinner mint in liquid form but the clincher is the 10% ABV is so well buried. At no stage does it decelerate either…it’s just an absolutely delicious mint-infused, dark chocolate biscuit in liquid form from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly light texture for the style. It still feels like it has weight to it though. Low-ish Co2 and a very well hidden ABV.

Overall: There really isn’t much more to say. This is bloody superb. If you (like one of us) could easily sit down and polish off a packet of Mint Slice biscuits in one sitting, then wrap your laughing gear around one of these. It will cost you a little bit (roughly $30-35 bucks a can) but it is worth every cent. Magnificent.

Bottle Logic ‘Leche Mole’ Imperial Sweet Stout


“Chocolate Mole-Inspired Sweet Stout • 10.6% ABV • Leche Mole is a mocha milk stout brewed with lactose and finished through cacao nibs and a medley of Anaheim, Ancho, Chipotle, and Guajillo chili peppers for a rich, chocolate mole-toned flavor.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a wispy brown overlay which disappears almost instantly. And where’s there’s no head there’s no lace.

Aroma: Well she’s definitely deep and complex. Not only can we get the heat from the chilli’s but we can pick up the capsaicin (the ingredient which gives chilli its red capsicum aroma and flavour) as well. Then there’s the rich notes of raw cacao, molasses, creamy lactose, spicy vanilla bean, cinnamon, white pepper and a very faint hint of Vegemite all competing for the attention of the olfactory’s. Ooft!

Flavour: Bottle Logic hey…these guys are freakin masters. There’s a really short cameo of sweet lactose/vanilla and what seems like either maple or honey before the tidal wave of heat from the chilli encapsulates it all. What’s impressive is behind the chilli’s are the robust flavours of heavily roasted malts, coffee, raw cacao, nutty chocolate and peppery spice which all extend into the long and fiery finish.

Mouthfeel: Extremely dense and muscly. Full body, low carbonation. The 10.2% ABV is well hidden by the heat from the chilli.

Overall: Once again we thank not only BL for being so awesome but Carwyn Cellars for having the amazing nouse to get these world class beers to our shores again. High fives all round.

Banks ‘Pecan Can’ BA Imperial Pastry Stout


“Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Pastry Stout. Conditioned on toasted pecans, marshmallow fluff, toasted coconut, and vanilla bean after being aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. We advise sharing and enjoying this luxurious, intricate, and utterly excellent barrel-aged stout slowly, like a great wine, to allow the beer to open and highlight the lovely components on exhibited by this special brew Contains lactose.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black pour with a short and finely beaded brown cap. It gradually reduces and settles at the rim. Nice legs on the glass as we hook in.

Aroma: Smells good. Exceptional balance between the sweet and spicy Bourbon/oak and the rich, roasted malt structure. The toasted pecans are pretty subtle…picking up their nutty and mildly woody profile which is impressive considering everything else happening within the beer already. Definitely getting the coconut and vanilla too. The marshmallow opening up later on. Wow, it’s all here.

Flavour: Pow! Is this The Bruery or Banks?! They’ve hit this one outta the park. Seriously complex upfront – super roasty, nutty but also a tad sweet from the vanilla, marshmallow, Bourbon/oak etc. Actually the latter really doesn’t show through a whole lot but it’s not that big of a deal as it’s so incredibly well layered with everything else. A nice big roasty bitterness to finish too.

Mouthfeel: Dense AF. Full bodied, low-ish Co2. The 10% ABV is well integrated.

Overall: Just pure Pastry Stout goodness. Absolutely jam packed with flavour and character. Tell ya what if they could’ve pulled more out of the Bourbon barrels it’d be an easy 10. Still, a very impressive offering.

The Garden Brewery Double Imperial Affogato Stout


“Huge pastry stout inspired by the Italian classic. Laden with cold-brew Espresso, Cacao Nibs, Tonka Beans, Milk Sugar and Madagascan Vanilla pods.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black complexion with a rapidly vanishing head. No head = no lacing.

Aroma: Our quest to find an Affogato Stout that even remotely tastes like Affogato now brings us to the Garden Brewery. And on first acquaintance we’re not overly impressed. We get this weird and unnecessarily sweet confectionary character that doesn’t resemble Affogato at all. Once we break it down we do pick up the Tonka beans, vanilla and coffee but it just doesn’t vibe.

Flavour: OK it’s gelling a bit more here. The Stout base has turned up and is now offering a bit of bottom end – raw cacao, espresso coffee and chocolate. Still, this weird artificial sweetness we got on the nose is spoiling it. Kinda reminds us of a nutty syrup (probably their way of promoting the liqueur aspect). Then it all drops into a weak and molasses-like finish which ain’t working.

Mouthfeel: Nice and slick, medium-full body. Co2 is spot on. The 10.7% ABV is well concealed. This is probably the best part of the beer.

Overall: Well the quest continues. Seriously, why is it so effin hard to find a Stout that can portray the basic flavours of an Affogato?! We think this is our 5th attempt with no joy. Good thing we’re committed!

La Sirene X Starward ‘Dark Star 2.0’ BA Chocolate Stout


“Part 2 of our long standing collaboration with one of the pioneers of Australian Whisky. DARK STAR is our well-known Praline that has been thoughtfully aged in freshly disgorged premium STARWARD whisky barrels for 12 months.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Matte black with an extremely fizzy brown head which disappears rather quickly. Only the finest of rings is left and there’s no surprises that it doesn’t lace one bit.

Aroma: We remember all those years ago when the OG Praline Stout was released. Way back before the explosion of Pastry Stouts. We recall being blown away so it’s really cool to see this barrel aged expression. Big wafts of Belgian chocolate, hazelnut, nougat and toffee upfront (just as the original did). The Starward whiskey is nicely woven through…adding a touch of Port/Red Wine, Apera/Sherry, orchard fruits oak and spice.

Flavour: Hhhmmm we had an inkling it was going to display a bit of tartness and it does. Thankfully it’s only a short cameo and the nutty, chocolatey and caramel-filled middle washes over. There’s a slight bitterness and a robust roasted malt which sets up for a nutty, mildly roasty and vinous finish which lingers on the back palate nicely.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light and effervescent. A little pucker on the lips too. Medium body. The 6.3% ABV is uncommonly low for a BA Stout. We don’t mind it though.

Overall: Not as thrilled by it as we had hoped. Starward are yet to produce a whiskey we like though so that could have something to do with it. The Praline Stout base was the best part in our opinion.