Category Archives: Stout

De Molen ‘Different & Unusual’ Imperial Cherry Stout

Rating:

“Imperial stout-ish, with cedar wood and amarene cherries.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Literally pours like engine oil; pitch black with a finger of dark brown head emerging on top. Steady reduction and little lace as we go.

Aroma: It certainly isn’t short of depth and complexity. Loving the amount of bottom end…rich and intense dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, ripe cherry, mixed spices, rum & raisin, dates/prunes and a certain woody note…either pine or cedar. And as we write that we see that cedar chips were used. Incredible aroma. De Molen to a tee!

Flavour: It’s offering everything from heavily charred malts and ash to bittersweet salty chocolate, licorice and molasses, dark fruits like raisin, prunes/dates, earthy spice and woody notes. Then all the way through is this kinda musky and candy-esque accent which is just down right amazing. It all then converges in this somewhat aggressive finish which goes for days.

Mouthfeel: Sharp and a little oily. Slightly dry and bitter…the 10.4% ABV definitely doesn’t hold back. Mild-moderate Co2.

Overall: Oopht! This is a serious palate wrecker. Just huge in every aspect – bitterness, booze, char, depth of flavour. Thank goodness they only come in 330ml bottles. On the upside it’s gonna be a great night cap!

Fuller’s ‘London Black Cab’ Stout

Rating:

“Brewed with a combination of five different malts, some heavily roasted for a near jet black appearance, and beneath its dark exterior features luxurious red berry notes, toasty aromas on the nose and culminates in a dry, bitter finish.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with a short tan head which quickly fades. Not a great deal hangs around so lacing is pretty scarce.

Aroma: Smells a bit sweet for a stout. We’ll concede that this is a very old world stout so the big and over the top new world traits won’t apply. The dominant scent would have to be the yeast-driven, quad-like dark fruits, molasses, Christmas cake, carob, toffee and the classic earthy/spicy notes from EKG. Nothing amazing but it still holds its own.

Flavour: We had some reservations about this and unfortunately they’ve come to pass. Theres nothing at all wrong with its profile – it’s full of lightly roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, subtle coffee and earthy hops but it’s all just a bit weak and pedestrian. A nice line of bitterness adds more drink ability to it though. Decent finish with good length.

Mouthfeel: A little too light on for our liking. Quite a smooth texture, a little creamy, low-ish Co2. The 4.5% ABV puts it squarely in session territory.

Overall: Look, for a completely peeled back traditional stout it’s good. We can’t help but feel the big and super charged, barrel aged pastry stouts of today have almost killed off these poor old humble OG’s. We tip our hat to them though.

Riverside ‘Peril’ Imperial Stout

Rating:

“As the name would suggest, this Imperial Stout is indeed perilous. With flavours of dark chocolate and hints of dark dried fruits from the malt and hops this stout will take you on a journey, leading you astray as the beer warms and the flavours get bolder. At a dangerous 10% ABV, the peril begins with the first sip.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black with a thumb of finely beaded foam atop. Good retention and healthy lace as we go.

Aroma: It’s definitely got some pungent scents coming off. Rich notes of molasses, licorice, sweet espresso, toffee, chocolate, vanilla and earthy spice. Some charred and light smoky characters also coming through. As it warms it begins to reveal its sweeter side along with the warming booze.

Flavour: Oh yeah it comes on with a serious amount of attitude. Tonnes of charred malt, sharp molasses and dark fruit sweetness, chocolate, warming booze, ash and earthy roast. We’re loving how the intensity carries well in to the aggressive, bitter and roasty finish which really draws out on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Fairly big and meaty. Our only gripe is the 10% ABV is a little too keen. Nicely weighted though with mild-moderate Co2.

Overall: It’s been a seriously long time between drinks for us and Riverside. A lot has changed at the brewery since we last reviewed one of their beers but the good thing is the beers are still of high quality. This impy stout included!

Moon Dog ‘Black Lung X’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Black Lung is back for the 10th time and to celebrate this milestone we sourced some of the smokiest barrels we could find all the way from the home of smoky whisky, Islay, Scotland! To do these amazing barrels justice we brewed the biggest, booziest, Black Lungiest, Black Lung ever to be put into barrels, clocking in at 12%. We then aged the beer for longer than any previous Black Lung and the result speaks for itself!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as midnight with a thumb of brown foam atop. The head slowly peels off and settled at the rim. It posts neat sets of rings as we indulge.

Aroma: For one of us hop heads it has both favourite whiskies in one glass – Lagavulin and Laphroaig. It’s literally like an Islay-infused peat bomb with a rich and hearty stout base consisting of molasses, Vegemite, salted dark chocolate, peated whiskey barrels, licorice, ash, burnt wood and charred malts. This is beasty AF. We can’t help but feel a little splash of vanilla sweetness or coconut would go a long way in balancing it all out.

Flavour: Well it doesn’t have any vanilla or coconut but they have found a crucial balance on the palate. It’s still peaty as hell but the heady notes of sweet-ish molasses, licorice, dark chocolate and rich toffee really pull it all in to line. Maybe a hint of sugary espresso as well. The finish reverts right back to those beautifully peated whiskey notes which last a life time on the back.

Mouthfeel: Oily and dense. There’s quite a noticeable Co2 for the style, it’s not overdone though, which is good. The 12% ABV is well enough concealed as well.

Overall: This series is one we haven’t really chose to seek out but we must admit it’s growing on us. Throw a bit of vanilla and or coconut in there and we’re sold! Decent drop but.

The Bruery ‘Churriosity’ Spiced Imperial Stout

Rating:

“A chocolatey twist to our collaboration with Horus Aged Ales— this imperial stout was inspired by a chocolate-dipped, cinnamon laden Spanish treat. This pastry-inspired imperial stout was brewed with dulce de leche, milk sugar, cacao nibs, and cinnamon. Have we piqued your Churriosity?”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Light black with a thin fizzy head which instantly fizzes out. All that’s left is a foaming island in the centre.

Aroma: Wow, what a way to take the wind out of the sails. We had massive expectations for this…and for good reason as The Bruery very rarely disappoint when it comes to pastry stouts. It’s not just the lack of Churros character, the cinnamon donut side is lacking, the sweet caramel notes of the Dulce De Leche are subtle AF but the biggest let down is the lack of oomph from the base stout…very shy and withdrawn. Booo!

Flavour: There’s a slight improvement here but it’s still so pedestrian for The Bruery. The one major upside is that the 10.7% ABV is incredibly well hidden but other than that it just comes across as a hearty Milk Stout with hints of creamy caramel and spice. Far from the intense flavours we’ve come to expect from these guys.

Mouthfeel: Nice and dense, velvety, full bodied. Mild-moderate Co2. Can’t fault the texture one bit.

Overall: Very uncharacteristic for The Bruery to have such a great idea and miss the mark in delivery. But they really have in our opinion. Not a bad drop by any means but far from what we were anticipating.

50/50 Brewing ‘BAK’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Now in its 12th vintage, 2019 Eclipse is our rich Imperial Stout aged to perfection in whiskey and spirit barrels. All Eclipse starts with the same base beer bringing hints of dark chocolate, espresso, and a smooth complexity, with each barrel treatment delivering its own unique character after a minimum of 180 days of aging. Baker’s (code BAK) is aged in select bourbon barrels.”

Appearance: Pitch black with a finger of brown foam resting atop. Fairly decent retention considering the lack of head. Healthy lace sticks as we go.

Aroma: Straight away we get Vegemite, molasses and a mix between Worcestershire and soy sauce. They quickly fade and the gorgeous bourbon oak comes to the party with its usual bag of tricks; vanilla, spice, toffee, coconut and caramel. Underneath is that marvellous impy stout base of dark chocolate, charred malts, coffee and campfire/burned wood. Holy moly, that is world class stuff.

Flavour: She comes on with all the aggression and indulgence one would expect from the style. Kinda warming upfront but it’s backed by the sharp bourbon and delicious woody oak, vanilla, spice and treacle. We love the way it progresses through…the dark chocolate, charred malts and coffee are passed the baton and take off running into the heavily roasted, bourbon-infused finish which lingers for a life time.

Mouthfeel: Thick beer soup…but with an added oily-ness and warmth from the 11.5% ABV. Low-ish Co2.

Overall: It’s enough to put hairs on your chest that’s for sure. She’s big and fiery but at the same time it’s totally moreish. It’s actually hard to decide which of the 2 is better – BKR or BAK?! They’re both magnificent beers. Decided.

50/50 Brewing 2019 ‘Eclipse BKR’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Now in its 12th vintage, 2019 Eclipse is our rich Imperial Stout aged to perfection in whiskey and spirit barrels. All Eclipse starts with the same base beer bringing hints of dark chocolate, espresso, and a smooth complexity, with each barrel treatment delivering its own unique character after a minimum of 180 days of aging. Booker’s (code BKR) is aged in select bourbon barrels. Dipped in yellow wax.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with the usual diminishing head which settles at the rim. It posts a good set of rings with some cascading lace in between.

Aroma: It’s been a while since our olfactorie’s have been graced with an Eclipse Stout and can we just say that it’s like welcoming an old friend. Huge bourbon component i.e vanilla, spice, toffee and oak alongside a roll call of impy stout characters – charred malts, coffee, dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, raw cacao, tobacco, shredded wheatmeal, a hint of acetone and rich fudge. Hell to the yes!!

Flavour: Ok it’s obvious that the Eclipse Stout range is getting better and better. Although totally peeled back it still displays an enormous array of bourbon oak (spicy vanilla and rich toffee), heavily roasted malts, espresso, dark chocolate, ash, molasses, licorice, cocoa powder, glazed cherries, stewed prunes and a slightly smoky accent to finish. The duration on this bad boy is remarkable too.

Mouthfeel: As anticipated it’s big, chewy and viscous. Low-ish Co2. That 12.2% ABV is noticeable but we wouldn’t have an impy stout any other way.

Overall: Very impressed. Somehow we totally skipped the 2018 range which is super disappointing. What’s not disappointing is this 2019 release…it is freaking incredible. Classic 50/50 Eclipse…the stuff of wet dreams.

Alesmith ‘Philosophy & Velocity’ Imperial Stout/Quadrupel

Rating:

“Philosophy and Velocity combines two iconic imperial beers from East and West: Brewery Ommegang’s Three Philosophers, and Alesmith Brewing’s Speedway Stout. For this project, each brewery crafted a singular blend to release through their own channels. From the East Coast, Ommegang brewed a Belgian-inspired version of Speedway Stout to blend with their Three Philosophers Quadruple Ale. From the West, Alesmith brewed an American ale variant on Three Philosophers to blend with their robust, coffee-infused Speedway Stout. The result? Two incredible imperial ales, released simultaneously for side-by-side comparison.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a finger of finely beaded brown head. Good retention and wavy lace work as we imbibe.

Aroma: There’s so much happening we don’t know where to start. The bittersweet coffee and charred malts are so well integrated with the sweet and fruity Belgian yeast profile that it’s hard to tell where the impy stout starts and Belgian Quad finishes. Everything from fruitcake, rum & raisin, cherry, blood plum, toffee, banana bread, allspice, tobacco, carob, raw cacao, subtle booze and tar. Amazing!

Flavour: At first it’s a little harsh, a tad phenolic and boozy but it morphs in to this big, roasty and bittersweet mid palate full of coffee, charred malts, dark chocolate, tobacco and raw cacao. Just hanging back a tad are the yeasty components…playing an excellent albeit subtle support role as it finishes quite brash and dry with mild smoke and mildly burnt wood on the back.

Mouthfeel: Dense and slick yet it still feels somewhat light on. Finely carbonated, full bodied. 11.5% ABV does reveal itself a fair bit.

Overall: Put simply…it’s a bloody ripper of a beer. We weren’t aware that there’s an East Coast (Ommegang) version where they flip the blend around and focus more on the Quad as opposed to the Stout. Now we want it! Bad! Impressive stuff.

Thirsty Crow Vanilla Milk Stout

Rating:

“In March 2011, Wagga got hammered by crickets. The brewpub was covered in millions of hopping black insects. We needed a brew so dark, so original, and so delicious, that if a little bugger hopped into a customer’s glass they wouldn’t even notice and/or care. So was born Vanilla Milk Stout.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black complexion with a frothy two finger head. It quickly peels off and forms a bubbling island in the middle. Minimal lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: We remember drinking this fresh from the Brewhouse taps many years ago and being blown away. All these years later as well as pouring from a can and it’s still as good as we remember it. The gorgeous vanilla and lactose sweetness offsets the robust stout base of chocolate, coffee, treacle and burnt toast. Also getting a subtle hint of white marshmallow which is very alluring! Superb.

Flavour: Follows through nicely. Again, perfectly balanced between the roasty chocolate malts, coffee, toast and sweet vanilla, lactose and marshmallow-like candy. Just a slight lick of bitterness midway before it lands on a sweet yet roasty finish which endures nicely.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, velvet smooth, medium-full body which is commendable considering its low ABV (5.2%). Finely carbonated. Exactly how we like our stouts.

Overall: It’s great to see nothing has changed with this beer. It’s such a well structured and ultimately delicious milk stout. Top notch stuff.

Hop Nation 2020 ‘The Kalash’ Russian Imperial Stout

Rating:

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a sturdy thumb of tanned foam resting on top. It gradually reduced and leaves a smattering of lace on the glass.

Aroma: Nicely charred, lots of burnt toast, dark chocolate, ash, licorice and a very faint hint of acetone which we find synonymous with the style. The downside is that it seems a little too reserved… we’ve come to expect olfactory-invading scents where this one is lacking that intensity. Hopefully the flavour profile is where it’s at.

Flavour: Yeah see, it’s the same issue… nothing wrong with the flavours as we’re getting dark chocolate, licorice, burnt toast, coffee and ash but it’s this lack of intensity and bottom end that’s MIA. It’s still OK though, getting that touch of silky sweetness and the roasted and charred finish. Good length to it too, really draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Oily and a little thin. A little too slippery for a barrel aged RIS. Medium body and Co2. 10.7% ABV is fairly well behaved.

Overall: Yeah it never really had us from the get go. There’s not enough bottom end and overall grunt. It’s not a bad beer by any means it just doesn’t cut the mustard when we’re talking big barrel aged Russian Imperials.

5 Barrel ‘Night Cap’ Milk Stout

Rating:

“Milk Stouts contain the non-fermentable lactose sugar to add a velvety smooth body to a rich roasty beer. These are the original dessert beers, and are a perfect way to cap off a meal or just enjoy whenever you please. Enjoy a little warmer and observe how the flavours develop.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with a short cappuccino head which quickly retreats to the rim. Minimal lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Classic notes of coffee, chocolate, porter-esque dark fruits, vanilla/lactose, cocoa, lightly toasted malts and toffee. Caramel and candy-ish scents also coming through…not going to go as far as saying they’re candi sugars but it certainly has a crystallised sugary sweetness which works in well. A little nutty and a little earthy as well. Diggin it.

Flavour: Very nicely layered with good progression. It kicks off with the classic four-to-the-floor stout characters; coffee, chocolate, dark fruits and a hint of creamy vanilla and or lactose. Hits a lightly charred note through the mid and carries the aforementioned, along with added licorice and ash, in to a dry and nicely drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: A tad too light on for our liking. Medium body, mild-moderate carbonation. 6% ABV is well placed for the style.

Overall: A pretty decent drop. The one thing we usually find with Aussie milk stouts is this weak and almost watery texture. For us, any stout whether it be imperial, BA, milk or even session it needs to have a dense and almost chewy body. Still, not a bad offering.

The Bruery ‘Nana’s Famous Pain Perdu’ Spiced Imperial Stout

Rating:

“You’re awakened from your slumber by the sweet aromatics radiating from Nana’s kitchen. Your nose guides you to a decadently sticky plate of Pain Perdu just waiting to be consumed. This breakfast-inspired imperial stout serves up bold, roasty flavors, laced with maple syrup and graham cracker with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Solid black with a thumb of brown head perched on top. It gradually forms a thin film and provides a healthy lace as we go.

Aroma: Smack my ass and call me Judy! This is next level. The overall balance has to be commended here. The intensity of the cinnamon and maple would almost be too much if not for the biscuity elements and hearty impy stout base which consists of dark chocolate, coffee, sweet dark fruits and cocoa. There are still so many more subtle aromas here but we don’t want to turn this in to an essay!

Flavour: And it all transfers on to the palate too. Mammoth amounts of spice and maple sweetness all wrapped up in a neat and lightly charred roasted malt base. The Graham Crackers are subtle but offer that biscuity wheatmeal-like savoury edge which balances it all out. Chocolate/cocoa, coffee and campfire to finish.

Mouthfeel: Dense and super chewy. The viscosity is amazing…full body, low Co2. 9.7% ABV showing a little but that’s expected considering its weight.

Overall: The Bruery would have to be one of the best in the world when it comes to pastry and dessert stouts. This is simply world class stuff. Love it!

Boatrocker ‘2020 Fat Santa’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Fat Santa 2020 has jumped on the jolly train of 1st use Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. This vintage has loads of dark roast whole coffee beans, Madagascan vanilla pods, and the incredible tonka beans…
All these plus bourbon and American oak character lead to a decadent and truly feast worthy Christmas beer. Merry Christmas!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short brown head resting atop. It slowly retreats to the rim with scarce lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: Holy moly this smells freakin incredible! The bourbon barrels lift out with sheer ferocity then make room for the base stout characters to shine – dark chocolate, molasses, licorice, espresso, toffee fudge and ash. All of those gorgeous bourbon qualities really open up as it settles… vanilla, spice, caramel etc. Stunning.

Flavour: This release just keeps getting better and better. The front palate is completely inundated with bourbon barrels, vanilla, spice, dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, coffee and treacle. This hedonistic fusion of flavour stretches well in to the burnt and warming finish then draws out for an eternity.

Mouthfeel: Dense and oily yet surprisingly smooth for its size (10.4 % ABV). Low Co2. Dangerously drinkable.

Overall: Would near have to be one of the best vintages yet. We’d give almost anything to do a vertical tasting of all the Fat Santa vintages. Boatrocker are without a doubt one of the best BA stout producers in the country.

Aether Brewing ‘Creature Of The Night’ Peanut Butter Stout

Rating:

“Heavy aromas of peanut butter and peanut brittle, further accentuated by the mouthfeel and oily slickness of the malts. Subtleties of chocolate and caramel can also be found. Quite dry for a dessert beer due to the lack of lactose.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: As black as midnight with a thumb of fizzy brown head which quickly fades. Scarce lace as we go.

Aroma: Holy moly even someone with hyposmia would be able to smell the peanuts here! Extract-alicious! That aside it’s still an unbelievably alluring aroma, the level of peanut is immense and it’s also supported by hints of milk chocolate, mixed nuts, coffee and brittle.

Flavour: As anticipated it’s heavy on the peanut extract. Not so much peanut butter though…more peanut brittle. Unfortunately the back up that was there in the aroma hasn’t transferred to the palate. She’s a one trick pony and that’s a bit disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Light on for the style. Flat-ish Co2. The 7% ABV is pretty well hidden though.

Overall: Not what we expected from this Brissy brewery. We’ve had these guys on our radar for years and it’s unfortunate our first entry was a little negative. Core range is up next!

Six String ‘Mr Black’ Coffee Milk Stout

Rating:

“Brewed using coffee from Mr Black Coffee Liqueur this Six String X Mr Black Collab combines two unique products into a rich, lush Stout. The bitter of the coffee with the sweet milk stout gives a bittersweet balance. The rich malt bill and unapologetic coffee hit from the cold brewed Mr Black coffee gives a bold and complex aroma and flavour to this big roasty full flavoured beer.”

Glassware: Snifter

Appearance: From the get go we feel like we’ve got Co2 issues here. The can opened strangely and it’s poured about 90% head….and it’s taking ages to reduce!

Aroma: Not smelling right either. Very gassy, some milky/lactose sweetness mixed in to the milk chocolate and vanilla but we can literally smell the carbonation…it’s kinda like smelling soda water. Some light roasty-ness also here but yeah, this could be a sink pour unfortunately.

Flavour: Although it’s overcarbonated for the style it doesn’t totally explode in the mouth. Instead we get this bubbly, weak and watered down mess. Milk chocolate, coffee and vanilla are so far in the distance it’s almost hard to call it a coffee milk stout. It finishes on a somewhat decent roasty note but man this is bad.

Mouthfeel: Obviously overcarbonated, gassy and light on. They did hide the 8% ABV quite well but nothing will save this beer from its eventual meeting with the drain pipes.

Overall: Terrible. Not enough to ever try another 6 String beer ever again but breweries do themselves a lot of damage by not double checking stuff like this before it goes out. Holy moly, get it together 6 String!

Bottle Logic ‘Leche Borracho’ BA Spiced Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Imperial Stout brewed with ancho peppers, cinnamon, cacao nibs, and lactose sugar aged in tequila and bourbon barrels.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short brown head. As it peels back it reveals lots of small red flakes which we’re guessing are the leftover ancho chillies! Very cool….or very hot?

Aroma: So much happening yet it’s still so smooth and luxurious. The main scents are sweet chocolate, vanilla/lactose, spicy ancho chillies and cinnamon. Peppery spice turns up late as we pick up sugary dark fruits like dates and raisin. Bourbon oak creeping in as it settles. The tequila barrels are a bit muted but we’re not at all bummed by that!

Flavour: As anticipated the ancho chillies have an immediate effect, dropping subtle heat alongside bittersweet chocolate, cacao and milk sugars. A touch of molasses and licorice nicely integrated amongst the spicy and warming bourbon, cinnamon and pepper. Kinda sweet yet roasty and spicy finish which goes the distance.

Mouthfeel: She’s oily but holds a nice viscosity. Warming as well. Mild-moderate Co2. 11.7% ABV showing through a smidge.

Overall: Classic BL. Complex and layered but so so smooth and decadent. Superb.

Vocation ‘Breakfast Club 2.0’ Blueberry Waffle Breakfast Stout

Rating:
  • “Seeing as you enjoyed the first round so much – how about seconds? Presenting Breakfast Club 2.0, remixed to be bigger, thicker and fruitier than ever. Hold on to your belt buckles, this one’s a proper feast.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a thumb of terracotta head. It slowly peels back and forms a halo. Beautiful cascading lace is left on the glass.

Aroma: Avery alluring. We’re aware of stating the bleeding obvious but it literally smells like blueberry waffles…with additions of icing sugar, caramel, vanilla, puree, spice and cake mix. There’s definitely something sweet and sugary in here but we can’t quite put our fingers on it. Pretty nice aroma though.

Flavour: Nice contrast upfront. Getting the tart blueberries against a light roasty malt backdrop. Chocolate notes here and there, a hint of vanilla sweetness and doughy cake mix. Then it all seems to just fall away. The finish is weak…a flutter of blueberry and doughy sweetness but that’s it.

Mouthfeel: Thin, oily and slippery. Way too lean for the style. Mild-medium body. 6.9% ABV is reasonably well buried.

Overall: Not huge fans but then again it ain’t a bad drop. It just lacks body and the lengthy finish we come to expect from pastry stouts.

Cigar City ‘Beoir Bairille’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Brewed in collaboration with our friends at Jameson® Irish Whiskey, this robust Imperial Stout has notes of bittersweet chocolate and burnt sugar juxtaposed against a touch of lactose, crafted to beautifully compliment aging in Jameson® Irish Whiskey barrels. Rich and robust, this beer celebrates Jameson’s Caskmates Program and our mutual love of ‚”barrel beer”.

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black as midnight with a wispy head that snaps back to the rim. Very little in the way of lace.

Aroma: We can certainly detect the Jameson whiskey…in our opinion Irish whiskey is notably smoother and sweeter with a touch of florals and Sherry and it definitely shines through the big and aggressive malt body – rich molasses, licorice, dates/prunes, dark chocolate, treacle and decadent caramel fudge. There’s a bit of toasty oak also coming through.

Flavour: Quite similar to the nose in the sense that the Jameson whiskey provides a subtle lick of Sherry, florals and pear while the heaving malts give us the classic rich molasses, bitter dark chocolate, licorice and subtle espresso. Toasty oak, maybe a fleeting hint of vanilla and soy sauce as it wraps up with a nice warming finish that goes the distance.

Mouthfeel: Oily, medium-full body. Ever so slightly lifted Co2. Fairly well behaved for 13.2% ABV.

Overall: Although it’s a cracking BA stout we’ve had far better from CC. Admittedly we’re not massive fans of Irish whiskey either but we can dig what they’re doing here.

Big Shed ‘Mega Golden Stout Time’ Dessert Stout

Rating:

“Double Golden Stout Time! Enough Said.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with a fine dusting of microbubble on top. It completely disappears bar a very thin halo. Hardly any lace sticks as it ebbs.

Aroma: Exactly like its younger brother but slightly bigger and sweeter. That supremely decadent scent of caramel ice cream jumps out of the glass while a more subtle support role of Anzac cookies, vanilla, coconut, honeycomb and melted white chocolate plays out. We’ve been trying to pin down a certain character and we finally got it…Arnott’s Hundreds and Thousands!

Flavour: She’s a carbon copy of the original Golden Stout Time just bigger and sweeter. Expectedly, there’s a bit more fire (being 8% and all) and that stirs up a bit of rich toffee but yeah…it’s all caramel, honeycomb, biscuits, vanilla and coconut from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, a little sticky, medium body. 8% ABV a little noticeable but fairly well kept. Low-ish Co2.

Overall: Look it’s absolutely divine and so indulgent but honestly what’s the point when the only thing that sets it apart from the original is a bigger ABV?! At least barrel age it so there’s a distinct difference. Still, it’s a corker of a beer.

Boatrocker ‘Oakey Dokey’ Oak Aged Stout

Rating:

“Full of Luscious British and New Zealand malts, balanced by classic hops and an oak finish. Full bodied and satisfyingly moreish.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a thumb of light brown foam perched neatly on top. Good retention and a wet cascading lace being strewn down the glass.

Aroma: Nothing extraordinary. It has a reasonably dense bottom end of dark chocolate, sweet espresso, subtle roast, toasted marshmallow, musk and rich toffee/caramel. The oak chips are too timid for our liking plus the stout as a whole (considering its substantial ABV of 8%) is a bit too reserved.

Flavour: There’s a wee bit more here but again, not enough for an oak aged quasi-imperial stout. It’s a mirror image of the nose; chocolate, coffee, light roast, toffee and treacle/burnt brown sugar shifting in to a pretty passive finish of mild roast and kinda sweet sugars. Decent length to it at least.

Mouthfeel: Oily but a little too lean. Mild bitterness in the swallow. Low-ish Co2. 8% ABV fairly well behaved.

Overall: For a brewery that has one of the best barrel aged stouts in its arsenal this is painfully mediocre. Considering the world class quality of the Ramjet and Roger Ramjet series we were expecting a lot more from this stout.