“Our latest barrel aged release, and our first barrel aged release in cans, is named after The Grandis, the tallest known tree in NSW which is located on the western edge of Myall Lakes National Park, just off Pacific Highway, north of Bulahdelah (on the road to Forster). The Grandis is an Imperial Stout, brewed with cacao nibs and local Forster Little Street Roasters coffee (coffee added both in the boil and cold brew) and then aged in Bourbon (JD 150th Anniversary Limited Edition), Ex-Bourbon Maple Syrup and Vanilla Extract (ex-Bourbon) barrels. The barrels have been blended together to give a super smooth barrel aged imperial stout sitting at the very drinkable 8.2%.”
Appearance: Impenetrable black with a finger of brown foam perched on top. Good retention with a wet lace dragged down the glass.
Aroma: From first glance it smells superb…oodles of roasted malt, coffee, Bourbon, vanilla, delicate hints of maple. But once we get our noses in there we pick up some nasties (let’s be clear though, they’re only subtle). We get that slightly metallic and chemical-like aroma which hints at blood and rusty coins. Damn shame because it truly has the bones.
Flavour: It all turns in to a bit of a mess here. Way too much bitterness for a barrel aged stout for one. The slighty metallic/chemical notes come through again and finally the barrel characters are almost completely lost in it all. We’re left with a somewhat decent base of bitter espresso, chocolate and charred malt.
Mouthfeel: Harsh, bitter and warming. Medium-full body. The 8.2% ABV barely gets it to imperial level yet still shows.
Overall: Quite disappointing in the end. From what started promisingly totally crashed. We kinda need to add the acetaldehyde factor too…just a hint of that green apple/pear coming through. Really unfortunate because it appears the brewers have put a lot of effort in to sourcing JD barrels (wow!), maple bourbon barrels and then blending.