We’ve seen some pretty impressive award lists over the years but not many would be able to stack up against this one. This stout can lay claim to winning awards dating back to 1998, years before the craft beer revolution was even considered here in Australia. Not only that, it’s continual. This stout also picked up awards in 99, 2000, 01 and every year through to 2007. Before picking up awards again in 2011 through to 2014. That demands respect. Served in to a wide-rimmed tulip glass. As to be expected the appearance is blacker than the ace of spades. A modest finger and a half of tanned foam is propped up, slowly peeling off and retaining at a fine layer over the top. Healthy lacing. Typical stout aroma. Lots of big roasted malts but it’s this certain malty sweetness that has us interested. Kind of like a sticky, molassesy, sweetness that blends in well with the subtle coffee. Quite a pronounced dark fruit complexity too, we detect either cherry or mulberry/blackberry. We were a tad sceptical at first but we’ve come around. The mouth feel is creamy with a moderate weight behind it. Not enough to grip as it goes down but enough to really fill it out. Co2 is medium with a substantial bitterness on the tongue (55 IBU). The intitial flavours are quite sweet but that firm bitterness and robust malt base crescendos before the mid. A light tingling dryness bridges the middle as it descends into a dry, roasted finish that offers considerable length. What were we thinking, questioning this stout? As this beauty came up to room temperature it really opened up. Excellent stout, no wonder it’s won all of those awards. Highly palatable drop here.