Hawkers Beer 2016 BA Imperial Stout


18011169_679769888873826_290510650242484662_n“Big, rich, and complex. Layers of flavour with coffee and chocolate aromas. The first of The Imperial Series.”

Served in a snifter. Impenetrable black pour with a healthy two finger head taking shape on top. Steady reduction, retaining a thick overlay for the duration of the beer. Laced well.
The nose is certainly robust and super complex but it’s not as in-your-face as we were anticipating. It actually has quite a mellow temperament about it…but the aromas it’s offering….ooph! Heavy on the barrel effect with oak, dank and musty cellar room. Jam packed with espresso, dark chocolate, molasses, leather, booze, licorice and spice. Very similar to Boatrockers Ramjet, and we all know how good that is! Superb aroma.
The mouth feel lives up to expectation with a sharp, oily texture and an encompassing warmth from the 12.2% ABV. Well carbonated for the style – explains the sustained head we guess. Full bodied. 50 IBU.
Holy moly! Cue the rich, roasty malts as the front palate is met with luscious espresso, burnt chocolate, cocoa and sweet-ish dark fruits. It all rides a wave of warming alcohol through the middle as spicy bourbon notes reach in to a palate wrecking finish of drying bitterness, roasted malt, piercing alcohol and earthy spices.
Again, seriously impressive stuff from Hawkers. It’s gritty, aggressive and intense but also moreish and decadent. A perfect stout to warm the bones up with in front of a roaring wood fire on a cold winter night. Delish!