We don’t know if it’s just us but we have a pet hate when an excellent product has mediocre branding. We’ve said it before, much to the dismay of some brewers, when consumers are bombarded with options (as most craft beer bottle shops are like these days) unique, colourful and artistic labels win the battle of choice. Again, as we have said before we know this is a class brewery already so that’s why we always return. Lucky for them their beer is awesome!!
We served this in a beer tulip. The opaque black pour generates a bubbly 1 and a half finger head that steadily dissipates before vanishing to patchy spots of foam on top. Laced quite well though. The big 4 are definitely dominating the aroma. Roasted malts, espresso coffee, dark chocolate and molasses take the lead as undertones of bitter hops, creamy vanilla, dates, toasted marshmallow and burned damper gently come forward. In the mouth it’s dry and slightly sharp. The carbonation is mild with medium body, making this stout quite easy to drink. That is until the ABV (9.1%) comes to the party through the mid and makes its presence felt in the finish with an aggressive sting on the back end. On the upside it’s not all head-buzzing alcohol on display here as the first few sips yield an espresso bite along with dark chocolate and a firm hop bitterness that moves forward through the mid. Cue alcohol sting with hints of pine and burned wood in the finish. In summary the alcohol is a little too prominent and the firm-handed use of hops really boosts the bitterness that is already represented by the espresso coffee flavours. Just a little overcooked but by the same token a rich and flavoursome beer is on offer….just a little unbalanced.