“The flagship of our Special Reserve Series, Devil’s Advocate is a full bodied Eisbock with notes of honey and dried fruit and a complex palate of apricot, chocolate and sherry. Aged on oak to lend a smooth smokey finish. Enjoy with rich food, dark chocolate, strong cheese or on its own by a warm fire with special friends. Will improve with careful cool cellaring for two or more years.”
As the description states, this Eisbock can be cellared, albeit carefully, for up to two years. We almost got there as this was bottled in 2014 but the weather here in Sydney is starting to really warm up so we thought we’d get stuck in now. We pulled it out of the fridge to let it come up to just below room temperature before serving it in to a snifter glass. The dark cola pour is capped off by a two finger tan head that steadily deconstructs and settles to a foamy halo around the circumference of the glass. Lacing is scarce but reasonable. As we expected, the nose is rich and extremely complex. Dense wafts of fruit cake, dates, dark chocolate, Galliano, alcohol, cherry ripe, caramelised pear and Barleywine-like residual sugars are mind blowingly moreish and just down right potent! It smells like a top shelf Quadrupel. Wow. The texture is thick and viscous with a heavy weight behind it. Carbonation is low and the body is full. Absolutely choc-a-bloc full of dark malts and an unctuous molassesy density. Upfront it’s astringent, almost medicinal with it’s molasses-like complexity. The alcohol (11% ABV) is somehow drowned out by the dark chocolatey, caramelised fruity sweetness that can best be described as Christmas cake. Hints of rich toffee and caramel carry it all forward and lead in to a seriously rich and lethal finish full of alcohol warmth, liqueur, dates and port. Friends, try at your own risk. This is extremely hefty and fearsome, but absolutely divine if you dig your dark, heavy beers. We can’t help but wish we had a cuban cigar and a big roaring wood fire to complete this situation. Not much we can do about that, but we can just sit back and bask in this remarkably complex brew. What a way to kick off proceedings with this brewery eh?! Brilliant drop.