Saturday, 16 May 2015

Winter Black Beer Roundup

So as I'm sure we're all aware after the past few week's weather, Winter seems to have come very early this year. And when it's icy outside, there's no better beer to drink than a big, hearty black beer to help keep you toasty and warm. So below is a roundup of a few of the best black beers I've had so far this year, and a look at Little Creatures' latest release!

First up, we have an absolute cracker of a beer that's been chilling in my cellar for a while now, Black Damnation III from Black Mes. Sitting at 13% ABV and being crazy dark, it was a perfect candidate for a bit of ageing, and the results haven't disappointed

Been in the cellar for a while, needed a dust off for the photo
Pouring into the glass an opaque black colour with minimal though thick head. Aroma is a mix of some vanilla/oaky notes, dark fruit, and some spiritesque heat. Oily on the palate, very rich dark malt and some real whisky flavours come through to help break up the heaviness of the body.

Really delicious and highly recommended for anyone who's a big imperial stout fan, or big into whisky.

Overall: 4.5/5

Next up, we have another monster stout, although this one has spent a little less time ageing (I'm too impatient). Bridge Road's One Thousand is a celebration of their 1000th brew, and is their first ever imperial stout. Judging from this, they should definitely make them more often!

Probably should have laid this one down for a bit
Straight away in the glass, it's jet black and has a very generous amount of frothy ten head. Aroma is mocha, real notes of coffee, chocolate and even some caramel, though this is all backed up by a healthy dose of earthy and grassy hops. Body is medium, surprising for such a big beer, and the flavours come on strong, again with mocha alongside a lot of roast, all on a silky smooth finish.

I kinda wish I'd waited to drink this, I think it would have aged very well, hoping to track down another and stick it in the cellar for a bit!

Overall: 5/5

Thirdly, have an an old favourite of mine, Rogue's Chocolate Stout. I've had this a couple of times, but I decided I wanted to try out a stout float after seeing Bitter Phew were running a stout float night. This just seemed like the perfect candidate, so I grabbed a bottle and went to work!

Lady on the bottle definitely not drinking stout...
The beer itself is just as good as always, real sweetness in the nose and flavour, strong cocoa and roasty notes backed by a bit of praline? and a firm but not too bitter backbone. 

Stout Float mmmm
Over a bit of vanilla bean gelato was where this beer really shone, the sweetness of the icecream really cut into the roast and backbone of the beer and left behind the sweeter cocoa/coffee flavours. Was almost tempted to warm up some of the beer and see if I could get it similar to an affogato!

Overall very tasty, and recommended that you try it as a stout float if you can track some down!

Beer: 4/5
Beer with Icecream: 4.5/5
And finally, we have a Peek at the latest from Little Creatures, The Return of the Dread Domestic Extra Stout. A re-release of the old Dreadnought, they've sized down to 330mL and kicked off a new "Seasonal Release" collection with a killer Stout!

I think it's the opposite of pale

Weighing in at 7.2%, she's not as formidable as say, the Black Mes from earlier, but definitely punchier than the Rogue. Cocoa and some licquorice through the nose, backed by some slight spice from the hops. Body is velvety smooth, and plenty of roast, chocolate and coffee to go around. Almost like an iced coffee at times (Especially as it warms a bit). 

Definitely a great stout, and probably the most 'drinkable' of the four beers on show here as it's the only beer that when I finished it, I was keen for a second right away!

Overall: 4/5

Thanks for reading guys! Plenty happening in the next few weeks, running a beer tasting today on the new 4 Pines Pale Ale pack:

Probably won't write about this for a while though

Starting the new job tomorrow, then heading down to Melbourne for GABS on thursday, it's going to be beer beer and more beer for the next fortnight! Keep and eye out for GABS posts, if I feel up to it might do a bit of a liveblog!

Until next time!

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