75 / 100
Belgian Extra Stout with Raisins, brewed for GABS festival 2017. Tried on tap there.
Pours dark-brown, dark right to the edge. Beige head, foamy that doesn't retain brilliantly. Not too bad though, yeah.
Very Belgian nose. Chocolate and dark fruit blending with coffee and spice, with clove and coriander characters coming through as well. Big and pleasant.
Taste is roasty, mostly, but earthy-spicy as well. Good chocolate sweetness that smoothes out the roughest parts on the mid, with a phenolic finish blending with clove and a good roasty bitterness. Yeah, I quite like that.
Decent body, warms through with the alcohol on the back.
Feels like it's going overboard at times, but it reins itself in with clever use of adjuncts just to take the edges off. I really need to pay Foghorn a visit one of these days as I've only tried a couple GABS beers from them and they've both been great.
This was retried and shortlisted and ended up my #17 beer of the festival.
79 / 100
Brewed for and tried at GABS festival in Melbourne, May 2016. This was the 'big heavy dark beer' of our first paddle at the festival.
Pours a coffee colour, dark right to the edge. Head is tan, dense and creamy and sticks around, leaving a thick sheen of lacing behind. Looks absolutely gorgeous. Immaculate.
Smells complex, sweet, spicy and interesting. Chocolate underlying with notes of vanilla and caramel sweetness, touch of coconut and some rich dark fruit as well. Sweet coffee character that gives a lingering licorice note. Maybe a touch too sweet but otherwise beautiful aroma.
Taste is full of chocolate, for the most part. Vanilla and some spicy coffee notes come through midway. Touch nutty and the back-palate gives way to dark fruit sweetness, with a good belt of roasted malt and a touch of smokey character as well. Bit of spice overall, lovely sweet imperial stout otherwise.
Full body, decent texture. Touch of alcohol is inevitable but it's not sharp, it's pretty nicely contained in the big flavours really.
Pretty cracking imperial stout. To style, and in many ways by the numbers, but when it's this well constructed and tasty you don't need any sort of 'twist' on it.
This ended up my number 7 beer of the festival.