This beer had been staring at me intimidatingly for a long time. A label baring state such as 12% ABV, 4.7 standard drinks in a 500ml bottle was enough to make me break out in a cold sweat. I dug out the courage to have this bottle during the closing days of winter, where cooler temperatures are better suited to the strength of this beer.
Chocolate and nutty aromas arose from the jet black liquid. It has a chocolate taste at the start, before throwing to a big, strong alcoholic aftertaste. It gets better as it warms, but it almost makes the face shrivel the first couple of sips. It’s got a real winter feel as it slides down the throat. It’s big, thick, and warms with its high alcohol content.
My criticism is that it’s so dam boozy tasting! There’s hardly any masking of the alcohol flavours, that it just grabs the scruff of your neck and gives you a good shake. If I’d been necking back a vodka or scotch, this would be something I’d expect, but it’s not something I’d generally expect from a beer. Sure, some beers are stronger, and you might get a bit of an alcoholic taste, but it’s usually melded in with the malt or hop flavours. Not this time though.
This is a good beer, but that is as far as I’ll go with it. It’s just so damn big, when combining both alcohol and consumption size, that it almost has to be shared with another person, or enjoyed right before bed as I did. It’s certainly one for the winter months with its warming effects, but probably not on of the first imperial stouts I’d be reaching for given others in the market.
Drunk: from the bottle