Naptime beer. Biding time in the chill chest, you begin to wonder, “When am I going to drink it? It doesn’t go with the pizza I ordered. Or the burgers we’re having tomorrow. Should I just have it with dessert? As dessert?” No, it’s ideal not at any time, but at that key afternoon lull when an oily ten percenter is all that stands between you and some clean sheets.
STYLE: Russian Imperial Stout
LOOK: Panther black. Oily and pours like syrup, sleek to match the packaging. Soft, ginger head that doesn’t hold.
NOSE: Raisins, softer than expected. I can’t even say coffee because while I do get a hint I think it’s conditioning. “This is a classy Imperial Stout so there must be a coffee nose.” But no.
MOUTH: So very … Belgian? I’m somewhat unsurprised to learn that this New Zealand offering was crafted by a European. Bacon-wrapped dates, roasted coffee beans, malt chappiness (I thought I just invented that word, but Urban Dictionary not only says “no” but also “you’re an idiot, it means nearly the opposite – something disliked – of what you want it to mean – pleasant lipsmackingness). I don’t think the sweetness is chocolate. Rather something purple and fruity. It’s a nice departure from the usual humdrummery.
Beeradvocate Rating: 89
ratebeer Rating: 100
Hayward Abbey Rating: 89