Considering the fact I'm slightly over run with Imperial Stouts at the moment, I figured I'd give a couple of new ones a quick review.
Summer Wine KopiKat - A 9% Imperial Vanilla Coffee Stout.
A beer brewed with Rick Furzer and Daniel Vane. The bottle states: "So this is where you're probably looking for tasting notes. However, taste is subjective, so we won't tell you what this beer 'should' taste like. (I don't think it would really hurt guys..) We'll leave you and your sophisticated palate to decipher this beer." Ok.. It pours luscious black with a booming dark tan, tightly knitted head which kind of looks like a perfectly toasted marshmallow. The aroma is solid coffee and vanilla pods, it dominates. Faint hints of leather, oak, tobacco and a touch of dried fruit are there too. The mouth feel is thick and the body has obvious boozy qualities. I thought I'd be getting more vanilla, but from the start it's powerful waves of massively bitter black coffee which are most obvious. Some drying dark chocolate, leathery oak, a little pine resin and a lot of character. Simply delicious. (can't wait to try the whisky aged version)
Time for a quick glass of water before I move onto the second.
It's their base 10.7% Imperial Stout aged in Glenlivet Whisky casks. After spending 6 months in the casks it's pretty obvious from the aroma that the beer has been amplified. I get a massive hit of sweet sweet malts and candy sugars. (it kind of has a whiff of apple juice about it too!) It looks a lot flatter on the pour than KopiKat, but don't let that fool you, it's a rich and sweet beer, a lot like a dark sherry. It's completely different than any other barrel aged Imperial Stout I've ever had, but it still confirms my beliefs that Speyside and Highland casks are better for aging this beer style than Islay casks. Loads of sweet toffee and a lot of grain/malt character. Rum soaked dates and figs, big old flakey oak cask essence. Once again, a beer which is full of character!
Two down tonight, lots more on the way. I salute Summer Wine Brewery for making a delicious beer which was the hardest to open I've ever had, and Bristol Beer Factory for making a great beer, and also reminding us that responsible drinking requires a hard hat! (why can't the fatties drink the beer though...)