Friday, 20 January 2012

a big Stout round up

Little run of stouts recently either side of some night shifts and the holidays, some good, very good at that, some not. Two of the five are welsh beers.

The Sainsbury's beer competition last year produced one beer that was roundly praised, even surprising people that it was not more highly placed. I never got to a store whilst the competition was on, so missed most of the beers but a few weeks after I picked up two bottles left on a clearance shelf, the last bottles of the Williams Brothers Profanity Stout.

Spoiler - Its excellent, basically. 330mls, 7% abv.

Dark black ruby edges. Aroma of coffee and malts but also hop fruits coming through. Great full body, chocoloate, creamy, nice bitterness, rich coffee, rich figgy fruit. Excuse me while I go dig the other bottle out of the shed.

Pen-lon Stock Ram , bottle conditioned stout, 4.5%, Pen-lon are based in Ceredigion, West Wales, and all their range are conditioned and vegan friendly made on their farm. Previously I've had their Chocolate stout which was very good, but their bottles are still not easily obtained in South Wales.
It has conditioned well, light carbonation, reasonable full in the mouth. Aroma is light chocolate and ash. Taste is a little odd, there is coffee, its yeasty,  but also some slightly sour fruits, blackcurrants. Its also got a faint cheesy quality. Overall unfortunately I was not that impressed.

Neath Ales Black, this was brought to me in my christmas stocking, coool santa thanks!!
5.5%, 500mls, Neath ales black is light in the mouth, but nicely so, overall its flavours are light and nicely balanced with its body, making it very drinkable. There is bitter chocolate and rich fruit, an ash dryness, finishes with good bitterness.

Saint Petersburg by Thornbridge, is remarkable in that it drinks nowhere near a 7.7% beer. This Imperial Russian stout is beautiful to look at, in and out the bottle, to smell and taste. Beautiful mocha head, aroma is roasted malt, smoke, milk chocolate. Deep flavour, although not as huge as i was expecting, licorice, coffee, good hop bitterness alongside a little metallic edge.
One everyone should try.

Recommended by the Folk & Ale blog I picked this up on an occasional visit to Sainsbury's.
Brewed for them by Black Sheep brewery, one I've always enjoyed beers by, its 6% and damn tasty.
Very dark brown into a black, thick but small head, solid body.
Chocolate on the nose and mouth, milk chocolate, coffee with sugar, dried fruits.
Obviously much more easily available that most of the above and well worth checking out.

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