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Black Sheep Imperial Russian Stout

Thu, 2013-07-04 20:21 -- bob

IN THE cooler months, we often talk about "comfort foods" but I prefer to talk about "comfort drinks" - namely of the beer variety.

Yes, once the temp drops enough to don the ugg boots and stoke up the fire, it's time to start looking at the darker heavier beers and one to consider is Black Sheep Imperial Russian Stout.

Brewed in Yorkshire, this little bottle of deliciousness is enticing on many senses and delivers on so many levels.

For a start, its has a rich dark colour (not jet black) with a coffee-coloured head which doesn't hang around for long.

The aroma is a definite draw card (not that you buy beer to smell it) but with Black Sheep, the rich chocolate/malt aroma has also hints of plum/berry and coffee to it.

Any beer that can have you salivating at the thought of what the beer tastes like is pretty good in my opinion - it's a "beer tease".

And that expectation is rewarded with a smooth, full-bodied flavour thought it is not quite as heavy as you might think, considering it is an Imperial Stout.

While not light by any standards, it is "lighter" than some other Imperial Stout drops on the market but that doesn't mean it compromises on flavour.

There is distinct chocolate/coffee/malt flavour with a touch of liquorice and just a hint of spice in the after taste which adds to the character of the stout.

It has surprisingly clean finish and while it is a stout, it doesn't have the same weight in the gut as some of your better-known Irish stouts.

Best served cold but not chilled, this will warm you up nicely at 8.5 per cent but, needless to say, this isn't a drop which you'd have a big session on though it is easy to down a couple.

I think this is a great finisher after a hearty meal or something to go with a chocolate desert, especially sitting in front of a fire.

Stout is an acquired taste but this is one Russian I love.

MY TIP

Being fully imported, it isn't cheap and you will have to go to a craft beer outlet to track it down. But for a special treat at $40 per 330ml six pack, it's worth the indulgence. You can order Black Sheep through outlets such as The Garden Cellars at gardencellars.com.au

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