Sunday, 1 January 2012

Bristol Beer Factory Raspberry Stout

Good evening all and a Happy New Year. I spent my last moments of 2011 drinking Cigar City Guava Grove, after having consumed a third of a bottle of J&B Rare and a variety of different libations prior to this, so my memory on it is very hazy. Therefore, I'll just jump straight into tonight's beer, Raspberry Stout from Bristol Beer Factory. The penultimate stout in the "12 Stouts of Christmas" collection (eagle-eyed readers will notice that the Laphroaig cask-aged stout hasn't been reviewed, but that's due to me picking an awful time to drink it and completely forgetting), so let's get these last two out of the way before Twelfth Night! Onwards....

Raspberry Stout (7.7% ABV) is a stout that, in an unbelievable "Ronseal" moment, has been brewed with raspberries- 25kg to be exact. As if that wasn't enough, it's been fermented with a Belgian yeast, meaning the potential flavours and aromas are mind-boggling! The beer pours a deep black with a thick brown head that quickly dissolves to a halo around the inside of the glass. The aroma is boozy with plenty of dark chocolate and a spicy phenolic character. The taste is composed primarily of roasted malt and some bitter chocolate, with the raspberries imparting an unusual dichotomy to the beer- either in the form of the actual flavour of raspberries or through a tart bitterness that mixes well with the other flavours. There is some spiciness from the Belgian yeast, which also helps to cut through the bitterness. The finish is very smooth, and the beer is incredibly drinkable despite the high ABV percentage. Mouthfeel is slightly thick but not excessively carbonated. Overall, another superb stout from Bristol Beer Factory that manages to balance a variety of big flavours to create a beer that is complex, yet very drinkable. This beer would be perfect after a big meal, or even before one if you're so inclined.

Until next time....

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