Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dark Star Imperial Stout

Good evening all. I'm back for another review, and as it's later in the evening, I've opted for something dark and contemplative in the form of Imperial Stout from Dark Star. This is the first bottled offering I've had from Dark Star, but I've sampled their cask wares at various times before and found them all to be good- with the exception of Espresso which was fantastic- so I'm expecting this to stand out! Review after the pic....

Imperial Stout (10.5% ABV) pours a deep black colour with a slow-forming beige head that quickly dissolves to a thick halo around the inside of the glass. The aroma consists of dark fruits (blackcurrant, raspberry) and a noticeable hop character that's reminiscent of barleywines, with some roasted malt in the background and a sweetness that manifests itself as toffee and candy sugar. The taste is mainly sweet- the candy sugar flavours predominate here- with light fruity hops and some chocolate and coffee flavours from the roasted malt in the aftertaste. The finish is dry, but does invite more sips after the flavours have diminished. The mouthfeel is quite thin for this beer style, with low carbonation. The flavours can sometimes feel slightly sticky/cloying on the palette, but this isn't too much of a concern as they are full-bodied. This is certainly an interesting imperial stout- the typical roasted malt flavours have been masked by the hoppy fruitiness and noticeable sweetness, so if you blind tasted this you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a barleywine! The components are all well-balanced though, and the flavours are big enough to warrant the "imperial" title. Definitely recommended, particularly for anyone seeking a unique stout experience or wishing to transition from hoppy beers into stouts.

Until next time....

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