A quick Google tells me Black Diamond's Peak XV has only been with us a couple of weeks at this stage. The 8% ABV imperial porter is made with fresh vanilla and California cocoa nibs. And, perhaps because it's so young, is incredibly fizzy at first. Mountains of head piled up as I poured, though subsided relatively quickly leaving a layer of tan foam on the surface.
From this there comes an oddly sharp aroma with a strangely green and herbal character: I get the distinct impression that, a journey of 5,000 miles notwithstanding, this stuff isn't quite ready for drinking yet. Chocolate is the main flavour: dry and dusty like cocoa powder. The vanilla is present too, adding a depth and richness otherwise lacking in this busily youthful but quite two-dimensional beer. The only other beer badged as "imperial porter" that I can think of is Flying Dog's Gonzo, and this has none of the big hop complexities present there.
The texture is relatively heavy, and once the head has settled it's as smooth and ungassy as this sort of beer should be -- a bit of a prickle livening up the mild alcohol burn as it slips down.
At the moment, Peak XV is a big, cacophonous powerhouse of sharp, unsubtle, unblended flavours. While I enjoyed it, I recommend a year or two's cellaring before approaching the thick moulded plastic seal over the cap.
Westvleteren 12 - *Origin: Belgium | Date: 2012 | ABV: 10.2% | On The Beer Nut: December 2007* This bottle of Westvleteren 12 was not captured in the wild, acquired instead ...
1 week ago