03 October 2012

Black and blue

Please excuse the labelless bottle: this is how it came to me. The graphic design on the new White Gypsy bottles are pretty minimalist anyway: white on black, with a subtle colour coding denoting the style. The blue cap is the Imperial Stout and Cuilán very kindly gifted me this bottle at the Irish Craft Beer Festival last month.

I get lots of fizz as I pour, a deep layer of off-white foam forming over the opaque black body, though subsiding quite quickly. The aroma isn't as aggresive as one normally finds in this style, a nose-tingling jet of sharp carbon dioxide with the promise of liquorice and treacle beneath.

The flavour profile is quite Irish: much dryer than other imperial stouts with lots of burnt toast roasted barley at the front. It gets chewier deeper in as the sweeter liquorice and dark chocolate finish things off, with a tangy hit of vegetal hops giving this valediction an extra dimension.

It's not a massively complex or challenging beer and presents very little that the seasoned drinker of unimperial stouts hasn't met before. At a mere 7% ABV it's quite light in the alcohol department too, not that I complained as I took care of the whole 75cl by myself. But it's an absolutely rock-solid beer and I'm looking forward to seeing it and its brethern out in the wild. White Gypsy have also produced a Doppelbock, Dubbel and American-style IPA in this series: look out for them wherever decent Irish beer is sold.