Sunday, 31 August 2014

Beer Review: Titanic Stout

Back on the stout as it's been a while. Well, okay, not that long but long enough methinks to try another. Also, because I am capricious and strange, I thought I'd have it out in the garden. See, look, you can see the carrots flowering in the background of the picture. Also for a windy day, it was lovely and warm. So there.

Yes, today in my garden I have been mostly drinking Stout. But, wait a minute, I hear you say, you called it Titanic Stout in the title. Why, yes, I did you observant person, you; but it lacks some distinction to call it just Stout so I added the brewery name as well. Makers of the rather nice Iceberg (link).

Okay, now that introductions are out of the way it's time to get to know one another better, don't you think?

Would you like to know more?

I'll confess that this has been sitting in my kitchen most of the summer waiting for me, I think I had it in before the beginning of the school holidays, and I bought it on offer so it was little surprise that I was about two weeks after the BBE in having this. It explains why, despite the lack of carbon dioxide wisp on opening, there was the never-ending head on the pouring. And I was pretty careful in the pouring, I mean careful. But the head just kept on coming. The above picture was taken a good five minutes after I'd started pouring. I'm not going to blame the beer for that, it's entirely my fault for leaving it in the kitchen during a heatwave! Also, that bottle, lovely proportions and a historical link, how was I not going to be drawn to this?

Straight away, this 4.5% ABV beer lets you know the cut of its jib, being of a biscuit-y aroma that hints at some deep spiciness. Indeed, it is very like the base of some sumptuous cake at a festive time when the biscuit has been steeped in something alcoholic, sweet and strong, like brandy. Very dark in colouration and rather brooding for the warm but slightly breezy garden. In that sense it's a little like Angel and so very much in my zone, I suppose, though I always preferred Buffy and then, kinda, well, I just didn't go back. I digress, the beer!

First taste is as rich as the aroma suggests, akin to sherry trifle with more sherry than trifle and less sweet, with the malt taking the centre stage. It really fills the mouth, expanding nicely to cover any and all gaps left behind until the taste just is. It is, in fact, stronger in every way to the hoppy brews that have been all over the place here recently and that I have been drinking. Except, of course, in terms of hops. It is thicker set and heavier than the Blue Fin Stout (link) and lacks the bittering of Black Beauty (link) or the depth of chocolate confusion of Triple Chocoholic (link) which makes this fill a pretty large niche in my opinion. Despite the obvious weight, it's not as heavy as Lion (link) or Stallion (link) but very much heavier in terms of colour and feeling in the mouth, it remains almost sessionable. Unlike the wonderful Imperial Russian Stout (link), for example, which would likely as not level all but the hardiest of drinkers if you had more than a pint in one go or without a meal and company.

Overall, then, this is a nice enough afternoon beer. Enjoy it best in the cold and the dark, or on a rainy day, but it fares well enough in the sunshine and warmth of a day in the garden that you could stretch that far. Don't expect to do much if you risk this during the day, it is soporific and heavy on the stomach, best have after you've eaten rather than before.

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