Southwark Old Stout - South Australia Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 31 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
4.13/5 rDev +7.6%
Southwark Old Stout is a brew I've heard mentioned before by South Australians as the Stout that gives Coopers Best Extra a run for its money, and that is a bold claim as Coopers BES is indeed my favourite Aussie Stout. However I think my South Australian cousins may be on to something, and if so this will prove to be the Stout that finds a place in my coveted fridge door shelf alongside Little Creatures Pale Ale, Weihenstephaner Hefe, Founders Breakfast Stout and the mighty Duvel... oh yeah and Trappistes Rochefort 10 as well.
Poured from a 375ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Pouring was interesting - to get a head of any sort I had to agitate the bottle violently, though this is not uncommon with a heavy Belgian beer I'm surprised to see it happen with anything brewed in Australia. The body is opaque black with a minimal tan ring around the glass.
S: Some classic Stout aromas at play: Dark chocolate, espresso coffee and vanilla, plus a touch of rum make this quite a large and foreboding brew... not that anyone is complaining.
T: Espresso notes are bold and upfront with this impressive and hearty Stout. This is followed by the expected dark chocolate and vanilla characters (the above noted rum being absent). Just the right amount of toasted malt sweetness is present as well. The finish is a burnt ground coffee bitterness that balances out the malt.
M: A nice rich, thick body and a creamy carbonation sets this above Coopers BES and really makes it one damn fine Ale.
D: It's rare this day and age to find a bold heavy Stout like this from a Macro owned brewer (this beer is a Lion Nathan owned product) when many others are being watered down ad nauseam (e.g. Guinness Draught, Guinness Extra, Murphy's Stout, Carlton Black). Compared to them this is like a breath of fresh, or in this case heavy, air. Does it slay the mighty Coopers Best Extra Stout though? IMO - Yes, yes it does (said opinion may be based on the higher ABV of this particular tipple, don't judge me).
Food match: Cigars, dark chocolate and sharp cheeses would suit this knight in black armour.
07-15-2014 08:29:21 | More by doktorhops
4.19/5 rDev +9.1%
375ml stubby brown twist-cap bottle purchased from Steve's Cool Booze in Kingsford.
Pours a pleasant deep black-brown, with a firm, chocolatey head of bubbles that settle out to a persistent film. Lacing is speckled and spotty. Body looks quite pleasantly fluid, but holds what carbonation there is rather firmly. Overall, it's reasonably pleasant.
Nose is dusty with pleasant mild roast, some meaty characters, and a pleasant sweet spiciness. There's a depth to the darkness: plenty of sweetness to back it up: suggestions of toffee, raisins and milk chocolate, and even a suggestion of the extra alcohol, which gives some rich aromas of port. It's very pleasant stuff.
Taste is also good. Long but mildly roasted palate, leaves a pleasant toasty sweetness throughout its length. Browned sweet bread, nutella, chocolate, toasted nuts. This is backed up by a slight upkick in the darkness towards the end and a pleasantly dry and relatively crisp ending. Some of the deeper burnt toffee and sugar characters come through too, lending some complexity. It's far more exciting than I expected or remembered.
Feel is a touch light, especially for 7.4% ABV, but that does help with the crispness at the end, which is beneficial in my mind.
Overall, this is a cracking stout. Smooth and drinkable, but with complexity and richness of flavour. It's very well structured and dangerously drinkable. Easily the best dark beer brewed by one of the big boys here in Australia, and a very good beer in its own right.
03-30-2013 07:32:22 | More by lacqueredmouse
4/5 rDev +4.2%
A - pours black under a decent tan head and spots of lacing.
S - mmm.. chocolate, plum, raisin, coffee.
T - follows the nose, good complexity, mocha, some hop bitterness, lot of dark fruit.
M - nice smooth full body, low carbonation.
O - really solid stout. Nothing huge or bold about it, just a tasty, well balanced brew.
01-05-2013 13:18:56 | More by dansmcd
3.95/5 rDev +2.9%
Drank on tap at Squires brew house Perth.
A - Pours a nice deep Mahogany colour, with a tanned head that lasts the distance and laces.
S - Nescafe like aromas with plenty of roasted malt.
Nice coffee flavours with maybe a hint of chocolate. The roasted malts are very well balanced with a hint of brown sugar. Smooth stout is this.
M - Medium to full body with low to medium carbonation.
D - A very sessionable stout. I put this just ahead of Coopers as the best mass produced stout in OZ. Because of the smoothness and the well hidden alcohol content.
10-07-2011 12:52:29 | More by eric5bellies
3.8/5 rDev -1%
Pous a one finger tan head over a black-ish body, head does not last, and little lacing
Aromas are restrained - I think I have a problem I cannot smell aroma off stouts :-) A little roast malt, a little caramel.
Taste is dark chocolate / a little coffee. Warmly alcoholic. Bitterness is there, but not overpowering.
Mouthfell is good and chewy, not too oily.
Nice drop overall. Good winter find.
08-11-2011 10:15:16 | More by heygeebee
3.48/5 rDev -9.4%
Very dark brown, almost black. Looks serious. Attractive creamy coffee coloured head. Soft nose, sweet notes on the nose with a savoury edge. Long palate length that shows quite impressive complexity for an Oz macro. Starts out a fraction lean but develops nice chocolate notes with a clearly defined sliver of tangy oatmeal. Finishes strongly and just a smidgen hard.
07-03-2011 08:51:18 | More by Stew41
4.4/5 rDev +14.6%
Dusting off the review hat for the first time in a while...
Good inky colour with reddish brown highlights. Head sits low but quite suitably for the style. On the nose and upfront on the palate a meaty / vegemite character is prominent but not overwhelming, and fades into some wonderful soft vinous alcohol with hints of raisin, sweet liquorice and dark chocolate.
As the beer progresses the balance of sweetness, mild roast bitterness and alcohol works very well, if perhaps a little on the sweet side. Could definitely drink a few of them though.
Also points for being one of the last old-school high ABV beers brewed by our big breweries. The strength gives it something the other big brewery stouts just cannot replicate anymore.
05-06-2011 00:41:51 | More by goodbyesoberday
3.73/5 rDev -2.9%
A - Opaque black with a 2cm brown tinged creamy head that slowly falls.
S - Dark chocolate aroma with some dark fruit hints.
T - More roasted character in the taste along with bittersweet dark chocolate and fruity touchs.
M - Medium to full bodied with a touch of astringent bitterness.
D - Was quite suprised this is a pretty decent stout.
07-28-2010 01:49:26 | More by brendan13
3.63/5 rDev -5.5%
375 ML bottle poured into a Great Divide Globe glass
A-- Poured reddish black and settled black with just a few tints of red when put near light. Quick fading mocha colored head with just a bit of head retention. No visible carbonation.
S-- Coffee, roasted malts and barley with faint hints of lemon. Not a big nose at all.
T-- A slightly bitter coffee taste in the front of my mouth. Pretty rich but a smooth taste.
M-- More it sat in my mouth the more the lemon came out and it cut down the bitterness. Finished very lemony. Lower medium carbonated and fuller bodied.
D-- Easy to drink and can have two of these easily. Lemon citrus taste is very different for a Stout but an interesting touch. The 7.4 % is very well hidden in this and towards the end the ABV started appearing. Probably needs to be drank at a colder temperature than other Australian Stouts due to the lemon in this. More of a surprise that this is a good beer. Worth seeking out. Lack of nose is only real complaint on this.
07-19-2010 13:51:00 | More by mulder1010
3.78/5 rDev -1.6%
This pours black with a generous beige head which settle to a light coating. The nose is of bitter chocolate and coffee. A bit of alcohol is hiding in the background. The chocolate flavours are bit softer on the palate. More milk than bitter. Alcohol provides some warmth but pretty well integrated. A bit of dark fruit in there as well. A nice creamy mouthfeel. A bloody nice beer.
12-02-2008 09:36:28 | More by Macca
4.22/5 rDev +9.9%
A rich full bodied stout...had all I expected, & after reading up on this I did expect a bit.
Roasty burnt notes in aroma & taste. Mocka, sweet caramel, some dark fruits, a little raisin, some plum - all good.
Mouthfeel is a little thick but I gotta say nice, rich & creamy, & chewy!
Thoroughly enjoyed this stout & will definately buy some more.
11-05-2008 08:17:55 | More by WHROO
3.65/5 rDev -4.9%
I've been drinking a bit of Stout lately, and thankfully there are some high quality brews available here on local shelves. Over the past couple nights I took the time to enjoy a bottle of Lion Stout, as well as Coopers Best Extra Stout. There are remarkable similarities between them all, which isn't suprising, but also some distinction worthy of note.
Like the others, there is some clear roasted coffee notes in both the aroma and taste, however dark fruit is also apparent here... definately more than the others in my opinion. In comparison, I'm also getting some stronger caramel flavours up-front, which creates a certain sweet smoothness and a decline in bitterness.
I'd almost say it's my favourite of the lot, but I'm far from a Stout expert, and am sure my love for them has only just begun. It's time to import some world-class Stout's and give them a go.
07-10-2007 14:00:49 | More by rec
3.85/5 rDev +0.3%
Dark, deep garnet. Heavy tan head that leaves a nice lace at every level...
Aromas of roasted grains, caramel.
Richly flavoured, iced coffee-like. It's dark, bitter chocolate in a glass.
Chewy mouthfeel, and the bitter finish makes a well balanced, fire-side winter drink.
08-17-2006 09:05:39 | More by vancurly
4.05/5 rDev +5.5%
Southwark Old Stout.
A = Poured black with a thin light brown head. Looks great.
S = Smells of dark brown chocolate and plums. Yum
T = Taste is a sweet roasted malt start with a smooth chocolate middle and slightly bitter coffee finish.
M = Very smooth. Low carbonation so it is easy to drink and distinguish the flavours.
D = Very drinkable. Good cold weather beer.
01-03-2006 03:06:06 | More by BeerNutta
4.18/5 rDev +8.9%
I bought a bottle in St Kilda and poured a chilled bottle into a tumbler. Hotels never have real glasses in the rooms.
The beer pours a rich pitch black color with hints of a dark chocolate brown on edges of glass.
There is a tan creamy head of 1 cm that fades slowly to a sturdy surface layer, leaving tight lattice as it recedes.
Aroma is appealing with a mocha scents dominant and some roasted malt, almost burnt notes as well as just a hint of sweet toffee. The first sip reveals a fairly thick body with large prickly carbonation. Flavor is sweet chocolate than bittersweet dark chocolate and some coffee notes as well. Roasted malt finishes it outt just slightly bittersweet that lingers in my mouth for a bit. This is quite a tasty beer and the best one I sampled in a bottle from the store.
12-09-2005 16:25:53 | More by sulldaddy
3.98/5 rDev +3.6%
What a wonderful stout this is.
What it fails to deliver in smell ,a quality, of which to my nose it is bereft , makes up for in taste.
Ther is bitterness there and stewed stone fruits and just as you think the burnt grains are going to kick in it softens , which says to me Drink a whole lot more of this.
11-09-2005 09:19:58 | More by jarmby1711
3.58/5 rDev -6.8%
375ml twist off stubbie. best before 01/06.
pours black with ruby highlights (no, not like my hair!), and a smallish dark tan head. some swirling as it warms increases the head size.
aroma has some roasted malt and over ripe dark fruits. a hint of alcohol as well.
taste of stewed plums and raisins. at least this is what i imagine they would taste like. some heat from the alcohol nearing the bottom of the glass. a bit of roast/chocolate malt but not as much as expected. hard to pick any hop bitterness, but not unbalanced.
well, a pretty good cold weather beer. glad to finally try something from the "other" SA brewers. decent, but not outstanding. i suppose just a different interpretation of the style maybe. ok, ive gone on too long. im done know.
08-23-2005 09:17:00 | More by joecast
4.75/5 rDev +23.7%
I'm a little ill at the moment, but this stout is the best medicine. Re-reviewing because my last review was very enthusiastic. "I feel GREAT! YEAH!"
Anyway, appearance is good but not great - very low head retention, but there are legs on the glass and some lacing. Deep dark brown but not black. The crappy head retention may have been because I didn't wash the glass quite well enough. Maybe I coughed up some phlegm into it, who knows. When it was poured the beer had a perfect light brown, creamy, delicious head.
Smell: Very complex. My nose is blocked but I can still detect solvent alcohol, burnt grain, coffee, tobacco, dark chocolate and bitter hop aromas.
Taste: Medicinal yet refreshing, potent but very drinkable. An extremely fine stout, remarkably better than Southwark's other beers. Alcohol is palpable but not over the top - the beer is suitable even for a hot summer's day.
Mouthfeel: Smooth as silk. Nothing more to say.
Drinkability: I feel like a few of these tonight, but I'm not tough enough to throw these sticky soups down my throat all night. Soothes a dry, sore throat however, and makes you forget about your ailments. Probably my favourite stout.
07-20-2005 15:54:44 | More by Weizenmensch
Southwark Old Stout from South Australia Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 31 ratings.