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Aussie Imperial Stout Recommendations / US Availability?

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by BCurious, Jul 11, 2017.

  1. BCurious

    BCurious Aspirant (218) Jul 11, 2017 Australia

    Hi, I'm a Beer Advocate virgin. I recently acquired a taste for US imperial stouts, after trying AleSmith Speedway and Founders. SO hit the spot! Is there anything brewed here that can compare? And secondly, what other US brews would people recommend? Are they available here, or must I emigrate?
     
  2. machalel

    machalel Aspirant (283) Jan 19, 2012 Australia

    IMHO one of the best Australian RIS is the Nail - Clout Stout (https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2569/65368/). It's nothing over-the-top or barrel aged or anything, but just perfectly balanced.

    Feral - Boris RIS is pretty good (https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/9139/49716/).

    Murray's Wild Thing is also apparently good, but I haven't personally tried it (https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/12897/45919/).

    Boatrocker - RAMJET is a whiskey-barrel aged stout with reviews saying one of the best that Aus does.(https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/21964/104340/).

    If you like licking ash-trays, you should try Moon Dog's Black Lung series of RIS.

    also look at 8 Wired, although from NZ, they do a nice stout as well.
     
    BCurious likes this.
  3. BCurious

    BCurious Aspirant (218) Jul 11, 2017 Australia

    Thanks machalel,
    That's a good list. I will pursue. Since asking I also learned by personal experience: Cavalier RIS is a dark double IPA masquerading as a RIS - don't bother - and NZ beer Keraru Black Ruby is really good. Well balanced and intriguing raspberry aftertaste (if that's the word).
    If anyone also has any US brews to recommend I will be most grateful. BC
     
  4. BCurious

    BCurious Aspirant (218) Jul 11, 2017 Australia

    PS - licking ashtrays not my thing, but makes me think: how long until someone names a beer "Bong Water"?
     
  5. Twinathon

    Twinathon Initiate (127) May 1, 2013 Australia

    A couple Victorian RIS' that I enjoy:

    Cavalier Imperial Stout - closer to the traditional English approach to imperial stouts, I think this is an underrated beer.

    Mornington Peninsula Imperial Stout - Classic American Imperial Stout, has a noticeable hop character without intruding on the rich roasted character, one of my favourites.
     
  6. BCurious

    BCurious Aspirant (218) Jul 11, 2017 Australia

    I like them big, syrupy and malty, not too hoppy. So it's just taste, but for me Cavalier was too thin and bitter. The best I've had so far are Hawkers' 2016 RIS, Bad Shepherd's RIS and Boatrocker's Ramjet. I'm very much looking forward to trying Murray's, Moon Dog's and Nail's brews, from machalel's list. They look US inspired... if the artwork's anything to go by!
     
  7. Benjo87

    Benjo87 Initiate (196) Dec 27, 2014 Australia
    Beer Trader

    Riverside brewing company - black peril. Really good aussie imperial stout.

    Are you in sydney? There are so many world class stouts from the world available now. Omnipollo has come to Aus recently and is fucking amazing!
     
    BCurious likes this.
  8. BCurious

    BCurious Aspirant (218) Jul 11, 2017 Australia

    Based in Melbourne. Riverside don't list any Melbourne outlets. (But many Sydney ones. Strange!). Will try to track down Omnipollo. Sweden contract brewers. Intriguing. Cheers for the recommend. :slight_smile:
     
  9. Gasc0igne

    Gasc0igne Devotee (435) Oct 6, 2013 Australia
    Beer Trader

    The local brewers are only now (very few exceptions) starting to release/invest time in to "serious" big Imperial Stouts - BBA etc. I still say the vast majority available at the moment are barely a shadow of what is made overseas; until Aussie consumers desire the expertly crafted big stouts enough to make it worth a brewers time, we're going to get generic junk like Hawkers BBA or any of the awful ~6-7% "Imperial Stouts" that come out every few weeks...

    Boatrocker is worth it, as are some vintages of Clout Stout, as is Mornington's Imperial Stout, and as is Mountain Goat's Barrel Breed. Murray's various Wild Things are very inconsistent, but I've loved some in the past.

    Honestly, stick with Founders Imperial & Breakfast Stouts, Ten FIDY & Speedway cans, Peche Mortel, Samuel Smiths Oatmeal etcetera until we have something worthwhile.
     
    Twinathon likes this.
  10. Twinathon

    Twinathon Initiate (127) May 1, 2013 Australia

    Good comments. I was disappointed with both of Hawker's imperial stouts. The regular version was an obercarbonated mess that did not hit any of the right notes for a stout. The BBA tasted like overboiled brewers wort with a splash of bourbon in it. So disappointing.

    The biggest problem with local stouts is no clarity of flavour. The great American and English stouts have separate flavours that progress through the palate while working with each other. Narwhal, Ten Fidy, FIS, Yeti and Speedway all excel at this in their own unique way.

    Bad local attempts either taste like a heavy black beer smothered by alcohol and roast or they're too thin and are tasteless.

    As Gasc0igne noted there are some exceptions, so hunt these down. In the mean time buy a 4 pack of Narwhal to satisfy your dark cravings. There's usually tons of it shelf turding around. Unbelievable considering the quality of the beer.
     
    Narkee, spicelab and Gasc0igne like this.
  11. sinkas

    sinkas Aspirant (205) Jul 9, 2008 Australia
    Beer Trader

    I was shocked at how bad the recent " beer of show" was at the Perth Royal Beer show,
    it was a WBA RIS from Margaret river Brewhouse,
    it was horrid, but still got the gong
     
    danieelol and Gasc0igne like this.
  12. Gasc0igne

    Gasc0igne Devotee (435) Oct 6, 2013 Australia
    Beer Trader


    Beautifully put! I can't believe I forgot Narwhal.

    In the vein of shelf turds - it's amazing the top quality imports sit on shelves at ~$8-$12/bottle while the local ashy, flat, and singular stouts are popular(?) enough to continue being made at such a high rate.

    Just go on Untappd and go through the reviews of many bad Aussie stouts and you'll see that many have almost 4/5 stars....this mindset needs to change before quality will improve.
     
  13. hawthorne00

    hawthorne00 Initiate (133) Nov 23, 2010 Australia

    Seems that people are setting the bar for locals too high if only a handful come up to things like Peche Mortel, Narwhal, Ten Fidy, FIS, Yeti and Speedway. They are some of the best regarded fairly easy to get Nth American big stouts. (According to sites such as this - a couple I don't really care for.)

    Anyway, Riverside Black Peril in Melbourne I think I've seen at Acland, Otter's Promise, Slowbeer, Blackheart's and Purvis Richmond.
     
    Gasc0igne likes this.
  14. Gasc0igne

    Gasc0igne Devotee (435) Oct 6, 2013 Australia
    Beer Trader

    The suggestions/comparisons put forward earlier were simply to show what is out there - brews easily accessible and fairly cheap that scream quality. I'm fully aware there are awful imports, but those don't usually stick around long (why go to the effort to bring in something that sells poorly or isn't generally liked?). Comparatively, distribution and longevity of very poor local brews is unbelievably strong - for some reason people are content with essentially static quality.

    When I approach a new stout (local or otherwise) I try to carry as few biases in to it as I can. I've always felt that the vast majority I've had in the past have been very lackluster, even when I was starting out I was unimpressed!

    It's also fun to take a heavy position in the forums, gets more people out and replying.

    P.S. Pretend Brewdog doesn't exist :wink:
     
    hawthorne00 and spicelab like this.
  15. Benjo87

    Benjo87 Initiate (196) Dec 27, 2014 Australia
    Beer Trader

    I just bought a couple of aussie imperial stouts. Murrays wild thing vanilla, and colonial stout from WA. Will let you know how they are.
     
  16. BCurious

    BCurious Aspirant (218) Jul 11, 2017 Australia

    Great conversation, thanks!
    Have tried Ten Fiddy and thought it was close to perfection. Narwhal I had some time ago. Can recall it was not the concentrated malty licorice hit I'm into, but will try again, now that I'm a bit better acquainted with the style.
    Speaking of Aussie brews... Can hear you, but have you tried Edge Brewing Project's Stagger Lee imperial stout? OMG! Aussie hops, 90 IBUs and not a trace of unpleasant bitterness. Restrained additions of wattle seed and coconut. Nothing overpowering - all working together. God knows what they doing, but they're doing something right!
     
  17. mulder1010

    mulder1010 Meyvn (1,019) Aug 29, 2008 Australia

    Colonial Inquest is pretty badass but it is very English. Lots and lots of dark fruits and little bitterness with it spending 8 weeks in tanks.
    The poster commented on how much he loved ten fidy but that is a hop bomb. Then again at this point it should have mellowed nicely over the last few months.
    If you can find any of the Rocks Brewing RIS from last year that was excellent. not a fan of any Rocks beers but that was stunning.
    From what I have seen in Sydney this year it is either an Imperial stout, or a under 6% stout this year. Not a lot of the 7-8% stouts besides the Pirate Life stout. Go figure.
     
    joecast and Gasc0igne like this.
  18. Benjo87

    Benjo87 Initiate (196) Dec 27, 2014 Australia
    Beer Trader



    Pick this up if you can find it. Around $37 a can, but its 5.8 standard drinks, and so worth it. Had this a few months ago and was just absolutely blown away with it. Probably the best stout ive ever had.
     
    RMW66, danieelol and Gasc0igne like this.
  19. Benjo87

    Benjo87 Initiate (196) Dec 27, 2014 Australia
    Beer Trader

    By the way, was anyone else disappointed with pirate lifes stout? I love their ipas but i thought the stout was a big let down. Way too hoppy. Didn't get any chocolatey coffee flavours at all.
     
  20. BCurious

    BCurious Aspirant (218) Jul 11, 2017 Australia

    OK, I'm prepared to take some flack here but I'm wondering: Does anyone else have a problem with bottle and can sizes? And I don't mean too small, I mean too big. I really love high-ABV beers but, except on rare occasions, I don't want to get drunk!
    (And yes, bottle stoppers, I know. But they're about a 30% satisfactory solution IMO (for reasons too numerous to go into now).)
     
    heygeebee, danieelol and sinkas like this.
  21. sinkas

    sinkas Aspirant (205) Jul 9, 2008 Australia
    Beer Trader

    \
    Yeh I wasn't a huge fan,
    its nice,and no faults,but hardly memorable
     
  22. spicelab

    spicelab Defender (672) Nov 6, 2009 Australia
    Beer Trader

    Didn't you start a thread for this very discussion?
     
    Gasc0igne likes this.
  23. Benjo87

    Benjo87 Initiate (196) Dec 27, 2014 Australia
    Beer Trader

    Find someone to share it with, or have half, then have the other half a few hours later.
     
  24. sinkas

    sinkas Aspirant (205) Jul 9, 2008 Australia
    Beer Trader

    yeh Its got me shagged why they put out these big beers in big cans,
    still having palpitations from the Alesmith speedway can the other day

    aslo the colonial Inquest is pretty good,
    and at a reasonable price, I am surprised retailers didn't gouge on it
     
    BCurious likes this.
  25. Benjo87

    Benjo87 Initiate (196) Dec 27, 2014 Australia
    Beer Trader

    Yeah i dont understand why Americans put high abv beers in huge cans and bottles.
     
    BCurious likes this.
  26. BCurious

    BCurious Aspirant (218) Jul 11, 2017 Australia

    You're correct - I have a bee in my bonnet!
     
    #26 BCurious, Jul 28, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
    spicelab likes this.
  27. BCurious

    BCurious Aspirant (218) Jul 11, 2017 Australia

    Agree with comment and great tip. Thanks. Wish I could give two thumbs up!
     
  28. danieelol

    danieelol Savant (957) Jun 15, 2010 Australia

    it's not just you, it's been an issue forever.

    I'd like for brewers to do more high quality, high ABV beers in 250mL bottles like Mikkeller did the George series in. And those beers were very high quality.

    I also think the BA Ten Fidy can is ridiculous
     
    heygeebee likes this.
  29. BCurious

    BCurious Aspirant (218) Jul 11, 2017 Australia

    Thanks Mulder1010 and sinkas for the Colonial Inquest tip. Just bought 6 at McCoppins and apparently it's flying out the door. $8 a can at 11.7%ABV! The store men raved about it - best Aussie RIS they've tasted, they reckoned. Get in quick...
     
  30. hawthorne00

    hawthorne00 Initiate (133) Nov 23, 2010 Australia

    I was sold a 4 pack of Inquest for $25. It's a hell of a beer at that price.
     
    Twinathon likes this.
  31. Benjo87

    Benjo87 Initiate (196) Dec 27, 2014 Australia
    Beer Trader



    Smooth. But not much depth of flavour. Just average.
     
    danieelol and BCurious like this.
  32. joecast

    joecast Meyvn (1,125) Jun 30, 2003 Australia

    That must have been a mistake! You got lucky there.
     
  33. hawthorne00

    hawthorne00 Initiate (133) Nov 23, 2010 Australia

    Bottle House (Carlisle St, E St Kilda) still has it at that price, BTW.
     
  34. danieelol

    danieelol Savant (957) Jun 15, 2010 Australia

    had Inquest at a tasting and was not impressed with it, don't get the hype
     
    Benjo87 likes this.
  35. Benjo87

    Benjo87 Initiate (196) Dec 27, 2014 Australia
    Beer Trader



    Guys!! Get your hands on this! This is definitely the best Aussie imperial stout ive ever had. Hawkers bourbon barrel aged coffee imperial stout. One of those beers where every sip i take, i talk to myself about how good it is. Up there with some of the best US stouts. So impressed and happy that an Aussie brewery is making something like this.
     
    BCurious likes this.
  36. BCurious

    BCurious Aspirant (218) Jul 11, 2017 Australia

    I keep hearing good things about the Hawkers 2017 barrel aged RIS. I'm going to have to get me some. Re its non barrel aged (NBA) sibling, however - while I'm the first to say the 2016 vintage was amazing, the 2017 NBA has been a disappointment for me. Maybe it's still green, or maybe over-attenuated. But it's too thin, too boozy. It's not bad, but it doesn't hit the heights of the 2016. I prefer the Bad Shepherd or the Edge Stagger Lee. I like them more malt forward and with less alcohol heat.

    Completely agree with you about Colonial Inquest, though. Just average. Although I do love the can!

    The other one I love is a NZ brew: 8 Wired's iStout. It's just so... Kiwi. Biscuit and caramel malt with a big, hoppy pineapple and kiwi-fruit top note.
     
  37. Benjo87

    Benjo87 Initiate (196) Dec 27, 2014 Australia
    Beer Trader

    Haven't seen the NBA hawkers. Id actually never heard of them before i picked up the BA coffee. I also bought the normal BA without the coffee. Keen to see how it compares. The only thing that would make it better, would be a slightly thicker mouthfeel, but thats being picky.

    Istout is a really good stout, i prefer a stout to be a little less hoppy though, but 8wired does some good stuff. Keen to see what you think of the Hawkers.
     
  38. Gasc0igne

    Gasc0igne Devotee (435) Oct 6, 2013 Australia
    Beer Trader

    Somebody legitimately likes these? I'll agree the Coffee version was better than the regular BBA (2016 or 2017), but that's like saying dirt is better than mud.

    Clear the shelves, save me!
     
  39. Benjo87

    Benjo87 Initiate (196) Dec 27, 2014 Australia
    Beer Trader

    You didnt like the 2017 coffee one???
     
    Gasc0igne likes this.
  40. Narkee

    Narkee Initiate (83) Jun 20, 2013 Australia
    Beer Trader

    I have one each of the four that were released, in the mail. Will definitely report back!
     
    Gasc0igne and Benjo87 like this.
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