the ablution block

21 December 2007

May Beer of the Month: Murray's Imperial Stout

By May we had Ted sleeping through the night and I was beggining to recatch my hankering for the fermented one.

Jacqui Thomson, our good friend and the sister of wine writer Joelle, visited with a fist full of treats (Jacqui always comes with a bunch of interesting Australian craft beers and a good wine or two). Knappstein Reserve Lager stood out - the best use of Nelson Sauvin I've come across, thus far, and the single best Australian beer I'd tasted at that point.

Our other good friend Martin Bennett, of Twisted Hop fame, came to stay also. Martin was the driving force behind BrewNZ 2007 and - as a very generous man indeed - also tends to always bring a nice bag of surprises with him. Poplar Brown was the best of many goodies.

However, two tastings of an Imperial Stout were the highlights of my tasting month. The first was at a BJCP tasting at Brendon's, and the other was an excellent Imperial Stout tasting at Kieran's. The beer, which technically shoots wide of the Imperial Stout style (probably the hottest style amongst beer geeks at present), was on of the biggest surprises of my year. An Australian beer, brewed by a New Zealand brewer. Without further ado, I present Murray's Imperial Stout:
Tasted 31/05/2007. 750ml champagne-style bottle, steward’s choice from BrewNZ. Very lively, upon opening a light tan head comes foaming out of the bottle. Almost black, probably not quite as dark as a classic Imperial Stout. Nor is it as roasty or as hoppy... but wow!.... this is a really great beer. Cherry esters and woody notes play on the nose. Winy esters and rich malt characters are very well integrated in the mouth, where it’s less roasty than you’d expect. The finish is exceptionally smooth, with lingering fruit and malt sweetness. I ended up savouring it too much to take many notes. A string quartet, perhaps even a full orchestra, next to the screeching guitar solo of Pink’s Imperious Russian Stowt. I’ve got to get my hands on more from these guys. Keep it up guys. (4.2/5.0).

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  • The new vintage of Pink Elephant Rushin Imperious Stowt is very different to last years, much more residuel sugars (the lack of which I bemoaned of last years effort) and toned down on the roast malt. I think this years will age better. I think the roast character of last years was better. If Roger blends the residual sugar of this years with the roast malt character of last years it will be a goer.

    By Blogger Kieran Haslett-Moore, at 22:35  

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