Over the past two nights I have enjoyed the Stout from Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company (VIC) both on tap and from a bottle, so surely that means a blog review is required!
My first taste of this beer happened on Tuesday night, after dinner with friends at the ever reliable and delicious Mrs Parmas. My wife and I ended the evening with a pot each of the Hargreaves Hill Stout, which was one of the featured Guest Taps.
The second taste was last night as I cracked the 330ml bottle of the stout that I bought from Slowbeer last weekend (whilst refilling my growler with the very enjoyable Dieu du Ciel Corne du Diable IPA).
*This review is essentially a combination of both the tap and bottled version, as I found both to be almost perfectly similar, although the stout was a tiny bit flatter and thinner from the bottle.*
A Foreign Export Stout in style, it is described by the brewer as possessing "some sweetness, some roasted malt character, but a deep, long and complex palate with hints of espresso, cigarbox, and couverture chocolate. Bitter with Goldings hops." I definitely agree with this description, although I did not find it necessarily "deep".
Pouring a beautiful dense black with a slight brown hue, there was only a little tan-coloured head, which reduced very quickly.
This beer has a wonderful strong aroma of roasted malts and coffee, with hints of dark fruit.
Relatively light in the mouth for a stout, it had a medium-to-light body and carbonation. For me, it could be a little thicker/deeper.
The taste is definitely the this beers strongest asset, with an excellent complexity of dark roasted malt, coffee, liquorice and those dark fruits. The 6.7% alcohol is very well hidden, probably lost behind the excellent roasted malts and coffee flavour.
The finish on this beer is really very nice. A long lingering sweet-bitterness, which does not leave a rough afternote that many lesser Export Stouts will.
The Hargreaves Hill Stout is very easy drinking and I could quite comfortably drink several at once. It certainly leaves you immediately ready for another.
This is an excellent regular stout.