`Same but different`. Love these beers but (always) need more. Over the past couple of years, we have happily sampled a plethora of brews from Huddersfield`s own Magic Rock and they seldom (read `never`) disappoint. An array of styles and strengths in cask keg or bottle, the Quarmby kids keep coming up trumps but this one is special, even by their high (wire) standards.
Dark Arts is the self-styled `surreal stout` that has plaudits aplenty. We both enjoy it but prefer the other ales amongst Magic Rock`s regular rotation. However, this one recently appeared on keg at the beautiful Sheffield Tap but with the variation of being aged in red wine barrels, oaked in Oakes if you will! Wow! The chocolate and liquorice smoothness is still there, sublime, but it`s boosted by a subtle red berry sweetness, depth and complexity that really makes this a surreal 6% experience. A lingering red wine warmth adds volumes (but not ABV) to this beer putting it amongst the very best of Magic Rock`s big top productions. Love the red tint to this well-balanced dark brew served perfectly station-side in Sheffield`s TAP and quite a contrast to the also excellent OAKHAM Inferno that was my previous pint. Take a bow Rock stars but we want more of this in the Steel City for 2014, or a much faster train to the Hudd!
Scores on the train (station) doors – Mike 9