Saturday, 28 December 2013

Imperial Raspberry Stout (10%) by Thornbridge / S:t Eriks

Now then, we`re not advocates of buying bottles of beer from supermarkets; better to support our public houses (and ale `offies`) by drinking there. However, this one was purchased from the pub (Coach and Horses)after a small session with the intention of saving it for a special occasion and it needed to be as the price was premium (£12). `Dutch` courage?!
Produced at Thornbridge Hall rather than at the Bakewell Brewhouse, this special was made in collaboration with S:t Eriks Bryggeri from Sweden. Pouring a deep red berry colour and boasting prime Scottish raspberries, that is what you get hit with. The natural sweet and sour tastes of the berries are very dominant here but that was not a problem for us. Not usually a fan of fruit beers, this one was a class or several above the competition. The raspberry palate punch and aroma is very much whole berry rather than a Ribena / essence infusion with complexity then coming in with oily liquorice and chocolate notes.
Despite the big ABV, this Stout is very drinkable. We had it after our Christmas meal and all five family members who tried it were very favourably impressed. The main hop is stated as Bramling Cross although this was not a key taste to my palate. It has been a mixed year for Thornbridge and this ale makes me wonder if they are producing their best stuff for bottles and limited release at the moment.

Verdict - Mike goes a 9!

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