Category Archives: Stouts

Back Home Gingerbread Stout – Golden Road (USA)

You can’t get much more Christmasy than a gingerbread stout, at least not in my books. The surprising thing is that this seasonal brew is made in LA. Golden Road (no, they’re not a South American revolutionary group or a type of staph infection) have been brewing since 2011, which a long time in America. Beginners or not, they’ve certainly nailed this one!

Back Home ...... that's where I wanna be
Back Home …… that’s where I wanna be

The can design is pure California Christmas, with jingle bells and palm trees and contains an impressive 3.2 standard drinks. At 8.5%, too many of these and you’d be chasing bright stars all over place like the three (un)wise men! The aroma is of Latvian Christmas gingerbread house, sweet and warm. The taste is of a spiced Cornish fairing , there’s ginger, sugar, cinnamon and a tangy alcoholic finish. It really is quite delicious and ideal for keeping carol-singers happy on a cold LA night (if such a thing exists?).

From Golden Road we get the road, from the LA road we get the highway. Here’s stout fellows, Audioslave with “I Am The Highway”



New World Order American Stout – Temple Brewing Co (AUS)

‘Tis winter Downunder and winter is the best time to drink stout. Two lamb chops in every pint so the saying goes, a meal in glass …… just an excuse to miss a meal and drink beer instead.

On a chilly Melbourne evening I decided to venture into the Coppers Inn on Exhibition St. Now, with a name like ‘Coopers Inn’  you might expect me to try a Coopers but no one likes to be predictable, so I opted for an American stout, brewed by an Australian brewery.

Image of NWO's slightly Masonic label
NWO – it’s stout not a rap group


Made by Temple Brewing Co in East Brunswick (or Brunswick East if you’re that way inclined), New World Order is an American Stout. What sets it apart from your average stout is its smoothness. There’s hints of ground coffee and burnt toast but nothing that really jumps out at you. A bit like Roger Moore as James Bond, perhaps a little too smooth for some. I paired it with salmon and fennel mash and nailed it in the trivia!

Here’s the old New Order with aptly named ‘Confusion’ ………


Stout (seasonal release) – Moo Brew (AUS)

No expense spared on design .........
No expense spared on design ………

You can’t judge a book by its cover but when I saw this decal, I jumped to the conclusion that this particular tap was serving stout. Call it Beerhunter intuition if you like, but I was not wrong, stout it was and a bloody good one at that.

The Moo Brew brewery was first located in Hobart’s MONA ……. (well worth a visit, even if you don’t like beer) and is home to many a good ale.

MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart, Tasmania, Australia ©Mike Greenslade

It’s safe to say that this seasonal stout deserves a place alongside some of the masterpieces in MONA. This is a delicious dark  brew, ebony black with a head the colour of a John Player Special filter. There’s a Jamesons aroma, backed up by whiskey barrel and Dundee cake flavours, like a Guinness dashed with vintage port. This won’t be around for long, so get it while you can.

Moo Brew Seasonal Stout - a brewing masterpiece
Moo Brew Seasonal Stout – a brewing masterpiece.

With a Strangulated musical connection, here’s Celia and the Moo-tations with MONA MONA ………………….



4 Pines Brewing Company – Stout (AUS)

Billed as the ‘the world’s first certified Space Beer’, I was looking forward to putting my feet up in front of the fire and trying Manly-based, 4 Pines‘ handcrafted stout, to boldly go, etc.

Image of a bottle of 4 Pines stout in front of a roaring fire.
Space Beer ……. it’s stout Jim, but not as we know it


Well it certainly looks like a stout when poured into a glass, ebony black with a frothy nicotine head. It smells like a stout when lifted to the nose, slightly sweet with hints of molasses and burnt rubber. I was therefore slightly disappointed to find the taste somewhat underwhelming. A little too sweet for my liking and lacking in body. I like to drink my stouts with a knife and fork whereas this would be better suited to a spoon. There are hints of coffee and chocolate but ultimately there just too much ……………. well, space.

Here’s Spizz Energi with, “Where’s Captain Kirk?”



Black Peak Coffee Stout – Wanaka Beerworks (NZ)


There can’t be many more appropriate  places to enjoy a bottles of Black Peak Coffee Stout than on the shores of beautiful Lake Wanaka, nestled in the snow-capped mountains of Otago. Brewed locally by the Wanaka Beer Works. Their website is still under construction, but as my Uncle Ron used to say, “nothing any good was ever made in a hurry”.

Image of bottle of Black Peak Coffee Stout on the shores of Lake Wanaka, NZ
Black Peak Coffee Stout – it’s “loco rice!”


One of the problems with not blogging immediately after a tasting is that you have to rely on notes. One of the problems with relying on notes, typed with fat fingers on to an iPhone is that you end with notes like “loco rice” and you haven’t got a clue what it means! Answers on a postcard please. Other tasting notes are more revealing. This is a beautifully creamy stout, with an aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans. On the tongue, there’s espresso, acetone and hint of black jelly babies. ‘Bloody lovely’ ……. according to the notes.

Why then would anyone commit the heinous crime detailed here? :

No point crying over it ………… here’s the very wonderful Sir James Spaceman and Spiritualized with ‘Stop Your Crying’………






Sheaf Stout -Carlton United Breweries (AUS)

Sheaf Stout has such an agrarian look and feel to it that you wouldn’t be surprised to see it propping up the entrance to the Stockman’s Hall of Fame. Originally brewed by Tooth & Co, I was somewhat surprised to learn that it is now the property of Carlton United Breweries. It would appear to be in safe hands.

Sheaf Stout - black magic!
Sheaf Stout – black magic!


Impervious, ebony black in colour it hold a nice nicotine head. There’s burnt, toasted malt on the nose and a beautiful smokey flavour. There’s hints of cigars and red liquorice, like smoking a Cafe Creme though a Shoe Lace. Of course, there’s lip-smacking malted barley too. A thoroughly authentic and enjoyable stout.

In honour of CUB, here’s Liam Lynch with “United States Of Whatever” ………………….



Jack Tar Imperial Stout – Sail & Anchor

Thank you, thank you, thank you Darren, thank you! Me mate Daz recommended this stout a while back and I’d been saving up to buy a bottle ever since. At $10.99 for a 640 ml bottle, this is not an everyday purchase but WOW! it’s worth every cent.

Sail & Anchor - Jack Tar Imperial Stout - both stout and imperial
Sail & Anchor – Jack Tar Imperial Stout – both stout and imperial


Forgetting what I said about real craft brews, this is a truly an amazing stout. Dark and mysterious, it pours smoothly into the glass, leaving a tobacco-tinged head. It’s thick and creamy with the sort of tight  bubbles that you associate with a widget-style brew. Rich and complex, it slides down beautifully, not that you want to rush it. There’s hints of molasses and black jelly babies, even juniper, a bit like a top pint of Guinness with a Geneva Gin in it ……… a Ginness? And it’s potent too. At 9.5%, it’s not to be messed with but, treated with respect, it’s quite an experience.

Are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced?

If I was to give give stars in my reviews, I would give ‘Jack Tar’ 5 stars!

Don’t worry, you won’t be getting 5 Star. Jack Tar is black, Frank Black is white, Barry White is black, so here’s Jack White with “I’m Shakin'”

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (UK)

Well that answers that question. The difference between dark ales and stouts is like the difference between chalk and cheese. Now that’s no bad thing, whereas you can’t write on a blackboard with cheese, chalk doesn’t melt well on toast. Horses for courses, if you like to mix your metaphoric drinks.

The ‘Pure Luxury’ of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout is no false advertising claim. This really is a luxurious stout.

Young's Double Chocolate Stout - Heaven in a bottle
Young’s Double Chocolate Stout – Heaven in a bottle

‘Double Chocolate’ might sound a bit sickly but Young’s have got the balance just right, there’s dark malt undertones with real chocolate in the finish, It’s silky smooth and pushes all the right (chocolate) buttons. Drink it in front of an open fire, an ideal bedtime drink for the lactose intolerant.

I was tempted to follow yesterday’s ‘Dark Entries’ another Bauhaus track, ‘Double Dare’ but have opted for an equally awesome live band. Here’s The Subways with ‘Young(s) For Eternity’ ……


Hatlifter Stout by Grand Ridge Brewery (AUS)

My first stout of the year and this one is a beauty. According to one online encyclopaedia written and edited by its own users, “Stout is a dark beer made using roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast.”

Grand Ridge Brewery's Hatlifter Stout ...... Hats off!
Grand Ridge Brewery’s Hatlifter Stout …… Hats off!

The Grand Ridge Brewery is situated in Victoria’s Gippsland and uses pure mountain water for its beers. Their Hatlifter Stout is a deep, dark mahogany in colour when held up to the light and you can smell the roasted grains upon pouring. The flavour is smooth with rich toasted coffee beans and cocoa with a nice bitter chocolate finish. I only wish I’d bought more. Best drunk with slabs of rare, red meat.

Hatlifters of The World, Unite ……..