Thursday 16 January 2014

Beer Tasting: Ellenberg's Stout

I've tried each of Ellenberg's beers (at least the six I know of) and they've all been pretty decent. It's not a brewery you see around London as much as others, but you can generally find bottles at Kris Wines, which is where I got this one. At 3.8%, this is not an especially heavy stout; however, there's quite a lot of charred malt and earthy hop character here, perhaps a touch more than the sweetness can withstand, which may make the beer more bitter than some drinkers might like.

The beer pours clear, red-brown with a huge, billowing cappuccino head. Seriously, this was the kind of pour where you start pouring and the glass immediately fills with about 90% foam. Anyway, after about 10 minutes I got a proper-looking beer; that photo doesn't lie. The aroma has lots of charred malts, roast, burnt bread. The flavor is lightly sweet with lots of earthy bitterness, charred wood, burnt marshmallows, subtle baking cocoa, charcoal, dirt. Light bodied with very lively carbonation, even after the 10-minute wait the beer is still excessively carbonated. There's light sweetness to finish, with further bitterness of earth and charred malts, some bittersweet baking cocoa, dirt, filter coffee and a bit of grainy, burnt bread. The over-abundance of carbonation is a shame because it really impedes the beer’s character. Once the carbonation settles down, though, you can taste a lot more of the nuances here, and the beer is quite good. Conditioning issues aside, it’s tasty stuff. (Score: 3.5/5.0)

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