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Beer – #412 – Panhead – Black Sabbath

From the brewery with some of the best label artwork, Panhead – Black Sabbath.

Brewed by Panhead Custom Ales  in the style that is of  Barley Wine and they are Upper Hutt, New Zealand

500ml bottle (16 fl oz), of an 11% ABV beer, so that would be around 330 calories a serve, or 500 ish for the bottle  and making it 4.33 standard drink units.

Panhead - Black SabbathThere’s an elemental darkness at the hear of this massive Black Barley and Rye Wine. You can feel it wafting rich, dark fruit up from the glass with powerful overtones of tobacco and bourbon. Like its stable mate The Vandal, Black Sabbath is inspired by a famous John Reid-built kiwi hot rod, but at the same time we think its strength and uncompromising character also pay considerable tribute to the rock and roll originators of the name.

I like beer where I learn something, and I did about “Black Sabbath” as I did about the “Vandal” which is very nice beer from Panhead.

Lets get the motor running. (clearly not a Black Sabbath fan)

I remember from when I was 18 that when we got to drink on Sunday lunchtime- opening hours being 12pm to 2pm before they closed for 3 hours, (it was a long time ago) that the finisher was Guinness and Barley Wine. as this was guaranteed an afternoon nap after the roast meal and the football highlights on TV. “The Big Match” One long game and highlights of two others…. 

This is a much yeastier aroma on opening, but it’s not sour.

Cricky this pours thick like molasses, dark and impenetrable, not noisy and seems to lack carbonation, the thin head dies and leaves.  Black as Sabbath…. (see whatI did there)

Panhead - Black SabbathRich aroma like a deep stout, loads of steeped fruits.  This also drinks thick it’s a real mouthful!  Eyes bulged.

I’m not sure when I had a beer like this last, it’s a real soup of a beer, lots of intense and yet understated layers in this. It’s like somehow it’s had water taken from it.

This is the most intense beer I’ve had for a long time, which does not mean that it’s a good beer or the best beer I’ve had for a long time. I’d suggest that this could be put in smaller bottles as a 500ml (16oz) bottle is a lot of beer.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 a of its things from the thing. I like a thick and inclusive beer, but his might just be over played, and somehow for me becomes a bit exclusive and standoffish. It is lovely though, fruity, burnt malts, deep tastes, full mouthfeel, and a reasonable finish, it is though hard yakka and bit hard to plough though.

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? I was instantly and wonderfully impressed when I started. I was running out of willpower near the end
  2. Would I have another? I couldn’t it’s just to intense and overpowering
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I would and the end of the night as we shook hands over who was the best player never to play at the Word Cup Finals, and my money might be on George Best.  I might however be wrong in many ways.

It behoves me to listen to Black Sabbath  – This the very popular “Paranoid”


A Barley Wine is a strong, top-fermenting ale, with an alcohol contents of at least 9% and up to 13% (or more) by volume. Hops may be hardly noticeable at all or very noticeable. Sip them out of the special glass, that will concentrate the aroma. They are excellent with cigars or with dessert.


2 comments on “Beer – #412 – Panhead – Black Sabbath

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    September 22, 2014

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  2. Pingback: Beer – #853 – Panhead – Black Sabbath (Again) | A life just as ordinary

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