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Beer – #521- Hop Baron – 8 Ball Stout

Back to a bottle. Back to a Stout. Another new brewer to me – this one Hop Baron, and this their 8 Ball Stout.

Packing eight grams of Switch Espresso’s Brighton Up beans per litre

This is a simple 500ml bottle, 6% ABV of beer,  180 calories a serve, and 2.4 standard drink units.

For  Hop Baron this is brewed at Three Boys Brewery clearly this one in the style that is a Stout and they’re in Christchurch, New Zealand

Fancy haircut and everything, wait till you see the glass

Fancy haircut and everything, wait till you see the glass

Packing eight grams of Switch Espresso’s Brighton Up beans per litre.

Generously hopped with both Fuggle and Motueka – all at a very restrained 6.0%.

The perfect beer for the ski lodge following on from that last line of the day.

8 grams! who know how little or much that was or is. And Skiing, its still, or has become, summer, what are these boys like! Still what could go wrong.

Coffee-Tastic on opening, as it does with a lovely hiss. Rich roasted coffee with a chocolate back.

8 ball StoutAs you can see my pouring skills have abandoned me, this has a head like a milkshake. Dark brown coffee head. Black as coal beer. Cold Coffee aroma, soft not bitter, and then a twitch of chocolate catches you.

That is much more bitterer in the mouth than you might be expecting though. The head is like a thick pillow of clouds and very persistent.

The aroma of coffee is strong in this one, but in taste it is shoved aside by the burnt bitterness, before it gives back to the coffee-ness.

I can’t help but think this is overly bitter though.

I left it for a bit and came back minutes later, not something I’d normally do, and It’s warmed in the glass and the bitterness and the coffee have got a lot ‘flatter’ and wider, to the point of dominating this.

The second pour confirmed that this is a well carbonated beer that loved a a head.

Do I get any immediate or apparent chocolate? I’m not sure but something is balancing the bitterness and the coffee. But as it gets warmer you can begin to feel the softness of the chocolates. Overall though it’s a bit in your face for coffee and somewhat over bitter, which makes it a bit lop-sided and uneven.

So, 4 grams of coffee per litre of beer (That’s about a teaspoon isn’t it?) seems to be a lot, who knew?  1 level teaspoon of sugar = 4g

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 a of its things from the thing. It’s nice to have a Stout, but this has reached a bit far and there isn’t a comeback that would work from that amount of coffee, which might be a tad overkill.

Still I suppose it saves on me having a coffee with the pudding that MrsPdubyah is concocting, I believe a Plum and Apple crumble. Get in!

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? Yes because I like the coffee forward taste. No because it might be over-bitter.
  2. Would I have another? I think that it might mellow with  age, the bottle suggests it’s good for another 8 months.
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I don’t think that I would ashamed to pull this one out at the end of the night and make up a good story about this, or indeed anything, or even how nice that crumble was.

Along for the ride are “British Sea Power” who are an indie rock band based in Brighton, East Sussex, England.

Im listening to “from the sea to the land beyond” a soundtrack.


Many stouts do not fit the classic “Irish” definition as exemplified by Guinness, either due to their hop or roast rates, or higher gravity (in the case of many American stouts). They are still basic stouts, however, not falling into any of the subclasses.

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This entry was posted on January 21, 2015 by in Beer, Beer of New Zealand, Beer Review, Craft Beer, Critic, Stout and tagged , , , .

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