A life just as ordinary

Just like you, but different

Beer – #623 – Sparks Brewing – Frontier Extra Stout *keg*

Still to come: A confused beer ‘ Outlander’ or ‘Frontier’, music to confuse, confusion in numbers, and a confusion of numbers.

Chocolate on the nose, dry and roasted taste with a bitter finish.

For  Sparks Brewing this is brrewed at Scotts Brewing Co in the style that is of: Foreign Stout and that’s all done in Auckland, New Zealand

as it’s FYO this is 1 litre bottle that contains beer that is 6.2% ABV, so 4.89 standard drink units, coming in at around 186 calories a serve size

Winter beer, summer haircut, what's going on

Winter beer, summer haircut, what’s going on

A dark and intensely roasty ale, with strong aromas of chocolate and coffee. The rich body is balanced with all New Zealand hops added late in the boil and a good layering of crystal malt leaves a hint of liquorice and an almost rum like quality to the finish.

2012 National Homebrew Competition Gold medal recipe, considered by the judges as “a world class example of the style”.

So what could possibly go wrong? I’ve had this in the bottle form, and I quite liked it.  As with many beers the bottle and the keg sometimes are different in small ways, it’d be interesting to see how this one goes.

Roasted malt chocolate aroma on opening, as it did with a gentle hiss, not overly carbonated it seems, even though it was lively going into the bottle..

OutlanderPour is that strange silky luxurious flow, and it ends with a head of substance, mocha chocolate adjacent the pitch black beer. The chocolate aroma that was is now there but slightly more a sour note, briefly and then it settle into a sugar sweetness.

I also seem to get some berry=thing going on.

I can only describe my first sip as smoooooooth and light, fluffy and luxurious. Delightful.

It does not have any of that big hop harshness but does have a finish that veers towards dry rather than neutral or sweet .

I recall this having a more raw greenness but this keg version doesn’t seem to have that.  I also recall it having more coffee about it than I sense or taste now. I get a milk chocolate smoothness though, some things are always good.

Like the last time I do still feel that this needed something more in the body to lift it, how or what I have no idea, it’s just something that it might have had.

That said that it does fit totally the description of being less robust but still as flavoursome, and slightly sweeter than a full Stout.

With that in mind you change your stance a little, as you must, to adjust to the beer that you’re drinking, opposed to the beer you want to be drinking and are confused about.

So a lesser bodied Stout sums this up exactly and almost perfectly, all that previous wittering superfluous.

When you’ve reset your expectations and appreciate what you’re drinking this becomes all the much better and brighter beer, delivering some lovely subtle tastes with fine balance and a lovely finish and linger that isn’t intrusive, difficult or challenging.

In other words ‘it’s a bit good’ and ‘lovely drinking’ One which I’m really enjoying thanks.  At this point you might be able to tell this is a couple of paragraphs longer than usual and this happens when I’m really enjoying something and expressing it in different ways.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 10 a of its things from the thing. Honest to goodness this is true to the style and you get totally what you should be getting. The flavours and aromas might be subtle and muted but the whole is fairly tight and compact. Add that there is no harsh hoppy thing or dry finish then you get a beer that is just early drinking.  It is a beer that you need to understand to drink, I thought I was getting a ruler more robust beer, which is a different style, I was wrong.  This will appeal to a to of drinkers of beer and should be a great gateway to the darker beer styles and the imperial Stout types, or you could stop here and be totally satisfied.

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? I was confused and confounded, then I understood and now I’ve see the light and yes I really am enjoying it.
  2. Would I have another? I would indeed, it’s really good.
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I would encourage everyone to have some, it’s just good beer done well and that’s all you need.

I have on the music machine  ‘ Jamie XX ‘ and his new album ‘ In Colour’ which you can get on the spotify  Jamie Smith is an English music producer and remix artist who is known both as a solo act and as a member of the London-based band The xx. And they’re really good.  This is ‘ loud places ‘


Foreign Stout began with the beer that would become Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. This was a stronger, extra-hopped version of the basic Guinness Extra Stout, brewed to survive long journeys overseas. The classic FES still exists in a few different forms, but many of the original destination countries (Jamaica, Sri Lanka, etc.) now have their own, locally-produced versions. Foreign stout occupies a position between basic stout and imperial stout. It is sweeter than a basic stout, but not as robust as an imperial. It is less fruity and less hoppy as well. Foreign stouts are sometimes made with local grains and adjuncts sugar is not uncommon. Alcohol ranges from 6-8%


3 comments on “Beer – #623 – Sparks Brewing – Frontier Extra Stout *keg*

  1. Paul Ballarin
    June 26, 2015

    Where did you get it from?


    • Philip Walter
      June 26, 2015

      Forrest Hill branch of Liquorland, they have quite a good tap set at the moment


  2. Pingback: The one with the end of year story. | A life just as ordinary

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