A life just as ordinary

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Beer – #691 – Epic – Epicurean Coffee and Fig Oatmeal Stout 2015

The 2015 version of this beer, I’ve got a stash of the year 13 and 14 and 15 for a later date, but want to try the 15 as is.  This years thing, this years in thing, this year, and this is the year.

 Figs,  Coffee Beans, and Toasted  Coconut.

This is a 750ml bottle, as they are, 8% ABV, and 50 IBU things, making it 240 calories a serve size, and 4.73 standard drink units.

For Epic Brewing Company (NZ) this is brewed at Steam Brewing Company in that style of an  Imperial Stout and that happens in Auckland, New Zealand

Epicnessness

Epicnessness

The Epicurean series is a celebration of the flavours and aromas that can be found within the diverse range of ingredients that brewers and chefs alike use in their creations.

This beer is a culmination of hours of cerebration, experimentation, ocgitation and libation. And a sprinkling of dehydrated finesse.

This one contains : Caramelised Turkish Nerida Figs,  Caffe L’Affare Ethiopian Sidamo whole beans and Philippine Toasted Coconut

So, what could possibly go wrong?

On opening I thought more milk chocolate than anything else, lots of milk.

Pour is dark black, as you;d expect and there is a fluffs worth of foamy head that is off coffee white. I had a listen and this isn’t a noisy beer. True story.

Head settles into something more manageable.

Epicurean Coffee & Fig (2015)Aroma though has turned to that slightly green sour note that you sometimes get with coffee, but it is now coffee as an aroma.

Taste is of earthy flat coffee, slightly sour and bitter, I don’t get a sense of sweetness nor do I pick any of the coconut addition at this point.  It is however early and I just opened it, and it might get better with sitting and warming slightly.

The softer sweeter notes do appreciate a short amount of time to mellow up in the bottom of this and provide some cushion to that higher middle bitterness that this has.

I wish I could make a comment on the finish, but it seems to be over pretty quickly there isn’t a lot of linger, except for that coffee bitterness that is daily low and behaved at the back.

I do get the sense though that this is a little ragged at the edges, a bit unfinished and unbalanced, it doesn’t seem to have body or chewiness, depth of flavour in detail or quantity. Not to say that it isn’t enjoyable, it is, but you get the impression that it could be more, better. bigger.

I say that  bearing in mind that of late I had a Kopi Lowak and the Brave Bikkie, the first a coffee forward beer, the later a coconut explosion, you might begin to get where I’ve experienced some high notes .Figs? Who knows.  So is this disappointing? Based on previous beers perhaps, but based on what it is not at all. Compared to the other years of this I have to say that it’s nothing like last years, if you can decipher what I wrote.

Last year seemed to have a lot of coffee and little body in the middle. This year seems to have less aroma and is solid all the way through but lacking any real high taste points.

Give me a few months and I’ll do a 3 year taste comparison if I can find the right moment and person to share that with.

All this waiting and revisiting old notes just gives this time to warm and the lower end things become much more pleasing, and the finish at the other end gets slightly drier, which isn’t altogether unpleasant.

<Pause here for cooking the chicken on the BBQ>

The second glass still has that green coffee bean sour kind of aroma in the glass, still looks great, lovely head and all that. I’d like to say that it’s got a lot softer and the sweeter things have bubbled up, but I can’t. That sourness is still there in the middle, and the finish is drier with that lingering bitterness.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing. Because mostly it’s just a nice take on the style and I’ve enjoyed it, easily drank the whole thing, pondered and pontificated. But it isn’t complete somehow, to be perfect this should pack more punch in the middle of all the things, including the conspicuous by absence coconut, I fee they should be dialled up a bit. This though is far from the worst Stout I’ve drunk, by a long way, it’s also seems a long way from the best.

The double dip review

  • Am I enjoying it? Yes I am because I like a good stout/
  • Would I have another? I might when I have the multi-year challenge of course.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights?  I would because this is a beer with a back-story but that would be it I don’t think this is a conversion beer or beer that you’d lay as marker for all other beers to beat.

Music for this : “Angus and Julia Stone” have an album “Angus and Julia Stone” which I have on the Spotify  Angus & Julia Stone are an Australian brother-sister folk and indie pop group that formed in 2006

IMPERIAL STOUT

Imperial stouts are usually extremely dark brown to black in color with flavors that are intensely malty, deeply roasted and sometimes with accents of dark fruit (raisin, fig) or milk sourness. The bitterness is typically medium and often the low sie of that. Imperial stouts are strong and often exceed 8% by volume.

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