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Beer – #700 – Garage Project – Cabbages and Kings

Cabbages & Kings, An Imperial Oyster & Hiropito stout brewed with Te Matuku Bay oysters.

A rich & decadent brew clocking in at 12%. Seems a shame with summer coming on quickly that I don’t enjoy this whilst it’s cooler in the evening than it might be in a month or so, and I don’t have the patience to wait till next year.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

This is a lovely decorated 650ml bottle of beer, with beer that is at 12% ABV,  which is about 360 calories a serve size, This is the equivalent of 6.2 standard drink units.

This is a beer by Garage Project , and it is styled as an Imperial Stout and they are in the wonderful city of Wellington, New Zealand

“O Oysters, come and walk with us!” The Walrus did beseech.

The time has come ....

The time has come ….

Cabbages & Kings, Imperial Oyster Stout, brewed with the more or less willing assistance of ten dozen fresh Te Matuku Bay Pacific oysters, Horopito and Manuka smoked malt.

Dark, certainly – and rich with just a suggestion of brine, a touch of smoke and a hint of native New Zealand pepper leaf.

“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk, along the briny beach.”

So, what could possibly go wrong?  – prepare for ‘saltiness’

Rich chocolate aroma on opening, very strong, and then quickly follows something else, spicy, salty perhaps, not strong or odd, but there, briefly.

Brilliant dark black pour with an extensive head off mocha chocolate that settle slightly.Aroma in the glass like toffee.

Taste is a proper explosion that makes you sit up, with so much going on, the finish notable for a slight saltiness as it kicks on the back of the palate, but heck that was a lot of pop-pop-pop-pop flavours all giving a good go. What a thing!

Garage Project - Cabbages and KingsI don’t know how to unpick this for flavour, there is a bitterness, a real richness, a saltiness,  it also has a richness and fullness. So much beer.

Whilst it settles down somewhat it introduces another layer, ash like , and retains that saltiness in the finish. This is a beer for pondering over and not quaffing.

Left even longer that end note saltiness becomes stronger as the other things, for want of a better descriptor, fall away, there is though an awful lot going on in both the carry and the linger in this that makes the whole thing wash around in the mouth in a complicated way.

A lovely way to get to an arbitrary number of beers had, 700, and one that I will remember, perhaps fondly, but more so because of the sheer amount of things going on in the mouth.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 9 of its things from the thing. For being a full experience and engaging beer, for having too many flavour points to pick, and for audaciousness. For being  a brilliant stout mostly though.

Garage project, a bit good at the things that push the boundaries, this one pretty much a swing and a ding.

The double dip review

  • Am I enjoying it? I am, although I want to quaff not sip and it isn’t that kind of beer.
  • Would I have another? I most certainly would if I could find one, perhaps to age a little.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Hard to say no to that, this looks brilliant, has a great packaging, some poetry and then it tastes like nothing I can compare it to, it is quite the thing.

Music for this : ” Mogwai ”  ” Hardcore will never die, but you will ” on Spotify Mogwai are a Scottish post-rock band, formed in 1995 in Glasgow. You might also know then from the soundtrack of Les Revenants a French sci-fi drama series.


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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