Just like you, but different
Shining Peak 2019 Vintage Stout. Limited edition beer again. It’s the tail end of winter and Stouts are still appearing, in various guises from straight up and down to the outrageous flavoured ones, and I’ve some of that in the fridge for later but now I turn to a new brewer for me, and a new beer of course. Bottle 326 of just 1,000 made.
gains complexity with ageing.
This is a 650ml bottle of an Imperial Stout that is 11% ABV making this 5.6 standard drink units in NZ, and about 355 calories a serve size
Shining Peak 2019 Vintage Stout is made in 🇳🇿 New Plymouth, New Zealand in the style that is an Stout – Imperial
Imperial stout aged for 6 months in single-use bourbon barrels before being individually hand bottled and labelled. Cellar up to 10 years
2019 Vintage Stout is our first release of what will become our ‘Vintage’ range of yearly Barrel Aged releases. This Imperial Stout was brewed with a ‘Reiterated’ Double Mashing schedule, in which the second mash is mixed in with high gravity Wort from the first mash. This process allows us to extract a more concentrated sweet Wort, which feeds the yeast to create a higher alcohol brew. A small addition of dextrose sugar in the fermenter added an extra hit of alcohol which gives this beer a warming balance to the oak tannins.
We then decanted the beer into single-use Wild Turkey Barrels and left the beer to rest for six months.
The process of Oak ageing creates a chemical reaction between the wood and the beer, in which flavour compounds such as tannins and vanillins leach into the beer, creating a rounded and complex flavour. By treating the oak barrel as an additional ‘ingredient’ we’ve been able to create this complex and rich brew that is perfect for winter nights, and will also cellar extremely well as it gains complexity with ageing.
So, What could possibly go wrong? Well cellaring isn’t going to happen is it 🙂
Well the aroma is interesting, fruity and that high note of alcohol from the bourbon, and then milkiness from the malt, and chocolate, there seems to be a lot going on and I’ve not even poured it yet. But that really is a cracking start.
Pour is lovely black deep and with a mocha coloured head of some density and firmness that now sites on the top, the odd bubble popping. The alcohol note is fuller in the glass, as well as a fruit thing. I find this intriguing.
That’s a luxury beer. Really full and dense at the front, a proper big mouthfeel, that then moves aside for the fist hint of a bitterness that in turn gives way to a finish that is that alcohol burn from the bourbon. What a ride!
A second sup is the same, that fullness, a luxury milky fullness, a break through of bitter and a warm glowing finish that gently fades leaving you with a a smile and a puzzled frown about how that happened so slowly and quickly at the same time.
AS it gets slightly warmer it just gets better, the tastes don’t fade they just all stretch and get into themselves a bit more, it hard to imagine that this could have got better but it really is growing and being a bit good at it.
And there’s that lovely warming after burn that seems settles and comfortable with itself enough that it seems to be jsut sitting in the belly. Trust me it’s a thing, a really good thing.
So I’m excited by this? Well yes I am. You don’t really know what you’re getting with beers that are out of character for a brewer, and you know what I mean they go, often, Lager, Pale Ale, IPA, Lager again, Double IPA, quick dab at a Sour, IPA version #2, but sometimes they do the off piste thing and slide in a Stout that they’ve been working on.
So to get one that is top shelf off the bat, out of the box brilliant is both brilliant and outstanding, this is possibly the best beer I’ve had in a Long time. Looking back at beers that I arbitrarily give a 10 to I think that this would shade most of them and be nearer the top of the list than the middle of beers I’d like to have again, and there is some properly good beer on that list.
I slow down and ponder, it’s still a 10 for me though, but this should just get better and that bourbon should improve and bring more flavour forward, this is already at a giddy height though.
The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 10 of its things from the thing. I don’t think that I can get another, I am so glad that I got this one, it was a stab in the dark, and as they say, you have to be in to win. This is a really nice beer with great aroma, and has a wonderful taste journey that is many things in a nice way, full, slightly bitter, tang and warm at the back. I’m trying not to be gushy when I think of how to describe it, but it’s hard not to be.
The double dip review
Music for this: ””Heroes” (2017 Remaster) by David Bowie on the Spotify player for you, on the Vinyl for me.