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Herevana – Hallertau – Thomson Whisky Barrel Aged Double Stout

Hallertau Thomson Whisky Barrel Aged Double Stout. The 2021 version. They’ve again dialled up the usual Nocturne using Whisky Barrels from Thompson, coincidentally also made at Hallertau, and it’s a fine whiskey as I can attest from what’s left in the cupboard 🙂 nd if you missed it Nocturne is a gorgeous bit of beer, on an annual basis.

Why go just a Nocturne, when you can have the bolder brother version, it’s my own #Herevana so I can do this of course.

Hallertau Nocturne Double Stout is made in Riverhead, Auckland, 🇳🇿 as a Stout – Imperial  in style with an ABV of  10%, this is 2.6 standard drinks in NZ

You ‘could’ cellar this for unto 10 years, says the label, and I spoke recently to Jeff @MythicaBrewing about cellaring, specifically in cans, and was told that for the higher ABV Stouts it would indeed be a thing. Cellaring and keeping them in my garage fridge, they’re not the same thing though. I think that I might have missed the bus on an ageing program for Stouts that I could enjoy, although who’s got money to put a beer in a cupboard/cellar for a few years on any meaningful way. Don’t come at me on this, because I know you’re out there, man with a plan.

In terms of presentation the simple no frills label should be a clue that this is remarkable and to be respected, it’s all about the beer. When I say no frills, what I mean is distinct and to the point labelling.

I could reasonably expect to have a beer that is sweeter and have a Whiskey thing going on, being from the Vanilla and of course the Thompson Whiskey. I got up and checked my Thomspon Whisky for later, should be need arise. Not that I’d add Whisky to a Stout but…

The aroma is a rich, chocolate, aroma, but there’s a burst of that toasted in there too.

It’s a lovely pour, expected deep dark black, and lighter but off colour head, which is lovely air filled cushion of wonderment.

The aroma in the glass is much dampened down by something new, I’m going with Whisky or the Barrel effect, I’ve out on a limb when I think it might be oak barrels.

This is like chalk to cheese compared to Nocturne from whence it came. Gone is that bitter prickle, and gone is that fruity middle note. Winging in is a lovely sweetness, probably from that Vanilla, this makes this a whole lot softer and a whole different proposition.

And let me not hold back and say anything other than this is amazing. Not amazing like this is the first time I’ve had this combination, but amazing that this is served up in a way that it almost complete. The ‘Whisky’ in this is the thing that you miss, and what you actually are missing is the peatiness. I’ve not had a Thomspon’s Whisky for a while and I’m pretty sure they’re not peat-bombs.

But also let me not hold back and say that, hold on where’s that Whisky note? I think by implication that there might be bite from a Whiskey element. Which I personally don’t get.

There’s no regerts (sic) in me purchasing this, and for me going the Nocturne and the Whisky Nocturne in order was a revelation, they’re most definelty not the same beer. Not even.

The Pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 on the arbitrary number scale. This has to a large extent removed the bitterness from Stout and replaced it with a lot softer notes, and a different flavour profile. Added a bit of Alcohol that’s not apparent or visible as a sign on the glass. But Whisky, not so much.

Hallertau Say : The annual release for this in-house collaboration between Thomson Whisky & Hallertau Brewery. Notes of bitter chocolate, espresso coffee, a soupcon of vanilla and a whiff of whisky. A wintery drop for sure 

Herevana beers are those I drink at home, I’m not at some beer festival, like, for instance, Beervana, but am just in my kitchen, usually, dining room table, sometimes, or outside, occasionally, where I can take an average picture and write in real time about the beer that I’ve invested in, both in a monetary and emotional way.

Philip himself.

Adele popped into the play list, I’m good with that.

Stout – Imperial

The “Imperial Stout” or “Double Stout” is an intensely-flavored, big, very dark reddish-brown to black colored ale with a wide range of flavor balances and regional interpretations. Roasty-burnt malt with deep dark or dried fruit flavors, and a warming, bittersweet finish. American versions have more bitterness, roasted character, and finishing hops, while the English varieties, or “Russian Imperial Stout” (RIS), reflect a more complex specialty malt character and a more forward ester profile. Like a black barleywine with every dimension of flavor coming into play. More complex, with a broader range of possible flavors than lower-gravity stouts.

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