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Beer – #1,111 – Three Boys – Four the Ages – Imperial Oyster Stout – Part 3 – 2021

This was/is a Secret Santa present, This pack includes 4 x 330ml bottles of the Three Boys Imperial Oyster Stout, from 4 different years – 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022. It’s taken an age to get to the point of writing about them, the last one of this that I had was the 2018, and I was rather keen on it.

Except that I have of course an 18, 20, 21 and 22. I can live with that.

Read Part 1 – the 2018 – here

Read Part 2 – the 2020 – here

Experience the aged revolution

Three Boys Brewery make the Three Boys Imperial Oyster Stout – which is a Special Seasonal release – and they do this from 🇳🇿 Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand – the beer of course a Stout – Imperial Flavored / Pastry or an Imperial Stout, of 12.0% ABV.

“Experience the aged revolution of one of Three Boys’ cult favourite beers”. This is big news, and a big, beautiful beer! We’ve teamed up with Cryer Malt and doubled everything in our award winning Oyster Stout recipe to create this, double malt, double hops, double Bluff Oysters and double abv beer

So, What could possibly go wrong?

The 2021 version.

You’ll notice this is real time stuff as the night draws in and the light outside fades, I might also start to over-write , pontificate for try to be profound, just a heads up, and there’s still one more beer to go. I did ask what could possibly go wrong?

I’ve had two really different versions of the same beer the year 18 and year 20. Opposites nearly. I’m not sure what I’m expecting from the next one.

Again I could have done this as a 4 beer pour side by side and had a sip from each, but that seems rather profligate and desperate so I decided serial order. I’m not convinced I made the right choice, MrsPhil would agree with you probably.

The chocolate aroma is back! It is not very bold but it is loud. This is promising.

A lovely pour of a dark deep black beer with a lovely head that looks light fluffy and just tinged coffee coloured. It is always a lovely thing to look at.

This has a ‘milky’ aroma in the glass, also an underlying fruitiness. I’m a fan.

Once again a beer that is not directly comparable to the previous versions (!8 and 20). This does not have the chocolate and aroma of the 18 nor the smoothness and delight of the 20, but what it does have is a lovely bit of bold and assertive bitterness in the initial taste that rolls over and lays on the tongue letting you get a longer ride.

There’s a lot of enjoy about this version, as there has been with the previous versions. Just a different enjoy.

Obviously this one is ‘fresher’ and hasn’t had time to do whatever beer does when it is sat there doing the thing it does in the bottle, that there is clear and startling variation should be a lesson in something, something that I’m bound to ignore, forget or not understand about how beer ages.

I can really notice that this is ‘fresher’ or isn’t ‘aged’ then the 18 or 20, which surprises me, this is just much brighter and alive, but only because I’ve had the previous versions?, or would I have gotten this if I had just picked this up at the store. I think I would have picked that this is bright and pops out.

I like this version, the 2021 a lot, I’d be chuffed to have brought this, and the fact that I don’t know or didn’t know or realise that this is a seasonal/annual is on me.

Let us be honest, I buy a beer, I drink a beer, normally I would have brought these beers a year or more apart, and I would never ever ever never would have worked out the immediate difference in the tastes. So I am rather smugly pleased I have the opportunity and on the other hand still ignorant about what or why there are the changes between them. I should hands up for a beers assistant job when I finally stop the 9-5 gig, although I’m not sure pensioner speed is what they’ll be needing. Or perhaps I could just get book or books and learn.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as of its things from the thing. This is delicious and I would encourage you to find one if you can, the 2021 is a splendid and decent enjoyable and rather want beer. It ticks all the good boxes and I can’t think of a reason why it is a bad beer. It is swearingly good beer.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? These were a gift from a secret Santa.
  • Am I enjoying it? I am, it feels very decadent.
  • Would I have another? I have had two and I still have 1 more different vintages, so I’m rather smugly happy
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I would indeed, this is classy beer.

Music for this:  First Beige – Doplar – I seem to have moved to swish nightclub background vibe

Stout – Imperial Flavored / Pastry

The “Flavored Imperial Stout”, or “Flavored Double Stout” is an intensely-flavored, big, very dark reddish-brown to black colored ale with a wide range of flavor balances and with a clear flavoring element. 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. It also feature an harmonious marriage of the additive and beer, but still recognizable as a beer. The additive character should be evident but in balance with the beer. (For example: fruits, spices, herbs, vegetables, coffee, honey, chocolate, maple sirup, chilies, nuts, vanilla, liquor – BUT not including Smoked malt, barrel-aging or a Sour element resulting from the brewing process). In the case of over-the-top, highly sweet, adjunct-heavy stouts reminiscent of a liquid version of cake or pastry, the name “Dessert Stout” or “Pastry Stout” if often used.


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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