One man’s Yeti is another man’s Sasquatch is another man’s Bigfoot. We live in a world where subtlety and nuance is everything and nothing sums this up better than the world of beer… an industry that used to be relatively simple but becomes more and more complex each day. Ten years back, you would have been hard pushed to find more than 10 or 12 styles on the shelves of your local store. Now one struggles to choose from an absolute sea of beer that seemingly swells and swells.
Do you drink lager, or maybe you prefer a helles or perhaps you’re more of a pilsner person. Or maybe you have a penchant for IPAs, but do you prefer them from the east coast, or west coast, milkshaked, ryed or sessionable? Who would have thought there would be so many decisions to make when choosing the old hop and malt juice.
Which sort of leads us to the labelling. With so many styles and so many quirky alt beers vying for our attention, sometimes the branding and naming of the beer becomes just as important. This is exemplified in the modern craft beer scene, where can artwork, theming and creative naming is almost unparalleled by any other drinks industry.
This commercial side to craft beer is exciting, and enticing, as much as we might hate to admit it. Next time you’re in a drinks store, just compare some old world beers from Belgium, for example, with the lineup of funky monkeys from NZ or the States…. It really is like comparing chalk and cheese. Modern beers are loud personalities, whose looks are as important as the flavours they rock. It will be interesting to see whether this changes over time.
Anyway, back to our beer. I’ll be honest, I chose this one because I liked the name and it gave me a nice intro line (laughs). But, all jokes aside, the branding is good, the name works and the price is right for an imperial stout. Let’s see if it holds up in the mouth…
Looks a bit like a flat white in the glass and smells like one too. The nose is rich. toasty and malty and leads to a palate that follows suit, with oodles of dark malt that combines with heaps of hops creating liquorice and Jägermeister notes. The sweetness travels nicely through the mid palate, which is what you want from an imperial stout, and the finish is fresh thanks to some well placed bittering hops.
Lovely stuff. I wouldn’t say it's the most complex of beers - but if you’re looking for intellectual conversation… you wouldn’t choose a yeti right? It's fair to say that the beer did exactly what it said it would do on the can and at the right price. I wanted a beast of a stout and that’s what I got. Nice.