Saturday, 25 May 2019

The Empire Strikes Black (Lively Brew)

Here's a lovely little stout from Bunker friends Richard (of Llama Studio) and Geoff at Lively Brew.

Cap off, it's lively but not overfizzy. The pour is as dark as expected, and the thin brown head lasts down the glass.

The nose is complex and pleasant, chocolate malt tones to the fore. On the tongue it's a grippy little number, weighing in at 6% ABV, and infused with "cinnamon, cloves, allspice, vanilla and rum". With that amount of additions you might expect a bit of a car crash in the taste department, but all the various elements of the orchestra work well to produce a sumptuous tune - dark and homely on first sup and just the right amount of bittering in the length. The carbonation is soft and completely suitable.

Richard and Geoff say it's the best thing they've done so far, and having tasted a few other examples - all good - I'd have to agree. As home brewers, they are consistent and improving all the time, and none of the titles I've tried have had any of the tell-tale mulchiness, or 'cigar' notes that can easily be contracted from home kits. Couple this with excellent branding and they could go to local scale quite easily with a very drinkable product like this.

7/10 - A fine, fine homebrew. Lovely complexity and spicy quality.

- The Broadside