Wild Beer Co: Wildebeest (England: Imperial Stout: 11% ABV)

Visual: Black. Quite well lasting brown head.

Nose: Milky coffee. Roasted nuts. Condensed cream. Fudge. Quite milky. Cream cheese and chives.

Body: Thick. Milky yet slightly bitter chocolate. Frothy. Vanilla. Milky in general. Tingle of spice. Dry roasted nuts. Cheesecake. Coffee.

Finish: Roasted nuts rising. Bitter black chocolate. Slight choc orange. Mashed herbs. Baileys. Cheesecake. Milky coffee.

Conclusion: Do people ever get bored of Imperial Stouts? I hope not as I have a few in the cupboard at the moment, but I try to use them as a treat for myself. Just in case. It would be horrid for the big rich flavours to become dull through over exposure.

This one feels like a beer especially well suited to treat and pamper yourself. Though the beer doesn’t look viscous to the eye the body turns out to be thick, frothy and fondue like. Lots of rich, smooth, bitter chocolate. At some points you get that unsweetened black chocolate with a lot of promise, and before that you get creamy rich chocolate. The various chocolate interpretations seem to dominate the scene, somewhat limiting the chance for non chocolate notes to express themselves. There are roasted notes rounding it out, but mainly you are there for the immense range of play in the chocolate style. You get everything from milky, unsweetened, condense cream touched to layered over cheesecake.

It makes for a big and relaxing drink, but what really sells it is the texture. No alcohol burn and very little weight considering, its all frothy and mouth filling but without the kick.

There are a few elements to round it out, a slight chive and greenery character, sour dough or even spice notes. All barely present but just smoothing off the edges.

Very much a dessert beer, have alongside a good cheesecake, or with cheese boards, or in dinner jackets, Something along that style. I would say have a cigar, but 1) I don’t smoke so couldn’t say, and 2) I have a feeling that would ruin the taste. Any which way a distinguished beer.

Background: I’ve been following the wild beer company since they started in Bristol last year, and “Independent Spirit” in Bath have started stocking their beers, making them a bit easier to get hold of. This one is an imperial stout made with coffee beans. Ok, compared to the rest of their line up that isn’t that strange, but every beer company seems to need at least one in their line up these days.