Wild Beer Co: Whiskebeest (England: Imperial Stout: 12% abv)

Visual: Black. Still. Small dash of a head.

Nose: Salt rocks. Barley. Smoke. Fudge. Medicinal touch. Bitter chocolate. Brown bread.

Body: Bitter and milky chocolate mix. Barley. Honeyed whisky. Oat cakes. Apples. Toffee. Very smooth. White chocolate. Coffee.

Finish: Alcohol air. Some charring. Bitter chocolate. Whisky. Slight smoke. Chocolate fondue. White chocolate topping.

Conclusion: A whisky aged wildebeest. Now Wildebeest by itself was a very good and extremely luxurious imperial stout that suffered only from the flooded market of excellent beers of that style.

This, being whisky aged, enters a similarly flooded field. Seriously does everyone barrel age their Imperial Stouts now? Not that I’m complaining or anything. Anyway, the time it oak has made it even smoother, the only harsh notes are in the aroma where it hints at the Islay aged time. The body has just become even more luxurious in the notes it brings out.

The chocolate fondue is now added to with some new frothy white chocolate notes which makes it feel more dessert like, kind of like layers of cake with cream in the centre and flakes on top. The whisky ageing has added to this, but it is remarkably subtle for the most part. The first few sips does have it very up front, but it quickly blends into the background. Enhancing the beer rather than being the main course.

It is very much smoother, almost too smooth at times as it loses a bit of the thick texture. Despite that it never loses the huge flavour leading to the odd contrast of barely felt beer, yet still filling the mouth with flavour. It causes much confusion for this drinker.

That element doesn’t prevent the beer having so many layers, with toffee touched and lightly spirit backed indulgence adding greatly to the beer. It feels like a mix of whipped frothy, bitter, milky and white chocolate all heaped high.

Very much a dessert of a beer, and much more that Wildebeest, so much so that it carves out its own niche. It is not perfect due to the texture feel but that mix of chocolate elements is enough to make unique beer that is unlike the others – the white chocolate notes especially are very distinctive. Still not quite one of the very best, but enough to bring a new experience to me, and lets face it – the very best in this field is insane.

So, yeah, try it if you can.

Background: Could they have made this beer’s name more of a pain in the arse to spell if they tried? On the bright side it made me realise I had misspelled wildebeest in my review of it, so some up side there. Anyway, this is wildebeest aged in highland and islay whisky barrels then mixed together. This is the last of the Christmas barrel aged trinity from Wild Beer Co, and possibly the most anticipated. Picked up from the ever excellent Independent Spirit of Bath. Drunk while listening to the old standby of Anti-Flag.