Crane: Cake Stout 32 (England: Foreign Stout: 7.4% ABV)
Visual: Black. Dark coffee bubbled head that is small and not long lasting.
Nose: Roasted. Nutty. Bitter chocolate.
Body: Bitter chocolate. Vanilla. Light cream and milk. Coffee. Nutty – peanuts. Sour dough touch.
Finish: Charred touch. Bitter chocolate and chocolate cake. Milk. Milky coffee.
Conclusion: Cake stout. Good name, that’s a very good name for this. This has a very chocolate cake feel – albeit slightly dry chocolate cake. Not in a bad way, but just in comparison to the very moist cream filled chocolate cake you can get. Quality, not stale if you know what I mean.
So, of all the extra ingredients the chocolate seems to be the one that comes through the most. The coffee is there , but more milky and subdued, a backing rather than full on coffee cake.
These extra ingredients sit nicely balanced amongst a lot of the more traditional stout notes -a roasted character with sour dough touches. It is nice that while the beer pushes the cake story it doesn’t limit itself to that single tale.
Early on in the front of the beer it does feel like it needs a bit more weight, however the real fun comes out towards the back of the body and into the finish. That finish really lingers – it is like the beer is at its very best when you are not actually drinking it. Well at least if you have already sipped it at least once before.
Still, over time the front does build up and gets enough heft to deliver the flavour throughout and becomes a very solid stout. A very solid cake stout. Yep that definitely was the right name for the beer.
Needs a touch more balance texture wise early on to make it solid all the way through, but overall delivers exactly what it says and delivers well.
Background: I grabbed this from Corks Of Cotham. Mainly because I saw it was from a new brewery in Bristol. It is getting a crowded place for the beer scene now. Not sure if the 32 is part of the name or not, so I have left it there for now. Anyway, this is made with Ugandan vanilla beans, Peruvian cocoa nibs and Italian whole espresso beans.