The Talabheim Brewery Otto's Last Stand

The Talabheim Brewery: Otto’s Last Stand (England: English Strong Ale: 7% ABV)

Visual: Dark and cloudy, a very dark brown to black body and bubbled beige large head.

Nose: Figs and raisins. malt chocolate. Light tart grapes. Vanilla. Vinous.

Body: Big. Figgy pudding. Liquorice underneath. Malt chocolate. Bitter and slight charred underneath. Brown bread. Tart grapes. tingling texture. Vinous. Vanilla. banana.

Finish: Fig rolls. Malt chocolate drink. Dried sultanas. Light charcoal dust. Tannins. Brown sugar. Banana. Cloves.

Conclusion: Homebrew day! This is such a nice one as well. Ok, time for the high concept pitch – it tastes kind of like a brewed up, higher abv Fuller’s ESB. It has that figgy, dark fruity character and malt chocolate baking writ large.

The extra abv allows it a bit more weight, pushing a vinous sour grape backing and thicker body with it to make it a more boozy figgy pudding dessert style joy. Beneath that it manages to work a solid base, bitter and slightly charred to keep it from becoming too sweet.

It ends up being a three way for the style between a well balanced ESB, a vinous English strong ale and the sweet high notes of a barley wine. It is, frankly, a dangerously drinkable brew. At times the mix of raisins and light banana notes makes me think of a UK ale interpretation of the great Aventinus.

And no I am not just saying that because I have it, and because it is a home brew the chances are you do not. It is genuinely impressive.

Ok, to be fair, flaws then. Well, it is very boozy and sweet – if that isn’t your thing then this will not be. It can be a touch overly alcohol tingling, with the sweetness dominating the flavour. I have a feeling a few years in the bottle would really do this nicely to make this a real masterpiece. Hmm, I have none left though. Sad face. Still only a few minor rough edges to this gem of a beer.

This is the best tasting beer that most people will not get to try.

Background: Homebrew tasting notes time! Two bottles were donated to me by a workmate a while back (Many thanks) and I asked if he could check with the home brewer if it was ok to do notes on them. By the time I had got the OK I had already drunk them. Thankfully another workmate had a bottle spare I could have, so I nicked that to do these notes, again many thanks. As you can probably tell the homebrew is Warhammer Fantasy themed. This was drunk while listening to More Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes. I cannot recommend them highly enough as a hardcore punk band, great energy.