Basqueland: Saveur Bière: Coco Chango (Spain: Imperial Porter: 10.5% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Medium sized grey-brown head.

Nose: Bourbon. Liquorice. Bunt toffee. Coconut. Cinder toffee. Toasted teacakes. Marshmallows. Coconut macaroons. Slightly spicy.

Body: Thick. Rye spice. Vanilla toffee. Chocolate fondue. Bitter chocolate cake. Slight caramel. Bourbon. Brown bread. Bitter coffee. Peppery.

Finish: Nutty. Peppery. Bitter cocoa. Crushed walnuts. Slight mint leaves. Spicy. Coconut.

Conclusion: Ok, I can see no mentioned of bourbon ageing on this thing’s bottle, so I presume it has not spent any time in the oak – which is odd ‘cos from the experience drinking it I could swear this has been barrel aged. Any which way it is a good sign for the beer. Whatever caused it, it smooths a thick beer and adds a light sweetness to heavy, rye touched, spicy porter.

So, good start. Let’s dig into the details.

This opens up with a kind of burnt toffee, bonfire night and bourbon aroma. Some coconut notes to tease me, as coconuts in dark beer is totally my jam, and hints of liquorice which were a bit of warning as over used liquorice in dark beers can be my ..erm, anti-jam? Still, a good start. Could do with more awesome coconut, but good start.

The body comes in very differently after that. It is thick, with a wonderfully heavy texture with plenty of rye spice against cream toffee and bitter chocolate cake. It starts out on the sweeter end of the spectrum and gets spicier and more bitter as the beer goes along, but still matched against that creamy sweetness.

The finish is the only bit that doesn’t quite grab me. It is quite savoury and spicy without the contrasting notes needed to make that work. Also not enough coconut, but that is true of the whole beer.

Overall it is lovely – great progression both in aroma to body, and in over time within each element. It is thick, heavy but smooth. Sweet up front, spicy at the end. I love it. There is a slightly weak finish, and it could do with more coconut, but despite that it is still highly recommended.

Background: A new brewery on me, and this one caught my eye as it is an Imperial Porter made with coconut and rye. It is the coconut that really caught me. Long time readers will know that coconut porters and stouts are totally my thing. I love them. One down side of the beer though was it is yet another one with wax to seal the bottle. In this case the wax was very brittle, so thankfully easy to get off the bottle, but it was hard to try and stop the crumbs from falling into the damn beer. I have really gone off wax sealed bottles through overexposure over the years. Maybe one beer a year from each brewery can justify wax, all the others can fuck right off. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. I hadn’t heard of their collaborators, saveur bière, a quick google tells me they are an online beer store. Neat. Anyway, another one grabbed from Independent Spirit. Went with Miracle of Sound’s awesome Metal Up for background drinking music again.