Of the many kinds of beer on offer at Mayhem last week, one stood out in particular. Perhaps it was the imperial elegance, or the punchy, malty flavours they offer. Perhaps it was the best value for money, with the ABVs averaging around 16%. One way or another, I was hitting the imperial stouts.
Brewdog, Radio Zombie Phone In 14%
With a caramel head and a rich, black body, Radio Zombie Phone In is pretty much what you’d expect in an imperial stout. It’s also not what you’d expect to start with at a beer festival, which is why it’s such a mystery that I chose this as my first beer.
With the benefit of a completely fresh palate, I was able to pick up the chocolatey, cola and sour cherry flavours behind Radio Zomb’s milky sweetness. It’s punchy, but doesn’t punch like you’d expect from a 14% beer. 3/5
Brewdog, Barrel Aged Paradox Uncle Duke’s 15%
An imperial stout with six malts, three hops, aged in oak casks. My pretentious bullshit sense is tingling.
Smell-wise, Uncle Duke’s is fruity and rich – dark, red fruits, like the redcurrant jus you might pour over your freshly slain venison. The taste is more complex. It doesn’t taste of whisky, and yet it’s the most whisky-like beer I’ve ever tried.
It doesn’t taste of whisky itself, but rather it offers notes of sherry, raisins, smoke, and oak, as well as the molasses you’d expect to find in a beer of this volume.
Duke’s is actually rather good, despite being pretentious as fuck. I’m annoyed, but I’m giving it a 5/5