Beavertown were one of the pioneers of UK craft beer. If you’re reading this, you almost certainly know who they are. We’ve got fond memories of tasting Neck Oil, Black Betty and Gamma Ray for the first time and their branding is top drawer. We often feel guilty binning our empties as they really are works of art. As a brewery, Beavertown resonate with us so we always make an effort to try their new beers when they come out.
We listed the Sour Cherry & Sea Salt version of Heavy Water in our Top 10 Craft Beers of 2017, so we had ridiculously high expectations for this recently released variant featuring Raspberries, Cacao and Vanilla.
Brewed with Best Pale, Low Colour Chocolate, Medium Crystal, Brown, Oats and Carafa 3 malts, US-05 yeast and Columbus hops, it’s a 10.4% ABV imperial stout but the alcohol is well hidden.
It’s a really interesting beer. The first sip is overwhelmingly raspberry; it’s overpowering at first. Once you become accustomed to the initial fruit-forward burst of flavour, there’s a strong bitterness backed up by intense sweetness. There’s very little sense of Cacao or Vanilla here, it’s a big, bold, just on the right side of sickly-sweet, intensely tart, imperial RASPBERRY stout.
In Beavertown’s own words…
A decadent liquid dessert constructed of fresh Raspberries, warm chocolate and liquoricey treacle that fills your nose with warm, sticky comforting flavours. The palate goes deeper and more complex with a heady hit of sweet raspberry tartness, bitter dark Javan chocolate burnt vanilla and nutty caramel notes that lead to a long lingering finish of bitter fresh vanilla pods, raspberries and a dusting of cocoa. Pure gluttony.
Is it a good beer? Without a doubt. Is it as good as last year’s Sour Cherry & Sea Salt version? Not in our book.
Have you tried it yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.