Total Score: 5.7/10
Well this is certainly a trip back in time: Sheaf Stout, the very first beer I ever reviewed. Note: I will be posting all 3 years’ worth of my reviews however if you want to see all of them now you can look me up on BeerAdvocate searching for “doktorhops”. One thing I’m surprised by is how accurate I find this review looking at it again as I was expecting some rookie errors, but apart from the wrong glassware there’s none.
Poured from the classic Australian 375ml stubbie bottle (a real man’s bottle – none of this 330ml guff!), into a 500ml “mini” Stein glass [we now know better and use a nonic pint glass for this Stout].
A: Jet black, much like a black hole – light cannot escape its grasp. Tan head which dissipates leaving a ring of beige around the inside of the glass. Not appealing but nonetheless acceptable for a Stout. 4/10.
S: Burnt coffee (lots of it!), dark chocolate and used Castrol GTX engine oil. Hint of metal thrown in because of the limited fermentation in “stainless” steel vats – but this is quite expected from CUB (Carlton United – the largest brewery in Victoria). 5/10.
T: Smell delivers almost exactly in the taste – burnt coffee, dark chocolate, engine oil and a hint of metal. Also a very present alcohol note – which given the ABV is only 5.7% this should not be as pronounced. 6/10
M: Hey I happen to like beers that aren’t overly carbonated – call it a personal preference due to a hiccup reflex I suffer from when drinking anything carbonated (soft drinks, etc…), but this stout is definitely in the zone of carbonation I like (which is surprising from CUB – who like to over carbonate all their beers). It’s a bit on the watery side nonetheless. 6/10.
D: It reminds me of an Ale I had on tap at a bar I worked in Scotland many years ago: this Ale was appropriately named “Old Engine Oil” and we could only sell half-pints of this stuff because of the 9% ABV – but Sheaf doesn’t have nearly as much ABV so as far as drinkability goes it’s a bit easier to keep track of (375ml = 1.7 standard drinks). 6/10.
Food match: Venison, game meats and other rich steaks (or fried mushrooms for my fellow vegetarian brethren).