Total Score: 8.6/10
Who doesn’t love a Smoked Stout? Probably salmon because it reminds them of where they may end up if caught [that is in a smokehouse, not a Stout… that gives me an idea for a new beer style – Salmon Stout… patent pending! Anyway, carry on me]. Err, yes me. *whispering to reader* Geez that was awkward, that guy gives me the creeps. *end whisper* So yeah, coming to Exit – as you may or may not recall their Milk Stout (the creatively named “#003”) was très bien to put it lightly or a f**king sweet! (to put it not so lightly just in case you needed a second option on the putting of it). Seeing as how every time I praise a beer it mysteriously sells out at Plonk I decided to give their #007 James Bon, err, Smoked Stout a try.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Pours a deep dark inky black, like a squid took a defensive manoeuvre in my glass, with an 8mm (yes we are measuring in millimetres now, wow us) tan head that quickly fades away to a thin lace ring. Should this be packing a head of some sort? Yes. Do I care? Not really. 7/10.
S: Why oh why did I shave and put aftershave on before this review? Oh well. Even through the dense thicket of my manly aftershave with the tiger on the bottle I can still pick up hickory smoked wood, sweet molasses malt and an earthy/peaty note in the background. 8/10.
T: Hell. Yes. This is the stuff that log cabins with embers slowly dying in the fireplace are made of: big hickory smoked wood, hints of sweet molasses to shore it up and that lingering earthy/peaty note. It even has hops in it as well, providing that classic counterpoint to sweetness; they add an earthy Australian forest floor flourish, sort of like the flavour you get in most US IPAs only less piney. But the star of the show are the smoke characters – they’re big and uncompromising as they should be. 9/10.
M: Medium(ish!) bodied with some dense but light carbonation. 8/10.
D: I thought the Milk Stout was damn good and this is almost as good as it. Though it is down to my personal preference of sweet over smoked flavours (that said I do love me a good Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock) this was the biggest deciding factor, and whilst this has a good earthy/peaty/smoky character it is miles behind the smoke complexity of a Schlenkerla brew. Final word? Continue buying up all the #003 Milk Stouts you can mysterious person who lives in Canberra and happens to like all the beers I rate highly – I’m a coming for those brews! 9/10.
Food match: Whatever food you can find in the pantry of your log cabin.