Total Score: 8.5/10
Well this is almost it – review #699 – and I decided that it called for something special after Pirate Life’s IPA, something BIG (Bearing Immense Gusto), a real corker of a brew, and what could be better than the Imperial version of my favourite Australian chocolate beer (aka La Sirène Praline)? Not a thing good sir. So here it is – a large 750ml capped bottle sitting on my desk waiting to be opened and enjoyed – Can we say “Cheers!” in six different languages? Santé, Cin Cin, Kanpai, Skål, Zum wohl, and Sláinte chuig na fir, agus go mairfidh na mná go deo – you bet we can!
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: [Easy on the pour there Doc!] Well I’ve gone and done it – in foolish zeal I’ve poured a 1 and a half inch mocha brown head into the glass, damn my unbridled enthusiasm (and obscure Seinfeld references)! Luckily the head is dropping down faster than I can describe the colour of the body which is an opaque deep cola brown. More of the same if you liked original Praline. 9/10.
S: The aroma is a thick chocolate syrup concoction with vanilla and a touch of molasses – this thing is so saccharine smelling I can almost taste the sweetness with my nose! Aside from overbearing sugars and a dense chocolate syrup note there’s not much else. 8/10.
T: Amped up Praline. I’m going to copy/paste my flavour description from that review as it’s pretty much the same: “Smoky/roast notes of chocolate along with multifaceted flavours including: Cacao nib bitterness, caramelised sugar, hazelnut and hints of dark fruit.” The only major difference is the alcohol notes which are more prominent in this version (ergo a little bit distracting). 9/10.
M: Medium to heavy bodied with a dense and creamy carbonation that suits the brew quite well – the original was good on tap and this one from a bottle is (surprisingly) even better. 10/10.
D: As I noted in my review of the original Praline “Not a drink I would go more than two or three Schooners per session though, perhaps a bit too interesting and flavourful in that respect…” this brew is even greater in the sense of being maybe a bit too big for its britches, nevertheless I still enjoyed it, though given a choice I would get original Praline in future as it is less prone to BBF (Big Beer Fatigue). If you’re looking for the biggest chocolate beer though they don’t get much bigger than this – it’s like the Jaws of chocolate beers. 8/10.
Food match: Now that we’re hitting dessert beer territory: Chocolate tart.