Total Score: 6.3/10
Being named after one of my all-time favourite novellas means that Murray’s had better bring something special to my table. Though I do expect they will deliver, as per usual (except for that one time Moon Boy). In any case I may have been drawn by the name of the beer but the purchase was instantaneous based on the style described as “Belgio Imperial Stout”, that is: a) Pretty insane, which I love, and b) A combination of two of my favourite styles, which will likely in all honesty fail miserably but hey let’s give it a shot anyway! [that’s why I’m here reviewing these beers – so you don’t have to waste your hard-earned dosh on a dud-beer… oh yeah and I like writing too].
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Très dark, impervious cola body with a mocha head that soon dies down to a thin lace ring – that’s pretty standard behaviour for a 9.6% ABV brew there. Look we all know I love a dark beer and generally give out 9’s like I’m giving away candy so why change now? 9/10.
S: Ripe coffee cherry upfront and in your face with an intriguing dark fruit and pear esters coming through along with a slight sour bread yeast note… this is probably one of the more interesting beers I’ve put my nose to in a long while – it’s got a really wondrous balance between Imperial Stout and Belgian Strong Dark characters, if this tastes half as good as the aroma suggests we are in for a ride! 9/10.
T: Hmmmm, it’s not quite as deep and complex as the aroma leads you to believe. There are a few of the above characters (coffee cherry, dark fruits and pear esters) however there is also a phenomenal amount of sugar going on as well… too much IMO. It’s up there with a Leffe for the sheer-sugar-dumping-on-your-tongue factor, and this heavy amount of sweetness really covers up what feels like a bunch of other (interesting) flavours in the background. There’s a herbal hop note towards the back as well, but it struggles to balance out all that sugar. Slight disappointment sets in along with the sugar rush. 5/10.
M: Medium bodied with a nice dense carbonation. 8/10.
D: Too bad Murray’s, I was really looking forward to this one and then you drop a sugar-bomb in my mouth – like some sort of saccharine-grenade, a saccarinade [ooo I like that!]. I think I’ll skip the next Murray’s release. 5/10.
Food match: A bowl of brown sugar, and some Insulin.