Total Score: 8.55/10
Thanks to the friendly rep of Prancing Pony I’m finally revisiting the South Australian brewer (I reviewed their Black Ale back in 2015, I was a young man then *sigh*) with free samples of Imperial German Sledgehammer, India Red Ale, and their soon to be released Pagan’s Empire Imperial Pale Ale (what happened to India???). First up is Imperial German Sledgehammer – a 7.5% ABV Imperial Pilsner brewed with the assistance of Andreas Wagner… who’s he? Only a master brewer from, I don’t know: WEIHENSTEPHANER!!! [did I need to shout that? Yes, yes I did.] That is one mighty pedigree to bring to any German styled beer and I’m looking forward to cracking open this one… salivating even.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip (not quite the right glass for this style but I’m reviewing an IPA next and I couldn’t be arsed cleaning multiple glasses).
A: Cloudy with some yummy yeast clumps suspended in the delightful tawny body with a 2 centimetre cream-coloured head that drops back to a nice lace blanket. Looks a real treat, but then again I like yeast clumps in my beers [mmm, vitamin B!]. Head is quite dense, like that thick kid at school, you know the one… good stuff. 8/10.
S: BIG floral scent mingles with orange blossom flowers and orange peel, hints of honey and bread dough give you a sense of its Weihenstephaner master brewer pedigree [Prost Herr Wagner!]. Noble hops (Saaz possibly) in the background lend a touch of spicy/peppery character to the aroma. Sledgehammer is a mighty word and so far this is coming across as a mighty brew. 9/10.
T: Bloody tasty stuff! The bottle label speaks of a fusion between a Doppelbock and an IPA – whilst that’s not exactly what I’m getting (it’s more Pilsner than Doppelbock flavours… maybe even Maibock…) – it’s definitely crazy enough to work [like sharks with frikin’ laser beams attached to their heads!!!]. Flavours are a melange of: Honey, orange, floral, spice and pepper, with a finish that begins dry but ends with a balanced herbal bitterness. By George this is a top drop. 9/10.
M: Medium bodied with a dense but thin carbonation… almost too heavy. 7/10.
D: Towards the end of the bottle this was starting to become slightly cloying, still pretty damn good though, I highly recommend getting your hands on this sledgehammer. I suggest listening to Peter Gabriel’s ‘Sledgehammer’ whilst sipping on this, then you get: DOUBLE SLEDGEHAMMER! 8/10.
Food match: Go with Thai or Laotian cuisine, something spicy and light.