Total Score: 8.4/10
“Well, you don’t know what we can find, why don’t you come with me little girl, on a magic carpet ride” – Steppenwolf. Yep, it’s a brew invoking the ole step-wolf, been a while since I listened to ‘Born to be Wild’ and the others. So what exactly is Prancing Pony Magic Carpet Midnight Ride? And why did they feel the need to add in the midnight? This brew is a 9% ABV Russian Imperial Stout that comes in a 500ml bottle. That’s 3.6 standard drinks right there! Prancing Pony, another decent South Australian brewer, sits above Mismatch, but below Pirate Life in my best SA brewer books. Their India Red Ale is probably in my top 5 for the style, but their Black Ale and their Amber is a bit OK. Time to get our magic carpet ride on.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Impressive opaque obsidian body with a reasonably thick 1 centimetre tan head that sticks around very well given the 9% ABV. Dark and tasty looking Russian Imperial is on the cards IMO, go Prancing Pony! 9/10.
S: Smells quite viscous… if such a thing is even possible. Aroma is dark chocolate, roasted coffee bean, hint of dark fruit and light cigar smoke. If there was a textbook of Australian beers made to a given style the entry for Russian Imperial Stout (so far) would have a picture of this brew. 8/10.
T: Nailed it. Hits like a flavour torpedo, your tongue is a battleship in this metaphor BTW. BIG & bold flavours of: Dark chocolate, roasted coffee (espresso) beans, hint of dark fruit and light cigar smoke – as noted above. Sugar? Yes, enough to warrant making another dentist appointment soon. Finish is still sweet with a touch of coffee bitterness to round it out. Is this too sweet? A bit, yes. The alcohol is pretty well hidden though, so it’s just a great classic RIS then. 9/10.
M: Quite syrupy on the body, almost more like Castrol GTX 20W50 engine oil than a beer, in fact this reminded me of the original 9% version of Harviestoun Old Engine Oil which I used to serve in a bar in Edinburgh – great stuff! Carbonation is light but dense. 9/10.
D: The amount of sugar in this beer really takes away its drinkability and I can feel my pancreas as I type this sentence, is that normal? It shouldn’t be normal… other than that this is a top-notch RIS from Prancing Pony, if this were a dryer RIS though it would be almost a 10/10, as it stands this is a sugar-bomb too many for me. Those readers who are pre-diabetes take heed. 7/10.
Food match: Something big and beefy to cut through that sweetness.