Balter Black Metal Disco

Total Score: 6.55/10 Coffee1Barley1Chocolate1Nonicpint1

The latest from Balter Brewing is an interesting creature in their line-up: Obviously it’s a Stout – and Balter have thus far shied away from black beers, also it’s not a style one would generally associate with the surfing craft beer drinking community – which Balter has been aiming for from day dot, it’s in a 500ml can instead of their regular 375ml cans – so the packaging has changed somewhat too, and lastly it doesn’t have the style in the name: Black Metal Disco… in Balter terms that’s a big change. However the one thing they have always been known for (in my eyes at least) is brewing smooth easy-drinking beers that less challenge and more ease you into that wet sloppy embrace of inebriated delight, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon with BMD.

Poured from a 500ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Black and murky with some nice dense bubbles forming on the bottom of the glass – that bodes well for a creamy Stout. Head is beige-borderline-tan and soon drops back from 1 centimetre to a thin layer. She looks alright. 7/10.

S: Toasted/roasted barley character from the get-go, touch of chocolate, espresso notes lingering in the background – yep, she’s a Stout alright. Compared to most Sweet Stouts the sweetness is more balanced than usual, there’s a roasted espresso hop character in the finish. It’s only lacking in a bit of complexity and what I like to call “OMPFH”, however Balter tend towards softer brews in general anyway. 7/10.

T: As noted above: Toasted/roasted barley character, touch of chocolate, espresso notes, and towards the finish more of a red coffee cherry flavour – dry and coffee infused bitterness. Here in the flavour department it comes across too easy-drinking, and well… bland overall. Much like the Alt-Brown this is sorely missing complexity and outright flavour. Still it’s hard to stay mad at a flavour profile that is this inoffensive. 6/10.

M: Mouthfeel is alright, mid to heavy, a touch watery, with a dense but almost flat carbonation – it’s a beer that would nitro up really well, and I suspect the reason why people raved about it on tap is because it probably WAS nitro on tap. 7/10.

D: Second major swing n’ miss for me from Balter, however they were simply doing what they do: a rather inoffensive, easy-drinking surfy brew. Make of that what you will, I’m personally not a fan of their beers – they’re far too entry-craft for me, but I can see what they’re doing (and why) and I don’t dislike it. 7/10.

Food match: Meat pie this mother up… that sounds weirdly wrong. Pie it.

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