Omnipollo Original Rocky Road Ice Cream

Total Score: 8.1/10 Nut1Chocolate1Vanilla1Tulipglass1

Omni-bloody-pollo! Yes, I promised more reviews from their brill Ice Cream series with Buxton, and here is Rocky Road. I’ve noticed some recent negative reviews of the Omnipollo Ice Cream brews and I feel it necessary to point out: a) This is a dessert beer, b) it will be sweet to the point of you booking a dentist appointment, c) that’s kinda the point of a dessert beer – to be sweet [or not to be sweet, that is not the question], and finally d) if you don’t like dessert beers don’t review/get them, there’s plenty of great stuff out there for everyone, don’t be negging a brew because “there wasn’t anything balancing out the sweetness” – read my points a-d again if it isn’t clear. To me, so far, Omnipollo’s dessert beers have been superlative, full-flavoured and borderline OTT with sugar – that’s a dessert beer!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: [copy/paste from the other Omnipollo Imperial Stout reviews]: Bold, dark, omnious, like the inky black vacuum of space. With a thin tan ring for a head. Darth Vader tried a new glove on this week and it wasn’t this black – impressive, most impressive. 10/10.

S: Peanut to the fore, hints of vanilla, milk/dark chocolate, hint of booze and marshmallow round out a rich dark aroma. It’s a loud and proud aroma, however I can tell you from previous experience that peanut flavoured beers can go a bit awry flavour-wise – it’s hard yards adding oily substances like peanuts to beers due to those oils rotting easily. Here goes the ultimate test for the Omni-guys. 9/10.

T: The peanut flavour is a touch off, but the rest of it works great, the body not so well (but we’ll talk about that next). Flavours of: Roasted peanut, marshmallow, vanilla, milk/dark chocolate, a touch of booze and a cacao nib bitterness in the finish. The overall flavour profile suggests Omnipollo are just getting a tad bit in over their heads (just a tad). It’s got too much going on – flavours coming from all angles, my brain is getting fatigued just thinking of the different flavours and how they even come together. Is it sweet? Yeah, but not crazy sweet, and there’s actually bitterness in the finish to balance it out. 8/10.

M: Mid to heavy bodied but the carbonation is non-existent and sad. 6/10.

D: Yeah even I admit that Omnipollo took this one too far. The flavour has too much happening, although the sweet/bitter balance is spot on, there is also a lack of body/carbonation that the other ones had. Still I did enjoy this. 8/10.

Food match: Need I even say Rocky Road? Yes? Well, ROOCKY ROOOOAD!


Omnipollo Original Texas Pecan Ice Cream

Total Score: 8.95/10 Nut1Vanilla1Caramel1Tulipglass1

O(h) m(y) nipollo! I have another Omnipollo! There’s more coming too. Omnipollo have made me their bitch to some extent – after trying their delicious and syrupy dessert brews I am a convert to the Omnipollo way. I had some sort of perverse Pavlovian response to seeing that pink walking poo (or soft-serve, it’s deviously unclear) on the label of this Original Texas Pecan Ice Cream, my mouth began to salivate and I had to get out of the bottleshop without leaving a puddle of liquid on the ground. Not true. Maybe. Anyhow, I made it out without the “wet floor – cleaning in progress” sign having to (possibly) be deployed. Now I have it, and another walking poo labelled Omnipollo bottle in my fridge (it has to be a soft-serve, it makes more sense that way… still a bold statement).

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Heavy black goop-like substance for a body, with a thin khaki lace ring and a spiral-arm galaxy dense bubble pattern on the surface. The density of this brew is remarkable in the least – quite enjoying presiding over this galaxy. Can’t wait to drink it. 9/10.

S: Nutty and caramel sweetness from the pecans mingles with a bold smack of vanilla (the ice-cream in the name) and naught much else. I hope they can balance out some of that sweetness in the aroma – right now it’s a B-double without brakes about to smash into my teeth… I’m bracing myself now. 7/10.

T: Yeah: No they didn’t balance out the sugar – my teeth have been smashed to a thousand pieces. However this is a dessert beer – let’s not forget that one BIG detail. Flavour is vanilla, caramel and nutty with a hint of cocoa and coffee bean. Very sweet, yes, but the balance otherwise, and the flavours present are unique and delectable. 10/10.

M: Heavy bodied, not quite Founders body again, but still rather heady and chewy with a nice tight carbonation driving it forwards – I’ve got to say Omnipollo are number 2 on my list of brewers that really bring a nice heavy body. Number 1 being obvious. 8/10.

D: Omnipollo, you magnificent bastards! This is an example of a great (and very-sweet-but-that’s-the-point-really) dessert beer. If I was dying in the desert I would not drink a dessert beer – that is my test for all dessert beers, and Original Texas Pecan Ice Cream passes that test with flying colours. 9/10.

Food match: It’s in the name brah!


Omnipollo Anagram Blueberry Cheesecake Stout

Total Score: 8.85/10 Vanilla1Strawberry1Coffee1Tulipglass1

Time to @%*& some ^#$% up! Omnipollo knows no bounds. I know this now. Anagram is brewed with adjuncts (i.e. anything that isn’t hops or malt) in the form of blueberries (one would hope) and lactose (to give it body). Look after Selassie and Noa Pecan Mud Cake, my mouth wanders at the thought of a new Omnipollo, and the rest of my body has to snap it out of its trancelike state. Yes, I’ve only had their ridiculous dessert beers so far, but so far has been pretty sweet (literally!) so I’m keen to crack on and solve this anagram [I’m thinking there’s a sentence we can make out of the pink writing on the label… “long goes old mud ID”… yeah, screw you ID!].

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hard pouring gave this one of the darkest heads I’ve ever encountered! Chocolate brown head! Body is obsidian, as expected, and this would be a fearsome beer were it not for the delightful scent of blueberry wafting off it and allaying all fears instantly. The head dismantled rather quickly leaving nothing but that now ominous scent of blueberries. 8/10.

S: Smells from the get go like the sort of perfume a sixteen year old girl would get for their birthday: ultra-sweet (and powerful!) blueberries with a note of vanilla, strawberry as well, and a creamy milky scent. This is a beer that smells more like a dessert than any other beer my nose has encountered! It’s striking in its lack of beer aroma – I reckon I could even trick my GF into drinking this (she hates beer – oh sweet irony!). 9/10.

T: Absolutely crazy as bat-shit yet again Omnipollo! Wow, hats off – they captured a blueberry cheesecake in a beer right here: blueberries, vanilla, cream cheese… it doesn’t even taste Stout-like, my tongue is coated in this viscous creamy blueberry character and only after the sip can I detect a coffee grind (mild) bitterness. Never mind that 12% ABV being almost completely non-existent. 9/10.

M: Mouthfeel is super heavy and totally viscous, man I never thought I would say this but “it needs to be a bit lighter – it’s too much!”. 8/10.

D: What a beer! Dessert-tastic! It’s not for everyone though, people will fear its super viscosity, its attack of blueberries, its lack of beer taste, its sweet-sixteen perfume aroma, but I say if you like an Imperial Stout/dessert brew – give this a go. I thoroughly enjoyed this change of scenery, thanks Omnipollo! 9/10.

Food match: A perfect match for blueberry cheesecake… [bit of a “duh” there].


AleSmith Speedway Stout

Total Score: 8.95/10 Coffee1DarkFruits1Wood1Tulipglass1

Well looks like I finally got my hands on AleSmith Speedway Stout, and this thing is monolithic at 12% ABV – I mean it’s going to be a BIG (Bearing Immense Gusto) brew. Plus as a coffee stout it has some epic competition in the likes of Founders Breakfast Stout and my recent favourite Omnipollo Selassie Stout… it almost makes you wonder “If I was a brewer would I even want to throw my hat into the coffee stout ring”? It’s like placing your head inside the lions jaw (to borrow another circus metaphor). AleSmith are no slouches though – they know how to brew a BIG one. Time to bring out my “big book of words that describe the colour black” again… obsidian? Yeah we’ve heard that one before!

Poured from a 473ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Presents an opaque stygian atramentous [see, I found an even more complicated word to describe obsidian!] body with a pretty decent mocha head that hangs in there like a champ (given the 12% ABV). This doesn’t look as motherf__king ominous as other American Imperial Stouts, but perhaps this is the calm before the shitstorm? 8/10.

S: Nose is quite a bouquet of rich coffee bean, chicory, charred wood, oak, dark fruits (prune/plum), and a touch of brandy… and this next statement feels very Douglas Adams-like but: what a fragrant beer this speedway is. Look it’s a damn epic aroma – there’s no escaping it – it’s a black hole of an aroma: sucking in my olfactory senses into it like a dying star. 10/10.

T: Mmmmm-f__king-tastic! Creamy AF, but we’ll get to that, all of the above: coffee bean, chicory, charred wood, oak, prune, plum, touch of brandy, yes please sir! Plus, PLUS: it doesn’t taste anything near 12% ABV (‘cept for a little warming in the aftertaste). Pure genius AleSmith! [insert a bit more hyperbole here] Now some bad points: finish is slightly more bitter than wanted/warranted, and the coffee character isn’t as prominent as in FBS or Selassie… but damn this: spot hit. 9/10.

M: Heavy bodied, reasonably viscous, not quite Founders body (but nothing I’ve found yet beats Founders body), creamy-super-dense carbonation. 9/10.

D: Was not expecting this to come close to FBS but Speedway really does manage to come close, were it not for that bitter edge and the coffee flavour being less than prominent I might have been able to crown my new favourite coffee stout – but sorry FBS still claims that title by a narrow margin. 8/10.

Food match: I feel like smoking cigars in a totally non-exclusionary club right now.


Bacchus Brewing Barosski

Total Score: 8.4/10 RedWine1Coffee1DarkFruits1Tulipglass1

Gave this one a miss the first time I saw it, because you know: I can’t spend all my pennies on Bacchus beers (as much as I would like to), however I bumped into an fellow beerethren who rated this Shiraz Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout as their favourite Bacchus brew so far. Gauntlet down, red note ponied to the cashier, I left the bottle shop with bottle and change in hand, certain I would be the beer-drinking litmus test to some random and possibly spurious claims [Snickers is clearly the GOAT Bacchus]. Btw if you’re yet to get your hands on a Bacchus: Black Sheep in Brisbane stock them (i.e. get off your ass and get some Bacchus now).

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Despairingly black cola body with an appropriate (given the hefty 10.2% ABV) thin mocha lace ring inside the glass. The blackness within has all the hallmarks of a beer black hole – ready to suck me in with gravity more powerful than a thousand suns… it’s breathtaking – I highly suggest you try it. 9/10.

S: Deep plum, dark fruits, and shiraz characters slap you in the face like a giant facey-slappy thing. BIG stuff here, big, bold and unyielding. Hints of 80% dark chocolate and red coffee cherries add to the omnipotence of this brew. A touch of pepper in the background too… I’ll admit I’m not a fan of Shiraz wines (I find them too tannic) however this aroma is close to a masterstroke. 9/10.

T: Thankfully the flavour takes a step and a half back from that intimidating aroma and allows you to relax somewhat – I was worried for a second this would be too much even for me to handle. As above: deep plum/dark fruits/Shiraz/80% dark chocolate and red coffee cherries make for delightful RIS, which actually reminds me of the fruitiness a Baltic Porter – perhaps Ross should name the style as a Baltic Imperial Stout – it’s certainly where the BIS is at. Almost grapey note comes through as well. Finish is a slight choco/coffee bitterness. 9/10.

M: Mouthfeel is thinner and gassier than expected – medium bodied, could definitely benefit from more body – maybe oats in the next batch? 5/10.

D: A face-punch of a brew that displays Bacchus as a brewer that can rumble with the best of them. The Shiraz notes are defined and most importantly: they work well. Given that there are plenty barrel-aged beers out there now it is good to see a Australian wine barrels introduced in to the craft beer scene. Ross you are a legend, cheers to your inventive brain! 8/10.

Food match: I couldn’t imagine anything less than a chargrilled banquet here.


Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout

Total Score: 8.8/10 Caramel1DarkFruits1BrownSugar1Tulipglass1

Review #800: Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout. Yet another BIG beer to celebrate (or as my doctor would say “commiserate”) the fact that I’ve been reviewing beers for over 6 years now. Yes, I am slow like the tortoise when it comes to reviewing beers, but much like the tortoise I will get there in the end. Where the end is, I cannot say, probably 1,000 beers then I’ll hang up my hat and give my poor liver a break. In any case I felt it appropriate that Stone have again produced a milestone beer for me (#650 was Arrogant Bastard and #750 was Citracado) to review – they have a habit of making awesome beers. A habit I hope continues on towards review #1,000 [man that is going to have to be one special brew!].

Poured from a 650ml “bomber” bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Obsidian “black like your heart coffee” that Mr. Burns requests for his high priced lawyers [yes that is too a colour] body. The head, when it existed, was a formidable tan, however much like the Wall Street Stock Market in 1929 it came crashing down, leaving a thin lace ring. 9/10.

S: Smoky notes mingle with dark fruit (plum and prune) and a caramel character from the pecans (pecans always smell and taste like caramel to me). Touch of vegemite and booziness in there as well. If this beer was embodied by a historical personality it would be a boozy Mark Twain, all proper and full of molasses… like some sort of Molasses Twain. My teeth are having nightmares already. 9/10.

T: My teeth weren’t wrong in dreading this brew: it is farking sweet! Beginning with caramel/pecan/molasses then hitting mid-palate dark fruits and towards the finish enters a single-malt whiskey character providing a nice warming effect. Aftertaste brings in mild strained coffee bitterness. It’s not as boozy as expected – yet for the uninitiated it will come as a big boozy French kiss – wet and sloppy. Rather hard to fault this American Imperial Stout. 9/10.

M: Mouthfeel is gloriously luxuriant with a full body, tongue coating viscosity, and a thin, densely miniscule carbonation. 9/10.

D: It’s hard to fault this beer: it is exactly what one would expect from a 13% ABV American Imperial Stout – it is BIG [Bearing Immense Gusto], it is heavy, it is sweet, it will knock you for six (cricket terminology, sorry Americans) – it encapsulates everything one would expect in this style… Why oh why did they sell this as a bomber? My head feels light now… 8/10.

Food match: Anything roasted and gamey… beware of postprandial somnolence.


Murray’s Heart Of Darkness

Total Score: 6.3/10 Coffee1DarkFruits1Pear1Tulipglass1

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.