Total Score: 7.35/10
I’ve had a bit of history with Little Creatures – their Pale Ale was the first beer that made me truly fall in love with craft beer (I dabbled with CAMRA ales in Scotland in 2001 before this). That was a long time ago (nearly a decade now) my go-to when I was working in a bottle-shop back then was 2 pints of Little Creatures Pale Ale. When they released their Single Batch beers they had some real crackers (The Quiet American was my favourite) and my respect for them went up again. Then Lion-Nathan bought them out and they spent a few years in the wilderness. A corner was turned recently when they bought back Single Batch with a tasty Altbier called Reinhold. Now The Fuggle is Real is their latest seasonal, and it’s pretty decent IMO (I had a can of it recently). Is Little Creatures back? I think so.
Poured from a 375ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Deep black/cola brown murky body with a mocha coloured head that settles at about 1 centimetre – as a good Stout should. The head leaves patchy lace inside the glass as it descends. A solid looking Stout right here. 8/10.
S: Roasted chocolate malt, bit of espresso coffee and floral/earthy notes from the Loral and Fuggle hops. There’s a nice bit of dichotomy here that is the hallmark of the American Stout style – it’s that mix of hops and roasted malts that makes the style interesting, very similar to a Black IPA (which is more slanted towards hops with less roasted barley). 8/10.
T: Roasted chocolate malt upfront, a light whisper of smoke, espresso coffee, hints of dark fruits (plum/prune) and yes: floral/earthy hops. The hops are a bit less prominent in the flavour than the aroma, however they’re present. Finish is mid to light herbal bitterness with a touch of dry. Aftertaste is roasted chocolate/plum. It could be a tad more exciting, but this is a solid Stout from Little Creatures. 7/10.
M: Mouthfeel is lacking (given the 5.8% ABV) with a mid to light body and a light/dense carbonation, this is an area for improvement. 6/10.
D: I’m glad to say it: Little Creatures is back! That’s two good beers that they’ve released recently, and even though I won’t touch their Dog Days Summer Beer with a ten foot barge-pole (for obvious reasons) I’m confident that their next beer release will be decent now… unless it’s a sub-5% ABV brew – then I ain’t touching that with a ten foot barge-pole. Give this a go though: Little Creatures have brewed a solid American Stout here. 8/10.
Food match: Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding with dripping, roast potatoes, etc.