Personally, I've been waiting with bated breath for another entry from Aether’s barrel program and now the second Oak & Organisms is here.
Respite Breakfast Stout is indeed a welcome respite during the troubled times we find ourselves in midway through 2021. It’s an imperial stout aged for 12 months in barrel before having oats, blueberry, cinnamon, almond and coconut added to it. If you think these muesli-type ingredients sound like they’re incongruous with an imperial stout, rest assured that I, too, was a little sceptical when I first read the description. But I’m now a firm believer.
As the viscous black beer pours and allows the rich brown head to struggle to the surface, there’s a release of coconut in the air. But it’s not alone – oak intermingles seamlessly with the coconut so that they’re indistinguishable from each other. Spend some time sniffing at your glass – there’s no rush here – and you’ll swear there’s sticky granola toasting in the oven. When you finally begin to drink, you’ll find the other flavours show up as well – I assume we can credit the fruity sweetness to the blueberries and the nuttiness to the almonds, but no one flavour takes over from the others. There’s an almost yoghurty creaminess keeping it all together as well. (Again, I know that sounds strange, but trust me on this one.) Oak and time have done wonders to make this beer a smooth creation - the flavours are well-rounded and integrated, and there’s not a hint of alcohol heat.
Respite is a giant teddy to snuggle up with under a soft blanket as you wait for someone to bring you breakfast in bed. I drank this breakfast stout at 10pm, because there are no rules in lockdown. But you can drink it at 10am on a Sunday morning like a normal person.
Published July 22, 2021 2021-07-22 00:00:00