And just like that, Slipstream Brewing hit their fifth birthday. They grow up so quickly, don’t they?
With birthday number five comes Anniversary Ale number five, although we’ll use fancy Roman numerals along with Slipstream, and call it Anniversary Ale V. It has a classy new can design, yet is made with the same recipe as 2021’s release, and 2019’s, and 2018’s; the 2020 version was an exploration of a softer, more chocolatey flavour, but the recipe then reverted back to this bold, roasty profile designed to hold up for a decade.
Anniversary Ale V is a black beast with a dark head, a roasty punch, and a thick body. A deep coffee bitterness runs through it, with just a touch of caramel sweetness to carry it. Any chocolate is of the bittersweet variety, and only reveals itself as the beer warms and some alcohol warmth lifts the flavours further. But Slipstream reckon you’ll get chocolate and dark fruit pushing through more if you cellar it for a few years.
Dressed in last year’s clothes (read: Slipstream’s old label design), Barrel Aged Anniversary Ale IV is a stellar example of what this stout can do when it spends 12 months in oak. In the past, Beenleigh Rum has been the barrel of choice for Slipstream’s stouts, but this time the brewery got their hands on red wine barrels from near Ballandean in the Granite Belt.
One of my favourite beers of all time was an imperial stout aged in red wine barrels (8 Wired Bumaye 2013, I love you), and I must say this beauty wasn’t too far behind.
It drinks like suede: thick, smooth, soft suede. The dark coffee flavour has taken on a spike of acidity, like a juicy natural-processed Ethiopian single origin. As the beer warms, a sticky Port aroma opens up with a boozy sweetness, which in turn leads to the slow run of melted chocolate drip, drip, dripping down the fondue fork. Finally, a gentle earthy bitterness lingers in the aftertaste, and you’re left knowing you’ve experienced something special.
- Imperial Stouts
- Both 10.0%