Some people call it winter. I call it imperial stout season.
Slipstream’s birthday heralds the arrival of this year’s Anniversary Ale, and the release of last year’s from 12 months imprisonment in red wine barrels. (And what a glorious imprisonment it was.) Both cans have a distinguished look, with golden detail on bold blocks of colour; this year’s edition is deep charcoal, while BA Anniversary Ale V wears the royal blue of last year.
Anniversary Ale VI has lovely brown foam and a smooth mocha aroma. Have you ever had hot chocolate made with some double cream in it? Well, imagine someone’s stirred some double cream into a mocha; this beer smells like that. The first few sips bring the decadent cuddle of this aroma along with some roast, then there’s a molasses kick in the finish while a boozy warmth builds up in your chest.
The Barrel Aged Anniversary Ale V brought some delightful surprise with it. It’s going to sound weird, but bear with me: chocolate-coated banana. I don’t mean banana-like yeast esters, but like a sweet, almost caramelised banana has been coated in high-quality, silky dark chocolate. I don’t know where that flavour’s coming from, but it’s special. It’s paired with a the juicy acidity of black cherries, as the red wine barrels bring a fruity complexity like you might find in Ethiopian coffee beans or a single-origin dark chocolate.
For those interested, there’s the option of buying a Legacy pack that includes one of each of these beers alongside a can of Anniversary Ale III and Anniversary Ale IV.
*Does it get boring reading about imperial stouts? I sometimes feel like there’s only so many times I can say ‘smooth mocha’ before the words lose all meaning. But hey - if the shoe fits.
Published June 13, 2023 2023-06-13 00:00:00