The Mountain Goat brewers made their way to the stage once (well, twice) again at the 2023 Australian International Beer Awards, and the beer that led the way for them offered much in the way of familiarity. It was the latest version of their OG beer, Hightail, and it was barrel-aged like their past Champion Australian Beer winner. And it's into familiar territory they return with their first Rare Breed release of 2023.
Lucille is a barrel-aged imperial stout* that spent time in both Cognac and Pedro Ximenez barrels. Initially, it had me thinking said barrels had worked the same kind of voodoo magic employed by Brick Lane in their Last Train Home imperial stout, where the use of rare agarwood gave the beer a remarkably distinctive red berry character. Here, however, the appearance of berries is from a rather more traditional source: a judicious application of raspberry purée.
The decision to add a lick of fruit completes the impression created by Lucille's dense black body and tightly wound dark brown head that this is a slice lifted straight from the dessert trolley at some boutique country café into your glass via a blender. The fruit subsides a little over time to let the darker elements in – although they have the Cognac and PX remnants to get past too – but essentially this is a luscious treat which will be up there with the most texturally delightful liquids to cross your palate this winter.
* If we continue on the Goat-at-AIBAs tip, look through the big winners of the earlier years and you'll find Goat stouts there too.
Published June 14, 2023 2023-06-14 00:00:00