3 Ravens Black '23, Black On Black & Conspiracy VI

Oatmeal Stout, Imperial Stout & BA Imperial Stout
4.5% & 8.0% & 12.8%

You think 3 Ravens might have their annual celebration of all things dark on the horizon? Well, let's take a look at the clues in hand: three stouts that include the word "black" in their names three times, with the only one that doesn't easily the biggest bastard of them all.

Yes, Dark Mass lands at the overhauled brewery venue as Winter Solstice approaches, promising 13 dark beers on tap including this diverse trio. Black is the latest version of the classic oatmeal stout they first brewed in 2003, returning in cans that looks equally like the end of a pencil, something from a late night pool hall, and something that kinda makes you want to start smoking. The liquid itself a reminder you don’t need to hit 10 percent ABV to pack plenty jnto a stout: dry and roasty but with cocoa and toasted nuts in the mix too.

Black On Black sits in their Nevermore range, with the title referencing one of the ingredients: "umami-laden Ethiopian black barley". If you were to take a richly earthy rather than roasted long black, swirl in a dash of dark molasses, sprinkle on some brown sugar, stir, then allow to cool to room temperature before popping a chunk of bitter liquorice in your mouth and taking a swig of your creation, you've got BoB, albeit without the 8 percent alcohol.

Which brings us to the sixth release in their Conspiracy series of barrel-aged collabs with Carwyn Cellars. Aged for no less than 20 months in ex-Jim Beam barrels and coming in gold cans, if beers were rulers this would be a wronged king in some Tolkien-esque land sending his marauding forces out to take vengeance upon those who’d wronged him. Which, in this rather confused and overreaching paragraph, is your nasal passage. The force he's unleashed comes charging in, heavily armoured limbs swinging willy-nilly like a particularly plastered Berserker, laying waste in a maelstrom of juicy, spicy bourbon: caramel; treacle-coated overripe bananas; Turkish coffee.

The army’s rampage across the battlefield (your palate) isn’t quite as likely to knock you aback, but it certainly leaves nothing in the locker (did they have locker rooms in fantasy kingdom barracks?). Indeed, it seems to have warmed your cockles before you’ve even had time to send it to the afterlife (down your throat). [That's quite enough of that – Editor] [What do you mean? You are the editor?] [Why, I oughta...]

James Smith

Dark Mass takes place at 3 Ravens on June 17.

Published June 15, 2023

3 Ravens

1 Theobald Street
VIC 3071

(03) 9495 1026
Open Hours

Thurs to Sat: midday to 9pm
Sunday: midday to 6pm

Obsidian 2024
Lallemand May 2024 B

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