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Beer Review – Invercargill Brewery “Pitch Black” Real Stout

by on 1 April, 2011

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Format: 330ml glass bottle  Cost: $5.99  Purchased from: Artisan Wine Suppliers (in the Elliot Stables, Auckland CBD) Type: Stout  Origin: New Zealand  Strength: 4.5% abv.  Selected by: Dan  Tasted With: Kapiti Kikorangi Blue Cheese

Now it was time for our showcase beer – Pitch Black Real Stout from Invercargill Brewery.  Kevin from Artisan had talked this one up, and enthusiasm was high as a result.  Let me tell you we were not disappointed.

Crack the plain black lid open (no screw tops here, thank you very much) and instantly you are hit with the unmistakeable scent of … dark roasted espresso coffee.  Beautifully rich dark colour and a hint of foamy head.

Conversation Highlights:

Chris: It reminds me a bit like a porter, but it’s really, really cleaner than the stout I’m used to.

Gareth: Coffee.

Dan: Smells like espresso!  Definitely coffee on the nose.  And on the palate, wow, there is really strong coffee flavours in there.  Quite fizzy on the tongue, really interesting texture.

Chris: if you’d given me this beer, without telling me it was a stout, I wouldn’t have guessed it.

Dan: for sure.

Chris: Even for a stout, it’s not very bitter.  Really … coffee. That’s it.

Dan: Meant to be a good match for blue cheese so… (starts eating some Kikorangi Blue with a cracker..)

Second bottle gets opened…

Steve: Since you’re cutting the cheese there, I’d like a bit of that cheese … cheers

Matt: Mmmmm. That is delicious

Chris: If you were gonna have a stout on a really hot day, this’d be it.

Matt: Coffee, straight away, coffee’s what you get.

Gareth: Coffee, sorta guinessy chocolatey cake, would be a good mix as well.

Steve: You’ve got that very major contrast from major stout, like Guinness, this is much smoother.

Dan: There’s a lot more complexity in the flavour. Does not seem as dense.

Chris: It’s in the taste range of a stout but the consistency of a lager.

Gareth: This is much closer to Dublin Guiness than Export guinness.

Chris: There’s nothing in my opinion like Dublin Guinness, that’s in a league of it’s own, but I know what you mean.  It’s lighter, it’s easier to drink.

To sum up:

One word – Coffee!  Espresso is everywhere in this beer.  Rich depth to the flavour, yet very smooth.  Amazing mouthfeel.

This goes extremely well with Kikorangi blue cheese.

Pitch Black is a very special beer.  If you ever get the chance to try it, don’t miss out.  This one will certainly be a regular at the Hopful Thinkers!

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