I first encountered Stannington Stout when I visited Crown Brewery to help brew Ring of Fire 2009. Although by the time I drank it I may have been a little worse for wear, I did however enter “Lovely roast almost smokey flavour” to my phone. So when Stu sent me some that he had bottled as a trail before it when on sale.
As is usual with the sample bottles Stu sends the bottles were absent proper labels, he did send the image file so I could make my own but I made a hash of it so as you will see in the photo I just stood it up next to the beer.
The beer opened with a nice hiss, so it was off to a promising start, it poured extremely dark, almost completely pitch black. It had a thin to medium head that was a really lovely caramel colour.
The aromas were of really roasted malt, hints of smoke, chocolate and coffee, yum!
In the mouth it was medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation, as a result it felt silky smooth.
The flavour was lovely, deep, dark roasted malt, wafts of chocolate and coffee intermingle with the malt giving it a lovely sweetness there’s also a slight liquorice flavour in the background this all leads to a lovely clean roast almost finish. I didn’t quite get the smokiness I originally put in my phone so maybe I was a little bit worse for wear after all.
In all honesty this is a really, really good stout, Stu has pulled it off and it’s bottled really well. I might use some of the other bottle for steak and ale pie, I have a feeling the big roast flavour will go brilliantly with some mushrooms and steak.