Whiskey and Vanilla
Mourne Mountains Brewery
Barrel Aged Stout - 8.2% ABV
A local brew filled with Winter Spirit...
So, Christmas is over for another year, and what a day it was.
I've enjoyed a good bit of time off with kith and kin along with the occasional beer or two (watch out for the forthcoming reviews).
Christmas Day itself saw an afternoon of indulgence followed by a fantastic dinner and then a very special beer to follow...
For my Christmas treat, I bought in a few bottles of today's beer 'Whiskey and Vanilla' Barrel Aged Stout by The Mourne Mountains Brewery. I chose this beer in particular for a few main reasons:
1. It was a limited run and as far as I'm aware, there aren't too many left for sale out there.
2. It is a Barrel Aged and thus, in my opinion, the perfect type of beer to have in front of the fire on Christmas Night.
3. It is from a local Brewer to Northern Ireland (where we are based), and whilst it has been great to review beers throughout the UK and Ireland, I wanted this special review to be of something closer to home.
4. Finally, this particular beer was the result of a competition to suggest ideas for the type of beer MMB should brew. The winner (out of pure coincidence) happens to have the same name as me - Andrew Hamilton. This means that "my name" is actually on the side of each bottle - very cool 😉
I want to emphasise the point though, that this name isn't actually me and so this review (like every other) is of course, completely impartial 🙂
So, without any further ado, let's get on to the review and let's see if this highly anticipated beer, lived up to it's big reputation...
In The Glass:
Jet black in colour with a frothy off-white head. It pours really nicely and looks like a picture of dark goodness just waiting to be tasted.
On The Nose:
Completely as you would expect, big aromas of whiskey and a overriding smell of vanilla. These combine to form a lovely warm and sweet sensation. Whilst it's clear that this glass contains some big alcohol content, it also has that comforting candied fragrance from the vanilla.
A lovely smooth and well balanced Stout.
A smokey backbone resides in the body of this beer and forms the perfect base to build other flavours upon. Following this we are immediately immersed in the Big Vanilla hit of sweetness that we expected to see from the get go. In turn this then becomes enveloped by a strong (but not over powering) kick from the whiskey that has existed as Oak bed partners with this brew over the past 5 months.
The blend of flavours really work and combine to make a big stout with a smooth mouthfeel that hides the 8.2% ABV very well.
This beer suits it's winter warmer tag and does a fantastic job at helping to warm the cockles up on a cold December evening. I would happily drink this again, and I have another couple of bottles tucked away in my cellar for another day.
For the next edition, maybe the introduction of some chocolate would compliment the vanilla and add a greater deep and lingering taste to the brew. Perhaps even looking to hit a double figure ABV and moving this Stout up to Imperial category would also be pretty cool - I can't think of many Northern Irish Breweries than have gone there yet. Exciting times!
Anyway, these are only my personal opinions, the fact of the matter is, this is a great beer and Mourne Mountains Brewery are doing some excellent things at the moment. I look forward to seeing what they have in store for 2017.
Overall, Vanilla and Whiskey is a lovely barrel aged Stout with a great character and some fantastic flavours.
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