Brewery: Shephard Neame
Shephard Neame is a classic British brewing company that has roots back to 1698. It is the oldest brewery in England and owns over 300 pubs as well as creating an impressive range of beers. When I worked in my pub back in England, we served a lot of Spitfire real ale. It was the complexity of maintaining the real ales that first began to pique my interest in beer. I wanted to finish the tasting with a stout and finally chose the double stout as I had never tried it before. If I’m honest though this was the biggest disappointment of the whole tasting.
It was pitch black in colour with a good, robust body that clung to the glass well. It gave a slight bronze coloured head and looked enticing. The aroma gave hints of sweet, milk chocolate, dark malts and a fair amount of iron. Burnt roasted malts came through strong on the tongue, coupled with a good nuttiness and bitter cocoa powder. The heavy bitterness continued to linger on the palate for some time after it was swallowed. It coated the whole mouth yet still managed to be quite thin at the same time strangely enough.
I thought this was rather mediocre I must say. Maybe my expectation were too high because it is from such an established brewer, but I just found it all to be rather… boring. It was fairly balanced but it lacked depth and had too much metallic emphasis. Simply put, there are much better stout out there worthy of your time over this. What a shame.