08 May 2010

Time for a stout...

After the last couple of reviews have been about Pale Ales and an IPA thought is was time for a good PROPER stout review! This dark beauty comes from Coopers in South Australia and has been my favorite stout for many years mainly due to its great availability throughout Australia and abroad. It also sparked my interest in seeking out heavier beer styles with floatie bits and as a result more unique craft beers.

Coopers Best Extra Stout at 6.3%ABV is a heavy beer and you'll know it straight after your first sip! It pours a thick dark cola/coffee consistency with a creamy espresso like head.  The colour of the actual beer body is pitch black and when you closely at the pint you'll see (if you have poured it right) the wonderful bits of sediment getting swirled around by the light carbonation. The flavour of this beer has a nutty slightly burnt coffee taste to it and has a slight-very mellow fruity hop bitterness which rounds it off. Goes great with smoked cheese which my mother-in-law introduced to me as a fantastic "Otsumami" (Japanese for beer snack/tapas/antipasto) to have with this beer-- as she is a big stout fan too .
It is not a session beer by any means. One 750ml long neck is usually enough for me, I have tried having two longies in a row of this stuff during my slightly younger days and ended up feeling quite happy but extremely bloated.

All in all it is a great stout to savor I believe at any time of the year, not just in the colder months when stouts are traditionally consumed.  

On a side note, if you find yourself ordering  a bottled coopers beer at a pub/bar in Australia which serves coopers traditional beers ,  The bar staff might start rolling the bottle from side to side along the bar to get the sediment distributed throughout the beer before serving.

My Scottish mate Andy during his stay in Aussieland thought this was a bit of a wank - he said when he was working at a backpacker pub in the northern Queensland city of Cairns he used to "turn the bloody thing upside down" for a bit just before serving to achieve the same affect.
Personally with heavier beer styles such as this beaut stout , I pour about a third of the beer into me pint to start off then give the bottle a bit of a swirl and pour the rest in slowly on an angle then straighting up. The result a perfect, full bodied PROPER beer!

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