Black Oktober – ABV 9%

A beautifully balanced unfined Imperial Russian Stout with layers of chocolate sweetness, notes of spice, rich roasted malts and a bitter lingering finish.

Look: Opaque and deep black colour with brief but foamy beige head.

Aroma: Dark roasted malts with black coffee, chocolate and hints of spicy liquorice.

Taste: Malty, roasted taste with black coffee, more dark chocolate and liquorice, with some subtle bread and red fruit undertones. Pretty full-bodied with a great balance of sweetness and hoppy bitterness, joined on the palate with lingering bitterness to finish.

Verdict: A belting impy stout with loads of layers of flavour and long lingering bitterness. It’s an Oktober-fest in your mouth. Prost!

Midnight Anthracite – ABV 9.0%

Whisky and Fig aged Imperial Russian Stout

Necropolis – ABV 8.2%

Best Before Date April2018 but is aging nicely!

Necropolis, is an Imperial India Black Ale. Expect a strong aroma of heavy tropical fruits and viscous malts. The flavour brings all of this promise into a complex cauldron where a perfect mouthfeel meets bittered chocolate malts and a full hop cacophony of jungle fruits.

Unfourseen Consequences Quadrupel – ABV 9.7%

One-off Quadrupel made in collaboration with Weird Beard that has been ‘dry-nibbed’ with cacao.

Look: Deepest brown, with a white head that quickly reduces to nil.

Aroma: Salted caramel, raisins and milk chocolate.   

Taste: Creamy, toffee-rich decadence with a unashamedly boozy finish.

Verdict: Booze-soaked Tiramasu loaded with dried fruit and caramel. Get one while you can.   

Bourbon Oktober Imperial Stout – ABV 9%

Bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout; roasted malt and a JD-style sweet finish – certainly beer to be savoured, perhaps with smoked meat or a barbecue.

Aroma: Pure Jack Daniels with just a hint of hops to remind you that it’s a beer.

Taste: It drinks super-smooth. To begin with you get roasted malt, with a sweet dark chocolate booziness to contrast the bitterness the hops, then as the hops begin to fade the Bourbon flavours take over to leave a beautiful aftertaste.

Food Pairing: This beer pairs well with flavours of the deep South. Try it with mesquite smoked barbecued meats, or a prawn jambalaya.

Verdict: It’s a Bourbon barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout. Need we say more?

Imperial Red IPA – ABV 9%

Different to your normal DIPA; resinous piney hops meet cherry and plum sweetness and a boozy smooth caramel – a liquid Werther’s Original for grown-ups.

Aroma: Big hits of pine and citrus the hops, with an extra big hit of caramel the malt.

Taste: You start with the resinous hop flavours of a solid double IPA but then the hops fade to a gorgeous smooth caramel finish.

Food Pairing: Once again we can’t help looking to South East Asia for foods to pair with IPAs. Try those caramel malts with a noodle dish like a Pad Thai.

Verdict: Another creamy boozy bullseye the Verdant team; this one is part of their RadicaAle Range so keep a look out for more.

Umbral Abyss Imperial Coffee Stout – ABV 11.5%

This beer has its genesis in Black Oktober, amped to the max with brandy-soaked coffee beans to create a dark and brooding beast of an Imperial Stout. 

Look: Pitch black, with no head to speak of.

Aroma: Dark chocolate, liquorice and espresso.

Taste: The sweet intensity of coffee and chocolate is brought to a crescendo with the subtle notes of brandy, sat against a backbone of smooth roasted malt.

Verdict: Full-on, no-holds barred Imperial Stout that lovers of the style won’t fail to appreciate.