Even in its darkest days, the Australian beer world produced some cracking stouts, from the well known, such as Cooper's Best Extra, to the lesser lights, such as Southwark. And as it races ever onwards and upwards into its bright new future, it continues to knock out amazing stouts in all shapes and sizes. For the past two years, the Best Stout trophy at the Australian International Beer Awards has stayed at home, despite the fact this is a category, unlike those featuring hoppier beers, in which beers from overseas shouldn't be as affected by travel. Last year, 4 Pines Stout took out the title while this year it went to Mornington Peninsula for their Imperial Stout. The award was announced just a few days after Chris Badenoch and Brendan Sullivan from Josie Bones had told The Crafty Pint that a keg they'd held onto for a year was the best Victorian beer they'd ever poured at the venue, suggesting there's pretty widespread acknowledgment of its awesomeness. As with pretty much everything Mornington Peninsula puts out, there's no holding back in any regard - in this case, perhaps even less so than on any of their beers. The result is a jet black, oily affair packed with dark chocolate, roast, dark fruit and liquorice flavours that's suitably boozy and sealed with a dry, bitter finish. If you haven't tried it yet, now's the time to see what the fuss is all about. It's exactly the same recipe as the trophy winner and is tasting, according to the brewery's rep, "marvellous".