The third in Boatrocker's recent raft of limited releases is another beast of a beer - the second to tip the scales above 10 percent ABV, no less. Called Ramjet after the engines that used an extra fuel source to go further, it's an imperial stout that takes initial inspiration from the style's home by using all English ingredients. It then deviates a little from tradition in that it spent a couple of months inside former Starward whisky barrels from the New World Distillery.
The brewers reckon it adds "quite intense whisky and wood notes" to the beer, whereas we're plumping for the latter. We detect little in the way of whisky, instead there's lots of soft oak and tonnes of vanilla that lends the densely dark beer a creamy, almost liqueur chocolate like character. There's some cocoa powder and rummy dark fruits in there too. What's barely noticeable is any hint of the 10.2 percent ABV other than a touch of heat on the back palate.
In fact, when we handed a glass to one knowledgeable beer loving lady, without telling her what it was, she took a mouthful and suggested she could happily work through a few glasses. When told its strength: "Wow. No way." Yes way.
Published September 24, 2013 2013-09-24 00:00:00