When One Drop were ready to release a dark beer in cans, they decided not to take it slow - The Big Bad Wolf is labelled as a Nitro Imperial Pastry Stout. In case that's a run of words that has you scratching your head, the term "pastry stout" is more of a catch-all category for sweet dessert stouts than a style per se; sorry if you were expecting a croissant in a can. But there’s nothing here that will disappoint you.
At 10 percent ABV, Big Bad Wolf could have been a dangerous monster, but its time spent in French oak barrels and the soothing effect of the nitro pour have ensured there’s nothing harsh about this big beast.
The dense, creamy head offers up aromas of sweet treats right from the get-go: think vanilla cream, a glass of Milo, and a big ol’ slab of tiramisu. The taste of the foam introduces the bold bitterness of the roasted malt - think dark roast espresso - but then the liquid returns to sweetness, with the fluffy chocolate experience of a Cadbury Flake. There’s also the coffee liqueur character of an espresso martini made on Kahlua - shaken, not stirred - and garnished with burnt brown sugar.
After the initial blast of flavours from the malts and adjuncts, Big Bad Wolf allows the hops to play their part, with the Slovenian variety Styrian Wolf introducing gentle floral notes of lavender and violet. It’s also here where the warm richness of the booze starts to shine. When it comes to complexity, this beer is the gift that keeps on giving.
If you’ve ever been to the birthday party of a friend who’s fancy enough to have a bitter chocolate cake with stout and whisky icing, or sophisticated enough to have cake with dark chocolate violet ganache, this beer will be in familiar territory for you. (If you haven’t, then you need to become that friend for the sake of others.)
- Nitro Imperial Pastry Stout