My first sampling of the latest collabs between Hawkers and US brewery Against The Grain only featured two of the three "Down Under" variants on the latter's Bo & Luke rum barrel-aged imperial stout. The OG was an aggressive, leathery brute, while the maple smoothed out the rough edges and brought the beer back towards the centre ground for such endeavours.
So what of the last of the trio to appear: the Hazelnut & Cocoa edition? Perhaps the first thing to say is that, packaging, colour and ABV aside, you'd not pick this and the original out of a lineup as siblings. The adjuncts here are unmissable, changing things up like syrup added to a coffee or a nutty caramel swirl laced through a tub of ice cream. It even makes the chocolate of the original perceptibly sweeter, while there's a spiritous edge to the aroma too. All in all, if the straight barrel-aged beer was your starter, this is very much dessert.
Published June 10, 2020 2020-06-10 00:00:00