Now, when it comes to desserts, sticky date pudding is not one to which you would apply the term "subtle". It's one that comes at you armed to the teeth with butter, sugar and, of course, dates, which add their own layers of rich and sweet. And so it is that, as they dip once more into the pantry for a limited release after enjoying success with their recent peanut butter-inspired beers, Bad Shepherd serve up a palate-walloping dollop of Sticky Date Stout.
It's the eleventh entry in their Brew Crew Series, with the baton for beer design this time passed to Jas, their Kiwi Jas of all trades. If you were to align this recreation of her favourite dessert with a "normal" beer style, for me it would be less a stout than a Belgian dubbel or other dark strong ale from the European kings and queens of beer. Why? Because it's full of dark fruits, marzipan-coated cake, treacle and dense vanilla. There's a little sweet alcohol on the nose, and some cola in the mix too, while texturally it has that stickiness you can get with bigger Belgians.
If anything, it reminds me more of the sauce you'd pour over the top of a sticky date pudding. Someone should make a reduction and give it a go...
NB: This was a particularly popular Brew Crew release and as a result, it's since returned. It means there's even more opportunities for that reduction to happen.
- Dessert Stout
- 20 IBU
Launching at the brewpub on July 31
Hitting retailers soon afterwards