When Ballistic named this Coup de Grâce, were they referring to it being the finishing blow for an evening? Or were they leaning more into the literal translation, "stroke of grace", and referring to the dignity and distinction of the complex flavours within?
You can decide for yourself – if you can get your hands on one of the 2,200 bottles, individually numbered and hand-dipped in wax. Coup de Grâce is Ballistic’s first barrel-aged release (and they promise many more to come), and while it’s no surprise the Ballistic team know how to make cracking beers, this one is truly a work of art.
A chocolaty head dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a black hole that chews up light and spits out darkness; a slick of motor oil; a black mirror into which you gaze deeply and see your soul. When you breathe in the aroma, its potency is almost overwhelming – boozy rum and molasses with an umami edge. But, once the liquid enters your mouth, that intensity transforms into all the best nine-letter words: indulgent; seductive, luxurious. For a beer that spent just six months in barrel, there’s no shortage of rum character. Those layers of brown sugar and burnt toffee shards and raisins join with the malt-rich chocolate and espresso crema, with an undercurrent of soft, melt-in-your-mouth liquorice.
Each sip coats your mouth, warms your chest, and fills you with bliss.
- Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout