Next up on the stout sloush is South Australia’s own, or until the Japanese giant, Kirin, acquired it in it’s massive move into Australia is the Southwark Old Stout.
This grandaddy of the South Australia stout world is one that has stared down extinction numerous times as it’s home brewery, Southwark has changed hands a few times this combined with Macro Breweries infatuation with bland quaffable lagers of dubious quality and even less enjoyable taste saw Southwark’s production cut with it’s longnecks no longer being made, then it was only offered as a winter drop but the outrage among South Australia beer geeks and the loyalists saw it resume production as a year long drop.
I still think it should come in longnecks so if you agree maybe we should do a petition. “Save my Southwark?”
On an unrelated note did you know Southwark Breweries used to make a wheat beer?
Enough rambling, on with the review!
Okay Southwark Old Stout comes in bottles and bottles only, I have never seen it on tap, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist though. If you see it anywhere please comment and let me know where.
It pours a deep black with only the hint of ruby red coming through when you hold it up to the light. It pours with a fine white head that is not over the top and has very minimal carbonation.
Holding it up to the ye’ Ol’ Olfactory sensors brings a pleasant smell of smooth tar, treacle and some citrus notes that definitely lead to a seriously intriguing future. This is where my love affairs with the dark poison begin.
From here the first sip is tamer and smoother then I thought it would be, or at least it was the first time I had Southwark. Strong Coffee flavours mix with a lovely mouthful of a treacle like taste. It is at this point that I need to point out this Southwark Stout is one I had been saving for close to 18 months now, being careful to keep it cool and out of the light of course so I could pick up the beginnings of some port characteristics which complimented the balance of the beer beautifully. It might have increased the already heady 7.4%. The smooth nature of this beer allowed for this growth in flavour.
Verdict: A delightful beer, lacking some of the burnt flavours I enjoy in a big stout but this is so well rounded and balanced that i could drink several in a night and enjoy every sip.