Long-time beer drinker and The Sip editor Ross Lewis puts some of Australia's top drops to the test.
The Russian winters can get bleak. Metres of snow have stopped plenty of invading forces over the centuries.
So it is only fitting that those in the world’s largest country have something strong to keep them warm.
Murray’s Craft Brewing is now giving Australian craft beer drinkers a taste of what the Czars would have enjoyed during those gloomy times.
Their Wild Thing Imperial Stout is certainly dark. It is as thick as a Cossack’s hat. But it is a perfect brew for this time of year in Australia when cold nights force drinkers to sip indoors.
And it fits in perfectly with Murray’s Dark Beer Month, which showcases some of the powerful beers that are helping us cope with the cold and drizzle.
While the black colour in the glass is undeniable if the drinker looks closely at the edge of the head there is a fine line of red – again so fitting for a drop based on a Russian theme.
Wild Thing has a superb aroma with liquorice, ash, burnt toast crust, chocolate and dried fruits.
There is also an essence of rum coming off the high alcohol content of 10 per cent.
The drinker can also taste the grain alongwith a pleasant sweetness that helps warm the body.
But it is the superb mouthfeel that makes this beer so enjoyable. It has such a pleasant fruity edge before finishing with a dry and bitter experience as the hops kick in so appealingly.
This is a brew that can’t be taken lightly – after all it is so black that nothing, not even the brightest star, could shine through.
However, it is a sensational drinking experience at the end of the night.
This is the right time of year to add it to your list.
The Sip Snip
Wild Thing Imperial Stout
Brewer: Murray’s Craft Brewing, NSW
Style: Imperial Stout
Alcohol content: 10%
Standard drinks: 2.6
Bottles: 330ml bottle
Estimated calories: 300
The Sip Tip (rating): Always keep one near the fridge
Average prices: $135 (16-pack cube)