Long-time beer drinker and The Sip editor Ross Lewis puts some of Australia's top drops to the test.
A backyard in suburban Perth has quietly been playing a key role in the production of an Australian brewing favourite.
Clout Stout was first released in 2010 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Nail Brewing, a WA operation that has produced a stable of classic craft beers.
Fortunately, the celebration has continued because the thick dark beverage was so popular in its limited release that brewer John Stallwood decided to make it an annual product.
There was a gap last year but Clout Stout is back for 2014 – at least there are 600 bottles, all numbered, and a few kegs on offer over the next few months.
The latest version makes a good Father’s Day gift because it can drunk now or put away in the cellar.
Stallwood recently hosted a vertical tasting of Clout Stout involving the 2012 and 2014 brews. He found a subtle difference but the older version had aged beautifully.
But plenty of time has already been put into the 750ml bottles.
Clout Stout was packaged in February but Stallwood has since had the drink conditioning in a granny flat out the back of his parent’s house.
“It is one place where I can keep the temperature at a constant 18C,” Stallwood said.
The attention to detail makes Clout Stout a premium brew. It is to be gently consumed, an advisable act considering at almost 11 per cent it, as expected for the variety, has plenty of strength.
It is also super smooth. There are elements on coffee, dark fruits and roasted malt before an enticing finish. The drop has sweetness and an almost chocolate tinge.
This isn’t an everyday beer, not just because of the limited availability. However, it is a must for the connoisseur – or anyone who thinks their taste buds should be indulged.
They won’t be disappointed.
The Sip Snip
Brewer: Nail Brewing, WA
Style: Imperial Stout
Alcohol content: 10.8%
Standard drinks: 6.4
Estimated calories: 318 (approx)
The Sip Tip (rating): Worthy of a very special occasion
Average prices: $78 per bottle at Mane Liquor.