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Stock Clearance #5 - To Øl/Omnipollo Brewmance

"The downfall of being a great beer lover and enthusiast is a tendency to hoard. Nobody I know is as guilty of this as I. As such, I've come to realise in recent months that I really need to start working through my already sizeable bottle stock before purchasing anything else this year, if for no other reason than to try the beers I’ve spent my money on whilst they’re still at their best. Added to this is the realisation over the last few months – based on certain depressive life situations – that life is too short not to drink the great beers I have available to me. I also need to find new encouragement and inspiration to write again. I have never wanted this to be a beer review blog (with the exception of Advent) but all the above factors have led me to begin a series of “Stock Clearance” posts where I drink beers within my hoard that really need drinking for reasons that will be explained."

"I shall further clarify that my beer hoard started to grow around the turn of year between 2011 and 2012. To that point, most of my enjoyment of beer was spent within the confines of the pub or on a Saturday night in when the beer to be drunk in the evening was bought in the morning of the same day. The only beers that entered into “storage” were a bottle of Brewdog’s Abstrakt: 02 (that I think was eventually drunk sometime in 2012) and a Fuller’s Vintage 2008, purchased in 2009 and that is still in my hoard to this day."

To Øl/Omnipollo – Brewmance – 11.2% - In stock for approx. 10 months

This collaboration beer has been sat in my stock for much longer than intended due to a rather pointless blogpost I was writing some time last year named To Øl’s Big Beers, that was a follow up to my initial Compurgating To Øl post. I’d already drank and written tasting notes for both Liquid Confidence and Fuck Art, This is Advertising and had been impressed by both. This beer was chilled and removed from the fridge in intention to be drank and finish that group. As it was, spontaneous plans happened that evening and Brewmance got left to decay for many more months than I would have expected.

I think I am already expecting a lot from this beer, what with it being a collaboration that involves two incredible brewers, it’s delightful artwork and the fact that this a honey infused, bourbon barrel aged Imperial Stout. The expectations are already high for an impressing sounding beer.

It's dark, flat and instantly hits notes of thick, dark chocolate, cherry brandy, whisky's angel's share and further chocolate. The nose is boozy, rich but delightful. As you raise the glass to your lips – wow – you really get the bourbon, but then the taste almost vanishes as soon as it hits your tongue. It doesn't pack any kind of punch. The nose has your cheeks already sweating from the strength of this beer, but it drinks like a 4.5% stout with dark chocolate maltiness vanishing quickly to leave a familiar sticky bonfire toffee taste. Unfortunately, passed this initial introduction, the beer doesn’t go anywhere. Perhaps that is unfair, as it warms, a hedgerow biting hoppiness comes through and numbs the end of your tongue, but does nothing to really rescue what is a disappointing affair on the whole. The finish fades quickly for such a high strength beer and, in this case, describing it as dangerously drinkable is more of a reference to the strength than the taste. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but surely they should be from such a high strength Impy from two incredible brewers. A little bit of a let down, especially when one remembers that it cost me over a tenner.

Considering I described the Liquid Confidence that would have been used in the earlier mentioned blogpost as “near perfection” in my tasting notes, I can’t help but be disappointed here. 

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