Beer Background
Jun 2016

Northern Imperial Stout, Hawkshead

Added: Wednesday, June 1st 2016

Style Stout ABV 9.5%

Hawkshead Northern Imperial Stout

It may seem perverse in June to feature a strong, 9.5% stout but it’s equally perverse to think that dark beers are suitable only for colder times of the year. The first porters and stouts were developed to refresh people – such as London porters -- engaged in heavy manual labour. They needed to slake their thirsts and take in valuable proteins.

Hawkshead, the rapidly expanding Cumbrian brewery founded by Alex Brodie in 2002, has added the beer to its burgeoning beer range. Imperial Stout is unfiltered and is brewed with a complex grain bill of pale, caramalt, chocolate malt, roasted barley, oats and malted wheat. The hops are American Chinook and the new English variety, Jester.

The beer is jet black with a lively beige head of foam. There’s a massive aroma of treacle, liquorice, espresso coffee, roasted grain, burnt fruit and spicy hops. Smooth chocolate coats the palate with bitter hops, roasted grain, coffee, liquorice and raisin fruit. The finish is bittersweet, melding spicy hops, roasted grain, chocolate, liquorice and coffee with a dry and bitter finale.

The beer is available from the Hawkshead brewery shop at £24 for six 330ml bottles. It is also available in specialist beer shops in Cumbria, Yorkshire, Edinburgh and London: expect to pay around £4.75 a bottle. The beers is also sold on draught in cask and keg.

Northern Imperial Stout, Hawkshead