Saturday, 19 May 2012

Harveys Albert Le Coq - Imperial Extra Double Stout 9.0%

Tiny bottle
Brewery: Harveys

Beer: Imperial Extra Double Stout

Style: Imperial Stout

Brewery Address:
6 Cliffe High Street,
Town Centre,
Lewes BN7 2AH

Brewery Website:

Shakespeare was a much better wordsmith than I, but he didn’t review beers, so there.
I would though, like to borrow his words to approach the tongue tied feelings I had whilst writing about this heavenly stout. In the play ‘Henry V’ the eponymous hero is trying to win the heart of the fair maiden, Princess Katherine. Stumbling upon his inarticulacy, he tells her, “I have neither words nor measure. I cannot gasp out my eloquence. A speaker is but a prater, a rhyme is but a ballad.”
I know his pain oh too well.

When attempting to describe this gloriously complex rapture of the senses, I felt like a blunt instrument. My oafish monosyllabic monochromatic words struggled to express my emotions and were mere dyslexic dribbly scribblings with all the passionate expression of a methadone metronome mangling Mozart. It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword. Whoever said that (probably Euripides originally) obviously wasn’t bought up on my manor. OK I jest, but I did feel I was nakedly brandishing a McDonald’s plastic knife whilst the other clan, consisting of a myriad of huge flavours and mighty bouquets, all came flourishing monumental Claymores. Great thinkers and poets from Aristotle to Wordsworth have tried to describe and define beauty using sharper pens and wits than mine.
I’m now going to try putting this magnificence into words with my blunt non-toxic crayons. Please forgive my lack of eloquence.

Hands shaking, I opened the tiny 275ml bottle, and after a pensive pause, poured this black beauty. It exuded rich as Scania engine oil into my cheap glass and I almost expected an escorting fanfare. I stared into the darkness; it stared back and beckoned me in to dance. I was already lost, and like a snorting bull in a china shop, I went blustering blindly in for the foreplay of sensual perfumes. A velvet gloved fistful of exquisitely expressive aromas immediately punched me on the nose, and it was absolutely heavenly. Trying to be more genteel, I shoved my snout in for another snuffle. The fragrances were a beautiful brewtopia of bulging buxom bouquets. Blackstrap molasses mingled with plummy prunes, new leather, raisins, ristretto espresso and sweet pipe tobacco. The sip I took weighed a tonne and was the most monumental beer experience I’ve yet had. A frail tangerine was being gang molested by an army of lush flavourites that included; high cocoa chocolate, vanilla, cashews, liquorice, cloves, over ripe cherries, well toasted muffins, Garibaldi biscuits, caffĂ© latte, Marmite, the kitchen sink, a partridge in a pear tree, and Uncle Tom Cobbly and all. There were so many complex flavours packed into such a diminutive bottle, that I was absolutely flabbergasted, in fact, my gast had never been quite so flabbered. Every time I rose from the canvas and went in for more, I was knocked out by those mighty heavyweight flavours and aromas once again. Yet every single mouthful offered more still.

Sit down with one and tell me how many you find.


  1. i had this .. its not just a ... but its a .... its not just a .... xD


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