Bristol Beer Factory: Ultimate Stout
It’s a lofty claim, ‘Ultimate‘.
Being a young lad in the early 90’s, the first reaction that my malt-addled brain fired onto the back of my retina upon seeing the beer on the shelf was the Ultimate Warrior, a truly fearsome fighting machine that exploded onto the WWF (as it was known then) scene, smashed everyone in his way, and then disappeared from view. He was a blaze of Heavy Metal glory, neon tassles and facepaint, a hybrid of Gorilla and Human; muscle and bone, blood and spit.
BBF’s Ultimate Stout (7.7abv) has a lot to live up to, then. It doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it assaults the rest of the beer cupboard and leaves them cowering, yet reveals hidden depths as you get through it, like a Chav with a Camus novel in his back pocket. Of course, it’s a strong beer- ideal for sipping and savouring. The lush head that sits on top of it recalls Chocolate Mousse; and underneath lies an aroma of Roasted Malt, bitter Coffee and – most interestingly – Blackcurrant, Redcurrant and earthy, bitter fruit.
The beer is undeniably sweet at first taste; digestive biscuit, molasses and creamier, latte-esque coffee notes all taking a bow before that fruity, Belgian-esque wildness (a sort of bubblegum & black pepper thing) comes in at the end and wraps up all that sweetness and body in a zingy, fruity bearhug.
Then the alcohol comes in and delivers tingles to your toes and fingers, loosening the muscles and bringing a smile to your lips. It’s dark, rich and as sleek and quietly deadly as a B2 Stealth Bomber. A wonderful beer indeed. Now, where did I put that Royal Rumble DVD?