Imperial Stout – ABV 8.9%

Malts and coffee dominate but there’s a lovely background of freshly ground coffee beans and dark chocolate, plus sweet spiciness the Brambling Cross hops.

Look: Saltaire XS Imperial Stout pours dark brown in the glass, topped with a tan head.

Aroma: Rich roasts with dark chocolate and a hint of forest fruits.

Taste: It’s reminiscent of a hot Italian espresso made with freshly ground beans, rich and fruity – and there’s a subtle spiciness Brambling Cross hops added late in the boil.

Food Pairing: The roasted malts in this beer pair really nicely with chocolate. Try it with a nice thick slice of chocolate cake, and to add some creamy contrast a good dollop of whipped cream.

Verdict: The hops definitely take a backseat with this one; it’s definitely the malts that are driving this forward. And that’s a vehicle we’d be happy to ride in.