Blacklight Banana Imperial Stout – ABV 9.2%

This collaboration between Siren and Garage Project is a seriously-smooth drinking imperial stout with aromas of banana and chocolate.

Look: Dark black with a tan head.

Aroma: Banana and chocolate with rich dark molasses.

Taste: A creamy mouthfeel and flavours of malt, banana and treacle combine to give a slightly burnt bitterness to balance out the sweetness.

Food pairing: A great beer for drinking with desserts. Try pairing it with the burnt, creaminess of a creme caramel.

Verdict: Blacklight Banana was brewed as part of the 2016 Rainbow Project. We just wish Siren had brewed more of it.

Syd Strongs Black IPA – ABV 7.1%

Originally a collab with Brewdog, this full-bodied Black IPA hits hard with the spiciness of rye plus citrus pine notes, but manages to keep an almost porter-like smoothness.

Look: This full-bodied Black IPA pours with a thick tan head.

Aroma: Roasted malt combined with citrus and pine the hops.

Taste: It has the smooth mouthfeel of a porter, but with lots of spiciness the rye. Spice eventually gives way to a nice velvety finish and thirst-quenching bitterness the hops.

Verdict: Totally delicious and very moreish – a fitting memorial to Syd Strongs, a long-gone hairdresser’s on Camden High Street.

8 Mansions DIPA – ABV 9%

Tropical fruit salad on a bed of pine needles with a crisp and bitter bite – these mansions are fit for a king.

Look: 8 Mansions pours a cloudy golden amber with a small white head.

Aroma: It smells like a bag of fruit salad chews, and to taste there is tropical fruit with fresh pine needles against a nice smooth malt body.

Taste: Superbly fruity with a nice bitterness to boot, this beer ticks all the boxes for a DIPA and is a real pleasure to drink.

Food Pairing: Salty foods tend to pair best with DIPAs. Try this one with a good quality hot dog, topped with sauerkraut and mustard.

Verdict: Verdant were top of a lot of lists of best breweries in 2016, and if this collaboration with Howling Hops is anything to go by, they’ll be right up there in 2017 as well.

Problem Solved Imperial IPA – ABV 7.5%

An extension to Stewart’s core range, this collab brings in some Dutch expertise for a Belgian Double IPA that is full-on with sweet fruit, piney hops and biscuit-flavoured malts.

Look: Amber-orange on the pour with a well-lasting white head and medium carbonation; quite subtle-looking for a Belgian DIPA.

Nose: Naturally hoppy, almost grassy, with those obvious bold citrus orange notes coming through, plus grapefruit and mango.

Taste: Again subtle for a DIPA but obvious hints of caramel and biscuit, toasted malts; some yeast shining through. Sweet and juicy fruits in abundance: orange, pineapple, melon, maybe even some cherry tang the sugars moving to a mildly bitter finish.

Verdict: If the “problem” was that you couldn’t find a good beer collaboration between a brewer Edinburgh and a brewer Bodegraven, then this is indeed the solution.

3 Way Action DIPA – ABV 9%

Launched at Craft Beer Rising, this DIPA is dry-hopped with shedloads (that’s a technical term) of Galaxy, Vic Secret and Mosaic hops for a tropical finish.

The “three-way action” here simply refers to the three Welsh teams behind this collab beer: Tenby the southwest, Cardiff’s Crafty Devil and Heavy Industry the northeast, to make a Welsh triple-pronged brewing powerhouse.

It’s got a nicely balanced, juicy tropical beer full of peach, mango and passionfruit – but with a very active, bitter kick.

Patrons Project 6.01: Hazemaker IPA – ABV 7.4%

Northern Monk and Deya and Verdant in one collaboration? Tempting. Amarillo, Simcoe and Columbus hops make this IPA fresh, fruity, punchy and hazy. Go figure.

Look: Hazy amber-gold colour, with a small lasting cream-coloured head and fine carbonation.

Aroma: Tropical fruits – orange, mango and pineapple – punctuated with nice Amarillo hoppiness and a zing of spices.

Taste: More mango and zesty orange, crisp and dry with some malt and subtle creaminess. Light, sweet finish and medium bodied.

Verdict: This IPA is a knockout (tropical fruit) punch.

Subluminal Imperial Stout – ABV 10%

This is just a boisterous, chewy imperial stout with bags of fruit, creamy chocolate and character,  Buxton and Stillwater Artisanal in Baltimore.

Look: Jet back with a small beige head, good amount of lacing and low carbonation.

Aroma: Chocolate and vanilla, creamy coffee plus dark fruits such as blackcurrants and raisins.

Taste: Intense complex layers of bittersweet hops, milk and dark chocolate and more rich sweet fruit. Rich and creamy mouthfeel, super-full-bodied.

Verdict: Another solid gold hit Buxton’s increasing line of stonking imperial stout collabs. Subluminal, yes, but sub-optimal? Goodness, no.

White Cell White Imperial Stout – ABV 9.7%

This collaboration between Time and Tide and Weird Beard is packed with Sorachi Ace hops, coffee and cocoa nibs for a full-bodied, toffee / mocha coffee finish.

Look: Yellow gold in colour and clear, with a foamy, white head and small levels of carbonation.

Aroma: Cocoa nibs and coffee lead the way with a mocha / milky latte sweetness backed up with biscuity breadiness and waves of toffee and caramel plus some light citrus twangs.

Taste: Full and chewy with more of that sweet milky coffee, biscuit and toffee. Good level of alcohol warmth with more toffee and caramel the cocoa nibs.

Verdict: Sticky, sweet and satisfying – like enjoying a latte and biscuit in one. This is a Cell we would happily be locked up in.

Double Dark Alliance Coffee Imperial Stout – ABV 9.2%

Bearded Nurse Barley Wine – ABV 10.6%