Double Shuck Oyster Stout – ABV 11%

Only slight saltiness two hundred fresh Lindisfarne oysters is backed up by amazing depth of flavour including paprika, Tabasco, roasted malt and molasses.

Look: The beer pours jet black in the glass with a small beige head.

Aroma: Rich roasted malt, cocoa and molasses and a breeze of fresh air.

Taste: You get a thick smooth mouthfeel with soft carbonation, huge depth of flavour the roasted malt, some chocolate and then at the end a slight saltiness the oysters (but that’s as far as the fishiness goes).

Food Pairing: The beer is made with Oysters, and is made to be drunk with Oysters. Just make sure you do all your shucking before you start on the drinking.

Verdict: Prepare yourself for a shucking treat; it drinks so smoothly you’ll need to keep reminding yourself of the alcohol content. More genius brewing the team at Tempest.

Something Something Dark Side Double India Stout – ABV 9.2%

A bang-on Double India Stout with Gem, Citra, Simcoe hops for DIPA-style citrus aromas, plus chocolate, caramel and liquorice the molasses sugar.

Look: The beer pours pitch black in the glass with a tan head.

Aroma: As soon as you smell it you know why they called it a Double India Stout.
Pacific Gem, Citra, Simcoe and Columbus hops combine to give the intense pine and citrus aromas of a double IPA.

Taste: All the above floral hints plus roasted malts, chocolate, liquorice and the sweetness of caramel the addition of molasses and honey.

Verdict: The complexity of all those flavours makes this a top-notch Double India Stout. This is a Dark Side we want to join forces with.

Master of Nuggets Brown Ale – ABV 7.2%

A complex, layered brown ale, Master of Nuggets has sweet red fruit tones Nottingham yeast and spicy pepperiness of American Nugget hops.

Look: The beer pours dark chestnut brown with a decent beige head

Aroma: Slightly nutty thanks to Special B malt with just a little spice and hint of orange

Taste: Slightly sweet with caramel and dried fruit to remind us of a fruit loaf. Overall the sweetness is nicely balanced with bitterness the hops and medium carbonation to make this a refreshing ale.

Food Pairing: Try this beer with a butternut squash and feta pizza. The salty sharpness of the feta is the perfect foil for those sweet nutty flavours, and the bitterness of the hops prevents it all becoming too cloying.

Primal Cut Smoked Porter – ABV 8.8%

Siren’s Head Brewer, inspired by blackcurrant purée, created this concept beer with smoked malts, barley and oats, for a coffee and soft fruit finish.

Look: The beer pours jet black in the glass

Aroma: Coffee, smoke and blackcurrant.

Taste: Roasted malt with coffee, chocolate and a definite meatiness. The alcohol is extremely well hidden in the rich soft body and the fruit subtle but becoming more noticeable toward the end.

Food Pairing: We think this BBQ sauce-style beer goes perfectly with a roast meat. Try it with beef and Yorkshire pudding for winning Sunday roast.

Verdict: Siren describe this as a high concept beer, and its definitely that. We don’t think you’ll have tasted anything quite like it.

Anniversary #2 Quadrupel with Walnut – ABV 11.3%

What a treat; almost nougat-like sweetness with nice levels of carbonation and nutty undertones – a delicious beer to sip and savour.

Look: The #2 Anniversary of Kees’ quad pours a deep walnut brown in the glass.

Aroma: Sweet, nutty and boozy with a nougat-like quality. The taste is classic Quadrupel with high carbonation, lots of dried fruit and esters the yeast along with the occasional flash of waxy nuttiness the walnuts.

Taste: It doesn’t scream walnuts, but it doesn’t need to. The flavours are in perfect balance which makes it a really delicious beer to sip and savour.

Food Pairing: The fruit and nut flavours of this beer pair really well with cheese. Try it with some shavings of Old Amsterdam for a match made in heaven.

Caramel Fudge Stout – ABV 11.5%

Boozy and oozing with rich caramel, this complex and sumptuous dessert beer with Summit and Cascade hops has had rave reviews, and it’s just gained another.

Look: It pours an inky-black in the glass with a small mid-brown head

Aroma: Enrapturing sweet caramel.

Taste: Thick, complex rich and boozy and overflowing with fudge and caramel richness

Food Pairing: We think these flavours are best enjoyed all by themselves, but if you feel the need and you have a sweet tooth that knows no bounds then a slice of chocolate cake will work well.

Verdict: If there’s a more perfect dessert beer then we haven’t tasted it. It’s even better than Yellow Belly and Noa.

Tsarina Esra Imperial Porter – ABV 10.1%

Cara and Munich malts combine with Premiant and Sladek hops to give a dark chocolate and charred wood aroma, with coffee notes and a velvety red wine mouthfeel.

Look: Tsarina Esra pours dark black with a thin head and lots of beige lacing.

Aroma: The smell is malt and woodsmoke and some caramel hints.

Taste: We get sweet plums, roasted malts and lots of bitterness the hops in the finish.

Food Pairing: Try pairing it with the Irish classic of Boiled Bacon and Cabbage. OK, so its not an Irish Stout – but we aren’t going let a small detail like that get in the way of a delicious food pairing.

Verdict: Another brilliantly balanced beer De Molen.

Seafaring Imperial Stout – ABV 8%

Amazing levels of fruitiness and carbonation an Imperial Stout – even notes of zesty orange can be found floating on the dark chocolate and malt base.

Look: The beer pours with a good sized light brown head and plenty of carbonation with a slowly receding head.

Aroma:  Plenty of chocolate and forest fruits, and an addition of oranges and sticky dates on the palate.

Taste: There’s a level of fruitiness you don’t usually get with an Imperial Stout – more forest fruits and dark creamy chocolate, too.

Verdict: With the intense flavours and high carbonation it almost reminds us of a dark Belgian beer. In a good way.

Food pairing: We wouldn’t normally think about fish and chips with an Imperial Stout. However on this occasion the fruity flavours are a good contrast to the creaminess of the fish, and that carbonation will cut right through any greasiness the batter.

Old Norway Orcadian Barley Wine – ABV 8%

Sweet maltiness plus dried apricots and dates – this is surprisingly light for a Barley Wine, with a great crisp and fresh finish for easy drinking.

Look: Old Norway has a big golden pour with a long lasting white head and lots of lacing.

Aroma: Raisins, dried apricots and dates with the freshness of pine needles.

Taste: On the palate you get lots more of that dried fruit melded with the alcohol.

Verdict: It’s a little lighter in alcohol and intensity than you’d usually expect a Barleywine and is easy drinking as a result. You might just forget it’s an 8% ABV beer.

Food pairing: Stilton and Barleywine is a classic pairing. When the sweet maltiness of the beer meets the intense saltiness of the cheese; wonderful things start happening on your palate.

Orkney Porter – ABV 9%

Boozy vanilla and a hint of smoke, plus a long finish of caramel, bitter chocolate and sweet nuttiness Goldings hops plus Chocolate and Barley malts.

Look: Rich mahogany brown on the pour with a nice beige head with lots of lacing and carbonation.

Aroma: Roasted malt plus stone and red fruits.

Taste: There is loads of fruity booziness against the malts which lend it an almost Chianti-like red wine quality.

Food pairing: This beer works well with fattier meats. Try it with a charcoal grilled burger, and let its fruity vinous qualities cut through the grease to cleanse your palate.

Verdict: At 9% ABV this Orkney Porter is more boozy alcohol than its Imperial Stout stablemate and still dangerously quaffable.