BA Orkney Porter Arran Bere Whisky Cask Edition – ABV 11.5%

Roasted malts dotted with sherry sweetness and a strong ABV – this BA porter is like Arbor’s Goo Goo G’Joob with a fruity twist. It’s that good.

Look: Swannay’s BA Orkney Porter has a good level of carbonation with a light brown head that quickly vanishes – just as you’d expect for beer with double digit ABV.

Aroma: A fruity porter and booziness the whisky barrels in absolutely perfect balance, with the overall effect being sherry trifle against a backbone of roasted malt.

Taste: On the palate you get even more of that Whisky coming through – but it’s boozy rather than peaty, so we think you’ll enjoy it even if Scotch isn’t usually your thing. T

Food Pairing: This beer works really well with red meats. Try it with a nice fillet steak, cooked however you like it.

Fighting Ale Imperial Stout – ABV 11.5%

Jet black and characterful, the resinous hops and carbonation  Howling Hops’ impy stout give this an amazingly smooth finish for a hard-hitting 11 percenter.

Look: Fighting Ale pours like the blackest of nights with a mid-brown head that quickly dissipates leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: A blast of resinous hops in perfect balance with roasted malts and dark chocolate.

Taste: It is well-bodied with a good level of carbonation giving it a lovely mouthfeel and helping the hops shine against the solid roasted malt body.

Verdict: Where did they hide the alcohol? This is supremely easy drinking for an 11.5% ABV beer and we love it.

Gozer Imperial Oatmeal Stout – ABV 9.8%

Kaapse’s flagship beer; big on red fruits, fresh espresso and roasted malts. We tasted this in Rotterdam, and couldn’t resist having a few cases shipped over.

Look: The beer pours black in the glass with barely any head

Aroma: Roasted malt with fruity fresh roast coffee beans.

Taste: Dark chocolate with a sweet fruitiness that gives the beer a lovely Belgian-style twist.

Verdict: . ‘Gozer’ means bloke or lad in Dutch – and this gozer is a top bloke.

White Russian Imperial Stout – ABV 9%

A distinctly different variant of Partizan’s excellent Stout, amped up to 9% and with honey, cocoa nibs and coffee, for a creamy mouthfeel and warm, boozy buzz.

Look: Just like the regular version, it pours black-brown with a frothy tan-brown head.

Aroma: The new variant of the Stout has sweet lactose sugars, chocolate and espresso – exactly like a White Russian cocktail.

Taste: Sweetness the honey alongside roasted chocolate malt and coffee – plus a bit of extra warmth the higher ABV.

Verdict: It’s only when you sip the White Russian that the beer truly reveals itself as a full-on Dessert Stout. It’s sweet, creamy and delicious.

American Barley Wine – ABV 9%

Toffee apples, sweet orange and crisp hoppy bitterness: this Torrside bottled beer was rated as one of the best of 2016 – and standards haven’t slipped one bit.

Look: The beer pours a dark, almost brown amber with a thin white head.

Aroma: Marmalade and toffee apples combine in an enticing aroma

Taste: There’s lots of resinous pine bitterness the insane levels of hopping.

Verdict: Enjoy this now to get the best of the hops, or keep it a while to mellow and mature those toffee fruit flavours into something wonderful and complex. Its up to you, but we’re sure you’ll enjoy it either way.

Mooi & Meedogenloos Imperial Stout-Quadrupel – ABV 10.2%

The complexity of the malts in this beer signifies a Quad; but the colour says ‘Stout’ – all the same, fruit, toffee and floral aromas are strong and welcome.

Look: It certainly starts out looking like an Imperial Stout, dark black with a nice brown head and good lacing.

Taste: There isn’t much in the way of aroma with this beer, but first impressions on tasting are of a rich dessert Stout but then you notice the higher level of carbonation and the complexity of the malts which introduce some Quad-like qualities.

Verdict: Is Mooi & Meedogenloos (Beautiful & Ruthless) a Stout-ish or is it really a Quadrupel-ish? Depending on the batch the label might say one thing or the other, but the beer is always somewhere between the two. Instead of deciding, we’re just going to sit back, enjoy the beer and contemplate the question.

Tip: You’ve got almost 5 years on the best before date with this beer, but we can’t help thinking that if you wanted to keep it for longer it would age beautifully.

Treacle Toffee Stout – ABV 10%

Indulgent yet drinkable, Steam Machine’s milk stout does exactly what it says on the keg: there are big, sweet molasses notes with a creamy, caramel finish.

Look: A brown-black pour with nice carbonation and a thin creamy tan head. Treacle Toffee is clearly an imperial milk stout – which is a good thing in my book.

Nose: Dark roast malts and bold dark chocolate come out all cylinders blazing before before a treacle sweetness follows up.

Taste: Sweet treacle and molasses, fruity and juicy hops, syrup and caramel with a fine velvety finish.

Verdict: Steam Machine’s husband and wife team Nick and Gulen have a brewing background of over ten years; science teacher Nick brings an academic approach to the magic of brewing to create a sweet, smooth, malty treat. Top of the class.

Old Ford Export Stout – ABV 7.5%

Columbus hops guide this London-born Stout through a sea of full-bodied coffee and dark chocolate, with some roasted barley bitterness, sweet malts and spiciness.

Look: This is borderline black IPA territory: an inky black cola-coloured pour with a creamy brown head.

Nose: A rich malt backdrop hosts espresso, burned toffee, dark chocolate, treacly molasses and a hint of cherry.

Taste: Complex and full-bodied thanks to the Columbus and Simcoe hops. Layers of sweetness, including cherry and forest fruits, sit on top of roasted barley bitterness. Under that comes earthy spice before a long, lingering rich and toasted malt finish.

Verdict: Much like one of my old favourite TV shows, The Big Breakfast, which was filmed in the Old Ford area, this is as full of character as Johnny Vaughan, as lovely as Denise Van Outen – and easily enjoyed every day of the week.

Imperial Export Strength Stout – ABV 10.5%

Rich and complex, the imperious Dark Star won gold in the Stout class in the London & South East Area section of the CAMRA Champion Beer Of Britain 2015.

Look: Deep ruby, bordering on jet black, on the pour with a small creamy brown head. The long maturation process makes the beer look dense and full-bodied, with a small to medium carbonation.

Nose: Rich aromas driven by coffee and darkly roasted malts, dark chocolate. Some tinges of molasses and oak as well forest fruits and berries.

Taste: Again focus on espresso coffee mixed with rich dark chocolate plus vanilla, rum and coconut, plus a boozy, treacly velvety mouthfeel those Magnum and East Kent hops, flaked barley and Crystal malts.

Verdict: Dark Star’s stout as imperious as the Death Star. Strong, complex and meant to be savoured.

Bone Idol Barrel Aged Imperial Brown Ale – ABV 9.8%

This chocolatey imperial brown ale the Salisbury-based brewery includes pale, rye, crystal and roasted malt plus wheat and oats, matured in bourbon barrels.

Look: Black and densely rich with a creamy long-lasting tan head

Nose: Lots of chocolate and vanilla the oats and wheat plus those magnum hops and there’s a definitely a whiff of the bourbon the BA; it’s sweet and slightly sickly yet pretty addictive.

Taste: The bourbon without a doubt gives a clear alcoholic buzz but this is balanced well with the oats and chocolate which give some creaminess and richness to leave a velvet soft mouthfeel overall across plenty of complex layering.

Verdict: Powerful BA notes but the oats shine through nicely. Welcome to the revolution – it’s surprisingly rich and creamy.