Port Stephens-based Murray’s Craft Brewing Company has declared July ‘Dark Beer Month’ in honour of the two Imperial Stouts they have just launched.
Last Saturday saw the first of the new release dark beers, Heart of Darkness, a ‘Belgio’ Imperial Stout and the release for pre-of sale Murray’s Wild Thing Imperial Stout.
Heart of Darkness is a mix of styles and according to Head Brewer, Shawn Sherlock, “one of a kind”.
“This is a big, beautiful beer. A big, dark, beautiful beer. A big, dark, Belgian inspired beautiful beer. And at 9.6% abv it’s made for sipping – perfect for the darkest of winter nights.”
Shawn describes Heart of Darkness as an Imperial Stout in basic style but with a stronger accent on the chocolate malt over the roast barley, some rummy, portiness from the dark brown sugar, and underpinning it all, some classic Belgian esters and very light phenolics from the yeast.The beer pours very dark brown/black in colour with dark ruby highlights when held up to the light.
Murray’s Heart of Darkness is available in draught only from Murray’s Brewery from Saturday 3 July, until sold out. The beer will also be available on draught from The Local Taphouse (Sydney and Melbourne) and Beer Deluxe (Melbourne).
After an almost 3-year hiatus, Murray’s Wild Thing Imperial Stout is also being re-released in the bottle for pre-sale from Saturday 3 July, ready for collection late July/early August. This beer is exclusively available through Murray’s Brewery – and with very limited stock, it’s expected to sell out quickly.
Murray explains that this extreme beer – at 10% abv and pouring with a dark head – was inspired by the great stouts favoured by the Russian Imperial Court.
“Wild Thing is as a massive, intense drinking experience. The colour is black. Totally black. Impossible to see through even when held up to the light. Unbelievable!”
With aromas of strong dark chocolate, a little fruitiness from the hops and yeast and some rumminess from the alcohol the flavour is an intense hit of mocha – bitter dark chocolate bordering on coffee. There is some malt sweetness with aggressive hop bitterness, but with a roast grain bite to balance.