Ah, lovely old Hook Norton Brewery. My local brewery. They’re always there when I need a drink to depend on. Even though they might not be the most exciting and dynamic of brewers, you know that whatever you choose from their range will almost certainly be solid and well-crafted.
Double Stout when in a glass is broodingly good looking, dark and possesses a splendid head of dense tan foam. As stouts go, this stuff looks the part.
Roastiness, dark grains and a nice almost whiskyish, lightly-charred barrel, sort of thing are going on in the aroma. My imagination made me think I might have picked up a touch of vanillin too…a bit like it’s been conditioned in wood; but I’m fairly certain it isn’t. Let’s just say that it’s quite a complex nose.
A good solid, creamy mouth feel with a mild, befitting, carbonation makes for a velvety, smooth texture. An overall theme of gentle roastiness, light dryness and a non-intrusive bitterness helps to complete the picture.
This is probably one of the best introductions to stout that you’ll get. No acrid black malt/over-roast barley in the taste at all…whereas Guinness is sometimes prone to the mouthful of manky old pennies taste which I know is off-putting to a lot of non-stout drinkers.
Light roastiness on the aftertaste and a little bitterness that helps to accentuate the roasty theme.
It’s not a world-shaking taste at all, but it’s good, well-made, solid and dependable.