On the first day of Xmas…
… one of my favourite brewers gave to me an absolutely fantastic bottle of beer.
That brewer being Epic and the beer being the new Epicurean Coffee & Fig Imperial Oatmeal Stout.
I had been following this beer rather closely from the moment I heard about it. Coffee, figs and then coconut; all these things sounded like the perfect addition to a stout and based on Epic’s other offerings, I felt like this beer would turn out to be something outstanding. I wasn’t disappointed.
I received the bottle a few days earlier and as much as I wanted to crack it right there and then, I also thought it would be a good beer to share in the spirit of Christmas.
Christmas coincidences collided and we had friends over for a drink before heading for Franklin Rd, Ponsonby to take in the madness that the Christmas lights bring to the street.
I agonised over the ideal glass to serve this beer in, feeling it deserved something better than my X-Men branded beer handles (glassphemy I’m sure). I settled on a couple of wide short red wine glasses and followed William Brand’s obsessive compulsive guide to cleaning your beer glass.
On pouring, it retained a small head of caramelly-white froth. I can never tell whether the head or lack thereof can be attributed to my dirty glasses, the beer or my pitiful pour technique, but I have the suspicion different beers require different techniques.
As you would imagine for a beer called “Coffee & Fig” there were big coffee aromas wafting from the glass and these were backed up in the mouth. The coffee flavour was accompanied by a malty, fruity sweetness and spice. It tasted like the perfect Christmas day after dinner treat in fact.
I would say to leave one out for Santa Claus on Christmas eve, but after a taste he wouldn’t leave and you’d probably wake up to Santa sleeping on your couch and an empty beer fridge.