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Beer of the Week: Double-Barrelled Reach Imperial Stout

Double-Barrelled Reach Imperial Stout poured in a Caps and Taps glass. The beer is very dark brown with a light brown creamy head
A very special Beer of the Week today with a look at Double-Barrelled's excellent espresso martini-inspired imperial stout. Reach was brewed for International Women's Collaborative Brew Day, an initiative set up by Head Brewer of Burnt Mill, Sophie de la Ronde, which as the name suggests, is supposed to be a collaborative brew day on IWD between women from breweries, taprooms, beer shops etc.
As with everything this year, COVID got in the way of Double-Barrelled's plans, and instead this morphed into a collaboration within the brewery, with a team of women led by Assistant Brewer Chelsea that included not only production staff but also those from the taproom and office. Not only that, but the coffee used was sourced from all-female roastery Girls Who Grind Coffee, and grown by AMACA, a group of all-female coffee producers in Colombia. Read more about the brew day here!
Straight up, this is an absolutely delicious beer, and for sure the closest an espresso martini-inspired stout has come to an espresso martini that I've tried. It's rich, thick and creamy with gentle carbonation and the perfect amount of sweetness (even without lactose, so it's safe for vegans and lactose-intolerant alike–hurrah!).
On the nose there's a lot of dried fruit, particularly raisins, chocolate, and a little hint of spiced rum. The chocolate really carries through to drinking, and then you also get coffee coming through, which cuts through the sweetness and leads to a lovely roasty finish. It's definitely enough to have as a dessert in its own right, but it is rather good with chocolate, and I suspect would go very well with a rich and chocolate-y pudding, perhaps a chocolate fondue...
Poppy Simon
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