Black is Beautiful

Brewery: Hedgehog Brewing
Style:   Spice Herb Vegetable Beer (Imperial Stout base 30A)
Package:  500ml Bottle
Purchased: Beer To Go!
Packaged Date:  2020
Consumed Date: 2020

Details From the Brewer

ABV: 12.8%

For our version we added 4 types of fudge and some vanilla infused maple syrup. It’s 12.8% and quite tasty.


Aroma – 10/12

A medium sugar sweetness strikes the nose first.  Bakers chocolate, cocoa and a lighter molasses note round it out.  Maple is there, but at a lower level than the fudge.  Malt is present, coming through as grainey, ashy and a bit of coffee roast.  Some alcohol.  Hints of citrus as well.

Appearance – 3/3

Pours a deep black liquid.  Small and medium bubbles make up a large light brown head.  Good retention.

Flavor – 11/20

Similar to the aroma, the fudge comes through first.  Cocoa and chocolate notes lend to a brownie-like flavor.  This is joined by a subtle roast and a moderate bitterness.  These flavors fade a little towards the middle, where low notes of roast, toffee and plum join in.  There’s a touch of grapefruit hop character as well, which increases towards the end.   The flavors quickly exit on the finish, leaving a moderate-high bitterness and dark chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – 3/5

Moderate carbonation.  Thick and chewy body up front which maintains throughout the taste.  Finish is a bit sharp.  Strong alcohol warmth in the throat lingers, almost a touch solventy.

Overall Impression – 7/10

I really enjoyed the aroma on this.  The different scents worked well together, but were still distinguishable.  The fudge really came through as well.  The flavor was a bit muted in comparison, with the notes seeming to meld together and decrease complexity .  For being such a big beer, it hides the alcohol through most of the taste, until the finish, where it is very prominent.  A bit more aging might help mellow it a bit and not be so hot.

Rating – 34/50

This is definitely a hard style of beer to execute.  The fudge and syrup act as massive sugar additions, fueling the yeast to increase it’s alcohol production.  Keeping that in balance with the rest of the beer can be tough.  It was nice to see a decent dryness and bitterness here, with it not being a complete pastry bomb as the adjunct might suggest..