Little Creatures – The Dreadnought

Please read this before moving on:  http://www.brewsnews.com.au/2011/09/little-creature-recall-announcement/

Last night I had a dream that I went to a bar and a friend of mine was somehow drinking my bottle of The Dreadnought. I was really mad, so I figure I better get this one drunk  before my friend gets his grubby hands on it (considering the friend in question is in New Zealand… I can’t see that happening, but better to be safe than sorry).

The Basics

This is a Foreign Extra Stout. The latest in the Single Batch offerings from Little Creatures. The bottle talks of fuggles hops and six specialty roasted malts. It also talks of inspiration for the name being from the Dreadnought, a boat built in 1906, and there is some sort of comparison between the beer and the boat.

It came in a 568ml (pint size) bottle, reasonably priced at $7; and is 7.4%abv.

How does it look?

It’s very black. No hint of light around the edges. The crema coloured head is small, and stays around the sides quite well as the beer is drunk.

The bottle is the same as other Little Creatures single batch brews, but has sepia tones. I quite like it.

How does it smell/taste?

Initially, I served this cool from the fridge and got little to no aroma. There was roasted barley, liqourice with a slight hint of vegemite in the taste.

As it warmed, it changed quite nicely and developed some rich caramel and aniseed aromas.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and there is a light hint of diacetyl (buttery feel/taste) running through the flavours. An initial chocolate taste develops into a combination of the previously mentioned caramel and aniseed. It’s sweet and finally finishes off with a little spice. The flavours are all fairly fleeting and it’s quite dry at the backend.

When should I drink it?

A while back I cooked roast venison which had a spicy marinade/rub of bay leaves, juniper berry and chili. The sweet, spiced game meat would be perfectly matched with this and they share characteristics.

Roast vegetables and gravy would also help cut through some of the sweetness and the diacetyl feel of the beer, which as I work through the bottle, started to get slightly cloying.

Verdict

I’m unsure if I am completely sold on this one. It’s nice, but the aniseed spice and diacetyl is a little much for me. It’s definitely one to be shared, and with the right food combination, it would be remarkable.

I would love to try it again with venison, or kangaroo and some roast vegies. I guess any beer that inspires me to pair it with food has to be pretty good?

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