112. Stoke Dark

Posted: August 5, 2011 in ale, International beer
Tags: , , , , , ,

Stoke Dark

Company info:
The McCashin Family
Nelson, NEW ZEALAND

[www.stokebeer.co.nz]

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol:
 4.5%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for TBC

Label info: ‘We hope you enjoy this Stoke Dark. We make it the old fashioned way and never cut corners. It’s brewed using Nelson’s famous organic hops, premium malt, our own bespoke yeast and 14,000 year old Palaco (TM) water (No artificial additives or colouring). Stoke is tank conditioned over 3 weeks – that’s where the hint of honey and smooth mouth feel come from’.

What the label really means: Simple, well written, meaningful beer label. Nicely done McCashin Family

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: When put to good use, clear beer labels really can work well. They often serve to put the emphasis back on the colour of the beer, and make that the hero of the bottle rather than a distracting label. In the case of Stoke Dark, this technique has been employed to show the darkness of the brew behind. The only difficulty here is that the bottle is such a dark shade of olive green that it’s difficult to see any colour. So, the use of gold has been employed to bring contrast to the bottle, to brighten things up and to lead your eye to the colours beyond. I think it works. It’s nothing amazing and it won’t be scoring the same points that something like ‘Atomic Ale’ or ’28 Pale Ale’ will score but it’s a good looking label.

I give it a label rating of 6 out of 10.

AROMA:  A distinct roasted nut smell emerges, carried along with a strangely sweet undercurrent.

Taste: GLASS – Stoke Dark is roasted, nutty, chocolatey goodness. There is a pervasive, delicious, smoky flavour that sweeps through the brew, and combined with very smooth carbonation makes this really easy to drink. I am enjoying every mouth full.

I give it a beer from glass rating of out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – From the bottle it’s still great and tastes just as impressive in flavour sensations. It loses a little of the accompanying aroma though and is a smidgen behind the glass tasting. Still awesome, and still urging me to finish the bottle.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8 out of 10.

Song of choice: Try this alongside State Radio’s ‘Evolution‘.

Accompanying food: Beef….be it roast beef, be it steak, be it beef and guinness pie, this brew deserves the heartiness of beef.

Best season to appreciate: A real Winter warmer….ideal for these colder months, it’s sure to warm you right up.

All-nighter beer? I am really surprising myself by saying this, but yes, this is an all-night beer. Bring it on!

NEXT WEEK: Wicked Elf Witbier

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Comments
  1. BargeDave says:

    Finally got around to sampling this one, it’s pretty well brewed but a tad sweet and not hoppy enough for my tastes. White Rabbit Dark Ale has ruined many other dark ales for me – it’s just too good.

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  2. Rock Studley says:

    Hey there Mr Sniv,
    If you’re looking for a good place to start in Porter land, might I recommend James Squire’s Porter. It’s got a beautiful smokey aftertaste.

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    • Radio Snivins says:

      If you’re referring to James Squire Jack of Spades Porter, then consider me nine out of ten on the stuff. I was up at the crack of ten-to-nine this morning to photograph boozehounds waiting for Murphett’s to open for a photographic piece I’m working on titled Boozehounds Waiting For Murphett’s To Open, and I decided to pop in and investigate the porter situation. I left with a six-pack of the aforementioned. You’re right, it is smokey. The label says it pairs well with dark chocolate and porterhouse steak, but it goes equally well with Rice Bubbles.

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      • BargeDave says:

        That’s great work Sniv. Today is in fact my birthday and although I’m stuck at my workploce (admittedly having a slightly slow morning as this page will attest) the thought that you’re kicking back with Squires Porter is superb. My two cents – I like the new style branding on the Squires range. Good mental imagery to associate with a good range of beers.

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      • Radio Snivins says:

        Happy b’day, Bargé. Yes, I’m very impressed with JS’s porter. I wish I’d known about the stuff earlier. From this day hence my life can be divided into two distinct epochs – pre-porter, ‘n’ post-porter.

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  3. Radio Snivins says:

    ↓ Oops. Still, mustn’t blub.

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  4. Radio Snivins says:

    Yeth. Yeth. My thinking was parallel to yours, Bargé, except slightly more comprehensive. I had a black ‘n’ tan and a Coca-Cola shandy between pale and dark.

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  5. Radio Snivins says:

    In a hundred thousand years’ time, a fooze archeologist will dig up a Murphett’s and find a stash of Stoke Dark. He’ll crack one open, and sniff it, and then sniff it again. ‘Not much of a sniff,’ he’ll declare, and then he’ll go the guzz, ‘NINEOUTOFTEN!’ He’ll hoot, for he’ll have found the missing link between beer and stout.

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    • BargeDave says:

      I suppose it goes pale ale, dark ale, porter then stout but I don’t think there’s a specific way of describing when dark ale become porter and porter becomes stout, it’s in the eye of the beholder. Err, the tongue of the taster? Duh, brain starting to hurt.

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      • Radio Snivins says:

        Yeth. Yeth. My thinking was parallel to yours, Bargé, except slightly more comprehensive. I had a black ‘n’ tan and a Coca-Cola shandy between pale and dark.

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      • Radio Snivins says:

        Also, Bargé, I’d never heard of porter until you just mentioned it. I’m glad you did. I intend to wheedle it into every conversation from now until I’m physically threatened. As God is my witness, I shall be a beer poontz.

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      • BargeDave says:

        I refer to myself as a beer wanker rather than beer poontz, but presumably these are much the same.

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      • BargeDave says:

        Ooh, further to previous, obvious opportunity for total beer wankery. Sniv, you HAVE heard of porter before because you’ve already discussed stout in this very discussion. Stout as a name for a style of beer has its origins as ‘Stout Porter’, and was subsequently just shortened. Fans of porter and stout will agree that ‘stout’ is not a bad adjective to describe the difference between the two similar styles. It’s like porter, only stouter.

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