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A can of Urbanaut Imperial Stout in front of a glass of the same beer

Urbanaut Tropical Imperial Stout

You feel like a giant holding this dinky can, wrapped in its lilac label that only ups the cute factor, but it’s an alcoholic hand-grenade at 12% ABV. I’d like to see more beers in cans like this, ideal as they are for the domestic voluptuary. You can indulge in all the sensual delights strong beers offer without feeling obliged to pursue a solo mission through a sharing-size portion.

This beer will have your mind spinning like a solenoid inside its electro-magnetised copper coil, in the nicest possible way, but it’s not the booze but the contradictions that will do it. Like an Old Master from Da Vinci or Caravaggio, it leans on the chiaroscuro effect of putting light against dark to create its dramatic contrast. On the one hand there’s the malt, all coffee, liquorice and treacle. On the other, there’s the Sabro and Mosaic hops, all coconut, blueberry and tropical fruit. In the middle there’s creamy luxury with just enough carbonation to stop it from becoming cloying. A pleasant slow sipper.

And then, just as your lips grow sticky, it’s done. This is a beer that leaves you wanting more — always a good trick in my book.

This was a free sample from New Zealand Beer Collective for New Zealand Beer Month

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