I picked up this pint of Velveteen from Dark Revolution Brewery during my Edinburgh and Glasgow drinking trip, I guess the brewery name just appealed to me, who doesn't want a dark revolution after all? It's only later I discovered Dark Revolution Brewery is in Salisbury which is a hell of a long way from Edinburgh, nice cathedral there though. Anyway Velveteen from Dark Revolution Brewery is a 4.8% chocolate milk stout. If I'm honest it sounds a bit dull doesn't it? There's loads of chocolate milk stouts out there these days, and 4.8% is a very average alcohol content, so will this beer do anything to stand out from the crowd?
Velveteen from Dark Revolution Brewery certainly starts well enough, and absolutely looks the part with its jet black body and creamy tan head. The texture is decent too coming in a little above medium bodied, unfortunately though it's all down hill from there. Sure it's got a chocolate taste, but it's not the good premium chocolate stuff, or even the supermarket own brand stuff, it's more like a cheap, nasty, chocolate rip off. I've had a lot of chocolate stouts in my time, because I usually really enjoy them. I didn't enjoy Velveteen from Dark Revolution Brewery though 2 out of 10.
I love smoked beer, I love porters, and I love drinking local, so as I was in a pub in Edinburgh drinking Smoked Porter from Top Out, an Edinburgh based brewery this should have been just about perfect for me. The brewery have been going since 2013, but I think this is the first of their beers I've tried. The beer pours about as black as black can get with a decent looking tan head. Smoked Porter from Top Out contains 5.6% alcohol and has a proper smoked beer aroma, you know the type that makes you think of a full on barbecue, I'd like to say I could smell something beyond the smoke, but honestly I couldn't.
Unfortunately looks, and indeed scents can be deceiving. Where I was expecting a proper full bodied Smoked Porter Top Out only delivered a medium, and where I was expecting smoke to fill my throat, I got barely a twang. For me the dominant taste was probably blackcurrant with a little chocolate. Sure there's a little bit of smoky goodness, but it wasn't what I expected, or wanted in all honesty. I don't want to be too harsh on Smoked Porter from Top Out as I think it's probably an ok beer, but I was so excited to try it I just ended up feeling a bit let down. 5 out of 10.
That's right folks we have an 11% custard imperial stout to try, and to me it already sounds epic. I found Imperial Custard from Three Hills Brewing in The Salt Horse during my Edinburgh pub crawl, and how could I resist it? Well the one thing that put me off was that I like to try and drink local, and the brewery is in Kettering, which it's fair to say is nowhere near Edinburgh, but I put that to one side and drank it anyway. Don't worry if you haven't heard of Three Hills Brewing before as neither had I, and it turns out they only formed in 2017, so they're pretty new to the scene. Imperial Custard from Three Hills Brewing pours jet black with no head at all, so it certainly looks like a proper imperial stout.
Right from the first whiff of this beer you're going to smell the custard, which I was delighted about as I love a beer that does what it says. You'll also get a few chocolate notes, and not surprisingly in an 11% beer a good whiff of alcohol. The body is rich and full while the taste will blow your mind. It really is a custard beer, with added chocolate, and a nice big dollop of vanilla. Sure you can taste that it's a strong beer, but that doesn't detract from the wonderfully sweet flavours. This really is a proper opulent beer full of wonderful flavours that anyone with a sweet tooth will adore. I think this is the best beer I've had in quite a while so I really do have to give Imperial Custard from Three Hills Brewing 10 out of 10.