Tiny Rebel are at it again with their Double 99 Imperial Stout Chocolate Flake beer. As anyone who has read my reviews will know I'm a big Tiny Rebel fan, and in particular a big fan of their Stay puft Marshmallow Porter which is now very much the benchmark for their beers in my head, and it's one hell of a benchmark. For those of you that don't know Tiny Rebel are a Welsh Brewery who keep trying fun new things, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't, but they do keep trying to be inventive and all credit to them for that. I had the Double 99 in one of my favourite bars the Strait and Narrow in Lincoln, it comes in a pretty 440 can for the princely sum of £7.99 making it one of the most expensive beers I've ever had.
For the princely sum the Double 99 Imperial Stout comes with quite a punch, as all imperial stouts should. It's a whopping 9.9% so in terms of cost per unit it's not bad although I still balk at anything over £5 especially when it's not even on tap. The beer pours as black as they come with a nice little head. The smell is what you'd expect with lots of chocolate and vanilla tones, this is very much designed to be an ice cream flake in a glass, well 90% ice cream flake 10% alcohol, but you get the idea. It's potent, and the smell emphasises the potency, there's no doubting even before you taste Double 99 it's going to give you a headache in the morning if you have too many.
The taste pretty much matches the smell, you know it's full of alcohol and chocolate, with maybe a bit of coffee thrown in for good measure. As with most imperial stouts it's rich and creamy but smooth in a good way. Despite it's obvious potency it's pretty easy to drink, which is dangerous in its own way. It feels like a proper Tiny Rebel beer, it's pushing the boundaries and having a lot of fun doing it. What this means is that it's substantially stronger than Stay Puft, but for me it's not got the same glorious taste.
The Double 99 is a very good drink, but it's also unnecessary. Let me explain... Tiny Rebel already does a Stay Puft Chocolate Imperial Porter at 9%, sure the Double 99 has the extra stouty flavour some may prefer to a porter, but it just isn't as good as the Stay Puft version. Had Tiny Rebel gone hey Stay Puft was great but we're moving on and created this it'd have been really worthwhile, but it just feels like a less good slightly more potent version of their real masterpiece. Regardless of all this Tiny Rebel Double 99 Chocolate Flake Imperial Stout is a solid 8/10 beer. If you see it drink it, unless it's next to Stay Puft in which case go for the classic and best.