I think my main problem with this beer is the name. Not the honey badger bit – they’re kind of vicious, but I don’t have any major issues with them. But for Old Main Brewery to call this 3.5% ABV beer an imperial stout is a bit of a stretch. Well, OK – it’s just downright wrong.
If I was handed this beer blindfolded, I’m not sure I would recognise it as a stout at all. It has the faint sulphury aroma that you find in some lagers and more often in English ales, but I couldn’t pick up much in the way of chocolate, coffee or roasty notes.
When you sip, however, there is a definite coffee flavour, as well as some nicely singed toast (not full-on burnt toast, but that flavour you get from the breakfast you just managed to rescue from the toaster in the nick of time).
It’s a very light-bodied beer and definitely good as an intro to drinking darker beers. If you go in expecting the big Irish Coffee type flavours of an Imperial, you’ll be disappointed, but if you think of it as a breakfast beer (coffee and toast – what more do you want in the morning?) then it serves quite nicely. It hasn’t quite got the bite of a honey badger, but then I suppose calling it a Dassie Stout perhaps doesn’t have quite the same ring to it…
Where? Old Main’s beers are found on tap at a few venues around KZN, though they might not all have the stout. You’ll certainly find it on tap at the brewery and at Molly Malone’s in Jo’burg.
How much? A 500ml draft at the brewery is R25.