I saw a lot of posts on social media with beer lovers getting excited about Pretzels on my Mind, an imperial chocolate pretzel stout from Durham brewers S43, so when the fabulous Newcastle beer shop Centrale said they had it in stock I made sure that I grabbed one! Now I'm not one to spend a lot on a single beer but at 10% ABV it warrants the £5.95 price tag so I decided to treat myself and what a treat it was. It's such a special beer that I'm posting my review on my birthday - hoppy beerday to me!
Just look at that colour! It's very dark brown almost black with a light brown tight foamy head that settles into a milk-like appearance. The aroma is mouthwatering; chocolate, malt, treacle and liquorice waft out of the glass once you get past the initial strong smell of alcohol due to that whopping 10% ABV.
I was both nervous and excited to get my first taste, desperate to know whether it lived up to the hype. Oh. My. God. My mouth has died and gone to heaven. So many dark and delicious flavours burst on my tongue; lashings of chocolate, liquorice and treacle with just a hint of salt. The chocolate is a perfect blend, both sweet and bitter, and the hint of salt lingers on my lips. Aside from the initial smell of alcohol when I first poured it, there's no overpowering booziness in the flavour so the high ABV is well covered. It is exactly what it says on the tin.
It's super-full bodied and almost syrupy; if you swirl the glass you can see it clinging to the sides. It's very smooth and thick and I've never had anything so viscous. Although it took me absolutely ages to drink it, as I wanted the whole experience to last as long as possible, the head retained a thin layer throughout.
Pretzels on my Mind is an absolutely OUTSTANDING imperial stout. It's so rich and decadent that I savoured every single mouthful. I score my beers out of 50 and Pretzels on my Mind scored a whopping 49; it only lost a point for the initial smell of alcohol and if I hadn't been so eager to stick my nose in I probably wouldn't have even noticed it. So I think it's fair to say that Pretzels on my Mind scored top marks and if I ever get the chance, Ale Be Seeing You again!
Brewed by S43 Brewery, Durham
My Untappd score: 5/5
Find out more at S43 Brewery