Bluestone Brewing Company based in Newport recently asked via Twitter for bloggers and journalists to write on a couple of subjects in exchange for beer. Naturally I jumped at the chance and chose to do a review of their award winning coffee milk stout aptly named ‘Fossil Fuel’. There are many flavoured milk stouts out there, especially coffee ones, so I was interested to find out what made this one stand out from the crowd.

After a couple of days I received a parcel and it was soon time to taste. Pouring, a rich deep black filled my glass and a thick creamy head appeared. I could smell the coffee straight away along with some alcoholic sweetness. As I tasted my mouth filled with a delicious full bodied stout with a subtle coffee flavour along with a satisfying sweetness and balanced bitter finish.

The coffee flavour is there but it is not overwhelming which, makes ‘Fossil Fuel’ a prime example of a well balanced speciality stout that would make an excellent session stout, as opposed to the more in your face and high alcoholic versions that are good but due to high impact of flavour and alcohol you struggle to have more than a pint.

‘Fossil Fuel’ is recently a recipient of a SIBA award, more specifically a gold award, and it is easy to see why. It has as a full and rewarding mouth feel that starts with an initial shot of espresso and a rich dollop of roasted malts which subsides with a hit of sweetness from the lactose and finally a bitterness from the jester hops. It is a very well constructed beer and if this is the standard that Bluestone Brewing Company produce I look forward to trying more.