I finally managed to get in gear and taste Black Sheep's Imperial Russian Stout, which has been (and probably still is - just) on at Veritas on Great George Street. At 8.5% abv, it's not quite on the massive 'Imperial' side of things, nor is it your average bar-top stout, but I must say I enjoyed it.
On the nose there's hints of cherry and smoke, along with a decent 'oakiness'. That smoke dies somewhat on the taste, but the oak and fruit remains, with with fruit coming more to fore; raisin, almond, and digestive biscuits all battling it out before that drying coffee and black chocolate note comes in at the end to wrap things up.
The alcohol is up front - it does taste 8.5% - but that's only a minor detraction for me. I enjoyed the beer; and as with their Porter , I'm really pleased to see Black Sheep branching out. I hope we see more of this sort of thing from them. Oh, and by the way - the pump clip rocks. Nice artwork, Black Sheep, thumbs up from me!
I wasn't the only one to enjoy the beer - here's Ghostie's take on proceedings. Oh, and by the way - if you choose to eat at Veritas, I can recommend the Duck Liver Pate. It's Awesome.