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Beer Review – Buxton/Omnipollo Yellow Belly

Brewery: Buxton / Omnipollo
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 11.0%
Serving: 330ml Bottle
Price: £6-7

Today beer died. It’s over for me now; I need to find a new passion.

Last year, for the Rainbow Project, Buxton collaborated with Omnipollo to create a very special and unique beer, Yellow Belly. This is a peanut butter biscuit imperial stout without any peanut butter or biscuits in it. Yeah, I know. Well I didn’t get to try any last year but, honestly I wasn’t too fussed because the sound of it didn’t really grab me. This year it was brewed again, much to the delight of the beer’s very vocal advocates the first time around.

So this week, Sam and I took a ride out to Buxton Tap House to sample some delights and meet a couple of fellow beer geeks who were down on a short break from Edinburgh. Before I get into it, I should take a moment to tell you to get to that pub. It may be out of your way but, as well as it being situated in the most beautiful town you’re likely to ever see, the beer and service is unparalleled. They do cask beer better than I’ve ever had it (I had half an Axe Edge on cask and it was the best that beer has ever tasted) and also rock about 8 great keg lines. Anyway, I digress. I bought a bottle of Yellow Belly to take away and as I write this, I’ve just finished the bottle. Here’s what I thought of it.

A photo posted by Dan Schönhaar (@minute44) on

As you’d expect from an 11% Imperial Stout, it pours pitch black with a very dark brown two-finger head which goes away quickly, but not as quickly as you might expect given the ABV. As with other Buxton impy stouts this stuff clings to the glass and has a shiny, somewhat oily appearance in the glass. It leaves some alcohol legs behind as well as some nice lacing.

The aroma is nothing short of ridiculous. You get sweet biscuits, peanuts, a metric fuck-tonne of vanilla bean paste and a really great pipe smoke character. I’m sniffing the dregs in my glass as I write this very line. I don’t want anything to smell of anything else but this beer ever again.

The flavour totally delivers on the promises that the aroma made. Sticky, syrupy vanilla toffee, sweet peanut butter and an almost burnt brandy snap biscuit edge makes this beer as complex as it is decadent. There’s just a slight hint of an acidity that makes the sweet notes just sing. Small, slow sips, swirled around your mouth deliver an onslaught of the best flavour combo I’ve ever experienced in a beer. As the beer warmed the dessert characteristics just became more intense with rich sticky toffee pudding making an appearance which went perfectly with the creamy vanilla bean ice cream notes. A total delight.

Mouthfeel is as good as you could hope. Silky, coating and full-bodied. A perfect match for the favour profile.

All I can think right now is that I hate all other beers for not being Yellow Belly. I fully intend on picking up a few more bottles of this before they disappear. It is, quite simply, the best beer I have ever tasted and I don’t see how it can be beaten.

Verdict: 5/5

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