Waffle Companion | Reverence Barrel Works
Score: 86/100 - Very Good
From a 500ml bottle served warm at 15 degrees Celsius into a TeKu glass. No date information on the packaging but this is an early September release. I picked up the bottle straight from the brewery this past weekend. My expectations are high given the last few breviews from Reverence. Also, we're making this a bday breview!
The beer pours a brilliant very dark brown with no head. No lacing. Gimme some foam!
Strong intensity with sweet balance. The aroma is luxurious and dessert-like. Rich toffee/butterscotch character is paired with candied dried fruit and red berries. Moderate bourbon (vanilla + oak) and milk chocolate add complexity. No apparent hop or roasted notes. The dry nose is intense with notes of maple syrup, dried fruit, and caramel. Enticing.
Follows the aroma with strong intensity, sweet balance, and moderate perceived bitterness. The palate opens up syrupy-sweet with notes of candied dried fruit, maple syrup, and bourbon making way for a succulent center filled with round toffee, berries, boozy fruit, milk chocolate, and oak. The long finish is strong and sweet with notes of candied figs, toffee, red berries, alcohol-soaked raisins, and oak.
Medium body with mild carbonation. The mouthfeel is velvety-smooth and oily with restrained alcohol warming and a luscious finish. No astringency or harshness on the palate.
Reverence Barrel Works' Waffle Companion is a very good beer. In terms of the appearance, I'd expect to see at least some foam - I tried pouring the beer with my typical vigor but I couldn't raise any head. All of that is quickly in the past upon your first whiff of the elixir: it's strong, deep, and enticing. The flavour follows with plush sweetness that crosses over to cloying. The alcohol is present, but it's not enough to cut through all of the sugar. The mouthfeel is pretty good with the carbonation being on the low side along with the body being surprisingly thin for the style. In all honesty - based on the flavour profile and mouthfeel - I'd guess this was a barleywine - not an imperial stout. I suppose it's listed as a pastry stout... even then, the loaded dried fruit and buttescotch character with no apparent roasted malt and a hint of tartness on the palate promts me to suspend thoughts about styles so I can keep enjoying the hefty bevvy that Waffle Companion is. A delicious beer for a specific target market - make sure you have someone to share the bottle with.