Eldon | Thornbridge Brewery
From a 330ml bottle served slightly chilled at 11 degrees Celsius into a white wine glass. Best before date: Jun.15.2019.
The beer pours a clear, very dark brown (opaque in a full glass) with 3cm of dense, billowy, brown head that dissipates into a craggy cap within 4+ minutes. Great lacing and overall retention for the style. Outstanding.
Moderate strength and balanced. Mostly restrained roasted malts (chocolate) and caramel with mild vegetal hops and dark fruit. Faint butterscotch with brown sugar coming through more as the beer warms. Additional notes of pronounced licorice, fainter vanilla, and weak oak. The barrel-aging adds a tiny bit of character, but not quite enough in my opinion. The nose is nice and layered but it definitely lacks punch.
Follows the aroma with medium-strong intensity and nice balance. Moderate roasted malts with some caramel and vegetal hops (fresh and resiny). In comparison to the aroma, the coffee and chocolate come through more. Pronounced to assertive bitterness of lower character than is typical for the style. The finish is long, of moderate strength, and bitter with lingering dark malts. Not enough bourbon.
Medium-full body with medium-low carbonation. Velvety-smooth and slightly chewy with surprisingly light alcohol warming.
Thornbridge's Eldon is a solid stout no doubt with a subtle enough character that I'd recommend it to someone new to the style and who's senses are easily offended by something punchy. It looks and feels great but lacks interest in aroma and flavour with the barrel-aging not coming through enough. I'd be disappointed if I picked up the bottle based on the label that reads oak infused. Overall very drinkable and satisfying imperial stout with a relatively high drinkability.