Wadworth have released a new beer: Corvus Stout, and whats more it is an unusual ale for them in that it is an Irish style stout, I was lucky enough that a pub near my home was one of the first to preview this beer – so did my duty and went there to see how it tasted.
I will confess to liking the occasional Guinness and that the cold thick Irish stout appeals to me on a hot summer’s day, so the chance to have a similar style beer brewed by Wadworth, one of my local breweries, is somewhat attractive to me.
The pour of the beer is familiar to anyone who knows how a good Guinness is prepared, right down to the brief stand to let the head settle out. Corvus stout is a thick dark stout with a white creamy head and should at least look attractive to the Irish stout drinker.
The nose is a hint of coffee, the initial taste is coffee and hint of caramel leading into a creamy smooth middle, the end notes subtle chocolate with very little aftertaste. I must say that I struggled to pick up on much of the flavour as it really is subtle, others tasting it pointed more to the chocolate and a friend suggested an earthy flavour, it will be interesting to hear what other drinkers find in the creamy depths of Corvus Stout.
Any Irish style stout is going to invite comparisons to Guinness so lets delve into that one, Corvus Stout looks the same if not slightly cleaner, I would say that it was smoother beer and the flavour much more subtle. Talking to those at the bar it seemed to split opinions, some did not like that Corvus was weaker in flavour than Guinness whereas others liked the subtlety – it is likely that Corvus Stout will split Guinness drinkers and I would suggest that those who really like the taste of Guinness will not be swayed whereas those who enjoy the feel and drinkability of a nice cold Irish stout will go for the Corvus.
As for ale drinkers in general, I think that the lack of substantial flavours will mean that most will try it but few will be seeking it out at every opportunity. However, if you are looking for an alternative to Guinness on a hot Summer’s day then Corvus Stout will be just the thing. I found it really quite refreshing and at 4.1% ABV I can see this being a nice sessionable beer and hope that it becomes available in more Wadworth pubs.
Having drank a few pints before and then during my carvery dinner I sat looking at my empty glass and wondered, maybe if Wadworth had been a little more adventurous would a better beer have been made? Or is the appeal in Corvus Stout that it is just an ordinary but nice beer? Time will tell if this becomes the session beer of choice for Irish style stout lovers in Wadworthshire.
Corvus Stout is available in a limited number of pubs through March for you to try:
The Crown, Devizes
The Goat & Tricycle, Bournemouth
The Red Lion, Lacock
The Cleveland Bay, Chandlers Ford
The Victoria, Old Marston, Oxford
The Linden Tree, Gloucester
The Pheasant, Chippenham
The Penny Farthing, Bristol
The Barge, Seend
The Wheelwright Arms, Reading
Thanks to beertoday.co.uk for the tip off and to the Pheasant, Chippenham for the beer.