Ogden Nash's Pash Rash - Raspberry Candy Imperial Stout
Yes this is the third Moondog brew I have written about. "Is Scoffer sponsored?" I hear you cry. "The Beer Scoffer is in the pocket of Big Doggy" they crow. Well to those I say, I tried their cherry sour ale and it was shite, insipid bollocks.
Let's get onto something more interesting with the Pash Rash which I really hope is not just a fun name. I had not heard of the man in question before but following some brief Googling I discovered Ogden Nash appears to be a mid 1900s poet whose work could not be less up my alley. "Candy Is dandy But liquor Is quicker", is a popular one. Not for me Ogden - I shan't be getting any pash rash from you. With poetry corner completed I'll talk about something I have any kind of grounding in, beer.
This week's glass contains a Raspberry Candy Imperial stout. This brew is made from those impossibly sweet Aussie lollies formerly known as Redskins, with around 5800 being shelled before going into each batch brewed. This seems like an odd combination, the clash of sweetness into a stout seems somehow forbidden, the addition of children's sweets to old man's stout seems incongruous and there is a little "look at me" instagram-able wackiness in there. And yet, that mix of sweet and savory is a vintage combination: fried chicken and waffles, salted caramel, honey and cheese. Will this be a new classic combination or just a silly experiment hunting for likes?
The nose is brilliant reminiscent of a sarsaparilla, sweet and caramelly and there are some mocha chocolatey notes going on in here. The mix of the deep chocolate flavours with the raspberries is pulling my mind towards a Black Forest gateau. And sure, that's cherry and not raspberries but go with me on this. The differences are stark and incongruous and yet they seem to balance.
The bottom half of this is stout. Real sit yourself down in a leather armchair and nurse your glass while embers burn in the hearth stout. There is a slow thoughtfulness, a calculating quality which makes me want to sit quietly and consider deep issues. Then there is the top half, the lighter notes and big sweetness of the lollies adding the playful side. There is also the carbonation, which I often don't even notice but here it seems important. A stout would or even should not be anything beyond lightly carbonated but this does not obey those rules. The carbonation here is adding more childlike playfulness, assisting in picking up the top notes of the raspberries, the sweetness and the tartness.
Do I like it? I'm coming close to the end of the glass and I'm still not sure. Perhaps that's the point? This conflict is not easy to define, certainly it is different and fun and absolutely worth a try but I don't think we've quite landed on Italian blue cheese and honey.
RRP $11.99 - Purvis Beer in Richmond