Murray's Craft Brewing Co.
Murrays/The Crafty Pint Auld Bulgin Boysterous Bicep
Brewery: Murrays Craft Brewing Co.
Style: Imperial Stout
Format: 330ml Bottle
The unlikely tale of the Auld Bulgin' Boysterous Bicep rolls on, getting smokier and fishier as it goes. For those new to the beer, it began as an idea at Crafty Towers for a beer to enter the Beervana 2012 Media Brew competition, became a 10 percent smoked imperial oyster and mussel stout brewed with a Trappist yeast, won the competition with a perfect score and was scaled up from that 20 litre batch to a commercial release last year. Murray's head brewer Shawn Sherlock said it would never be repeated but relented in the end, in part due to a desire to see how the 100s of blue and green-lipped mussels and Port Stephens oysters would work in the hopback of his new brewery and also as last year's batch failed to make it as far and wide around the country as intended.
For this year's batch, the percentage of peated distilling malt was increased (despite Shawn once saying it was the peated malt he feared in beer more than the molluscs) and the beer returned. If anything, this year's third version allows more of its composite parts to share the spotlight. The distinctly fruity esters of the Belgian yeast are apparent alongside the sweet smoke aromas, while the salty brininess of the late addition of seafood comes into play at the end once the rich mid-palate malts have done their thing. It may sound weird (and given it's the only commercial beer The Crafty Pint has helped design we're undoubtedly biased) but it is a uniquely delicious beer. (Unless you're allergic to shellfish; one prominent Sydney sommelier and bar owner with an aversion to shellfish was desperate to try it last year and figured the levels of mollusc would be minimal – only to fall ill and come out in hives for a couple of days afterwards. At least he knew we weren't kidding about the mussels and oysters!)
WHAT OTHER CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING
Smoked nose. Smoky salt upfront dark chocolate and coffee to dry salty finish. Smoke linger.
Another amazing Murrays stout!
Seriously dark stuff - sump oil black with a near brown head. Exhibits brooding aromas of espresso, bitter chocolate & liquorice, with an integrated deep, rich earthy smokiness.
Palate is thick, unctuous, has a certain creamy slickness similar to the oysters used in the brewing. It delivers big stout flavour with amazing complexity, balance with hints of peaty smoke & typical Murrays hop bite. Don't be put off by the "shelf fish" gimmick; this is a really good beer!