We’re trying to drink one beer every week from a brewery that’s new to us and this time round it’s a Jaffa Cake milk stout from Neon Raptor of Nottingham.
We’ve actually found ourselves having to hunt round a bit to find unfamiliar breweries. There might be 2,000 or so of them but it turns out that in Bristol, you only tend to see about, say, 150 of those in circulation.
To find Total Eclipse, we had to go to a pub that’s not on our usual rounds because we haven’t really warmed to it over the years — that is, the Famous Royal Navy Volunteer, or Volly.
What do you expect from a beer with 7.4% ABV, vapourwave branding and a lactose warning? It is not subtle. It is loud, and best looked at through Ray Bans.
One definite point in its favour was that it had the weight of its strength, being positively chewy. It looks like chocolate sauce and, yes, that’s about the texture it achieves too.
The reference to Jaffa Cakes is misleading — the orange and chocolate here are both bitter, and intense. We certainly found ourselves thinking of confectionery, though: Mum’s Christmas box of Black Magic, crystallised ginger, candied peels.
Ray liked it; Jess less so. She detected a dirty background flavour, something earthy, like… potatoes? But overall, once again, it was kind of fun, and we’ve got another brewery to keep an eye out for.