I picked up this Elgoods Quintessentially English Talon Imperial Stout in the garden centre, when I picked their Q.E. Cherry Wheat Beer. I’d been warned that it wasn’t very good via a Twitter DM, but Shirley third time lucky…?
It poured a deep, dark, mahogany tinged black, with a fluffy tan colored head. The head didn’t last, dropping to pretty much nothing after a few minutes or so. The nose was all bitter chocolate and roasted coffee and was pretty pleasant.
While it felt quite full bodied in the mouth, it also felt a touch on the light side for what is labelled an Imperial Stout. The flavours weren’t as clear cut as the aromas, with little chocolate or coffee in evidence, although there was a decent level of bitterness. There was also a slight sharpness to it, with maybe a hint of sourness, although not unpleasant, it was unexpected. It was really drying though, with the aftertaste having a bit of a manky quality about it, that really wasn’t that nice at all.
I’m probably being a little critical here, but if you’re going to call your beer Talon and stick a picture of an eagle on the label, then maybe the contents of the bottle should reflect the branding? A talon is a sharp claw used primarily for hunting and we all know that big birds like Golden Eagles can carry off lambs to their eyrie and what not. What I’m getting at, is that a talon is generally found on something big and powerful, this beer is neither big nor powerful.
While it wasn’t the worst beer I’ve ever had, it wasn’t exactly the greatest either. I’m not sure if that sharpness was intentional, or just a result of bad storage at the garden centre, either way, I’ll not be rushing out to buy another bottle to find out.