The 2017 winter release from Doctor’s Orders Brewing is a hoppy stout called Malpractice.
I’m all for drinking any style of beer at any time of year. However, there’s something naturally appealing about darker beers in winter.
It makes sense that Doc would release a stout for winter 2017. But in true Doctor’s Orders fashion, it’s anything but predictable. This time, we get a hoppy stout. And it was actually released well before the start of winter.
Malpractice is more than just a winter-time stout. There’s enough provided by the hops, to give a little intrigue and excitement. It sets this apart from the number of other stouts released at this time of year.
Hoppy Stout vs Black IPA
You might question whether a hoppy stout is just a black IPA. That would be a fair question. While Malpractice contains assertive hop aromas up front, beneath that hoppy character there’s a familiar stout base. It’s straight down the line, nicely dry and has a rounded, roasted malt flavour to it, but more than you’d get in a black IPA.
In fact, the finish is reminiscent of well known Irish dry stouts. Although there’s an additional level of bitterness which works beautifully with the dryness.
The body is fairly robust but it remains drinkable. It satisfies in its mouthfeel and in the mid-palate as the comforting roasted character melds with fresh, green and slightly resinous hops.
It’s more than your typical black IPA.
The hop bill has performed well in this beer, adding character to both the aroma and contributed to the bitter taste. Together these add an extra dimension to the dry stout that’s the core of this beer.
Perhaps this rounded hop character comes from the hop hash in the recipe. It really takes the aromas up a notch. Hop hash often contains relatively high levels of alpha acids which could be what’s contributed to the commanding bitterness in this beer.
As Malpractice is a seasonal release and contains a prominent hop profile, this beer is best drunk fresh. Get it home, get it into the fridge and drink it when it’s feeling particularly cold outside. Alternatively, find it on tap at one of Sydney’s fine pubs.
For me, this is a lazy Friday night beer. But if you’re inclined to pair it with food, a figgy pudding or rhubarb crumble with a cardamom custard would go nicely.
From: Sydney, NSW
Beer style: Hoppy stout
Pair with: Figgy pudding and cardamom custard
Have you tried Doctor’s Orders Malpractice this winter? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.