Sabotage was the GABS 2016 beer from Shenanigans Brewing Co.
Sabotage is complex beast, it’s an oatmeal stout aged on bourbon soaked oak chips, with single origin coffee, cocoa nibs and chocolate jolokia ghost chilli. Yeah, like I said, complex.
It’s nice to see the 2016 GABS beer get a packaged release, although this is a limited run and comes into Shenanigans’ “Stunt Beer’ series of creative, experimental brews. You’ll want to get hold of it soon.
While this beer packed a nice little punch in a GABS taster size, it’s rewarding to be able to crack open a bottle and mull over it for a while or share it with friends.
A Multitude Of Flavours
The bottle tastes oaky with a mild chilli aftertaste and a moderate burn which swells and grows at the back of your tongue and in your throat.
The oak is pretty prominent and the chocolate is subtle but together they provide a nice balance and obvious complementary flavour to the chilli. The chocolate, coming from cocoa nibs, also retains that flavour that you typically expect from a stout, meaning the familiar taste of “beer” isn’t lost among the bold oak and chilli.
Restrained In All The Right Places
Shenanigans Sabotage is single hopped with Topaz and this provides a perfect level of bitterness. Although there are a lot of flavours in this beer, you can still taste the oatmeal stout underneath it all.
Along with the bitterness the mouthfeel is just right, not overly thick but with a slight palate coating, satin-like feeling and a finish that’s just a tiny bit dry.
Interestingly, there was very little variation between the beer on tap at GABS and in the bottle.
The name comes from the fact that the Shenanigans boys brewed up a perfectly good stout and then went and sabotaged it with chilli.
For a complex, boozy stout with so many ingredients and different flavour components, Sabotage possesses impressive balance. It’s a stout which is drinkable and far less challenging than one might initially think.For a complex stout with so many ingredients and flavours, @ShenanigansBrew Sabotage possesses impressive balance. Click To Tweet
Allow Time To Enjoy
Shenanigans Sabotage is a beer that’s well worth sitting on for a while to enjoy, particularly so you can let it warm to room temperature and allow some of the complex flavours to come out more.
With this beer it would be best to choose complementary flavours if pairing with food. A gooey dark chocolate and chilli tart would be perfect as an accompanying dessert, or chilli coated oysters would work as grazing course.
From: Inner West, NSW
Beer style: Oatmeal stout (with chilli)
Pair with: Gooey dark chocolate and chilli tart
Malts: Ale, Oats, Crystal, Victory and Roasted Barley
Other: Organic coconut sugar, bourbon soaked oak chips, single origin Guatemalan El Zapote coffee beans, organic cocoa nibs and chocolate jolokia ghost chilli
Have you tried Shenanigans Sabotage? Leave a comment and share whether you had it at GABS or if you bought a bottle.