Let's talk about Black Lung X - Black Lung is a Barrel Aged Stout that Moon Dog brewing make each year. Basic maths tells me for the last 10 years. Untappd tells me I've enjoyed 2 (way back in 2012), 3, 4, 5, somehow I missed 6 but was back on it for 7,8,9 and now 10.
The concept is pretty simple make a base imperial stout, except is a peated stout, so it's very smokey to start with and then throw it in a barrel, which barrel, well that's different each year, there has been whiskey, bourbon, red wine, tequila, gin, and then this year Islay Whiskey barrels from Laphroaig.
Now if you know who Laphroaig are you'll know they make peated whiskey, so we have a peated imperial stout barrel aged in a peated whiskey barrels - to say this thing is smokey is an understatement - but it's also insanely drinkable, it's 12% but it's smooth and silky and not at all boozy.
Now I'm telling you about this because this week I went to the launch of number 10 at the Moondog Brewery which is called Moondog World - which is a very large brewery, with a bar which seats 725 people, has a lagoon in the middle of it and 72 beer taps (pretty much all serving Moondog, that's how many beers they produce). It's a far cry from the original brewery (which still exists as Moondog OG) which was tiny, but I spent many a good night there.
The lagoon, pic from Crafty Pint
So for the launch they had a degustation event. Five courses of food, five beers, or more correctly four beers because they opened and closed it with Black Lung - opening paired with Oysters kilpatrick (which is pretty classic stout pairing) and closing with a Doughnut, chococlate ice cream and pears - versitile - sure.
*The opening Black lung with a ill-advised starter beer which I got on the way to the table *
Between those bookends we were served some amazing food. Tempura Prawn with Yuzu mayo which was paired with a classic pilsener called Pilhouse Van Houten.
And an half Spatchcock with Indonesian coconut curry paired with a West coat IPA called, and stick with me here even if you don't know anything about cricket... My Nets, My Bats, Mike Hussey and Howzat! which incidentally is the pair in the photo above - 72 pairs to choose from on the pair and I choose something which they were serving to us later - oh well, lucky it was good.
But the stand-out was an unreleased beer called The Duke of Chifley which is a B13.3% Barley Wine which has been aged in Starward Whiskey Barrels, yeah this was the type of event where they just sneak in that beer whilst you weren't watching. It was pair with the amazing (and not blurry in real life) Smoked Mushroom parfait, charcoal cone, sour cream and dark chocolate powder dish and everything about this was amazing - how they make beer this big but this smooth is just astounding.
So if you are in Melbourne Australia make the trip out to Preston to go to Moondog World it is a little bit like a themepark for people who love beer and if you see any of the Moondog beers in bottleshops buy one, hell buy to. You will need a mortgage for the Black Lung X as it is AUD$38 a bottle - that's about $24Euro or $30 USD - but it's worth it.