Some interesting things to note about Gorlovka:
1. It is one of the largest districts in the Ukraine, home to the city of Donestk.
2. A meteorite fell there in 1974.
3. A good number of the results when searching for ‘Gorlovka’ link to mail order dating/bridal sites. Crikey.
Thankfully, we’re not here to discuss any of those points, or the district in general. In actual fact, we’re here to talk about the beer, Gorlovka Imperial Stout, brewed by the Acorn Brewery in Barnsley, the town which is twinned with Gorlovka and presumably where the ale gets its name from.
The first thing to note as it poured from the bottle into the tankard was its deep colour. It wasn’t the blackest ale I’d ever seen, but this stout certainly packed an intensity within the deep tones bubbling about in the glass. Upon the first sip, I couldn’t fail to be impressed. It had a real roasty flavour to it, one that had me eager to savour it more. The fact it seemed to smoulder at me probably further helped. As I further delved into it, the liquorice tones made their presence felt most welcomely. I think it lasted me close to an hour on this occasion. At 6.0% ABV, its not the strongest ale but it still packs a punch in its own right, below that rich favour.
The Acorn Brewery was established in 2003 by Dave Hughes, a former chef, and his wife Judi, in the village of Wombwell in Barnsley, and pride themselves on using the same yeast strains and the original Barnsley Brewery, which was founded in the 1850’s. They’ve been going strong ever since and are best known for their ‘supremely popular’ Barnsley Bitter, which is widely available and, like most of the brewery’s ales, has won many awards. Today they supply over 300 free trade outlets and 3 national wholesalers.
Sadly, the same can’t be said for our featured ale. Gorlovka Imperial Stout appears to be out of stock through the official brewery website at present, however My Brewery Tap do stock cases of the stuff, as well as gallons of other fine ales from the Acorn Brewery and more. If you live near a UK local produce/specialist shop it might be worth heading down (I found my review bottle in Czerwik’s in Brighouse, as well as a host of potential new candidates for this feature). Grab yourselves a few bottles. You won’t regret it.