What's more powerful than an Empress? An Empress fueled by nitrous oxide, of course! Brew York have given their popular Empress Tonkoko milk stout a nitro boost, amping up the flavours and the smoothness to regal levels of good.
Full of tropical coconutty flavours backed up by the decadence of chocolate and vanilla, with a cheeky tonka bean flavour thrown in for good measure. This is proof positive that you can still improve on a good thing to make it great.
The nitro gives it a really satisfying smoothness, flattening any carbonation effectively to allow the flavours of the beer to shine and not be overshadowed by fizz.
It pours with a thick, foamy head as is typical of nitro brews, releasing aromas of chocolate and earthy coconut which are very alluring as it pours forth.
The flavour is interesting, with the coconut element really playing the main part at first as the cacao and vanilla combine towards the end of the flavour profile with their subtle sweetness. I was very surprised at how light this one was despite the double-figure strength, the flavours doing very well to negate an alcohol burn - for the most part.
The aftertaste is malty and chocolatey, not unlike a milkshake but with a much more obvious boozy kick which, despite all the flavours, still cuts through with an afterburn.
The original Empress Tonkoko can is quite light and milky coloured, but that's being replaced in the nitro version with a much darker, grittier scene. We're still treated to an oriental vibe with the arch on the hill behind and the blossom trees at the top of the can, but there's a much more sinister element to this one.
Brew York's can backs are fantastic for providing a lot of information about the beer and i've spoken before about how i'm a big fan of their spider graphs for flavour and tasting experience. An interesting can design all round.
You'll have to root around your local bottle shop for this one like we did, or keep an eye out online at Brew York's website for when they have more back in stock. It costs £7.50 but it's worth every penny.