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Des de Moor
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Des de Moor


Wye Valley Dorothy Goodbody’s Imperial Stout

ABV: 7%
Origin: Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire, England

Dorothy Goodbody's

An extended review of a beer featured as a strong and special beer  on the bottled beer review page in the November 2010 issue of BEER magazine, sent free every quarter to CAMRA members, who can also view it online. The magazine is additionally available in selected newsagents.

When you’re a brewer puzzling over how to mark an anniversary with a special brew, you could either go out on a limb by doing something completely different, or choose one of your old favourites and give it a special twist. Herefordshire-based Wye Valley is one of Britain’s oldest established new wave micros: in 2010 it’s celebrating its 25th anniversary, having been founded in 1985 by well-known industry figure Peter Amor, whose son Vernon is now MD.

Its outstanding range of bottled beers under the Dorothy Goodbody brand always provides a reliable Real Ale in a Bottle option on supermarket and speciality off license shelves, including one of Britain’s very best bottled dry stouts. So there’s an obvious logic to a limited edition of 6,000 bottles of anniversary Imperial Stout, presented in an attractive presentation box.

Wye Valley makes a virtue of local suppliers and the stout contains Maris Otter pale malt specially grown for the brewery in nearby Canon Pyon, where it was once based, alongside crystal and chocolate malts, roasted and flaked barley, and Northdown and Challenger hops from Penningtons in Madley.

The result is a very dark ruby beer with a bubbly nutmeg head and a milk chocolate and caramel aroma. There’s more chocolate and caramel in the smooth and creamy palate, which is sweetish with touches of blackcurrant fruit and bitter coffee and a notably low condition with only a gentle sparkle. A slightly sticky, cakey finish has more chocolate and a crackle of roast and hops, with a late rooty spiciness emerging.

It’s an unctuous and satisfying beer that’s enjoyable as a bigger sister of Dorothy’s regular Wholesome Stout – but if you’re expecting an imperial stout with challenging and intense flavours, you might be a little disappointed.


Buy this beer from as part of a special pack containing all the beers featured on my beer review page in BEER this month. BEER readers receive a special discount by entering the voucher code shown in the magazine.

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