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I always welcome reviews of my reviews. Shane from DOT Brew reckoned I was off the mark in my assessment of his Last Night coffee and cocoa imperial stout, published in December. He thinks I got a bad can and offered to replace it, but it was as easy for me to pick up another on my next visit to Molloy's. So here we go again. I'm tasting this on a fresh palate and without reference to my original review.

There's nothing wrong with the aroma: it's a rich mix of dark chocolate and extremely dark-roast coffee for two different kinds of tarry bitterness. I'm enticed straight away. There's a certain briskness in the foretaste: a kind of Flanders red or oude bruin tart quality, balsamic or red wine vinegar, though not a flaw and not lasting long. Behind it there's the 10% ABV imperial stout I would expect. The coffee and chocolate are back in a big way, a little syrupy but not cloying or difficult. It's maybe a little disappointing that the flavour mostly comes from unsubtle adjuncts and the base beer doesn't make much contribution, but taken on its own merits there is nothing wrong with the beer; it's a very tasty and rich warmer with a fun tart twist.

Looking back now at the original review, it's not a million miles different: the same elements were there but that sourness was pushed much higher, at least in my perception of the beer at the time. I would like to think that there was something bacterially askew with that can, but it could easily be down to the same beer hitting differently on a different day. Your mileage may vary; mine certainly does.

On to new business, and DOT has another collaboration stout, this one via Redmond's of Ranelagh. Tokaji Stout means Tokaji barrels, and it's another imperial job, this time a little lighter at 9.8% ABV. It appeared quite dead as it poured, looking more like a sample from a fermenter than the finished product. As it settles, a thin head formed briefly enough to be photographed and then disappeared just as promptly. The beer itself is fairly flat, which is not in its favour. I get a dollop of soy-sauce umami in the aroma, though also a sweeter honeycomb side indicating that Tokaji is in the house. That dessert wine sweetness, with a slightly sticky side, is very much a feature of the flavour, where it matches quite beautifully with the chocolatey stout. Not for the first time, I've found an excellent DOT beer that just needs a bit of an extra push on the conditioning front to bring it properly to life. The way it successfully brings together disparate flavours, however, is exemplary.

Stout may not be DOT's particular area of expertise -- their barrel-aged pale ales have the beatings of everything else they do -- but both of these are very decent. I'm glad I was prompted to give Last Night a second go.