Ah, January, here you are again, replete with blustery dankness (and not the good kind) from endlessly grey, cloudy skies. I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s utterly rubbish.
Somewhat remarkably it’s during this, the bleakest portion of midwinter, that capitalism has conspired to convince us this is the perfect time to exercise a newfound interest in abstinence. Want to kindle whatever ember of the Christmas spirit still resides within you with some nourishing carbohydrates? Forget it, pal. Fancy hiding in a cosy pub with a nice pint, avoiding rain lashing sideways as Storm Brendan does an absolute number on us? Not a chance, mate. Society dictates that as the weather plummets to the lowest of lows, now is also the time to eschew the comforts that might actually help us cope with it.
Except me. Because right now I’m sat here enjoying a can of Pilot’s Double Mochaccino Imperial Stout, all 9.5% of it. As the name suggests, this is an amped up version of Pilot’s core Mochaccino Stout. It’s rich, it’s sweet and it’s very, very indulgent, almost overburdened with flavours of vanilla, cacao and molasses. This is a modern pastry stout in almost every sense, but there is a little dryness and softness of body preventing it from becoming too cloying. It’s a very well put together beer.
I know, it’s not going to do anything for your figure, and it’s hardly Keto compliant with all that lactose, is it? Shame, as it really is quite delicious. Oh go on, take it from me, someone who exercises regularly and actually enjoys it – dieting is far more pleasant when the sun is shining and you’re not 3km into a 10km woodland jog, ankle-deep in freezing cold mud and cursing the fact that when you do finally return to the warm embrace of home there isn’t even a comforting can of impy stout in the fridge to ease those aching calves.
In all seriousness, I do wish you the best of luck with those new year's resolutions. I’ve been there, done that, and realised that I’m more than happy to keep on indulging myself for just a little bit longer. Until longer evenings, warmer weather and the soft silhouette of my beer belly begins to creep back in, at least.
Matthew Curtis is a writer, photographer and editor of Pellicle Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @totalcurtis and @pelliclemag. Pick up a can of Pilot’s Double Mochaccino Stout here and to be first to read articles from Matt and our food writer Claire Bullen, why not subscribe to our All Killer No Filler subscription box?