From Matangi, Hamilton, Bootleg Brewery always seem to be fairly quiet producers, right up until awards season when they always seem to be back on my radar. This year it’s for their New World Top-30 winning smoked stout, T Straight (5.9% ABV). Seriously smoky on the nose, with cedar and smoldering beechwood floating above the dark roasted coffee and chocolate from the roasted malts. The palate shows a flash of salty driftwood before the dark malt flavours go on display. It wraps up keenly dry for a stout, as the smoke winds its way around the firm bitterness into the long finish. Tremendous winter drinking, and a superb match for rich and savoury comfort food.