Jumping the Shark 2013 began the launch of what was intended to be a series of annual specials from Moon Dog has something of the PR strategist's approach about it. Namely: own the attack before your opponent can. For the uninitiated in leather jacket-wearing, quiff-haired pop culture references, "jumping the shark" refers to an episode of Happy Days in which The Fonz jumps a shark on waterskis (while still wearing his leather jacket). It was seen as the defining moment at which the long-running show could be said without a shadow of a doubt to have passed its peak and to be entering decline.
It was also a moment that was quite ridiculous, which is a concept that the chaps at Moon Dog are familiar with, and a concept that they clearly decided to push to the extreme when coming up with the first Jumping The Shark. Inspired, presumably, by the single keg of truffle stout they made for one of their Good Beer Week events at Rockwell & Sons, it does nothing by halves, more by quadruples. It's huge even by imperial stout standards - 15.4 per cent - has been aged in Cognac barrels and, as la piÃ¨ce de rÃ©sistance, features $4,000 worth of Tasmanian black truffles. So: ridiculous. Ridiculous and probably the best beer they've released. Despite the high alcohol content, it presents beautifully, with a tight brown head and soft carbonation, is as opaque as anti-matter and has enough going on to mask the understandable booziness in the aroma pretty well. Earthy, chocolatey, boozily fruity, molassesy and long and smooth on the palate, it's as much of a triumph for Moon Dog as Henry Winkler landing his skis.