71 / 100
The bizarre and completely off-putting premise of this beer is 'what if beer ingredients didn't exist' so using potato malt and grapefruit for hops. Brewed for, and tried at, GABS 2016 in Melbourne.
Pours a gold colour, slightly cloudy. Head is foamy, creamy and retains nicely. Cool lacing cradle. Looks pretty good.
Smells fruity, and like an IPA. Cake battery caramel malt, esters of apple and mango. Smells like baked goods, with a tropical edge. Quite pleasant really.
Tropical flavour as well on the palate. Mango and apricot stone-fruit character. Bit bland on the malt character with fruity notes dominating. Touch of bitterness towards the back. Really good for how it was supposedly created.
Full body, dry, flat, but not bad.
This is astoundingly good for such a weird premise. So much so that I'm actually a little skeptical if they really put it together in a wholly substituted way rather than just using potato malt/grapefruit along with traditional ingredients. I've no reason to mistrust Mildura Brewery though, so I'm giving them props for creating a really palatable beer from sparse ingredients, and would say that the agri-apocalypse doesn't loom so dark if this is the beers we'd create in the fallout.
71 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a very hazy amber-brown colour with an off-white head almost the colour of orange-flavoured sherbet. Head is a fine, firm ring that leaves some sheeting lace. Carbonation is fine through the solid body. Looks pretty good.
Very mild in the aroma, with almost nothing to it. There's a very faint hint of vanilla, and a flat, neutral mid-malt character. If you search hard for it, you maybe fine a slightly sweet nut praline character, but mostly it's pretty weak.
Light and dry on the initial palate too, but there's some brown malt to give it some basis here, and this allows a lovely nutty character to develop in the middle along with a more biscuity malt note. Back has some sweet chocolate Oreo crunch to it, and a dry finish with lingering sweetness, and just a touch of grass.
Feel is full enough—it's pretty decent for 5% ABV.
Overall, after a slightly inauspicious beginning, this turned out reasonably nicely. I was happy with it by the end.
Pours an amber colour, fair amount of cloudiness throughout. Foamy off-white head, retaining pretty well. Could be darker/browner, but looks nice.
Smells nutty sweet, like a good nut-brown ale should I guess. English toffee with a faint whisper of roastiness. Quite sweet; not bad.
Taste is similar. Bitter nut character to the malt that develops caramel toffee sweetness midway, then finishes somewhat bitter with a slight medicinal edge, not too bad. Quite nutty, maybe a touch of amaretto/marzipan on there which I'm recoiling from a bit, but overall quite nice. Sweet.
Tingly carbonation on the feel, otherwise fairly mild and pleasant.
Nice characters, but a touch sweet for me overall.
Brewed for GABS 2014 in Melbourne, which is where I sampled it on-tap.
Pours a deep amber-brown, fairly clear and reasonably bright. Head is fairly solid although the carbonation (minimal though it is) swirls through it fairly quickly. Head it a fine ring of white perhaps tinged with a suggestion of orange. Not much in the way of lace. Looks okay though.
Nose is glucose-sweet, but very thin, giving a suggestion of carbonated water along with the sugary sweetness. There's a wild peppery smoke that comes through as well, rather pleasantly, but it's a bit weak overall.
Light entry to the palate with a hint of bush smoke to it, before the weakness allows a touch of acidity to poke its head up. A little spice appears on the aftertaste, but otherwise it's very, very weak. Not unpleasant, just weak. Feel is so light that it's almost pointless.
The lightness makes it fairly easy to chug, despite the more interesting flavours that you should supposedly savour. But it just feels as though it's neither providing much in the way of flavour, nor a truly drinkable beer.
61 / 100
Pours a darkish brown colour, clear with a nice head of beige foam. Looks nice.
Smells fairly spicy. Slight caramel malt base with a touch of cinnamon and maybe some coriander/clove combination. Nice piquancy to it but smells more on the savoury side of spicy than sweet, which is what I'd expect from the style.
Taste is similar. More of that cinnamon/coriander blend, sort of sour spicy on the back. Again malt base is light but all ont he front, doesn't fully continue to the back although there is also a warming booze touch on the back of the mouthfeel. Fair bit of spice but it almost tastes like it's yeast-related? Tastes almost like it's just 'incidentally' spicy rather than it all coming from a nice added spice mix. Or maybe it's just I don't really agree with the spice mix used.
Not a bad drop, but would like more balance and a little more malt presence.
60 / 100
Tried on-tap at the GABS Festival in Melbourne. Only now getting around to entering my reviews from the festival, some months down the track.
Pours a deep red-brown colour with some clarity of body and decent weight behind it. Head is a solid ring of beige. Lacing looks decent enough down the glass, and there's some pleasant carbonation when it's tilted. Looks pretty good.
Nose is very mild. Slight musty grain character with just a suggestion of dark fruit around the edges and a hint of chocolate. But mild sums it up: disappointing for a beer weighing in at 6.8% ABV.
Light toasty characters on the front of the palate along with a sight banana or other sweet, fragrant fruit hint. Middle is quite clean with roast coming through to provide a crinkly top note. Some dark fruit does come through on the back along with a suggestion of booze that feels a little anaemic and weak. Feel is extremely light for what it is.
Overall: it's OK, but it's really quite weak. Against the gamut of beers which were at GABS it didn't stand strong, but it's probably alright in isolation.
60 / 100
Had on-tap recently at the Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst. It was a Sunday night, and they had about 6 taps off, so at the time, this was about the most interesting thing they had.
Pours a dark and rather cloudy deep brownâcertainly not a stouty black colour, with a fine ring of milk-chocolate coloured foam. Excellent lacing. Looks good.
Nose is chocolatey, but not too sweet and certainly not very heavy or cloying. Rather bright and light. That might just be thinness of character, but it's rather pleasant. Not a sign of the eponymous hops, however, which is a little disappointing.
Taste is light, but the milk chocolate character here is restrained and pleasantly smooth. Fine enough in the body, but you'd still call it thin. Not bad, but not particularly exciting.
It's smooth and easy to drink, and it's worth something for that. I don't know where the apparent hops were, but the glass I had
poured for me was almost hoplessâit wasn't crying out for hops, but they probably would have made the brew more unique and interesting.
This is an improvement for Mildura in my books. I've not been impressed in the past, but it's good to see them stepping out with this sort of seasonal release.
39 / 100
Pours a very clear golden colour, with some very large bubbles of carbonation that find their way languidly to the top of the glass. Head is almost non-existent, although it fizzed itself out of effervescence on the pour. It ends up the tiniest ring of film around the edge. Looks pretty unappealing, all up, to be honest.
Nose is crisp and a little citric, indeed an acidic character seems very prominent. Quite light, otherwise. Minimal aroma hops. It seems pretty bland.
Taste is actually a bit better. For a start, there's a reasonable bitterness that clings to the centre of the palate, and lengthens the flavours. Body is very light, and there's minimal sweetness throughout, but the sharp, slightly twanging metallic bitterness sticks around for a while, until the back dips into a grainy bready yeast dryness. Feel is light and spritzy, and in some ways helps along the bitterness.
It's not a great beer, and it's not a beer to provide a lot of interest. But it is a drinkable beer, and a reasonably well-made one.
41 / 100
"Best enjoyed in a noisy setting"? What does that say about me enjoying this alone at my desk with a pad of paper in front of me? Don't tell me, I know.
Pours a clean gold with ridiculously huge off-white head that froths up to about 2/3 of the glass. I mean, incredible head. It's a lager though, not a Belgian beer mixed with bubble bath. Slow but impressive carbonation, leaves a nice cloud of lacing as the behemoth head slowly sinks. Bizarre, but really good-looking beer.
Nose is dank and musty, with a lot of woody and resiny characters dominating. Has a slight herbal phenol character and a trace of white wine vinegar. An unusual sweetness just peeks in, quite caramelly but strangled by the dankness. Smells OK I guess, but not very refreshing.
Taste is a lot sweeter, and really none of the complexity of the nose - such as it was - remains. Has a large corn sweetness mixed with a slight bready character, a slight salty hit midway through the palate and a touch of sesame. I think most of the bitter and sour characters are from suspended radicals in the head, because a puff from the head gives a very phenolic character, quite chemical and almost reminiscent of bath soap or shaving cream. It's a shame these characters don't find their way in the body proper, because in moderation a bitter tang like that could add volume to the otherwise insipidly sweet flavour.
Mouthfeels lacks a buzz from the strong bubbling, but is surprisingly full. It doesn't seem thin, just flat.
This beer desperately needs longer hopping, there are elements of bitter in the aroma that just don't come through on the taste, the beer flavour just sits meekly in the corner with its unpopular friend, the adjunct. This isn't outwardly offensive but a bit tough to swallow. Let's just say it has potential but fails to live up to it.
46 / 100
So far so good, slightly cloudy. Translucent appearance. Colour is yellowish, and carbonation is full and eager. Head is of a modest thickness and settles in the middle, leaving a thick lacing crown around the edge. Looks like a pretty decent ale.
Nose is pleasant. Quite APA, with a fair light hop hit generating a decent tropical fruit aroma, with passionfruit, pineapple and pawpaw coming to mind. Not quite as blossomingly fragrant as your LCPA; hops are a bit subdued, but nice all the same.
Tastes considerably more tart, with the hops releasing their acids without generating a huge amount of bright or floral characters on the palate. Front is slightly herbal, while the majority is quite tart, almost puckering, with a citric quality and a fizzy mouthfeel that gives this a consistency reminiscent of pub lemon squash. I think ultimately it's the result of a lot of only one type of hop (amarillo, according to the label), with a base grain that's underemployed, so the hop is dominant yet simple.
It's like a huge, muscular warrior trying to use a huge heavy club to pound a quick, furtive samurai-trained opponent. That is, if you're willing to cast my palate as the quick, nimble opponent who's ready for anything in this horribly tortured analogy.
It just seems a laboured effort, and the palate is too weak to carry it all. Body is thin and uninviting. Overall, a bit bland and too astringent to be hugely enjoyable. Worth a try but not a repeat.
Pours a gold colour - where's the redness, beer? Looks lagery. Slow bead and modest, because, weak, white head. Not great lacing. Looks standard and boring indeed.
Bit of sweetness on the nose, slight buttery smell. Honey a bit as well and a very, very slight bitterness. This is very weak though and too sweet.
Very diacetyl character with a lot of sweet notes, too much malt and virtually no hops. Doesn't grip me at all, because it's not very nice. Simple, poorly brewed, poorly balanced and with a very amateurish palate. I noticed a lot of the comments before me make mention of the fact that this is advertised as having distinct hoppiness and rightly so this should be pounced on.
This beer and its advertising label stink badly, either of marketing conmen or of beer neophytes with a poorly misguided attempt to brew an interesting beer. This is nothing like the good beer described, and nothing like a good beer. All I can say, Mildura, is scrap everything and try again.
49 / 100
After trying (and disliking) two of the other beers brewed by this brewery, I felt slightly masochistic going in for another - fortunately, this WAS better than the Mallee Bull and the Murray Honey Wheat.
Pours cloudy (at least that's right) orange-golden golour. Good solid head, fine carbonation. Pretty good look to it, to be honest.
Pungent butterscotch nose with a int of citrus. The two don't mesh though, so it ends up smelling like a butter menthol cough lolly. It's not altogether bad, but the major elements just to work together, and it ends up being overpowering and sickening after a while.
The taste is better though, although that's probably not too difficult. Slight citrussy fruit palate, but it has a very long clinging aftertaste, which recalls the sticky slightly-off butterscotch of the nose. Not great, but it has some character to it at least, More than can be said for the other two brews of theirs I've had.
Mouthfeel smooth a suitable for the style.
Overall, it's the best Mildura Brewery beer I've had, but it's not up against much competition.
11 / 100
(Bottom of the Barrel)
Clear light yellow body, with a coarse-bubbled scummy head fed by massive carbonation. Doesn't look too appealing.
Smells a little like bread dough, with a good dollop of vomit and soda water. No hint of sweetness, hops or vegetativ grassiness that I'd expect. Not even any honey, which while not my favourite smell in a beer, is the least I expect from a honey wheat.
Tangy, vomit flavour, followed by a horrible clinging yeasty aftertaste (it reminds me of the afterpalate of Carlton Draught). It's terrible, but at the same time, it's almost tasteless. Mouthfeel is very bubbly and aerated, which makes it worse, because it's like it's trying to induce vomiting.
This is not a good beer at all. I found very little to enjoy about this one, and ended up tipping half of it down the sink.
Presentation: 330ml brown bottle. Cap is inordinately difficult to remove. Black and red label depicting said "Mallee Bull", or what I can only assume is a Mallee Bull. Freshness date 10/12/06.
Appearance: Golden copper hue. Clear. Lots of carbonation. Slightly off white head, which is full and robust. The meringue-y head stays well, only diminishing to a collar near the end of the glass. Excellent lacing. It's a shame the beer is all downhill from here.
Smell: Somewhat burnt roasted hints on the nose. Little hop fragrance noticeable, and overall rather subdued.
Taste: Starts with a roasted hint, but is followed by a harsh metallic twang. Finish is sour and astringent. It's like chewing on aluminium foil. The pungent metallic taste overpowers what little else there is. It reminds me of that sour, rancid taste left in your mouth after you've puked. Maybe not that bad, but that's what it reminds me of.
Mouthfeel is quite light, some noticeable carbonation.
Well, at least there was some taste noticeable here, unlike what previous reviewers have experienced, but I'm pretty sure this isn't what they were aiming for. I don't know if this batch got infected or what, but I sure hope it's not meant to taste like that.