Red Hill Brewery
from Australia (Victoria)
45th highest rated brewery (of 635)
Highest RatedRed Hill Wheat Beer (88 / 100) Average score64 / 100 (Solid)
Lowest RatedWild Cherry (30 / 100) Number Tried48
The Dark Horse Schwarz
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 18.07.17 on tap
Overall:
56 / 100
(OK)
Tried on tap at GABS festival 2017.

Pours a dark brown colour; a bit pale for the style maybe, but the head and lacing are pretty nice; pale brown beigey colour, large bubbles but retaining well.

Smells quite malty, but not a whole lot on there. Touch of vanilla and a slight subtle roast character. Bit uninspiring.

Malty on the palate as well. Caramel grain upfront, that develops some subtle complexities midway, slightly sweet with a dark dried fruit character. Hint of roast and a bit earthy on the back. Predictable, and fairly subdued. Not great.

Body is a bit thin, but goes down decently. What I expect from the style and not badly delivered.

Not a bad schwarzbier, but nothing special. I don't dislike this like I dislike most schwarzbiers, so maybe I'm finally resigned to the fact that they will never really impress me.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.25
The Dark Horse Schwarz
Reviewed by Jez on 02.07.17 on tap
Overall:
52 / 100
(OK)
Tried on-tap in a taster at GABS in Melbourne.

Pours a brown, clear hue, light in the body with fine carbonation. Head is pale beige that forms as a bubbly ring. Lacing forms in solid sheets, meaning it ends up looking reasonably good.

Nose is underwhelming. Vegetal notes give a kind of hay or grass-like aroma, turning into a musty grain bag note. There's other odd notes as well: savoury stock aromas and a sharpness like almond meal. It's not bad, but it's a little bit off.

Light and dry entry to the palate is okay, and it develops into a relatively pleasant toastiness on the middle of the palate. By this stage, though, there's pronounced yeastiness coming through, turning almost to a trub-like yeast cake taste on the back palate. Fortunately, the schwarz character clean it up in the finish, leaving it light and clear, and with a slight bite from the darker malts.

Feel is crisp. Quite suitable.

Yeah, that yeast note is a real shame, because it dominates the mid palate. I will admit that after it warms up a bit, the yeast is less prominent—but it's still an unfortunate character that diminishes the brew as a whole.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Wild Cherry
Reviewed by Jez on 21.10.16 in bottle
Overall:
30 / 100
(Nasty)
330ml brown bottle purchased from Leura Cellars.

Pours a mahogany tinged golden amber colour, with a very enthusiastic head of large pinkish bubbles. The settles out after crackling itself down, leaving minimal lace. Body is light, but with small streams of persistent carbonation. Looks decent.

Nose is filled with a pithy cherry note, matched with a saison yeast character that's very much down the earthy, gravelly end of the spectrum. This does the fruit no favours, as it accentuates the aromas of seed and skin rather than the lighter, more delicate flesh. Because the cherry is dominant as well, it doesn't have a depth of complexity to it—that one aroma is basically it. It's disappointing.

Taste is similar, or, if anything, slightly worse. Here the earthy character from the saison is accentuated further, with a tannic bite from the fruit which leaves an unpleasant astringent character on the back of the palate. Body is bone dry, which doesn't help anything either, and it leaves the bit of astringency on the back with nothing to shield it.

Overall, I'm really very unimpressed. This is a poor effort from Red Hill, who do a very decent regular Saison. But this is just a bad idea, or done in a very naive way. The cherries do not help here: in fact they're to the absolute detriment of the beer.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.25 | drinkability: 2.0
Killer Bee
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 17.08.16 on tap
Overall:
49 / 100
(Not Great)
Red Hill did a braggot for GABS? I genuinely don't remember this beer either in the lead-up or in the experience. Thankfully I have good tasting notes to remind me.

Pours a dark-amber colour, brown really. Clear with sparsely-webbed head of beige foam. Looks a bit darker than expected, but OK.

Smells sweet, medicinal. Kind of phenolic-spicy but a big hint of that honey-booze character that just produces clear ethanoic aroma. Not great.

Yeah taste is somewhat worse. Empty booze. Sweet notes upfront, with caramel and vanilla blending into maybe a touch of honey retention on the mid but then the simple sugar fermentation comes through and it's hot and insubstantial. Touch of roast midway and then back is quite medicinal. Not great.

Decent body, but flat without a lot of texture. Warming alcohol.

Yeah, braggots generally don't do much for me, nor does using honey in beer at all. Empty booze with musty notes. The roast here is the saving grace as it adds some much-needed character.
appearance: 3.25 | aroma: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Bright Red
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 23.02.16 in bottle
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
Bottle gifted me by Jez at Christmas; shared with folks down the south coast.

Pours a dark orange-amber, with off-white head, whispy on top and large bubbles at the edges. Bit of lacing left behind. Bit of cloud. Pretty decent.

Smells decent. Good citric hop notes with peach and passion too. Bit of mint, some spicy notes as well. Yeah, good blend of Belgian phenols and some fresh hop aroma.

Taste is a bit disappointing. Metallic largely, with some phenolic notes midway. Quite bitter and a bit soapy towards the back. Sour, woody characters as well. Dry Belgian yeast notes, but not a lot of the IPA flavour coming through, really. Not bad Belgian palate but a bit sour overall, not enough lightness or indeed hop bitterenss.

Bit of presence in the mouth, some bitty notes, decent body.

OK but seems more IPA-esque on the nose and more Belgian on the palate. Drinkable though.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Batch 1000 - Red Tripel
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 11.01.16 in bottle
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
Bottle gifted me by Jez, shared with folks on NYE.

Pours a dark red, clear with large bubbles. Head is beige, not a lot to it. Lace is decent. Not bad.

Smells roasty, malty and fairly phenolic. Touch of spice. But yeah largely maltgasmic, sweet with vinous notes as well. Vinous, slightly tart. Redcurrants, some raisins. Decent.

Taste is fairly dark-fruity, somewhat medicinal. Phenolic, spicy. Touch boozey late on the palate. Yeah, mostly fruity then a vinous, sherry-like flavour midway. Finishes a little hot and boozey. Medicinal too, remains fairly sweet. Bit heavy but good flavours.

Dryish, mildly boozey. Otherwise fluid.

Decent tripel flavours, I don't get much from it being red though. Maybe some additional curranty esters. But apart from the whole Red Hill-Red Beer gimmick I'd be perfectly happy if this were just a normal-coloured tripel; I just don't think they've put enough of a twist on the beer itself.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.75
The Red Rooster
Reviewed by Jez on 31.12.15 in bottle
Overall:
73 / 100
(Very Good)
330ml brown bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.

Pours a pleasant deep reddish-brown, hazy in the depths, but letting light filter through at the edges. Head is initially very frothy and loose, but condenses into a fairly firm ring that leaves a few thick streaks of sudsy lace. Body has a bit of heft to it, but remains fluid. Looks pretty good.

Nose is pretty decent. Firm mid malts gives it a bit of sweetness which wraps a slight farmyard funk with tones of cinnamon spiced hay. Some Belgian yeast notes give a rounded fragrance as well. It's nicely done.

Taste is also pretty good. Here it has those yeast notes, that vague suggestion of funk, and plenty of caramel sweetness. But the body is light, and there's a pleasant (and suitable) metallic note through the centre that balances, and seems to give all the other characters something to pivot on. It's nice.

Feel is fairly frothy and a little gassy, but to be honest, that's a common trait in many bières de garde, so again it's not unsuitable.

Overall, this is a very solid representation of the style, executed well. I'm perhaps a little lukewarm due to the fact that I'm often a little lukewarm to the style as a whole, but there's very little wrong with it. I think it'd hold up for some of the stalwarts of the style.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.75
Bright Red Belgian IPA
Reviewed by Jez on 31.12.15 in bottle
Overall:
44 / 100
(Not Great)
330ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.

Pours a startling colour like stewed rhubarb, which was quite surprising until I read the back and discovered it's brewed with hibiscus flowers. Head is frothy and pretty solid, staying as a fairly full, meringue-top of pale pink. Lacing is clumpy. Body is light. Once you get over the colour, it looks pretty decent.

Nose is surprisingly mild. There's a little bit of vague earthy spice and a sprightly kind of tartness. The hibiscus gives it a suggestion of fruit and mild bite, a little like green apple juice. I'm struggling to find much IPA in there, to be honest.

Taste is similar. There's a slightly earthy bitterness on the back, which feels at least partially due to yeast characters rather than hops, but layered over this is that weird tartness from the hibiscus and a slight mineral astringency. There's just not enough pleasant flavours in there, and some of the other flavours take off a little too much and become a little bit aggressive.

Overall, I'm not a fan. This had things that were mildly unpleasant about it and not enough good things to counteract them. It's not a bad beer, but it feels a little like an ill-conceived beer, or a beer that doesn't warrant its existence. I mean, I'll try it once, as part of a series, but it's certainly pretty disappointing.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 2.75
Red Hill Belgian Blonde
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 14.07.15 in bottle
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)
Bottle given to me by Jez for my birthday; shared with Andrew.

Pours a bright orange, light whispy head. Decent lace. Nice character but more head would be nice for the style.

Smells malty, somewhat like simple sugar fermentation. Candi sugar, touch of phenol and spice - pepper and maybe fennel as well. Decent, standard Belgian aroma.

Taste is phenolic, yeah. Fair malt upfront, gets ethyl alcohol flavour midway, then some phenolic, medicinal notes late, but still quite sweet with a caramelised edge. Pretty nice; balanced, appealing sweetness.

Decent body, good texture. Very nice feel in the mouth.

To style, but really nicely handled. I think Red Hill are probably the best Aussie brewery at doing Belgian styles, and since a lot of actual Belgian beers I get in bottle shops are often past their shelf-life, these are well worth checking out.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | drinkability: 4.0
Red Smoke
Reviewed by Jez on 11.07.15 on tap
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.

Pours a nice amber hue, tending to red certainly and quite clear with a fairly fluid body. Head is yellowish, forming a fine but thin crest of head. Nice fine rings of lace as it goes down. Loose carbonation when tilted. Looks pretty decent.

Nose is smoky and a little peppery. There's a slight vegetative hop note that makes its way through the rauch, but mostly it's soft, smoky and meaty. Pretty decent.

Slight smoke on the front with a bit of bitey savoury grain. Lots of sweet caramel malts in the centre though which cloys a little and obscures the smoke. Back has a slight bite and a touch of booze. A mild bitterness mingles with the smoke to make it seem ashy, and leaves a lingering mineral character in the aftertaste.

Feel is very light. It's okay for this style of beer but it does make the booze feel a little sharp though.

Overall, it's decent, and pretty drinkable, with some well-worked smoke. It's not an absolute standout at GABS, although I'd probably enjoy it in isolation.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.75
Red Smoke
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 15.06.15 on tap
Overall:
64 / 100
(Solid)
They call this a 'rauchbock'. Brewed for GABS 2015.

Pours an amber colour, slight sedimenty hints throughout. Head is beige, large bubbles but a bit thin. More head and it would be great.

Mild smoke on the nose, but not much else. Slight malty grain with a touch of smoke. Eh.

Taste is better. Nice big savoury smoke hit. Nutty malt upfront with a touch of walnut and a hint of banana, develops smoke midway with a slight herbal note. Hit of booze on the finish. Quite a foody tasting beer; savoury. Pleasant.

Body is thin which allows alcohol to seep through a bit. Not bad though.

Decent beer, but could use a bit more smoke and a bit less booze.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Red Hill Festbier
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 05.12.13 on tap
Overall:
64 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a gold colour, clear with thin rim of webbed-out lace. Looks a bit still and listless.

Smells quite German. Malty notes with a touch of oats, sourdough and caramel. Big brassy note as well. Malt-driven nose; not bad.

Taste runs along similar lines. Oatmeal, sweet caramel malts drive through this. Slight metallic touch on the back but otherwise pretty simple, easy-drinking malt-driven beer.

Decent body, goes down smoothly and quite pleasant overall.

Trust Red Hill to bring something traditional - conservative, even - to a festival like this, but do it very well.
appearance: 2.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Red Hill Festbier
Reviewed by Jez on 08.07.13 on tap
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
Tried on-tap at the GABS festival 2013 in Melbourne.

Pours a pleasant copper colour, quite clear and light, but unfortunately with very little head. What's there is a slight bubbly ring that granted does leave some rings of lace as well as it goes down. Not the greatest look, but not bad.

Nose is coppery at the start, with a slightly rustic grain character to it—it is certainly reminiscent of the big German märzens, at least. Some apple comes through as well, which is slightly less good, but it's still reasonably decent.

Light and crisp entry on the palate with a suggestion of spice. This spiciness turns into a true phenolic character mid-palate, giving a slight overtone of medicine. On the back is some pleasant crisp German grain characters which clean it up somewhat.

Feel is light and biting.

Overall, it's decent enough, and it has that solid attention to mimicking the attributes of the style that I always appreciate in Red Hill. It is a little dull, however, and doesn't really do anything to excite me: even if it is solid, decent and well-made.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Red Hill Sticke Alt (Secret Alt)
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 22.12.12 on tap
Overall:
74 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a nice, rich red colour, slightly on the dark-brown side. Beige head consists of large bubbles, sticks around OK. Looks nice.

Lots of nice malty notes on the nose. Nutty edge with a slight dry edge and a hint of roastiness towards the back. Toffee, figs and caramelised nuts. Pleasant.

Nice palate, again pretty malty and sweet with some nice cinnamon and pepper characters. A bit sweet with residual toffee towards the back, but there's enough spice to balance it out well. Good beer.

Bit on the thin side, a bit of carbonation showing through that dries it up a bit too much.

Nice malty beer with good spice and a hint of alcohol to cleanse it all. Not bad at all, and another decent offering from Red Hill.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Red Hill Saison
Reviewed by Jez on 19.11.12 on tap
Overall:
72 / 100
(Very Good)
Tried on tap at Harts Pub's Sydney Craft Beer Week event, which was one of the first places to have it on. I've been a fan of Red Hill since stumbling upon them when they were relatively new when we were on the Mornington Peninsula, and I trust them to do a good stylistic beer.

Indeed, the early signs are good with this one as well: a pale golden hue, almost the colour of cloudy apple juice, with solid haze and a decent heft behind it. Head is white tinged with a touch of yellow, and forms a firm, slightly silky ring. Lace forms in specks. Not bad at all.

Nose is very solid for the style as well, with a rounded, muted, peppery spice leading to a slight green vegetation character. Some banana esters and an overall mild fruitiness. A bit of that more rustic armpit-style funk to it as well, which adds some earthiness, and even a hint of smoke.

The flavour starts on similar lines, with some mild spicy characters and a fragrant vegetative character that melds nicely with some of the rounded Belgian yeast tones mid-palate. It veers a little towards the end, with a quite pronounced bitterness which feels a little bit out of place, and finishes with a touch of acidity which tastes a little like carbonation rather than something from the yeast. It has an aspirin character at the end rather than a clear Saison acidity.

Feel is very smooth, with that carbonation lending some flavour but not much texture to the brew.

Overall, this is very solid stuff, and probably only inferior to La Sirène in terms of Australian saisons. It's extremely drinkable, light and quite quaffable for its 6%, but still has a bunch of classic Saison characters.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
Red Hill Queen's Diamond Jubilee British IPA
Reviewed by Jez on 31.08.12 in bottle
Overall:
74 / 100
(Very Good)
Bottle purchased from Slowbeer by @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a perfectly clear amber hue, with a very fine white head that settles to an inconsistent film. Solid, but not spectacular body, with some fine carbonation streaking through it. Lacing is filmy, but again a bit inconsistent. Not bad, overall though.

Nose is great: it's a big, aromatic melange of English hops. Clean, almost creamy malt backs up the hops which give earthy, vegetative and woody notes: it all adds up to smoothness. Lovely stuff.

Taste is also good, in fact, probably even better. Broad nutty malt characters give a strangely aromatic basis, almost touching sultanas or Fruit n Nut chocolate. The hops integrate nicely with this, giving a slightly biting, slightly resinous overtone, leavening that flavours with grassy and hay-like vegetative aromatics. In fact, it's all nicely integrated—again, it has that true smoothness to it.

Overall, lovely stuff. Clean and drinkable, but robust and comforting. It's not going to completely revolutionise your flavour profile, but it's very solidly and artistically made.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Red Hill Sticke Alt (Secret Alt)
Reviewed by Jez on 05.08.12 on tap
Overall:
72 / 100
(Very Good)
Had on-tap at the GABS festival in Melbourne.

Pours a deep maroon colour with great clarity. Head is a firm but soft beige colour which leaves wispy lace behind. Minimal carbonation through the soft but fluid body. Looks great.

Grainy bite on the nose, with some slight phenolic, slightly medicinal characters and a hint of berry. It's interesting, if not all that deep or complex.

Soft spice comes forward on the palate, before a bold, crisp cherry wood character comes through, along with a hint of German grain. Finish brings on bitterness and some more of that slightly spicy medicinal character in the aftertaste.

Feel is light. I feel like it could be heavier, but perhaps that would then overwhelm the palate and remove some of the subtler complexities.

Overall, a very decent brew from Red Hill, who have a habit of making very decent brews. Good stuff.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Red Hill Temptation
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 05.01.12 in bottle
Overall:
77 / 100
(Excellent)
Pours a metallic golden colour with modest - for a Belgian - white head, just a thin crown with puffy lace that sticks around well. Fairly proud, almost haughty-looking beer; not bad.

Smell is quite lovely. Rich, melony fruit with cantaloupe and some stone-fruit: apricot and peach mostly. Rich, scotchy booze note and hints of vanilla spice, kiwi and cardamom. Pleasant, sweet and rich. I like it a lot.

Taste is similar, with that rich, booze-soaked fruit blossoming out of that palate. Rockmelon, kiwi and peach submerge beneath a big, single-malt-whiskey booze character that dominates the midway without subjugating the other flavours. Big piquant spice on the back as well, with pepper, cardamom and cinnamon. Lovely balance to the palate as well; just a big, bold flavour with very little segmentation of its parts. Bit rich, but solid and enjoyable flavours.

Smooth but full, nice texture with a bit of a booze sting.

Enjoyable brew, would go very nicely with a gooey chocolate dessert.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Red Hill Christmas Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 02.01.12 in bottle
Overall:
66 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a dirty brown colour, very cloudy with a charming head of dense off-white foam, bubbling on the side but it goes on and on, rather like this sentence, and the lacing is alright but not very sticky. (and apologies to A.A. Milne) Steady bead keeps the head alive. Pleasant.

Smells pretty Belgian and musty. Hints of fruit with apple and pear, and some decent spice hiding behind it. Decently fruity and maybe a bit musty for my liking, but alright.

Taste is fruity and rich and pretty boozey actually. Lots of plum and sultana sweetness that then gets a bit hot and sharp, with brandy booze and some mulled wine - cinnamon and pepper and nutmeg, quite dry and smokey almost, with a bit of a sharp twang on the finish. Could use more evolution from that pleasant sweet fruit on the front. Bit off-kilter, but pleasant.

Texture is nice and simmering, with a good thick body. Like it.

Not quite my ideal beer, a bit hot but nice character overall.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Red Hill Temptation
Reviewed by Jez on 31.12.11 in bottle
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a lovely golden colour, pale and streaming with carbonation. Head is frothy and solid and smooth. Lacing is frothy and persistent. It looks sophisticated, bright and intoxicating. Lovely looking brew.

Nose is solid as well, with pleasant lively peppery Belgian esters, slight spicy yeast notes and a slight marzipan astringency. Not all that complex or bold, but it pleasantly nails the stylistic characters.

Taste is similar, with more of those bittersweet nutty almond characters, and a slight coppery character towards the back which melds into a straight bitterness. Some rind characters on the back as well, giving a touch of bitter fruit. Interesting. Feel is smooth, but nicely livened by the carbonation.

Very drinkable beer, very pleasant and smooth, with stylistic interest. The 8% is pleasantly blended into the complexities so it doesn't affect the drinkability. Another very solid brew from Red Hill.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Red Hill Christmas Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 27.12.11 in bottle
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
2011 version, very young, had on Christmas eve.

Pours extremely effervescent and frothy, with a huge, white, fluffy head above a cloudy golden orange body. The head stays full, like a meringue, right to the bottom of the glass. Quite a lot of heft and body to the brew. Looks very good.

Nose is spicy with sharp Belgian esters, but none of the round, slightly earthy-sweet vanilla-like notes you often get. The aroma is dominated by pepper, crushed herbs and a touch of booze. Some earthy biscuit characters come through as well. Not bad.

Taste is also spicy, estery and very peppery, with a big boozy astringency. Slight bite of almond skin bitterness later in the palate, while the malt struggled vainly to make it through. It feels a bit sharp and raw. It may benefit from some age. The feel is light and the spice is angry on the palate.

Very interesting brew from Red Hill, who I find generally consistent and who make some well made beers. This needs to integrate a bit more, but I have a feeling that laying it down for 12 months until next Christmas would help.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Red Hill Bohemian Pilsner
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 12.01.11 in bottle
Overall:
81 / 100
(Excellent)
Pours a bright golden amber with huge off-white head that sinks in nice marshmallowy craters all through the top. Densely packed and fed from below by a plethora of fast bubbles. Mild haze to the beer as well. Pretty damn cracking.

Smell is very fruity and tasty. Nice sweetness but a healthy, grounded bitterness to it as well. Lots of baked pear aroma with cinnamon, apricot and raspberries added to the mix. Very slight bread grain note at the back and a nice phenolic bitterness underlying. All in balance though, allowing those beautiful fruit aromatics to dominate.

Taste is quite pleasant. Lots of grainy notes throughout with slight caramel malt at the front that gets more savoury towards the mid where pleasant fruit flavours take over - red delicious apples with orange and lemon zest and a good belt of tangy pear. Hop bitterness is distinct but not hugely pronounced until the very back, just wells up with slight piney notes and nothing too raw or earthy; really quite pleasantly balanced. If I have a criticism, it's that it's a bit mild for a pilsener, it lacks that crisp bite of hops and comes across tasting almost more like a pale ale. But the pilsenery malt is noticeable and there's plenty of nice clean hop character so I'm not complaining.

Quite smooth, quite full. Not too dry on the back, again maybe a touch full for the style, but nice.

A cracking drop from Red Hill. Smooth, tasty and refreshing.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
Red Hill Bohemian Pilsner
Reviewed by Jez on 31.12.10 in bottle
Overall:
80 / 100
(Excellent)

Part of my NYE 2010 celebrations.

Pours a very hazy golden straw colour, with a thick and solid head of pure white. It crackles after a while, and collapses slightly, but leaves some decent sudsy lacing. The colour is bright and the cloudiness is pleasantly unusual - it reminds me of the unfiltered Pilsner Urquell I had the chance to sample at the brewery in Plzen.

Nose is deliciously redolent with sharp Czech hops, giving a citric bite mixed with the organic sweetness of clipped grass. It's incredibly fresh and bright. There's a slight buttery roundness to give it some depth and complexity. Wow. This is a fantastic Czech Pils nose, and reminds me of some of the best examples I've had fresh at the source.

Taste is also extremely suitable, dipping through crushed fresh grain, green grass, with a light citric uplift at the end to lend refreshment where it's needed. Bitterness is clean and clear, and the body is light and crisp. Spot on, stylistically.

These guys really know what they're doing. This is a damn-fine Czech Pils, so stylistically true, but with the finesse and complexity of the best examples even in their own country. I really wish they had a wider distribution, and that they'd see their way to New South Wales more often.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5
Red Hill Imperial Stout
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 08.01.10 in bottle
Overall:
71 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a dark, dark colour, mostly black, but - oh no, it falls down at the edge, dark mahogany, not even needing to hold it up to the light to get that - there's a fail. Head is ochre and quite thick, but visibly foamy. Retains well - lacing is pretty disappointing actually, for a stout, thin and not all that sticky. But definitely dig the retention.

Nose is spicy and dark. First whiff is peppery and cinnamony, and it's only when that has past that one gets the dark roasty malt, burnt toast and oak characters. Also a fair amount of brandy on there, with noticeable alcomohol, plus a slight hazelnut edge. Yeah, very pleasant, interesting nose, with a lot to like.

Taste starts quite spicy and phenolic, with peppery notes, some cinnamon and raisin, gets quite a lot darker towards the mid-palate, with notes of cane sugar but also some licks of espresso and cocoa. Distinct nutty notes on the back give off some hazelnut and marzipan, as well as some woody notes. If there is a criticism - and there is, and here it comes - it's that there's not enough darkness to it. As an RIS it could use more roasty, burnt characters. It does have nice stout notes but it just leaves me wanting more.

Mouthfeel actually a bit thin for what it is. Rough texture shows there's plenty of body to it, but for the flavour I expected it a bit stickier.

Very pleasant overall. Enjoyable Imp. Stout from a decent brewer.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Red Hill Imperial Stout
Reviewed by Jez on 06.01.10 in bottle
Overall:
73 / 100
(Very Good)

Pours a dark, opaque brown-black, with an initially full head of toasted brown foam, that cascades with the pour. Some dissipation, but very good lacing. Looks full, dark, and pretty heavy.

Big, roasted nose - lots of dark grain and toasted sweetness. Slightly over-boozy, with whiffs of phenolic chemicals layering over the top, with a sweet vanilla note as well. It's a heady aroma, to be sure, with a nice conglomeration of booze, sweetness, and roasted, dark devilish blackness.

Taste starts quite softly, but wells up with a bitter black character, before softening to a dark rum-soaked raisin sweetness on the back. Finish creeps up with a dry, almost acrid ashy character appearing some seconds after the initial sip. Mouthfeel is certainly not as silky and mercurial as the best examples, but the flavours are right, and are very well integrated. It's not the most complex of examples, but it's got all the elements there.

A very drinkable impy stout, rich and dark and sinuous, as though it's luring you in for the punch. This is a good example, with nothing out of character. Sure, it could be more intense, more extreme and in your face. But this is what Red Hill does right to me - good beers done well stylistically.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Red Hill Weizenbock
Reviewed by Jez on 20.10.09 in bottle
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)

Pours a hazy, but not particularly cloudy deep brown colour, with a very filmy head of beige bubbles. Some Lacing along the edges. The body looks very thin though, and I have to say it looks a pretty disappointing weizenbock.

Large banana esters on the nose, reeking of those banana candies. Just a touch of something darker and deeper - perhaps a little molasses, but it's pretty one dimensional - it certainly doesn't have the layers of a traditional weizenbock.

Taste is strikingly similar to the nose, with just a darker grainy roasted character coming in on the back palate. A touch of booze perhaps noticeable on the back, but there's certainly not a great deal of complexity to it, and the banana phenols become quite overpowering after a while. Fortunately, the mouthfeel is creamy and full, which really boosts the character of the beer - because it certainly needs a boost.

I found this to be quite disappointing - I'm a huge fan of some of Red Hill's other beers, and this one really doesn't live up to my expectations. Sure, it's a drinkable beer, and hey, a decent stab at a classic style - but in the past, I've been impressed with this brewery's ability to nail a style to perfection, and this one falls well short stylistically.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Red Hill Weizenbock
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 20.10.09 in bottle
Overall:
38 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a dark, burnished orange colour, with a very thin ring of beige bubbles passing for a head. Quite cloudy in appearance, doesn't leave much lace, just dots hereabouts. Looks sweet, but not devilishly so.

Nose is really quite fruity, with a HUGE banana hit, as well as some pears and some maply syrup kind of character. But yeah, really serious banana. Actual fresh banana smell, in essence. I don't really like banana, but I'd forgive this if this were meant to smell exactly like banana with little else.

Taste starts off quite fruity with, yes, more of that banana, blended with some darker, syrupy flavours like golden syrup, some molasses, maybe a hint of some spice, even some light clove characters. But seriously, weizenbock with only a hint of a light clove character? Needs far, far more spice. Really syrupy sweet for the most part, and has a slight bitterness on the late mid, but it feels more an unrefined sugar bitterness than any brewing yeast character or hops. Fairly one note and overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is fairly viscous, leaves an unpleasant earthy hang. Good for what it is but no more.

Not really drinkable, too sweet and not in any way clean. This is a huge disappointment, both as a weizenbock and as a Red Hill brew. I expected so, so much more from this beer.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 2.0
Red Hill Hop Harvest Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 02.09.09 in bottle
Overall:
81 / 100
(Exceptional)

Pours a deep reddish burnished mahogany colour, quite clear with a billowing, overenthusiastic head of off white bubbles. Rocky as anything, and almost overflowing the glass from a conservative pour. Some good lacing though when it settles a bit. Looks very damn tasty indeed.

Lots of gritty noble hop aromas on the nose. Fair bit of pepper, some scale-touched citrus, grass and freshly turned earth. Quite piercing, very refreshing, almost nothing of the new world to it. With the beers I've been drinking lately that's a surprisingly pleasant treat.

Very pleasant and robust bitterness on the palate, not harsh with grapefruit or grassiness like the equivalent level of hopping with and American hop would do. Stays crisp, lightly metallic, sharp but clean. Very little clinging body to it, and that's very pleasant in this style of beer. Very true to style, in my opinion, crisp and drinkable and tasty.

An extremely drinkable brew with buckets of character to boot. Once again, Red Hill shows me they can brew a subtle and classic style exceptionally well.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
Red Hill Scotch Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 04.08.09 on tap
Overall:
71 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a nice cedar colour, with very nice creamy beige head, retains pretty well, leaves some nice traces of lace behind.

Aroma is slightly woody, certainly bittersweet with a grainy character and hints of dried fruit. Pretty nice.

Taste is very pleasant. Spicy fruit characters, raisins and sultanas with cinnamon and clove flavours. Quite sweet with a lot of tang to it and a nice profile. Doesn't quite have the complexity of other examples of the style, but is certainly very pleasant.

Mouthfeel smooth and rich, perhaps a bit flat with not enough texture.

Very good drinking though, smooth and tasty.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Red Hill Wheat Beer
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 04.08.09 on tap
Overall:
55 / 100
(OK)
Pours with a very cloudy appearance, light yellow in colour, very good head that sticks around. Great looking hefe.

Banana aromas, sweet and wheaty with a lot of fragrance. Par for the course really, but very pleasant.

Taste has a lot of sweet characters, nice bitterness towards the back and a light spice character. Fair amount of banana, taste is overall a little bit sweet for my liking, need more spice, the sweetness strangles everything. Feel is a bit thin and flat.

Drinkable though, and enjoyable.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Red Hill Golden Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 04.08.09 on tap
Overall:
51 / 100
(OK)
Pours a cloudy, light amber colour, with quite a good head, white in hue, sticks around pretty well.

Light honey characters on the nose, gentle and sweet. Not much else though.

Taste is not so sweet, quite wheaty actually, or at least savoury. Mouthfeel quite dry, and a bit flat. Overall is a bit dull, but certainly quite drinkable.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Red Hill Scotch Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 18.01.08 in bottle
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)

Deep reddish-brown hue. I added the yeast sediment which adds an opacity to the body. Decent head of large light-brown bubbles. Body is a little thin, but overall it's a pretty good-looking beer.

Deep vinous characters on the nose. Toasted malts, red wine cork, and a little caramelly sweetness. The wine character is a bit unwelcome, but it does have a reasonable amount of complexity.

Hmm, rather dark on the palate. Little residual sweetness, finishes very dry. Quite thin in the mouth, long but rather flat mid-palate and an extremely dry toasted malt character at the end. All said and done, it's disappointingly simple on the palate.

Still, the dryness adds to the beer's drinkability, and it's not a bad drop all up. I just wish it had a bit more depth and sweetness on the palate - for a Scotch Ale, it's unbeguilingly light.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Red Hill Wheat Beer
Reviewed by Jez on 20.02.06 on tap
Overall:
88 / 100
(Superb)

Beautiful pale cloudy honey-lemon yellow with a frothy rocky head of pure white. Decent carbonation to keep the head alive. Very good looking hefe-styled beer.

Nose is excellent. Sweet banana clove esters, beautiful counterpointed against a zesty citrus Tettnanger hoppiness. Hints of organic grassiness. This is a genuine hefeweizen nose, comparable to the archetypes of the style.

Taste is also very very good, and beautifully true to style. A delicious sweet flavour of tropical fruits on the front palate, backed up by a subtle peppery aromatic hop characteristic, which finishes dry and refreshing. Mouthfeel is spritzy but buttery smooth.

What a wonderful brew. A true hefe, and a damn good one at that. I don't think I've seen a better example outside Germany, and this would hold its own against the best of them.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5
Red Hill Golden Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 20.02.06 on tap
Overall:
71 / 100
(Very Good)

Clear golden body with a thick head which fizzles down to a light film. Some lacing, and a great deal of heavy carbonation. Looks quite good.

Very good hoppy fragrant nose. It's balanced with a good lingering sweetness. Hints of subtle malt, but the homegrown hops shine through. Well, why wouldn't you want to show them off, very pleasant.

Sweet fragrant palate. Malt at the start, with a nice bite of hoppiness, levelling out to a yeasty dry finish. Actually very tasty. I'm most impressed.

Mouthfeel is a little weak, a bit more zestiness could lift it a little. But that's really nitpicking what is a most enjoyable beer. If I could get my hands on more I would love to drink this on a regular basis.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.5