Pours an amber colour, clear body with foamy cream-coloured head that doesn't stick around. Still, clear. Looks alright.
Smells malty, first and foremost. Big toffee character with a touch of cake batter sweetness, maybe a touch of cinnamon but not sure I'd find it if I weren't looking for it specifically.
Taste is better. Similar malt profile, with caramel toffee notes upfront that develops nicely towards the back with a slight woodiness and a big distinct cinnamon character, not hot but sweet and tasty. Well-used spice character, makes it like a nice warming dessert beer.
Body is a little thin, but not too bad.
Yeah, I quite enjoy that, even if it does only what it promises without really standing out from the crowd otherwise.
Choc/vanilla sweet stout brewed for GABS 2016. Tried there on tap.
Pours a brown colour, dark to the edge with foamy beige head. Retains well. Not bad looking.
Smells yeah, what it promises. Chocolate, cocoa nibs, with some vanilla character as well. Kind of subdued, but sweet generally.
Taste is vanilla and chocolate all over. Mix of both upfront that carries through to the midpoint. Finish is slightly roasty but not very strongly, so the lingering character is sweet and chocolate. Sweet and pleasant, but feels a bit unbalanced and I think a bit more oomph to the stout malts underneath could really make this a winner. Still nice.
Full body, slight lick of alcohol warmth.
Not a bad sweet stout, but I feel like I've seen these flavours used better to make a more complete stout. It's a likeable beer though.
45 / 100
Bottle served to me blind by Father Fletcher, purchased for him in a liquor store in Orange. Not sure about the storage facilities and quality control measures of said liquor store.
Pours a dark orange colour, with huge pillowy head that sinks unevenly with some sticky lacing left behind. Looks a bit grimey and too much head but OK.
Smells diacetylly. Touch of citrus, resin. But an overly sweet sugary residual upfront is just too much. Bit floral pongy with rosemary and lavender there as well.
Taste is better. Malty upfront, quite caramel that develops toffee towards late-mid. Resinous bitterness too, combines to make it sticky and murky at the back. Quite bitter and yet quite sweet. Not really my thing and a bit off balance.
Decent body, grates a bit on the very back as it goes down, bit undercooked there.
Yeah a bit dank and yet sickly sweet, not a good synergy between elements. Might actually be a bit old; it's possible the hops were more vibrant initially and they've just sunk to be a stale bitterness by now.
77 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a straight orange hue, with solid haze and a solid weight behind it. Head is white, but only minimal, disappearing pretty quickly partially due to a seeming lack of carbonation. Indeed after a while it does look really rather dead in the glass.
Nose has a slight character of uncooked cinnamon rolls, slightly spicy, sweet and doughy. Otherwise, there's some slight jam and stonefruit notes and a hint of vanilla from the barrel. It's nice, all up.
Light, peppery note on the front of the palate, with a bit of clove morphing into a sweeter character of smooth apricot jam. Back has some vanilla, dusted sugar and more smooth oak, which really caresses the back. Aftertaste has a touch of cloves, which is an interesting addition.
Feels tight, but with a bit of weight behind it.
Overall, I like it a good deal. Very decent and interestingly integrated barrel characters.
Pretty risky, actually, for Grand Ridge to barrel-age such a small beer, but still here goes.
Amber colour that's quite nice, with a slight cloud and big bubbly white head that doesn't stick around. Fairly meh apart from the colour.
Smells IPA; hoppy with lemon, grapefruit dominating. Touch of coriander as well for a bit of edge, which is nice. Pleasant IPA aroma, but I don't get a whole lot of oak. At all.
Taste has the oak coming through. Still the hops are the leader here but they're on the tangier side. Passionfruit is strong with a touch of citrus towards the back. Some clove, coriander notes coming from the clash (so to speak) between oak and hops. The oak is not very strong but it has an unusual combo. Stonefruity, fairly pleasant.
Decent body, touch of carb. Not bad.
Decent, but could benefit from a bit more oak.
62 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS in Melbourne. Touted as a "ginger beer with a twist", the twist, apparently, being figs.
Pours a very pale lemon colour with solid hazing throughout. Body is fairly clean and light with fine carbonation. Head forms a fine ring of white that leaves some lace rings. Looks pretty decent.
Nose is heavy on the ginger, with a big spicy crispness from the addition. Under this is a slight jammy sweetness which is fairly pleasant too.
Nice light entry on the palate with some zesty ginger coming through early. Unfortunately, everything drops away pretty quickly leaving the middle empty and dry, and the back very weak, allowing a pronounced yeasty character to come through on the finish. Feel is light, but suitable for the type of beer.
It's still pretty drinkable despite some of its drawbacks. The "twist" is nowhere to be found, but it's a fairly inoffensive alcoholic ginger beer all the same.
41 / 100
Pours a quite pale mahogany colour, not nearly as dark as I expected, clear body as well which doesn't help. Nice foamy head, off-white with some lacing left behind.
Smells a little bit roasty with a twist of berry. Bit of tang and maybe a touch of spice, but not much. Just lightly toasty brown ale-style notes.
Taste is malty upfront, with a bit of rye spice and lots of caramel toffee, then the berry note comes through on the back - more just a slight kiss of tartness than any distinct juniper note. Bit weak, and quite disappointing.
Body is decent, feels OK as it goes down.
A disappointing drop. Juniper works very well in beer and I feel they've been far too conservative with this. I know it's an expensive ingredient but just go nuts!
A "dark lager brewed with Juniper berries", and hopped with Nelson Sauvin. Brewed for the GABS festival in Melbourne, which is where I had it.
Pours a faint and rather clear brown colour with a very light body. Head is a firm ring of off-white that leaves some sheeting lacing. Interestingly, there's almost no carbonation visible.
Nose is dull. Faint roasty malt, perhaps a touch of bread, and some sweetness. But no juniper at all, no Nelson Sauvin, and in fact, very little else to give any interest whatsoever. It's not bad: it's just dull.
Light entry on the palate: some dark malt, but both rounded and clipped. There's a slight upturn on the mid-palate (but only slight, mind you), with a slight medicinal character (perhaps from the NS), and just a suggestion of juniper. The back falls out, with a thin sugar water character emptying to nothingness.
Feel is very light indeed.
It's drinkable enough, but exceedingly dull. This really should have been much more interesting: and I was hoping for something unique. It was a shame.
71 / 100
Pours a dark-brown colour, slight red tinge to it. Foamy beige head with a decent ability to stick around and enjoy the party. Bit pale for a stout, but looks good for a beer.
Nutty malt upfront on the nose, with a bit of dry spice. Anise, pepper and slightly mediciney. I guess it's sarsparilla-y, although I'm not very familiar with it otherwise. Pretty decent.
Again that nutty malt starts off the palate before descending into big spice territory. Star anise and licorice, really gets a kind of black jellybean flavour. Rooty, earthy and spicy. Can't say I love it, but I'm impressed in it delivering what it promises. Quite mellow, too.
Decent body with slight tingle from the carbonation.
Yeah, not really my cup of sars, but a decent drop certainly.
76 / 100
Had on-tap at the GABS festival in Melbourne. Being a fan of root beer and sarsaparilla, I was intrigued to try this.
Pours a relatively light brown colour with surprising clarity. Body is light, but the head is firm, forming a ring of off-white that leaves patchy lace. Overall, not bad.
Forms a very weird mixture on the nose that feels slightly plasticky. Root beer, sassafras, wintergreen with a grainy malt character that makes the beer feel quite savoury. It's utterly unique and very nicely done.
Light grain on the front palate leaving quite en opening for the spicy sassafras to come through, along with a minty mouthwash and toothpaste character. Finish is round and dark, with a smooth vanilla hint to seal it off.
The only downside is that the weight is very low at 4% ABV, meaning it feels very thin. Still, it helped with the drinkability. I found myself drinking it without thinking.
I'm totally the target audience for this beer, so I'm well aware that others may not share my enthusiasm, but I just loved it.
Next time, Grand Ridge, do an imperial version.
69 / 100
Pours a deep ruby colour, maybe on the brownish spectrum as well. Head is off-white, sparse and diminishes to virtually nothing, but decent rings of lace and easily revived with a swirl. Looks decent, but nothing special.
Smells quite sweet and malty. Quite a clovey touch to it that's almost weizeny. Caramel, vanilla and oatmeal on there with a very light toasty note. Nice: sweet, spicy and grainy. Good Spring lager smell with a nice twist.
Taste lies a bit too much on the fruity side, with a lot of banana and dried fruit - sultanas, raisins and some glacé cherries. Vanilla underlying with a touch of nutmeg, and a light toasted grain note that emerges at the end. It adds a decent contrast to the sweetness, but it's not quite as coherent a whole or a Vienna lager. Decent flavour, but it's not quite smooth; a palate of two halves.
Bit of a pull on it but otherwise smooth, almost creamy. Rye definitely adds something here.
Quite enjoyable, a good twist on a traditional style. Doesn't quite reach the balanced smoothness of the best Vienna, nor does it really reach the heights of experimentation, but it's very decent.
2 / 100
(Bottom of the Barrel)
Pours a slightly hazed, muddy yellow colour, with almost no headâI had to pour pretty vigorously to get anything happening, and then it's just a sudsy speck of large bubbles at one edge of the glass. Some speckled lacing from the very thin ring around the top. Overall, it looks pretty unappealing.
Nose is rank. Like, really quite unpleasant. Sweet cereal characters mingle with a rancid tomato sauce character, giving hints of vinegar and white sugar mixed together. Slight rotten fruit overtones, and an underfermented wort note that makes me wonder if they just made it light by stopping fermentation after it reached 2.7%. Wow. Quite amazingly unappealing.
Taste is similar. In fact, fuck thatâit's actually worse! At least the nose didn't make me genuinely gag. Here, the sweetness is genuinely rancid, leaving a garbage-juice must on the palate that is very difficult to look past. Really, where does this sweetness come from? It's like something left to rot in the sun. Pungent, but stomach churning all at once.
Feel is light and clear, I guess, but it's hard to judge the feel separate from that pong assaulting my palate.
Seriously, I was not expecting to put this head to head with the like of Boag's Premium Light and for Boag's to win. Whereas that was flavourless and pointless, this is actively unpleasant and nausea-inducing.
56 / 100
Pours a hearty ruby colour with nice off-white head - slight pinkish tinge from it probably due to refraction. Lacing is extremely nice, sticky trails around the edge, whispy cloud on top. Very nice.
Smell is very, very sweet. Mega-malt bomb with dried fruit - sultanas, dates and raisins. Rich, lightly toasty caramel abounds - could use more hopping to add zing; it just smells sweet and a bit heavy. But nice.
Taste has similar characters but less of them, really not as potent as the smell made out. Slightly watered-down English toffee malt upfront that doesn't really go anywhere. Richer, quite toasty grain notes re-emerge late-mid together with a fairly sour grist kind of character, slightly wet and dank. Feels surprisingly empty, and doesn't have a huge texture.
This appeared like a tasty beer but it was very much let down on the palate. Needs more body and hops to carry the flavour.
60 / 100
One of my favourite styles of beers is American Red Ale. Let's see if the lowly, and seemingly once better Grand Ridge can do it justice with this one-off release.
Pours a decent reddish amber colour with an initially frothy if disintegrating head of off-white. This almost immediately transforms itself into film on the top and a little patching lacing, meaning it's a little underwhelming overall. Body looks pleasantly heavy. Not a bad look. It's certainly an acceptable look for the style.
Nose is quite boozy, surprisingly, with some rather pungent fusel characters coming off right from the get go. This mingles with a strong, malty character, not unlike a strong doppelbock or astringent barleywine. It's an aroma I associate with beers like Samichlausânot something supposedly high on the hops, and only weighing in at 6% ABV.
Taste is a little better, as there's some clean bitterness, and not a lot of heat. Rather, there's a washed out mid-palate of light grain with a direct but rather generic bitterness through the centre. It's light enough, and it does something like the American Red Ales I know and love, but it's like a shadowy example; one that doesn't really know how it's meant to taste.
Not bad all up, but not an amazing brew either, and certainly not something I'd serve to someone to give them an example of a wonderful style.
69 / 100
Pours a very dark chocolatey colour. Head is ochre and really, nicely dense, with visible bubbles on top and beautiful lace patterns around the glass. Good retention, good colour. Good beer. Good beer.
Smells very rich and chocolatey but with a big funky oaky aroma as well. Lots of fresh coconut with herbal hints, rich cocoa and a touch of vanilla. Pineapple tinges gives me thoughts of hops and a big melted butter fragrance overriding it all. So it's overall buttery but also dark, sweet, pleasant.
Taste is very woody; oaky throughout. Starts with fresh wood that develops some of that buttery character with peanut butter notes, touch of vanilla as well and a touch of cocoa on the back. Really doesn't taste that dark though; actually quite subdued towards the back and I'd like more black bitterness or hoppiness. All buttery, nutty and sweet but the finish is lacking compared to the rest; not helped by the fairly thin body. A touch of booze warmth as it goes down.
Overall a decent beer that isn't as good as it might have been with the extant flavours in different proportions.
75 / 100
Hard to classify based on what they specify. It's too light for an American stout, despite the oak aging which gives it some of those very classic oaky American characters, but then it's not quite hoppy enough for a classic IBA/CDA. Seeing as though American Black Ale is conveniently vague, I'll put it there.
Pours a a deep clear dark brown colour, with a very creamy head of light brown chocolatey foam. Lacing is surprisingly weak, and the body is quite light, especially at the edges. Looks decent enough.
Nose is really very pleasant. The American oak character comes through really pleasantly, giving that classic sweet vanilla and coconut flavour, almost to the detriment of everything else. It's sweet and luscious, although I almost expect a sharp and black charred character to go along with it, and this does not have it. As a result, it's almost too buttery, but still a very pleasant experience.
Taste is nice, although quite short on the palate, and genuinely lacking the dark roasted charred notes that the oaking compels it to have. Here, the smooth vanilla notes give a big sweetness, and the very subtle dark characters blend to give it a nutty finish. But it's very short, and it ends abruptly, leaving almost nothing on the finish.
Feel is smooth, and the oak works well here.
Seriously, the oak character is done well, and it really brings out some of the lovely characters tha American Oak can impart--but this is not quite the right beer to expose them in. It needs to be bigger, smoother, more alcoholic, darker and more intense overall. Here, the oak dominates what is effectively a quite subtle palate.
Pours a dark crimson colour with brown tinge, head is dense and beige with small bubbles. Bead streams up the edge of the glass, body looks quite translucent with a fair amount of cloud. Looks pretty nice. Lacing sticks to the glass in gorgeous thick sheets.
Very strong on the nose with a great scotch whiskey pummelling of the olfactory. Some licorice and pepper on there, in fact mega licorice. Some chocolate as well, and maybe some Irish cream, with a lot of boozey phenols. Very pleasant nose with great complexity. Bit too much booziness though.
Taste is complex and vast. A lot to get through here. Starts peppery and descends into sweet dessert wine territory with a distinct sherry kick, very syrupy. Back palate has a sour edge but a thickness like pure cola syrup. Hints of a grainy finish, maybe some husk as well. Hint of mint towards the back helped by slight bite from the alcohol. Oh and overall, very cabernet sauvignon character. Complex, is good and has a well-constructed palate profile. If there is a criticism it's that the complexity muddies it a bit, plus it is a bit too sweet.
Thick with a good amount of texture on the feel. Would like it a bit dryer on the finish.
I'm going to mark this down in drinkability because of the overly sweet nature. I believe it's meant to be like that, and it tastes good for what it is, but the syrupy sweetness makes it a bit hard going.
Pours a dark, dark reddish-brown colour with a thin head of visible bubbles. Disappointing head for a Grand Ridge beer, really. Disappears, leaving an ochre rim, although it is fed by some quite furious bubbling, especially around the edge. Lacing is an awesome curtain of sticky film. Looks pretty good.
Nose is quite delectable, with a rich chocolate aroma combined with brandied cherries, some sweet nuts and a bit of a latte character - like espresso, but lighter and more buoyant. Smell is overall really quite fruity, but with a pleasantly sweet, yet brooding, darkness as well, like the character of Satan in the director's cut of When Harry met Sally.
Taste has a similar sweet character throughout, with a nice chocolatey edge, only it's tempered by an over-roasted grain flavour, slightly burnt and ashy. It comes through on the mid and leaves a lingering grittiness on the scene, with a moderate coffee kind of flavour and a slight smokey astringency.
Mouthfeel is good, feels a little thin at first, but there is enough body to carry it off. Not great though, just a reasonable fullness.
The burnt bitterness at the back is a slight turn-off here because it does leave your mouth dry and ashy, but there's enough to like here. It could benefit from more of the nice fruit esters off the nose and a slightly lower roast factor on the grain. Decent effort.
77 / 100
Pours a rich scarlet colour with enormous, explosive beige head - yep, it's a Grand Ridge beer alright. Head, which as I said is huge, retains irritatingly well and is trying my patience because I'd like to pour the rest of the bottle but the damn thing won't go away. Sinks very slowly with a nice fizzing noise. Carbonation is strong and vibrant, while lacing is webbed out but nice and sticky. I'm not sure what a Black & Tan is meant to look like having never had one, but I'm prepared straight off to make this the benchmark and grade all future Black & Tans against this, because this is simply outstanding.
Nose is an odd blend, quite tart with a cherry cola kind of character, a hint of tobacco, maybe some burnt toffee as well, plus some herbal phenols come through as well. Not very aromatic, but an interesting combo and quite pleasant.
Taste is quite dark, with a burnt, roasted flavour on the mid and a very metallic hop character creeping in behind, but my first sip was mostly head, so it may have just come from radicals. Taste is actually quite smooth, with a distinct burnt, almost ashy character not overpowering a nice grainy palate. Distinct barley notes and a herbal hop character that is quite English (yes, of course it's the Gippsland Gold), not as metallic as I first thought. Some light spicy phenols on the mid give it a kind of bock character, although the particular roasty bitter twang is distinctly top-fermented.
This is a beer that hits a lot of the right notes at the right times and, again, as a virgin to the style, I'm going to have t count myself as a fan. It has the brooding mustiness of a rich stout, but its finish is very clean and bitter-hoppy, with a pleasing - if slightly musty - bitterness. Mouthfeel is very nicely full, with a slick character that carries the flavour well without feeling too heavy. An eminently drinkable drop, refreshing, pleasant and nicely balanced.
Pours a pale golden colour with thin but furious bead and a voluminous frothy white head of large visible bubbles that sinks like a prematurely extracted meringue. I'm beginning to see a Grand Ridge pattern forming with regard to their heads. Lacing is nothing special, but otherwise a damn fine looker.
Delicious floral nose, with a very strong tangy citrus hit, a lot of passionfruit, a lemon/lime aroma and a slightly funky smell like day-old grass clippings. Actually has a bit of a Sauvignon Blanc aroma, with gooseberries in there as well. Really fresh, crisp and delicious smell.
Taste is very fresh and crisp on the front with a light tangy sensation, almost sherbety but with a hint of green grape skin, gooseberry and, oddly enough, a slight chocolate malt character. This may just be a result of the particular blend on the middle, because the hops that gather for the finish are earthy and resiny, with an astringent aspect that, while lowering the floral and sweet notes, doesn't entirely grit up the palate. Definitely a measured hop hit, designed to linger but not kill the flavours. Mouthfeel is bitter and clean, with maybe a bit of a puckering character. Not enough to stop the refreshment factor.
This is an excellent beer and I really enjoy drinking, but I have to mark it down here and there because there just isn't anything particularly pilsenery about it. In fact it smells and tastes, to my mind, far more like a pale ale. There are some pilsenery aspects (the hops, for example) and it is dry and refreshing, but it just strays too far to be considered a stalwart of the style. It's still a very nicely balanced drop, and a pleasant drinking experience.
Pours a pale gold with really incredible busy, hectic carbonation, almost like it's infused with some jet propulsion system. Head is enormous but sparsely bubbled and as a result doesn't hold up too well and sinks pretty fast, leaving very little lacing. Retains at about a finger thick. Appears hazy and unfiltered. Very interesting beer, if not perfect.
Has a thick, tart smell with an acridity reminiscent of raw meat. Hints of lemon, tomato and baked beans, and a light spice, kind of paprika-esque. Maybe just a whisper of banana gives this a wheaty edge, but for the most part it's meaty and slightly rancid. Interesting, but less appealing because of its discordant blend.
Taste is extremely tart with an almost puckering citrus sensation on the major part of the palate. Has an ashy earthiness coming through midway and again a slight tomato, baked beans character, just a note or two in the middle there. The front is kind of lemonadey, but then the very astringent hops take over and really gravel up the finish. Ends up being a bit of a palate killer, very gritty bitterness at the back and a sour citrus clencher at the front.
For all that, it's also a bit simple, with no real nuance to an otherwise robust flavour. Palate is noticeably long, which can only be a good thing. Mouthfeel is of course puckering, and feels a bit like it's sinking in the end, although this blonde holds its body on my tongue.
You know what, this is actually making me feel quite ill; the flavour just doesn't sit right with me. To makes a tired point, it's interesting, but just not enjoyable at all. This is the Eraserhead of beers: as unique and groundbreaking as you may argue it to be, it's excruciating to get through.
Pours a dirty orange colour with a large beige head, very dense and good retention, although forms an interesting topography by sinking in places. Lacing is pretty thin, carbonation pretty steady. Looks extremely OK.
Very, very malty nose. Malt-tastic. Sweet brown sugar smell with burnt toffee and almost a corporeal smell, like sweat or something. (Sweat is probably the clean version) Fairly simple, with very little in the way of hops, just smells sweet. For all that it's not bad though.
Taste is also very malty, although front has a slightly salty edge, again with that slightly corporeal character. It's very organic anyway, like a raw vegetable character. Malty majority of the palate is slightly nutty and fruity with a Christmas cake kind of vibe to it, although the malt is interrupted halfway through by the increasing hop influence, very metallic in taste and that leave a slightly bitter hang, soft enough to be enjoyed but a bit too sharp in flavour to be savoured. That's not to say they're overly sharp in particular though, because the whole palate is a very mellow affair, like listening to Deep Forest on a bean bag.
Mouthfeel is smooth, to help it along the way, and quite full which is good for a lighter alc/vol beer. Fair amount of flavour on this, but quite simply constructed and easy drinking. Decent effort, really. They should definitely serve this at the SCG instead of VB midstrength, that's all I'm saying.
70 / 100
Pours a burnt golden colour with a two-finger thick white head, doesn't stick around, but the lacing does. Very sticky and messy at the top with tendrils going every which way. Oh, and when I said head doesn't stick around, yeah, there's a fair amount of it sticking around. Body is slightly cloudy so it's hard to see carbonation but it's definitely there and working at a steady pace. Looks like a busy, but sticky and sweet little beer. Really great.
Nose is a bit sweet 'n' sour with hints of butter, corn, figs and apricot. Fruit is diminished slightly behind the other aromas, but is there. So, too, are hops, but again, slightly subdued in their phenolic goodness. Smells kind of EPA-esque, pleasant but not very robust.
Taste has a very pleasing palate profile, with a buttery, almost vanilla sweetness coming through on the start and continuing on, while the back has a slightly grassy hop finish which doesn't linger in a particularly bitter way, but blends quite nicely with a buttery, earthy malt flavour and an odd sensation of tomato (!) that I'm getting. Hops are maybe a slight bit too earthy to be crisp and clean - finish is slightly gritty as well. Mouthfeel is a bit of a letdown, slightly too thin for an otherwise quite malty beer. Otherwise, a very nice-tasting beer, very sessionable, and with an unusual complexity that certainly intrigues me, even if the beer is not a huge flavour bomb.
80 / 100
Pours a deep crimson colour, not too dark, lets light through quite happily. Beige head, very generous and while it sinks in the middle like a flourless cake, it's very resilient against the forces of gravity. Lacing is decent but a bit sparse. Otherwise superb.
A very sweet 'n' sour nose with a fragrant bouquet of fruit flavours, both ripe and unripe. Strong plummy hit with sultanas and cranberries fighting for supremacy, while they are backed up by a chorus of nutmeg, pine resin and a slight custardy aroma. Wonderfully complex, but methinks it does err the slightest bit on the syrupy, sickly sweet side. Certainly not by much, though.
Taste is darker than it looks and the flavour rather reminds me a lot of Aventinus Weizen Eisbock. Strong melange of fruit flavours blossom on the front, with raisin and cranberry flavours fighting a gentleman's duel with an underripe cherry kind of flavour (for some reason this duel has three participants). Mid palate becomes huskier and has a grainy chocolatey character, although the tartness from the front carries quite marvelously throughout and onto the finish. The flavour is strong but there is none of that 8.5% showing through, brilliantly masked by the malt. Finish, however, is a rich, dark one, no bitterness but with a slight warming tickle reminiscent of scotch whisky.
Mouthfeel is viscous and thick but not quite full, there is a slightly too fluid movement to this - that does add to its drinkability. I remember enjoying this the first time I had this, at a beer tasting, but that was a long time ago. I'm delighted to discover I was right, and this is a great drop of beer. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Clear burnished orange colour with a reasonable finger of off-white head. Coarse bubbles in the foam, and there's almost no carbonation present. Doesn't look that appealing from the pour.
Honey and biscuit malt on the nose. Quite sweet and syrupy, almost too sweet. There's a slight metallic copper character as well, but not enough to cut through the cloying sweetness. It really needs something more fragrant.
Similar metallic character on the front palate, but it falls away very quickly. Mid palate bitterness, a taste of English-style hops, and a rather watery finish. Despite the lack of carbonation, the feel is good for the style, quite smooth and silky.
It's drinkable enough, but it's not amazing. Lacking a depth of character, it ends up a pretty middle-of-the-road English style pale ale.
60 / 100
Darkish red mediciney colour, fizzes up nicely upon pouring and makes a good light foamy head. Looks quite pleasant but perhaps a bit lifeless after a few seconds.
Fair generous hit of floral hops with a toffee sweetness on the nose, has a celtic quality about it. Slightest hint of chocolate but it's very faint. Could be more aromatic but what's there is very pleasant.
Taste - wow, talk about hops. That totally caught me off guard based on the slightly underplayed nose. A musty and dulled malt hit on the front palate progresses quickly into a fairly short but intensely bitter palate with slight hints of lemongrass and dry wood. Its very pleasant characters could last longer but it's nevertheless very drinkable and refreshing. Slightly dry mouthfeel, could go down smoother.
Somewhat cloudy orange red-brown. Good head. Decent carbonation keeps the creamy head alive. Good lacing.
Honey and toffee on the nose. No fragrance. The sweetness is almost overpowering, and it ends up smelling something akin to a caramel milkshake. Quite unbalanced.
The taste, however, is much better, with initial caramel notes balanced by a good hop bitterness. Long astringent finish leaves the mouth quite dry. Mouthfeel is filling.
This is a reasonably enjoyable beer, with some elements that just don't quite work for me.
77 / 100
Tried at the brewery Feb 06. This one was not on tap, but I sampled it at the brewery anyway in its bottled form.
Cloudy, heavy red/orange colour, with a syrupy thick body and a filmy off white head. Leaves good lacing.
Nose is thick and syrupy, like dark spirits. Hints of peppery alcohol, sweet malt. Very rich and very impressive.
Taste also very very good. Buttery sweet sugar notes, balanced by a long drying roasted finish, and a warming underglow of alcohol. Mouthfeel smooth and warming. Quite, quite pleasant.
This is a deceptively drinkable beer.
61 / 100
Opaque very dark brown to black, with a somewhat bubbly head. No creaminess. Good lacing, but doesn't look like a true stout, to mind.
Nose is quite peppery, with a backgrounding sweetness which ends up making it smell like a bit of Asian cuisine. Quite smoky aromas penetrate as it warms a little, wood and ash. Quite interesting.
Strong sour roasted flavour on the palate, continuing the smoked theme. Long roasted bitter aftertaste. Interesting flavours. Mouthfeel leaves something to be desired. No creaminess. I think a creamier, more viscous body would suit it better. Not a great stout, but reasonably enjoyable.
It's quite a drinkable brew.
61 / 100
Tried at the brewery Feb 06.
Clear frosty yellow colour, with almost no head to speak of. Some carbonation. It's a reasonable looking pilsener.
Nose is quite hoppy and fragrant, no trace of malt sweetness, but there's something there to keep it balanced quite nicely.
Palate is very robust and bitter, with a large amount of tangy peppery hops. Long, biting aftertaste lingers. Mouthfeel is quite aerated, suits the style.
Not a bad pilsener, but nothing with a wow factor.
73 / 100
Ruby red hue with a good creamy head. Quite still, with no carbonation. Lacing very good, the stickiness of the head holds up well.
Nose is roasted malt, with a little spice. It's quite sweet and rich, but light enough to keep some fragrance.
Taste is really quite good. A little roasted note at the start gives way to an astringent, refreshing backpalate with a hint of smokiness. Quite drinkable. Mouthfeel quite bubbly, it could be creamier.
However, this is a very drinkable blend, perhaps owing a little too much of its pleasantness to the wonderful Gippsland Gold. But who knows...
Light brown with some flashes of red. Good off-white head. Some carbonation, minimal lacing.
Nose is nutty and sweet, Quite nice. Not much fragrance, but it does well within the confines of being a light beer.
Quite a sweet start on the palate, which peters out to nothing very quickly. Hints of nutty caramel, but the flavours disappear so quickly you don't have much chance to savour the good parts.
Needless to say this is in a class above other "light" beers. It does suffer from some of the problems they face, but this has a damn sight more character.
79 / 100
A very nice looking beer this one, a very pale lemon-yellow, less cloudy than I expected for a witbier. Just a little haze and a good frothy pure-white head.
This is a very unusual beer, quite different even to other wits I've tried. A strong white wine aroma is prevalent, with hints of citrus and spice. Subtle, but quite different to some other wits like Hoegaarden.
The flavour is also quite interesting, very biting and sour, almost cider-like with its citrus tartness. It doesn't have the fruity undertones I've come to associate with witbiers, and it's a little less refreshing on the mouth.
An interesting beer no doubt, and certainly enjoyable. It's just so different it's difficult to know how to rate it.