|Highest Rated||Peach Saison (78 / 100)
||Average score||59 / 100 (Decent)|
|Lowest Rated||Bighead (13 / 100)
I went to update all my stats for GABS overall and discovered that I was missing three reviews from the 2017 festival. Long search through my locker at work turned up nothing. Then a quick rummage in my backpack and lo and behold, I found the three missing sets of tasting notes. So here we go, to finish up GABS 2017 just when I'm getting all set up for planning GABS 2018.
Pours a surprisingly dark colour; amber really but given this was billed as a heavier version of the Burleigh Hefeweizen, surprising. Beige head, large bubbles sticks around alright. Weird colour; otherwise fine.
Smells very sweet; cereal grain with a touch of rye spice and some nutty character as well. Slightly medicinal; not great.
Taste is much better and far more what I'd expect from a weizenbock. Vanilla sweetness upfront develops some banana character midway and then all spice on the back with cinnamon predominating and a bit of clove. Not too heavy on the booze given the lightness of the malt presence upfront. Not bad at all.
A little thin, but decently textured.
Not bad, but not a huge amount of character. Seems ultimately more of a hefeweizen than a particularly turbocharged one.
Blonde Ale brewed for GABS 2016. Tried at the festival on tap.
Pours a gold colour, slightly cloudy with foamy cream-coloured head on top, good lacing. Looks pretty nice.
Smells awesome. Malty sweetness but a big tropical apricot character, with hints of passionfruit, pineapple, lemon and pear. Really fantastic.
Taste is not as impressive. Feel like there's lots of really late-hopping as the aromatics are all there but the palate is insubstantial. Caramel malt notes, some vague hints of passionfruit and apple/pear, and a slight and subtle lemon zest note towards the back. Generally tropical, fruity, and a little bitter, but just simple and plain.
Decent body, goes down fluidly.
The palate kind of dials down the tropical notes and just seems like a simplistic hoppy-bitter palate without the complexity, so I find this a little disappointing. Not bad, but it also just feels a bit blah at a festival like GABS.
330ml brown bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria. Best Before date of February 2017, which honestly, seems optimistic for an IPA.
Pours a clear deep golden hue, turning towards an amber like golden syrup. Head is slightly stunted, but quite fine, forming an off-white ring around the edge and some islands of lace. Body is pretty fluid, but with a slight slickness to it that suggests some weight. Looks decent enough.
Nose is, sadly, pretty lacklustre. Slightly grassy, with a big acetone whack that suggests the elevated booze content is not going to be well-hidden at all. At its base is a furry mess of grainbag and stalks, with earthy tones of mushroom and turned earth. It's not good.
Taste is surprisingly a little better. There's a pretty heavy malt presence here, that I'd say was unnecessary in a really good IPA, but here it helps gloss over some of the issues. The alcohol is noticeable, but because of the additional sweetness, it's not hot or bothersome. Bitterness is quite subdued, but again, it feels like it would be pretty closely coupled to the acetone note if it were bigger. Again, it's not great, but it manages to pull something drinkable out of the murky depths.
It's not a great IPA though by any measure, but it winds up being a beer that I can drink without too many qualms. That was looking unlikely after smelling it, so credit to it.
78 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a lovely bright, deep golden colour, with brilliant clarity in the glass. Fine, decent carbonation swirls through it when tilted. Body is light but smooth. Head is just white, forming a fine ring that leaves solid lace. It's a good-looking beer.
Wow, the nose is impressive, and very peachy. Fragrant and juicy with fruit—it's one note, but it's a good note. Sweet and fragrant, perhaps laced slightly with a hint of graininess to remind yourself you're drinking beer. I like it.
Fragrant, sweet and fruity on the palate too, with a full-bodied mid-section that stays clean despite the fruit character. Drops out a little towards the back with a touch of dusty astringency the only really tip of the hat to the saison in its name. Slight lingering carbonic note in the finish, but theres still plenty of peach fragrance sitting around.
Feel is smooth enough—it works despite the lack of body at the back.
Yes, it smells and tastes like peach. But it does it very well, and it ends up being really drinkable and refreshing. They've hit that on the head at the very least.
74 / 100
Pours a gold colour, touch of haze with lovely head - dense and white. Could use a bit more cloud for the style but otherwise pretty good.
Smells fruity. Peach is foremost and nicely tangy. Not a whole lot of saison character but somehow I get a different aroma vibe than I would if it were just a pale ale with peach. Touch of sourness. Not bad.
Taste also showcases peach in a big way. And yet that peach flavour feeds other flavours: pear, green apple, touch of sourness and barnyard, touch of wood and finishes surprisingly crisp and pleasant, when it could have ended so stodgy and sugary. It's still very sweet, and gives a slight alcopop vibe, but it's a pleasant sweetness, one that I enjoy.
Touch of fizziness on the mouthfeel which mars the beer a little. Adds to the soft drink alcopoppy atmosphere which I'd prefer to be divorced entirely.
Very nice drop overall. Lots of nice characters and drinkable as hell.
This was my #8 beer of the festival.
Bottle from Chris, who presumably bought in some North Parramatta bottlo.
Dark brown amber, nice off-white head of decent density. Pleasant lace. Nice and sweet.
Smells mildly oxidised. Brown sugar, caramel and date notes. Some cinnamon and nutmeg. Smells like cinnamon donuts.
Tastes similar. Quite sweet, lots of brown sugar, date notes, some cinnamon. Trails off early but plenty of pleasant sweetness on front and mid. Some oxidation, caramel, toffee. Sweet, fairly dark. Fairly dark dried fruity flavoured.
Decent texture, fairly light throughout.
Not bad, nice date notes. Bit old, but it's not too much of a detriment since the oxidation kind of suits the other flavours.
Pours a pale straw colour, bit of haze. Head is off-white, nice tightly-packed bubbles but clearing out pretty quickly. Nice-looking pale ale.
Smells like a pale ale. Caramel malt base with passionfruit, lemon and apple/pear notes vying for attention in the hops stakes. Tangy and refreshing.
Taste is a little bready. Touch of pearl barley on the grain notes develops an odd cinnamon character midway before the fruit hops take over. Again apple/pear with a very subtle hint of lemon, not a lot of bitterness. Still seems bready overall; the hops are nice but not quite strong enough.
Thin body, decent texture. Maybe a slight hint of some kind of alcohol which would be absurd in such a small beer, so I might just be mistaken.
Just a decent pale. Bit more late-hopping could really zing it up.
Tried on-tap at GABS 2013 in Melbourne. Burleigh call this a "strong pale ale".
Pours a very golden colour, quite clear in the body with a light, fluid weight behind it. Head is just white, full and solid, leaving pretty decent lacing. Some fine carbonation is noticeable, especially when swirled or tilted. Looks pretty good.
Light, peachy fruit on the nose, with a slight hop character and a bit of dry, pale malt. The aromas dip and dive a little letting different characters come through. At times peppery, other times with herbal tones like fresh basil. It's not bad.
Light clean entry on the palate. Some stonefruit, a little more body mid way through. It's still pretty light, but again there are some subtleties, with a slight herbal bit again making its presence felt. Finish is quite empty and flat, but with a slight cling of hops in the aftertaste.
Feel is light, and a little empty, but matches with the rest of the beer.
Overall, this is pretty drinkable and pretty decent stuff. I guess my only problem with this is it being called a "strong pale ale". It is more flavoursome than their standard pale ale perhaps, but less so than many others which don't claim the "strong" moniker.
71 / 100
Dark amber colour, slightly mahogany with generous off-white head that sinks to a nice crown of lace with a few clumps around. Nice-looking bitter.
Smells a bit POR-y with earthy, mildly spicy bitterness. Pepper on there, soil with nice malty notes over the top with caramel and vanilla on there. Decent English herbal hops and nice malt balance, but it's still just OK.
Taste is very malt-driven, with lots of caramel, cracked grain and vanilla, then gets nice hoppy bitterness that's quite mild: herbal, grassy and a bit spicy on the back, adds some piquancy but otherwise nice, subtle bitterness. Clean and quite palatable. Not my ideal beer but it's well constructed and able to be quaffed.
Bitty at times but smooth enough, not too bad.
Decent bitter. Clean, drinkable but a nice malty flavour for the most part.
@tobeerornottobe said "Do you have a lighter beer?" Oh yes, I sure do...
Pours very clear and very light, with minimal body and a filmy, pure white head. Lacing is relatively persistent and leaves a pleasant frothy pattern down the inside of the glass. No, it's not a brilliant looking beer, but it's very decent for the style.
Nose is crisp and adjuncty, with a note of corn or DMS, and a slightly sharper I-almost-want-to-call-it-hoppiness. But then it sinks back to sweet corn syrup and light vomitous astringency. No, not for me.
Taste is almost devoid of character, even feelingâit's as though this beer disappears as soon as you put it in your mouth. Very thin and only leaving a hint of that corn because it has to. Really reminiscent of a wet tortilla. Appalling.
Really horrible beer., of the kind that makes you scream out in disgust as to why it was ever brewed. No carb beer? It should be illegal.
57 / 100
Purchased from Beer Cartel in Artarmon, on a visit soon after they opened. Looking forward to visiting again and seeing how their range has expanded.
Pours a bright and clear deep gold, with a frothy and very loose-bubbled head of foam. Seriously, the bubbles are about half a centimetre in diameter. Collapses to a ring of frothy suds. Carbonation is streaming. Head is a disaster, but otherwise looks ok.
Nose is crisp and metallic, with some citric hop character. A little sweetness, caramel, but with a touch of banana to it, which suggests it may be esters from the fermentation. Quite fresh all up though. Not bad.
Taste is clean and crisp, with a decent almost pilsnery grain character through the centre, and a phenolic bitterness on the back. Slight metallic astringency on the finish, but it adds a little crispness. Carbonation is too aggressive, however, leaving it airy and bloating.
Not a bad beer. Not terrible, but not that great. The excessive carbonation is the sticking point for meâwithout it, it would be a decent, if not particularly exciting pale ale. With it, it's a bit too much effort to work through.
58 / 100
On-tap at the Local Taphouse as part of the GABS.
Pours a clear golden colour, with almost no head whatsoever--just a gauzey collar of film. Little lacing. Looks decent enough, but still pretty average.
Nose is weirdly chemically, with a sweetness that combines to make it smell like artificial caramel sundae sauce. Thick and sweet, but weirdly bland as well.
Taste is similar. Caramel topping comes through but with a weird sweet astringency like butterscotch schnapps. Some burnt toffee, but it's the only complexity to it. Very light body, and a beer like this needs a lot to back it up. This just doesn't cut it.
It's drinkable, and not unpleasant. It just could have been so much better.
Slightly burnished golden amber colour, lack of head really but small trails of lace around. Small, slow bead through the clear body. Looks a bit flat and unimpressive.
Smells very sweet, with nice coconut notes but a darker side that has touches of children's cough medicine about it. Yeah, there's a "dissolved in water" edge to the sweetness; seems weak and simple. Not a bad smell, I like everything that's here but there's not enough and it doesn't bode well for the flavour.
Taste is similar; there's plenty of sweetness with vanilla, coconut, a touch of brown sugar and some molasses but ultimately it's just weak and lacklustre. Slight oatmeal note as well towards the mid, but the finish is short, and fairly watery, with a touch of boozey bitterness. Not enough, however, to save this palate from mediocrity.
Thin feel, I guess but has a bit of texture as it goes down thanks, I'm sure, to the oats used.
Sweet enough and not bad, but I want a lot more flavour and body.
Pours a dark espresso brown colour with ochre head; generous and dense and puffy. It's sizzling a bit but being kept alive by strong carbonation from beneath. Some lacing, nice and sticky but a bit thin.
Nice coffee aromas. Roasty but not burnt, so there's a bitterness but doesn't cross into sour or astringent territory. Quite strong (also helps) and yet fairly one-note, although there is a subtle caramellish malt note underneath. Simple, but really quite pleasant.
Taste is more or less what I was expecting; more's the pity. Lots of espresso coffee with a slight vegetative flavour to it. Slightly alkaline on the front that stays steady without much complexity to the end, where rich roastiness comes through, very espresso-like and bitter, not quite charred, but that very darkly bitter coffee flavour. Subtle enough to be enjoyed but at a couple of times it gets a smidgeon too burned. Very subtle bite of resiny hop at the end helps to cleanse, but doesn't entirely do the job.
Texture is there and there's a foaminess, yet the body is fairly thin. Carbonation sears the tongue a bit too much. Interesting though, especially for a lager.
A few snags here and there, but otherwise very decent drinking. A post-dinner sessionable beer.
48 / 100
Part of my NYE 2010 celebrations.
Pours a orange-red colour, with a pleasantly fine head of white foam. Minimal lacing, and the body is light, but that's probably to be expected. Looks pretty lacklustre all up, but still in style at least. That's worth something.
Nose very minimal. Hints of roasted grain and a slight tangy acidity that may come from... well, anything. It's a very minimal nose. Not offensive, but neither is it very interesting. Smells like pale grain soaked in seltzer water. Eh.
Taste is a little better, although it's still rather thin and rather insipid. Some pleasant grain characters on the fore, backed with that same carbonic acidity as was on the nose. Light, watered down feel, again like a sessionable English ale, but also like a light watered-down thing.
Wow. Overall, I'm really not impressed with this at all. It's a shame, because otherwise these guys do some decent beers. But for a special release bomber, this is woefully uninspiring. Flat, thin, insipid and very devoid of character. Certainly not a recommendation from me.
Pours a very dark brown colour; you'd be forgiven for thinking it was black, even though there's a slight deep ruby tinge when held to the light. Head is frothy and good, a light mocha colour, and very full. As it eventually collapses, it leaves some very chunky lacing. Looks pretty good all up.
Nose is husky and grainy, and rather potent with organics. Quite dark, with a gritty, earthy undertone and a whiff of coffee grounds. It comes across perhaps a little too forcefully, and doesn't have a huge amount of complexity - I feel a touch of sweetness, a more layered grain note, or something similar would deepen it.
Taste is a little thinner than expected, but that may well be the lager yeast having its way. Comes across with a light coffee grain character, with a touch of metallic cling on the back. Feel is light, although the residual coffee bitterness hangs on for quite a while.
Drinkable enough, and it has some pleasant characters. It doesn't come across as an extreme or particularly complex beer, but I don't think it's trying to. It ends up being a drinkable, and surprisingly sessionable brew, that has some genuine flavour to it.
46 / 100
Pours an almost clear yellow gold colour, with just a fizzle of head that spends itself quickly, dissipating to a ring of tiny bubbles around the edges. For something that calls itself a hefeweizen, it's incredibly clear, despite the fact I swirled the bottom third of the bottle trying to stir up some sediment. Nothing. A real shame - this is a very lacklustre looking beer.
Nose is analogous to the look - slight spice of cloves, and a hint of tangy citrus, but very mild and not very flavoursome. You can just tell what it's trying to be, but it's very light on, and not very exciting.
I don't know how long I can keep beating this horse, but all the characters match - they're all like a pale, dull shadow of a real hefe. The taste is slightly sweet on the fore, with a hint of pepper and spice on the back, but all incredibly muted and rather watery. It's as though I'm perceiving the beer through several layers of frosted glass. I can tell what's there, but it's all vague and indistinct. Mouthfeel is a little thin, with just a erratic burst of carbonation.
A very average beer in my opinion. There's nothing really off about it, it's just incredibly dull and only barely scraping acceptability stylistically. Better than generic Australian swill, but really, I shouldn't be making the comparison at all.
41 / 100
Pours a slightly hazy, slightly pale gold colour, with lots of fizz but little head - a whisper of bubbles on top sinks almost immediately and I'm left with a very lagery-looking hefe. Looks over-carbonated and under cloudy.
Touches of banana on the nose and also some mild citrus rind that sometimes comes with it. Fair amount of sour-bitter blend and a slightly coppery edge. Smells quite sweet at the front, but it's milder, and most of the aroma comes from the metallic character at the back. Not bad, but underwhelming and lacking in the classic hefe spice character.
Taste is quite sweet - yeah, a candy sort of sensation. Fair amount of banana and vanilla on the front crawling into a bubblegum flavour towards the mid. Mid-palate expands with a metallic and very phenolic flavour sensation. Lots of copper, cough medicine and a hint of rubber. A little bit too much of that though, and it's unbalanced to the brinks of unpleasantness. Back palate catches the tail of these flavours and finishes with a tickle of a sour yeast character. Not one of these elements would make an outright bad beer, but I'm put off firstly because none of the classic hefe characters are here to a significant extent, giving way to an overdone lagery flavour that's too strong to be refreshing, and secondly because the balance is off, and the flavours just don't mesh together.
Feel is a little slimy, I guess a bit too thin, with a slightly harsh sizzle on the back as it goes down. I hate to keep bashing on about this, but it's not a classic hefe texture.
Not a revolting beer, but not very good. There are far better hefeweizens being made in Oz.
49 / 100
Explodes on opening. Huge frothy four-fingers of head. Coarse rocky foam, that leaves a bit of sticky lacing. Body is light clear gold with some suspended floaties.
Not much on the nose - a light spice character, perhaps a hint of lemon, or sugar.
Taste is a bit messy. The front palate is almost reminiscent of a Belgian wit, with spice characters dominant and a hint of light toffee sweetness, but the back stings with an unwelcome amalgam of hops and bread yeast. There's some good characters here, but they're a bit unbalanced and the whole thing feels a bit slapdash.
Ends up being like an overhopped wit - I think it needs to be one thing or the other: either spicy-sweet, or dry and hoppy. Together the characters clash.
Overall though, it's actually reasonably drinkable, but I feel as though they need to tone down the schizophrenia here.
74 / 100
Dark golden colour with a clear body. Minimal head, minimal lacing, and lots of fine carbonation.
Light, fruity nose, good hints of pine and passionfruit. Quite floral, quite hoppy. Really very reasonable.
Good robust hop character on the palate as well. Strong up front with a very nice, sharp bitter back palate as well. Very nicely hopped. Gives it a crisp refreshing quality. Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, which gives a bit of a lift, very suitable.
This is a very nice drop, and a very reasonable, quite generously hopped pale ale. It has character to keep you interested, and a really nice easy drinking quality. To date, one of the best beers I've had out of Queensland.