|Highest Rated||Pale Ale (76 / 100)
||Average score||62 / 100 (Decent)|
|Lowest Rated||India Pale Ale (51 / 100)
61 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a clean yellow colour, with some hazing and a bit of weight to the body. Head is off-white, formed of some coarse bubbles that look like the result of perturbation rather than carbonation. In actual fact it looks almost completely dead and flat, disappointingly.
Nose is slightly vinous but mostly quite flat. There's a hint of something metallic and an odd sensation like the smell of toasted tomato sandwiches. Overall, it's actually fairly dull.
Light and smooth on the front with a vinous quality but nothing truly acidic. Weird vanilla notes through the middle, possibly from the barrel, and just a little bit of chardonnay towards the back. It's also pretty dull though. Smooth enough on the finish at least.
Feel is pretty smooth, but sorely lacking its carbonation, which would lift it a lot.
Overall, it's OK. But it really could be a lot more interesting. The fact that it's not is genuinely a shame.
Pours a straw colour, fair bit of cloud in the body. Head is white, sparsely bubbled. Bit pale, but OK.
Smells champagney rather than oaky. That's not such a bad thing though. Vinous, with some funky barnyard characters around the edge. Not bad.
Taste is more on the oaky side. Still quite vinous with a slight chardonnay character, the oak is very French with a fair woody flavour to it. Touch of lemon at the back gives a big tangy character. Yeah, really rather chardonnay-esque and pleasant.
Decent body, not much texture.
Pretty decent vinous brew.
Bottle purchased from Plonk in Canberra on a recent trip.
Pours a very hazy, and surprisingly dark golden-amber hue, with a frothy, large-bubbled head of off-white. Lots of streaming carbonation, which accounts for the head, although the head has crackled down to nothing soon after the pour. I think the beer is too dark, but otherwise fine. I don't mind the haze given it's bottle conditioned.
Nose is slightly metallic, and a little fruity or floral, giving a touch of crushed petals or rosewater. There's a slight estery character as well, giving a faint banana hint. Overall, it's not unpleasant, but again it's off-kilter for the style.
Taste is clean and crisp, with a slight metallic bitterness on the finish that just stings it enough to keep the palate lively. There are more of those residual floral aromas, that giving a lilting suggestion of sweetness; it's quite unusual and not all that pleasant, to be honest. Feel is light and crisp; suitable, and easily the most stylistically correct attribute.
Overall, it's drinkable enough, and not unpleasantâI also enjoy seeing a lager of any description in a brewery's lineup. But this is off-style in really weird ways. I don't believe it's meant to be experimental, but experimental is how it comes across.
On-tap at the Local Taphouse in Sydney as part of the GABS festival.
Pours a hazy, bronzed amber colour. Head is filmy with some crackling bubbles on the edge. Lacing is good, and the body looks solid. Decent, if not exciting.
Nose is light with acidic sweetness, but more of a malt-grain base. Some freshness, and a light artificial note of paint and plasterboard, like the inside of a construction side. Quite nice, although not what I expected.
Taste is rather grainy, with a bit of plasticky character. Some mild fruit, but it sits weirdly as the bases of the beer. Almost like the malt characters are the flavouring for the fruit base. Nutty grain and light organics on the back, with a slightly aspirin finish. Fruit doesn't really add a lot of sweetness, just a touch of flavour.
Feel is prickly, although the plasticky character makes it seem fuller than it is.
An interesting enough brew. It was not a highlight of the festival for me, but it was decent enough.
Pours a dark-ish cedar colour, slight pink tinge. Head is cream-coloured and retaining a thin crown, with wonderful lacing left behind. Slight haze in the glass. A bit dark for a pale ale, but the fruit influence is evident.
Smells sweet and fruity with a good belt of quince and a slight unwelcome musty note at the back; a touch of damp basement to it. It just hides at the back, though, of an otherwise quite pleasant fruity aroma.
Good fruit on the front, and it continues throughout. Quince notes come through early, slightly bitter but a good fresh edge, and it continues to the mid where it's joined by some cake-battery-esque malt, and a touch of freshly milled grain as well. Slight buttery note towards the edge and a dry finish with some fruit rind bitterness. Nutty, on the back, as well, really quite strongly.
A bit thin on the body and quite dry. Not bad though, suits the style and the slightly bitter palate.
Could throw back quite a few of these. A decent beer, I quite like it but the quince isn't doing a great deal here. It was utilised better by Bridge Road in their Saison de Coing.
69 / 100
Tasted on the morning of New Year's Eve, to complement a breakfast of leftover turkey sandwiches and brie.
Pours a deep brown, but certainly not a black colour, with a fine, oily and filmy head of yellowish beige bubbles. Some large shapes of lacing form, but the body doesn't want to support anything more. Decent enough, but not that exciting.
Nose is roasty and sharp, with a slight dark boozy note giving some red grapeskin tannins and a little sweetness. Not a lot of the chocolate to it, but the nose is very mellow and deep.
Flavour is round and roasted for the most part, and pleasantly, the smoothness burgeons on the back, giving a roasted grain and nut character to wash away some early astringency. Chocolate sits as a light smooth liquor in the middle of the palate, but it's certainly not very pronounced. Feel is smooth enough, but sits very light - an extra thickness would elevate this beer significantly.
Still, this is a pretty tasty beer, and a roasty stout. It's not as smooth, heavy, complex or robust as the best examples, but the chocolate and oatmeal are both well used, and I think Lobethal knew what they were going for with this one.
Tasty with breakfast, too.
69 / 100
On tap at Sydney's Local Taphouse.
Pours a pleasant reddish amber colour, with a pleasantly full head of white foam. Good lacing, without a lot of carbonation. Looks pretty tasty. Almost more like a red ale though.
American hops on the nose, giving lots of fruit; almost overripe and squashy. Bit of butterscotch and biscuity grain characters to sweep it just slightly away from hop purity, but it's pretty nice.
Light sweet passionfruit tart characters on the palate, aided by the very smooth mouthfeel that feels like melted glass. It's surprising, but quite pleasant in an IPA. Taste is very clean, and the hops are muted, but robust enough to cleanse the palate.
Very drinkable IPA, with enough character to be interesting, but light enough to be sessionable and enjoyable.
72 / 100
Drunk from a 2L growler bought from the brewery.
Pours a dark ochre colour but not too dark - lets a lot of light through. Head is very generous when poured - quite dense beige foam that dissipates quickly, leaving a thin crown of visible bubbles. Lace is nice and dense, but not very sticky.
Nose is quite strong and actually floral. A fair amount of lavender and rose petals blending with some slightly roasted malt. Has a brief whisper of rum or other refined spirit and a hint of espresso lingering at the back. But yeah, interesting flowery smell, quite nice.
Taste is fairly floral again, more of that lavender but with a tea leaf flavour as well on the front, slight peppery spice gives it a kick on the mid. Lightly roasted chocolatey malt with a slight caramel edge provides the backbone, while a slightly meaty aspic kind of flavour comes through as well. Quite a bit more interesting than your average porter, but is lacking the slightest bit on the classic porter dark sweetness. Nice, could be nicer.
Slightly thin mouthfeel, but with a good swirl of body as it goes down. A fairly decent feel for the flavour but still a bit lacking.
A pleasant drop with some interesting flavours. Really does drink better in this way than I imagine a bottle would. Let's have more growlers in Australia, I say!
75 / 100
Awesome two-litre growler brought back from the brewery by my bro from another mo, laituegonflable.
Pours a lovely dark copper-brown, quite clear, with a really fluffy head of pancake-bubbled white-brown foam. Body looks lovely and thick, leaving some static carbonation when swirled. Carbonation is fine. A very decent and tasty looking brew.
Some darkness on the nose - rich dark high cocoa chocolate is dominant, with a strangely leavened banana character. There's just something sweet and juicy in amongst the dark roasted notes, along with a freshness like jungle leaves. Really quite pleasing, and very deep.
Taste is also pretty good, with a long palate of rich chocolate grain notes and a freshly vegetative bite mid palate. Finish is rich and roasted, not particularly dry, but with a lingering charred bitterness. Again, the fresh notes leaven what is otherwise a pretty deep dark brew, providing a wonderful counterpoint and a necessary balance. Mouthfeel is a little thinner than I would have hoped, but the fine carbonation sets off the green notes nicely.
Yeah, a very nice beer, and one that has a really pleasant balance between dark malt and green freshness. A tad more sweetness and body would help it, I think, but that's my only nit on what is otherwise a exceptionally drinkable brew.
Had on tap at the bierhaus. Seems to have been recently brewed.
Pours a burnished orange colour with very pleasant, thick cream-coloured head of fairly small bubbles. Steady stream of bead. Lacing is speckled but nice and sticky. Looks good, but not spectacular for a Belgian style.
First note and PLEASE TAKE NOTE, LOBETHAL - served WAY too cold. It's icy. The snifter was actually freezing my hand as I held it, had to warm it extensively for about five minutes to get any sort of character from it. Eventually got some fruit notes, raisin and some apricot. Some tangy citrus as well, and a good dose of some alcohol phenols on the back with some maraschino cherry notes. Smells quite light and fruity, could use more spice to remind me it's a Belgian style.
Tastes very tangy, lots of cherry, strawberry and baked apple flavour from the start. Mid-palate imparts some phenols, hint of tonic water and a bit of over-sweet character coming through. Big warming alcohol notes, a little too strong. It's quite noticeable. Quite spicy but in a bitey, alcoholic way, with a whisper of white pepper on the back that gives it a bit of an edge. A bit overdone with the booze, not enough flavour complexity to mask it, and it's really obvious as a result. Okay but lacks depth of flavour. Basically I'm just missing that wintery, malty undertone and the richness of the spicy Belgian yeast, they're just not apparent enough. Too many esters five this a light ale character, but with a large alcohol hit.
Mouthfeel is not bad, very full and textured. Could use a bit more stickiness from malt, but from the lack of malt on the palate you can tell it's a nice full thick beer from the feel at least.
Not all that drinkable actually, a bit of a struggly. Very sweet with obvious alcohol - not such a good mix in a beer.
60 / 100
Pours a very dark brown colour with nice ochre head, made up of visisble bubbles and retaining well. Leaves some pleasant beige lace behind. Pretty nice.
Nose is very chocolatey, with a good belt of espresso as well. Quite sweet though, with none of the bitter burnt character I've experienced with other oatmeal (or any) stouts. Not much else to it, really, just toasty notes and a lot of chocolate. Maybe a hint of hazelnut on there.
Tastes very stouty. Quite roasted on the front, with hints of cocoa and some dark fruits, plum and berry flavours. Mid is a bit bitter, and finishes quite roasted with hints of that burnt coffee character. There is a weird tang to the back almost akin to lemonade, just a kind of light citric sourness. Not bad, but a very standard stout flavour. Lacks nuance on the palate.
Mouthfeel nicely full and very well textured. Not thick but a great presence on the tongue. Thank you oats, you've smoothed this up to the max.
The bitterness at the back is a slight turnoff, but apart from that it's a well done stout.
76 / 100
Pours an orange colour with gilded edges. Head is small, beige in colour with nice sticky lace clinging to the glass. Light bead and slightly translucent. Nice.
Very caramelly on the nose, almost like steamed pudding. Big whiffs of apricot, marmalade and some really nice tropical fruit aromas. Some pine wood on there as well. Man, it's pleasant. It's a shit-good smelling nose. Just a whisper too sweet.
Taste has a lot of tang to it. Starts quite caramelly, very malty with a whisper of diacetyl. Fruit comes through early with hints of grape, pawpaw and apricot. Very American, almost has an American IPA character due to the strong hoppy/malty give and take. Finishes strongly with very good floral hops and a malt pudding sweetness. Slight bitterness at the very back doesn't clip off the sweetness which lingers just a bit after the fact.
A bit of fizz on the mouthfeel but a good full body, quite a nice texture overall.
A very competently made pale ale, very pleasant and drinkable.
Had on tap at the bierhaus in Lobethal.
Pours an orange-tinged golden colour with a good pillow of foamy white head, sinks forming a healthy crown of small bubbles. Steady stream of carbonation through the brew. Nice looker.
Lots of malt on the nose, hints of golden syrup throughout. Some floral hops imparting a passionfruit aroma and some grassy character. Not bad, but having this after the pale ale I have to say this isn't as complex. Certainly not complex enough for an IPA.
Taste has lots of diacetyl very noticeable early on. Some malty notes that quickly turn over-sweet with syrupy notes. Hops come through early, giving off some nice phenolic notes and hints of grass and parsley. Finish is fairly bitter with some soil notes, and I appreciate the grounding of an overly sweet palate, but the palate is very unbalanced. It doesn't blend, or meld, from one flavour to another, just dumps you with sweet, and then dumps you with bitter.
Quite thick on the feel, yet also feels a bit harsh from the carbonation. Good fullness, but mediocre otherwise.
The right flavours are there but not in the right balance, too sweet at front, very bitter at the back. Flavours are too mish-mash to make this a smooth drop.
Pours a pale golden colour with very light haze, translucent appearance. Head is small and leaves a pale white cloud after sitting awhile. Lacing is pretty good, very little carbonation. Pretty good hefe.
Good bits of fruit on the nose, the mandatory banana on there with a very healthy dose of spice. Clove and white pepper predominant among the aromas. Vanilla bean comes through as well and some sour capsicum fragrance. Good hefeweizen character but nothing spectacular.
Taste is sour for large parts, with an underripe banana flavour, hints of leather and some sweet strawberry as well. Spice is underwhelming, with some mild clove hints on the back being about it. Leaves very dry, to an unoaked chardonnay extent. Not bad but lacks the complexity of your top-shelf hefes.
Mouthfeel very dry on the palate as well as the back, a bit harsh really, not very palatable.
Not a bad effort, but not great drinking.
57 / 100
Had on tap at the bierhaus.
Pours pale amber with minimal white foamy head, slow and light bead, some decent lacing. Looks pretty blah, really.
Nose is very fruity and floral, great deal of hops on there. Lots of pineapple and citrus with some acerbic characters lingering behind. Light caramel malt as well, pleasantly light and refreshing smell.
Taste is bitter from the start, but quite complex. Starts with a metallic bitterness, then some pleasant fruity esters come through on the mid with hints of dried apple and some sultana notes. Slight bready yeast comes through at the back, which is a shame for the rest of the palate. A green flavour hangs at the back, slightly tart and undercooked. Overall pretty nice except for that slightly cloying bready character.
A bit overcarbonated on the feel, has a very harsh tingle to it. Pretty thin and wet otherwise, not impressed.
Not bad overall, hang spoils the refreshing pils nature of it though.