Jeez, how does one classify a 'golden porter' brewed with rosemary? As a porter, is what, and one then tells all critics to go fuck themselves. This was brewed for GABS 2017, and tried there in a sampler.
Pours a golden amber colour, slight haze, with sparse white head, doesn't retain but leaves some nice lace behind. Looks alright.
Smells pleasant. Caramelised grain on the base and then a nice big rosemary character over the top, slightly herbal and grassy and almost piquant. Curious.
Taste is quite malty upfront. Nutty at first, with hints of chestnut and roasted peanut character, develops some sweet vanilla and caramel notes midway, then a subtle rosemary note towards the back, not a whole lot of other bitter or herbal notes and judging from the aroma I feel it could be bigger. Still, pretty decent tasting beer.
Body is a little thin, but it's smooth and pleasant and has a good presence in the mouth.
Smelled better than it tasted, but still tasted pretty good and enjoyable overall. I retried this and long-listed this but it didn't crack my top 20.
62 / 100
Imperial Salted Oatmeal Stout, brewed for GABS 2016. Never got to try "Inkblot Stout I" assuming it existed. Tried at GABS in Melbourne.
Pours a coffee colour, pale brown at the very edges. Beige foamy head, looks pretty nice. Maybe a bit pale, especially given the 'inkblot' name. But not bad.
Smells spicy and pleasant. Clove notes, touch of meat and smokiness, and some woody notes. Not a lot of salt, but not bad.
Tastes fairly sweet, with chocolate malt abounding upfront. Develops some coffee notes midway then develops into spice territory, with star anise and cinnamon and a touch of clove. Some oaky notes on the back and maybe a slight spicy heat? Not bad.
Body is a bit full-on, feels quite thick, with a kick of alcohol at the back. Bit heavy for my liking.
Not bad, but I'm not getting a really unique character from this. Tastes like a boozey, sweet stout, which is not a bad thing but it seems to under-deliver on its promise.
69 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a slightly muddy brown colour, with a bit of tiny fine carbonation through the rather heavy body. Head forms a fine ring of yellowish off-white that leaves streaks of lace. Looks decent.
Nose is nice, with a fresh hop aroma giving a sweet fruit-salad aroma. It's quite big and certainly very sweet, forming something between mango and lemon. It turns a little grassy as it warms, but when it's in its stride it's very pleasant.
Pleasant, bright fruit bite on the front of the palate, with a sticky sweetness like dried apricots. The mid-palate lacks body though leaving it floundering somewhat with a lack of sweetness. It's very dry on the finish, but with that fruit still lingering around in an aromatic way. Oddly, I'm not sure I got a single hint of brown maltiness at all from this beer.
Feel is quite full, but it just evaporates towards the back.
Overall, it's a nice enough brew. The fruit characters are pleasant enough on their own. It's not a huge beer, but I did enjoy it.
75 / 100
Pours a brown colour, very cloudy. Head is cream-coloured, webbed but not really retaining. Shame about the head as it otherwise looks nice.
Smells sweet and pleasant with caramel and a touch of dry cocoa. Lots of hops - US primarily but a touch of new world tropical tang. More hops than expected. Smells very good.
Taste is malty upfront, fair toffee sweetness with a slight touch of roast. Hops come through late and lift rather than balance or clean out the malt. Somewhat herbal actually, still giving a US west coast tang but somehow more mild and austere than expected. Woody at times, fruity at others. Great construction of a US brown ale palate.
Body is a little thin but the texture carries it through - smooth and just a touch dry on the back.
Surprisingly good beer based on a fairly middling brief. I do tend to underestimate Kooinda sometimes but I really wasn't expecting anything this good.
This was my #6 beer of the festival.
60 / 100
640ml brown bottle purchased from Slowbeer by my brother and given to me for Xmas. 2013 vintage—I don't think there's been any others yet, but there may be in the future.
Pours a very hazy, and quite thick pudding brown with a fine, slightly bubbly head of off-white. Carbonation is very low, but it's interesting enough.
Nose is heavily spiced. Stacks of nutmeg, and certainly notes from the dried fruits, with a piquancy probably attributable to the orange peel. Slight marzipan character noticeable as well. Yeah, it pretty much matches up with the description on the bottle, which is worth something.
Taste is quite spicy, lacking sweetness and richness, which means that the sharper notes are very dominant: orange peel and cinnamon come through a lot, and pierce any deeper notes that come through. More of that marzipan towards the back, and a finish that's really quite medicinal. The same aromatics are there but it makes it all a bit weird.
Feel is actually pretty solid and heavy, but without the sweetness in the body, it feels very strange to me.
Overall, there was a pretty decent spice blend created here, but the beer ultimately didn't quite support it enough. There are plenty of positive things about this beer, but I found it a little bit tough to slug through by the end of the glass.
Pours a golden champagne colour, fair haze throughout. Head is white, webbed out and dissipates to leave a thin rim. Looks a bit dull and flat.
Smells lovely, however. Light floating mosaic hops all over that giving apple and pear, lemon and tangy passionfruit. Nice touch of malty sweetness adds a complement although without fully grounding it. Hopefully palate has more grounding but as a smell it's lovely.
Taste has that sweet fruitiness throughout, with a touch of peach and packham pear notes upfront with a touch of caramel malt. Hops turn bitter midway through, giving a big grapefruit character to the finish. Nice grounding with bitterness, possibly a bit much this time - felt like there could have been more of that tangy flavour.
Body is a little thin, flat and lacking in texture. Not bad but not great.
Decently refreshing drop. Bit underwhelming but stylistically good.
Pours an odd rose-coloured tinge, mostly pink. Slight cloud to it is good in a wit; white foamy head. Interesting colour, looks quite good.
Nose is quite a typical wit smell. Bit earthy and dry with fruit and spice notes. Slight tart berry character and a hint of clove and anise. Not bad.
Bit weak on the palate: some decent Belgian wit notes giving coriander seed and nutmeg, with a slightly tart berry note as well. Quite dry on the finish, doesn't really contribute anything exciting.
A little bland on the feel, quite flat. More carbonation could give this some zip, or more texture from the yeast/spice.
Yeah, I'm not really excited by the concept of a fruit witbier. A little bit unimpressive overall, just doesn't have anything outstanding.
56 / 100
Witbier brewed with New Zealand Karaka berries. Tried on-tap at the GABS festival in Melbourne.
Pours a pale pink colour, the hue of watermelon flesh. Very hazy body, with quite a light weight. Head is white and filmy, which leaves som light rings. Looks pretty good, overall.
Pretty mild aroma, but some interesting characters to it: light berry tartness, with an aroma somewhere between raspberries and cranberries, and a slightly spicy witbier astringency. Not bad, if not very potent.
Taste is a disappointment. Mild entry, with a sharpness from the wheat, which continues into a clean sweetness on the mid-palate. Crisp finish, but little hint of the berries apart from the aroma. Very light feel.
Eh. It's not bad, but it's really not all that exciting. It has some pleasant characters, but is also missing depth and complexity.
71 / 100
Enjoyed at the Venn Gallery bar in Perth.
Pours a dark cola colour with orange tinge, very big head - beige coloured and beautifully dense. Retains lovely fluffy crown. Pretty fantastic.
Lovely resinous hops on the nose, lots of oily citric notes with grapefruit, grass and a nice coffee malt underlying adding a sweet cocoa aroma and caramel. Very nice indeed.
Taste starts out very malty with nice roasted coffee notes, touch of chocolate and some oak character as well. Hops come through then, oily and resinous with some bitter grapefruit character, as well as some Chinese herbal notes at the back. Finishes quite clean, but a whisper of a hang from the bittering hops. Not bad, but could use a more defined profile; it's really just a big mass of flavour all at once and some better distinction between front and back would make the flavours really come alive.
Full, smooth, and very pleasant with not a lot of dry pull, even though hop oils are distinct.
Great Black Ale and a worthy beer from Kooinda. Good work.
76 / 100
Bottle purchased for me by @LaitueGonflable. Cheers!
Pours very dark, almost opaque, with touches of crispy crown at the edges. Head is huge and frothy, a deep tan-brown colour. Lacing is wiry and spideryâit looks lovely. Not that thick and heavy in the body however, and there's minimal visible static carbonation.
Nose is lovely and hopped up with gorgeous hoppy aromas. The Sauvin comes through beautifully, giving a wonderful tropical passionfruit character. This mingles weirdly with a touch of roasted coffeeâthe green, sharp hoppy character and the mellow dark coffee and chocolate is an awesome blend. This may be the best smelling IBA I've had.
Taste is more roasty, but with a pronounced clean green bitterness through the centre. Roasted coffee, charred grain, with a lightly acidic, fruity passionfruit character underpinning it. It's quite bitter, because both the hops and the roast add their own bitterness. Very light body still. I'm waiting for an IBA with a big, heavy, chewy body. Not this one, though.
Very drinkable and very pleasant, if a little crazy. The IBA is meant to be a weird concoction, a blend of odd characters that clash and meld. Nelson Sauvin works so well in this because it has such a clean and biting freshness that it's almost the most unlikely hop to put in a black brew. That's why it works.
77 / 100
Pours a lovely bright, slightly coppery golden colour with a full head of frothy foam that seemed to take some effort to promote; however much of the carbonation seemed caught up in the heavier-than-average body, meaning it just coalesced late into a full crown. Minimal lacing, fine carbonation. Looks very nice.
Nose is very pleasantly fresh and crisp, with some sweeter, rounder tropical fruit aromas to go with the dominant zesty citrus characters. Slight nutty malt behind it which gives it a depth without really clashing with the hops.
Taste is clear and pleasant, with a slight bite of bitterness on the back, very nicely balanced with more of that nutty malt character, which gives a slight grainy, almondy character on the finish. Crisp feel, with some weight to cushion the hops. Very nicely balanced.
Very drinkable and crisp, and very well balanced for sessionability. This is a cracking APA (take the first 'A' to stand for what you will); I'd say a match for Little Creatures or Sierra Nevada.
On-tap at the Local Taphouse's GABS festival.
Pours a still and clouded lemon yellow colour with no head. Light bodied, surprising not much tinge of raspberry either. Eh. Looks pretty average.
Nose is weird, there's no getting around it. Raspberry leaf notes and an odd organic spiciness. Yeah, even something almost smoky. Certainly at least some wood character. It's weird, and odd, but it has a little exciting character to its weirdness.
Taste is also weird. Some raspberry characters, but more of that woody, organic character. Almost keller-like phenols, especially on the back. There's certainly some spice and acidity. Almost a Belgiany baked beans character. Weird.
Feel is smooth and slippery.
Weird beer. You can tell by my repeated use of the word "weird". Interesting, though.
40 / 100
Cloudy and opaque pour, quite a pale marigold colour. Flat and unimpressive on top and slight translucency around the edges. Unusual, but mostly looks flat and unimpressive.
Smells odd. Very clovey with a cedar smoke kind of edge. Fair amount of banana on there as well, touch of orange peel and just lots and lots of clove; too much in fact which I think is what gives it that smokey edge. Not much raspberry and frankly a bit weird.
Taste is not very impressive. Thin, watery texture is the first thing I notice, and the whole palate is a fairly pedestrian wit exploration. Not a huge amount of raspberry on there, in fact can't detect any at all. There is maybe a slight tartness late-mid but it goes hand-in-hand with the witbier yeast and it's hard to separate the two in any amazing "Oh my God there's raspberry flavour here" kind of way. Just nothing unusual or interesting here and it's overall quite insipid, flavour-wise.
Thin, watery body, very dry on the back. Meh, indeed.
Not an undrinkable beer but it's just weak, underplayed and what might have been an otherwise decent beer has just become drab and bland.