Bottle given to me by Jez for my birthday.
Pours a dark chocolatey colour with thin beige head that dissipates fairly quickly, giving a bit of a lacklustre crown of lacing. Fairly sparse that makes the beer look a little thin. But OK.
Smells roasty and pleasant. A good chocolatey note with very slight ashy bitterness to it that intensifies it a little bit. Fairly decent caramel character around the edges. Yeah, look it's somewhat sweet but otherwise has a good robust stout character to it. It's good.
Tastes... a little thin to be honest. Has a pretty decent chocolate note in terms of flavour but it's quite subtle and buried under an odd sort of spicy and ethanoic mid-palate that has some mild berry notes but otherwise doesn't have a lot of flavour to it. The finish feels a little adjunct-sweetened and has a surprising lack of depth to it where the nose promised a good roasty bitterness; it's just not there. It's not overall a bad beer but it's fairly dull as a stout and it's quite disappointing coming off the nose to this as a flavour profile.
Mouthfeel is somewhat thin for the most part, but the mid-to-late has a nice bittiness from the roasted malt. Not bad.
I'd say it delivers on its promise but fairly thinly. The chocolate and the stout are both fairly sub-par and it ends up like a bit of a sweet dark mild ale. It's like buying Lindt and getting Nestlé.
Difficult to classify this beer. It's a blend of a bright ale (hence English) and a Barrel-Aged Sour IPA (hence IPA, although seriously don't know where you can work barrel-aged sour in there as well). Brewed for GABS 2017, and tried there on tap.
Pours a champagne colour, cler body with foamy white head. Very pale for either of the two styles blended here; not bad.
Smells pleasant. Fruity, fresh and zesty mainly with some lemon and grassy notes. Maybe a hint of coconut and a general sort of nutty character as well. Not bad.
Taste is a bit disappointing. Cereal on the front, that develops a faint zesty citrus character about midway, and gets quite bready and yeasty as it finishes, a little bit cloying. No hint of oak and no real sourness except as an afterthought of some wild tart notes. Pretty disappointing really.
Mouthfeel is OK, decent texture that's got a fair presence in the mouth.
Not a bad cleanser actually just because of the ultimately English yeasty character, but a bit insipidly sweet and lacking the sourness (which I expected to make it cleansing).
62 / 100
Forgive me for the very generic style description, it's described as an oaked sour beer. So open to interpretation. Tried at GABS 2016.
Pours a very pale gold straw colour. So cloudy it's practically opaque. Head is white, dense and creamy with nice retention. Looks thick, and infected, in a good way.
Smells mostly yeasty, and disappointing. Some nutty character, and some Brettanomyces characters on there but not a lot of complexity. Feels lacking in the body so it's just pure yeast.
Taste is better; sour. Sweet malt upfront with a touch of vanilla, then sourness takes over but more wild than tart, with a big Brett character that leads into a smooth oaky finish towards the back. Touch of cinnamon and some more vanilla to complement the funky notes. Pretty great in the end.
Decent body, less texture than I would have expected though.
Pretty good in the end. Off-putting at first but it pulled it all together in the final analysis (i.e. the palate)
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a deep golden colour with some hazing to it. Body is pretty full and holds some fine, languid carbonation. Head is white, forming a fine ring and leaving behind some complex lace. Looks pretty good.
Nose smells like a deli. Bacon and smallgoods come through, along with a slight spicy herbal character. It smells like a terrine in other words. Rounded out with some yeasty notes. It's quite pleasant.
Sweet entry on the palate chased by a slight grain astringency. Thin and slightly boozy on the back with a bit of medicinal bite. The aftertaste has a slight hint of fuggy smoky, otherwise it's mostly gone and it finishes a bit flat.
Feel is full, however, and pretty decent.
Overall, it's decent enough. It's not a standout from the festival, but it certainly has some purpose of its own.
57 / 100
Pours a gold colour, slightly cloudy with lovely foamy head, a thinnish cream-coloured cloud. Never seen a doppelbock look so pale. But that's OK.
Smells of bacon. Meaty. Spicy BBQ sauce edge. Not much else but what else could there be? Smells great.
Taste is sweet, and unpleasant and disappointing. Caramel malt with a touch of clove that gets really cloying and medicinal late. Maybe a touch of smoke but it's all gone up in a puff of not smoke. Seriously where has that lovely aroma gone to?
Texture is fine, mouthfeel is fine. Body is the right consistency for the ABV and the style.
Sweet and underwhelming beer. It promised so much, too.
60 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchased at the Triple Ace Bar in Surry Hills. Hey, it was a beer I hadn't tried, so I guess I can't complain about the beer selection.
Pours a very clear amber-golden colour, with a fine, eggy head that takes some effort to promote. Despite this, there's a fine upward shower of carbonation running through the body. Lacing is good. The colour and the body make it look a little generic, but there's certainly good things there.
Nose is surprisingly dull. Coppery, slightly flat and a little bit woody. As it warms up a little there's a faint suggestion of spice, perhaps a little aniseed, and just a little toffee sweetness. Overall, this does smell pretty generic, and certainly as though they've toned down the flavour profile.
Taste is a bit better, with a sweeter, rounder character coming through. Definitely some mild Belgian tones, with a little fake yeasty ester. Slight lemon peel bite matched with some mineral salt. Sadly, it ends with that same woody bitterness that makes it taste very generic—like a PoR-hopped Aussie lager.
Feel is light and oddly empty. Given the sweetness in the flavour I would have expected a bit more to it.
Overall, it's fine enough as it is, but it's definitely worse than the Dark Ale, and probably not even as good (or as Belgian-flavoured) as the White, a beer which I don't much enjoy any way. Most disappointingly, this is not the rebirth of the very good Little Rabbit BPA, which was Little Creatures and White Rabbits collaboration entry at GABS a couple of years back. This is significantly more tame and much less interesting.
44 / 100
Pours a pale straw colour, hugely cloudy, almost opaque. Head is white, foamy, medium retention. Not bad.
Smells herbal, grassy. Dry upfront with notes of champagne and a touch of French oak putting me in mind of a chardonnay. Lucerne towards the back, with a bit of spice. Not bad.
Touch of champagne upfront on the palate, develops a slightly tart green apple character midway but finish is all yeasty. Yeah, definitely lacking the acidity and complex finish of a good Berliner weisse, just finishes bready. Quite meh.
Thin body, touch of carbonation. OK for style I guess but there's also a lack of tartness pull which adds to my disappointment over the palate.
Unimpressive drop. Had some promise initially, but didn't deliver as a Berliner Weisse.
43 / 100
For a brewery with only two regular beers, White Rabbit pulled out all the stops during GBW 2013. I tried at least three new beers from them, including this one at GABS.
Pours an extremely pale, yellow-white colour, with solid hazing and a rather light body. Head is white and forms soms solid but inconsistent foaming. Not much lace, and not much carbonation, although the body's so light it's a little difficult to tell. Overall, it looks like a pretty stylistically appropriate Berliner Weisse.
The nose is less so. Slight wheaty characters come forwards, with a hint of musty grain. Almost no acidity or tartness is present, and instead it gives off a dull, generic lager character. Quite unimpressive.
Taste starts light and crisp, with a rounded but muted grain character hinting that there could be good things to come. But instead everything drops out, leaving the centre of the palate empty, with just a slight sludge wheat-porridge character. On the back is a touch of salt and a light, floury finish.
Feel is faint, with a suggestion of chewiness, perhaps just from the porridge character.
Overall, this is a pretty poor Berliner Weisse. There is no acidity or sourness at all, and without it, it's just bland, verging on offensive. I'm am truly not a fan.
One of White Rabbit's special release beers during Good Beer Week 2013 in Melbourne. Tried this on-tap at the Great Britain Hotel in Richmond as part of the Victorian Pint of Origin series.
Pours a reddish amber colour, with some solid hazing. Weight is decent. Head forms a solid ring, filmy and fine, with a creamy white sheen to it. Lace forms in inconsistent sheets. Overall, it looks pretty good.
Slight maple biscuit characters on the nose, with a hint of very mild smoke. Some pepper characters as well, but it doesn't have a big robustness to it. It's pleasant enough, but could be bigger, even with the same characters.
Light peppery entry, dusted with a little roasted brown malt character. Some lemon comes through as well on subsequent sips. More lemon comes through on the mid-palate with a sweeter tinge, and some vague baked smoke notes. Finish is light, but with a dry biscuity character and pie crust. Again, a whiff of smoke, but pretty mild.
Feel is light, but with some subtle weight behind it.
Overall, this has some nice characters, but it's all just a little bit light. The complexities and flavours are very interesting: had it been just a touch bigger and more expressive I would really have been on board with it.
62 / 100
A cherry witbier based on the White Rabbit White. Brewed as part of a week of one-offs at the Little Creatures Dining Hall during Good Beer Week 2013.
Pours a pinkish orange colour, solidly hazed like the base witbier should be. Body is light and fluid. Head forms a fluffy pinkish white cloud and then disappears rather quickly. No lace, some light carbonation when tilted.
Medicine characters on the nose. Some acidity, some cherry skin. There are grassy tones as well, along with other fruity notes: perhaps peach and a bit of melon. Overall, it's a little weak, but it's not bad.
Light spritzy acid on the front of the palate, which develops into a more fruity tone as it goes along. Again, perhaps some cherry skin and a little peach. On the back the fruit sweetness drops out somewhat, leaving a pithy, peely character that's slightly vegetative. The finish is rather light and weak, with just a little seltzer acidity finishing it off.
Feel is spritzy but weak.
Overall, it's nice enough, but it either needs more acidity, more fruit or something to give it more body and character. As it is, it's a nice experiment though, and I'm pleased to see things like this coming out from White Rabbit, even as one-offs.
76 / 100
Pours a pale straw-gold colour, very light haze in the glass. Head is white, consisting of large bubbles but a great thick Belgian retention. Good overall.
Malty nose, but lots of Belgian phenolic spice coming through from the yeast. Peppery with a touch of bubblegum, banana, clove, melon and cinnamon. Lovely Belgian blend.
Sweet upfront on the palate, goes into a nice, pleasant Belgian pale character with lots of phenols and spice. Little bit dry towards the back and becomes a little thin or subdued, but a very laudable effort overall.
Decent body, very dry on the back. Not a bad feel.
Very to-style Belgian pale, but nicely handled indeed.
75 / 100
Collaboration beer brewed by Little Creatures and White Rabbit in Healesville for the GABS festival in Melbourne.
Pours a lightly hazed pale yellow colour, with a soft, light body. Head is filmy but fine, and perfectly white. Lace forms well. The body has just enough weight to support some languid swirling carbonation, which is good. Looks very decent.
Nose has lots of round, sweet Belgian characters: vanilla comes through with brighter notes of appleskin and a hint of pepper. It's bright but smooth, and very aromatic.
More of those round Belgian notes on the front palate, with some yeasty tones morphing into mid-palate phenolics. Slight peppery characters come through, with a finish of sultry apple-blossom sweetness. Very clean on the finish, which helps the drinkability.
Feel is smooth almost throughout, but is pleasantly leavened with carbonation.
Very nice beer. Solid Belgian style pale, done with craft and skill. I can't say I was overly excited by the prospect of this beer, but it really delivered on the day.
62 / 100
Pours a very pale straw colour, very light haze but otherwise clear. Hypnotic flow of bubbles up the glass towards a head that was overblown when first poured, but sinking quite steadily and unevenly. Leaves a few clumps of snowy lace around. Would like more haze, less head, but otherwise decent.
Nose is intriguingly fruity. Quite tart it seems at first, but there's a fair amount of juicy aroma to it. I'm getting apple, pear, and some white grape notes coupled with the more predictable candied orange aroma. Still a touch of tartness makes it seem refreshing, and an underlying whiff of smooth honey adds sweetness. Pretty nice.
Taste is a bit simple for the most part. Starts out sweet, with a slight grainy note and that underlying honey sweetness again. Doesn't evolve much towards the mid-palate, although maybe a touch or two of that apple/pear fruity flavour but not a lot. Finish is where it 'all' happens, with slight spicy piquancy, a hint of white peppercorn and some coriander around the edge, a slight woody taste to boot. Leans very slightly too much towards savoury on the back, leading this a bit off the drinkable path. The honey undertone carries through but is too subtle to affect the finishing balance.
Mouthfeel has a great texture though. Surprisingly full body for the ABV, and a gentle bubbly texture with slight prickly finish. Suits the piquant finish and sweet start both very well.
Not a terrible beer by any stretch of the imagination, but it's uninspiringly mild.
71 / 100
Poured with a swirl half-way, Hoegaarden style -- still, the yeast cake seems resolutely stuck to the bottom of the bottle. Fortunately, it's still a cloudy pleasant body; very pale straw yellow coloured, just deepening to a hint of orange in the thicker portion of the glass. Head is a magnificent frothy meringe of white. Lacing is sudsy. Looks every bit the good witbier.
Nose is sweet, citric and candy like. Big hints of orange rind and lemon sherbet, with a little acidity which renders it a little like oaked chardonnay. Not a huge nose, and it lacks the spicy and herbal coriander notes of the best examples, but it's not bad.
Taste is muted, but still it has that pleasant sweet citrus character throughout. Extremely clear and clean and fresh, giving everything up for a smooth, drinkable palate. True, it's missing some big, cranky and fragrant characters of the best wits, but it sure puts together something clean and refreshing.
I think this beer captures the philosophy of a wit rather well, if not its full spectrum. The style is meant to be refreshing, drinkable, slightly acidic and extremely clean. This does a good job there. If it lacks a little something I think it can be forgiven. I prefer my wits to err on the side of refreshing drinkability than on the side of robust experimentation.
This is a very pleasant beer, well made and with purpose. I can definitely see it becoming part of my regular rotation.
Pours a dusky red-brown colour with very cloudy appearance, almost opaque with healthy beige head, good retention. Lace is a sticky film, thick, sticky and gorgeous. Hell of a looker.
Nose is quite sweet and spicy, a lot of malt and steamed pudding aroma with aspects of nutmeg and cinnamon as well, maybe a hint of clove. Slight herbal aspect. Not very pungent though for all that, smells very enticing but could just use more, should punch you with enticement. Not a subtle seduction technique I know, a punch in the nose, but still...
Taste is unusually tart. Has a pudding, cakey kind of malt base to it, quite English really, then assaulted by a bit of a sour and slightly bitter spice character. Hints of lemon zest, mustiness and a bit of funk.
Mouthfeel is quite slick but mostly just thin I think. A little bit of zing and leaves very dry. Almost a vinous dryness and I feel like this would hangover the fuck out of me.
Drinking is quite nice though, phenolic and astringent but not palate-destroyingly so. Seems interesting but a bit thin.
57 / 100
Pours a ruddy red-brown colour, quite clear, and certainly not particularly dark, but the head is a nice yellowish white cloud. Lacing is good. Overall it looks very pleasant indeed.
Some dusty grain on the nose, a little roasted character, and a faint whiff of banana. Even something else fruity, like apricot sits behind the dusty grain characters which is what is most prominent. Very pleasant, if not particularly big.
The grain is more prominent on the palate, and the phantom fruit characters disappear entirely, leaving it quite dry, and unfortunately rather thin. It has a pleasant wholemeal bread character on the palate, and the back is refreshing, but I feel as though the nose promised more than the palate delivers. Ends up feeling a bit thin.
Still, it's a very drinkable and quite sluggable beer, much like the English ales I can only imagine it is styled after. Refreshing enough, and it goes down very smoothly. Not bad at all, overall.