46 / 100
Tried on-tap at the GABS 2012 festival in Melbourne.
Pours a mild golden hue with some hazine. Body is soft, as is the head, which forms a light, creamy off-white crest to the beer. Lace is excellent, forming in proper English bitter lines down the glass. Good stuff.
It's downhill from here, however. Nose is very mild with some grain and a whiff of Pride of Ringwood giving an unpleasant earthy character. Laced over the top is an odd pong of egg-white, which is unusual, tending to unpleasant.
Really empty and mildly unpleasant palate as well. Slight weak grain on the front, before a hint of spice and earth as the token hop character. On the finish is a big whack of carbonic acidity, which gives it the aftertaste of a solid puke. Not a fan.
Eh. What can I really say about this? It's either so bland that it's not worth talking about, or it's not offensive enough to really grill over hot coals. It's just a nothing, forgettable and ultimately pretty pointless brew.
Tried at GABS 2012 at the Royal Exhibition Building.
Pours a gold-amber colour, clear with a dense creamy head. Retains thick and solid. Looks like a hearty, malty ale; excellent.
Smells dry and yeasty and bland. Just simple grains and bready yeast. Can't say I expected much but it really does deliver a whole lot of nothing.
Maltier on the palate and a bit sweeter. Still a bit dry on the finish but grainy and bland for the most part. Bit odd upfront, like it tastes like crunching down on unmashed grains a bit, just dry cereal flavours. Not a lot of hop to balance the sweetness either, but it's not overpowering. It's just simple, clean ESB territory.
Decent feel, again quite dry with a slightly thin body. Not too bad.
Pretty happy this beer was here at GABS as it couldn't all be craziness. Having said that, this beer really can't escape its blandness and it could have amped things up a bit to fit in just a bit better. Decent crack at the style though.
56 / 100
Had on tap at the brewery 16/08/11.
Pours a pale straw colour with thin head, white as snow. Bead is light with a bit of haze. Decent lacing.
Hops on the nose; light with grassy and herbal notes. Some medicinal phenols and nutty malt with barley husks as well. Not bad, could lift a bit with more dry hopping.
Taste is more grainy with light barley and a touch of popcorn on there. Not a lot of rise and fall with one note through most of the palate to the finish. Hops are metallic and mildly herbal that finish kind of medicinally. Refreshing for the most part, but a bit of a hang that is slightly gritty.
Watery front but texture comes through midway with gentle fizz. Good, clean lager feel.
A light, simple pilsener that could be refined in some parts and amped up in others.
38 / 100
Pours a golden amber colour with lovely dense creamy head and nice clingy lace. Slow bead. Bit paler than I'd expect, but nice.
Smells of diacetyl. Too sweet, with crème anglaise, butterscotch and vanilla beans. Hint of spice but conspicuously lacking hops. Disappointing; things gone wrong here, I feel.
Taste is experiencing similar issues, although hops are more noticeable. Front is all sweet with undercooked bread dough, butter and cloves. Switches joltingly to bitter without much progression, resinous and phenolic hops with a coppery metallic edge, a touch of aloe vera and pine wood. Off-balance and bitter, without any cleansing or refreshing hop notes.
Smooth mouthfeel, bit sticky really. Without those hops some fizz would be appreciated.
Yeah, a disappointment. This is the sort of thing that could put people off hoppy beers, when they've lost control a bit.
75 / 100
Had on tap at the brewery 16/08/11.
Pours a pale straw colour with translucent haze. Thin white creamy head and slow bead. Looks pretty good.
Fruity nose with banana, peach and apricot all lifting what is otherwise quite a smokey yeasty aroma. Slight sourness with wood notes at the back. I am intrigued.
Taste is tangy and light, with banana on the front and then more tangy citrus notes with orange, lemon and vinous characters. Wood comes through late-mid with that slight smokey character, bit meaty towards the back, feels like an accident but it's organically produced as a by-product of the other flavours, and works quite well.
Fairly full-bodied, bit of carbonation tingle later, gentle and decently quaffable.
Good hef - classic flavours and very drinkable.
61 / 100
Pours a brown-tinged amber with thin off-white head, slow light bead and pleasant ring of lace. Looks alright, yeah.
Smells quite fruity with peach and mango notes and very mild caramel malt underlying. Tangy; really quite fruity and sweet and pleasant. A classic English ale with malt and fruited-up yeast abounding.
Taste is nutty overall, English toffee on the malt with a touch of mahogany, pecans and peanut brittle towards the back, that grows nicely to a hoppy finish, resinous touch and a hint of fresh-cut grass clippings. Slight medicinal hang is unfortunate because it's otherwise a very pleasant bitter-style beer that just hangs on slightly too long.
Smooth mouthfeel, fairly full with nice texture for the most part then a bit dry and sizzly on the back.
OK bitter/pale but just a few rough edges.
Pours a cola colour, clear dark brown with caramelly head, dense but dispersed to a thin ring of lace. Steady but light bead. Quite nice.
Sweet nose, mostly, with chocolate, caramel and distinct smokey wood on it. Mild, underplayed, but pleasant porter notes.
Taste is quite sweet upfront with dark caramel malt. Develops sour notes with some blackberry character and prune, then develops more roasty coffee notes towards the back. Mocha, really, with hint of star anise and coriander as well. Pleasant porter palate, could use more sweetness continuation from the front, but decent otherwise.
Thinnish upfront, develops more body towards the end and bit of tingle that needn't be there.
Pleasant porter notes, a bit more malt upfront would really make for a smooth, drinkable beer. It's a bit over-bitter with the espresso really taking the fore. Not bad though.