Can given to me by Jez for my birthday; reviewed live. Yes I am drinking it right now. Well, I'm not of course, because I need to review appearance and smell first.
Speaking of which, pours a hazy orange colour; seemed clear for a lot of the pour but then got the yeasty haze as part of the last stream. Head is white, nice and dense and foamy but dissipates pretty quickly, leaving some nice sticky lacing. Looks pretty decent.
Smells a little west coast, really. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it's not full-on west coast, it just smells quite limey and a little tart. Some mildly stodgy passionfruit notes underneath it, with some mildly spicy tobacco character as well. Yeah doesn't excite me like a great IPA should, not does it seem like something super-juicy that would excite others.
Taste is... honestly, it's unexciting. But it's not bad. It's kind of unexciting in a good way, because instead of being explosive and complex, it's just nicely balanced, with the right amount of tang, the right amount of acidity, and a very low bitterness which adds to the lack of excitement but also makes it very true to the spirit of the style. Some apricot character throughout, touch of orange midway, then a very mild citrus character lingers on the back with a touch of tropical flavour, mild sprucey bitterness as well. Yeah, it's got a good malt character underlying, and a lot of the complexity that's there is quite subtle. It's actually quite good.
Mouthfeel is a little bitty and somewhat too dry towards the back so it's a little sharp. Decent texture but a little too busy.
Yeah, look it's a NEIPA for sure, and it's probably the least exciting NEIPA I've tried. But that's surprisingly not to its detriment; it ends up making sense in a way that plenty of flashier NEIPAs don't. Good stuff.
West-Coast style IPA using Lupulin powder rather than hops, brewed for GABS 2017. Thankful for not-another-hazy-IPA at the festival.
Pours a gold colour, slight hint of haze in the body. Head is white, largely webbed out but sticks nicely in lacing trails. Not bad.
Smells nutty, grainy. Maybe a slight woody character like sawdust. Slightly sweet and medicinal and no real hint of hops. Disappointing.
Taste is better. Sweet grain upfront, develops some fruity pear/apple character midway and then a good citric bitterness that's a bit too subtle for the style but is there to cleanse and balance. Alright.
Body is fairly standard for the style, maybe a bit thin. But alright.
Not bad, but the lupulin powder thing seems to be a gimmick that hasn't quite worked, it just lacks the substance of your typical hoppy beer and I'm unclear on the benefits of doing it this way instead.
74 / 100
Passionfruit IPA with American hops, brewed for GABS 2016. Tried at the festival.
Pours a gold colour, with a slight cloud to it. Cream-coloured head that sticks around nicely. Not bad.
Smells slightly more like NZ hops than US hops due to the passionfruit maybe; tangy and fruity with a big passionfruit, apricot and pear character. Pleasant, refreshing.
Slight honeyed grain character kicks off the palate before hops take over and rightly so. Passionfruit, more of that apricot stonefruit character. Lemon and other citrus notes late that becomes really quite bitter and zesty. Slightly spicy to finish. I like this.
Bit of sharpness on the feel, possibly just from hops but maybe alcohol notes as well, maybe a touch more malt on the body would help.
Wow, I'm really impressed by this, it's definitely my favourite beer from Ekim. Tangy IPA with a big fruity character but a good respectable bitterness as well.
This beer was longlisted for beer of the festival but didn't crack the top 13.
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a pale golden colour with very solid hazing. Head is just cream in colour, forming a fine solid ring around the glass that subsequently leave flimsy rings of lace. Fine carbonation though a pretty solid body. Looks pretty good.
Nose is slightly dusty, but with some pleasant dried apricots coming through and a smoothness giving a hint of vanilla custard. Hint of green peppercorns gives it a slight lift, although overall it's a little mild.
Light, funky and slightly sweet-salty on the entry, which reminds me of something I won't mention. Smooth clean malt through the centre though covers over this, and by this stage, we also have a crescendo of slightly biting hops. Back is clean, with some slight aromatic spice. Aftertaste lingers with a spicy bite of dry ginger.
Feel is fairly full, which is quite nice.
Overall, it's not bad. The smoothness hides the booze fairly well, which helps the drinkability. I liked it well enough by the end.
Pours a golden colour, touch of cloud. Large bubbly head, cream-coloured, retaining fairly nicely. Not a bad-looking IPA.
Smells like an IPA. Grainy with a caramel touch then lots of fruit salad hops. Passionfruit, pineapple and mango making me think citra? Quite sweet, tangy edge that stops it being cloying. Quite pleasant.
Caramel malt upfront, with an English toffee edge to it. Hops take hold early - passionfruit and pine, with some more stone fruit in there - mango and peach mostly, then grapefruit producing fair bitterness on the back. Still retains its sweetness though and the finish sits a bit uncomfortably for me.
Decent body, touch of alcohol warmth, not as much as you'd expect for the size though.
Decent double IPA, lots of edge, but not really my thing.
73 / 100
A tequila-spiked, Sorachi Ace-hopped pale ale brewed for GABS 2014 in Melbourne. That sounds like something I want to try. So I did. Sampled on tap at the festival.
Pale golden in colour, with a little haze and some fine carbonation. Body is fairly light, and forms a white, minimal head. Not much in the way of lace, just a few fine streaks. Looks decent enough.
Nose is very pleasant. Strangely toasty oak notes come through along with smooth vanilla and a peach aroma that is really quite fragrant. Smooth all around, even if it doesn't have a truly deep complexity.
Peach characters on the front with a little acidity through the centre of the palate. Spicy cinnamon notes come through out of nowhere. On the back the oak comes through giving suggestions of dank cherry and leaving a light seedy character on the finish. Feel is smooth, but light. Really quite good.
Overall, this is surprising and unusual, but pretty nice stuff all-up. Certainly one of the most interesting beers I've had from Ekim.
Pours a deep amber colour, quite dark with massively overblown head. Nice and fluffy, webs out on the top kind of flat. Nice lace, but yeah too much head.
Smells fruity actually, very sweet with apricot, orange peel and a hint of almonds on there. Yeah, nutty malt and fruity hops. Not bad.
Taste starts very nutty, gets more so, lots of almond and peanuts as well as a hint of apricot-tinged hops late. Nice sweetness to them but could use a bit more earthy bitterness. Bitterness on the back is mostly woody and not as clean as it could be. Not a bad palate though, nutty and sweet and drinkable.
Full body, hint of fizz but really just a mild tingle.
Nice brew, drinkable and pleasant.
Really tiny operation, running out of the Happy Goblin Brewery. This is my second of their brews, after the Viking IPA. This bottle was purchased from Platinum Liquor in Bellevue Hill.
Colour is extremely pleasant, a lovely bright golden colour, lighter in the extremities, but with a lovely sparkling depth to it. Head is fine and living, leaving some speckled laving, but surviving in sudsy regression as a ring around the edge of the glass. Really quite a pleasant look.
Nose is a bit tired, with a leafy green hop character, but little else. Slight sweetness, and a hint of pineapple. This bottle is probably a bit old, but it is most certainly showing its age, no matter how old it is.
Taste is very light, with a thin reedy malt character, laced with overlays of green slightly herbal hoppiness. Finish has an echo of bitterness, helped along by a persistent carbonation. Feel is light, and a little bit limp.
It's not bad, and I've no doubt it would be better fresher, but this particular bottle leaves me a little nonplussed. It's a pretty pedestrian APA, without much inspiration. I'm still happy to keep buying their beers to try, however.