Another tough GABS beer to classify. I've gone with stout, because although it's apparently got chilli in it, it's sold as a chilli chocolate stout and so I feel the chilli is only incidental to the chocolate, which is incidental to the stout. Also has finger limes in it apparently, so yeah good luck with that, beer taxonomers of the future. Tried at GABS on tap.
Pours a coffee colour, nice beige foam on the top. Doesn't retain very well but otherwise looks OK.
Smells grainy, but dark. Some chocolate notes and some dark fruit, maybe some coffee. Not much else, which is disappointing given all the adjuncts promised.
Taste is alright, fairly stouty. Peanut character upfront, that develops some sweet vanilla-infused chocolate notes, then a good roasty coffee character midway, slightly spicy as well but in a coffee rather than a chilli way. Lacking the lime, but ultimately it's a decent stout.
Nice mouthfeel; quite smooth and full and goes down well.
Not a bad stout, but a bit disappointing in that it fails to fulfill its own promise. Kinda straightforward stout, in the end.
They call this a 'part Czech pilsner and part smoked beer'. So I've gone with Czech pilsner as I always prefer more defined styles. Tried on tap at GABS 2016 in Melbourne.
Pours a red colour, clear body with pale beige head, decent retention. Bit clear maybe, but looks alright.
Smells tragic. Some insipid fruit notes, of apple and pear which are pure fermentation by-products, and a big diacetyl note. Yeasty, cloying. Unpleasant.
Taste is similar; big sweetness upfront with caramel toffee, then develops some resinous notes towards the mid-palate with some phenolic bitterness and then a big and overly long yeasty finish. Not much smoke at all but hints of fresh cut wood through the mid-palate. Sweet overall, and unpleasant again.
Texture is alright, has a decent body and a touch of carbonation that cuts through the sweetness better than the finish does.
Meh. Not smoked enough, but also just not an interesting pilsner as a starting point.
Cherry baltic porter, on tap at the Quarrymans.
Dark brown, bronze tinge at the edge, bubbly off-white head with not a lot of density. Looks a little light, but OK.
Smells fruity and somewhat sour. Touch of chocolate, maybe. Cocoa with cherry. Not bad, but the dark elements are underutilised.
Taste is more roasty and robust. Decent fruit element underlying, cherry definitely there but it comes across as vinous under the roasty bitterness. Somewhat on the burnt side of roasty, but it's nicely matched by a slight tart dark fruit note midway, then it dominates on the back. Touch of vanilla late, which is weird: sweetness unmatched to the dark bitterness. Not bad and certainly the most interesting beer I've had from Badlands.
Seems thin on entry and exit down the gullet, but has a decent body midway. Maybe a touch too much carbonation.
Decent fulfillment of the brief. Feel it could use more sweetness on the finish, or more tartness to just amp up the curiosity. But it does what it promises; just not as briliantly as it could in theory be.
Yes, that's not a typo in the name, it genuinely says "Indian Pale Ale" on the label. Sigh. An inauspicious start from a brewery I want to be better.
Pours a deep coppery orange colour, with almost no head, just a fizzle on the pour. Looks limp and flat, and very underwhelming. (For what it's worth, my Dad left the bottle sitting out for four hours or so and swore it poured better after being exposed to the elements for a whileâperhaps it undertook some quick spontaneous fermentation...)
Nose is rather grainy and almost toasty, giving some darker characters to the mix. There's a whiff of cocoa to it as well. Very minimal hop character: a bit of grass, some tea leafâearthy, but not particularly robust.
Taste is similar. A bit of graininess giving a wholemeal bread character, some cooked veggies, and some frozen peas. Almost a touch of banana esters. No bitterness, no hop flavour. No, no, no... Please, not like this.
Overall, it's not a beer you'd be able to say is "hoppy", which is a bad sign for an India Pale Ale (or an Indian Pale Ale). Worse is that this gives prospective beer geeks a bad impression of a wonderful style.
Not a good IPA, and struggling to even be a good beer.
Limited release from the brewery. This is bottle #005, purchased by my Dad, an Orange local.
Pours quite a deep brown colour, with a decent haze to it. It's dark enough that it looks stylistically good, but light enough that you can pick the hue. Head is a bit filmy, and takes a bit to get it going, but the low carbonation fits the style nicely. Bubbling in the head is very fine, and it leaves some sudsy, but not particularly intricate lacing. It looks pretty nice.
Nose is roasty and a little astringent. Mostly grain based, little sweetness of coffee, or even the blackened charred nature of truly dark beer. To be honest, there's not a lot to it. It certainly lacks complexity, although the characters are decent enough.
Taste is similar, the roastiness is the only real note to it, although it has a slightly harsh banana character coming through as well, which is a bit out of style. Finish is very weak and the feel is very light indeed. I really feel it needs a lot of body to back it up, and some more complexity to make it interesting.
It's a shame that this is not a better beer. For a "special release", they could do something more adventurous. This is a very safe and tame beer, and not a great example of the style.
I hope they try something more exciting in the future.
Pours a rich, deep brown; not as dark as some. Head is off-white, again not as dark as some. Decent at first, but sinks quickly, leaving little to the eye, just a cloud of saliva-esque foam. Decent, but thin, lace as well. Not a bad porter; not great either.
Smells quite chocolatey; classic dark grain but really noticeable barley notes on it as well. Some herbal notes like mint, and vanilla adding sweetness. Yeah, lovely sweet, chocolatey with hints of espresso and a hint of sourness. Not bad, again.
Tastes...portery. Fair amount of roasted grain, with barley and some oatmeal notes early. Retains that all for the mid but gains a chocolate note with some dry roasted espresso characters as well. Finish has a light, very light spice. I guess it's peppery in that there's a light spice sensation without a lot of noticeable flavour. The back is slightly woody with mild red vinous notes. Overall I feel it's a bit lacking, but it has all the right porter notes so I feel like it might just be where the style generally feels lacking to me.
Feel is a bit empty, really. I can feel the body in my mouth, but there's little more behind it, just enough for me to know there's something roasty on my tongue.
This is mild enough to drink quite readily. It does, though, remind me why I'm bigger on stouts than porters. Just a bit on the meh side.
Pours a pale golden colour with lots of carbonation. Head is thin with visible bubbling, retains a thin crown. Leaves some nice sticky trails of lace around. Pretty decent, but not really pale ale territory, well too bubbly anyway.
Smells is very fruity, a little oversweet. Lots of light milky caramel malt with rotting fruit aromas like banana and apple. Slight lemon zest but not a huge amount of tang; mostly a very saccharine fruit note. Not bad, but I've sure had better.
Taste is quite grainy with lots of bready notes, a hint of corn and just some barley grist - just a kernel-esque character. Hints of earthy bitterness with a fairly long finish. Slightly acerbic and medicinal, with a little bit of phenolic hang. Not bad, but a bit too bready for the most part, with noticeable yeast, and the hoppy bitterness doesn't have a lot of character, just a drawn-out herbal bitterness. Could use a trifle more hops - perhaps later hopping, to carry on that fruity note from the smell.
Fairly pleasantly full mouthfeel actually with not a great deal of sizzle from the carbonation. There is a little, but it's just lightly tingly. Pleasantly surprised by that, it's the best part of this beer.
I have had better beer, but this isn't unpleasant.