Pours a deep red colour with good clarity. Unfortunately there's very little head whatsoever. No lace, no retention in the head. Surprisingly deep body, however. It even sustains some static carbonation when swirled. It's weird, but true. Otherwise, it's a very average looking beer, however.
Minimal toasted malt on the nose. There's very little else, perhaps a sweaty hint of salt and a slight soda water acidity. It's not that great, but it's not unpleasant.
Taste is indeed very weak. Some dark grainy notes on the front, backed by a slight sweetness of malt or honey. There's some hint of roast bitterness on the back, but it's very thin. Mouthfeel is extremely thin, but it matches up with everything else we've learned about this beer.
It's not great overall, but it is drinkable. But it ends up just being a thin veneer of roasted malt over a very mediocre base beer. It's not bad, but it's far from exciting.
On tap at the Mountain View location.
Easily looks the best of the sampler platter I had. A deep opaque black-brown, with flashed of red-brown at the edges. Head is a thick and consistent creamy mocha colour, aided by the nitro pour. Good retention, and it leaves some pretty good lacing. Looks pretty good.
Roasted malts on the nose, quite deep and toasty. It's not particularly strong, but the characters are right, at least. Not verging on smoky, it rather stays quite bittersweet, a hint of brown sugar or burnt toffee. Not bad.
Taste is also good without being great. Tasty enough, starting with a good roasted character, some charred balt on the back which lends a pleasant bitterness. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth from the nitrogen. Again, it's not stellar but it's pretty good.
It's a tasty little stout, pretty drinkable with a decent amount of character. Not the best stout I've had by a long shot, but it's not bad, and easily the best of the Tied House brews I sampled.
38 / 100
Sampled on tap at Mountain View.
Pours an extremely clear golden colour, way too clear for a hefe, and with a huge wedge of lemon I forgot to ask them not to add. To be honest, there's perhaps a slight haze to it, but it certainly seems clearer than warranted. No carbonation, and the head is non-existent. I'm not sure I can entirely blame the lemon. Unimpressed.
The nose is certainly killed by the lemon, which is all you get when the wedge is still there. Once it's removed, there's still a slight carbonic or wheat acidity, but very bland. Certainly none of the classic hefe banana or clove characters. Again, I'm not impressed.
The taste initially gives a huge yeasty note, not unlike Pride of Ringworm, for those Aussies playing along at home. This is cleansed somewhat by a light acidity mid palate and a pleasant dry finish, but it's not true to style - it's only pleasant by comparison. Mouthfeel is pleasant and spritzy at least. It's what the palate demands, even if, again, it's not terribly true to style.
It's drinkable enough, really. There's nothing really offensive about it, but I can't say I enjoyed it a great deal.
57 / 100
Pours a clear golden yellow colour. Only a filmy head, not particularly impressive. Some carbonation though, even after it has been sitting out for some time. lacing is mediocre. Doesn't look too bad for what it is.
Some grassy hops on the nose, a little vegetative, but pretty weak. It's not a huge nose, and it doesn't have a great deal to offer, but it's not that bad.
Taste is clean, but unimpressive. Some light sweetness on the front, more like sugar than malt, unfortunately, but the clean sharp bitterness does some work clearing out the back. It finishes only semi-dry, with the sweetness lingering a little too long, but it's not that bad all up. Mouthfeel is a little flat, despite the carbonation that is apparent.
The sweetness becomes a bit too much, and I ended up feeling a little bloated from it. It's not a bad beer, but it's certainly nothing particularly exciting. Unfortunately similar to the bland Australian "craft" beer I'm used to.
46 / 100
On tap at the Mountain View location.
Pours a very clear amber colour, quite light, and thin in the body. Again, there's no head to it, but they fill the glass right to the top so it's perhaps an intentional thing. Looks pretty tame overall.
Nose is pretty weak. A little sweet grain, and a dash of honey. Jenny says strawberry jam, and I can maybe believe it. There's certainly sweetness to it. Very little hop character.
Taste is also pretty weak, but on the palate it comes across as slightly more clean and refreshing. Certainly not a lot to recommend it in terms of flavour, but it's smooth enough, and the mouthfeel is crisp.
Not impressive, but pretty drinkable. I've had far better Amber ales, including some pretty mainstream examples in Australia, but it's not bad. Just pretty lame for such a niche market.