38 / 100
American IPA brewed somehow in some form of competition/collaboration with Thirsty Crow's beer of the same name (no clear details were given by either brewery, quite irritatingly) for GABS festival 2017. Tried there in a sampler.
Pours a pale straw/champagne colour, with nice lacing but the head is quite sparsely webbed. Bit pale maybe, but looks pretty good otherwise.
Smells weird. Honeyed malt, with a touch of rubber. Faint hints of apple and lemon, but largely corporeal. Not great.
Taste is worse. Butterscotch. Huge goopy caramel notes all over with some gluggy hop oils at the back. Touch of pear, just a hint, nowhere near enough to clean it up. Unpleasant.
Thin body, flat; seems fine with the style but not impressive.
Yeah, not a very good beer. Definitely has hints in there of what could have been a nice beer but it's gone off the rails and tastes unbalanced.
"Black Forest Belgian" brewed for, and tried at, GABS 2016 in Melbourne.
Pours a dark amber colour, fairly brown. Beige head, lovely and creamy. Head is great; not bad at all otherwise.
Smells medicinal and somewhat yeasty. Maybe a hint of cherry in there but it's turned quite phenolic. Hints of some dried herbs as well but also a sort of bland spent grain character, hint of peanuts. Not great.
Taste is sweeter; some vanilla-caramel malt notes upfront, with a touch of cherry towards the mid. Touch of oak towards to back too. Slightly herbal and medicinal on the finish though, the sweetness doesn't really take hold so there's an uncomfortable Belgian yeast phenol that strangles it all in the end. Bit of a shame.
Decent body, slight hint of warming alcohol. Not bad.
Somewhat bitter and medicinal, unfortunately. The sweetness seems a bit insipid in the end and it should be the big dominating character.
71 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a deep brown colour opaque with haze and with a pretty solid body. Head is beige or tan, very full and thick leaving some sheets of lacing. Carbonation is fine, especially when tilted. Looks very good.
Nose is toasty and balanced with sweet chai spices. Cinnamon, a little anise along with something milky or even slightly creamy, giving a little vanilla and nutmeg as well. It's quite nice.
Light, spicy star anise on the front of the palate, with some smoother spices as it develops. There's a nice chocolate backdrop towards the mid palate and the finish, lingering with a touch of bitter orange and a hint of nut skin. Aftertaste is long and dry, and slightly dusky with the reminiscences of spices.
Feel is good: full, smooth and slick.
Overall, this is a pretty good beer all up, and I like it a good deal. I have had a lot of beers like this though, and it doesn't necessarily really stick out from the crowd. But taken on it's own, I'm happy to say I enjoyed it.
Pours a brown colour, dark right up to the edge. Head is tan-coloured, foamy, decent retention. Pretty nice-looking stout.
Smells chai-esque but predominantly clovey. Malt has notes of chocolate, sweet espresso and some dark fruit lingering at the back. It fulfills the brief but leans quite heavily on clove.
Taste is a bit more nuanced in terms of chai flavours. Notes of vanilla, clove and licorice with a touch of cardamom. Some more coffee to the malt, especially on the back. Pretty much what you'd expect from a chai stout, but a lot better than Bootleg's PB last year.
Body is a little thin, allowing some carbonation through which needn't be there.
Decent effort overall. I can't find myself leaping up and down at the prospect of chai-spiced beers because they seem so easy to do, but they certainly haven't done anything wrong here.
48 / 100
One half of the unique collaboration PB&J from Bootleg and Thirsty Crow, brewed as separate beers but designed to be blended. This review is just for the PB in isolation. Tried at GABS2014 in Melbourne.
Pours a clear golden colour with an off-white head that forms a solid, fine ring around the edge. Body has a bit of decent weight to it and holds nice fine carbonation. Lace forms in nice rings as it goes down. Looks pretty good.
Nose is pretty weak. Mild, slightly nutty tones on initial entry, before they fall out leaving the beer smelling rather yeasty. Paper and flour tones take over while a suggestion of peanut in the background reminds you what this is meant to be.
Taste is also fairly light. Crisp entry with a hint of amber malt that turns dank and husky in the middle of the palate. Back is also very light, with a little crispness and a stank of yeastiness. Aftertaste is fairly weak, but at least here there's a linger of peanut shavings. Feel is extremely light.
Overall, this is pretty lacklustre stuff. It was certainly not the equal of the &J in any case, and felt a little like it let down the blend as well. Disappointing.
77 / 100
Pours an amber colour, clear all the way through, with white foamy head. Nice lacing. Looks great.
Smell is oaky, with a touch of banana, vanilla, and decent coconut as well. Slight tang to it. Pretty nice.
Oak continues on the palate, coconut and vanilla but yeah it's all that American oak character up the wazoo. Bit of bitterness towards the back but it's more of an afterthought. Good to cleanse, and works well.
Body is slightly thin, but has a decent texture to it.
Yeah, a bit of odd, even weak, hopping at the back but it serves to cleanse that very sweet, coconutty oak. Very interesting twist on their regular amber ale, it works really nicely in this case.
49 / 100
Pours a very lively golden colour, with excessive, almost stupid amounts of carbonation, that provide a blistering froth of off-white, a good 10cm tall, even with a gentle pour. It's all rather insubstantial however, and collapses after it's left alone for a while. Some patchy lace. There are some good points about it, but there are some overwhelming points as well.
Nose is slightly earthy, and slightly metallic, giving a slight twang of oxidised copper, and a hint of medicinal tea leaves. Minimal malt character, although there's twinges of something slightly sweet and sour. It's not all that great, to be honest.
Taste is also pretty lacklustre. Light earthy hop bitterness through the centre, above a mealy malt basis that almost gives hints of corn or other adjuncts. Finish is crisp at least, although the carbonation means that it's particularly brusque and difficult to drink quickly.
To be fair, this was a relatively old bottle, so I'm sure the hops would be better when young, but this feels pretty lacklustre as it is. Too mild, and too lacking in character, but missing any particularly pleasant characters in the little it has.
42 / 100
Had on tap at the brewery 16/08/11.
Pours a golden amber colour with off-white head, nice and dense with decent lace. Steady bead. Pretty good.
Smell is malty above all else. Caramel malt with unfortunate diacetyl aroma of butter that borders on buttery popcorn. Maybe slight dish detergent lemony fragrance at the back. Meh.
Taste is quite thin, with raw cereal grain coming through the mostly watery body. Husky nutty barley, quinoa and puffed rice. Slight bitterness on back but not really a lot of flavour, quite meh, not very impressed.
Fair malty body, touch of tinge from the carb. OK.
Just a fair bit of nothing on this beer. Not offensive though.
71 / 100
Pours a dark cola colour with beige head, nice and dense with crema appearance. Lace is thick and dense, could be stickier. Looks good.
Smells dark and spicy. Plenty of coffee bean, licorice and tobacco. Hint of cocoa on there and maybe some cranberry. Pretty nice spicy nose.
Taste feels a bit empty at time. Dark from get-go with bitter chocolate, touch of coffee on the mid that returns for the back with touch of pepper, licorice and a dry pull from the yeast. Subdued palate compared to nose which is not unwelcome. Decent.
Smooth mouhfeel, velvety with nice yeast pull but otherwise glidey as.
Good oatmeal stout; great, even. All the right characters in good proportion.
47 / 100
Had on tap at the brewery, 16/08/11.
Pours a pale straw colour that thins at the edge, head is white and whispy and quite thin. Decent lace, OK but flat.
Smell is paled fruit, with plenty of watered-down lemon, underripe banana and pear. Touch of nutmeg and vanilla as well. Decent wheaty smell.
Taste is tangy fruit for the most part. Banana with orange peel, banana flesh and some just soda watery bitterness. Fruit doesn't last long enough and not enough malt to cover the thinness on the back. Just a bland wheat beer, really.
Thin, watery mouthfeel, but a bit of texture from the carbonation and not too much.
Refreshing enough, but not very exciting.
62 / 100
Cola coloured with cinnamon-coloured head, nice and dense with pleasant lace. Looks good.
Smell is chocolatey and sweet. Lots of cocoa with touch of cake batter, peppery yeast and touch of coffee cream. Not bad.
Taste is a bit lacking with slight dark malt giving dark caramel, then develops cocoa notes with touch of rye bread and then some fresh banana on the back, just subtly. Bit roasty, bit brassy. Not bad but could pack more of a punch on the front.
Smooth, full mouthfeel, but not seamless with notable carbonation tingle.
Enjoyable drop, leaves me wondering though.
Not sure who added this as an IPA because it's clearly just a pale. Tried on tap at the brewery 16/08/11.
Pours a pale, slightly cloudy straw colour with dense white head that dissipates to a thin crown of clingy lace. Mild haze; looks pretty good.
Lovely smell. Big tangy, floral hop aroma giving me passionfruit butter, lemon zest, pine resin and orange blossom. Great fresh, light aromas that is really just the result of lots of dry hopping, but hey I like it.
Taste runs a similar course but not as potent. Bit thin malt-wise so hops emerge early, with some passionfruity tang and citrus zest. Touch of lemon myrtle and pine wood late, then fairly resinous as the alpha acids make their presence felt. Decent, needs a bit more malt to balance, hops are both too dominant and a bit too 'swimming' in the unsubstantial, watery base.
Yeah, thin mouthfeel, a bit lacking. Hop oils provide t' only texture.
Good ingredients here, method lacks panache.
73 / 100
Pours a pale gold colour, fairly still with slow trail of bead. Head is snowy in colour and dense with small clingy lacing bubbles. OK.
Smell is fresh and hoppy, with plenty of grass, hay and a nice belt of cinnamon and vanilla from the malt. Creamy underbelly with nice fresh hops for a good pilsy character. Bohemia would be proud.
Taste is a crisp pilsnery palate. Decent but subtle grain as a base that develops early hops with grass, some phenols and a drying yeast note on the back with a touch of lemongrass. Pleasant, refreshing beer.
Bit too much tingle throughout but smooth underlying base. Quite good.
Can see why this won at the AIBAs; not only is it pleasant but in honesty it's a safe, quite populist beer as well. Not to denigrate it though, because it's a well made example, and I'm in that population who would like it.
Pours a pale gold colour, clear but without the hefe haze. Head is white, dissipates to leave nice clingy lace. Great lace but needs haze.
Very hefe-y nose. Big clove hit with sour nutmeg notes, fresh banana and touch of dried orange peel. Tangy, spicy. Not bad at all.
Taste is similar in character but doesn't quite have the same punch. Tang upfront with banana, orange and lavender. Slight spice notes on the back with clove and star anise, but not a huge yeasty character; borderline sour.
Fair body, fair yeasty texture. Good.
Decent hef, but underwhelming in parts and nothing really spesh.
70 / 100
Bottle purchased from the International Beer Shop in Perth.
Pours a deep brown colour. Very certainly brown, with a clarity that lets you see the true hue. Body is fine, but solid, giving heft and slickness to the beer. Head is a filmy dusty white colour. Minimal lacing and only fine streams of carbonation. Looks good.
Nose is smooth and round, with a hint of sweet esters and very minimal roast character. There's a depth of character that suggest weight and complexity, but I feel the sweetness is just very slightly overdone, and needs a bit more grain or roast to pull it back.
Taste is much better, and it does have that almost cleansing roast bite to balance and strengthen the complexity of the palate. There's still a fair bit of sweetness to it, and it sits a little bit too long, but the balance is better. Touches of halva and nuttiness lift the palate on the back.
Feel is smooth and light, but the undercarbonation is noticeable.
A good beer, but a very slightly odd one. It's too sweet, to my mind, and it needs something more to pull it back. Nevertheless, it's a tasty beer, with a good deal of complexity.
74 / 100
Very pale yellow colour, quite cloudy with a nice fine bubbled head of white foam. Nice, but surprisingly light.
What a nose, full of massive passionfruit sauvin-ness. Just gorgeous. Very sharp and sweet. It's nothing more than that, but screw it, I love Nelson Sauvin.
Light bubblegum on the palate, with a pleasant crisp bitterness. Banana and tropical. Quite a note of weizen but with the hoppiness to bring it back to beerland. Very light, but exceptionally easy to drink. Mouthfeel is crisp. Very nice.
A very smooth and drinkable brew. Very enjoyable. I wish this were available everywhere.
Pleasant as this beer is, someone is kidding themselves that this is a Double IPA. Not a chance in a mile - this would be pushing it to be classified a single IPA. I'd be happier calling this an Australian Pale Ale - it's certainly a beer style I'd love to claim for this country.
Tried at the Local Taphouse's July 4th SpecTAPular.
Pours a pale, very hazy appearance, with a little bit of head, has sunk to a ring around the top. Lacing is excellent, cascades down nicely with dense bubbles. Looks pretty good.
Nose is insane. Sauvin hop smell - well, passionfruit. But yeah, very little else on that, just passionfruit and passionfruit seeds. Not too intense though, and pleasant, but really, it's just sauvin hops.
Taste is a burgeoning hop flavour, with a nice development of taste, good passionfruit sauvin flavour with a bit of banana on the middle, some bubblegum on the front and a nice, just slightly bitter pang at the end. Really quite a good palate, well constructed with good use of hops, not overdone. They are very dominant but not too intense.
A bit of tingle on the feel, a little bit champagney with just a light sparkle and slightly puckering. Very drinkable beer, very crisp.