Bomber purchased by Jez for my 30th birthday. Shared with Andrew and Iain on a Saturday night.
Pours a red-tinged amber colour, touch of sediment. Head is beige, sparse bubbling at the edge but tiny bubbles across the surface. Deep colour; not bad.
Smells malty and hoppy. Touch of rye spice, with English toffee and hints of US west coast hopping. Pleasant spice notes on a rich sweet aroma. Like it.
Taste is maybe a touch old. Slight malty notes that are a bit empty-thin, touch of baked apple midway, then finishes with very light rye spice, slightly peppery and a bit earthy, almost tuberish. Not bad, but could use more hopping, to elevate it a bit.
A bit thin on the mouthfeel, fair texture to it though. Not bad.
A nice rye drop, but the hints of hops make me feel it would be amazing as a rye IPA instead.
72 / 100
Pale straw colour with fair cloud. White head, mild lace left behind. Steady bead. Good.
Funky nose; organic and quite saisony really, with a touch of lemon pith, grapefruit and melon. Pleasant; could use a ramp up on the tart factor.
Citric upfront on the palate; notes of pith, some grapefruit and kiwi. Yeasty midway with a slight funk - organic and slightly grassy. Clean, pleasant and fairly lemony. Nice.
Bit of pull and sizzle. Not really puckering, it's quite nice and smooth for what it is.
Clean and tart but not over the top. Nice Berliner Weiss.
88 / 100
Big 650ml bottle to drink on my own. Purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Pours a pleasant russety red colour, with a very fine head of yellow-white, leaving some bubbling around the edges of the glass. Solid streaking lace. Carbonation is nice and fine, and slides smoothly through the thick but fine body. Looks very good.
Nose is round and sweet, with raisin overtones and a slight spicy tannic bite. Some preserved orange sharpness comes through, along with some vanilla and port. It's like a big, rich, boozy fruitcake. Good stuff.
Taste is smooth and rich, with plenty of fine burnt sugar sweetness, and a layered spicy overtone. Hints of spicy Shiraz and fragrant clove gives a light dancing sharpness, but the sweetness is always rich and solid enough to back it up—this gives dark caramel, gooey mud cake and young spicy port. The finish gives some chocolate and more lingering burnt sugar. Lovely stuff.
Feel is exceptionally smooth, but with a beautiful fineness to it.
Wow, this is really excellent stuff. Most of all, it's dangerous. The 10% ABV is barely noticeable apart from providing a depth and structure to the complexity, and it's really quite scary how smooth it is and how easy it goes down.
77 / 100
650ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Pours a clear, deep golden colour, almost turning a burnished copper, with a full, frothy and pretty persistent head of off-white. Solid lacing and fine carbonation completes the picture. Good stuff.
Nose is pleasantly clean with bright citrussy hops, mangled with a bit of wine cork. Some light spice and earthiness comes through, possibly from the rye, but equally likely from some slightly brusquer hop characters. Hint of booze and some rich bread dough. Overall, it's a nice aroma.
Taste is clean and clear, with a crisp grainy character on the back. Hops provide a fragrant sweetness throughout, but only moderate bitterness, leaving the palate light and buoyant. Some clementine and pithy orange mid-palate, with a very pleasant crispness on the finish. Feel is very smooth and light, providing some basis without overwhelming anything.
Overall, this is a damn drinkable brew. The rye is subtle, but broadens the palate nicely, which is very nice. Often rye can make a beer sharper and spicier, but here it provides additional width of character. Very nice stuff, probably one of the best of Heretic's I've had.
650ml bomber purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. The bottle recommends two ways of serving it, one straight, and one "mit Schuss". I thought I'd give both a try, although I have no woodruff, so made do with grenadine. Scores and the bulk of the review are for the unadulterated version.
Pours a rather clear pale golden yellow, with a fizzing head of white that froths for a while, and then settles down to almost nothing. Body is clear and light, and rather thin, which is not unreasonable or unpleasant for the style. Overall, decent look to it.
Nose is clear and crisp, with a tart apple fragrance and a touch of woodiness. There's a slight sweetness too, perhaps a suggestion of vanilla, and a grainy slightly true German depth, which lends some savouriness. Not bad.
Taste is what you expect. Clear and crisp, with a mild tartness and a pinch of salt towards the back palate. Slight leafy note on the front, crushed vegetation or green tea perhaps. Mostly, it's just light, crisp and refreshing. Solid stuff.
Feel is slightly biting, but light and slightly effervescent.
"Mit Schuss", the syrup actually really blanks a good deal of the acidity and freshness, even though it doesn't add a lot itself. It's more that it smooths the edges, and probably makes it more approachable overall: I much prefer this particular BW on its own, although I've enjoyed a woodruff-spiked concoction in the past.
Overall, solid stuff. This is fairly middle-of-the road for the style, and it's not a style that I've ever been hugely enamoured of, so it's certainly not a wowing experience, but it's decent, drinkable, and very refreshing on a hot day.
22oz bomber purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Pours a dark, but relatively fluid black colour, with a fine ring of beige-foam around the edges. Spotty, patchy lace forms erratically. Body looks really quite light, and the carbonation, while fine, runs through it pretty quickly. Looks ok, if not spectacular.
Nose is pleasantly deep and dark, without being too sharp, smoky or ashy. Roasted notes, some chocolate, a bit of turned earth, tobacco and coconut. It's all pretty smooth, and while not aggressive, it's quite full-flavoured. Nice stuff.
The body is very light—it's the first thing I notice when I take a sip—meaning that although the flavours are pleasant, they feel a bit weak and thin. There's more of that nice chocolate and mildly roasted grain character, a hint of something vegetative and supple, and a slight coffee note on the finish. But for 7% ABV, I'm surprised at how dry and thin it feels. It really needs more.
It's a shame, more than anything, because in many ways this is a very nice beer. It has some pleasant, well-integrated flavours and subtle complexities, but it feels like it dropped the ball overall. It should be better.
650ml bomber purchased from Van Ness BevMo in San Francisco.
Pours a clear standard golden hue, with a fine enough and solid enough head of white, that leaves some patchy lacing. Body is firm and weighty while remaining fluid. Carbonation is fine, but standard. Yeah, it looks the part, but it also looks just like any other.
Nose follows a similar trajectory: it's big, hoppy, west coast, blah. Yep, but we've seen it all before. There's a sharpness to it that is slightly grassy, and adds a touch of interest, but otherwise, it's a stylistically good but straight down the line IPA.
Taste is similar. Clear, clean and direct. Hoppy without being overpowering. The classic characters: orange peel, grapefruit with a touch of grass and clean malt. But it's been done before. And it's not all that special an example of the classic.
I mean: yes, it's ok. Woo, IPA and whatnot. It's solidly made, not unpleasant, no noticeable flaws. But, I mean, why? It's almost completely unimaginative, and just toes the line of every other IPA made on the West Coast. Try something new.
Purchased from Whole Foods in Los Altos, CA.
Pours a quite dark reddish-brown colour, with a hint more towards amber than truly red, with a bubbly, minimal head of yellow-mocha foam. Lacing is solid, but the head itself dissipates to a filmy scum atop the glass. Body has nice weight to it. Not bad overall.
Ooh, nose is just lovely: clear, clean zesty hoppy fragrance, above a solid malty fullness, but never overly sweetâit neither devolves into the candied orange sweetness you can get from some West Coast hops, or the overt toffee-caramel sickliness that can come from too much malt. It's a lovely balance.
Taste is also solid, although the lack of sweetness here actually makes it feel like it's a little limp and empty. Still, the zesty hop character translates well here, leaving a pithy orange peel and clean leafy freshness on the palate. Malt is minimal, only leaving a slight grainy character in a crescendo through the middle that dips out to a roasty flatness. Feel is the main culprit, although the lack of sweetness and body also makes it feel a little unbalanced for the style.
Overall, it's a decent beer, and maybe I'm just a little narrow-minded in the parameters I like in my ARAs. Without the extra malt, and with the hop flavours being the main driving force, it doesn't taste dissimilar to a middling IPA. I've had much better.