HopDog BeerWorks
from Australia
259th highest rated brewery (of 635)
Highest RatedChildren Of Darkness (82 / 100) Average score67 / 100 (Solid)
Lowest RatedHam On Rye (27 / 100) Number Tried40
SuperBeast (2017)
Reviewed by Jez on 24.12.17 in bottle
Overall:
73 / 100
(Very Good)
330ml brown bottle purchased for me by Sam as part of the 2017 #fletchvent advent calendar. This was the beer he saved up until Christmas Eve. Reviewed blind.

Pours a pleasant mahogany colour, with decent clarity in the body. Head is insanely large, and the beer itself seems genuinely quite overcarbonated—the bubbles form large pockets in the head, and expedite its collapse. Body is slick, but with some weight behind it. Looks decent.

Nose is quite pleasant. There's a kirsch-like booze to it that's always connected to a kind of dark, spicy fruit. It's sharp and redolent, with a touch of something like habanero, only without the spice. It just has the kind of aromatic punch you get from something like that. It's also quite sweet, dipping into characters of bitter almond and acetone. Yeah. I like it.

Taste is also very good. It leads with more booziness, kicking into vinous tones of puckering cabernet, with pleasant peripheral characters of chocolate and mint. Spice is also present, but it's less prominent than on the nose, and flattened by a vanilla sweetness. It is overcarbonated, which is a shame, because with a bit more body and a little less fizz it could be quite magnificent.

Overall, though, this is a nice brew: with good complexity and enough balance to make it drinkable. It's also a fine beer to end a fine project with.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Pandapoppinfairyturkishfloss
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 11.08.17 on tap
Overall:
60 / 100
(Decent)
Belgian stout, brewed with Turkish delight, lactose, fairy floss and popcorn for GABS festival 2017. Tried in Melbourne on tap.

Pours a coffee colour, clear body with foamy beige head. Looks alright, yeah.

Smells of very little. Some light roasty notes from the malt and maybe a touch of subtle clove from all of those adjuncts, but that seems like an odd isolated character to come through from so many additions. Disappointing.

Taste is better. Chocolate malt upfront, somewhat sweet that develops a nice coffee and spice character midway. Rosewater notes on the back which adds an interesting element but also turns it pretty damn sweet. More interesting than the nose promised, but it's overall pretty confused. I'd be intrigued by a straight-up rosewater Belgian stout, or popcorn Belgian stout, but it's just muddy and amorphous in the middle.

Decent body with a touch of alcohol warmth which is quite pleasant.

Yeah I feel like I was expecting to be able to detect all the big flavours throughout but it's just a muddy mass in the middle of the palate and I don't get as much of a melange as I expected. I don't want to stop people trying ambitious things for GABS (and let's face it, Tim at HopDog wouldn't pay attention if I told him to) but this was a bit too much of a stretch.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.5
A Feast of Stevens
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 03.01.17 in bottle
Overall:
73 / 100
(Very Good)
Bottle purchased as part of my 2016 advent calendar. This was Christmas Eve's beer and shared with Father.

Pours a pale yellow colour, huge voluminous head that overshot my glass in a big way. Nice, fluffy and white but sinks quickly. Seems volatile, probably just overpowering yeast.

Woah. Not the aroma I expected from the look. Big charry, smokey character. Touch of meat with some tart fruit notes behind it as well. Caramel overtones but mostly just smoulder. Colin Firth-esque smoulder. Pretty charming.

Taste is big and complex and similar. Big malty undertones with caramel and big rich toffee, that then gets that smouldery smokey note, quite roasty and bitter with charcoal notes and an ashiness that's there, but sort of dry and subtle so it doesn't overpower the palate to turn it unpleasant. But it's really peat boggy kind of stuff. That sweetness is the winner, as it just balances and augments the smoulder so it's quite palatable. Like a good barrel-aged Islay whiskey, really. Similar characters and similar complexities. Good drinkin'.

Big body, fairly rough texture from carbs and other characters.

Tasty drop. Can see it dividing opinion but it's quite in my wheelhouse really.
appearance: 3.25 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
A Feast of Stevens
Reviewed by Jez on 24.12.16 in bottle
Overall:
66 / 100
(Solid)
330ml brown bottle purchased as part of the Beer Crate Advent Calendar. This was the beer for Christmas Eve.

Pours a deep cloudy gold colour, with a frothy, large-bubbled head that sticks around as a slick soft meringue film. Body is fairly light, but slick. Looks pretty decent.

Nose is very odd. Pepper and coffee characters come through strongly, with a whiff of resiny pine and leather. Under this are some rounded, Belgian-style characters, which give it a breadth without suggesting sweetness. It's thoroughly interesting.

Taste is pretty similar. There's a front-palate coffee character, spliced with a briney seaside note. Traces of banana linger in the back, but it's also extremely light and thin, which lets a fizzy, large-bubbled carbonation run riot over whatever delicate flavours there might be. Still, it's quite fascinating.

Feel is a problem. It's definitely way overcarbonated, which makes it fizzy on the palate, and bloating as you drink it.

Overall, it's a thoroughly interesting beer. And it's a huge step up in complexity and interest from the 20-something pale, vaguely hoppy beers we've had from Beer Crate in this advent calendar.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | drinkability: 3.5
Electrostatic Graff
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 26.07.16 on tap
Overall:
55 / 100
(OK)
Brewed for GABS 2016. Tried there on tap.

Gold colour, slightly cloudy with off-white head that retains a thin crown. Looks alright, but a bit plain.

Smells grainy, for the most part. Notes of apple/pear around the edges. Kind of smells like dishwasher detergent, and it's lacking any classic beer esters so I'm not enamoured.

Big apple flavour on the palate, from the start to the finish. Some candy esters, slightly tangy with a slight tart edge towards the back. Maybe a hint of some resinous bitterness which is welcome but doesn't really last. There isn't really much of a finish, it finishes quite early. Clean, but nothing exciting.

Decent body, feels fluid and somewhat insubstantial.

Meh. This delivers on its promise but I can't pretend I was enthused by the promise. Tim has done much better beers.
appearance: 3.25 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.25
Best Extra Pale Ale (Platinum Liquor Collaboration)
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 22.11.15 in bottle
Overall:
67 / 100
(Solid)
Bottle given to me free by Adam when I purchased a couple of other beers at Platinum.

Pours a dark amber colour; slightly red. Head is beige, nice and dense but sinks to a thin cloud of medium bubbles. Lace is decent but sinks a little. Looks good; malty.

Smells big and pleasant. Malty, nutty with a big belt of dry spice - rye and a big rich chocolate note at the back. Notes of grassy hop, with a hint of passionfruit, and distinct green peppercorns too. I love the malt complexities on this, might maybe use a touch more hop aroma to lighten up, but it's very pleasant.

Taste is also big and long, with lots of malt complexity. Starts quite dark; not quite roasty but certainly well-kilned. Fair rye spice note and a good helping of pumpernickel bread with some dark seeds. Hops give an odd sweetness to the end; they're tangy which is good, but they're oddly new world with a big fruit salad note, mango and peach and a hint of banana. With this English malt base I'd expect more subtle and earthy hops. All quite nice but I feel like it's a mismatch between traditional and modern flavours. I'm not just being philosophical about beer flavours; I just feel those flavours would match up better.

Bit of bite at the back, maybe boozey. Otherwise smooth and nicely fluid.

Nice drop, but I would've expected and liked it really leaning on the malt and just letting the hops complement and augment the complexities. Those grain sugars are screaming out to be the stars here.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.75
Taxidermied Pachyderm
Reviewed by Jez on 12.07.15 on tap
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.

Pours a gravy-brown colour, slick, oily and thick with decent weight behind it. Head is almost white, forming on really as a very thin ring. Not much lacing, and minimal carbonation—indeed it looks fairly still.

Nose is quite toasty, with a touch of spice to it. Some slight vegetative hoppy notes turning a little bit herbal and peppery. Some rounded by grassy rye notes come through as well. It's OK all up.

Front is light and clean, leading to a touch of nuttiness in the middle with a pleasant, slightly bitey but clean rye body. Feel is a bit thin, and the back lacks fullness, but it's clean, if slightly soapy. Hops provide a bit of balance in the finish although they don't add any true flavour. It's solid enough.

It's a decent beer, nice enough without being terrible exciting. I think I've both had better examples of similar beers and better beers from HopDog though.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 3.5
Taxidermied Pachyderm
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 16.06.15 on tap
Overall:
72 / 100
(Very Good)
Barrel-Aged India Brown Rye Ale brewed for GABS 2015.

Pours a darkish brown, lots of cloud to it. Head is fairly dense but a little thin, cream-coloured. Not amazing but OK.

Smells massively of rye. Big spicy character to it - earthy and piquant. Notes of US hops - grapefruit and lemon. Smells pretty awesome.

Taste is dominated by oak. It comes through bourbony and woody-sweet. Notes of nutty malt, maybe some dry spice midway. Grapefruit bitterness late is OK for balance but just adds another element. There's a few too many things going on here which I guess you could expect. I would love to try it without the oak.

Full body, slightly warm. Pretty nice and smooth.

Nice drop, but despite HopDog's pedigree for taking on way too much, they've just overdone it this time. No oak and this could be a cracker.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.75
SuperBeast 2014
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 09.03.15 in bottle
Overall:
67 / 100
(Solid)
Bottle sampled at Cammeray Craft sometime in December 2014.

Dark orangey brown, some sediment in there. Head is full of character, slowly developing a cascade when poured, nice density around the rim. Slow bead. Bit dead maybe but otherwise looks nice.

Smells intense. Caramelly and sweet with a jammy fruit intensity. Yeah strawberry, plum, English toffee and a touch of tangy citrus at the back. Curious; but also very likeable. Almost loveable.

Taste is insanely sweet. Very caramelly and syrupy with a big intense plum and fig fruit lingering behind. Tastes of sherry in some ways, crême brulée in many others. Has a lingering sweetness that could be tempered somehow, and has a richness that just adds to the cloying nature. I'd be OK with the sweetness but the rich flavour just makes it feel very heavy as well. Also feels boozey, although there isn't too much heat except at the very back. Thick, perhaps gluggy. Decent.

Pretty thick, somewhat gloopy. Some nice characters but a bit overblown.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Holy Snappin' Turtles
Reviewed by Jez on 19.11.14 in bottle
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)
330ml bottle purchased from Leura Cellars.

Pours a hazy, quite light orange hue, with a frothy head that fizzles out pretty quickly to form a very fine ring of white fed by some fairly languid and tight carbonation. Body definitely has some weight behind it, despite the fluidity of it overall. It looks pretty good.

Nose is great. Definite tight astringent acidity to it—oaky, vinous, almost plasticky characters like you get from a proper lambic. There's a slight dull whack of grain to it, but these are overridden by the wild yeast notes, which give it it's brightness and vivacity. It's very pleasant indeed.

Taste is definitely something of a let down, however. There's the makings of a tight, clean wild ale, with a straight acidity on the front giving more vinous characters along with some apple and grapefruit flavours. But on the mid to the back, there's a very pronounced yeastiness that mingles with that hitherto moderated sweet grain note, which makes the beer feel heavy and flabby, and finally manages to overtake the pleasant tartness. The end of the beer feels sweet and boozy when it should feel dry and bright. In the aftertaste there's the ghost of the remaining acidity, but with the dank grain character, it ends up reminding me a little too much of the acidity at the end of a vomit.

Feel is actually fairly heavy, although the acidity does do its darnedest to poke through and add some clarity to the beer.

Don't get me wrong: there are certainly some good things here, and the more you drink, the more you can get used to some of the oddities. I like that there are local breweries doing this kind of thing. But I can't help but compare this beer to some of the better wild ales out there, and it's really not in the same league.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 4.25 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.25
Super Beast (2013)
Reviewed by Jez on 23.09.14 in bottle
Overall:
69 / 100
(Very Good)
330ml brown bottle with a green cap (of course), purchased from Oak Barrel in Sydney. It uncaps with a might hiss, making me wary of a gush, which it fortunately does not do.

Instead, we get a massive head of foam, despite a gentle pour, atop a surprisingly light body of reddish amber. Lacing is patchy as the head dissipates, and the head actually stays relatively coarse-bubbled. Body is really very light, and the carbonation is swift through it. It's really quite surprising.

Nose is a rich punch of peat, smoky and medicinal, with a light overtone of minerals and clay. Under it is a sweetness that has a slight cider quality to it. As it warms, there's a little more pepper, and the mineral quality goes slightly inky. Pretty good all up.

Taste is also good, but there is indeed a surprising lack of body and sweetness to support everything that's going on. But the good parts are still there. Rich smokiness, almost meaty in quality, with a pronounced peppery bite and some fairly strong leafy notes. Booze is prominent—despite the smoke, it doesn't have many places to hide, and with the lighter body, it becomes quite hot. Feel is light but spicy as a result, and you can feel the 10%+ ABV.

The booze is heavy here, and it weirdly seems more peaty as a result. It accentuates some of the medicinal and mineral qualities of the brew, which are pleasant enough in concert with some other things, but which end up feeling a bit raw in this particular beer. You have to respect the pure scale of the flavour though. This is, indeed, a beast.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.75
Brett The Bloody Orange
Reviewed by Jez on 13.06.14 on tap
Overall:
78 / 100
(Excellent)
Tried on-tap at GABS 2014 in Melbourne. This was billed as a Barrel-aged Brett Blood Orange Saison.

Pours a very pale orange golden colour with some hazing. Body is pretty light, especially for the ABV. Head forms a firm ring of white that leaves a little minor lacing. Carbonation is fine but fast when the glass is tilted. Looks good.

Light fragrant tones on the nose develop into full-blown bretted oak-barrels. Pepper and spice mingle with acidity and wood and a bright, light astringency. Yep, it pretty much delivers what you expect.

Light acid on the front of the palate, moving into a rather earthy, dusty tone much like a bière de garde. Sharpness and spice and more earthy funk towards the back along with a long, flat bitterness. More lingering earth in the aftertaste. Feel is pretty light, but suitable for the style.

Very solid drop and really nice to drink. A very pleasant brett-heavy barrel-aged brew that draws favourable comparisons to Jolly Pumpkin, in my mind. Keep doing what you're doing, HopDog boys.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
All Hallowed Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 28.12.13 on tap
Overall:
69 / 100
(Very Good)
Tried on-tap at Spooning Goats in Sydney during Craft Beer Week.

Pours very clear and very bright, a lovely orange-golden hue with a firm head of white that forms a ring after a while of settling down. Minimal lace. Low carbonation when static, but when the glass is tilted there's plenty of running streams. Liquid golden body. Looks good.

Big sweetness on the nose: pleasant brown sugar notes, rich pumpkin pie characters. There's a hint of pepper and nutmeg, but the spice is subdued in favour of sweetness, which works for me. Like a pleasant pumpkin pie.

Taste is similar, but lighter. Clean and crisp mid-palate with a nice finish. Brown sugar on the front but little body or sweetness. Instead, there's booziness and a slight acidity towards the back. Rounded, slightly Belgian tones come in: there's not a lot of true spice, but the yeast notes give a suggestion of it.

Feel is light, which might be something of a drawback, but it's pleasant enough and helps the drinkability.

Overall, it is indeed a very good pumpkin ale, and one that knows the need for some sweetness in the style. A bit more body as well and it might be truly thick and gorgeously luxurious. It also might ruin it. I'm happy enough where this is.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 4.0
An American Werewolf In Belgium
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 06.12.13 on tap
Overall:
69 / 100
(Very Good)
Tried on tap at the GABS Festival in Melbourne, May 2013. Just a little note that irks me about the name of this beer: to follow the conventions it really should be "An American Werewolf in Brussels". Completely irrelevant and pedantic, I know, but I felt it had to be said.

Pours a champagne colour, hugely cloudy. Head is snowy white, foamy but clinging together nicely and retaining a nice finger thickness on top. Wonderful; one of the best-looking beers at the festival.

Smells largely hoppy. Lots of fruit on there with banana, apple, pear, lemon and a big fresh pineapple note. Touch of Belgian phenols lingering behind, just whispers really, but otheriwse a really lovely hop-driven aroma.

Taste is a bit more on the Belgian side. Sweet malt notes upfront that are not helped along by the hops which are also quite sweet in this case and not adding a lot of bitterness - banana and pineapple mostly. Touch of clove and then some spicy phenols on the back. Not bad.

Decent body with a little touch of carbonation. Fine for the style.

Among my favourite Belgian IPAs, and [Edit] became one of my top 5 beers of the festival. Felt a little underwhelmed at first, but gets better the more you drink it.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Massive Otter
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 19.09.13 on tap
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a burnished brown-amber colour. Cloudy. Head is off-white, decent density but a bit thin. Not bad.

Smells quite hoppy. Fruity notes, tropical, citrus, some grassy-herbal notes as well. English, but with a distinct edge of the new world in there.

Taste is surprisingly tangy. Citrus, with some passion notes, pine. Bit of toffeed malt, then finish is grassy, herbal, with a fairly clean finish surprisingly. Citric, tangy, yeah not bad.

Bit of fizz on there, body covers it pretty well though. Feels a bit fuzzy.

Nice twist on a decent traditional brew.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
HepaRyezen
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 19.09.13 on tap
Overall:
72 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a reddish-tinged orange colour, slow bead, nice head of dense white lace. Looks very nice.

Smells quite resiny, spicy, but with nice fruit esters. Pine, oak, citrus and some nice rye spice. Dark cereal notes and brazil nuts as well. Yum.

Taste starts out quite melony, then develops some flavour of citrus and dark spice, wood resin and loads of dry rye spice, quite bitter to the point of astringency. Actually tastes a bit boozey without feeling boozey. Nice flavours, but quite strong; not for everyday.

Nice mouthfeel; decent texture but great body.

A bit strong, but I like it.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Citravated Explosivo
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 19.09.13 on tap
Overall:
57 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a burnished orange colour, with slow bead. Dense cream head. Looks a treat.

Smells very fruity, yeah like citra hops. Passion and mango abound, light and quite airy. Sweet, pleasant, but ultimately just smells insubstantial and needs something earthier to ground it.

Taste is massively tropical fruit. Loads of mango, passion with a mango pudding softness, then a very citric, acidic bitterness that just emerges as from the swamp. Yeah, not sure I love citra as a pale ale hop. Very fruity front and very citric back.

Yeah, smooth, soft texture. No bubbles. Really quite nice.

Decent enough beer, but as an APA it seems a little off balance.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Assaisonner Tri Canus Flumen
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 07.03.13 in bottle
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)
Enjoyed in the company of the brewers at the Danks St Depot Food Flights during Sydney Craft Beer Week 2012.

Pours an orangey amber colour, nice fluffy dense head. Off-white, gorgeous lace left behind. Cloudy; nice spectrum of colour.

Smells barnyardy, with nice spice additions. Lots of pepper and a pleasant citrus fruit character, a hint of mango, kiwi and lots of funk. Lovely, classic BdG notes.

Fruity, rich and citrus on the palate - orange peel, mandarin and peach. Mild barnyard funk is there, but not too big. Bit of peppery spice on the back. Decent; not mind-blowing though. In many ways just a conventional example of the style as far as the flavour goes.

Smooth, light carbonation, a little dry on the back. Pretty good.

Nice drop; classic characters well constructed.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Alluvial Peach
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 09.02.13 in bottle
Overall:
71 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a pale golden colour with a saffron tinge. Cloudy with unfortunate floaties I couldn't quite avoid. Head is whispy white, decent lacing, but not amazing. Looks alright.

Smells very oaky, funky and fruity. Yeah, peach with apple overtones, and lots of French oak characters putting me in mind of a good young Chardonnay. Slight tart and vinegary undertone, with a bit of barnyard funk as well. Exciting, fresh and inviting. This beer's so inviting to me.

Taste is also very oaky - maybe too oaky? The oak really dominates here, with a flat, woody kind of flavour for the most part. Some nice peachy fruit comes through later, lifting the palate but it's overall quite dry and a bit one-note. Maybe some more malt would up the complexity and give some more body, although I do like the peach character later. It's nice.

Mouthfeel is, as I said, dry. Pay attention, would you? Not bad on the midway point but it really does dry out at the end.

I like this a lot more than I've let on, though. I like the funk and I like the oak. I've had a lot of beers that use either of these two things in more exciting ways, but there's certainly a lot to like in this beer.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.25
Ham On Rye
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 09.02.13 in bottle
Overall:
77 / 100
(Excellent)
Pours a golden amber colour, with smooth dense head that's sunk to a thin film, with decent lacing. Looks a little listless and unexciting, but there are still some nice aspects.

Very smokey on the nose - woody, spicy and peppery, with a slight fruit edge. It adds a bit of sweetness, but also doesn't quite mesh with the smoke, so it could've been dispensed with. The smoke is the hero here, as it should be.

Taste is also pretty smokey. Lots of spice as well, with black pepper and turmeric making an appearance. Smoke is really nice nuanced - at times bacony, and at other times more woody and dry; I think it's nicely segmented by the intrusion of the rye, which I assume is where the spice is coming from. Still a slight fruity ester late, but it blends better here, as the smoke is billowy and variegated through the palate, so it's all part of a rich flavour texture. Very nicely made.

Little too much carbonation, for my taste. Body is a little on the light side, so the carbonation should be toned down for the style.

Could have had this with breakfast, but it's a decent appetite-whetter for dinner, also, and quite drinkable.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Children Of Darkness
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 22.12.12 on tap
Overall:
77 / 100
(Excellent)
Pours a very dark brown colour but there's colour noticeable because you can see a slight cloud in it. Tan head, medium retention. Could be darker, but I'm not complaining.

Loads of hops on the nose. Bit from the US and bit from NZ or maybe Australia, tangy and fruity but a good pine resin character to it as well. Could use more roast to balance it out as a Black IPA, but still lovely.

Dark roasty malt at the front that's quite pleasant but doesn't last long before the hops take over. Mostly US in this case, big citric character with slightly resnious finish. The oak comes through on the back and dries it up a bit with woody notes. Very nice indeed.

A bit dry at the end, a bit of carbonation but well padded by the decent body. Nice.

It's the kind of beer that I like, so I'm always going to be pre-disposed towards it, but I just think it's been attacked well; lots of flavour but a steady hand behind the rudder.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
Assaisonner Tri Canus Flumen
Reviewed by Jez on 29.11.12 on tap
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)
This beer is a collaboration between HopDog and Riverside Brewing. I tasted it at their combined beer dinner at Danks St Depot during Sydney Craft Beer Week.

Pours a bright gold-orange colour, with a light, but solid enough, very cloudy body. Head is bubbly and fine, pure white in colour. Carbonation is very fine through the body. Looks pretty good.

Smooth and rounded on the nose, with some of the sharper phenolic characters I expected, but fewer than there might have been. Some banana skin, green leafy notes. Nothing sharper: no pepper, for example. It's a bit surprising. It's still pleasant, but a lot more restrained than I thought it would be.

Light spicy phenolics on the front, with a smooth, clean mid-palate to refresh it. It feels a little thin until the back, when the phenols pep up again, and the yeast characters come through more strongly, along with an organic character like apple skin. Feel is very light: it aids the drinkability, but perhaps obscures some of the complexity.

Overall, it's smooth and easy to drink, but lacks some character, which is certainly not something I expected from these two brewers. It's pleasant, but doesn't get beyond that, and I feel like it could have.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Children Of Darkness
Reviewed by Jez on 05.08.12 on tap
Overall:
82 / 100
(Exceptional)
Had on-tap at GABS in Melbourne earlier in the year. Just entering my written reviews now, only, what, 3 months late?

Pours a deep black-ruby colour, with quite good clarity. Body is quite firm, as is the head, forming a full crest of beige-orange. Lace is full, soft and fine. Looks great overall.

Aroma is brilliant: apricot, coconut and chocolate dance together in sweet, fruity but deep harmony. It's beautifully balanced between all of the elements of this barrel-aged IBA. Great stuff.

Feel enters with some lightly toasted grain characters, giving a solid but clean basis for what follows. Smooth fruits develop along with some barrel and slight booze characters, which give off characters of cherry and kirsch. On the back is a drying oak smoothness that lends suppleness to the palate overall. On the finish is a mild tonic bitterness which just ties everything up.

Smooth and dangerous, this is really great stuff. This was one of my favourites at GABS, and certainly the best HopDog beer I've tried so far. Keep it up, guys...

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5
Hyper Hyper Coffee Pants
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 19.05.12 in bottle
Overall:
72 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a dark brown colour with a glimmer up to the light. Gorgeous head colour - umber with a slight palour to it. Bit too generous, but sinking steadily. Looks great.

Strong, bitey coffee aroma. Fruity coffee beans with pepper, mint and a hint of cocoa at the back. Bit unsubtle, like it's all just wham! in the face with coffee, some more sweetness would certainly raise the intrigue.

Taste is similar in character, but more mellowed out. Roasty and a touch of charry burnt bitterness upfront smooths out to a roasty, slightly bitter mid-palate with a lingering coffee flavour. Touch of caramel comes through then, to add sweetness, before peppery bite of a strong Italian roast on the back, and a touch of leathery licorice. Very pleasant journey, nice coffee notes but very well blended together as well.

Body is OK, but there's a sharpness on the tongue which I can only really put down to fizz. Given the size of the head I think that's fair.

Nice after-dinner stout; I really wish I'd served this a couple of weeks ago with my beeramisu. Drank this with a bowl of Café Grande icecream and it went brilliantly well.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Ham On Rye
Reviewed by Jez on 16.04.12 in bottle
Overall:
27 / 100
(Nasty)
Pours quite overtly carbonated; if it's not actually gushing out of the bottle, it at least foams slowly out of the top until poured. Surprisingly, though, the head is moderated, only about a finger or so of white froth on the top of a clear amber-golden body. The carbonation in the body is frenetic, however, and persists throughout. Body is light and fluid. Not too bad overall.

Nose is really quite exceptionally disappointing. A faint whiff of something smoky, mingled with a rather cidery thinness, with a hint of acidity and a vegetative cut grass character. Nothing like what I expected, and not particularly good overall.

Taste has a moderate smoky huskiness on the back, but otherwise, falls into the spritzy, light and sweetly vegetative trap yet again. Carbonation harms it, certainly, giving a fizzing acidity and temperament to the palate. It feels very weak and slightly amateurish, and really gives me nothing much to get excited about.

Keep going, HopDog. I promise I'll keep buying your beers if you keep bringing out interesting ones. Unfortunately, this example is far off the mark for me...

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.0
Belgian Lawnmower
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 18.11.11 on tap
Overall:
57 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a golden colour, slightly wheaty-looking. Head is off-white, nice and fluffy with visible bubbles. Retains very well, steady but slow bead as well. Looks great; these Hopdog dudes have a handle on head.

Smells very phenolic, lotsa Belgian character with fresh-cut grass, bubblegum and banana. Mostly fruity, could maybe use some more spice.

Taste is quite Belgian and phenolic on the front-to-mis, with quite dank notes and mild hints of earthy spice. Gets an unfortunate bread yeast note on the back, just the yeast seems a bit overdone where the malt isn't quite there to meet it. Bit chalky and dry, bit of sizzle on the body from carbonation. Neither palate nor feel strikes me as great, just needs a bit more malt balance at times.

Yeah, lacking in a few areas. The right flavours are there but a bit off-kilter.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Horns Up
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 18.11.11 on tap
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a pale, slightly burnished amber colour, with fluffy off-white head. Nice uneven sinkage but nice clingy lace left behind. Looks quite lovely, but a bit pale for an IPA.

Smells fairly nice. Fair few hops in there but nothing really aromatic. Slight buttery malt and mild sticky nuttiness from the rye. Yeah, all the characters are check, but it could really use more. Certainly shouldn't be afraid of late-hopping.

Taste is very sticky and nutty. The rye is certainly pronounced here. Sticky with toffeed peanuts, chestnut and oat bran, then hops dominate the finish, really resiny and dank with a large hop oil character. Hint of floral pine and lemon seeps through but an almost ashy, astringent bitterness overall. Could freshen this up a bit and I really wouldn't mind.

Full enough body, quite well-textured. Yeah, not bad.

I feel it's a bit oversaturated here. To compensate for so much early-hopping and rye, the base malt should be amped up a fair bit. I'd also split the hops and add more later on in the process to add more aroma.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Black Sunshine
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 17.11.11 on tap
Overall:
69 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a dark black colour (is there any other type of black, I ask myself), tinge of brown up to teh light. Head is beige, fairly dense and creamy with nice lace left behind. Very nice.

Smell is quite smokey and dark. Sweet dark chocolate aroma with a touch of burnt wood and some musty notes. Slightly sour, yeah, stouty. Not bad.

Taste is quite dark, and it builds on the initial darkness, getting more bitter and slightly sour with roasty notes and a touch of espresso. Very chocolatey early-mid and hints of pepper and berries on the back. Hint of capsicum on there, yeah, sweet, spicy and bitter in good, but not perfect, balance. Pretty decent.

Bit sizzly, carbonation is all right. Good body to it.

Bit sour overall, but not bad.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Horns Up
Reviewed by Jez on 16.11.11 on tap
Overall:
75 / 100
(Very Good)
Rye IPA, tried on-tap at the Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst.

Pours a very light golden colour, almost straw-coloured in the body—peculiarly light for a beer with a hefty rye addition. Head is a combination of fine film, and large bubbles pocking it. Fine carbonation and whimsical lacing. Looks alright. I certainly thought it would be darker.

Nose is light, but bright. Some sharp citric characters give is a brisk cleanness, but it really lacks potency. No hint of the rye yet, but it's nice enough.

Taste is very nice. Pronounced bitterness, mellowed by a smooth nutty character. Crisp, slightly vegetative quality to the flavours, laced with a bit of spice from the rye. The lemon citrus comes through on the back, giving a clean touch to the finish. Feel is very clear and drinkable.

Very refreshing beer with some interesting characters. The bitterness wells up a bit after a while, you feel unnecessarily, but otherwise a pretty nice (but light) Rye IPA.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0