|Highest Rated||Road To Ruin (86 / 100)
||Average score||72 / 100 (Very Good)|
|Lowest Rated||Surf n Turf (61 / 100)
On tap at the Sydney Park Hotel as part of their NSW State of Brews tap takeover during Sydney Beer Week 2017.
Pours a burnished amber colour, fair cloud to it. Head is not much from the pour, which people might enjoy... but it's kind of disappointing to me, with some small bubbles on the top. Fairly unexciting really, but fine.
Smells very fresh and pleasant. Big citrus aroma with ripe orange, tangerine and grapefruit. Some tropical character as well with passionfruit. Largely fruity with not much else, but pleasant.
Taste is surprisingly malty, and not necessarily in a good way. Has this big toffee sweetness that then kind of clashes with the sharp citrus that just ratchets up the flavour beyond what's really digestible. It's just a bit of a spike though, and the finish is just hoppy, fruity, touch of resin and mostly floral. But yeah, it'd be better with a nice flat palate that just grows and swells rather than this big stab in the middle that then trails off. Decent, but off-kilter
Not a bad body; bit of dryness midway and some pull from the hop oils late. Kind of swallows up the body.
Drinks alright but it's a bit full on without really delivering anything that interesting.
62 / 100
Meridian-hopped IPA, brewed for GABS 2017. Seems to have been some weird partnership with Bootleg Brewery in that they both did an IPA for the festival called 'Rocketship' but there's scant details on the Bootleg equivalent.
Pours a champagne colour, with foamy cream-coloured rim of lace but no real head. Steady bead. Quite pale, looks alright though.
Smells fruity. Stonefruit, largely, with passionfruit and apricot. Hint of kiwifruit and some spice character and a hint of lemon. Not bad.
Taste is very hop-driven. Not a whole lot of malt upfront and hops take hold early. Quite astringent, with a big grapefruit bitterness, lemon and some passion and mango playing around the edges especially upfront, but it's quite underplayed and as a result it ends up feeling a bit one-note, and it lacks the hop depth, just seems to start a little tangy and then turn very bitter very quickly. Still, decent IPA.
Body is a little thin, which allows that bitterness to strangle the palate a bit.
Not bad, but fairly simple IPA. I find it a bit disappointing as Thirsty Crow have sent some pretty cracking beers to GABS in the past, and this seems a bit unimaginative in both idea and execution.
76 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours the golden colour of costume jewellery, with quite perfect clarity. Body is light and holds streams of carbonation. Head is a fine ring of white that leaves some solid frothy lace behind it. Looks pretty good.
Nose is pleasant enough. Slight sharp hoppiness suggests New Zealand varieties tending almost towards actually being funky with hops. Clean rounded fruit around the edges too. It's more sharp and clean than genuinely potent, but it's pleasant nonetheless.
Clean sharp fruitiness on the front of the palate, maybe something like mangosteen, tending towards a full, fruity mid-palate. Slight hints of sharp, underripe pineapple with a smooth, clean back and a slight linger of hops in the finish. It's quite lovely.
Feel is clean and bright—just right for this type of beer.
It's very, very drinkable, and a beer that I felt like I didn't give enough time to at GABS. This is the type of beer I want to session. If they brew it again, or I ever get myself down to Wagga Wagga, I can see myself happily spending the night with a few more.
61 / 100
Pours a champagne colour, clear with large bubbly white head. Bit thin and still-seeming, but not bad.
Smells fairly fruity and new world. Piney notes with passion, pineapple, pear and peach. Not very bitter but a touch of woodiness to it which acts as a surrogate. Not bad.
Caramel malt upfront that doesn't really build until hops come through late-mid. Passionfruit tang to it, without ever really taking hold. Touch of grapefruit on the finish but nothing else in the way of bitterness or hoppiness in general.
Thin body, decent with just a touch of alcohol noticeable just because there's nothing much of note going on.
I expect more from Thirsty Crow. I think they responded to my tweet saying that it's meant to be subtle which I'm learning at GABS means 'yeah I dun fucked up'. It's just very non-descript and can't stand out at a festival like this.
75 / 100
A strawberry sour, designed as part of the unique collaboration between Thirsty Crow and Bootleg: PB&J. This is the "jelly" part of the sandwich. Reviewed each in isolation before trying the blend. Tried on-tap at GABS2014 in Melbourne.
Pours a very pale, surprisingly clear champagne-pink colour with a fine ring of white around the crest. Body is very light, but that's not unexpected. Some streaky lace forms, as does masses of vibrant carbonation. Looks pretty good.
Nose has artificial turkish delight characters to it, along with Allen's jelly snakes on initial whiff. It turns a little bit more vinous as the acidity comes through a bit more, turning into a slight funk as it warms. It's pretty nice.
Clean, light entry on the palate, before the jelly starts to come through. Definite artificial red lollies, concord grape, turning again slightly vinous and more sour as the acidity rises. Back is clean, crisp and light with a mild bite of carbonic acid. Very dry aftertaste. Feel is light, but clean.
It's a weird combo just by itself before you even put it with the PB. The jelly sweetness and the dryness on the back makes is almost seem like a dichotomy. All up though, it was a nice, and unusual brew. It was a shame the PB didn't really match its standard.
80 / 100
Pours a coffee colour, slight haze. Tan head, creamy and beautifully nitrous-looking, retains pretty well. Looks great.
Smells is roasty, with coffee notes, touch of licorice spice and a touch of orange tang. Very nice.
Roasty flavour too, with chocolate, coffee, touch of coconut as well. Some spice notes with cinnamon, clove. Not much orange, but nice oak and chocolate sweet notes. Orange maybe clips it off before it gets too dark or big. Beautifully handled and balanced palate.
Alcohol is barely noticeable, just a big creamy body. Maybe a little bit flat.
Great stout. Big flavours, but sweet with well-tempered piquancies here and there.
82 / 100
Collaboration between Thirsty Crow and William Bull, brewed for GABS 2013, where I tried it on-tap. An American stout matured on French oak, with orange zest thrown into the boil. They call it an "Oak-aged American Stout with a twist".
Pours a deep, brown-black, oily at the edged, but otherwise pretty much opaque. Body is solid, but with a silky lightness to it as well. Head forms a creamy, thick and gorgeous layer of deep brown, which leaves intricate lacing. It looks fantastic.
Nose is equally fantastic. Lovely oak characters, mingling with some crisp hops and orange-choc Jaffa characters. Chocolate, black pepper and a wholesome richness to the whole thing. Wonderful stuff. Hells yes.
Light malt on the entry to the palate, with creamy chocolate tones suggesting a decadent body to come. Coffee comes through mid palate, spliced with a spritz of orange. Dark finish, pleasantly biting, but with a smoothness from the oak before it gets too astringent. Just lovely.
Feel is extremely smooth, despite the fact that it doesn't feel particularly heavy.
It could indeed even go heavier. Bring us a super-imperial version of this and I'd probably just wallow in it to my death. This is extremely smooth, very interesting and just gorgeous to drink. Absolutely lovely stuff.
On-tap at Yulli's in Sydney during Sydney Craft Beer Week. I'm still getting around to entering my reviews some months later.
Pours a very murky brown colour, perhaps amber at the edges, with a bright white head that stays pretty creamy and fine. Lace is solid, almost sticky and creamy as well. Fine powdery carbonation. It looks very good.
Aroma is estery, with some volatile fruity characters lilting above a sweet, malty basis. A touch of pepper comes through as well. There's even perhaps a suggestion of acidity. It's interesting, if nothing else.
Spicy entry on the palate, with more of those dancing sharp fruity notes mid-palate. Body is full and rich, creating a pleasant smooth and creamy basis like heavy syrup. Some booze is noticeable on the back, but it's cushioned by that lingering heavy sweetness.
It's perhaps a bit too much. It feels a little bit like the beer only succeeds as well as it does because it's too big to fail. Still, it's solid stuff, and one of the better Belgian style ales I've had from Australia.
86 / 100
Catching up on some of my remaining reviews from Sydney Craft Beer Week. One of the best events beer-wise was Thirsty Crow's tap takeover at Yulli's. This beer is one of the reasons why.
Pours a deep, black-brown hue, solidly, almost opaquely hazed with good weight behind it. Head is a creamy brown cap that stays smooth and rich. The only downside is that it doesn't leave lace, but that may just be because it's so boozy. Crazy insane, beautiful look to it.
Nose is great, working out a bunch of odd complexities from the dominantly dark, roasted basis. There's notes of coffee, or in particular Kahlua, along with smoke and pepper—perhaps the smoke is like smoked cheese. Whatever it is, it's phenomenal.
Smooth entry on the palate, masking the big rush of brusque burnt I was expecting. In fact, that rush doesn't eventuate: instead we get a remarkably mild and smooth dark chocolate and deep coffee. The prickle comes on the back, with a hint of smoky grilled capsicum and even a chilli-like fragrance. It's quite light, but this makes it amazingly smooth: the fact that it's light at all is an achievement in such a big beer.
Feel is extraordinary. Exceptionally smooth and clean, while maintaining its richness. Phenomenal.
Despite the complexity, the depth, the richness and above all the strength of this beer, it's ridiculously easy to drink. It's insane. Without a doubt, this is one of the very best Australian beers I've had. Superb stuff.
70 / 100
Pours a very dark colour, mostly black with mahogany tinge when held up to the light. Head is dark ochre, dissipates to a thin film of small bubbles. Lace is OK. Nice.
Smell is stouty, but sweet. Plenty of espresso, coffee and cocoa, but a nice vanilla sweetness to it as well. Touch of nutmeg towards the back. Yeah, quite nice. Could be sweeter actually, for a vanilla milk stout, but it's still pretty simple.
Taste is nicely sweet, yeah. Nice roasty espresso notes underneath that never rise to the surface, in full bitter mood anyway. Lots of sweet desserty characters vie for supremacy, with vanilla, creme anglaise and some bitter chocolate behind. Not insanely sweet though, actually quite dry on the back. Well-rounded palate overall.
Yeah, dry feel, but a little bit sticky midway through. Actually don't love it, but it's stylistically appropriate.
Nice, sweet beer, but still dark and stouty. Good beer.