82 / 100
375ml green caged and corked bottle purchased from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA. Shared with Sam in Sydney on a brew day.
Pours a deep black, silky in the glass and with some weight behind it. Head is a mesh of beige that stays pretty persistently. Nice fine spots of lacing. Carbonation is very fine. If the head were a little thicker, it would be the business. As it is, it's still a fairly solid corporation.
Nose is quite vinous, but with some classic, flavoursome stout characters behind it. Slight peppery characters come through as well, perhaps a touch of chilli aromatics. Above the oak and vanilla sits a fruitiness that's still dark but rather fragrant. It detracts somewhat from the sheer weight of the stout, but it's certainly pleasant.
Taste is very nice. Smooth and silky throughout, with some tannic bite on the front, mellowing out to creaminess by the time it hits the mid-palate. Roastiness around the edges provides some balance, while the booze is really quite well hidden. The back is what makes this beer for me: after all of the vinous notes, the oak and the tannins, we get a creamy sweetness almost like raw milk. It's an unexpected turn for the beer, but really very pleasant.
Feel is light, but the silkiness helps it along its path.
Overall, this is a very special beer. Smooth, silky and laced with interesting twists of tannins and red-wine. I enjoyed it a very great deal.
Pours a golden colour, clear, light bead. Head is lovely, generous with good fluffy density, clumpy lace. looks great.
Smells pleasant, fairly fresh. Light grain and distinct fruity notes - citrus, pineapple, pear. Could use more edge, particularly on the funky side. Seems a bit light and airy.
Taste has more edge. Very hoppy from the start, resiny and woody with at times a chemically dank bitterness. Some lemon pith, roasted coriander seed, wattle and soil notes. Decent flavours but a bit one-sided, some more sweetness is needed here or just more malt upfront.
Quite a nice texture actually. Bit of pull from the yeast, but it fills out the mouth nicely. Shame there's not such a malt presence in the flavour.
Tastes nice, but it's not an amazing drinker. Just pleasant.
75 / 100
Tall 750ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. Shared with Sam. Freshness date sometime in early 2014.
Pours a vaguely hazed golden colour, with a fine egg-like foam of off-white. Lacing is frothy and quite sticky. Carbonation forms in a few disparate streams up the edges of the glass. Body looks fluid but with some depth to it. Not bad at all.
Nose is round but flat, with a faint oxidised grain character to it. There's a suggestion of refreshing sharpness, perhaps some slight citrus or some sharp stonefruit. It also has a tad more maltiness than I was expecting. It's not bad, but it's not particularly special either.
Taste is similar, but for a refreshing sharpness on the back that blends acidity, carbonation and booze. Light, fruity entry, definitely stonefruit this time, perhaps some apricot or peach. Very clean palate for the rest of it, smooth, slightly fruity and clear, singing almost. Slight bitter, faintly phenolic bite on the back: it's that combination of booze and faint acidity, perhaps tainted with a little hop character, muted as it is. It's actually pretty good all up.
Feel is lovely. Clean, glassy almost, with enough weight to support the flavours.
Yeah, this is a nice beer. Restrained and balanced, but with some interesting flavour developments. The cleanness is really very nice, it makes it extremely drinkable despite it's 8% ABV. Very nice stuff.
73 / 100
Seems to be the classic beer you have to have at 't Waagstuk.
Pours a lovely reddish, ruby colour. Head is intense and frothy and thickâbeige coloured leaving meringue-like lacing. Really big and exciting. Body is light.
Nose is a little seltzery, with just a touch of sweet Belgian esters, but not a lot. More sharp, and slightly twinged with underripe fruit. Certainly, not a lot of darkness.
Taste is betterâsweet toffee, a little dark fruit, some estery peppery spice to balance. Comes out quite balanced, if not complex. Smooth palate. Not bad.
It's a tasty enough brew, but it's rather bland compared to the other great beers at the bar. (It's also better than their 11% Waagstuk brew).
70 / 100
Pours a cloudy golden colour, quite light, and very wit-like, with a sticky and thick head of white foam that edges the glass light meringe. Looks very tasty.
Quite phenolic on the nose - big notes of herbal resin, some pepper and spice, and quite a whiff of booze, which is surprising and possibly evanescent. Really smells a big too unnatural to me. Not bad, but a little harsh. (This is probably the green tea, now that I think about it.)
Taste is a lot better: clean, round and crisp. Very mellow and soft in the palate, slightly sweet, with a round Belgian yeast character on the finish. Very full, quite buttery, nothing dry on the finish, extremely drinkable. Mouthfeel is smooth but rich - minimal carbonation and absolutely no harshness.
This is a very smooth and really pleasant beer. The nose is full-on, and perhaps a bit too much so, but in every other category this is a winner.
48 / 100
Pours a pale yellow, slightly green-tinged colour with a healthy haze in the body. Head is white in colour and decent size, but sinks pretty steadily to leave a line of foam on the top. Lace is fairly decent, very sticky and pale. Looks quite good, really.
Nose is fairly sour, a fair amount of malt with hints of grain husks, some champagne tartness and a very mild funk character on the back. Slight notes of honey and some adjuncts come through with a sweet bready unpleasantness, but not too much for ruination. A bit confused, but not unpleasant overall.
Taste is an odd one. Large sweetness on the front with a hint of musk and a fair amount of honeyed grain. Some slight citric hints and I guess some vinous notes help the tartness onto the mid, then a quite odd bitterness hits, very herbal and quite organic with some subdued hints of green tea and peppermint, without the spice. A bit of a buttery texture overall is odd for the style, and the finish is a dull, fairly watery bitterness with no real bite or character. Unique overall but definitely lacking substance.
A bit thick and also chewy on the mouthfeel, but lacks body, and just texture in general. A bit flat.
Not too bad overall, but it wouldn't be my beer of choice. Neither flavoursome nor refreshing enough.