Pours a deep chocolatey brown with very frothy beige head, sinking with a soft sizzling noise. Bubbles are small but visible and it leaves a few clumps of nice sticky lace as it goes down. Actually quite a good looking beer. I'm relieved more than anything.
Nose is quite nice, although an overly roasted character is prominent. A nice bitter cocoa character though gives off a slight sweetness, while a burnt grain character is there too. Slightly bitter aroma, slightly sweet. Yeah, it's slightly nice.
Taste definitely has a lot of that roasted grain character, with a substantial hint of burnt toast, but it's not overwhelmed by this. Front palate is slightly sweet and also with a tart edge, with a burgeoning blood plum character, while mid is taken up by a mocha flavour which is quite subtle and nicely handled. Lots of cocoa, slight smokey character, hint of golden syrup as well. Finish is slightly bitter and ashy, definitely a brimful of ash on this '45. It doesn't really spoil this, although the hang is a disappointing residual of an otherwise nicely flavoured and subtle dark ale.
Mouthfeel a bit thin, slightly puckering from the tart and bitter expansion, but it does hold the flavour up pretty well.
This is a decent beer from Outback, at least considering the company it keeps. While I count myself a (and I think the ONLY) fan of their chilli beer, I think this is the one they should market more, it's quite a decent drop.
77 / 100
This was a highlight of the Australian Beer Festival for me a few years back, but having tried a lot of Outback's other beers lately I came to this with a newfound sense of trepidation.
Pours a standard golden with a steady, rhythmic carbonation feeding a thin, but defiant white head. Appearance is clear and leaves a bit of lacing. Decent appearance.
Big chilli whiff on the nose. Fiery and spicey and very rich in an earthy sort of way. Spice is not lofty and dainty as in a witbier but deep and growling. Smells like a stomach ulcer. That's the smell of potent, tract-flaming chilli. There is little else, but the particular airiness of this smell could only be produced in a light, aerated liquid, like beer. I love the smell. So manly.
Taste is not impressive in any beer sense, but certainly leaves other impressions. Has a slight malt base which has a reasonably nutty kind of flavour to it, and a reasonable hint of grass on the mid-palate. Late in the game, an appearance by that robust, organic chilli flavour that starts as a soil-esque brusqueness on the tongue and then crescendoes as a stinging, yet delightfully warming tickle at the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but I definitely dig that chilli sting.
This is a unique drinking experience and, goddammit, an enjoyable one. I guess this review may be scoffed at because I'm not particularly au fait with the style, but the flavour here (As a singular example) really speaks volumes to me.
This is obviously not a cleanser because that chilli lingers pretty powerfully, but it's such a great finisher because it kills off everything else. In short, I really do love this beer.
45 / 100
Pours a slightly pale golden colour with haphazard bubbling settling down into a slow bead around the fringes. Head is off-white and medium-thick, with large bubbles and sinking...hmmm...reasonably slowly. Lacing is certainly decent. Looks pretty good.
Smells very woody and quite fruity, very reminiscent of a well-oaked chardonnay. A fruity and slightly phenolic hop aroma pervades, but that dominant character is a tannic, oaky fragrance, quite pleasant really, but I'm just not sure why it's there in a pilsener. The hops could be more floral and fragrant.
Good pilsenery character throughout the palate, with a sticky malt starting on the front and increasingly exerting flavour until the finish. Has a slightly phenolic back to it, not unpleasant but a bit too rich and sweet - the hops are quite conspicuously absent on the finish. They are there but not in numbers, so the back has the sweet, resiny sensation of a badly flavoured cherry or watermelon candy.
Flavours for the rest of the palate are good, with malt producing a slight buttery edge and a miniscule whisper of lime. Mouthfeel has a decent buzz to it, although it clumps up a bit in my mouth and yet feels a bit watery. Neither smooth nor especially fizzy. Again, the palate is okay for a pilsener but the finish is too sweet to make this clean, crisp or refreshing. Maybe a noble effort, but effort don't make a beer.
46 / 100
Pours a golden hue, thick white head of small but visible bubbles, good retention and fair carbonation. Lacing is fairly decent. Not sure a bitter should be as pale as this, but otherwise looks pretty good.
Strong musty notes on the nose and a very acrid smell with a slight citric character. Fair aspects of honey, and some herbal hops, like a hint of oregano. Not all that well balanced though, and nly reasonably pleasant.
Taste is interesting, such as it is. Slight pale malts on the front palate. Reasonably nutty mid-palate with a prominent raw grain flavour. Has a slightly astringent aspect towards the back, with herbal hops and an earthy, gritty bitterness. Too subdued though, lingers not very cleanly and just leaves a slight bitter hang.
Mouthfeel is a bit too thick and viscous for the flavour, for which I would recommend or expect a bit more carbonation.
Flavours are overall decent though, just doesn't have a great complexity to hold my interest for very long. Drinkable for what it is.
Pours a very standard golden appearance with generous white head, disappointingly dissipating, dispersing and disappearing. Champagne-esque bubbling feeds from the bottom but can't resuscitate the head. Thin web of lace, but not one that would make the cover of Lingerie Weekly. Fairly disappointing, all in all.
Nose is very English, with a sour hoppy character, quite vegetative and with any fruit characters being of the partially decomposed kind. An almost cabbagey aroma on that, and at the back, a slight hint of intense sweetness almost akin to white chocolate. It just whispers its presence though. A decent nose, but nothing really exciting here.
Taste is quite malty on the front and mid-palate, with a distinctive nuttiness - pecans and walnuts - complemented by a slight burnt toffee richness that suggests itself but doesn't go too deep. Finish has a grape tartness to it and a slight grassy hop character, but still feels underhopped. It lets the malt trail off instead of truncating it with a hop hit.
Mouthfeel is very good, full and interesting as it explores. Finish is a little too tart to make this cleansing and there is not enough fruit to make this refreshing. A drop that falls short of being good by its all-round superficiality. Its growl is far worse than its bite.
Pours an extremely light yellow colour with a thin filmy head. This is a bitter? You could mistake this for Carlton Draught.
Almost nothing on the nose. Almost a bit of banana ester, but not much else. Eh. What's going on here? Not a fan.
Taste almost has the ester character of hefeweizen, like banana flavoured bubblegum. Seriously, it's like candy. Nothing like a bitter and overall pretty awful.
This beer is a travesty. Seriously. What the hell? It's *ok* to drink (just), but a bitter?? Get over yourselves.
69 / 100
Tried at the Australian Beer Festival, Sydney, 1st October 2006...
Now I'm going to face the wrath of my fellow BAs here and say that I think this one was pretty good!
Looks a reddish amber colour with minimal head, and minimal carbonation.
The nose is initially overpowered with the smell of chilli, but you can detect other nuances there. There's quite a sweetness there behind the pungent chilli, by the end I'd decided it smells like a Thai spice rack.
The taste is quite sweet and surprisingly fruity. Well, I guess technically, chilli is a fruit, but this is almost like a cherry flavour to it. The chilli just lends flavour, not heat, and to be honest I actually think it works rather well.
I didn't think this was going to work, but I have to say it's actually amazingly drinkable. It goes beyond a gimmicky idea to something that's actually suprisingly pleasant.