American Amber / Red Lager
91st highest rated style (of 102)
Highest RatedBarking Squirrel Lager (77 / 100) Average score56 / 100 (OK)
Lowest RatedMallee Bull Heavy (26 / 100) Number Tried25
Corker Porker
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 22.07.16 on tap
Overall:
66 / 100
(Solid)
Pours an amber colour, clear with foamy cream-coloured head. Doesn't really stick around but looks good when poured. Fairly amber, so yeah, good work.

Smells as I expected I guess. Some apple/pear fruit character with a fair undergrowth and herb note on the back as well. For some reason it also smells mostly oaky, sweet. Not bad.

Fruity palate, too. Notes of apple and pear upfront that grows in tanginess to a slight lemon zest on the late-mid. Quite sweet base lingering throughout though, and notes of capsicum and maybe some pepper on the back. Kind of musky, not bad actually.

Decent mouthfeel, for the style. Fluid but a fair bit of presence in the mouth.

Not bad at all. I'm not sure its name does it justice as 'porker' tends to invoke smoke (and I feel like the Mussel Inn has generally brought smokey type beers to GABS in the past), but it's very drinkable nonetheless.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.75
Barking Squirrel Lager
Reviewed by Jez on 13.10.14 in bottle
Overall:
77 / 100
(Excellent)
12oz bottle purchased from Drinks of the World in Zürich, Switzerland, of all places.

Pours a very pleasant reddish amber hue, with brilliant clarity allowing a full insight into the statuesque but dynamic streams of carbonation deep in the body. Weight is light but fluid. Head is a wonderfully persistent cap of off-white, forming fine froth to begin with but settling out a little and becoming filmy, but no less solid as it goes. Lacing is sheeting and good. Looks really great overall.

Nose is mild, but predominated by a smooth malt character, almost with a hint of vanilla to it. There's little in the way of sharpness, but there's a mild carbonic character that suggests crispness at least. Mostly it's mild and malty, grainy at times, but always very smooth. Smells great.

Taste is also very smooth—with a refined grain character providing a solid basis. Smooth vanilla is present again, with a slick maltiness that doesn't ever actually feel particularly sweet. Some sharper characters do come through a little here, perhaps a touch of herbal wintergreen and an earthy pepperiness. This is also aided by the fine line of carbonation through the body. Feel is smooth for the most part, with a crispness at the end, and a rather light finish.

Very drinkable, and very enjoyable. This is a flavoursome beer that also has a distinct quaffability. Indeed, the beer seems to revolve around that smoothness, balanced with the pervasive lightness that a lager yeast can provide, which is a killer combination in my opinion. Great stuff.
appearance: 4.25 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.25
Arabesque
Reviewed by Jez on 17.06.14 on tap
Overall:
67 / 100
(Solid)
A rye amber pilsner brewed for GABS 2014 in Melbourne, which is where I sampled it.

Deep golden in colour, perhaps a little light for the "amber tag", and fairly clear and light through the body. Head is white and fine, forming in a firm ring that leaves solid lacing. Looks good.

Nose is fairly staid. A little bit grainy with a touch of sweetness like golden syrup. A faint suggestion of hops come through, but just really adds a cereal quality to the malt. It's pretty weak all up.

Taste is a lot better. Slightly nutty entry with a touch of edgy hops that develop towards a clean spice through the mid palate. Rye gives a touch of acidity along with the spice, but not unpleasantly so. Back is fairly smooth and balances out the spice and lightness of the rye nicely, just leaving a little linger of pepper and hops on the back. Very nice. Feel is quite smooth for a lager.

Overall, this is very decent stuff overall. Smooth, easy to drink but with a little kick of interest. Nice stuff.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 3.75
Brooklyn Lager
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 21.03.13 in bottle
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a redwood colour, clear body. Head is off-white, cream, small bubbles but decent retention. Gorgeous lace. Great-looking red lager.

Smells grainy. Pearl barley, oats, with a touch of honey and caramelisation. Slight herbal hop on the back; decent Germanic-style aroma.

Slight wet sourness to the flavour. Wet grain, with cereal, a slight roasted barley, brassy and grassy hop character on the back. A bit thin, slight warm lager note, but nothing special.

Smooth upfront but a bit of carbonation bite on the back. Would like a softer texture to suit the slight amp up in the flavour department.

Not a bad brew, I think it needs a touch more sweetness on the palate, just for enjoyment. Without it it's more of an everyday drinker, but I could really take pleasure from this if there were a sweeter edge.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Coldstream Spring Lager
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 06.06.12 in bottle
Overall:
61 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a deep ruby-tinged amber. Head is white; really just a ring of lace around the edge. Quite disappointing. A swill produces bubbles but no revival. A nice colour, but nothing else to it.

Smells a little bit funky, and not in a good wild-yeast way. Malty with a metallic tinge, and an odd fruity tinge, with a touch of acetyldehyde. Would maybe suit an ale, but there's not much else in here, and the aroma kind of seems off as a result. Let's hope there's more to the palate.

Taste is significantly better, as there's a lightly toasted grain note that starts early and becomes a prominent hero late-mid. Starts with a touch of that fruity note - apple, peach and some banana, then light toasty note with English toffee, and some light resinous hops. Fairly dry on the finish, yeah overall it's pretty decent as a Spring lager. Malty, dry and not too sweet.

Thin feel, with a bit of fizz on the back. Could use a bit more body for this style and I wouldn't complain.

Decent Vienna lager but some undeniable bumps that could be ironed out.
appearance: 2.5 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Coney Island Lager
Reviewed by Jez on 06.01.12 in bottle
Overall:
51 / 100
(OK)
Bottle thanks to @LaitueGonflable, purchased in Australia.

Pours a slightly hazed, but not particularly cloudy amber hue, with a fine, but certainly filmy and insubstantial head of white. Light, fluid body, but fine carbonation, where it exists. it actually looks a little flat and dead. But the colour is nice enough.

Considering the fanfare they give to the number and variety of hops used in the beer, the nose is exceedingly generic. It has the broad strokes of grainy malt and moderated bitter hoppiness, but no really exciting flavours that jump out individually. The malt is more forward, and tends toward generic, multigrain bread characters, leaving it a bit flat and unexciting overall.

Taste is also pretty generic. Thin body is noticeable from the start, which would work reasonably well with a touch of bright, fresh hop character, but instead we get that flat, grainy malt, a touch of sweet lemon on the back, and a dry empty finish that makes the palate feel like it's petering out to nothingness.

Pretty disappointing brew, to be honest. I've found the Coney Island branding to be genuinely substandard to the He'Brew branded beers, and this is no exception. Worst of all, while this could be a reasonable session brew, the 5.5% ABV puts it slightly out of that range. It's a shame.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Coldstream Spring Lager
Reviewed by Jez on 06.01.12 in bottle
Overall:
28 / 100
(Nasty)
I believe this is a different beer to the one listed as "Coldstream Lager". It has a different ABV, and doesn't match the description jarmby1711 gives in his review.

This one pours a deep amber colour, with almost no head—it merely fizzles up and then dissipates to nothing. Plenty of carbonation though, but this is probably another negative given the lack of head. Really, it looks flat and unappealing. If it weren't for the touch of colour, this would be a dead 1 for appearance.

Nose is faint and slightly grainy, with a hint of mild roast and a touch of acidity. Slight fatty character to it too, like McDonalds cheese. Again, very unappealing.

Taste is a little better, tending more towards an English Pale Ale in grain flavour (despite the malt and hops listed on the bottle). A little mild caramel sweetness, a touch of pleasant grain, albeit with a very flat end empty finish. It's not nearly good enough to be genuinely pleasant, but better than the appearance and the nose prepared me for.

Really not very good. Flat, uninteresting, with characters that tend towards offensive when they actually rear their heads. Can't say I'm overly enthusiastic about Coldstream in general from the two I've tried.

appearance: 1.5 | aroma: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.0
Kross Golden Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 17.11.11 in bottle
Overall:
50 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours an orange-tinged golden colour with modest head, off-white with visible bubbles. Just a cloud on the top left, but lace is decent. Looks OK.

Smell is not bad, actually. Bit sweet though, fairly grainy with hints of golden syrup and shredded wheat cookies. Slight lemony tang at the back adds some diversity to it, but nothing amazing.

Taste is fairly tangy upfront, mostly just ale yeast off-whoots and esters, with mild lemon and a slightly astringent herbal note midway. Finish is lacking in cleanliness with sweet grain rising to the surface again, slight apple juice, honey and oatmeal. Pretty bland, but there's nothing particularly off-putting here.

Flat and uninteresting feel, though. Body's there but it's pretty much untextured.

Not really a fan, but I went in with low expectations. Not disappointed, just vindicated.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Brooklyn Lager
Reviewed by Jez on 28.11.09 in bottle
Overall:
73 / 100
(Very Good)

Tried with lunch at the Met Museum. Not the greatest venue for tasting beer, but a pleasant enough location in general.

Pours an orange golden colour, with a large bubbled but reasonably frothy head of white foam. Fair amount of streaming carbonation. Overall, it looks pretty good. A pretty decent lager.

Some sweetness on the nose, with a fruity-floral character that speaks of a really nice hop addition. Not as pungent as it might have been, or as sharp and redolent with hop-character, but very pleasant. It's milder than a pilsener, but shows good promise.

Taste is also pretty good. An initial sweet fruit note journeys towards acidity before the onrush of hop bitterness comes to clear it away. Not really dry on the back, but it does have a pleasant lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is sharp and spritzy, slightly too carbonated for my tastes, but it does suit the style, and I have to believe this is what they were going for.

Overall, a very drinkable and very flavoursome lager. Plenty of character to keep it interesting, but mild enough to be a true session brew.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.5
Ice Cap Lager
Reviewed by Jez on 26.08.09 on tap
Overall:
60 / 100
(Decent)

Slightly cloudy amber yellow, with a filmy to nonexistent head. The cloudiness gives me some hope, but otherwise I'm unimpressed.

Some light fruity hops on the nose, with a very faint whiff of paint thinner. Not all the bad. Not huge, but the characters are pleasant enough.

Nice light fruity notes on the palate, with a pleasant light bitterness. Hint of bubblegum or plastic not out of question, but it's quite nice. Not bad. Mouthfeel is reasonably clean - a good attribute for a lager.

Not bad overall. Not a massive amount of character but clean and easy to drink. If this were on tap everywhere I'd be pleased there's a decent drop to drink.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Ice Cap Lager
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 26.08.09 on tap
Overall:
48 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours an amber gold with minimal head, leaves a ring of lacing and a little webbing here and there. Clear body with no carbonation, looks pretty standard, and not very appealing.

Nose is really quite sweet with a decent fruity character, but also an unpleasant bread yeast character, maybe a bit of a sweet corn aroma. Not very aromatic anyway, and not impressive.

Taste has a bit of a corn flavour, quite mild with a fair amount of malt as well. Not much hop character although a slight Cascade citrusy twang on the back with a hint of passionfruit, almost champagney actually.

Mouthfeel is thin, a bit bleh. Some carbonation would certainly add interest.

Not really enough flavour here to be exciting. For all that though it's pretty drinkable, and there's far more character on this than your average Aussie lager. Still not enough to wow me.
appearance: 2.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Mallee Bull Heavy
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 16.04.09 in bottle
Overall:
26 / 100
(Nasty)
Pours a gold colour - where's the redness, beer? Looks lagery. Slow bead and modest, because, weak, white head. Not great lacing. Looks standard and boring indeed.

Bit of sweetness on the nose, slight buttery smell. Honey a bit as well and a very, very slight bitterness. This is very weak though and too sweet.

Very diacetyl character with a lot of sweet notes, too much malt and virtually no hops. Doesn't grip me at all, because it's not very nice. Simple, poorly brewed, poorly balanced and with a very amateurish palate. I noticed a lot of the comments before me make mention of the fact that this is advertised as having distinct hoppiness and rightly so this should be pounced on.

This beer and its advertising label stink badly, either of marketing conmen or of beer neophytes with a poorly misguided attempt to brew an interesting beer. This is nothing like the good beer described, and nothing like a good beer. All I can say, Mildura, is scrap everything and try again.
appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 2.0
Mallee Bull Heavy
Reviewed by Jez on 10.10.06 in bottle
Overall:
35 / 100
(Nasty)

Presentation: 330ml brown bottle. Cap is inordinately difficult to remove. Black and red label depicting said "Mallee Bull", or what I can only assume is a Mallee Bull. Freshness date 10/12/06.

Appearance: Golden copper hue. Clear. Lots of carbonation. Slightly off white head, which is full and robust. The meringue-y head stays well, only diminishing to a collar near the end of the glass. Excellent lacing. It's a shame the beer is all downhill from here.

Smell: Somewhat burnt roasted hints on the nose. Little hop fragrance noticeable, and overall rather subdued.

Taste: Starts with a roasted hint, but is followed by a harsh metallic twang. Finish is sour and astringent. It's like chewing on aluminium foil. The pungent metallic taste overpowers what little else there is. It reminds me of that sour, rancid taste left in your mouth after you've puked. Maybe not that bad, but that's what it reminds me of.

Mouthfeel is quite light, some noticeable carbonation.

Well, at least there was some taste noticeable here, unlike what previous reviewers have experienced, but I'm pretty sure this isn't what they were aiming for. I don't know if this batch got infected or what, but I sure hope it's not meant to taste like that.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 1.5