English Pale Ale
73rd highest rated style (of 102)
Highest RatedTopaz (77 / 100) Average score53 / 100 (OK)
Lowest Rated1859 Pale Ale (13 / 100) Number Tried221
Old Golden Hen
Reviewed by Jez on 16.05.16 in bottle
Overall:
58 / 100
(Decent)
355ml brown bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria.

Pours a deep golden colour, very clear in the body, with a fine head of off-white that stays as islands of clumped bubbles and a fairly persistent ring. Body is light but slick, holding some coarse but languid carbonation. Lacing forms in streaky rings. Looks pretty decent.

Nose is very sweet, with some wet grain notes and a musty fug of honey. Galaxy hops are nowhere to be found, despite the assertion on the label, of if they are in there, they're exceedingly old. Instead we get those layers of honey sandwiches, musty porridge and cracked wheat. It's not great.

Flavour is actually much better, because it's very light-bodied, meaning there's no suggestion at all of cloying sweetness on the back. Instead, we get a slight herbal-savoury entry, with a bit of soaked burghul and a light, refreshing finish. There's a bite to the dryness at the back—again it's slightly herbal, almost grassy—but it makes it feel quite crisp.

Feel is light, but with a slickness through the centre of the palate, to account somewhat for the missing sweetness.

It's a pretty lightweight beer in the end, but it was in danger of being an actively poor one when the nose smelled as rank as it did. Galaxy hops are not best showcased in this beer, but it winds up being a drinkable brew despite its shortcomings.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Big Time Rush
Reviewed by Jez on 11.07.15 from cask
Overall:
76 / 100
(Excellent)
Tried on handpump at GABS 2015 in Melbourne. First beer I sampled down there, and one of the last I retried up in Sydney's version a week later.

Pours a pale apricot-straw colour with some hazing in the glass. Body is clean and light, but still from the cask. Head is frothy and coarse, leaving some white patchy lace as it goes down. Looks pretty decent.

Nose is mild with a light fruit hint and a bit of hay or grassy grain providing a bit of warm breadth. Slight melon characters come through as well as it warms. Not bad.

Taste is slightly fragrant with honey on the front, with some grassiness that continues into a prickle of earthy hops on the back. Mid-palate has a little cantaloupe and a support of neutral grain. It's nicely balanced all up. Aftertaste is clean, with a bit of lingering pepper, almost medicinal in the end.

Feel is very smooth and light.

Really drinkable brew by the end. It's a quaffable beer that probably got a little lost at GABS. I was perfectly happy drinking a glass of it though.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
Big Time Rush
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 04.06.15 from cask
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
First beer of GABS 2015 in Melbourne.

Pours a straw colour, slightly cloudy with a nice foamy dense cream-coloured head, as one would expect from a handpump. Retains nicely. Looks good.

Smells grainy, and quite sweet. Note of caramel, peanuts, plus a fair bread yeasty character, touch of sourdough and yeah, maybe yeast. Was expecting more hop, but there's a freshness to it which is nice.

Palate is similar. Grainy, with a touch of honey, then finishes quite yeasty - not quite bready or cloying and just a very light bitterness on there as well. From the description I expected a bit more hop character to come through.

Feel is a bit thin and a bit flat. It's fine for the style but nothing much going on here.

Decent beer to start; very clean and drinkable but I expected a bit more after the brilliant Union Square last year; it's nice, just unexciting.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | drinkability: 3.5
Dead Canary
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 10.03.15 on tap
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
On tap at the Local Taphouse.

Pours a rich golden amber, off-white head. Steady bead. Good retention, dense. Looks awesome.

Smells hoppy; citric and slightly metallic. Slight cocoa edge from malts, resinous notes and bright passion aroma as well. Pretty nice.

Taste is quite grainy. Cereal notes with caramel, pearl barley, before a decent hop whack with lemon pith, pineapple acid, and big dank bitterness that finishes it off. A bit dour, could use a bit of freshness to just clip that hang, because there's nice notes early on but the finish is very dank and leaves lingering bitterness with no memories of that nice fruity hop character. Decent though.

A bit of a tingle; surprisingly solid body for a pale. Not bad.

Nice enough pale; have had more amazing things. Like blowjobs.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 3.5
Cruisin' Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 10.03.15 on tap
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)
On tap at the Duck Inn.

Pours a golden colour, thinning at the edges. Head is tightly packed white foam, retaining amazingly. Looks great if a little light on.

Smells fruity. Tropical with citrus hints. Finger lime and sherbet with apple and raisin notes underlying. Pretty nice.

Taste is very tangy. Pineapple and banana with more finger lime and kiwi notes. Quite bitter and a bit bitty with biscuity malt notes hanging all over it as well. Nice, summery drop. Pleasant.

Smooth, no rough edges. Maybe a touch thin but otherwise great.

Drinks well. Thirst quenching.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | drinkability: 4.0
Foo Brew
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 06.11.14 on tap
Overall:
61 / 100
(Decent)
'English golden ale' had on tap at the Henson. Note I reviewed this after the Julia brewday, so I was A mildly drunk and B still had the taste of the Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break in my mouth.

Pours a burnished amber colour. Head is beige colour, some lace, not much. Not much volume. OK. Not very 'golden'.

Smells malty. Caramel, touch of butter. Mild apple fruit notes. Not bad.

Tastes malty as well; reasonably English with some malt notes: toffee, caramel, some red apple fruit notes. Touch of citrus; orange, bit of cinnamon. Quite sweet on the back. Too much; decent English notes though.

Smooth enough. Decent body; goes well with style.

Not my cup of tea, but will give it the benefit of doubt for others; just not really golden ale.
appearance: 3.25 | aroma: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
1859 Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 14.09.14 in bottle
Overall:
13 / 100
(Awful)
330ml brown bottle purchased from the brewery.

Pours a clear amber-golden hue with a frothy, loose and slightly effervescent head of white that dissipates very quickly to a ring of almost nothing. Body is quite light without a lot of residual carbonation.

Nose is disappointing: earthy, slightly woody hop notes mingled with a weak, flabby malt character that almost reeks of extract. Together, there's almost a solvent note to it, especially as it gets warmer. Really not very pleasant.

Taste is much the same. Very light entry with slight husky grain characters and a noticeably grassy note. Hops are very weak, leaving the back to sit with the residual malt once all of the sweetness has dropped out. Here there's a surprising carbonated flavour despite the apparent lack of carbonation overall. It really doesn't have a lot to offer, unfortunately.

Feel is very weak. It has a slight astringency on the back, otherwise extremely weak.

I really don't want to drink a lot of this—it's a shame. Their Best Bitter was pretty decent, but this is decidedly sub-par. It's not a good new-wave Pale Ale, but it's not even a good oldskool English Pale Ale either. It's just a bit of a mess.
appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | drinkability: 1.5
Topaz
Reviewed by Jez on 04.05.14 from cask
Overall:
77 / 100
(Excellent)
Tried off cask at The Rake in Southwark, London.

Pours a hazed pale golden colour with a very fine head of white. Brilliant, intricate tiny pockets of lace. Fine powdery carbonation. Looks great.

Nose is a little bit weak. Some dusty grain characters, hints of herbs and a slight mild sweetness a little like melted vanilla ice cream. Slight eggy overtones as well. Solid base of malt underneath though.

Taste is much better. Very clean, bright and fresh, with sharp herbal tones and a lovely crispness towards the back. Malt is smooth, but not obtrusively sweet. A lilt of fresh mint on the afterpalate. Lovely balance all up. Feel is smooth and clean. Very pleasant indeed.

Overall, this is a cracking, extremely drinkable brew. A bit high in alcohol to continually session, but it's still a beer I feel like slamming down. Such good balance in a beer has that effect.
appearance: 4.25 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | drinkability: 4.25
Starlaw
Reviewed by Jez on 04.05.14 from cask
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
Tried from cask at Draft House in London. The version I had was 3.5% and styled as an "Extra Pale Ale", it seems as though there's small variations in ABV though.

Pours a mostly clear golden colour, with some suspension in the glass. Body is light but fluid. Head is foamy and off-white that leaves sudsy lacing. Looks a bit dull, but decent enough.

Nose is fairly mild, but with some classic English-style characteristics. Slight earthy organics and a bit of greenery. Fairly neutral malt character giving a slight grainy tone. Bread dough comes through a little as well. It's not bad.

Taste is crisper and cleaner. Pleasant herbal characters lace around a neutral wel malty core. Light and limp body doesn't quite carry it as much as you might expect. Slight floral fragrance and bitterness on the back palate, with a little clinging oil that makes it seem fairly bitter. Feel is flat but smooth.

Overall, it's decent stuff. Not amazing, but certainly not bad either.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Nelson Sauvin
Reviewed by Jez on 04.05.14 from cask
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)
Tried from cask at CASK pub & Kitchen in Pimlico, London.

Pours a very clear golden colour, light in the body with a foamy coarse white head. Lace forms in sudsy rings. Tilting gives some minimal but slightly powdery carbonation. Looks decent enough.

Sharp on the nose with that classic, almost acidic Nelson Sauvin character—feels like they've gone a bit nuts with it. Gooseberry and cat pee, almond paste and marzipan. Not much body or sweetness behind it, but at least they're not shrinking away from the name.

Light crisp entry on the palate with a hint of smoothness underneath to back it up. This continues into the mid-palate, giving some neutral malt and not a lot of sweetness. Hops come through on the back, giving a tingling sting of bitterness—it's more balanced than I expected from the aroma, although that weird NS acid cloys a little in the aftertaste. Feel is smooth and satiny.

Nicely balanced eventually. It's fairly light and very easy to drink. Tastes good from a hand-pull in particular.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Camden Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 03.01.14 in bottle
Overall:
72 / 100
(Very Good)
330ml bottle purchased from Camperdown Cellars, Parramatta Road.

Pours a very clear, very bright pale golden colour, with a fine white head that settles out to a fair ring. Carbonation is quite fine and refined. Lacing is minimal, but given the minimal head and the body, it's not all that surprising. Looks pretty decent overall.

Nose is great. Clean, crisp and direct hop fragrance makes it bright and sharp from the get-go. Slight faint lemon character and a soda brightness wrap it up. Not much in the way of malt, but it doesn't need it. Pretty tasty.

Taste is great, very clean and bright, with a crispness on the back from the hops. Feel is very light, but it has a very pleasant lemon character which runs through from front to back. It's extremely drinkable.

Yep. Cracking, easy-drinking beer. I'd missed the bandwagon Camden takeovers which seemed to ram through all of the Australian east-coast craft beer pubs recently, but I would have been suitably impressed if this was the first refreshing beer I had on-tap. If the price-point is right, this would be a great pick for a clean, summer BBQ beer. It paired very nicely with some rock oysters seasoned with lemon and cracked pepper.
appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 3.75 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
So'Hop
Reviewed by Jez on 02.01.14 in bottle
Overall:
61 / 100
(Decent)
660ml brown bottle purchased from Leura Cellars.

Pours indeed very pale, quite hazed with some yeast sediment and a very light body. Carbonation is very fine, staying powdery in the glass. Head doesn't form much, leaving only a smattering of fine film across the glass. Streaking lace.

Nose indeed bright and fresh with crisp hops. Sharp and herbal, with a very slight musk character, and some sweeter fruit-salad notes coming through, giving a bit of pineapple and apple. That's about it, but it's very pleasant.

Taste is extremely light, and lacking any body whatsoever. Slight clean herbal characters around the edge, but no sweetness and very little backing up the hop note. Crisp, extremely dry finish, with a lingering, strange hint of horseradish or wasabi. It gets into my sinuses very oddly.

Overall, it's very drinkable and dry. And this lends it a certain refreshing quality which is helpful. It just feels a bit empty
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Pearlers Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 29.12.13 on tap
Overall:
27 / 100
(Nasty)
Pours a very pale colour; quite translucent. Head is white, thin rim. Pretty bland.

Smells adjuncty and yeasty. Sweet honey with rice, corn and some barley malt. Not much grounding, just sweet and cloying.

Tastes similar. I guess there's 'standard' beer stylings, but yeah ultimately sweet and yeasty. Corny. Unpleasant.

Bit of body, but not much texture. Pretty awful.

Not a pleasant drop. Cloying, not much character. Might do well for punters in Broome but here, I like my flavour.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.25 | drinkability: 2.0
Blue Sky Golden Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 10.12.13 on tap
Overall:
28 / 100
(Nasty)
Pours a straw colour, clear with dense white head, nice retention. Looks very nice, but the paleness worries me, as a good pale should have more body than this looks to have.

Smells grainy upfront and weird on the back. Cereal notes before a salty, almost corporeal character comes through. Meh.

Taste is grainy, bready, yeasty. Cereal notes upfront and then just sharp, slightly sour yeast note. Nothing of interest and nothing to cut through. Unpleasant.

Thin body, tingly carbonation. OK for style but unimpressive in every other sense.

Bland. Meh. Waste of my time.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 2.0
Oaked Toms Amber Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 29.11.13 on tap
Overall:
77 / 100
(Excellent)
Pours an amber colour, clear all the way through, with white foamy head. Nice lacing. Looks great.

Smell is oaky, with a touch of banana, vanilla, and decent coconut as well. Slight tang to it. Pretty nice.

Oak continues on the palate, coconut and vanilla but yeah it's all that American oak character up the wazoo. Bit of bitterness towards the back but it's more of an afterthought. Good to cleanse, and works well.

Body is slightly thin, but has a decent texture to it.

Yeah, a bit of odd, even weak, hopping at the back but it serves to cleanse that very sweet, coconutty oak. Very interesting twist on their regular amber ale, it works really nicely in this case.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Pike's Sparkling Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 19.10.13 on tap
Overall:
64 / 100
(Solid)
Clearly an Australian Sparkling Ale, this is one I tried at Vic on the Park during the Sydney Craft Beer Week launch party. I believe this is a rebooting of the Pike's brand, which has come and gone a fair bit through the last 10 years or so before being a historical brand before that.

Pours a coppery golden colour with slight hazing to the body. Head is very solid, forming a pocked yellow/off-white colour across the top that leaves very decent lace. Body is firm and good. Overall it's a great-looking beer.

Nose is a little bit dull, but with some good characters and some less good characters that still add interest. Slight clear apple characters on first smell, quite crisp and light, and a little golden malt to provide a deeper tone. There's a touch perhaps of something like butyric acid, giving it a mild astringency, but it's hidden. Overall, it's not bad.

Taste is similar. Crisp with a hint of slightly earthy spice on the front and some astringency towards the back. Mostly though, it's just round and smooth giving a decent, subdued malt presence and a light crisp finish. It's a bit ephemeral overall, but nice enough.

Feel is good with carbonation running through it. It makes it feel aerated and lighter than it is.

Overall, this is pretty nice. I'm perhaps a little surprised at that, but it's a pretty decent effort and a pretty drinkable brew all up.

appearance: 4.25 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 3.5
Kipling
Reviewed by Jez on 17.08.13 in bottle
Overall:
76 / 100
(Excellent)
500ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne. Drank with @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a brilliantly clear yellow colour, with a reasonably frothy head of pure white. This settles down to a film, taking on a slightly greyish tone as it does so. Lacing is tight. Looks very good. Love the clarity in the body.

Nose is also very good indeed. Big fresh, sweet, slightly tropical hop characters, which give off pineapple, papaya and guava, with a slightly crisper, greener tone as well—perhaps fresh squeezed lime. Under it is a grainy substrate, a fairly neutral but also fairly bland underpinning. But the hops win here.

On the palate is where the bland basis makes more of an impact. Light clean entry gives a pleasant echo of fruitiness, before the back empties out. This isn't entirely bad: it's light and crisp and exceptionally quaffable as a result. But there's certainly less flavour than there could have been, in the aftertaste are reminiscences of fruitiness, a slight candy tingle slightly fragrant with a vacant acidity. It's quite pleasant.

Feel is light and crisp: very well suited indeed to the beer as a whole.

Despite some choices made in its construction, this is a very good beer, and even a very enjoyable and interesting one. If I complain about it having less flavour than it should, then it's almost certainly just a reflection on me rather than the beer. This is expertly made, extremely well crafted, and just drinkable as hell. Good stuff.

appearance: 4.25 | aroma: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
Blue Sky Golden Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 03.07.13 on tap
Overall:
47 / 100
(Not Great)
Tried on-tap at the GABS festival in Melbourne.

Pours a golden yellow colour, quite clear with a smooth and light, but supple weight to the body. Head is creamy and white and it leaves solid lace. Not bad.

Nose is slightly organic, but mostly just bland. Thin, weak, maybe just a suggestion of fruit, perhaps berries? But these are guesses, or else just figments of my imagination.

Taste is similar. Light and clean on the entry with a crisp malt character, but this just continues—bright enough and quite fresh, but exceedingly dull. Clean finish, but... you guessed it... exceedingly dull.

Feel is light, again fine but dull.

Dull? Did I mention that? It's drinkable enough I guess, and I think it's actually better than most of the rest of their range, though, so that's saying something.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.25
Young Henry's Real Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 21.05.13 in bottle
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)
Long-neck enjoyed with a meal at Bloodwood Newtown.

Coppery red colour, lacking head a bit, just a rim, but leaves some vibrant off-white lace around. Not a bad looking real ale.

Smells English mostly, toffee malt and crispy caramel. I was thinking crystal malt but maybe not, with some sweet notes and mild passionfruit seed from the Galaxy hops, maybe a slight grassy hop note as well. Really quite pleasant.

Taste is very malt-driven, with strong caramel notes throughout. Toffee and a touch of milkiness to it. Crystallised sugar late-mid and finishes with slight spice and herbal hop finish. Clean, fairly austere and extremely drinkable.

Fluid, maybe a touch thin. Leaves a decent after-taste and feel.

The southern hemisphere hops work a treat with the English malt base. Perfect accompaniment to meats and risottos, as well. Tasty.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.5
James Squire 150 Lashes
Reviewed by Jez on 15.04.13 in bottle
Overall:
46 / 100
(Not Great)
345ml bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria. Although this has been out for a while now, I don't believe I've ever had it from a bottle, only on-tap.

On-tap, this pours genuinely cloudy, much like a Coopers green, which this seems to be trying to emulate, but here it's relatively clear, with just a slight hazing towards the end: although I don't believe it'd bottle-conditioned, I'm guessing there's a yeast addition towards the end to add the haze, and this has settled out in my bottle. Head is very minimal: a fine white ring around the top of the glass, even after a relatively vigorous pour. Some fine carbonation, but mostly it looks flat and still. Not bad, but not something to make you enthusiastic either.

Nose is a mixture of husky grain and earthy, woody PoR characters. There's something faintly floral sitting around the edges, but this seems to undermine the other characters, making the already questionable aromas seem weak as well. Some sweetness comes through as it warms, perhaps a touch of honey or banana. But mostly, it smells like a slightly off-colour Coopers green.

Taste is lighter and sweeter than Coopers though (sorry to keep making the comparison, but it's so obviously the comparison to make), with a solid liquid malt character running through the centre, chased by the ghost of Pride. Some fluffy savoury biscuit characters rise up after a while, along with a plasticky tone towards the back. Finish is suprisingly long, without the crispness, or the bite of hops it feels it needs.

Feel is slightly sticky, and slightly bloating.

Overall, I'm not a real fan. I find this a better option than the ubiquitous New, Extra Dry or Pure Blonde, but it's certainly worse than Coopers green or red. This just has some off-kilter elements: the additional sweetness, the funky floral overtones, the thick finish. It makes it seem like a needless and feckless brew as a result.

I'll stick to the Golden or the Pilsner if there are no better choices, thanks.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.75 | drinkability: 2.75
Mountain Goat Hightail Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 04.03.13 in bottle
Overall:
69 / 100
(Very Good)
Seriously, how have I gone this long without reviewing this craft beer classic? 330ml amber bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria. But it could have been anywhere.

Pours a solid amber hue, probably at the lighter end of the spectrum, with a perfectly clear body, and a fizzling effervescent head which eventually slutters itself out, leaving just some fine foaming across part of the top of the glass. Lace forms in some patchy streaks and dots. Looks pretty decent.

Nose is mild but pleasant. Some faint toasty grain characters with an up-tilt of faint herbal hop notes. Some peppery tones, and a rounded sweetness: perhaps not quite the "toffee" they claim on the label, but there's a glassy smooth character to underline everything. Like I said, it's all pretty mild, but it's quite pleasant.

Taste is still clean and pleasant, with perhaps a little more direct flavour than the nose was giving off. Light roasted characters, and indeed perhaps a toffee-like sweetness, without the weight or cloying sugariness. Some cleansing herb-and-lemon bitterness provides a modicum of balance to the beer, leaving a pleasant crispness on the finish.

Feel is smooth but light, with structure enough to support the beer, but remaining rather refreshing.

It's a very drinkable beer, and at pretty sessionable strength too. It perhaps doesn't have the in-your-face belligerence of some other Aussie craft (even some of the other purported easy-drinking, sessionable-strength brews), but this is a stalwart example of brewing beer well. Very nice stuff.

appearance: 3.75 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | drinkability: 4.0
1859 Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 14.02.13 in bottle
Overall:
74 / 100
(Very Good)
Gifted a bottle by @lacqueredmouse and shared with my Dad.

Pours a brownish amber colour, decent off-white head. Sticks around nicely with decent lace. Pleasant-looking English pale.

Smells lemony, grassy, with a bit of barley sugar to it and some green wheat notes. Little bit sweet at times with a touch of brown sugar on there as well, but pretty decent for the style.

Taste has a toasty flavour overall, a bit of brown sugar creeping in as well. Decent toasted grain with EKG and grassy notes, a touch of lemon myrtle that overall gets a bit earthy late on the palate. Maybe just a whisper of coffee towards the finish. Nicely bitter pale, well-grounded and nicely balanced. Good example of the style.

Full body, bitty at times. Not bad.

Really quite a pleasant English ale. Good cleanser but also lots of likeable character as well. I won't pretend the beer had me leaping for joy but I'd be pretty happy if there were more of this type of well-crafted English style brew and fewer POR-hopped beers around.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.5
Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 09.02.13 in bottle
Overall:
64 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a russeted amber colour, clear and bits of bubbles around the edge; has a cream-coloured head that sinks disappointingly, with nice lace left behind. OK-looking pale.

Smells quite fruity, and hoppy. Mango and peach with a dusty hop note. Not all that vibrant, with some maybe vegetative spicy notes, maybe a bit flattened out with age, but still some nice aromas coming through.

Taste has fruity notes on there, but they're slightly stale, with a muted, blanketed kind of flavour overall. Hints in there of peach, citrus and pink pepper with some minty hops late. Bit of bite shows it's mostly still there, but it does come across as a bit aged and diminished; maybe even a little sour. Still a decent pale ale though.

OK texture-wise, a bit bitey and spicy late, which goes to service the style well.

Drinks fine, but in my opinion this bottle is a little old, and I feel there was nothing especially fresh or vibrant to it anyway. Decent, though.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Haymaker
Reviewed by Jez on 29.12.12 in bottle
Overall:
53 / 100
(OK)
500ml brown bottle purchased for me by the in-laws for Christmas.

Pours a pale, relatively clear golden-orange colour, with a fine, but inconsistent head of pure white. Some speckled lacing. Very fine and prolific carbonation, that swirls powdery and anarchic when tilted. Looks pretty decent.

Nose is rather sweet and sweaty, with some tea-like overtones from the weak hops. There's a herbal sweetness to it, and a slightly funky fragrance. Something buttery and sickly, like lemon curd icing. It's hard to put it all together into something coherent, and the beer fails a little in this way. I'm not overly enthusiastic.

Taste is light and empty, with a slight bite of earthy hops on the back, and a light herbal astringency. Sweet malt comes through pretty weakly, but it lends a slightly sickly tone to the beer. Fortunately, the lightness means that it never gets too offensive, but it's a close thing.

Feel is smooth and light, fitting and pleasant enough.

Overall, I'm not really that impressed. It's OK, but not really any better than that—the sweetness is only tempered by the fact that it's actually quite flavourless. Neither of those descriptions is a sign of a great beer.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Janszoon Summer Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 22.12.12 on tap
Overall:
57 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a gold colour, clear body with sparse-bubbled white head. Bit pale for the style; OK.

Nutty, grainy nose. Has a slight adjuncty character as it's all just grain and cereal. Bit of pearl barley note. Very simple.

Again simple on the palate, bland and grainy. Wish I could like it more, but there's just nothing to it.

Not too thin on the body; just enough presence there to let you know it's beer, bit of carbonation.

I would really love to rate this higher as it's a very decent session ale. Pleasant enough and drinkable as Hell. I'm really glad it exists, but it's just not exciting. Would be a cracker of a cleansing ale.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Red Duck Bumble Bee
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 22.12.12 on tap
Overall:
48 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours an amber colour, very slight cloud to it. Cream-coloured head is nice and dense and clings to the glass. Looks nice; good colour.

Smells like Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes®. Decent actual honey character to it giving nice sweetness. Sweet and nutty, yeah I could enjoy this.

Bit simple on the palate, also a little bit off. Unfortunately it gets a bit of pure ethyl alcohol from those characterless, flavourless fermentables. Lacking a bit of honey character and gets a slight fruity by-product as well. Bit meh.

Bit light on the body, could really have ramped up the stickiness by adding more malt body. Wouldn't have gone amiss in a honey ale.

Bit meh overall, and bland. Disappointing.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Sixty Nine Summer Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 10.12.12 in bottle
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)
330ml bottle purchased from Porters at Northwood.

Pours a slightly hazed, burnt golden colour, with a fine, somewhat flat head of white. Very decent lacing along the sides of the glass. Reasonable body and fine carbonation. There's nothing spectacular about the look, but it's solid enough.

Nose is clean and dry, with a dusty hop fragrance coming through above a slightly wheaty grain basis. Slight grassy tones, perhaps a touch of Australian Pale Ale yeastiness, and a touch of pepper perhaps. Nothing really pops, but it's again, reasonable solid stuff.

Taste is smooth and clean, with a slight bready, biscuity malt basis forming a decent platform for the brew. Above this is some clean, if dull, and slightly earthy hop notes that devolve into a spritz of mild carbonation and a yeasty finish. Bitterness is restrained, but it has a muted bite on the back of the palate. Feel is smooth and fluid.

Overall, this is drinkable enough, and light enough to probably have some mass appeal, but this is easily my least favourite of the core Riverside range. Again, it's solidly made, and still well-balanced, but it doesn't really do anything to excite me.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Innis & Gunn Blonde - Lightly Oaked Beer
Reviewed by Jez on 09.09.12 in bottle
Overall:
72 / 100
(Very Good)
Clear bottle. Purchased from Plonk in Canberra. Clear beer, too, when it comes to it: a pale golden hue, with a frothy, but bubbly head of white. Carbonation seems quite languid, and the body has a little heft to it, despite being very fluid. Lacing is patchy and slightly sudsy. Not bad overall.

Nose is mildly oaky, with a touch of vanilla coming through above a generic English malt character and a touch of slightly skunky organic hops. Overall, it's mostly sweet, with that oak giving it a port-like character and the malt leaving plenty of heavy-duty caramel. Not bad for it, though.

Taste is smooth and light, with more of that pleasant caramel malt character capped with some port or sherry cask characters on the back giving a slight bite to the continuing sweetness. There's a touch of something slightly peppery and a little astringent on the back, perhaps a little restrained booze, but it works nicely with the rest of the palate. Feel is clear and smooth.

Overall, this is very solid stuff. Oddly, I think the oak works better in this "lightly-oaked" version than it does in some of their more oak-forward beers. This is probably the best I've had from them so far.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
1812 India Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 20.06.12 in bottle
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a rich bronze colour, clear with a light bead. Head is a bit thin, with off-white colour but nice trails of lace left behind. Quite decent.

Smells malty and toasty and English, with bready grain, toffee and some sourdough as well. Hops come through a bit minty and herbal; needs a bit more fruit or floral or citric character maybe, because the whole thing is sweet/savoury and smells like something that isn't really beer, more like a solid baked good and the hops here accentuate rather than contrast with that character. Decent, but I'd like more refeshment on the aroma

Taste is also a bit sweet, with lots of English-style malts - bready grain, hot cross buns and some slightly medicinal hops Slight spice on the back, bit minty and toasty with malt continuing to the finish as well. Mostly malty, but the hop notes sort of add a slight sourness to the grain which is dominant. Not bad, but nothing special. For a 'hoppy pale ale' I would like more dominant, out-there hops rather than something gentle and mild that accentuates the malt notes.

Mouthfeel is not bad, smooth but with a kind of sheen to it. Slight fizz; not a bad pale ale feel at all.

Very English, and I'd just like a bit more contrast between the malt and the hops - or for the hops to stand out on their own a bit more, it's all a rich blend and it comes off ultimately a bit stodgy.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Orkney Raven Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 06.06.12 in bottle
Overall:
50 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a pale golden colour, bit flat and listless in the body, but nice creamy head on top; tightly-packed bubbles with decent sticky lace. Could use something more, just looks a bit dull in the glass.

Smell is very metallic. Lots of organic grass notes and an unpleasant honey-oat kind of grain character that is very sweet, and dominates. Underneath is a decent herbal aroma but that grain is a bit sweet and a bit strong.

Taste is fairly standard and mild, with cereal grain notes upfront and on the finish. Slightly sour with some phenolic notes bordering on cherry and some organic grassy hop notes early-mid. Finish unfortunately dominated by honeyed cereal grain character; very light and drinkable, but ultimately bland and oversweet.

Smooth, but a bit too thick maybe; no texture but it happens to feel a bit stodgy as well. Don't love it.

Mild drinking ale, but I can't quite give it marks for bland middling character because it just touches on too sweet for my liking as well. Uninteresting.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Red Duck Bumble Bee
Reviewed by Jez on 26.05.12 in bottle
Overall:
58 / 100
(Decent)
English-style ale brewed with honey and Bramling Cross hops. Tried on-tap at the Great Australasian Beer Spectapular in Melbourne.

Pours a bronzed amber hue with some hazing present. Really solid body, and a firm fine head of white. Looks good.

Aroma is mostly grainy but rather pleasant. Some aromas of spiced honey or mead, and a hint of plasticene. Overall, it's pretty light though, and it doesn't have a whole heap going on.

Similar on the palate, in fact, it feels even more empty than the nose. Mild grain comes through on the front, with a touch of bland malty sweetness going towards the back, and a pretty empty finish. Smooth enough finish.

It's light enough. It's not bad. But it's very middling in the big scheme of things.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Janszoon Summer Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 26.05.12 on tap
Overall:
73 / 100
(Very Good)
On-tap at GABS in Melbourne.

Pours a clear yellow colour, quite bright, with a filmy head of white. Not much lace, not much body. It's decent enough, but not at all inspiring.

The nose is a pleasant surprise, however, with an unexpected grain-forward aroma giving hazelnuts, husk and a bit of leather. These meld with the subdued hop characters to give a suggestion of earth, which is odd to get from NZ Motueka and Cascade hops. Very interesting.

Taste enters very late, with very little character on the front. More grain characters come forward later however, with more husky notes, hazelnut and a clean, crisp and bright but earthy, savoury character on the finish. Some lingering grainy bitterness again confounds the palate into believing there's UK hops through this.

The feel is a little too light. It would be great from a handpump.

Overall, this really surprised me. It's certainly a very decent UK pale ale, and I was impressed that they were able to do this using 100% Kiwi ingredients. Really interesting work.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Canterbury Draught
Reviewed by Jez on 01.05.12 in bottle
Overall:
39 / 100
(Not Great)
They had these on sale in a rack of singles next to the counter, so thought I'd pick it up and review it. I may regret it.

Pours a pleasant clear amber hue, with a filmy, insubstantial head of oily white, that leaves good lacing, but otherwise almost doesn't exist or make its presence felt. Some fine, languid carbonation. Overall, it doesn't look too bad.

Nose is flat and coarse, with an earthy, almost gritty and minerally aroma of rust and dust. A hint of malt sweetness pokes its way through, but that vaguely metallic, vaguely off earth quality rules the roost. Not great.

Taste is similar, with a twang of metallic bitterness through the centre riding above a lightly grainy but malty-sweet flatness, which forms the bulk of the body. Carbonation accentuates the tinfoil and rust flavours, but does enliven the palate at all. Overall, pretty weak.

It's not hideous, but it's not particularly good. For a mainstream beer, it's got more character than a flat, fizzy pale lager, at least.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 2.5
Coldstream Naked Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 03.01.12 in bottle
Overall:
37 / 100
(Nasty)
Pours a very clear amber-gold colour, with almost no head after some initial fizziness. Just some white film around the rim of the glass. Carbonation is persistent. The clarity is nice, but otherwise it looks pretty insipid.

Nose is a little sweet and grainy, with honeyed bland English characters coming through. Slight butterscotch and a hint of earthiness, but not nearly enough to balance it. Eh.

Taste is bland, and despite being rather insipid it feels unbalanced. The only characters are lightly sweet English malts, slightly dirty on the finish, with a touch of carbonation sting. There's really not much to talk about, it's pretty bland.

The best thing about this beer is that you can at least tell what it's meant to be. But this also then makes you compare it to the much better examples that are out there, which does the beer no favours.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.0
Mountain Goat Rare Breed Double Hightail
Reviewed by Jez on 31.12.11 in bottle
Overall:
64 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a pleasant coppery amber colour, solid and meaty, with a frothy head of off-white bubbles, that sustain themselves really nicely. Plenty of intricate, honeycombed lacing as well. Good clarity to the body. Looks really nice.

Nose is balanced, with a struggle between big, sweet, slightly grainy malt characters and a fragrant, fruity hop buoyancy. It's probably fair to say the malt wins out, but the style probably calls for that, and it still does feel pleasantly balanced despite this. Nice.

Palate is certainly more skewed towards the malt here, with a deep grainy character and a slightly too obvious sugary sweetness from the crystal malts. Feel is smooth and liquid, which allows the flow of the beer towards the back—here, there's just a touch of clean, vaguely fruity bitterness, a little like kiwi skin. It still feels balanced in a way, but the malt sweetness does get a little bit too cloying after a while.

A decent brew, but it's let down in some key ways. It ends up a little bit too sweet, and perhaps not interesting enough to warrant the effort it ends up being to chew through each mouthfeel.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Organic Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 09.10.11 on tap
Overall:
43 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a cloudy amber with champagne colour at the edge. Not much fizz but pleasant fluffy white head, quite dense, not leaving much lace. Quite nice.

Smells fairly herbal and organic. Plenty of cracked grain aroma underneath, with slight caramel edge. Hops are bountiful with fresh cut grass, chamomile, sage and a hint of citrus. Touch of peppermint on the back as well. Served too cold to get a lot of aroma, but fairly pleasant for what's there. Could use some freshening up.

Taste is very sweet actually, conspicuously lacking the hops from the nose. Malty upfront with caramel notes and pear fruit and maybe a slight buttery edge. Quite sticky on the back with more sweet grain and oatmeal kind of edge, just a hint of herbal hops on the back are not nearly cleansing enough. Lingering with a vanilla note on the finish, just sweet and grainy overall. Not entirely distasteful, but not a well-rounded or balanced palate.

Bit sticky as it goes down, yet noticeable fizz. Needs something to cut and dry the texture.

Have had better beers, it's as simple as that. It just lacks hops really, and as a result the balance is off-kilter.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Cowaramup Special Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 02.09.11 on tap
Overall:
61 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a brown-tinged amber with thin off-white head, slow light bead and pleasant ring of lace. Looks alright, yeah.

Smells quite fruity with peach and mango notes and very mild caramel malt underlying. Tangy; really quite fruity and sweet and pleasant. A classic English ale with malt and fruited-up yeast abounding.

Taste is nutty overall, English toffee on the malt with a touch of mahogany, pecans and peanut brittle towards the back, that grows nicely to a hoppy finish, resinous touch and a hint of fresh-cut grass clippings. Slight medicinal hang is unfortunate because it's otherwise a very pleasant bitter-style beer that just hangs on slightly too long.

Smooth mouthfeel, fairly full with nice texture for the most part then a bit dry and sizzly on the back.

OK bitter/pale but just a few rough edges.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Bootleg Toms Amber Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 30.08.11 on tap
Overall:
42 / 100
(Not Great)
Had on tap at the brewery 16/08/11.

Pours a golden amber colour with off-white head, nice and dense with decent lace. Steady bead. Pretty good.

Smell is malty above all else. Caramel malt with unfortunate diacetyl aroma of butter that borders on buttery popcorn. Maybe slight dish detergent lemony fragrance at the back. Meh.

Taste is quite thin, with raw cereal grain coming through the mostly watery body. Husky nutty barley, quinoa and puffed rice. Slight bitterness on back but not really a lot of flavour, quite meh, not very impressed.

Fair malty body, touch of tinge from the carb. OK.

Just a fair bit of nothing on this beer. Not offensive though.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Pale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 30.08.11 on tap
Overall:
55 / 100
(OK)
Pours a mid-amber colour with slight pink tinge; head is disappointing, but a ring of lace clings nicely. Light, steady bead. OK I guess.

Smells quite woody, actually, and smokey. Piney hops blend with grain husks, and a mild bacon aroma. Yeah, it's definitely smokey, and I can't think that's on purpose. I think it's just too much of one hop aroma that provides this overly woody character.

Taste is tangy, fruity upfront with a touch of cherry, vanilla and pine. Gets bitter quite quickly, but not very much so. Again woody with pine notes, touch of smoke and slight toffee. Develops a bit of fruity yeast characters on the back, that English Ale fermentation flavour.

Body is OK but could have been fuller, as the carbonation sizzles through a bit too much.

Bit odd overall, just not that coherent, but it's drinkable enough.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Bootleg Settlers Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 30.08.11 on tap
Overall:
66 / 100
(Solid)
Not sure who added this as an IPA because it's clearly just a pale. Tried on tap at the brewery 16/08/11.

Pours a pale, slightly cloudy straw colour with dense white head that dissipates to a thin crown of clingy lace. Mild haze; looks pretty good.

Lovely smell. Big tangy, floral hop aroma giving me passionfruit butter, lemon zest, pine resin and orange blossom. Great fresh, light aromas that is really just the result of lots of dry hopping, but hey I like it.

Taste runs a similar course but not as potent. Bit thin malt-wise so hops emerge early, with some passionfruity tang and citrus zest. Touch of lemon myrtle and pine wood late, then fairly resinous as the alpha acids make their presence felt. Decent, needs a bit more malt to balance, hops are both too dominant and a bit too 'swimming' in the unsubstantial, watery base.

Yeah, thin mouthfeel, a bit lacking. Hop oils provide t' only texture.

Good ingredients here, method lacks panache.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 15.08.11 in bottle
Overall:
40 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a dark golden colour, extremely clear and filtered and very light-bodied. Head is fine with some speckled, patchy lace. Very light, all over, really. Not particularly exciting.

Nose is very light. Some caramel sweetness overlaid with a faint hint of hay, the only organic or green hop character. Mild and rather carbonic. Pretty unimpressive.

Taste is similar. Light malt character, with a bit of metallic bitterness on the back. Very light, with a sort of musky sweetness on the finish. But it's all very mild, only that biting, almost coppery character gives any flavour, and I'm not sure I want it. Feel is light but smooth.

Not a fan. Extremely bland, and with enough characters that are actually unpleasant to make me consider it actually bad.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Victory Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 19.07.11 in bottle
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a burnished copper colour with big bubbled head that doesn't hang around. Fair bead, decent lace. Bit fizzy, nice colour though.

Smells malty more than anything. Sweet, with English toffee, vanilla, creme brulée and a touch of grass and phenol lingering behind. Pleasant, malty and nice and mild otherwise.

Tastes very English, but without a lot of that toffee. Mild malty undertones quickly develops bitterness from the mid with grassy notes, and medicinal touches from black tea and some Asian greens. Mellows out nicely by the finish, in an English malty kind of way. Ultimately very mild for 6% and enjoyable enough.

Full body, with a slight sharp top to it, with a bit of fizz. Warm enough, not hot.

Pleasant English ale; there's a slight sour edge to the palate which is quite likeable. Mild bitterness, nice malty balance.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Jennings Cumberland Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 19.07.11 in bottle
Overall:
61 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a golden amber colour with nice white head, fluffy bubbles with a nice meringuey lacing. Decent.

Smells mild and light. Decent herbal notes with touch of citrus, tea and fresh-cut grass. Pleasant enough, but a bit bland.

Creamy vanilla-styled malt upfront that blends into caramel grain midway before delving into a gentle hop bitterness. Goldings and fuggles come to mind, with English Breakfast tea notes, mint and steamed green vegetables. Mild spicy touch to the bitterness at the back. All pretty mild, drinkable, decent enough.

Reasonably body but ultimately falls a bit thin. Not a lot of texture to grab hold of here.

A reasonable English pale, one to quaff by the pint but nothing really special.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Coopers Original Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 06.07.11 on tap
Overall:
43 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a pale straw colour with odd green tinge to it, mostly just from the thick organic haze throughout the body. Bead is slow but very prolific. Head is white, tight, hangs around. Pretty good, but has that look of chemical enhancement. Flaws add character; nowhere is this truer than in the look of a beer.

Smell is mostly organic and bitter, plenty of dry aroma with straw, soil and starchy notes. Slight green apple touch and perhaps some tobacco. Pretty dour and non-uplifting smell.

Taste is bland from the get-go, organic and soil-esque with notes of steamed greens, grass and cardboard. POR bitterness reaches an apex of off-putting grittiness midway with a slight metallic flavour. Finish has a real cloying yeast note to it - not overblown but definitely a duff note as far as smooth enjoyment goes. It's not really an offensive palate because it's all organic form the ingredients used, but the flavours just aren't pleasant, certainly can't love this.

Lots of fizz for the texture that really seems out of place in an ale. Bland, thin body. It's a lager texture, not very good.

Bland, and at times unenjoyable, this is a very meh drop of ale.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Double Dragon
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 27.05.11 in bottle
Overall:
38 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a rich red-amber colour. Head is off-white and all big bubbles, hard to form any kind of crown, and lace is lacklustre, just a bit of whispy foam. Standard; not bad, not good.

Smells very malty; too sweet, really with a mass exodus of malt aroma giving milky, creamy caramel with burnt sugar, praline and a touch of artificial vanilla. Slight metallic hop note at the back isn't enough to lend this gravitas.

Taste doesn't have that sweetness. In its place is a fairly bland, dour bitterness. Largely watery, really, with a light cereal grain upfront, develops into very watery mid with whispers of grass and green tea around the edges. Bit of sweet grain pops up again late, which only serves to expose the distinct shortcomings of this beer's bittering plan. There's just nothing to this palate, a real quaff-ten-pints-with-your-mates ale of blah.

Mostly thin and watery, slight drying twist towards the back which suggests more hops than does the palate.

Can't say I expected much from this, so well done for delivering no surprises, beer. National ale of Wales? Is Wales a nation of blonde pigtailed girls who wear pink gingham frocks to work every day?
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 2.5
Monteith's Original Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 29.04.11 in bottle
Overall:
44 / 100
(Not Great)
Tried while in transit at Auckland Airport, although also tried before and not reviewed. This appears to be the lucky one, so let's see how it does.

Pours a dark, deep coppery colour, slightly tinged with orange, but with only a minimal head of fine white lace around the outside. Looks very still and flat, similar to its progenitors in the English Pale Ale style. Not bad, but not that inspiring.

Bit of grainy malt and sweet sugar water on the nose. Very mild, and a little weak. A little sweaty, earthy and organic hop character, but only if you really search for it. It's not terrible, but it's pretty bland.

Taste is similar. Very mild lightly grainy malt character, giving just a touch of coloured malts, with a sugary welling midpalate and a rather dry finish. Feel is thin and light, but without crispness—fair enough for the style, but the thinness is rather unappealing.

Eh. It's a pretty average brew, but not appalling or offensive. Decent enough to drink occasionally, but not exciting enough to warrant drinking often.

appearance: 2.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Murray's Retro Rocket
Reviewed by Jez on 12.04.11 on tap
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
Oh Murray's, you do tease. After releasing two beers in the thinly-veiled FBB series, they come out with a 2.8%, heavily hopped beer they claim is "Australia's Smallest IPA". Ho ho.

Pours a bright burnished, reddish gold colour, with decent clarity. Head is fine and white, and the body has some heft to it, pleasantly. Lacing is patch. Looks good, especially the colour.

Really surprisingly sweet on the nose, partially from hop fragrance, but also with a thick golden syrup aroma, and a bit of buttery bread--it reminds me of naan. Really quite sweet, which I'm quite surprised about.

Taste is clean and light, with a decent bitterness, but not an overwhelming one--more of a light green organic character. Afterpalate again has that buttery character, this time reminding me of cinema popcorn. Very little body, as might be expected, although I thought the extra sweetness might be the result of a prematurely halted fermentation.

Quite drinkable and, unsurprisingly, light. It's a weird experiment, but Murray's, you guys are weird.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Murray's Retro Rocket
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 10.04.11 on tap
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a red-tinged, murky brown with decent head when poured, sunk to a thin crown of beige bubbles. Nice clumps of lacing. Colour is not 'pretty' but it's otherwsie decent.

Smells quite decently fresh and fruity with good citric hop aroma. Lots of woody notes, especially late with slight resinous pine fragrance. It's pretty much all hops here; I like, but it's par for the hop course with nothing too complex or interesting.

Taste is not bad at all; lots of citrus forward hops providing plenty of flavour. Lemon with some thyme and pine flavours as well, mostly on the front and mid-palate. Slight grainy flavour late, with a touch of puffed rice- then a bitter finish which is aggressive in character yet mild in intensity. Trust Murrays to rewrite the rulebook for 2.8% beers. As far as light beers go this is really quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is understandably thin but not flat and not too thin, plenty going on and easy to drink of course.

I think the real strength here is in this beer's restraint. As evinced by Billabong Brewing's misguided 4 Hop Ale, it's easy to really strangle a small body with too many hops. I think most of the hop additions here have come late so it all goes to flavour and aroma, but as @smithflipper said it's not big and hoppy enough to call itself an IPA. What you've got here is a beer that showcases pleasant hop character without any real body or punch to it. Ultimately anyone can throw hops in a light-bodied wort and make it fairly tasty.

So then, what's the point? Well knowing Murray and his philosophy I can only assume they've gone ahead and made this beer as a statement, a further attempt to encourage people to demand more from their beer; even at 2.8%. And while I'd still like more body since I never have any need to drink light beer, if there were a chance they could mass-produce this and flog it off to cricket arenas everywhere I'd be the first one in line to clamour from the rooftops.

Now having tried this excellent-for-what-it-is beer, what I'd really like to see is Murray's take on the light lager.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Old English Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 01.03.11 on tap
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a clear ruby colour, nice shimmer with off-white head, dense and pleasant around the edge and sinking slowly. Pretty nice.

Wow, where are those hops coming from? Pleasant hop aromas but there's little English on here, it all strikes me as Pacific American. Citrus freshness, with pleasant nutty notes, a touch of pine and caramel. Pleasant, but not what I was expecting from something calling itself an Old English Ale.

Yeah, that cultural jarring continues on the palate.Pleasant vanilla biscuity malt notes on the front with hops coming through early. Not sure what variety they are but there's plenty of citrus-forward character with candied orange, grapefruit bitterness and notes of walnuts and pecans as well. With this I really expected a milder, cleansing sort of ale and instead I'm getting a fair amount of hop bitterness and fresh fruit notes. Kudos for a nice beer, but I disapprove of the marketing and I'm compelled to call it an instance of Redoak's sort of preying on the uninitiated and just spreading misinformation about beer. This is pleasant, but it's not a well-done English beer.

Full, fairly slick body, with not a lot of carb. Pleasant. This is more in keeping with the English style, smooth and creamy and good.

Very drinkable and tasty beer, for my palate. But I just can't get past how much this beer is not "old" (which I might take to mean "in keeping with tradition") and not "English". This is like ordering a filet mignon and receiving a plate of buffalo wings instead. Both pleasant, but hardly interchangeable.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Forester Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 20.02.11 on tap
Overall:
64 / 100
(Solid)
Pulled from a hand pump at Preachers in Hobart.

Took a while to pull, but when it comes it looks like a lovely real ale. Burnished amber in the body, with lots of fine creamy head that dissipates to a film that leaves good English-style lace. Nice.

Slightly salty sea characters on the nose, with notes of oyster and a grounding earthiness. Fresh, but it's an odd freshness, certainly not much vegetation or organics in it. Still quite pleasant though.

Taste is a bit weaker, but with a light salty twang here as well. Bitterness adds a bit of sharpness to the back, but it's rather empty otherwise.

Feel is lovely and smooth from the hand pump.

Nice beer this time around, despite what I thought of it from the bottle. The serving type is responsible for a lot. This just exemplifies how the presentation of a beer can affect it.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Paddy's Summer Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 15.02.11 on tap
Overall:
46 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a pale but dirty amber colour, opaque haze rather like Coopers Pale. Head is OK, with white hue, dense and slight pockmarks on top; retains really well. I like a good protein-rich beer, but the colour could be more appealing.

Quite sweet on the nose; nethinks the unwelcome influence of diacetyl is at work. Caramelised base malt, with big butterscotch edge. A hint of fresh-cut grass marking some hop character, but mostly too much sweetness; simple and quite bland.

Taste is alright, but still a big diacetyl hit. Cakey malt on the front develops big buttery notes on the mid that is slightly too sweet, before the late-mid where hops start to assert. Resinous and slightly grassy in character with a nod towards phenolic, they stop only just short of tasting chemical, but a definite medicinal bitterness lingers. Yeah, not a huge fan; a typical drinking ale for the market, but for a 'Summer' ale I'd like something fresher and fruitier, with a bash at a different hop type.

A nice full body to this beer, though, with only touches of fizz around the edge. Definitely has the feel of a nice protein-rich brew with real ingredients. It's the texture of a well-made beer; if only it tasted better.

Not offensive for its faults, it goes down fairly well. However, if I got drunk off this I'm pretty sure I'd be singing a different tune in the morning (something from Burt Bacharach's "album of me vomiting with a pounding headache", perhaps)
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Wineglass Bay Hazards Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 11.02.11 on tap
Overall:
69 / 100
(Very Good)

Had on-tap at Preachers Bar in Hobart, the best place I found for craft beer in the city.

Bright burnished golden brown, it pours quite hazy as well, with a fair head of fine white. Some sudsy lacing. Looks pretty good all up.

Slight caramelly butterscotch on the nose, with a little sharpness, green and fresh. It's actually a nice mix--not the harsh diacetyl butterscotch often brings. Sweetness does seem to win out, but it's ok. It's nicely round and full--fills out the gamut.

Taste is similar. Mild, but very pleasant, with a lot of sweetness on the front and an incredibly smooth feel from the tap. Some spicy earthiness on the back just balances it nicely.

Really drinkable and very pleasantly smooth. This was a nice drop of beer.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Boag's XXX Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 11.02.11 on tap
Overall:
41 / 100
(Not Great)

On tap at the New Republic Hotel in Hobart. Unfortunately, it was one of the few beers they had that I'd not tried before.

Pours a pale standard piss-amber Aussie macro colour. Some lacing from the white sudsy head. Pretty average, nothing special to report.

Bland on the nose, with a faint twang of apple cider, which I got a lot in Tasmania--not that I'm blaming the state itself. Very little on it, to be honest.

Taste is similar. Very bland and light, with a very light acidity. At least there's no Pride of Ringwood, which would infest in this style of beer on the mainland, but it's still incredibly bland, if not actively offensive.

Yep, I've said it a lot in this review, but it's bland. Drinkable, but bland.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Kosciuszko Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 07.02.11 on tap
Overall:
43 / 100
(Not Great)
Had on tap at the Local Taphouse.

Pours a pale gold colour, slight orange with opaque chill haze. Head is generous, fizzing out just a bit on the top and leaving nice lace in thick curtains; slow bead trails up the glass capping off a pretty fine-looking drop.

Smell is nothing to write home about. A big household mould aroma, like clothes left in a wet, warm pile in a basement somewhere. Slight superpride smell on the back but yeah, that's not only unenjoyable but quite pungent too. It's got a smell though, so points, but doesn't bode well for the taste.

Taste is... better, but not great. Slight grainy note on the front with a touch of canola and sunflower seeds that develops some ale-y fruit esters; green apple mostly on the mid before developing a bland POR aroma towards the back, not overly gravelly but distinct soil and gritty kind of bitterness. Yeah, an uncomfortable blend, reasonably constructed but doesn't sit well with me. Feeling very blah about that palate.

Not a bad texture actually; quite full, lively without feeling overcarbonated. A lot to enjoy, if only the flavour were better.

Not an offensive beer, but certainly nothing I'd go back for.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Wizard Smith's Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 20.01.11 in bottle
Overall:
49 / 100
(Not Great)

Pours a clear but subdued amber golden colour, with a fine head of white foam. Lacing is intense, falling in very pleasant sheets down the inside of the glass. Body is light, exemplified by the speed at which the carbonation rises through. Not bad though. The head is really nice, and the lacing is a proper English lace. Nice.

Minimal characters on the nose. Some grain notes, a bit of English malt, and a faintly earth note. Minimal hops, really minimal indeed, but it has a moderately decent English pale nose to it.

Taste is light and grainy for the most part, with a huge amount of crystal malt sweetness on the back, and minimal bitterness to match anything else. Very light feel, with a smoothness that almost adds to the cloying sweetness.

Not a great beer, by the end. It has more character than the average Aussie brew, especially one brewed by such a commercial operation, but it doesn't go outside the realms of bland lassitude. Eh.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Hellfire Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 14.01.11 in bottle
Overall:
38 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a reddish-tinged amber-IPA colour really. Head is beige, but not impressive, just a film left. Body is quite opaque. Not much carbonation, but lace is pretty nice. Overall a bit of a mixed bag.

Umm, don't like the smell very much. Quite intense with a big cloying bread yeast sweetness plus big phenolic medicinal aroma. Cherry notes? Yeah, overly strong; quite unpleasant actually.

Tastes quite unpleasant, as well, I'm sorry to say. A bit sour at first and doesn't get much better. Slight toasted malt with just an unpleasantly malty but also bready yeast note. Very sour with undercooked malt notes. Weak at times, lacking in flavour; just gritty and unenjoyable and a little bit cloying. Meh.

Decent body, but overwhelming fizzy harshness; not a fan.

Well I'm not sure if I got a duff bottle but I found very little to enjoy in this; seems a bit of a mishmash and not really sure what they were even going for. At times yeasty and at other times had that intense bitterness I associate with really Burtonised IPAs. Will probably try again to compare but this time around this was not an enjoyable beer.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Rogers Beer
Reviewed by Jez on 18.12.10 in bottle
Overall:
44 / 100
(Not Great)

Interesting that I'd never reviewed this beer given how ubiquitous its sister Pale Ale is. Well, here we go. Thanks to @epiclurk for picking me up a bottle.

Pours quite a dark reddish amber colour, with a fine bubbled and rather filmy head of white. Lacing is excellent, as is the clarity, which gives it a very nice English ale "pint just pulled by the landlord" look to it. Not bad.

Nose is a bit meaty, with a definite earthy tone and a lightness that is very herbal. Almost certainly Pride of Ringwood in this which gives the meatiness and the slightly unpleasant earth character. Definite twangs of copper to it, which drags it into English territory, although the PoR gives it that classically unpleasant Australian flavour. Eh.

Taste is marred almost exclusively by the Ringwood, which gives it a truly unpleasant organic bitterness, and that sting-in-the-tail aftertaste a little like garbage juice. In there, there's some light peach and fruit characters, but they're very much overwhelmed. I guess it's unfair of me to be so prejudiced against one hop, but it really grates with me.

Feel is light and smooth at least, very much in the English style.

Nope. There's something off and unpleasant about this beer, and I can probably point the finger at one hop variety. It's a shame, given that Little Creatures other flagship is such a great beer. Eh.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Australian Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 17.11.10 on tap
Overall:
51 / 100
(OK)
Had on tap at the brewery 07/11/10.

Pours a shiny gold colour with slight haze around the edge. Head is white and dense, sinks to a thin film after a while but leaves some nice dense lace behind. Slow bead. Fairly blah-looking actually.

Smells largely bready with a lot of raw grain aroma and slight green apple overtones. Yeah a hint of cloying yeast but not overwhelming. Still too bready for my liking.

Tastes a bit bland as well. Lots of grain on the front with barley and cereal notes and a touch of earthy POR bitterness on the mid. Slight cloying yeast character is left at the end which is unfortunate, but just the result of underplayed hoppiness - for which I'm actually grateful. Bland, doesn't quite cross into unpleasant though luckily.

Fairly thin body with a noticeable fizz. Not harsh though, just noticeable. Pretty decent for the style.

Yeah, it's a pretty bog-standard Aussie style ale. Not bad drinking, I just like more oomph and flavour in my beer.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Badlands Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 15.10.10 on tap
Overall:
52 / 100
(OK)
Pours a pale golden colour with lots of carbonation. Head is thin with visible bubbling, retains a thin crown. Leaves some nice sticky trails of lace around. Pretty decent, but not really pale ale territory, well too bubbly anyway.

Smells is very fruity, a little oversweet. Lots of light milky caramel malt with rotting fruit aromas like banana and apple. Slight lemon zest but not a huge amount of tang; mostly a very saccharine fruit note. Not bad, but I've sure had better.

Taste is quite grainy with lots of bready notes, a hint of corn and just some barley grist - just a kernel-esque character. Hints of earthy bitterness with a fairly long finish. Slightly acerbic and medicinal, with a little bit of phenolic hang. Not bad, but a bit too bready for the most part, with noticeable yeast, and the hoppy bitterness doesn't have a lot of character, just a drawn-out herbal bitterness. Could use a trifle more hops - perhaps later hopping, to carry on that fruity note from the smell.

Fairly pleasantly full mouthfeel actually with not a great deal of sizzle from the carbonation. There is a little, but it's just lightly tingly. Pleasantly surprised by that, it's the best part of this beer.

I have had better beer, but this isn't unpleasant.
appearance: 2.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Sheepshaggers Gold
Reviewed by Jez on 15.09.10 in bottle
Overall:
54 / 100
(OK)

Pours a light golden yellow colour, with a fair head of bubbly white. Some soapy lacing is left behind. Body looks pleasantly deep and solid. Not bad.

Bit of sweet soaked bread on the nose, with a hint of melted butter. Perhaps a light note of honey coming off it too. Quite a savoury nose all up. Grains and light yeast rule here.

Taste is initially soft, with some raw grain characters coalescing as the palate progresses. Bit of metallic bitterness mid-way through, and the finish is very green and slightly harsh. Feels too odd to me.

Not quite there, to my mind -- starts soft, but I feel like it should be far more smooth and drinkable than it ends up. The harshness is subtle but impossible to ignore, and it grates on me after a while.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Paddys American Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 15.09.10 on tap
Overall:
56 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a reddish amber clear with strong carbonation. Head is nice, foamy and dense white and great retention. Looks like a great pale ale.

Nose is decent, a fair fruity aroma with slight pineapple and banana, a little caramel and butterscotch. Fruit is a little oversweet like it's rotting, and could use a bit more grounding from more earthy hop notes.

Taste is not bad; quite sweet on front with caramel malt and a touch of vanilla. Hops are noticeable more on the back than on the nose, quite earthy and resinous with a slight woody note - almost cardboardy actually. Not a perfect blend with mild diacetyl on the mid-palate that then turns unexpectedly bitter after. Fair fruit on mid as well but hidden behind buttery sweetness. Not too bad, but yeah, seems a bit hodgepodge at times, just the flavour coming from various places without a clear palate structure.

Mouthfeel is a bit rough at times with that strong carbonation very detectable through the relatively thin body. Leaves fairly clean though.

Yeah, a decent drop. Not the most pleasant flavours all the time, but a decent pale. Not sure i'd want to sink one of theae after work every day.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Coopers Sparkling Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 01.09.10 in bottle
Overall:
61 / 100
(Decent)

Part of my attempt to get a more comprehensive coverage of the most readily available Australian beers. Purchased at Liquorland - it's a nice experience to get reviewable beers from such a massive chain.

Pours a pale yellow-golden colour, cloudy with yeast sediment which I agitated and added to the glass. Head is initially frothy and boisterous, a just-eggwhite off-white colour that leaves good lacing. Looks pretty good.

Nose unmistakably has an Australian edge to it - I believe that Pride of Ringwood is used in this brew, giving that slightly earthy, slightly rank character. But there's a cleanness to it which is better than a lot of other examples of its usage. Not bad.

Taste is better -- it has a smooth clean palate, bittered with a slight phenolic edge, but largely clean, round and slightly buttery. Pleasant fresh finish gives a slight twang of green, but it's all very mellow and approachable. Mouthfeel is clean and slick.

It's a nice brew, this one. Certainly easy to drink and very sessionable. Not something that's going to wow you, but it's something that you could keep going with all night.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Old Speckled Hen
Reviewed by Jez on 28.08.10 in bottle
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)

Pours a deep coppery orange colour, with a fairly full head of off-white foam. Lacing is excellent. The body looks pretty thick, as though the sparse bubbles have trouble pushing their way to the surface. Head dissipates rather quickly, but it looks pretty tasty.

Pleasant green aroma on the nose, with a hint of fragrant skunkiness, in the best way possible. Some mellow roasted grains give a lightly nutty aroma as well, perhaps like hazelnut praline. Really quite fragrant, and with lots of character - a very good EPA nose.

Taste is also reasonably good, but it has some drawbacks - for a start, it's quite aggressively carbonated on the palate, which attacks the front and overwhelms the subtle flavours. There's also a slightly metallic bitterness mid-palate which adds too much harshness. Otherwise, there's a pleasant mellow, slightly nutty caramel character which glides through all the way to the very back, and which gives some good depth. Shame about the drawbacks though.

Still, this is a very decent English ale - probably one of my favourites, even though I'm not a huge fan of the style in general.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Hellfire Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 09.08.10 in bottle
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)

A very nice reddish amber colour, with a frothy and solid head of off-white foam. Head sustains itself for a while, but collapses soon after, leaving some clumpy lacing around the edge of the glass. Body looks surprisingly thick. Pretty nice looking all up.

Nose is a pleasant mixture of goopy sweet honey and malt, with a pleasant light floral hop character. Perhaps slightly sweeter than it needs to be, but it does have a pleasant balance.

Palate is very pleasant as well, with grain characters evoking carob and halva, and a nice clean bitterness on the back. Carbonation is a little overwrought, giving too much prickle in the mouth. The bitterness comes across a little more astringently later, but it's a very pleasant ale all up.

A very decent brew, with a pleasant take on an Amber Ale. Colour is great, and the palate is nicely skewed to grain in a way which doesn't harm drinkability or refreshment.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Single Malt
Reviewed by Jez on 06.08.10 in bottle
Overall:
50 / 100
(OK)

Pours a pale golden amber colour, with a filmy, large-bubbled head that dissipates to a sudsy scum on the top of the glass. Minimal lacing. Oddly, after pouring, huge bubbles still stay inside the bottle much like detergent residue. Can't say I'm terribly impressed with the look.

Some grainy malt, and a little greenness. Cereal, oatmeal and lightly malted grains are the most dominant characters, although everything is a little vague and washed out. Pleasant enough in a way, not terribly offensive, but not that great either.

Mouthfeel is fuller than I expected, which actually gives a bit of gravitas to the palate as a whole, lending some deeper malt grain notes, and a touch of sweetness. Some acetone character on the back, which gets a bit too dominant by the end, but it's not a bad beer all up.

I'm a big drinker of American and American-style beers, and am used to most of the experimentation being done with hops or other flavouring additions. I like that this one comes with the gimmick of using only one malt, but I'm not sure it really lends any interest to the beer as a whole.

Drinkable enough for what it is, but what it is is nothing particularly special.

appearance: 2.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Pedigree
Reviewed by Jez on 10.06.10 from a can
Overall:
64 / 100
(Solid)

Served out of a tall can - the sort I associate with nitrogenation, but without the widget. It ends up being a coppery amber hue, with a firm, but not nitro-creamy head of white bubbling. Lacing is good - the body looks pretty still. Much like a generic English Pale, truth be told.

Quite coppery on the nose - not a huge amount of anything else. A little sweetness perhaps to back it up, and a vague hint of nutmeg. It makes it seem reasonably fresh, but with a bit of body. Not bad.

Taste is smooth, lightly sweet, and with a lingering, slightly bitter metallic afterpalate. Again, it's clean, reasonably fresh and overall a little bland. But still, it's an easy drinking brew, with just enough character to stave off boredom.

It's not a phenomenal beer, but it's solid enough. There's nothing off or offensive about it, but nor is there anything unique or exciting about it.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Prickly Moses Summer Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 23.04.10 in bottle
Overall:
48 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a cloudy golden colour with a slight orange tinge. Head is modest, white and sparsely bubbled, sinks quickly but a quick swish revives it. Lacing is alright but pretty uneventful. Average-looking.

Nose is quite tangy and sour, with quite a vinous tinge to it. Green apple crispness and a chardonnay twang dominate, with white grape skin overtones and a hint of oak. Smells fairly refreshing but lacks gravitas and complexity. I think most of the smells here are just by-products from fermentation. If I were a wanker, and indeed I are, I'd say this smell lacks soul.

Taste starts off kind of sour - not tart or crisp - with a funny woody, resiny kind of flavour, a hint of vinegar early on, then gets quite bready and grainy, with a raw dough flavour, nutty edge of almonds, and then pretty much falls flat on the finish. A slight lingering underripe grape sensation and a mild citric character, with a hint of grassy hops. A bit tart, quite yeasty, reasonably unimpressive flavour.

Feel is a little bit thick, then a distinct dryness on the finish reminds you of its green character long after the flavour has stopped. Not bad texture really, the mouthfeel has the most 'heart' of any of its reviewable components.

For all that's wrong with this it's mild and inoffensive. Not a great beer by a long stretch but could certainly fit the bill of a thirst-quencher after mowing the lawn.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Prickly Moses Summer Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 21.04.10 in bottle
Overall:
46 / 100
(Not Great)

Pours a slightly hazy yellow colour, with a fine, but not massive head of white foam. Lacing is a little sudsy, but doesn't retain on the sides of the glass. Looks reasonable, but for the style, I'd expect more sediment, and a brighter colour.

Some sudsy lemon and crushed herb aroma on the nose, with a hint of acerbic bitterness. Not great in absolute terms, and not particularly interesting or true to style.

Strong yeast component to the palate, which is otherwise very dry and rather devoid of character. And hint of spice on the front, along with a slight carbonic acidity, but the big yeast notes take the fore later in the picture, leaving it rather an unpleasant package all up. Mouthfeel is crisp with some roundness.

Drinkable enough, but not particularly interesting. Has some good notes and some bad notes, but all up the package is pretty lacklustre. Not a huge fan.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Cascade First Harvest Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 31.03.10 in bottle
Overall:
58 / 100
(Decent)
This is a bottle of the 2008 release I've been hanging onto for a while.

Pours a shiny amber colour with a light golden haze on the meadow - I mean, in the glass - and lots of fizz around the edge. Head is modest, white in colour and retaining about a cm of foam. Lace is quite uneventful. Not bad but looks too fizzy.

Nose is decently tangy, with a strong earthy malt base - English toffee character, tinge of cola and a fair amount of English ale esters giving off some floral notes and fruits such as blackcurrant, pineapple and melon. A decent English ale smell.

Taste is quite malty and also phenolic. Has a lot of burnt toffee character with some treacle sweetness and a hint of toasted grain. On the mid it gets very phenolic with a medicinal character and some mild POR notes, some soil flavours and a hint of burnt coffee grounds giving off an ashy bitterness but not a lot of ashy flavour. Some residual fruit esters appear late with some currants, green apple and pineapple subtly lingering behind, giving a bit of roundness to the flavour.

Mouthfeel is overly carbonated, there is a distinct burn on the tongue and otherwise fairly thin. A disappointment.

I've been hanging onto this beer for a long time and I think it's done it some good. I can imagine this being very harshly phenolic and bitter (in an unpleasant POR way) when fresh, but it's actually mellowed out quite a bit. There are still some floral notes from the hops but I think the edge has been taken off them. Either way it's a nice enough and enjoyable enough beer at this stage.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Trashy Blonde
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 28.01.10 in bottle
Overall:
57 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a pale, almost insipid yellow colour, with steady bead feeding a modest but decent snowy head that retains at about half a cm, the sinking has left some whispers of lace around. Could be thought of as dull, but I think has a fair amount of character to it.

Nose is incredibly sweet, with a huge honey character and some bready and rice grain notes as well. Some buttery character suggests possible diacetyl, although there is vanilla as well, and together with the honey makes me think sweetness is mostly deliberate. Unfortunately it's overdone, and too sweet. Otherwise acceptable.

Taste is fairly simple, with a creamy/milky kind of character on the front which becomes a bit more rich with hints of honey and caramel on the mid. Bitterness emerges late, fairly distinctive with organic grassy notes, and some medicinal phenols late. Bitterness is not very strong, but lingers a little bit, providing some English-style hop flavours right on the back. Overall though, it's quite simple, lacking in nuance and doesn't have a great deal of complexity. Not unpleasant, but not enough where it counts.

A little bit of a tingle on the feel, mixing adequately with a fairly thick feel overall. Not bad.

An inoffensive drop, but I'm not hugely impressed. Definitely a sessionable beer.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Trashy Blonde
Reviewed by Jez on 24.01.10 in bottle
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)

Pours a clear bright yellow colour, with a fine but thin head of white foam. Lacing is tight and fine, if not voluminous. Looks pretty decent.

Some sharply crisp, but somewhat fruity notes on the nose, a little resin and pine, with some citrus and a light skunkiness that actually sits alongside the other characters in a certain harmony. Quite sharp and clean, and rather pilsner-like.

Sharp on the palate too, again, the similarities to a big fruity pilsener are clear. The characters are sharp and direct, but quite fragrantly hoppy. Very nice, clean and extremely drinkable.

A really nice and drinkable pale ale, that's just crisp and clean enough to cut through the summer sun. Went down a treat.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Fleurieu Sparkling Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 29.12.09 in bottle
Overall:
31 / 100
(Nasty)
Bought in a mixed six-pack from the brewery.

Pours a cloudy, dirty orange colour, huge haze in the body with healthy off-white head that fizzes down to a thin crown, leaves some thin spots of lace. OK, bit too much haze for the style.

Nose is quite fruity on the front, hints of apricot and orange. At the back is a bit of a dirty POR character, unpleasantly sour and gritty, even ashy. Needs more of that fruit, less hop. Not very impressed.

Taste is not as dirty, but also not as anything, really. Bit of a rich earthy character with a hint of bitter lemon zest, some bready malt, but mostly a bland bitterness, lots of Pride of Ringworm here, tastes rather like cardboard. A weak sourness on the back gives it a slight medicinal edge. Yeah, cardboard and medicine don't sound like the ideal flavours from a beer. Not very pleasant, really. Weak, bland and slightly unpalatable.

Lots of texture to it, but too much in face. Feels like I'm getting far more air than beer, just swallowing tiny bubbles. Not nearly enough body to it. Bad, in fact.

Not unswallowable as a beer but not much to recommend this. Am not impressed.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 1.5 | drinkability: 2.5
Organic Honeydew
Reviewed by Jez on 28.12.09 in bottle
Overall:
31 / 100
(Nasty)

Pours an extremely carbonated dark golden colour, fizzing head out of the bottle as soon as it's opened. Head is rocky and full; a very large crown of yellow-white bubbles that crackle and pop their way down to a disappointing nothingness, lacing no lacing. Head is too large bubbled, although the colour is nice.

Noticeable fruit on the nose, with a light citric note of orange peel, with some fragrant, if slightly cloying honey notes. Altogether, it smells rather like its namesake, with some organic sweetness reminiscent of melon rind. It's quite nice, very fresh and summery.

Taste is very bland, with a welling of really unpleasant wet grain funk on the back. Initial lightly sweet citric flavour, crashed with a really raw, almost meaty finish. Honey sweetness has disappeared, just leaving this organic compost-like flavour. Extremely light body leaves nothing to the imagination.

This started off like an unassuming, if tame, English honey pale, but ended falling on the poor side of drinkable. I find honey beers very often lack something, and this is no exception. Spice them, like mead, give them some character, or do something guys... This is at best bland; at worst undrinkable.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 1.5
Fleurieu Sparkling Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 25.12.09 in bottle
Overall:
54 / 100
(OK)

Pours a very cloudy orange-yellow colour, very turbid and with a huge frothy head of white foam. Sticky lacing doesn't leave patterns so much as huge globs of the head itself. I like the cloudiness, and the big full head. Looks pretty good.

Very little on the nose, a light sawdust character, and a bit of Australian hops - not quite the stink of Pride of Ringworm, but maybe just the whiff of it. Also a light carbonic acidity - some seltzer water. It's not huge, and very weak. Not that great.

Taste is also very plain. Some chlorine character, a bit of chalky bitterness and a smooth, if not particularly sweet roundness. It leaves it drinkable, but not very exciting. If anything, the characters that give it interest are by themselves rather unploeasant, but together they work ok, providing a beer that's at least easy to skull. Mouthfeel moderate, and quite subdued for something marketed as "sparkling".

Not a great beer, but a pretty easy drinking beer. Altogether it comes across and pretty bland, but pretty drinkable. Not something I'd seek out, but something I'd be happy to drink if there's nothing else available.

(For what it's worth, I was served this blind, and guessed it was Coopers Sparkling Ale, which it resembles a great deal. At the least, I think this beer is probably modelled pretty closely after it).

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Island Pale
Reviewed by Jez on 15.12.09 in bottle
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)

Pours a very cloudy yellow gold, quite bright and vibrant, with a filmy but reasonably solid head of white froth. Really nice carbonation when swirled, it flows around like a turgid ocean swell. A really great looking brew.

Some sweetness on the nose, a little apple juice, some cakelike notes rather reminiscent of gingerbread. Overall, it's a little tame, but it's pleasant enough.

Taste is initially dry and crisp, before a rather musty phenolic note comes in on the back, leaving a great welling of gritty bitterness. I was really expecting something mellower from the appearance and smell. It's quite funky, and those phenolic notes scream Biere de Garde to me. The more I drink, the more I like it, but initially it took me by surprise. The finish in particular, starts to soften, leaving just a pleasant grain-like dryness. Mouthfeel is crisp and effervescent. Very pleasant.

Overall, this beer won me over. It may not be a particularly good Pale Ale, stylistically, and I was a little surprised to begin with, but after a few draughts it became a smooth, if slightly rustic flavoured brew, and the dryness and phenols gave it a particular sense of refreshing drinkability.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Island Pale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 15.12.09 in bottle
Overall:
40 / 100
(Not Great)
Purchased from a bottle shop in Kingscote on Kangaroo Island. Finding out whether it's worth the $160 return ferry trip to obtain.

Pours a pale golden appearance, with a tiny bit of haze in the body. Head is thin, off-white in colour, leaves a little foam cloud on top and some reasonable lace, if not enough to make a real impression. Not bad but not wonderful.

A little bit bready on the nose with a slightly sour edge, hints of maple syrup and some sweet corn, quite a starchy smell really. Some green fruit and sweet and sour sauce characters as well, but overall a bit too yeasty for my liking. Not too impressed.

Taste starts off a bit sweet and then goes very, very starchy. Huge bread yeast flavour with hints of biscuity malt, some popcorn and a slight vinous edge. Very yeasty for the most part. Some cider characters and a bit of sticky rice come through on the mid, but back is just bready and slightly corny. Needs more hops on the back and maybe some more malt on the front as well - more beer, really. Not hugely enjoying this.

Mouthfeel is a little harsh with lotz of fizz on the mid-palate. Goes down quite busily, and leaves a slight furriness at the back of the mouth. Meh.

Not dreadful overall but certainly falls short of the mark.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Brooklyn Ale / Pennant Ale '55
Reviewed by Jez on 08.12.09 on tap
Overall:
39 / 100
(Not Great)

Tried on tap at the brewery 12/09.

Pours a deep golden amber colour, with a decent head of white foam that leaves some good lacing. Lots of tiny carbonation. Looks a bit thin in the body. Overall, it's not bad; a bit generic, but done well.

Grainy sweetness on the nose. A little pencil-shaving hoppiness, and some yeasty funk that reminds me far to much of Pride of Ringworm, our most spurned and hated Australian hop. Not a fan.

Taste is similar. Some bready yeast character, wit a little grain sweetness. A little phenolic, almost chemical note on the back. Quite rank with bitterness on the back. Not a fan, really. Mouthfeel is spritzy and sparkling. Nice enough.

I'm not a big fan. It tastes very generic and bland, with its only characters being generall unpleasant. It's not undrinkable, but it's not particularly likeable. Brooklyn brews some far better beers.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Red Duck Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 02.12.09 in bottle
Overall:
48 / 100
(Not Great)
Enjoyed this one before my meal at the Great Ocean Road Deli, Apollo Bay.

Pours very fizzy, very pale yellow with lame white head, sinks very quickly as anything this fizzy would have to do, doesn't leave much head at all. Even my wife thought this looked 'lagery'. However, the lacing is pretty good, nice sticky white webs. Too fizzy for a pale ale but okay otherwise.

Smells quite light and a bit thin on aroma, but has a decent fruit ester smell, distinct green apple aroma, little bit cidery actually. Bit of sweetness with a slightly green tart edge. Pretty uneventful though.

Taste is far more astringent. Starts with a light buttery malt character and then becomes richer, with an earthy hop character and vinous bitterness, plus more of that underripe fruit character. Hops are resiny and quite acerbic, don't commit much flavour to the palate but hang there as an aftertaste. Not too much though, just a light bitterness - slightly moist in flavour, not very crisp. OK, but could have been cleaner.

Too much carbonation on the feel, is has a champagne sparkle to it which obviously is not needed, fairly good body otherwise though.

Not an offensive beer, but nothing special here.
appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Fleurieu Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 01.12.09 in bottle
Overall:
25 / 100
(Awful)
Tried as a sampler from the brewery.

Paly yellow and very fizzy, with modest white head. Lace is nice and sticky. Looks alright, but way too much fizz for a pale.

Slightly floral on the nose but hijacked by lots of POR grittiness. Slight earthy and dour in its bitterness. Little bit of vanilla malt hides behind, but not enough to excite me. A bit simple.

Tastes very POR throughout, light on the front then growing stronger on the mid. Hints of spice towards the back, aspects of paprika with some soil character as well. Very earthy, and some really unpleasant bitter notes.

Mouthfeel is over carbonated and a little sharp.

Not the easiest to get down, and not a great pale ale example.
appearance: 2.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 1.5 | drinkability: 2.0
Dr Tim's Traditional Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 01.12.09 from a can
Overall:
32 / 100
(Nasty)
Enjoyed this one from a little can while on the ferry from Cape Jervis to Kangaroo Island.

Pours a pale straw colour, lots of cloud. Head is modest with visible bubbles. Fizzles out quite quickly. Lacing is not bad, but doesn't stick to the glass. Looks OK - quite similar to Coopers Pale.

Nose is quite tangy, hints of weak citrus juice with a bready yeast character, light like white bread. Yeah, slightly sour, but mostly weak. Not great.

Watery front with a carbolic tingle, develops a bit of a sour character, again with that weak lemon juice kind of zing. Has a gritty pride of ringworm flavour on the mid-palate and develops hints of bark and soil towards the back. Trails off at the end, not leaving much hang, for which I'm grateful. But palate is mostly simple, so not great. Not much to it and kind of lacks profile. Bland, in a word.

Mouthfeel is the worst part though, very harsh, way over-carbonated. Just very sharp on the tongue, not enough malt to gloss up the body.

For all its faults though it's not too offensive, enjoyable enough as a simple drinking brew.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 1.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Pedigree
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 18.09.09 in bottle
Overall:
52 / 100
(OK)
Pours a golden amber colour with generous off-white head that sinks slowly with a sizzle, a lot of carbonation, not much lace, looks alright, but not impressive.

Burton sulphur, alright. Yeah, that smells mega-gangbusters of Burton sulphur. Seriously though, what the fuck does Burton Sulphur smell like, bottle? Smells fairly resiny anyway, with vinegar notes and a lot of pine, bark and needle resin. Fairly herbacious, slight undertone of some peppery spice, malt left wanting. Decent, but not a wowser.

Taste is quite sweet for the most part, with a clarity on the front palate and slight resiny notes, descends into a mild mid-palate with some malty notes balanced with some English Fuggles or maybe Goldings, actually, characters, a bittersweet kind of flavour with a notable hit of a black tea acridness. Slight grassiness towards the back, but definitely that dull bitterness predominates.

Mouthfeel is fairly frothy; light body but thickish texture, leaves fairly dry with a lingering bitter hang.

Drinkable enough, this, but leans too heavily on the bland English hoppiness. Suitable for downing, but not for Downing street. If that makes sense.
appearance: 2.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Nikko Premium Beer
Reviewed by Jez on 08.09.09 in bottle
Overall:
66 / 100
(Solid)

Gushes when I open, but settles down pretty quickly. Pours a pleasant reddish copper colour, with a filmy head of yellowish-white foam. Lacing is pretty good. It's a shame the head collapses so comprehensively, but the colour is very nice, and overall it's a pretty nice looking beer.

Fair bit of sweetness and a dank must grain character on the nose. Certainly it seems like rice plays a part, the sweetness is testament to that, but it's not overdone, and not sickly. It comes across as rather like a sweet malty English pale. Not a lot to it, but not unpleasant either.

Again, the taste isn't too bad either, and I was expecting something substantially worse. There's a grainy crispness on the back which counteracts the front palate hint of rice sweetness. Some lingering bitterness, and quite a pleasant, smooth mouthfeel. There's not a huge amount of character to it, but it's really quite drinkable.

You know, I wasn't impressed with their other beers, but to my mind, this one is worthy of the Premium label they attach to it. Pleasant drinking, smooth, and without any offensive characters, this one's a smooth sessioner. Good for you, Nikko.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Nikko Premium Beer
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 08.09.09 in bottle
Overall:
66 / 100
(Solid)
Drank this blind. Thanks lacqueredmouse for sharing the bottle.

Pours a burnished orangey colour with very fine but steady bead up the middle. Head was modest at first and now just a film. Lacing is something else though - thick and sticky as semen. I'd have to say pretty good overall.

Nose is very malty, with a lot of rich sweetness coming off of that. Molasses thickness with currants, baked pear and a light cinnamon edge, slight milky vanilla aroma as well. Maybe a slight hint of west coast American hops, but not much. More would blow me the fuck away, but as it is the nose is just very sweet and syrupy. Nice, but overdone.

Taste is again very sweet and quite thick and syrupy. Malt is prevalent with a caramelly edge throughout, light toastedness on there but not a great deal. Hops are noticeable but take on a lightly spicy edge for the finish, with a mint and anise character providing a bit of freshness and a bit of bite. Hops do also add a slight tart edge to the mid-palate which tempers the sweetness a bit. Ultimately though the sweetness wins out, but slightly weaker than in your average malt-bomb.

I said this was thick, but that was a flavour reference. Mouthfeel is actually disappointingly watery, which makes me suspect that this is not all that alcomoholic, in spite of full maltiness.

Nicely drinkable though, with good mild crispness just to tame the sweetness at the end.

EDIT: Tasting this blind as I was, I never guessed for a minute that this was a Japanese beer. A very, very fine effort indeed.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Boddingtons Pub Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 03.09.09 from a nitro can
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)

Lovely nitro-can pour, a slippery, silky, creamy effusion of miniscule bubbles that seem to transform from gas to solid as the construct the egg-white-whip head. Lacing is, as you would expect, excellent, colour is a clear copper gold. All in all, an excellent looking English ale very well presented.

Unfortunately, the most pleasure I got from the beer was watching it settle out. The smell is a rather timid metallic note, with some musty grain thrown in, and a very brief whiff of overripe-turning-to-rotten fruit. Not the greatest nose ever, and it's weak to boot.

Some light, manky organic characters on the palate. Again some musty grain, burlap sack, something unpleasantly organic. Some gritty English bitterness part way through, and a reasonable, if not exciting dry finish that cleans up the unpleasantness at least. It's better in the mouth than on the nose, and the feel is quite smooth and creamy.

OK, so it hasn't astonished me. Hell, it hasn't even particularly impressed me, but it has just enough character to be pleasant and a subtle insinuating drinkability that's hard to ignore.

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Boddingtons Pub Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 02.09.09 from a nitro can
Overall:
31 / 100
(Nasty)
Pours a golden amber colour with fair nitro froth. The meniscus raises quite quickly and sits with a good two fingers of dense white foam. Body is absolutely still and clear. Not bad but fairly average.

Smells quite sweet, fair amount of malt with a cream edge. Hops are mostly absent, not much else to add to the smell. Fairly pleasant, slightly caramelly aroma. Certainly inoffensive, at least.

Taste is alright, mild and creamy for the most part, sweet malt with a milky edge, brush of tomato and a hint of tea. Hops come in midway through - unpleasantly, really, with a nasty bitter edge and an unfamiliar gaseous quality, yeasty and sinking, they instantly give you the feeling of a bad hangover. They taste slightly medicinal, and not clean or fresh.

Mouthfeel is smooth of course but very wet, almost squelchy because its watery muddiness.

This is not great beer. I like English ales - particularly nitro-pressurised ones because they're smooth and clean and a good way to finish the night, but this one has a real mean streak to it, quite aseptic and unpleasant.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.0
Rogers Beer
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 01.09.09 in bottle
Overall:
55 / 100
(OK)
Pours a rude red amber colour, the colour of toffee, with a very minimal head, basically just a ring of off-white bubbles. Bead is slow and uninteresting, while lace saves the day by being pleasantly sticky. Nice colour, too.

Nose is quite aromatic, fair floral hoppiness and a good malt balance, just lightly roasted, almost caramelised around the edges. Hint of citrus and peach, certainly some cascade or perle hops in there. Whatever it is, it's very pleasant in fragrance, sweet with a mildly bitter edge.

Taste is very malty, a lot of malt characters with toasted grain, toffee, pecans and soil. Flavour is full and impressive, but somehow without finesse; there's no profile to it, just a long blast of flavour. That's not such a bad thing, but I think a palate should be a journey. There is a finish - slightly floral and herbal without much bitterness, certainly not crisp enough to clean up the very heavy-flavoured palate.

Mouthfeel is one of the oddest I've experienced and I don't really know anything like it, but somehow it feels solid when it enters my mouth. I think it's bad, like there's just no texture to it, it's just a big lump of malt. No bubbles or stickiness, seriously I feel like my ears are blocking out sound when this beer is in my mouth.

There's nothing out and out bad about this, and for a 3.8% beer it's exploding with flavour. But I think it needs a couple of things - slightly more bittering hop, and more fizz. Apart from that, for what it is it's pretty great.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Cascade Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 24.08.09 in bottle
Overall:
26 / 100
(Nasty)
Pours a champagne colour with furious, aggressive bubbling feeding a nice white head of pebbly bubbles. Sinking slowly from the top and leaving some impressive specks of steamy lace behind. It looks great, but overcarbonated. A German lager should fizz like that, not a pale ale.

Nose is quite sour, with a bourbon kind of character and a fair hit of vinegar as well. Big whiff of yeast in there contributes to the sourness as well, and malt seems a bit unbalanced, verging on diacetyl sweetness. Not a strong nose, smells raw and off-balance.

Taste is not bad at first, with a slightly tart vinous character. Gets a little sweet and buttery with a mild fruit hit like green apple, and then the guillotine drops when I realise it's primarily a pride of ringworm affair; that dreadful cloying doughy character which just leaves the sensation of unpleasant grit in your mouth. Luckily it's not sharp enough to be undrinkable, but the flavour it reaches and the one it leaves are certainly undesirable.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin, although annoyingly sticky, it feels like it leaves a film inside your mouth upon exiting, just maybe a bit viscous, not very nice anyway. Yeah, I'll happily leave this one on the shelf next time.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 1.5 | drinkability: 2.0
John Smith's Extra Smooth
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 17.08.09 from a nitro can
Overall:
65 / 100
(Solid)
Has a nice nitro pour with cream-coloured foam that rolls around and around in a reverse cascade effect. Settles out with dense, thick head, colour is golden-brown with very slow, small bead. I like the look, but it's a very standard nitro English pour.

Nose is quite herbal, with a lot of English hops on there. Hints of grass and pine resin, biscuity malt with a slight meaty or tomato character as well. Reasonably mild, quite pleasant though.

Taste is fairly bitter through the palate, with herbal and phenolic hops making an early appearance and sticking around pretty consistently until the end. Hints of tobacco and mint on the middle, but not much malt flavour, just hints of it underlying everything. Finish is enjoyably brusque in its bitterness, not as dank as some English ales, this has a freshness about it, and a creamy texture to back it up, quite a lively flavour overall.

It IS very smooth, maybe a bit too smooth, to the point of being watery. Just doesn't have much body to it. Definitely an enjoyable flavour though, and this is definitely a beer of which you could throw a few back with the lads. And that's what it comes down to in the end.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Mountain Goat Hightail Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 10.08.09 in bottle
Overall:
66 / 100
(Solid)
Shit, what have I done with this? Opens with a huge pop and pours a glass full of head, with no liquid. Seems to be ruby red in colour and the head, which is Godzilla-esque in proportion, is creamy white and almost nitro-dense. Sinks frustratingly slowly, I want to pour the rest of the beer goddamit! A light bead in the brew and there is some gorgeous sticky lace around the edge. If the head were smaller this would look magnificent. Unfortunately the head makes it a bit silly.

Nose has floral elements, with pleasant hoppy aromas but also a dank or musty aroma, I think also arising from the hops. Hints of blackcurrant, cranberry and leather are evident, but mostly dominated by that musty smell. All in all it's a bit simple and a bit overwhelming, like stepping into a cellar that's been abandoned for years and has a bad case of rising damp.

A lot of malt on the palate, an earthy toffee flavour with a nutty edge. A dried fruit character is evident throughout, sultanas and dried apple coming through with that fairly crisp walnutty character, giving this a slightly sweet flavour with a bit of tartness just lingering behind. Finish is a bit of a trail-off, not much impact on the back palate but aftertaste has a distinct earthy bitterness, very resiny and mineral-esque, very English really, with a very slight savoury yeast character surfacing at the very end.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with a slight stickiness indicating a bit of body, pretty well constructed really. I can't say this is my favourite style, but this is a pretty good EPA nonetheless. It's drinkable and inoffensive, fairly well balanced, and a very pleasant feel. An unpretentious drop.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Mountain Goat Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 06.08.09 in bottle
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a golden urine colour with a slight haze and sparse bead through the beer. Pillowy white head sinks to leave an uneven rim of lace but not huge amounts. Looks alright, pretty standard though.

OK, here we go. Nose is extremely floral and pleasant. A lot of tangy hops releasing aromas of citrus, pineapple sherbet and cumin. A lot of sweet fruit on it, candied orange peel, lemon air freshener, oh it's so lovely and blossoming. It's like stepping outside on the first day of spring and finding everything suddenly in bloom. Not joking - if Heaven has a smell, this is it. I could smell that all day.

...and a slight letdown on the first taste. For one, the texture is very smooth and foamy with very little carbonation zest. It's not a bad mouthfeel, but totally inappropriate for the style. Taste is pleasant enough, with a biscuity malt underlying a fairly fruity palate, hints of lemon and orange before a resiny hop thump at the back. Hops definitely don't work their way in subtly, but just flop onto the palate like a not-quite-dead escargot. Front palate is quite floral and pleasant but there is a very antiseptic bitterness as an afterthought, which is a letdown from the truly superlative job they've done here with aroma hops.

A pleasant drop, not as refreshing or clean as it could have been. Seriously, I'd happily just sit with a glass of this, sniff it to high heaven and then chuck it. I look forward to Mountain Goat releasing the powdered narcotic version of this.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 5.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Fursty Ferret
Reviewed by Jez on 04.08.09 in bottle
Overall:
48 / 100
(Not Great)

Pours a clear golden bronze colour, slightly burnished with a filmy bust lightly sticky head of white foam. Lacing is pretty good, but not exceptional. Head being so filmy as it is is a bit of a let down. Otherwise a decent looking brew.

Pleasant light swetness and English hops on the nose. Some dried fig character, cut grass and a pleasant organic skunkiness. It's reasonably thin, overall, but it's not a bad nose all up.

Some caramel and a light straight hop bitterness, weak, but not offensive. Some phenolic characters coming through at the back, which mingle with the caramel sweetness still welling around from the front, leaving a slightly nasty conglomerate at the end of the palate. Mouthfeel is particularly thin, which is a shame, and overall the sweetness comes across as weak and sickly. I'm probably sounding too harsh. It's not actively offensive, but I can't say I'm a huge fan.

It's not incredibly offensive, but the more I drink the more bland it seems to be. The sweetness becomes more cloying, and the hop character, which seemed quite noticeable at the start, has a harder and harder time breaking through. Not particularly enjoyable by the end.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 2.5
James Squire Governor King Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 03.08.09 on tap
Overall:
45 / 100
(Not Great)
Fairly poor looking from the tap, it doesn't help that the staff here are trained to pour with as little head as possible. Slightly hazy golden colour, lacking carbonation, looks pretty flat and dull.

Nose is a bit simple, slight trace of honey, fair amount of malt, slight herbal bitterness but not very much. Pretty blah.

Taste is okay, slightly fruity characters with apple and honey on the front. Slight bitterness on the back, not overdone but fairly dank and unappealing. Palate is a bit short, finish is clean enough but doesn't leave me with a lot.

Mouthfeel quite sharp, and yet thin. Certainly nothing exciting going on here.

Overall it's just a bit flat, I'm afraid. Nothing really going on.
appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Fursty Ferret
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 29.07.09 in bottle
Overall:
32 / 100
(Nasty)
Pours a slightly apricot-tinged golden colour, minimal beige head, virtually none left though. Still, slow carbonation. Leaves a touch of lace but not much. Very lacklustre appearance.

Slight sticky honey-style malt, maybe German influence, with slight notes of bread yeast, but not overpowering. Light bitterness but doesn't seem natural, and dominant character is that slightly corn-fed malt. Pretty meh, again.

Taste is a lot more organic than I gave it credit for. Flavour is quite malty and slightly earthy, genuine grain character underlying it. Bit of a carbolic soda bitterness creeps through on the mid palate and turns it slightly tart, then a hint of some sort of bitter pang on the back, but not very full of character, more of an afterthought, with a very small amount of bitter hang just lingering at the coda. Not impressed, but it's not as offensive as it might have been.

Mouthfeel is still and lifeless. Maybe a little bit of buoyancy in it but it's dull and uninspired. Overall, a lacklustre and very ordinary brew. Not harsh or unpleasant to drink, but definitely lacking something: like flavour, or ingredients.
appearance: 1.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Coopers Sparkling Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 14.07.09 on tap
Overall:
61 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a pale gold colour with billowing haze throughout and a marshmallowy head that sits atop it like cappuccino froth, thick and foamy and dense. Slow bead runs up through the haze. Looks nice.

Nose has a quite thick POW smell with a light sweetness, hints of honey and treacle and maybe a slightly insipid apple juice character. Smell is decent, but not great, a little too Pride of Ringworm for me.

Taste is quite muddy, with malt being conspicuously absent from the flavours. A slight grain character but mostly a long, bitter POR flavour that leaves quite an alkaline hang with a very mild spice as well. Perhaps a hint of pepper without the spice - just the flavour. Very gritty, yeasty flavour, although without that bread yeast character so it's tolerable. Quite clean for most of the palate but finish is a bit dirty.

Mouthfeel is a bit flat, but feels slick. Unusual, really, given the sediment and the carbonation, but it goes down pretty smoothly.

Overall it does suffer from the hop usage, but it tastes very natural with an organic bitterness, and a distinct lack of adjunct sweetness. Fairly smooth and drinkable, if not delectable.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Tetley's English Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 03.07.09 from a nitro can
Overall:
36 / 100
(Nasty)
Pours a deep burnished brown colour with intense nitro bubble cascade downwards that settles fairly quickly into a dense, creamy white head. Very, very small, slow bubbles populate the beer's body while the head is getting pockmarked here and there. As dense as the head is, it doesn't produce much lacing, but it's still a very nice looking ale.

Smell is very English, with a rich barley malt aroma, hints of caramel, and a generous citric hop smell as well. Hints of grapefruit, Irish cream and lemongrass, but still a bit weak. Decent elements, would just like more of them.

Taste has a great (in the perjorative sense) barley character to it, with lots of pale malt and a slight creamy character on the mid. Not much nuance to this palate though, flavour is very subdued. Maybe a slight herbal character on the middle just caps off the slightly sweet beginning, but that's about it for this beer. Obviously crafted to have a silky smooth mouthfeel but it's not sticky or heavy enough and in fact, the body is weak and frail, like the flavour.

I can see this, at 3.6%, being the beer to gulp down at your local with the lads before you head to Elland Road to watch Leeds kick some Carlisle backsides, but it's pretty pitiful in any other context. It's not even very sessionable because it just isn't enjoyable. Mild and inoffensive, but at the expense of the heart.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 2.5
Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 04.06.09 in bottle
Overall:
57 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a deep English gold with billowing head of white, webs a bit at the top, lacing is attracted to the edge but a bit thin, no carbs. Looks like an impressive English ale.

Again very English, lots of hops, very grassy, reminds one of a verdant English pasture. Hints of lemony citrus add a tartness, malt is not really there. Quite nice though.

Malt is definitely there on the palate, thick and sticky with a biscuity kind of sweetness, thick and full mouthfeel. Hops are there in their earthy, tart goodness but finish is grainy, like cereal, with a brown sugar kind of flavour to it that somehow manages to re-emerge after the hops have done their lingering magic. Hence very, very back of the palate is somehow quite sweet, although for the most part a slight lemongrass bitterness is prevalent. Not a bad English ale, apart from that lingering sweetness there's nothing unusual about it. Taste is a bit plain overall. Could well be used as a cleanser though.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Grand Ridge Gippsland Gold
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 02.06.09 in bottle
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a burnt golden colour with a two-finger thick white head, doesn't stick around, but the lacing does. Very sticky and messy at the top with tendrils going every which way. Oh, and when I said head doesn't stick around, yeah, there's a fair amount of it sticking around. Body is slightly cloudy so it's hard to see carbonation but it's definitely there and working at a steady pace. Looks like a busy, but sticky and sweet little beer. Really great.

Nose is a bit sweet 'n' sour with hints of butter, corn, figs and apricot. Fruit is diminished slightly behind the other aromas, but is there. So, too, are hops, but again, slightly subdued in their phenolic goodness. Smells kind of EPA-esque, pleasant but not very robust.

Taste has a very pleasing palate profile, with a buttery, almost vanilla sweetness coming through on the start and continuing on, while the back has a slightly grassy hop finish which doesn't linger in a particularly bitter way, but blends quite nicely with a buttery, earthy malt flavour and an odd sensation of tomato (!) that I'm getting. Hops are maybe a slight bit too earthy to be crisp and clean - finish is slightly gritty as well. Mouthfeel is a bit of a letdown, slightly too thin for an otherwise quite malty beer. Otherwise, a very nice-tasting beer, very sessionable, and with an unusual complexity that certainly intrigues me, even if the beer is not a huge flavour bomb.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Outback Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 25.05.09 in bottle
Overall:
51 / 100
(OK)
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.
appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Australian Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 24.05.09 on tap
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)

Dark burnished copper amber colour, with a frothy head of yellow bubbles. Some lacing. Little noticeable carbonation.

Some sweet sugary crystal malts on the nose, a faint citrus hint, quite sweet and candy like. With a light savoury character under it.

Quite thin on the palate, rather weak and thin, although there's a lingering sweet citrus character. A little dusty on the back palate. Mouthfeel is zesty. Reasonable.

Reminds me a lot of Just Another Redoak Beer. Not offensive, but just with that rather sweet and lacklustre flavour profile.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Mt Macedon Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 15.05.09 in bottle
Overall:
66 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a rich, red-amber colour with a cream-coloured head that hangs around like a virus. Isolated pods of bubbles coming through and a nice bit of sticky lacing. Looks pretty nice, actually.

Oh, what a great nose. It's been a while since I've smelt a nose like that, because I've been reviewing so many pale lagers and malt bombs lately. But that has a potent, in-your-face hop blast, but balanced with very sweet toffee-like malt. The whole creates a kind of peppermint aroma, and there is a spicy licorice aspect and a slight honey-glazed ham character. Unique nose, fascinating, and wonderful.

Taste is surprisingly different. Yet to make up my mind as to whether that's a good thing, hmmmm... A lot darker than the nose suggests and there is little hoppiness on the palate, so I suspect the majority of the hops were added late to the brew. Front palate is a bit weak, with mild honey characters and a bit of a grainy texture. Back palate is where it all comes to fruition, and there are flavours of rich soil, toffee and a very strong nuttiness. Hazelnuts, peanuts maybe, yeah, it's nutty I tells ye. It's quite tasty, but I'm definitely disappointed there are no hops.

Mouthfeel is thick and full and forms a close bond with my tongue. My tongue would happily give up cunnilingus in favour of this beer. The lack of hops lets this beer down in terms of drinkability because the thick sweetness of it makes it too syrupy to want to chug down. It is pleasant in flavour though.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Black Sheep Ale (Special)
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 04.05.09 in bottle
Overall:
55 / 100
(OK)
Pours a brownish yellow with a very thin film of head. Clear appearance, with a lot of very thick lacing around the edge. Quite nice, good English ale.

Subdued nose, as a result of being too cold methinks. A slightly herbal bitterness on it when warmed up a bit, and hints of honey. Typical ale nose, nothing particularly special. Still subdued when at a decent temp.

A lot of floral hops come gushing through the palate, blended with a rich, sticky maltiness. Very bitter finish to an otherwise short, sweet palate. Almost an IPA bitterness really, although it's more of a lingering than an upfront hit. Very bittersweet flavour, a bit lacking in complexity but otherwise quite nice. The hops and malt are actually very nicely balanced to make this a competent and drinkable English ale. Mouthfeel is a bit sharp but that's the only real issue.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.0
St. Peter's Summer Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 01.05.09 in bottle
Overall:
53 / 100
(OK)

Clear orange amber, with a fluffy head of white bubbles. Lacing is good. No noticeable carbonation, but that's probably to be expected. Looks pretty decent.

Some honey sweetness on the nose, and a light, grassy hop aroma. It's pleasant enough, but there's not a lot on it.

Nice bitterness on the palate, well tempered with a good softly sweet malt backbone. Light honey notes, and a grassy finish. Even some surprising notes of roasted grains, which fit in rather well.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, unfortunately, but it's not too bad. A bit more fullness would have been a welcome addition.

Nice enough, and it has some pleasant characters which work together well. Drinkable - it goes down without too much trouble. (Cool bottle too).

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Monty Python's Holy Grail Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 01.05.09 in bottle
Overall:
57 / 100
(Decent)

Golden yellow, with a nice fluffy white head that leaves some great lacing. Filmy after a while, which is a shame. Otherwise very nice looking.

Light grain organics on the nose, with a pleasant grassy freshness. Even a light hint of smooth sweetness, perhaps vanilla, which is odd, but not unpleasant. Not huge, but not bad.

Pretty tame palate, with some fluctuating hops bitterness that never reaches a crescendo. Some malty grain notes, but not huge. The end is a little yeasty which leaves a gritty finish in the mouth. Otherwise, it's a decent, if uninteresting flavour profile.

Hey, it's a drinkable beer. I just wonder if this is simply a "plonk some branding on the beer" beer. Relatively light, and while not terrible exciting, it goes down well enough.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.0
St. Peter's Golden Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 01.05.09 in bottle
Overall:
44 / 100
(Not Great)

Slightly hazy gold-orange, with a filmy head of coarse bubbles. A little lacing sticks around, but not much. Minimal carbonation.

Light grassy organic notes on the nose, a bit of English style hoppiness. Also a light carbonic acidity which isn't particularly welcome. Not a huge nose, and not a really classic or particularly interesting one.

More character in the mouth, with a nice sharp bitterness, very clean and tasty ripping through the palate. Nice. There's still a slightly unfortunate tartness, which I don't particularly like. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Still, this beer suddenly raised its head a bit more once I took a sip.

It's drinkable, and the robust bitterness gives it its edge. It's just not particularly special otherwise.

appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Fuller's London Pride
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 01.05.09 in bottle
Overall:
59 / 100
(Decent)
Pours a golden-brown colour, with thin bead running up the middle but no real head of which to speak. Thin web of lacing. Not ba-a-a-a-ad but unimpressive.

A great deal of sour British ale yeast characters on the nose with a distinct barley aroma and slight hint of grassy hops. Hops are underwhelming, as is the nose in general.

Taste is quite gritty with malt taking a back seat to English hops - possibly fuggles. Palate is interesting with a long bitter finish. A bit of a sour ale character with a slight bready hint and a bittersweet mid-palate. Balance is best on the middle with malt and hops reaching their intersection here, but hops definitely take over on the back.

A decent drop, good for a cleansing ale. Typical English fare though.
appearance: 2.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Organic Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 30.04.09 in bottle
Overall:
64 / 100
(Solid)

Nice cloudy brilliant orange with a big gushy head of yellow-white bubbles. Excellent lacing. Looks pretty damn tasty.

Nice, slightly English hoppiness on the nose, but plenty of it. Quite fragrant, grassy a little hint of fruit, but with a slight copper character, reminds me of the English styles. Nice.

Quite a robust bitter note; lots of grainy gritty organic bitterness. It's quite sharp, not a lot of malt to back it up, and it could use a little more. Mouthfeel is also not as smooth as it could be. Otherwise, it's quite pleasant, very drinkable, and a good emulation of the English style.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Organic Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 30.04.09 in bottle
Overall:
62 / 100
(Decent)
Pours with an orangey colour, steady carbonation feeding a very strong fluffy pearl head. Very nice lacing. Good-looking ale, quite English.

A fair few hops on the nose with good fruity characters. Nice and refreshing with a hint of sherbet and citrus.

Very hoppy flavour, perhaps over-hopped with less fruit than the nose. Most flavours are kind of killed by the hops although there is a hint of dust and grass which makes this a very earthy ale and not particularly refreshing. Mid-palate is slightly sour, and finish is long and bitter but a bit too gritty to be a pleasant clean finish. Quite American in style only without the floral fruity characters associated with the APA style. Basically it's over-hopped only without enough malt to compensate. It's nice, but not wonderfully drinkable.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
St. Peter's Golden Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 19.04.09 in bottle
Overall:
39 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours from the coolest shaped bottle with a golden appearance, no head of which to speak. Leaves some thin and unimpressive lacing, but enough to know it's slightly sticky. Maybe a little bit of haze. Has good elements but fails to look good.

Slightly citric hops, quite grassy as well with a nasty bread yeast lingering at the back as well. Certain quantity of malt, but not enough to get past that quite insipid and sour nose.

Quite malty on the front but weak, like you can taste the water used as a solvent. Has a fuzzy kind of mouthfeel but also relatively sticky. There is a slight hoppiness at the back but mixed with a cloying yeast character. This is again a fairly insipid drop, with standard malt, standard bitterness. Not too inspired.

It's drinkable enough, but only because it's bland.
appearance: 2.5 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
St. Peter's Summer Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 19.04.09 in bottle
Overall:
52 / 100
(OK)
Pours a pale golden colour with a thin rim of white pockmarked head, fairly good retention. Leaves nice lacing, but without symmetry. Has semblances of a good beer, but could just as easily be dreadful. I mean, it looks OK.

Fairly insipid nose with a lot of malt and an unwelcome bread yeast character. There is, however, a saving grace in the form of a sweeter, soy sauce sort of character that hits my nostrils before the rest of the aroma. It's not enough to completely save an otherwise bland smell though.

Taste is actually quite an interesting one. It tastes a lot darker than I would expect (particularly for a Summer Ale), and actually reminds me a bit of Matilda Bay's Crema. There is definitely a milk coffee kind of flavour that permeates through the mid and onto the back palate. A bit sour near the front, gives it a bit of texture, and finish is a bit gritty, could maybe use more hopping. Mouthfeel is quite smooth, but a bit thin.

This is a decent drop, interesting enough to drink, just a shame about the nose. I could drink this fairly easily.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 16.04.09 in bottle
Overall:
64 / 100
(Solid)
Pours a golden brown colour with an ecru head, lightly dispersed and hanging around reasonably well. Some very nice lacing effects, but slightly thin. No carbs, clear body. Looks tasty.

Nose has some nicely balanced malt and hop characters. A strong, almost syrupy pale malt character blends with a slight grassy hint of hops. Actually, on second thoughts I think the malt dominates and it's slightly sweet, kind of mediciney but not bad.

First taste is a bitter one, especially compared with the smell. A quite strong malty mid-palate is fenced in by a spicy front and a slightly herbal and also sour, earthy finish. Quite an interesting palate although there is still that slight medicinal flavour lingering at the back which gives it a bit of a downer. Mouthfeel is quite stimulating - the beer looks smooth but comes alive with a bit of a tingling, sparkling effect over the tongue.

This is a good ale, well-balanced and interesting. Too polite and British to offend or excite me.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
English Real Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 30.03.09 from cask
Overall:
57 / 100
(Decent)
Pours (very, very slowly) an orangey-brown, with very very fine head with great retention, obviously thanks to the cask conditioning and hand-pumping. Gorgeous thick lacing with a fair amount of sediment cloud throughout. Exquisite.

Nose is sweet and almost meaty, almost resembles haw flakes. It's a one-note aroma although that one note is complex enough to be enjoyed. Quite pungent, and not bad at all.

Taste is quite sweet and lofty. Lofty is the word, as it's almost like there's nothing there. Kind of a wheaty character on the front and a banana aspect at the end. Overall, a tad too sweet. Could use more hopping.

Mouthfeel is almost like you're not drinking, it's so lofty. Fascinating, but I would like some more body.

This is really quite pleasant, and a fairly good sessioning beer except it takes an hour to pour a glass. Could stand to be more bold and impressive.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Australian Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 28.03.09 in bottle
Overall:
55 / 100
(OK)

Pours a very pale yellow, with light cloudiness. Head gushes with masses of streaming carbonation, billowing into a massive coarse-bubbled mess of white foam. The carbonation starts to disintegrate the head after a while. But it looks pretty reasonably. The head's just so chunky it looks hard to drink.

Light pleasant organic skunkiness on the nose. A bit of crushed leaves, lemon myrtle and seltzer water. Overall, it's quite an acidic character, not unpleasant, but not all that powerful either.

Rather thin palate, a light biscuity entry pans out to a moderate hop resin bitterness, before a touch of tartness on the back. Mouthfeel is genuinely overcarbonated, even when I don't get a huge mouthful of suds, but it's not so bad with the light acidity.

A suitably refreshing beer - it's quite clean and pleasant, and certainly easy to knock back. Tone down the carbonation though, it left me feeling bloated.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.5
King St Wharf Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 27.03.09 on tap
Overall:
36 / 100
(Nasty)
Pale appearance with a lot of carbonation feeding a very decent snow-white head. Thick lacing, a bit of sediment cloud in the glass. A bloody excellent-looking pale.

Fair amount of floral hops on the nose, lightish with a slight fruit character. It's mostly just hops though. To be honest, a fairly standard pale ale aroma, not too much to it.

Taste is quite hoppy on the front and mid-palate, disappointingly watery on the back. Body is full, but palate is thin. Has a quite puckering, drying finish, this is more nasty than pleasant. Has a typical pale ale hops flavour, but not enough other flavour to save it, really. Needs a bit more malt, perhaps, it falls down on the finish and needs more body to boost it. Mouthfeel is a bit sharp, perhaps over-carbonated.

This is the Paris Hilton of beers - it looks sensational but it's hollow and devoid of personality.
appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Landlord - Strong Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 12.03.09 in bottle
Overall:
38 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a dark orange kind of colour, good head and nice lacing. Boring, really, except for the head and lace. I always like something in lace that gives me head.

Hops and quite fruitgasmic on the nose. Nice dose of herbs, while at the same time quite sweet. Not sure what to make of it, but good characters.

Taste is hoppy on the front but kind of syrupy at the back with an unpleasant yeast character. Sort of lives up to its name (more so than the alc/vol does, bloody rort I say), but not really pleasant. Earthy, but not really rich or complex. The finish is the most complex part, but it's too sweet to be good. Mouthfeel kind of clings to your mouth.

I would expect a 'strong' ale to knock you out immediately. While this does have a 'strong' sort of flavour, it's not pleasant enough for you to drink enough to knock you out. A disappointment.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 2.5
Landlord - Strong Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 16.02.09 in bottle
Overall:
50 / 100
(OK)

Nice clear orange-gold colour, with a filmy white head of tight bubbles. Excellent lacing. Minimal carbonation. Looks decent, but a little bit insipid.

Funky barnyard aroma on the nose, wet yeast, wet straw and organic leavings. Some sweet grain aromas, but the funky unpleasantness cuts through, making it smell like mould has got into the grainbags.

Quite a strong biting bitterness gushing up through the palate, overwhelming any other flavours, which are initially just a hint of sweaty malt and seltzer water. It's very one dimensional, and the hops are the grittiest type of English flavours. Can't say I'm a huge fan.

It's drinkable enough, but it's very one dimensional. Like a standard English pale with the hops up, but not the complexity I expect in, say, an ESB. Just too much of the one character. Quite a shame given some of the excellent reviews of this brew on here.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Prickly Moses Otway Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 26.12.08 in bottle
Overall:
44 / 100
(Not Great)
Found this brew to my great, pleasant surprise and shock in a haunted little hotel in Camperdown, a town renowned by me for having three pubs with a choice of two on-tap beers - Carlton Draught or Carlton Sterling.

This pours with a very fine head, fed by a good steady bead. Reminiscent of Coopers Sparkling, with a similarly golden-brown colour and sediment cloud. Decent-looking beer.

Lots of hops on the nose with lots of freshly cut grass aromas, very Summery. Maybe the slightest hint of pouring cream, but probably not, at the least it's overpowered by the hops. Not bad.

Taste is very country style - lots of hops, full bodied and a bit of soil flavour. Slightly metallic edge to the middle of the palate. Otherwise, quite lacking in character. There's no layers to the palate, just a one-note flavour. Having said that, there's quite a lot of flavour, hoppiness and a nice bitter finish but the texture is rough, and there's little in the way of complexity. Drinkability suffers as a result.
appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Double Barrel Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 28.09.08 in bottle
Overall:
56 / 100
(Decent)

Pours a bronze-amber colour, with a thin head of white foam. Head dissipates pretty quickly, despite the steady carbonation. No lacing. Looks pretty tame.

Lighty toasted malt characters on the nose. Dark, a little sweet burnt sugar character. Although it's pretty weak, there's not a lot on it.

Taste is also pretty weak, a light roasted character on the front palate, and a light slightly sour character later on. Finishes with an earthy taste that leaves the palate feeling a bit rough. Pretty light mouthfeel too.

This is a pretty bland beer - there's nothing really wrong with it, but there's not a lot to it. Simple flavours. It's drinkable enough, but not very exciting.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Paddys American Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 03.09.08 on tap
Overall:
61 / 100
(Decent)

Slightly cloudy amber body. Frothy yellow white head dappled with tight bubbled on the top. Only a single stream of carbonation in the body, but it looks pretty good overall.

The nose is a rather surprising melange of malt and vanilla, very sweet and sticky. There is a slight hint of fruit to it, but more like stewed and reduced compote - certainly not the tangy tropical characters of pineapple or passionfruit. It's more like a big, rich bowl of vanilla icecream.

Taste is a bit better. There is certainly still the smooth perplexity of that vanilla, but there's a pleasant hop bitterness to balance it a little. It's not quite as sharp or astringent as a normal Australian Pale, but it's not bad. Mouthfeel is a little flat, taking it closer into uncarbonated cask-drawn English ale territory, but it's pretty suitable.

It's a drinkable beer, with a nice sharpness. It is lacking something though, and that vanilla character is really quite odd. Not quite sure where this sits in the scheme of things.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Crackenback
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 29.07.08 in bottle
Overall:
55 / 100
(OK)
Pours a clear golden amber colour, steady bead of carbonation up to a light white head of thin ambience. Doesn't leave a lot of lacing. What it does leave is a fair bit to be desired.

Smells quite good, fragrant hops with a generous fruity hit, quite citrusy but fairly rich. I would guess Cascade hops based on the particular fruitiness. And look, I'm right. The other hops which I'm less familiar with I imagine give this its pleasant deeper, more sullen aromas. There's an almost custardy character to that nose, it's sweet but thick. Quite pleasant, really.

Interesting palate - it seems quite short but then there's an odd crescendo finish, like a Stravinsky movement. Has pleasant bitter-sour citrusy characters on the front with hints of grapefruit and a generous serving of bittering hop. The palate then dissipates slightly into a disappointingly watery middle before returning for the climax, which is clean and bitter and quite well rounded. Although the palate as a whole is of a respectable length, there isn't enough of an explosion of flavour to really woo me here. The fruit characters on the front are pleasant and it finishes well enough to make this a very drinkable drop, but there's something lacking in the middle. Let's call it 'heart'.
appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Little Creatures Bright Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 25.07.08 on tap
Overall:
71 / 100
(Very Good)
Pours a golden colour with a steady but thin bead up the sides. Slight bit of lacing, and not much head although looks can be deceiving, as the girl had to skim off the head twice while pouring.

Pleasant fruity nose with sour pineapple and paw paw seeping through. Subtle hint of floral hops. Nice.

Really nice fruity champagney flavour dominates with a subdued hop character on the front palate and then returning for the finish. Mostly the palate is very smooth and pleasant. Mild, almost, and able to quaff quite readily. Mouthfeel is sadly, however, a bit gritty and more difficult to plough through than the flavour.

Congratulations to the Eastwood Hotel for your latest arrival. Having this little baby on tap makes your pub worth drinking at again.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Forester Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 25.07.08 in bottle
Overall:
38 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a very cloudy appearance with lots of sediment reminiscent of a Coopers. The sediment is buoyed by thick carbonation. Very explosive frothy head. In fact, bottle pretty much exploded upon opening (in a frothy sense, not an actual exploding sense). Actually a bloody good-looking, untamed kind of ale.

Ripe fruit dominates on the nose with hints of banana and pawpaw and a bit of bitter hop. It's not very complex but pleasant enough.

Palate is very gritty and bitter. Doesn't have an awful lot of character. There's the slightest hint of fruit on the front as pre-empted by the nose, but it dissipates quickly into a less-than-delightful, actually quite nasty soil-like flavour with no real complexity. It's no Little Creatures, certainly. No anything.
appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Forester Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 20.07.08 in bottle
Overall:
46 / 100
(Not Great)
Firstly, I swear the new "Forester" logo on this bottle is done in the same font as the Foster's logo, and given the similarity in the names, it draws some unfavourable comparisons...

But to the beer.

Pours with a huge head out of an exploding bottle. Clumps of sediment are agitated by the carbonation, so they flow into the glass from nowhere near the dregs. Brownish orange colour, cloudy from the sediment. Creamy coloured, meringuey head. Looks pretty good.

Light honey-like nose, hints of fruit but not much. Quite a note of yeast as well, as you might expect. Reminds me a bit of Coopers Sparkling Ale.

Clean entry on the palate which is quite dry and soft. Unfortunately, there's an unpleasant Pride of Ringwood bitterness on the back palate that just reminds you of bad Aussie swill. Lingering yeast, a bit unpleasant on the palate really. And the mouthfeel definitely suffers from the over zealous carbonation.

It's not awful, but it ends up being nothing more than standard. Drinkable enough...

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Grand Ridge Gippsland Gold
Reviewed by Jez on 19.05.08 in bottle
Overall:
54 / 100
(OK)

Clear burnished orange colour with a reasonable finger of off-white head. Coarse bubbles in the foam, and there's almost no carbonation present. Doesn't look that appealing from the pour.

Honey and biscuit malt on the nose. Quite sweet and syrupy, almost too sweet. There's a slight metallic copper character as well, but not enough to cut through the cloying sweetness. It really needs something more fragrant.

Similar metallic character on the front palate, but it falls away very quickly. Mid palate bitterness, a taste of English-style hops, and a rather watery finish. Despite the lack of carbonation, the feel is good for the style, quite smooth and silky.

It's drinkable enough, but it's not amazing. Lacking a depth of character, it ends up a pretty middle-of-the-road English style pale ale.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 3.5
Wizard Smith's Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 09.05.08 in bottle
Overall:
48 / 100
(Not Great)
Pours a deep blood orange colour with steady but thickly dispersed bubbles. Head is thin and looks like someone's dribbled on the top of it. There is a bit of lacing, but it's the thin, uneventful type I would expect from a British-ale style beer which this looks like.

A subtle toffee hint on the nose, and an equally subtle touch of floral hops to match. Not much to it, but it's pleasant enough for what it is, if not complex.

Has a carbonated, cidery character to the front palate. Even though the carbonation isn't strong it comes through on the mouthfeel. There is a crescendo quality to the palate as well, it starts off with a slight sweet hit, dissipates very quickly, then slowly rises up again with a flavour that is something resembling oregano-sprinkled toffee. Although that sounds disgusting, it's not bad. The hoppy bitterness dominates, so the sweetness that is there is just lingering in the background. For all that though, it's not extremely complex and although the palate has an interesting topography, it's still quite simple and bland.

I'm drinking this as a cleansing ale though, and I must say, for this purpose it's FANTASTIC. Because it's pleasant drinking, simple, mostly watery and a nice dry, cleansing element on the back of the palate. In short, it's a very drinkable ale with a bit of lack of character to back it up.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Black Sheep Ale (Special)
Reviewed by Jez on 19.04.08 in bottle
Overall:
56 / 100
(Decent)

Pours a light, bronze-amber colour, with a slightly filmy off-white head. Some light carbonation.

There's an almost medicinal sweetness on the nose, that initially assaults you. Also the obvious brashness of English hop varieties - they lack the fragrance I love in a pale ale. Overall, it's not very strong, but not bad.

Menthol-hop characters on the palate. Quite strong but quite one-dimensional, it's just one long gum-sucking flavour. There's a very light sweetness at the start, but then it's just the biting hop character and a rather dry finish. Mouthfeel is quite smooth.

It's not a bad drop, but it doesn't have a huge amount of complexity to it. Drinkable enough, in its way, but there are English Pales I like a whole lot more.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.0
Fuller's London Pride
Reviewed by Jez on 19.04.08 in bottle
Overall:
74 / 100
(Very Good)

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.0
Happy Goblin Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 16.02.08 in bottle
Overall:
55 / 100
(OK)

Handwritten label marks this one as brewed one month ago from when I tasted it. The ABV on this batch was 4.3%

Pours a slightly cloudy, burnt golden colour. filmy head of off-white foam, sticks to the edges and is fed by lots of carbonation. You can hear the bubbles effervescing from quite a way away.

Light toffee notes on the nose, hints of citrus, but it's all very light, and not very in-your-face. It's a very subtle sweetness, tinged with a slight tartness, maybe like pickled lemon rind. Too light to my mind, but not unpleasant.

Flavour is also quite light, with an initial bite of subdued coppery bitterness, then a long, slightly sweet nuttiness, rather reminiscent of peanut butter. Finish is quite flat. Mouthfeel is reasonably smooth. It's drinkable but by no means stellar.

Hey, it's a pretty damn drinkable beer, all up. It's not "extreme", not going to knock your socks off, but a solid pale ale in the English tradition.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Mt Macedon Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 11.01.08 in bottle
Overall:
60 / 100
(Decent)

Clear burnished gold colour with a beautiful crown of meringuey off-white foam. Decent lacing. Nice. Fine carbonation and a noticeable crop of floaties. Looks great.

Honey and English hops on the nose. Light, slightly fruity and very pleasant. A bit lighter and more subdued than it might have been though. Still, very nice.

Light on the palate as well - an initila hint of fruit is swamped by an immediate neutral grain character, but finished with a decent hop bitterness. It's nice, very drinkable, but maybe lacking just a little depth of complexity.

Mouthfeel a little too prickly, but still not bad.

Nice beer, extremely drinkable. A really pleasant pale ale. Quite light, but very enjoyable.

appearance: 4.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Duke Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 15.12.07 in bottle
Overall:
74 / 100
(Very Good)

Dark golden colour with a clear body. Minimal head, minimal lacing, and lots of fine carbonation.

Light, fruity nose, good hints of pine and passionfruit. Quite floral, quite hoppy. Really very reasonable.

Good robust hop character on the palate as well. Strong up front with a very nice, sharp bitter back palate as well. Very nicely hopped. Gives it a crisp refreshing quality. Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, which gives a bit of a lift, very suitable.

This is a very nice drop, and a very reasonable, quite generously hopped pale ale. It has character to keep you interested, and a really nice easy drinking quality. To date, one of the best beers I've had out of Queensland.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.5
Bitter Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 01.11.07 from cask
Overall:
70 / 100
(Very Good)

I believe I'm correct in my assumption that this is the beer now referred to as the ESB? Pulled from hand pump at the Royston.

Nice, clear, rosy-orange body. Beautifully fine head. Creamy, wonderful, beautiful. Excellent lacing. Just beautiful.

Fruity and a bit biscuity on the nose. Hint of berries, raspberries in particular, and a rather subdued hop character. Still nice though.

Taste is also pretty subdued, but very pleasant. Clean, a bit of tropical fruit character, but not a lot of bitterness. It's very drinkable, and quite enjoyable. I just wish it had a bit more character. Mouthfeel from the cask is gorgeous though.

It is very drinkable and nice off the cask, but there's better out there...

appearance: 4.5 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Greene King IPA Export Strength
Reviewed by Jez on 11.01.07 in bottle
Overall:
31 / 100
(Nasty)

Clear, dark copper with a rocky off white head. The head dissipates to an almost uncarbonated look. Very light carbonation.

Quite a sweet caramelly flavour on the nose, almost no hint of hops, which is not only unexpected, it's almost insulting. In fact it's very flat, and not very inspiring.

Somewhat better on the palate, but not a lot. Hint of resiny bitterness, but overwhelmingly water and not all that flavoursome. Mouthfeel very flat.

It's drinkable, but not very impressive.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Three Sheets
Reviewed by Jez on 17.11.06 on tap
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)

Firstly, I have to say I disagree with the classification of this one. I think it's a leap to call this one a Macro Lager...

Slightly cloudy orange yellow colour, with a slightly filmy head. Very little retention.

Smell is rather sweet, almost reminiscent of a hefeweizen. There's also a rather pleasant grassy hoppiness. Quite fragrant, very enjoyable.

Taste is also good, hint of luscious fruit, with a good highlight of hoppy piquancy. This is a very pleasant beer.

This was one of the standouts at the Nelson, I don't know if they've changed the recipe or something, but it certainly seems like it's improved since my fellow reviewers have sampled it.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Trafalgar Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 17.11.06 on tap
Overall:
63 / 100
(Solid)

Very light yellow body, with a good pillowy white head. Minimal carbonation.

Light maltiness on the nose, but not much else, not much hint of hops, not much fragrance. I wonder if this was served too cold...

The taste is a great deal better (or maybe it's just warmed up). Excellent hoppy bitter flavour. Tangy citrus notes, with a good organic grassiness. The malt is in the back seat, but it does just cushion all the wonderful explosive element up front. Good mouthfeel, very well suited to the crisp, bitter palate.

This is a very drinkable beer. Strangely, it's rather similar to the Quayle, it's just that all the elements seem to fit right in this one.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Little Creatures Bright Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 10.10.06 in bottle
Overall:
68 / 100
(Solid)

Presentation: 330ml brown tapered bottle. Aesthetically pleasing blue on tawny yellow label bearing the LC label and Bright Ale. Best before date: 18 May 2007

Appearance: Pale golden honey-yellow, just tending to a hue like peach. Minimal carbonation, and I had to pour quite vigourously to induce any head. Still, this looks like a nice brew. Head collapses to a filmy collar quite quickly, minimal lacing.

Nose: Ooh yes. Very pleasant. Hints of tropical fruits, pineapple, passionfruit, plus a little aniseed. Nicely hoppy - my guess Cascade being dominant. Very pleasant indeed.

Taste: Hmm, more subdued than the nose. Little fruit sweetness, and none of the pert bitterness I was expecting after the fragrant nose. Still, there's a smoother type of grainy flavour here, with just a dollop of fruity, grassy hoppiness. This makes it very smooth drinking, without an overwhelming complexity. However, this seems to suit the beer, while not making it all that spectacular.

Mouthfeel is spot on for the taste - not over carbonated, but a little spritzy and refreshing.

My guess is LC were going for a slightly lighter, clearer, more simple-drinking beer than the Pale Ale here, and I think they've come up with a winner. The flavours of LCPA can end up being a little overpowering over a night, but this one would stay fresh and pleasant for longer.

Not as good as the Pale Ale, but definitely a good replacement for a long session.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.0 | drinkability: 4.0
Badger Original Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 23.03.06 in bottle
Overall:
35 / 100
(Nasty)

Brownish body with a big thick off-white head. Minimal carbonation, but the head stays sticky and leaves some lace.

Slightly fetid nose, rather unpleasant. It smells like 3-week old roadkill that has been cleaned with bleach; and unpleasant organic aroma, mixed with an unpleasant chemical undertone. Not very good at all.

Taste is slightly better. A little astringent and roasted, but there's still the lingering stench of the nose permeating the palate. Drinking it is better than smelling it, but not by much. Poor mouthfeel as well.

Not a good offering.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.0 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.0
Young's Waggledance Honey Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 23.03.06 in bottle
Overall:
22 / 100
(Awful)

This has a very nice looking bottle. Unfortunately, looking at it unopened is about the greatest pleasure I got from this one.

Pours fizzily; an orange-copper body with a frothy almost-trying-to-be-creamy head, fed by masses of soft-drink like carbonation.

Pretty awful nose. A very intense smell of urine and fermented cidery apple juice. Not very pleasant at all.

The palate is slightly better in that it tastes of very little. Watery and weak. It's better than the off-smelling nose at least.

Very weak. What a joke. I've had better stuff from Young's. I just hope I had an off bottle or something.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.0
Bintara Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 20.02.06 on tap
Overall:
50 / 100
(OK)

Golden amber body, slight carbonation. fine fluffy white head which leaves some lacing. Not a bad looking beer.

Quite prominent toffee aromas, hints of darker amber malt. Not a bad smell, but could really use a little more complexity or robustness.

Fragrant sweet front palate balanced with a long dry yeasty aftertaste. It's not too bad. If there was some added complexity there it could be much better. The mouthfeel is quite flat and thin.

As it stands, it's a drinkable, but forgettable brew.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 2.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Bintara Pale Ale
Reviewed by LaitueGonflable on 18.02.06 on tap
Overall:
50 / 100
(OK)
Rich amber colour, head was nice & thick and has mostly stuck around (I was still reviewing other Bintara beers when this was poured). Light carbonation.

Smells of the same toffee characteristics as the others but for better or worse it's somewhat richer and stickier. Bides for something more complex and fruitful (I hope).

It does taste better but it's still not outstanding. Smooth and drinkable, but more complex. Sticky wine-esque flavour mid-palatte, bitter hints and slightly sweet aftertaste. Easily the most drinkable here but still too generic, formulaic & prozaic & mosaic & toothache.
appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 3.0
Gold Medal Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 14.11.05 on tap
Overall:
46 / 100
(Not Great)

Tried at the brewery late Oct 2005.

Appearance is deceiving, looks like it could be a good pale ale. Nice orange-amber colour, minimal head.

Smell is predominantly sweetness, almost a bit caramelly, but with a heavy whack of yeast. It's alright, but certainly nothing spectacular.

Taste is pretty much the same; a reasonably standard yeasty ale flavour. More sweetness than a generic lager, but predominantly flat and simple. In actual fact, it was far better than I expected it would be, it was remarkably drinkable, but it didn't have a great deal going for it.

appearance: 2.5 | aroma: 3.0 | taste: 3.0 | feel: 3.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 14.11.05 on tap
Overall:
29 / 100
(Nasty)

Tried at the brewery, late Oct 2005.

Very unispiring brew this one, considering it was the first of their "craft range" I tried. Very weak watery looking dark amber, some head, but not much.

Smell was very bland. Almost nothing there, a little malty sweetness, but that was about it.

Taste was just about the same. A little sweetness followed by a hint of dry bitterness. Almost nothing to detect, very bland, no character, no depth. You could drink it, but I wouldn't recommend it.

I actually thought their run-of-the-mill Gold Medal Ale was better than this one.

appearance: 2.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 2.0 | feel: 2.0 | drinkability: 2.5
Coopers Original Pale Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 13.02.05 in bottle
Overall:
55 / 100
(OK)

Opaque amber gold body with a light white loose-bubbled head which quickly disappears to nothing.
Lots of yeast sediment floating thoughout, and sitting at the bottom of the bottle looking like pond gunk.

Sweet malt on the nose, with touches of honey, lemon... that's about it. The nose is rather flat on this one. Not a lot to offer.

Taste provides a rather sweet entry immediately contrasted with some hoppy bitterness and lemon zest. Dry finish with a yeasty aftertaste. Palate is long, the mouthfeel is rich and extended.
Reasonably drinkable, easy to drink, easy to enjoy.

While this is not one of my particular favourites (and I do consider the Coopers like a little overrated here in Oz), it's a drinkable, hell, even enjoyable beer.

appearance: 3.0 | aroma: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5
Coonawarra Ale
Reviewed by Jez on 14.01.05 in bottle
Overall:
73 / 100
(Very Good)

Wow, this one needs decanting. Floating sediment in the bottle I sampled. Lovely deep copper brown ochre colour. Very little head, although that might be to do with today's humidity.

Rich, sweet aromas. Honey, port, molasses. It infests the nostrils, you can imagine the vapour tendrils reaching out. A very rich and complex nose.

Sweet mellow caramelised fruit flavours. Rich and creamy. Mouthfilling. The back dips off to a lovely hint of burnt toffee and bitter lemon tartness.

This is a wonderfully complex brew; mellow and complete. It would make a very fine dessert beer - certainly a sipper.

I was most surprised and impressed.

appearance: 3.5 | aroma: 4.0 | taste: 4.0 | feel: 4.5 | drinkability: 3.5