73 / 100
Tried on-tap at the Brewery in Denver.
Pours a hazy ruby red colour, with solid haze. Fine beige head leaves some speckled lace. Body is light, with a fine swift carbonation. Looks decent all up—I particularly like the colour.
Nose is very pronounced with vanilla, although the oak also gives off some slightly brighter, tannic characters. The lager character comes through as a sharpness and a little grassiness. As it warms complexities of concord grape and butter menthol come through. I like it.
Taste is a little better too. It's smooth in the feel, but light bodied on the back. Crisp, sharp, simple malt on entry, caressed by a lovely vanilla and toffee roundness from the mid malts and the oak. It's not quite tannic in the finish, but there's lost of vanilla still and bourbon booze. Finish has a slight astringency.
Feel is smooth and frothy.
Very decent brew. After a while, it does cloy a bit, which means that more than a glass might become a little tiresome. But for just one, it does the trick.
Brewed for GABS 2017. Tried at the festival in Melbourne on tap.
Pours a red colour, clear with nice foamy beige head. Bit still, but good for the style.
Smells chocolatey, grainy, with a good belt of oak that gives it a slight funky twist into tartness as well. Hint of rum and maybe a touch of grass as well. Not bad.
Big raisin character on the palate, with the oak not as prominent as on the nose. IT's there towards the back but it's dominated instead by a rum-flavoured booziness. Sweet and raisiny ultimately. Does what it promises but little else.
Body is surprisingly thin but it actually suits the style if not the big flavours.
Winter Warmer drop, a bit unconvincing in the end and simple. A bigger oak character would really bring these flavours to life.
80 / 100
330ml brown bottle, with a best before date of December 2017.
Pours a pleasant burnished mahogany colour, with a fairly frothy head of beige that leaves some pleasant lager-like lace. Body is slick but light, and holds some large-bubbled but languid carbonation. Looks pretty good.
Nose is slightly coppery, which almost gives it a hint of acidity on the front. Once this blows off, it has more of the pleasant notes you expect from a bock. Mild caramel malts, decoction toffee, fragrant but hearty toasty grains. There's something indescribable and characteristic about a bock aroma, and I've very pleased to say that this one gets it right.
Taste is also very nicely done. There's a smoothness on the front, slightly toffeed and chewy-sweet, but this develops into a lighter, more savoury back-palate, with a slight dip in body to land on a crisp finish. Carbonation is very fine—it creates a slightly velvet texture on the front that weirdly suggests extra body. All of the flavours are very nicely integrated and coherent—it makes a great deal of sense as a beer.
Overall, this is pretty cracking stuff. It's a really well-made bock that understands the subtleties and charm of the style. It manages to be both traditional and exciting. That works for me.
48 / 100
I like it when a brewer at GABS specifies an actual style that they've infused with some flavour, rather than just calling it a 'specialty beer' that will inevitably be called a fruit or spiced beer. Let's see if it lives up to expectations. Tried at the festival in Melbourne, May 2016.
Pours a gold colour, slightly cloudy with large bubbly head, off-white and sticking around alright. Not very interesting but alright.
Smells bready/grainy, with some cereal husk notes and a fair bit of yeast as well. Not much to it at all. Meh.
Taste has sweet cereal notes upfront, puffed rice and some pearl barley. Some underlying lemon myrtle-esque character but not a full-on lemongrass like I was expecting. Slight vegetative undergrowth note towards the back. No spice, really, just a subtle tang that's a bit disappointing.
Bit of alcohol kick comes through despite the body being fairly full. Possibly just because the back-palate is thin so there's no other character than that heat.
Disappointing. Really lacks lemongrass flavour. Just fairly bland.
72 / 100
12oz can purchased from Spec's on Smith St, Houston, TX.
Pours a pleasant deep, hazy amber colour, very nearly all the way to brown, with a seemingly fairly light body that still manages to hold very fine, powdery carbonation. Head is a thin, fine ring of beige that leaves just a few specks of lace. Looks pretty decent.
Nose is a little bit disappointing. There's some slightly brown mid-malt aroma to it, but the main element is a rather metallic twang, almost sour and coppery. As it warms a little, this becomes less noticeable, leaving a sweeter, maltier basis that gives some brown sugar and syrup. By the end, it's not bad.
Taste is actually very solid indeed. There's a really nice malt backbone to it, and it progresses on from dark syrup to have some lovely structure of grain and toast. It's still a pleasantly light lager in the feel though, especially at the back, where the body pulls back slightly, leaving the skeleton of malt fragrance running around the inside of the mouth. It almost gives the beer a savoury edge in the finish. I like it a lot.
Overall, a couple of quavers, but overall, it's a really nicely put out bock. The darkness of the malts give it interest and complexity, while it manages to stay neat and drinkable at the same time. All this at a beer only weighing in a little over 5%. That's impressive on its own.
74 / 100
650ml brown bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Pours a ruddy brown colour, with solid haze running through it (or at least a very solid depth of colour), with a firm, if rather coarse-bubbled head of pale beige that leaves excellent lace. Body is fluid and lighter than you'd expect for the ABV, but just what a bock should be. Looks good.
Nose is very pleasant. Initial whiffs of smoke give way to a mild tinfoil note laced with a crisplt snapped celery note. As it warms, there are some sweeter notes of musty chocolate, wattleseed and fudge. It all has a lightness to it as well that stops it from being too cloying. Very pleasant, all up.
Taste is also pretty good. Here, there's an oddly perfumed character that rolls around the mid- to back-palate, lending a suggestion of something like rosehip or chamomile. This is still integrated with those mildly organic, green characters—again I get celery, and a bit of tin, plus some clear mild brown malt notes. The back is rather clean and light, but lacking a crispness that would make it really drinkable. There's lots to enjoy in it though.
Feel is light, which isn't unexpected for a lager, but here without some of the other characters you might want in a lager, it feels a little bit empty.
Overall, this is solid stuff. In fact, it's really very interesting, and has a lot to explore. But it's one of those rare occasions where Garage Project have put something unexpected together and it hasn't worked to its fullest degree. When I read the description on this beer I was fairly certain this could be my new favourite from these guys—as it is, it remains in middling excellence.
58 / 100
On tap at the Local Taphouse 4th of July Spectapular.
Pours a gold colour, clear. Large bubbly head, cream-coloured, retaining quite well. Not bad, but I never really know when a maibock looks good. It's very pale.
Smells grainy. Loads of vanilla character on there with a touch of coconut but mostly just cereal grain. Sweet, not much edge.
Taste is grainy upfront - lots of cereal with a touch of bitter nut. Develops toffee early then lots of vanilla late-mid and maybe a slight clove note on the back. Finishes medicinal and gives kind of a headachey impression. Fair nuance to the sweetness but that's really all there is.
Decent body, noticeable alcohol. OK.
Tastes a bit boozey; could use more edge, even if just to balance out.
59 / 100
Tried on tap at the Local Taphouse in Sydney during their 2015 4th of July Spectapular.
Pours a pale golden colour, with a clear body that seems rather thin. Head is loose and formed of large bubbles, but leaves great lager-like lacing. Looks decent enough.
Nose is mildly grainy and a little dull, but with a kick of sweetness you wouldn't expect in any other pale lager. Slight floury tone drags it down a bit, but it's not awful all up.
Taste is light and clean on the front, with a powerful vanguard of lagery cleanness. This is undermined as time goes on, with a slight thick sweetness that leaves an aftertaste of residual booze (even though it only clocks in at 6.8%), and a mild dirty flour note. It's ok, but only ok.
Feel remains quite pleasant and clean, however, which is certainly a boon.
Overall, it does drag itself back a little into the realm of respectability. But there's enough here that's slightly too much that I don't find myself really wanting to drink a lot of it. A taster was enough—I genuinely think I might struggle if I were to have a full glass of this.
57 / 100
A "traditional" bock, they say, albeit one with hemp added to the mashing water. Brewed for GABS 2014, where I tried it on tap.
Pours a solid, reddish-amber hue with a solid body. Fairly clear in terms of haze. Head forms a very fine ring of yellow-white that leaves a little lace. Looks pretty good all up.
Nose is toasty and slightly organic. Nice seedy aromatics give a toasty spicy hint laced with a robust malt presence. There may indeed be a hint of hemp there giving it a fragrant nuttiness. It's certainly interesting.
Light entry on the palate with a little volatile fragrance. The middle has a little acidity to it, although that may just come from the darker malts combined with a fairly light body. Finish is fairly light and clean, but again it lets the acidity through which isn't really what you want. Feel is light but supple.
The hemp is an unusual addition, although it doesn't really drive this beer. Unfortunately the base bock is a little lacklustre, meaning that it ends up seeming a lot less interesting than it should be.
Tried on-tap at Mostodolce in Firenze. They listed this as a "bock" with an ABV of 6.4%.
Pours a reddish amber colour with a solid, glistening body riddled with haze. Weight is decent. Head forms an off-white cask-like crest, but settles out to a middling foam that leaves patches of lace. Carbonation is either absent or not visible. Looks pretty decent though.
Nose is unfortunately pretty weak. A little caramel and perhaps a little roasted note—more like something burnt in the far distance perhaps. Some smooth grainy characters come through a little as it warms, but it's all still very faint—there's not much going on.
Light grainy entry on the palate with a touch of cereal. This all improves quickly though, with a solid caramel mid=palate matched with a pleasant savoury ash character. Plenty of malt through to the finish, which is smooth and long, with some lingering roast in the aftertaste.
Feel is very smooth, something they really get right here it seems at Mostodolce.
Overall: pretty drinkable, pretty solid. I think their pils was both a better beer and a better example of the style, but this was another solid offering, and made me believe there are good things going on in that dodgy hole of a brewpub.
57 / 100
330ml bottle purchased from Leura Cellars.
Pours a relatively clear dark brown hue, with a minimal ring of off-white lace that at least stays fairly persistently. Minimal lace. Body is light, as it should be. Carbonation is quite fine even so. Looks pretty decent.
Nose unfortunately shows a very distinct acetic character, which diminishes the other characters. It's a shame because the other characters do come through, and they're quite pleasant: chocolate base, some smoky chilli characters giving a slight peppery overtone in my sinuses. If the vinegar character weren't so prominent, it would be extremely pleasant.
Taste still has a touch of the acetic character, but not nearly as much as the aroma, fortunately. Instead, there's a dry chocolate note, and some sweetness in the mid-palate that suggests marshmallow to me. The chilli comes through on the back, but only as a slight peppery note that dances in the back of my tongue. I like it fine.
Feel is surprisingly full, emphasised by the slight tingle from the chilli.
Overall, yeah, this is decent enough—the chipotle doesn't come through enough. The only suggestion of the dry-chilli character is in the heat which builds up on the palate, and some of that bigger smoky character on the nose would be great. It's a shame, because this has bucketloads of potential: Jake, Josh and Karl, please brew this again. It's going to be magnificent.
73 / 100
Called on the menu a Bock brewed with rye. Tried at Redoak on tap around late September 2013.
Pours a rich dark red colour, decent head maybe poured a bit too much. Head has a beige colour, nice density and good retention. Head is great; beer looks great but I feel the pour is a bit too generous with head. Not the beer's fault of course.
Smell delivers what's promised. Rye malt with light earthy spice and a touch of roast. Bit of German dry yeast and a distinct peach note late. Smells pretty enticing.
Taste is similar. Lots of that dry, spicy rye that quite dominates the palate. Biscuity, slightly roasty with pepper and capsicum. Develops fruity notes late that's more in line with my previous bock experience but somehow taste like flaws here. Sweet peach, banana, bit of brown sugar. Palate starts nicer than it finishes. This is not just a comment on how much I love rye; it has to do with how appropriate it is to mix rye in with this style. Face it, rye works better in ales, when it's cleaned up in a lager it's not unpleasant but it feels a bit messy. This is still a nice beer but when will Redoak do a roggenbier? Thats all I'm thinking. after sipping this.
Decent body, bit of texture, actually quite creamy as it goes down, if not for that slight carbonation sizzle.
I really enjoy this beer and I find it a bit at odds with Redoak's sort of "we know and make the best possible of every style" kind of arrogance that tends to characterise their stuff. This beer feels like the sort of experimental beer a new, funky startup would make. And it's mostly very tasty, and very drinkable. So... It does make me like Redoak a little bit more.
A collaboration between Hargreaves Hill in the Yarra Valley, and Bodebrown from Curitiba in Brazil. This was a bock that was then "hop-filtered" through Galaxy and Summer hops. Tried on-tap at the Royal Albert Hotel in Surry Hills.
Pours a solid, reddish amber hue, with a slight hazing, but not a lot. Body is decently weighted. Head is a frothy yellowish off-white and it forms a big crest that leaves sheeting lacing. Looks pretty good.
Nose doesn't have much going for it, despite the Lupolado of its name. There's a bit of chunky caramel and just a suggestion of rustic, earthy hops that give a slightly metallic twang. But there's not much else, and it's not particularly potent.
Taste is a bit better. More of that solid malty caramel character coming through with an organic uptilt like banana leaf. Full malt through the centre of the palate and more of that earthy, slightly herbal hop tone. Finishes with a touch of burnt caramel that lingers as a savoury sweetness.
Feel is pleasantly full and rounded.
Overall, it feels robust, but without a huge amount of flavour to it. It's decent enough, but it didn't really excite me either.
56 / 100
On tap at Vices & Versa.
Burnished amber colour, clear, with steady bead. Head is off-white, just a rim. Bit strong-looking, but OK.
Smells malty, sweet. Brown sugar, molasses with a touch of diacetyl. Maybe underattenuated as well. Bit simple, not a lot of nuance to it.
Tastes milky, creamy, lots of toffee with creme Anglaise and orange peel. Quite peppery on the back, kiss of booze and a bit of Grand Marnier.
Fluid, seems a little warm but nice crisp backing up.
Not a bad bock, I guess, but I have had more interesting heavier beers.
69 / 100
500ml bottle given to me by my brewing lecturer, nice guy that he is. Shared with Sam.
Pours a solid deep brown, quite consistent throughout its length, and genuinely brown. Head forms a full frothy crown of silky pale brown that stays around quite persistently. Nice fine carbonation and fine lacing around the edge. The body looks a little lighter than I expected, but otherwise it's a very nice looking beer.
Nose is sweet and chocolatey, with a slight spicy character that says "cinnamon" more than "chilli" to me. Indeed, it smells like churros dipping sauce. There's a light peppery character to it as well. It's quite pleasant, without being particularly big or complex.
Taste is a bit flat, but has some interest to it at least. There's certainly a persistent flat cocoa character throughout the beer, with a musty Mexican chocolate molé flavour. Some sharpness on the back suggests a hint of the booze, but the beer itself is a little flat and a little thin. The sweetness is omnipresent, but muted, meaning that it never really coats the tongue, or expresses everything I feel it has to express.
Feel is pretty good. Smooth but soft, with a lightness that stops it from being too heavy.
Despite this pleasant lightness, I feel like the beer could be richer and more exciting overall. It's still pretty solid, but it doesn't really run with the potential it shows. It could use more of something: chilli, chocolate, goat? Whatever it needs, bring it in the next iteration please.
81 / 100
Bottle purchased from Plonk in Canberra, when I thought 3 Ravens were going out of business. Perhaps the fact that I didn't buy it *before* I thought they were going out of business means I'm part of the problem.
Pours a pleasant deep red-amber hue, with a fine, but persistent head of dusty beige. Lacing is patchy but streaking. Body looks nicely solid. Carbonation is fine. All of these things add up to a good-looking beer.
Nose is pleasant, but oddly dichotomous. Big sweet estery banana characters form one half, while a most definite smoky, slightly roasted tone forms the other. Under this is a slinky, dark earthy tone, that gives a basis, but doesn't ever get in the way of the fight for supremacy. Who wins? Maybe the palate will reveal.
Taste is certainly laced with smoke, and the banana characters sit back a little, perhaps showing submission. Deep dark, slightly bitter roasted characters get to drive through the centre of the palate, leaving a direct trail in their path: a sharp vector of roasted crispness. They don't provide depth and sweetness, and that's a good thing in a bock: this is still a lager true to its roots. The fragrance from the banana is still noticeable on the back, providing a dancing counterpoint, but never detracting from the solidity of the beer and its genesis. Yes, yes, yes. This is a very good palate for a Bock.
Feel is light, but structured, providing enough basis for the beer, but not pushing its own agenda.
Overall, magnificent stuff from 3 Ravens. I always like the solidity of their beers, but this is the first time I think they've actually made me effusive in my praise.
Had on-tap at the brewery in Seattle.
Pours a deep brown hue with a clear, firm body. Head is off-white, forming a solid ring on the beer, and leaving, intricate, delicate lace. Small-bubbled carbonation rounds out a very pleasant picture.
Nose is deep and roasty, with sharper notes of copper and a hint of acid coming through. Mostly, it's rounded by a smooth malt character, though. It's decent, overall.
Mild smooth entry, with a hint of caramel, before the deeper, grainier notes of roastedness come through. Back palate is somewhat metallic with a hint of phenols, but even this is rather mild. Very smooth finish with almost no aftertaste.
Feel is clean and smooth and good.
Overall, it's very smooth and drinkable, but it could stand to ramp up some of those more interesting but submissive characters and make the beer more aggressive as a whole.
78 / 100
Single purchased from Whole Foods, Soma, San Francisco.
Delicious-looking thick body, a warm rich red-brown colour, with a solid head of yellowish foaming bubbled, that settles to a decent film. Lacing is sheeting and full. Looks really great.
Nose is also very tasty. Lovely deep malt sweetness, with a touch of dried, candied fruit giving some brightness to the aroma. There's a bit of astringency to it as well that doesn't work so well, but it's almost (almost) a leafy fragrance rather than a biting chemical noteâit's somewhat reminiscent of German hops. Maybe it's forgivable.
Taste is also extremely solid. Body is clean and light and suitable, leading with a clean grain character that morphs into a pleasant roasted malt on the back, lending bitterness, but staying clean and direct. It's bold, but refreshingly refreshing for a dark beer, if you'll forgive the expression.
It's stylistically good, while being perfectly appropriate for the surroundings. Great stuff, Anchor.
Pours an unusual burnt orange colour, quite metallic with palour at the edge. HEad is off-white and largely whispy, with a thin ring of lace left. I enjoy the colour but otherwise a bit meh.
Smell is English hoppy. Bit of chewy grain aroma but largely grassy and herbal. Touch of cherry medicine and some cooked grain. Bit lacklustre and not hugely appealing, sadly.
Taste is a big pile of nothing. Slight ale ester upfront that descends down into grainy mid-palate with bitty sense of grain bread, then finishes with a mild, almost negligible hop finish which is just a tepid spice note, again quite English with a touch of black tea and some copper. Very bland, and has a kind of boiled sense to it, like all the flavours have been completely soaked out of it. Meh.
Fairly watery, yeah goes down like a 70-year-old virgin.
Could quaff this, but would rather, you know, drink something good?
Purchased at the orders of @LaitueGonflable, who'd never tried a beer from Texas, and knew that this beer existed. So be it.
Pours a pleasant deep amber colour, quite clear, with a small, but fine-bubbled head of white. Very light body, especially for a bock (although, probably not for a bock weighing it below 5% ABV), although it hold carbonation quite firmly, making it seem bigger than it is. Some patchy lacing when it's tilted. Not bad, but not great.
Nose is grainy with adjuncts, giving a cornmeal and unprocessed wholegrain character, with a sweetness that speaks of faux vanilla essence. Slight sharpness on it as well, partially from the carbonation, partially from maybe something elseâit lingers, suggesting some kind of volatile from hops or grain.
Taste is exceptionally weak and bland, almost excruciatingly so. Slight corn characters on the back, and another tingle of that vague volatile character, but nothing else whatsoever. It's tastelessâoffensively so.
Extremely bland, and extremely pointless. It's barely above the watery nothingness of an American adjunct lager. Bock?? Yeah, just fuck the hell off.
69 / 100
Pours a clear but vibrant red colour; lighter than I expected. Head is very generous but also nice and dense, quite fluffy on the top with good retention. Lacing is quite thick; not bad.
Smells fairly boozey and slightly vinous. Malty base with English toffee but a good sour bent from lagering giving black cherry, merlot and some cedar wood. A tad simple but stylistically fine.
Taste is fairly tangy upfront with unripe apple mixing with those vinous booze notes and cherry hints, some carbolic flavours mixing with noticeable carbonation on the front that is then placated and mollified by complementary roasty malt that dominates the back. Quite chocolatey, hint of spearmint and sultanas but mostly just a lingering Belgian chocolate flavour.
Really quite a pleasant bock as it finishes up, good warming notes and fairly well restrained. Bit too phenolic for everyday drinking but enjoyable enough for a slow sipper.
77 / 100
Not quite sure what to do with style for this one - website informs me it's 4.8% but it's called a Bock everywhere. Really wouldn't call that Bock-strength but whatever. Tried this on tap at the Sail & Anchor.
Pours a dark cola colour, quite noticeably brown with pale beige head, dense and great retention. Yeah, nice.
Smell is decent. Darkish, with light-roasted coffee bean, touch of walnut and some dark berry notes also. Sweet but nutty enough to not be saccharine. Touch of spice as well; very nice.
Taste is roasty, fairly malty. Hit of toasted grain upfront that sweetens up with a touch of molasses before mid which is roasty bitter, with some lightly roasted espresso, hint of tobacco and some bitter chocolate. There's a lightness to the finish that indicates the lager behind the roast here, but otherwise I could easily be fooled into thinking I'm drinking a porter. Nice, though.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but actually pleasant. Smooth.
Not sure about this stylistically but it's a nice drop and that's worth a few points.
I found it interesting that when looking for local beer in Jerusalem, the beer stores would point out Taybeh and say "This is brewed in... this is brewed locally". Heh.
This one pours disappointingly. Above a clear mahogany red-brown body, a tan head fizzed up like coly bubbles and disappears as rapidly, leaving it completely devoid of head for the remainder. Needless to say, no lacing either. Indeed, it looks a very insipid effort. Hopefully, the rest will account for it.
Nose is pleasantly dark and roasted, with some toasty dark grain characters giving way to a slight mild acidity and a touch of Belgian spice. There's certainly something of the roundness and sweetness of the Belgians to my mind, and the grain cahracters just give it some extra depth. Nice.
Taste is similar, although the acidity is missing, so this may have been the effect of something else on the nose. At least I know it's not infected. Here, dark grain, subtle spice, mild sweetness and a crisp dry espresso character on the finish melt this into something very decent and relatively layered. Feel is lacking in body, unfortunately.
Yeah, this is a nice brew, with a few glaring flaws. But the basic elements are good, and this is certainly something that's worth trying. Another surprisingly good beer from Taybeh, proving against reason that Palestine, with all its hurdles can produce good beer.
(And, amazingly, maybe living up to their claim to brew the "finest in the Middle East")
58 / 100
Had on tap at the brewery 09/07/11.
Pours a chocolatey brown colour with nice glint up to the light. Head is beige, I guess, hanging around nicely and pleasantly dense. Decent lace. Looks good.
Not a lot on the nose to be honest. Bit of chocolate grain, some yeasty notes. Some nutty aroma, but I feel like it's a bit overattenuated, with not a lot added late for aroma.
Taste is not a huge deal better. Sweet grain upfront that dissipates to leave a quite mild front palate; develops more flavour on the mid with chocolate grain giving mild cocoa and roasty hints. Late-mid gets a bit sour where one feels that the flavour isn't quite full enough, so it becomes this weak roasty flavour. Finishes well though, with a clean crisp cutoff of the fairly sweet dark flavours, to remind one it's a lager. I've had some unpleasant bocks, and this is not one of them - although this is largely due to the fact that this isn't a very impressive one.
Bit of texture and nice body. Could tone down the carbonation a bit, but it's nice and full.
I feel that, as a bock, this could definitely be bigger and bolder, but as a beer it's OK.
70 / 100
Pours a shiny golden colour with decent bubbly head, off-white in colour and dispersing to form unrelated clouds of foam on top and small snail trails of lace. Slow bead, bit of translucency; looks alright.
Smell is very smokey and woody. Slight meatiness at the back, but a metallic aroma takes front stage, with slight vanilla tinge and grain with smoke backing up. Intriguing, but can't say I love it.
Taste is also quite smoked up, with a big meaty whiff but still fairly woody throughout. Touches of sweeter caramel underneath with vanilla and some cedar wood as well. Smoke is dominant, without being too strong. Provides an intriguing smokey flavour late mid that will dominate conversation. By leaving it until late, it allows you to build anticipation as you know it's coming. Not bad at all.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin at first, but develops decent body at the end and ends very smooth.
Leaves a bit of sourness lingering which is unfortunate, but overall a decent job of a fairly difficult styled beer.
76 / 100
Nice to find at Platinum Liquor in Bellevue Hill. Shared with @tobeerornottobe and @LaitueGonflable
Pours a surprisingly light coloured golden hue, with a fine-bubbled and properly frothed head of yellowish white. Really pleasantly thick body, which swirls beautifully to leave tiny bubbles throughout. Certainly more of a Maibock look to it, but it's also smoked, apparently, so who knows what's going on?
Nose is grainy and soft, but with a lingering waft of smokiness to it. The smoke is very subtle, but it adds a giddy emphasis to the aroma of the beer as a whole, which has some nice German influenced grain and husk to it.
Taste is certainly smoked, and here, the husky and almost charcoal note gives it the odd character of seeming a lot darker than it is. Finish is light and rather crisp, tapering off and leaving little more than the lingering smoke trails. Otherwise, it's a light but robust bock. If the smoke were a little stronger, it would remind me of the Schlenkerla Urbock--it certainly has a similar tapering finish.
Feel is quite light, but suitable for the style, and it emphasises the drying character of the smoke.
Yeah, a nice strong Rauch/Bock. Certainly taking German influences to heart, and giving a damn good instrumentation of those influences.
70 / 100
Pours a deep dark red-black, with some clarity. Like crushed dark raspberry juice. Head is a very fine and compact mass of beige bubbles. Lacing is good, although the body looks a little thin. Overall though, it's a fine looking beer.
Masses of sweet malt and molasses on the nose. Huge gobs of melting caramel, brown sugar and raisins. It's exceptionally sweet, and quite robust. I do enjoy the depth of character, even if it's only one character.
Quite a smooth palate, very rich, but again, overwhelmingly sweet. I was looking for a slightly drier character in the mouth to clean it up, but it's still syrupy and thick, full of malt sweetness. There is a slightly darker roasted character, and a faint noble hop bitterness on the back, but it's not enough to deal with the big full flavours. It comes across as imbalanced, but there's no denying it's a robust bock.
Pretty decent overall. Good characters, and lots of flavour. I find it better than the average Redoak attempt, and although it's not a particularly true to style one. I'll have it again though.
On tap at the Local.
Pours a very clear dark reddish bronze. Very filmy head of ochre foam. I'm surprised at the clarity, and a little disappointed at the head. I'm not terribly impressed overall.
Yeah, there is chocolate on the nose if you look for it. A musty sweetness, quite raw, with a bit of malt to back it up. Quite subdued really, not very in your face. I think the serving temp is good, because it doesn't have a really thick body to warrant a warmer serving temperature, but it does lose some of the aromas as a result.
Taste is much better. A noticeable and very pleasant chocolate sweetness, which is folded in with the malt to produce a slightly drier hazelnut character. Smooth, but with a crisp finish to clean up the otherwise rather sweet palate, I think the lager yeast is a good choice here.
Very drinkable with a good amount of character. Not overdone with sweetness - just very nicely balanced. Jamieson has another subtle winner here for me.
49 / 100
Pours a ruby red colour with a clear appearance. Slow bead, fairly minimal carbs really. Head is modest thin beige crown, lacing is pretty alright. Looks great for a bock, but still just 'good'.
Nose is incredibly sweet, toffee and sugar paste with a big diacetyl whiff. Bit of mustiness on there, but very sweet, like an LCM's bar. Maybe a hint of chocolate? But not a lot, just smells overly sweet.
Taste is a bit better, because there is a strong, quite phenolic alcohol bite on it, but yeah still sweet, a lot of that toffee and a nutty nougat kind of edge. Aspects of a buttery goodness, kind of cakey really, and just a bit of liqueur. Taste is alright but very strong and leaves a peanut brittle kind of sweetness lingering. A bitter or a burnt aftertaste is okay, but sweet is just not good. Tolerable but not great.
Mouthfeel is quite slick, has a good texture from the booziness, goes down pretty well.
Actually though this is a bit of a struggle to get through. Very strong and sweet. Bit intense for me I think, although the characters on their own are OK, just too much.
Tried at Paddy's Brewers Market Festival 09.
Pours a deep russet copper, with a filmy, but sticky head of off-white lace. Lacing is very good, sliding in great gobs around the edge of the glass. Excellent clarity. Looks very good indeed.
Some light roasted grain notes on the nose. A bit weak overall, some sweetness, but little else.
Taste is much better. A good burst of roasted malt, verging on slightly smoky, with a drying bitterness at the back. Tastes darker than it looks. Finish is slightly phenolic, with a vaguely acetone character, but it's forgiveable. Mouthfeel is smooth, but a little thin.
A pretty decent little brew. Plenty of roasty characters, and a cleansing bitterness to go along with it. Overall, it's a drinkable drop.
38 / 100
Pours a brown cola colour, steady carbonation that seems to disappear, no head. In fact, scrap 'colour' from that first phrase, pours a brown cola. Does create a little touch of lacing, but nothing to marry the Queen over.
Little bit of a nasty compost smell with a sweet element, bit of vanilla maybe and a slight touch of sour fruit on the back. A bit subdued, some nice elements but not great.
Has a bit of a grape character on the front palate with a hint of chocolate, but palate is quite watery for the most part. Nice rich finish but again a bit weak, doesn't save an otherwise flat affair. Mouthfeel is decent but average in fullness.
Probably may have been stored beyond its shelf life, has a hint of the right flavours, I'm just not feeling it.
Dark amber body, with good clarity. Almost no head, a tiny rim of almost non-existant film. Tiny bubbling carbonation around the rim. Not very impressed.
Light malty sweetness on the nose. Hints of banana what notes, a bit of burnt or charred malt. Not all that bad, although it's a bit of a hodgepodge.
Pretty thin palate, a light malt sweetnes that dissipates slightly to a thin dark grain character. Light bitterness on the back palate, but not a lot. It's pretty thin throughout - the feel is particularly weak.
Drinkable enough, but not particularly good. Unfortunately, just too thin, and not very interesting.
71 / 100
Deep, dark brown with hints of ruby. A light brown, filmy head that dissipates quickly. Looks rich, thick and oily.
Very rich red wine, brandy and dry dark chocolate aromas. Very rich, but quite understated. The aromas don't overpower, but are noticable and robust.
Tastes like a very powerful light lager. A strange way to put it, but that's what it feels like. The initial flavours are of light hops and malt, but the palate levels out to flavours of rich coffee. It's a really interesting beer this one.
A marvel. It's most certainly an interesting beer. Something to try but not necessarily something I'll seek out.