70 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchased for me by Sam.
Pours a deep golden, almost-amber colour, with a fine, but flimsy head of off-white that peters out to very fine ring and little else. Carbonation is powdery, static and fine. Body is slick, but fine as well. Looks decent.
Nose is soft and sweet. It's not as immediately boozy as you think it might be. There's some seedy spice aroma from the aquavit, giving a semi-savoury character of caraway which connects to the caramel sweetness from the malt. It's pleasant.
Taste isn't perhaps as complex as it might be, but it's pleasantly balanced. The front starts with some sweet, caramel characters, again connected to the spice, which gives notes of toasted sesame and cinnamon. The back is a bit flat, to be honest, and it lets the palate just whimper away. It also allows the first touch of booze to raise its head, and it adds a touch of harshness in the finish.
Overall, it's pretty decent. It has a nice balance to it, and up until the end, the booze is well hidden. It probably needs more genuine complexity to warrant the ABV, but the fact that it's not overly harsh or hot means that it earns something of a reprieve. Decent enough all up.
Wheatwine brewed for GABS 2017. Don't think there's any twist or adjunct to it, just a wheatwine. I respect that. Tried at the festival on tap.
Pours an amber colour, slight haze to it. Beige, large bubbly head with a decent retention to it. Looks alright.
Smells nice; sweet and malty with a chestnut kind of character and plenty of vanilla notes as well. Apple and passionfruit give a slight tang and a good freshness to an otherwise sweet aroma.
Big sweetness on the palate. Vanilla and caramel and a slight cake batter sweetness as well. Continues and develops some richness towards the back but no real cleaning up so the sweetness lingers. There is an attempt with some hopping but it just takes on an apple by-product kind of character. Maybe adds a slight freshness and tang but it's ultimately an unbalanced malt bomb. Not a bad one but it is one.
Full body, slight kiss of alcohol warmth. Decent texture really, what I'd expect from the style at least.
Not a bad wheatwine at all. It's inevitably a bit too sweet and it doesn't excite me in either its explosive power or its balance and restraint as it has neither of these things, but there's a fair bit to enjoy in this.
22oz brown bomber purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA.
Pours a dull brozned golden colour, with some mild hazing. Head is a gauze of white that leaves good lace. Carbonation is very fine, and slow-moving through the body, which looks lighter than expected. But the carbonation helps mast that. Looks pretty decent.
Nose is surprisingly dead. There's a weak, kind of sweet bready character to it, but otherwise there's almost nothing. Just because I know there's strawberries in it, I'm like maybe it's a kind of leafy strawberry note to it. But really, it's not much of anything.
Taste is similar. In fact, it's slightly worse, because it has this pronounced cloying character from start to finish, that adds heat and unpleasantness to the blandness. Still, somehow that bland bread-dough character finds a way to make its presence felt, along with a weird sweet-and-sour fruit character that is really out of place in a beer like this.
Feel is hot and surprisingly thin, despite the apparent weight to the body.
This is a mess, and I feel like I've now given Dust Bowl more than a fair chance. I've had three of their beers and not one has been even drinkable. So I'm now pretty happy to give them a wide berth. I honestly suggest that you do the same, reader.
44 / 100
Tried on-tap at Über Tavern in Seattle.
Pours a pretty clear amber hue with a thick and pretty steady off-white head. Minimal lace, but what forms forms in decent streaks. Body is heavy but moves swiftly, leaving trails of travelling carbonation. Looks decent.
Nose is weird. It's buttery and quite sharp, giving a character like roast beef drippings. There's a pickled orange character that comes through as well, possibly the combination of the yeast with too much wheat.
Flavour is similar, and it becomes stretched and thin due to the huge amount of booze in it. It makes it long, without the complexity to warrant it. It tastes savoury, slightly spicy and a bit too hot. I'm very much not a fan. Feel is thin and hot.
Overall, this doesn't work. If you're going to be big, you need to warrant it. This is hot, but unpleasant in many ways. It's just a mess when it comes down to it.
72 / 100
Pours a bright yellowy orange. Head is white, quite dense, with lovely thick lacing. Looks nice.
Smells oaky, mostly. Sweet, malty, with a touch of some resinous hops, but mostly just buttery, chardonnay-style oak - notes of vanilla and coconut and currants, as well. Sweet, nutty, slightly tannic, in a good way. Certainly interesting, and appealing.
Taste is also massively oaky, lots of character to it. Caramel malt upfront that gets quite woody, piney with some resinous, even grassy, notes, touch of medicinal character, before strong oaky notes with vanilla, plummy character, coconut and fig jam. Rich, robust flavour, quite sweet and somewhat medicinal, which is a shame, as the robustness could be hugely pleasing otherwise. Still very interesting and pleasant, though.
Bit of harsh booze on the back, dries it up completely. Slight harshness, really, although body overall is nice.
Very nice oak-heavy beer, but I feel like the base beer is swamped by the oak.
750ml brown bottle purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA. Brought back to Sydney where I cracked it open with the Jabberwock brewing crew during a brewday.
Pours a very hazy, very pale white-golden colour, with a fine but fairly persistent head of pure white that sticks as a slick film to the top of the glass. Decent fine streaks of lace. Carbonation is very fine, but a little more rapid than I expected. Overall, it looks quite good.
Nose is a little odd. There's some noticeable oaky wood characters giving it a smoothness all over, but this is countermanded somewhat by a slightly acidic quality perhaps from the high proportion of wheat. It gives it almost the quality of a wood-aged cider. Oaky, but a little tart and with a few medicinal overtones. It's not bad, it's just a bit odd.
Taste is actually rather similar. There's all of the big sweet, oaky characters, almost lending a slightly tannic organic quality to the front. But then the back is really quite light, leaving a vaguely vinous quality, but without the tightness, the feel, or even really much in the way of real acidity. Instead, we get that vaguely medicinal quality towards the back, a little like a very dry oaky chardonnay. Feel is very light apart from the tannic astringency, which I'll admit is an interesting character.
Overall, it's decent, but not much beyond that. It's a beer that I really feel doesn't appreciate the wood, and yet the oak character is the defining character to the brew, and the only thing that really gives it much flavour.
71 / 100
(This is a very old review I'm only just entering, I haven't hung onto this beer for two years)
Pours a coppery red colour, thins out at the edge. Head is massively generous, ballooning up to the top of the glass, in what is really pleasant consistency. Leave gorgeous, jaundiced lace behind. Too much head, but seriously, looks a treat.
Smells pleasantly floral. Lots of hop on there, giving light, pleasant tropical aromas - pine-lime mostly, with some other citrus, cake battery malt. Some woody resin, rosewater maybe too? Yes, very light and pleasant.
Taste is oddly sweet, with a lot of light vanilla-coated malt throughout and hint of rye spice. Develops some floral notes on the mid-palate, a touch of resin and maybe some citrus - then the hops pretty much go away and we're left with sweetness. Slight lychee tanginess on the back adds some depth, but it's quite disappointingly sweet overall. Kind of tastes like an experiment in late hopping - no bittering hops, just the tangy aroma and early flavour hops. But I would also say it's evidence in favour of early hopping.
Full but fluid, with the right amount of drying. Very nice texture.
I wish I liked this more, but there's a real saccharine quality to it, and I just wish it would man up.
Bottle purchased from Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.
Pours a flat, hazed orange-gold colour, with almost no discernible head. There's a touch of bubbles in a tiny ring around the edge, but only when it's tilted. Looks really underwhelming.
Nose is quite incredibly funky and sour, and not in a good way. Slight earthy rawness, an overt lemonade-like sweetness, and really, what feels like infected homebrew. Weird.
Taste is similar. There's definitely a funk to thisâreally it feels unintentionally infected. Direct, earthy, slightly dirty acidity, along with a gritty bitterness on the finish and an undertone of lemongrass, unwashed roots and all. Feel is sliced with the acidity, and oddly carbonated, given how flat it looks.
Overall, this is terrible. Reallyânot a chance was this intended to be this sour. It's not an intentional acidity, and it pings off the lemongrass unpleasantly, as well as obscuring the flavour itself. Way, way off.
Pours a vibrant red colour, slight amber tinge. Head is white, quite sparse lacing with just a cloud on the top. Lace is unimpressive. Colour's nice, but beer is not quite so impressive in general.
Smell is lovely, malty and nutty, with a touch of chestnut, macadamia and honey, with some mild fresh hop notes - just some earthy citrus character to cut off the sweetness. Still, very sweet and nutty, desserty even. Clean enough.
Taste retains those sweet, nutty characters, but not to their full potential. Quite malty/sweet but gets mildly stale towards the end, with the flavour of old nuts coming through, slightly diminished. Hints of apricot, chestnut and maybe some rye spice in there but it's ultimately a little bit naff, like it doesn't quite fulfill its big potential. Decent flavours but a bit subdued.
Bit thin on the feel, but a nice kind of brassy presence late - still, quite a thin body overall.
A typical kind of US beer - some nice flavours but not quite big and impressive and idiosyncratic enough. Almost as if the flavours are thrown together without them quite knowing what to do with them.
Purchased from New Beer Distributors in New York. Brought back to Sydney and shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerandnottobe.
Pours a pleasant clear reddish amber colour, with a pocked and inconsistent head of pure white. Body is quite thick and heavy, but the carbonation scapes from it with relative ease. Overall, a decent, but not exceptional looking brew.
Nose is pleasantly sweet and spiked with an interesting grassy hoppiness that leavens and skewers the aroma. There are some spicy estery characters as well, giving a sense of tropical sharpness. It's like it's coming to that spicy, fresh and bright aroma from two different angles: the hops and the yeast. It's really quite fascinating.
Really exceptionally disappointing on the palate, however, with a light, mild wheaty porridge character forming the basis, with some hints of spice trying vainly to spark it up. Rather flat and unappealing overal, which is a real shame.
Feel is actually very light, but lengthened and stretched by that adhesive grain starch character, which seems to hold on to the palate for longer than it's welcome.
Eh. It's ok, but it really needs some sort of purpose, and it doesn't have it. It makes me wonder why I'm drinking it, and that's never a really good sign.
78 / 100
Ah, buckwheat, what an interesting and challenging grain. I've really not been a fan of the soba ales I've had, but let's see what unleashing insane breweries and criminal amounts of hops on it can do.
Pours a very pleasant burnished red-amber colour, with a phenomenal head of off-white, that leaves cracking and crackling fine intricate lacing. Body actually looks oddly thing, and doesn't support a great deal of fine carbonation (although the carbonation is fine). I love the colour, and the volume of the head. Pretty good, all up.
Nose is fresh with bright hops, giving a fragrant rubbed lemon character mingled with pleasant green organics. Some classic American-hop pine notes coming through as well. There's not a lot else, but the hops are really pleasantly integrated, and they enliven and excite the senses.
Taste is light on malt, and big on fragrant hop bitterness, coming across very much like a Double IPA. There's a really clear, clean character to the palate, which allows the hops to shine through, while still supporting them. Bitterness grows on the finish the more you drink, leaving a pleasant if challenging crufty aftertaste. Feel is smooth but still light, again providing weight, but allowing the hops to shine though.
Buckwheat? Well, there's not much to it from the malt side of things one way or the other, and certainly the subtle character of ãã° is lost. But it's a good beer even then. It just makes me wonder how this should stand out from the others in the series.
Pours a burnished, quite red amber, with mild haze. Head is dissipated to a ring of white bubbles. Lace is clingy though, and saves it from oblivion.
Smells intriguing. Quite sweet with a nutty edge, kind of savoury with a biscuity note. Hint of wet grain and maybe a touch of melon as well. Not amazing, but certainly pleasant.
Vanilla on the front, quite massively. Develops fairly sweet mid-palate with caramel and lactose notes, then descends into the finish which has characteristic fruit ester notes - more melon with some tangerine, strong vanilla and other fruit notes I can't quite pick. Not bad, but again it doesn't quite connect with me; I'd like more grounding maybe.
Fairly smooth, really. Quite a big body, bit boozey and dry towards the back. Bit sharp but otherwise good.
Yeah, look, at some point I want to give this a 4, because even though it's not quite wowing me on any specific part, I think it's quite a nice drop. Let's call this a 4 for effort overall.
Bottle purchased in New York early in the year and brought back to Sydney to share with @LaitueGonflable.
Pours a hazed orange golden colour, with a fine and reasonably persistent head of film. Some bubbly lace that only forms where it's tilted. Body is pleasantly thick, and holds carbonation nicely. Not a bad look all up.
Nose is sweet and sharp, but a little one-dimensional. Sugary booze notes give wafts of rum, along with a hint of spice that's perhaps more like astringents than real spice. It comes off a bit thin, a little muddled and not particularly exciting, to be honest.
Taste is similar or worse, with a sharp boozy astringency taking up the prominence of the flavour. Very much like bad Australian rum. Slight tannins on the back, with only a hint of the sweetness suggested by the palate. Feel ends up harsh and slightly brutal.
This suffered severely by being put directly after J.W.Lees' Harvest Ale. It's like a pale imitation of that, without the sophistication, the craft or the depth. It comes across as purely boozy, with little complexity to keep it from being offensive.
79 / 100
I purchased this on my last trip to the US, and carried it back to Australia in my luggage to share with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe, but it smashed in transit. As a result, it is a beer I've been looking forward to trying.
Pours a heavy and thick deep amber-gold colour, with a fine bubbled film of yellowish-white head. It is especially golden on the pour, where it looked a little as though it was artificially coloured. Some lacing, but minimal. Body is very thick, however, with some phenomenally still bubbling as the glass is tilted. It's as though the bubbles can't muster the energy to push their way to the surface. Very good look indeed.
Nose is incredibly sweet, with big honey and toffeed sugar characters, soaked raisins, even a whiff of port. Slight grainy and light bread yeast character coming through as well. Very sweet and rich. I'd enjoy seeing a few more genuine wheat characters coming through, but it's pretty good as it stands, a very robust, strong and sweet nose.
Very smooth on the palate, with big sweetness coming through languidly, giving off golden syrup characters, molasses and hint of fine port, welling with a faintly smoky booziness through to the end. There is indeed a hint of the alcohol (how could there not be, at 9.2%?) but it integrated really nicely with the rich and sweet characters throughout. Feel is excellent: a silky but chewy experience which accentuates the depth on the palate.
A very good wheatwine, and one which accentuates the heavy and sweet characters of a high-gravity brew well. It does feel as though it's separating itself from a barleywine, through a slightly lighter flavour profile, and a lighter bitterness, and while there's minimal wheat on the palate, it still feels as though it's a true example of the style.
Heavy and sweet, but very delectable. Recommended.
46 / 100
Pours a slightly hazy burnished amber colour. Head is thin, but retaining a decent film of off-white bubbles. Very slow, light carbonation. Lacing is tasty, sweet and sticky. Looks good.
Smell is sour and fruity with some overripe apple and strawberry notes. Nice funkiness behind with a slight mustiness, hint of wet cellar and slight leather character. But overall just a slight fruit juicy aroma to it. Decent, but not gobsmacking.
Taste is wow, a bit...weird. Incredibly sweet and fruity but really kind of insipid, with rotting apple and pear notes. Kind of heavier boozey note on the back but not a lot. Really doesn't have much of a finish at all, just has that odd fruity sweetness on the front and a mild hint of bitterness, but nothing pronounced. Really drinks like fruit juice here, with a hint of funk but just very lacking on the finish and needs a great deal more to impress me.
Swills pretty well in the mouth with a lot of viscosity. Weird soupy texture as it goes down, like it's full of sediment but otherwise thin.
Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of sweet beers and this one is just insipid. I get that it's meant to be sweet but it needs something to balance it and clean up the palate. I really couldn't drink this in quantity. A quarter of a bottle is more than enough.
71 / 100
Pours a lightish orange colour, with an initially thick head of white, that cascades down until it's only a light film. Looks pretty heavy, and there's some pleasant static carbonation when it's swirled. Overall, looks pretty good, although the lack of head in the end is disappointing.
Nose is lightly sweet, with some whiffs of slightly funky banana esters, and a bit of brown sugar and dates. Quite sweet, and surprisingly, juicily dark. Quite pleasant though.
Taste is also quite sweet, initial big sweet melted sugar front palate, with a welling of slightly wheaty sourness coming through. Sharp finish, not quite a booziness, but not quite hoppiness either. I actually do like the fact that it contains some of the classic wheat beer characters. Feel is good.
Pretty tasty, although it's a little bit wayward, and it doesn't have the exciting depth and complexity as many another wheatwine I've had.
75 / 100
Pours a nice, slightly orange red colour, somewhat diluted in colour, with a strong, creamy but a little filmy head of off-white foam. Lacing is excellent, and I really like the thickness in the body. The carbonation is tiny and exciting, and stays static in the thick body very pleasantly. Really like it.
Lots of resiny hops on the nose. Grapefruit and pine are noticeable, along with a light seawater character that rises out of the strong, strident hop characters. There is the hint of something sweeter and stronger, but the hops are the dominant note here. It's not as piercing as the best IPA, nor as full bodied and sweet as the best barleywines, but it's still very enjoyable.
Layers and layers on the palate. It has a strong, slightly stringent citric acidity on the fore, but this is leavened by a fresh resiny hop leaf character, which is in turn swept aside by the full, strong and extremely long sweet malt character. Some tannic tobacco leaf coming through as well. Altogether it melds to a very pleasant complexity. The layers reveal themselves sequentially rather than melding particularly well, but it's very enjoyable.
A very enjoyable, and pleasantly thick beer. Although I didn't have them head-to-head, I remember enjoying the Hvedegoop more - it struck me as stronger, more robust and more complex overall. But this is still a very nice beer, full of flavour and texture.
72 / 100
Pours an orange-tinged gold colour with flecks of floaty in the glass, steady and consistent bead. Head is generous and white, medium-dense and leaving some nice trails of lace behind. Love it.
Nose is a little bit fruitier than I thought it would be. Lots of citrus on there, with lemon and tangerine prominent. Hints of passionfruit as well, and a touch of cakey malt. Actually a bit weaker than I would like, but fairly nice with good aroma blend.
Taste is a bit sour in fact, with a fair amount of fresh, if underripe, fruit, pervading. Some mild funk notes come through on the mid, providing some notes of cheese rind and leather that never overwhelms, or even really dominates, the palate, but provides a nice bitter-savoury character towards the end. Very refreshing and palatable beer, with good saison-brett kind of character (even though, yes, there's no brett in it) towards the end, but nice fresh fruitiness for the most part. Very decent.
A lot of texture, almost like it's repeating itself on my tongue, just keeps "being" something there. Potentially I think a bit over-fizzed.
Very pleasant beer. Thirst-quenchingly good for the most part and amazingly light flavour for how alcoholic it is. Slight cheese rind pong is the only drawback.
75 / 100
Pours a slightly dull orange yellow colour, with some haze, and a filmy fine head of white foam. Lacing is really excellent, surprising, given that the head itself isn't particularly impressive. Body looks lovely and thick, and swirling leaves some truly wonderful static carbonation bubbles in the edge. Nice.
Big, rich and mature wheat notes on the nose. Lots of banana phenols, spicy clove and nutmeg, with characters of butter, toffee and general sweetness. The wheat note cuts through it all though, ensuring it doesn't get too cloying. Very nice.
There's notes of boozy alcohol present on the palate, but very little harshness, and the smooth if slightly acidic wheat characters ensures that these have a firm basis otherwise. There's something slightly metallic to it as well, and these clean notes leaven what would otherwise be quite boozy and quite heavy. Mouthfeel is a little light. It could be smoother, but it has a pleasantly spritzy carbonation that sets of the slightly citric notes on the palate.
Overall, a different style of wheatwine to what I've tried. If anything this really accentuates the wheat characters in it - the phenols, the light acidity the lighter body. It doesn't create something heavy and cloying. It's particularly impressive for how alcoholic it is - it stays surprisingly light and drinkable.
86 / 100
Pours a reddish-brown ochre colour with a light but quick and fairly steady bead. Head is lightish but sinks quickly to a film of beige lace, with some gorgeous sheets around the glass. Nice hazy body, it's a cracker of a beer no doubt, if only there were more head.
Very malty and fruit on the nose, a rich treacle glazy aroma with some fresh grapes, apple and pear characters, some overcooked cookie fragrance as well, and a very nice, healthy floral hop character. Whatever this nose is, it's blossoming at just the right time, ie. when I'm smelling. Doesn't go overboard, it's just lovely.
Taste is a very strong affair. Some biscuity malty notes give way to a fairly phenolic mid, with a big kick of brandy alcohol warmth, bit of bourbon sourness to it as well. A hint of some Asian five spice on there, some peppery notes on the back, and a slightly green fruit character on the mid. Bit of a sting from the alcohol punctuates the palate well, and there is some nice baked glazed fruit on the mid, pears with a honey-like sweetness. Interesting, with a great deal of complexity, sweet and phenolic spice, I guess that's possibly a wheat kick although I don't detect a huge amount of wheat on here. A challenge to the tastebuds, but one that is wholly pleasurable as well.
Mouthfeel is slick in the mouth although quite chewy and viscous at the back, distinct alcohol kick is warming and justified by the full-on flavour. Very good, but doesn't quite reach the highs of syrupiness I expected.
A fantastic drop, one to be savoured. Doesn't go overboard at all, just powerful and complex. Deadly in its drinkability, can stack up against anything in my opinion.
85 / 100
Pours a very deep reddish brown colour, really lovely and cloudy, with a yellowish head slightly pocked with bubbles, and rather filmy all the way down. Some good lacing. Looks pretty damn tasty, and very high-end American.
Rich and sweet nose, full of malt and molasses, but with a lovely layer of tropical fruits over the top - think pineapple, raisins and lychee, with stronger more piquant notes of pine and lime. Very fragrant and hoppy. Lovely.
Rich and chewy body, very full and creamy, and without the sharp slice of razor hops I was expecting. Taste is initially slightly piquant, with pine needle freshness at the fore, but the body mellows and the palate is wonderfully long, balancing through some light fruit characters before the chewy, sweet and full finish, which is like caramelised sugar on the tongue. Mouthfeel is as heavy, slick and glutinous as anything I've yet had. Wonderful.
A very luscious, and well-named goopy beer. Packed with hop flavour, but backed up with loads of body. I would like a wheat wine to distinguish itself a little more from an American Barleywine (and even more so from a DIPA, which this one is coming close to resembling), but it can't be denied that this is a very robust and exciting brew.