Author Archives: 2hopheads

Cooper’s 2020 ‘Vintage Ale’ English Strong Ale

Rating:

“The 2020 release of our much-loved Vintage Ale had to be special to recognise the 20th brew of one of our most famous ales. The Coopers brewing team has revelled in the challenge of making an authentic Vintage Ale with that special twist we have become accustomed to. A special ‘Leabrook’ barley from the Adelaide Hills was chosen to create the Pale malt for this brew and, when combined with crystal and wheat malt, provides a smooth mouthfeel and a fine creamy head.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Kinda muddy light brown with toffee highlights. It manages a short beige head which slowly peels off. Nice wavy lace clings to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: A proper malt bomb but that’s exactly what we were expecting. The fact that it’s still pretty green means it’s displaying a fair bit of earthy and floral hop but the lovely nutty, toasty and toffee-laden malts take centre stage. The classic Cooper’s yeast in all of its estery glory plays a big part too. Solid!

Flavour: It’s definitely a bit more bitter than we expected… probably due to its freshness again but the earthy, floral and grassy hops certainly provide a heady dryness that counteracts the toasty malts. Burnt toffee, cocoa, carob and toast finish with a nice dry grassiness in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and well rounded with a defined bitterness in the swallow. Medium-full body with low-ish Co2. 7.5% ABV is slightly noticeable.

Overall: Probably not our most favoured vintage.. which works with the sort of year we’ve all had anyway, so it’s fitting right?? Not bad.

Equilibrium’ Dhop 26′ DDH Double IPA

Rating:

“The next dHop is here. This uses a special Haas pellet in between a normal T90 and LUPOMAX. Based on this processing of the hop cone, we felt that this beer would play very nice with our Energy treatment to further extract the deliciousness that this hop could offer.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Slightly hazy pastel yellow-orange with two fingers of sturdy white head perched on top. Excellent retention and lace as we go. PS watch your pour with this one too…lots of suspended sediment.

Aroma: Nice and fruity like all the other 5 IPA’s we got from EQ. This one displays a bit more resin and hop oils…reminds us of Kiwi hops with its evergreen, vines and white wine characters. We’re also getting lemongrass, blueberry, unripened pineapple, honeydew and guava.

Flavour: Wow, we’re getting a faint tartness upfront. Comes off kinda citrusy (lemon mostly) but also berry-like. It’s followed by the usual fruit salad and infused with a hint of resinous pine and leafy/grassy evergreen. It finishes fruity, grassy and a little dry and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat tangy, a little prickly. Medium body, mild-moderate Co2. 8.5% ABV was a little discernible but well enough concealed.

Overall: This is the last of the 6 different IPA’s we bought. It pretty sums up the whole experience with EQ – a lot of potential but nothing overly memorable. There’s numerous Aussie breweries pumping out way better IPA’s than these.

50/50 Brewing ‘CAPA’ California Pale Ale

Rating:

“California Pale Ale. CAPA is a strong hopped pale ale. Brewed with Citra and Eldorado Hops which creates an amazing grapefruit and citrus aroma. This is a great beer for those who want hops without too much bitterness.”

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Golden amber with almost full clarity. It forms a thumb of foamy white head which slowly retracts. Some broken wavy lace clings as it ebbs.

Aroma: Absolutely popping. Nice crisp malt base with a nicely balanced floral and citrusy hop profile. Picking up a fair amount of orange, rockmelon, pineapple, soft caramel and honey, wheat grains, pine and watermelon. Jeez, there’s a lot happening for a Pale Ale!

Flavour: Comes on super crisp with lots of vibrancy and character. Again the balance is spot on…kinda biscuity, semi sweet honey malt structure with the floral and citrusy hops offsetting. A delicate hop bitterness develops late as it finishes rather smooth and fruity.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and zingy. Medium body and Co2. Mild hop dryness in the finish. 5.4% ABV – right on the money.

Overall: This is the first time we’ve seen the core range from 50/50 in Australia. We weren’t actually aware they had a core range as all we ever wanted was the Eclipse series beers. Tell ya what if they all stack up like this then we’re in for a treat!

Aether Brewing ‘Creature Of The Night’ Peanut Butter Stout

Rating:

“Heavy aromas of peanut butter and peanut brittle, further accentuated by the mouthfeel and oily slickness of the malts. Subtleties of chocolate and caramel can also be found. Quite dry for a dessert beer due to the lack of lactose.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: As black as midnight with a thumb of fizzy brown head which quickly fades. Scarce lace as we go.

Aroma: Holy moly even someone with hyposmia would be able to smell the peanuts here! Extract-alicious! That aside it’s still an unbelievably alluring aroma, the level of peanut is immense and it’s also supported by hints of milk chocolate, mixed nuts, coffee and brittle.

Flavour: As anticipated it’s heavy on the peanut extract. Not so much peanut butter though…more peanut brittle. Unfortunately the back up that was there in the aroma hasn’t transferred to the palate. She’s a one trick pony and that’s a bit disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Light on for the style. Flat-ish Co2. The 7% ABV is pretty well hidden though.

Overall: Not what we expected from this Brissy brewery. We’ve had these guys on our radar for years and it’s unfortunate our first entry was a little negative. Core range is up next!

King Tide ‘Cows With Guns’ India Brown Ale

Rating:

“Geared with toasted malts and cranked up with resinous hops. Cheers to an epic local bike track!”

Glassware: American Pint.

Appearance: Light chestnut brown with a big three finger head. It takes an age to reduce and leaves a smattering of lace on the glass.

Aroma: Straight away we get a nose full of those gorgeous toasty chocolate malts.. throwing out cocoa, light coffee and roasted nuts. Although it’s hopped more than your typical Brown Ale the hops don’t really cut through as much as we’d like.. shy-ish notes of pine resin, subtle citrus and dank/weedy herbs. Not half bad but.

Flavour: Promising start of sharp piney hops, resin and pithy grapefruit with the roasty/toasty malts giving it some bottom end. It holds rather well with the citric bitterness and dank weedy herbs coming through the other side and leading on to a nutty/toasty finish. Some fairly aggressive bitterness on the back end too.

Mouthfeel: Just a tad too light on for our liking. Nicely balanced though, good Co2. 6.7% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: A pretty decent representation of the style. Well balanced, full flavoured, a bit of grunt to boot. A fine offering really.

Bridge Road ‘NEeD – IPA #1’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Pouring a golden milky hue with a bright white head, you’ll want to dive straight into this beauty with it’s big punchy hop aroma. Some tropical juiciness on the palate and a super silky mouthfeel make way for a subtle coconut sweetness on the finish, which is balanced out with a medium bitterness.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Golden amber with very faint haze. It forms a thumb of creamy white head which holds its shape. Healthy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: We get a shit load of sticky resin and dank weedy herbs initially. This smells green AF and yep…sure enough the canning date is 11/11/20. Heady notes of grapefruit, hop oils, lemon, unripened pineapple, coconut flakes and buttery biscuits. We love the fact that Sabro plays a minor part here…really not that digging that hop lately.

Flavour: A lot to unpack actually. Picking up the subtle coconut but it’s nicely offset by a huge fruit salad character – pineapple, grapefruit, melon, passion fruit, mixed citrus and rind. Very resinous, Iots of pine and sappy bitterness, a little syrupy. Dry and super bitter finish which endures.

Mouthfeel: Slightly prickly, dry and a tad chalky. Medium body. 7.6% ABV is fairly noticeable.

Overall: It kinda see-sawed its way to a half decent finish. Appearance wasn’t hazy enough but the aroma was kick ass. Flavour profile was good but the finish was a bit harsh. Not bad.

Staatsbrauerei ‘Rothaus’ Pils

Rating:

“The most popular Rothaus beer is the Rothaus Pils. With an original gravity of 12.4% and 32 IBU’s, Rothaus Pils has a prominent position among other pilsners. Rothaus Pils is fermented from bottom-fermenting yeast that’s been developed in house, before maturing for roughly four weeks. During this period, its robust and elegant flavors and its high Rezenz are cultivated. Rezenz is the term for the refreshing feeling produced by the carbon dioxide in beer.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Light, straw golden pour with two fingers of sturdy white head atop. Excellent retention and lace as we go.

Aroma: Classic Bavarian style Pils. It’s got that lovely pinch of semi sweet and grainy malt with all the authentic hop notes; cut grass, herbs, earthy, light florals and delicate citrus. Definitely picking up a bit of wet hay and straw as well. Perfect really.

Flavour: Balanced to perfection. Just a hint of the slightly sweet malts – grainy, honey – with a slightly more pronounced lemon/citrus character. Plenty of Noble hop grassiness, spice, florals and earthy notes which set up the clean and kinda herbaceous finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light and totally crushable. Mild bitterness with vibrant carbonation. 5.1% ABV…right on the money.

Overall: It doesn’t get much better than this. It’s dead set gone straight in to our top 5 best ever Pilsners. Superb!

Equilibrium ‘Fractal Citra’ IPA

Rating:

“Fractal Citra pours a hazy-straw yellow releasing aromas of bright tropical passion fruit, pineapple, lychee, and hint of mango (complex). The taste is resinous pineapple juice with a slightly creamy mouthfeel and a firm but rounded bitterness. This medley of characteristics makes the name “Fractal Citra” warranted indeed.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Slightly hazy, light straw yellow complexion with a well kept two finger head. Nice wavy lace sticks as it ebbs.

Aroma: Well it’s definitely a Citra bomb! Tonnes of oily pine and resin, tropical fruit, grapefruit and orange citrus, green mango, pineapple, paw paw and candy. The latter really flourishing as it settles…gets a little too artificial for our liking though. Very clean yet distant malt bill.

Flavour: It comes on quite dry and herbaceous…the tropical fruits and citrus following close behind. Pine resin, grapefruit, pithy rind and evergreen through the mid leading to a rather dry and piney finish which provides lingering notes of grapefruit and rind for days.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth, creamy and pillowy. A mild dryness forming post swallow. Medium body and Co2. 6.8% ABV is spot on for the style.

Overall: We love Citra, it has been one of our favorite hops since we began drinking craft beer. Although it’s used well here the rest of the beer is lacking in our opinion. Pretty average.

Het Anker ‘Gouden Carolus’ Tripel

Rating:

“Despite the technological advances, this beer is brewed according to ancient tradition and unites, as before, the best raw materials from our soil as ripe barley and fine hops, to preserve a maximum of pure flavor. This beer was originally brewed for the Knights of the Golden Fleece in 1491.”

Glassware: Trappist tulip.

Appearance: Hazy golden orange with a fizzy two and a half finger head. Excellent retention and good lacing strewn down the glass.

Aroma: Slightly different to the likes of Duvel, Rochefort, Westmalle etc. This one displays more candied lemon, apple pie and a distinct musty-ness. There’s a fair whack of ginger in here too. More of the classic notes like orange/rind, lemongrass, florals, bubblegum, peppercorn and wheat grains coming through too.

Flavour: It has a bit of a Saison-esque edge to it which we also picked up in the aroma. Sweet honey malts, mixed herbs (lemongrass, coriander), wheat grains, ginger and candied lemon all slowly unfold. Picking up a bit of peppery spice as it finishes with sweet sugary lemon and ginger drawing out.

Mouthfeel: Slightly gassy, medium body, mildly lifted Co2. The 9% ABV is well hidden as most traditional Belgian Tripels are.

Overall: We’re huge fans of the style but there’s just a couple of things we weren’t fond of with this. The sugary lemon mixed with the ginger notes got a bit much by the end. Otherwise it ain’t too bad.

Russian River ‘Consecration’ BA Sour w Black Currants

Rating:

“Dark Ale aged in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from local wineries. It is aged for 4 to 8 months with black currants, brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus added to each barrel. Rich flavors of chocolate truffle, spice, tobacco, currants, and a bit of Cabernet. Very full-bodied, sip slowly!”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Kind of burnished copper with a deep amber tint. It forms a short head which quickly settles to a halo. Thin wavy lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Stunning. At its core is that really manky and sweaty lacto sourness. A bit of red wine vinegar and cheese cave to ram it home. The Cab Sauv barrels provide lovely albeit subtle tannins, old damp oak and dark berries/cherry/currants. A delicate earthy-ness happening too…tobacco and truffle (as stated in the brewers description) is spot on.

Flavour: Yep, this is phenomenal. It kicks off with a fairly intense sourness but it’s pulled in to line by the old damp oak and earthy tannins. Then the juicy red berries and black currants come in to the fold and morph in to a residual sherbet-like sweetness. Very complex finish of oak, earthy tannin, berries and musty barnyard.

Mouthfeel: Balance is perfect. It’s almost chewy, full bodied with the acidity cutting through like butter. Flat-ish Co2 but it works.

Overall: Brilliant drop. Our new favourite out of their much coveted ‘ation’ series. But we have left the (potentially) best til last so we’ll see how that stacks up in the coming weeks.

Equilibrium ‘Enso’ Double IPA

Rating:

“This is a very important beer to us. The Enso circle is our Brewery’s logo and is a symbol of balance, creation, and life. The impossible task of hand drawing a perfect circle creates the imperfections and details that exactly make the Enso beautiful. The beauty of imperfection is what drives us to develop, grow, innovate, and improve in a quest for balance and perfection. We could think of no better symbol to represent our work as a craft brewery as we share our journey and our path while we strive for balance and amazing beer. We’re thrilled that you take this journey with us.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Super hazy pastel yellow with a fairly deep orange tint. Tidy and well kept head which drags a wet lace down the glass.

Aroma: The hop combination of Citra and Galaxy has been used to perfection…sweet, citrusy and piney. Kind of reminds us of Ekim’s IPA’s with its ultra clean and balanced composition. Pineapple, peach, blood orange, vanilla/coconut, frosty fruits and passion fruit then fluffed out by a nice doughy malt. Supoib!

Flavour: Follows on from the nose. Gorgeous tropical fruits and citrus are balanced by this distinct line of clean and slightly resinous pine. Sweet and fleshy tropical fruits pull through the mid and lead to a slightly dry and fruity finish which draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, ultra smooth. Developing dryness in the swallow. Medium body and Co2. The 8.2% ABV though…where is it? Very dangerous.

Overall: It appears we’re inadvertently trying all of EQ’s better beers as we go. The first couple didn’t really excite us but this and MC2 are impressive. Here’s to hoping this trend continues.

Modern Times ‘Elara’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Bursting with notes of mango, papaya, and fresh apricot, this IPA will be a staggeringly effective countermeasure for the enduring heat. Stuffed with heaps of Mosaic and Amarillo hops, it’ll make for a pretty fantastic way to close out the summer.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Hazy pastel orange with a sturdy three finger head. Excellent retention and tonnes of lace sticking to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Mostly sweet and sticky summer fruits like mango, guava, pineapple, rockmelon and tangerine. Hints of earthy apricot/kumquat also getting amongst it. Slightly dank pine and weed/herbs, rind and a malty sweet and doughy malt structure. Very neat and tidy.

Flavour: Dominated by the fleshy and sweet tropical fruits – paw paw, rockmelon and mango along with a distinct tangy orange on the edges. It’s pretty earthy too…lots of apricot, grapefruit and even a trace of matcha. Resin and pine forming late and shifting in to a dry, grassy/herbaceous finish.

Mouthfeel: Dry, prickly and a tad astringent…a bit of that is due to the booze burn though (7% ABV). Medium body, nicely carbonated.

Overall: MT are hard to pick. They’ve brewed some of the best hazy’s we’ve ever had but also some of the most average too. Then there’s ones like this…middle of the road. Good but hardly memorable.

Counter Culture ‘Earl Of Swirl’ Berry Cream Sour

Rating:

“Let ur love unfurl with The Earl of Swirl, our Berry Cream Sour. Hang on to your neckerchief and lose urself in the rapturous additions of over a 1,000L of blackberry, 400L of raspberry and vanilla bean, balanced on a pale malt backbone, a lactobacillus pitch and one risqué ABV. Enjoy The Earl of Swirl, the ninth release from Counter Culture – beers that go against the grain.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Kinda light crimson with a pink two and a half finger head which holds up nicely. Thick, blotchy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Literally smells like we’ve opened a punnet of fresh raspberries. Then add a touch of strawberry sweetness, whipped cream and vanilla/lactose. The tartness is quite mild and feels mostly natural (from the fruit). It seems like a one trick pony though…maybe a hint at other mixed berries like blueberry/blackberry but that’s about it.

Flavour: Smooth, creamy and chock full of mixed red berries. But…erm…where’s the sourness? It may as well be a mixed berry smoothie…with a shot of booze! It all seems to drop off like a bad habit too. Not much pulling through other than some mixed berries and lactose.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, mineraly and well rounded. Medium Co2, mild-moderate body. 6.9% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: We feel they’ve kind of lost their way with this Counter Culture series. Take Sticky Nectar and It’d Be Rude Not To (and G3) and put them against the last couple of releases and it’s chalk and cheese.

King Tide Brewing ‘Look At Me Now’ West Coast IPA

Rating:

“This beer is big and bold, fully hopped and yours to explore – just like our beautiful headlands.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Light golden complexion with 100% clarity. It forms a fizzy yet sturdy two and a half finger head which gradually peels off. Excellent lace as we go.

Aroma: Quite malt forward…and not your typical malt leanings. It comes off as sweet honey and granita biscuits. There’s a slightly sulfuric note which suggests dodgy yeast but other than that it’s quite crisp, punchy and packed full of unripened pineapple, green mango, papaya and guava.

Flavour: We feel in this never ending haze craze that a lot of brewers have forgotten that West Coast IPA’s are meant to be in your face and aggressive. We like that that this has a mild piney and citrusy profile but it lacks the cut through and overall hostility we’ve come to expect from the style.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth with minimal dryness. Mild-medium body and Co2. The 7% ABV is nicely hidden.

Overall: In all fairness it’s very smooth but smooth isn’t what we’re after in a WC IPA. We want to be chewing on a piece of grapefruit rind, we want our palate to be wrecked! The SoCal way!

Equilibrium ‘Photon’ Hazy Pale Ale

Rating:

“Photon is our light and crushable American Pale Ale loaded with pacific northwest hops. It pours a very hazy orange, releasing well-blended notes of apricot, tangerine, peach, mango, and pineapple. It tastes of soft juicy tropical fruits, hop resins, and a hint of biscuit. A smooth rounded bitterness with a touch of dryness ensures you’re ready for the next sip. This drinking experience is further enhanced with a soft and billowy mouth-feel that has made this the go to ale for the EQ crew, especially when a productive day needs to follow a fun night.”

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Pastel yellow/gold with a fluffy two finger head. Excellent retention and a smattering of lace left on the glass.

Aroma: Fairly conventional, a hint of white pepper adding a bit of spiciness. Other than that we’re getting the typical marriage of stonefruit, citrus and tropical fruit, a flutter of pine resin and weedy herbs, orange rind, boiled candy and freshly baked white bread. It certainly improves as it settles.

Flavour: Like the aroma; straight forward and inoffensive. A neat fusion of stonefruit, citrus and tropical fruit with a delicate line of resin and weed/herbs. Grapefruit and orange rind developing late and setting up a nice dry finish which offers a touch of rind and resin.

Mouthfeel: Dry and chalky. Pretty well aerated. Mild-medium body and Co2. 4.8% ABV which is stock standard for Pales.

Overall: It’s hard to fault it but at the same time it’s awfully safe. We could list 5 hazy pales by Aussie breweries that are equal, if not better. Good but not great.

Fuller’s ‘Past Masters – 1909’ English Strong Ale

Rating:

“A smooth, well balanced and fruity beer. 1909 Pale Ale is the Tenth beer in our celebrated Past Masters series, which sees long-lost recipes revived from our famous brew books. Every single afternoon since 1845, the Fuller’s brewing team has diligently written out the ingredients of the day’s brews – and the Past Masters series is a great example of why we do it.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Golden amber with a fluffy two finger head. Good retention and lots of spotty lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Initially we pick up a certain tangy orange note which reminds us of Jaffa. It morphs in to marmalade and then eventually apricot/rockmelon. It has a bit of a syrupy note which we’re not totally fond of. It’s quite yeasty too, providing estery pear/apple, butterscotch and banana. Very chewy and doughy malt profile filling it out.

Flavour: The yeast esters are even more pronounced here – banana, apple/pear, tangy orange, chewy caramels and butterscotch. Again the syrupy sweetness is a little cloying. Doughy malts providing a hint of toasty-ness as it finishes a little sticky and sweet with hints of candied orange and banana.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light for its size. – 8.7% ABV. A little chewy and gelatinous, flat-ish Co2.

Overall: It has traits of our very own Cooper’s Vintage Ale (which personally we think is better than this). Love the acknowledgement to the history of this brewery but the actual beer itself doesn’t really float our boat.

Equilibrium ‘MC2’ Double IPA

Rating:

“MC² is Photon’s big brother. We literally took Photon’s hopping rate and squared it. This DIPA is our tribute to the amazing relationship that energy and mass are balanced, proportional to the speed of a photon squared. It pours a hazy tangerine color, releasing bright tropical notes of mango, pineapple, and apricot. MC² tastes like succulent mango juice loaded with chewy hop resins. It’s very drinkable for 8.0%; be careful, this one can sneak up on you.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Hazy pastel orange with a thumb of white foam atop. It reduces pretty quickly but still manages a wavy lace down the glass.

Aroma: Wow the intensity is next level. So juicy and tropical it literally does smell like fruit juice. Huge wafts of mango, lychee, pineapple, guava, papaya, apricot and peach lift out. Followed by a nice oat creaminess, coconut and canned fruits. Definitely picking up some honey sweetness from the malts too. Brilliant!

Flavour: Follows on from the nose…it’s awash with sweet tropical fruits and stonefruit plus a slight emphasis on sweet orange citrus. A hint of pine resin and dank weedy herbals as well. Honey really underlining the tropical fruit sweetness then it’s all tidied up with a dry piney finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and aerated…really coats the whole palate too. Medium-full body, finely carbonated. The 8% ABV is well buried.

Overall: This is an absolute corker. The first we tried from EQ (Energy Equals) was a little lackluster but this one steps it up big time. Punchy aroma and a big yet well balanced flavor profile. Diggin it!

Dollar Bill ‘2020 Spring Parlay’ BA Wild Ale

Rating:

“Spring Rhubarb Sour Ale. A blend of wild ferment ale and barrel aged golden ale rested on fresh spring rhubarb. Light sour refreshing and funky with a hints of rhubarb the perfect spring beer. Joe White Australian malt fermented on indigenous yeasts and mixed ferment golden ale aged in ex-pinot barrels. 65% Pilsner malt 20% wheat malt 15% rye malt 19 IBU mosaic hops 200g/L spring rhubarb.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Pours like a slightly dark rosé…maybe a bit of amber fused through. There’s a short fizzy head which forms a halo and weaves a fine lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Gorgeous wafts of rhubarb initially. Soft red berries, rosé, French oak, pomegranate, mild lacto, spring onion and a flutter of crystallised sugars. There’s also a really faint earthy-ness that opens up as it settles. Beautiful aroma, it’s got a bit of everything.

Flavour: Certainly a lot drier than we anticipated. The rhubarb provides a subtle tart edge while the red berries and rosé come in with its sweetness. A nice little spike from the lacto that adds a short cameo of sourness too. Red berry sherbet late in the piece then on to a dry finish of more sweet red berries.

Mouthfeel: Mineraly with a slight dryness. Mild-moderate body and Co2. Only 5.2% ABV so it’s somewhat in session territory.

Overall: Another superb addition to the Parlay series. Rhubarb just works so well with it (and generally for the style). DB are without a doubt the best sour brewery in Australia at the moment.

Six String ‘Mr Black’ Coffee Milk Stout

Rating:

“Brewed using coffee from Mr Black Coffee Liqueur this Six String X Mr Black Collab combines two unique products into a rich, lush Stout. The bitter of the coffee with the sweet milk stout gives a bittersweet balance. The rich malt bill and unapologetic coffee hit from the cold brewed Mr Black coffee gives a bold and complex aroma and flavour to this big roasty full flavoured beer.”

Glassware: Snifter

Appearance: From the get go we feel like we’ve got Co2 issues here. The can opened strangely and it’s poured about 90% head….and it’s taking ages to reduce!

Aroma: Not smelling right either. Very gassy, some milky/lactose sweetness mixed in to the milk chocolate and vanilla but we can literally smell the carbonation…it’s kinda like smelling soda water. Some light roasty-ness also here but yeah, this could be a sink pour unfortunately.

Flavour: Although it’s overcarbonated for the style it doesn’t totally explode in the mouth. Instead we get this bubbly, weak and watered down mess. Milk chocolate, coffee and vanilla are so far in the distance it’s almost hard to call it a coffee milk stout. It finishes on a somewhat decent roasty note but man this is bad.

Mouthfeel: Obviously overcarbonated, gassy and light on. They did hide the 8% ABV quite well but nothing will save this beer from its eventual meeting with the drain pipes.

Overall: Terrible. Not enough to ever try another 6 String beer ever again but breweries do themselves a lot of damage by not double checking stuff like this before it goes out. Holy moly, get it together 6 String!

8 Wired ‘Aces & Eights’ Texas Brown Ale

Rating:

“Poker is in our blood, in fact, it is a true urban legend that our brewery was funded with money won in a poker game. But unlike a poor sucker dealt Aces & Eights – known as the dead man’s hand – we’re still alive and kicking. Just like the hoppy zip in every mouthful of this American style Brown Ale.”

Glassware: American Pint.

Appearance: Brown with dark copper highlights. It only manages a thumb of finely beaded foam but it retains incredibly well and leaves a cascading lace down the glass.

Aroma: We’re uncertain why – what is obviously an American Brown Ale – is labelled a “Texas Brown Ale”. Is it hopped with Texan bred hops or does it have something to do with its geographical proximity to Nevada i.e casino’s? What is certain is that we pick up a beautifully balanced aroma full of nutty choc malts, toast, oats, coconut flakes, pine, mild citrus and herbals.

Flavour: Quite shy. Yeah we can taste the nutty malts, cocoa, citrus and piney hops but overall it’s very restrained. Nicely balanced though, we’ll give them that. A mild hop bitterness kicks out midway and is offset by the slightly toasty and roasty malts which finish it off. Decent length on it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and silky, a little creamy. Mild dryness in the swallow. Medium body. 6% ABV is nicely positioned.

Overall: Underwhelming to be honest. We see American Brown Ales as a step back from black IPA’s yet this is nothing of the sort. Too timid and weak for our liking.