Author Archives: 2hopheads

Jindabyne Brewing ‘Kiandra’ Golden Ale

Rating:

81542640_1274945476022928_3308675666186076160_o (1)Fresh, nutty malt with hints of caramel give our golden ale a solid backbone to underpin the delicious hop combination. Predominant aroma and flavours of fresh passionfruit and pineapple, with complexity and depth.”

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Golden amber with full transparency. It forms a sturdy two finger head which maintains and works a thick sudsy lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Very traditional and old-world kind of feel to it. Beautifully balanced though. Biscuity malt structure with soft fruity hops – mostly passion fruit, mango, pineapple and melon. Just a hint of buttery sweetness, mild herbal and floral notes and a white grape-like tartness. So much depth for the style.

Flavour: So crisp and clean…we reckon it’s all down to the pure mountain water they use. Perfectly balanced malt to hop ratio – biscuity and slightly nutty malt gives way to the fruity and floral hops. A hint of pithy orange peel late in the piece finishes with a soft dry bitterness, marmalade and buttery toast.

Mouthfeel: Super clean, crisp and effortless. Mild-medium body. 4.2% ABV. Definitely a stayer.

Overall: We’re absolutely loving this brewery! In this day of crazy haze and sourness these guys are sticking to tradition and brewing old word faves with absolute perfection. Honestly JB deserve more attention than they get!

RAR Brewing ‘Layer Cake’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Imperial dessert Stout aged in red wine barrels.” DDH Double IPA Hopped with Citra, Citra Cryo, Azacca & Vic Secret.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a wispy brown head forming on top. It swiftly reduced to a thin halo with a wet lace left in its wake.

Aroma: Quite a complex number with a lot of it coming from the red wine barrels. Muted notes of chocolate cake, Cherry Ripe, coconut, marzipan, chocolate mousse and spicy bourbon. The latter surely a byproduct of the barrels which impart an enormous amount of vinous red berry tartness and musty oak. A fair bit of the booze showing too…really stings the nostrils.

Flavour: Producing more on point dessert stout qualities – macerated cherries (with some natural tartness coming through), dark and milk chocolate, coconut, vanilla, marzipan, almond biscotti, chocolate mousse, mocha and subtle notes of oak and vinous red wine in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat slick, oily and sticky. Not a great deal of body to it but it still holds up nicely on the palate. Low co2. 10.2% ABV pokes through here and there.

Overall: At first we thought it could have done without the aging in red wine barrels but it became softer as it settled. We’d still love to try the non barrel aged version though. Not a bad drop.

Mr Banks ‘Playground Insults’ DDH Double IPA

“DDH Double IPA Hopped with Citra, Citra Cryo, Azacca & Vic Secret.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Turbid pastel yellow with a sturdy two finger crown. It holds its shape and weaves a fine lace down the glass.

Aroma: Brimming with tropical fruits, citrus and pine. Smells super fresh (package date shows October). Mango, guava, pineapple, paw paw and orange citrus in spades while notes of spicy resin, lactose, creamy oats and vanilla bring up the bottom end. Has that classic white bready malt happening as well. Bloody ripper of an aroma right here.

Flavour: Nice transition from the nose. There’s a burst of tropical fruits, orange citrus, spicy pine resins and lactose moving in to tangy orange and unripened stonefruits through the mid. Very faint hint of pithy citrus/rind before a super smooth finish full of tangy orange, mild citric bitterness and pine resins.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, soft and well rounded. Holds a medium body with ultra low bitterness and an almost completely hidden 8.5% ABV.

Overall: Another excellent Hazy from Mr Banks. Sauce had better be watching their backs as these guys are coming for that top spot. Keep em comin boys!

Westbrook ‘Chocolate & Sea Salt’ Imperial Stout

Rating:

80192842_1263496993834443_4419486472449556480_o“For our 7th Anniversary Beer, we went big on the chocolate and added a little salt to make it interesting. Luscious notes of liquid cocoa and a smooth salinity make this beer deliciously decadent.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a quickly fading dark brown head. It forms a thin halo but still manages a healthy lace as we indulge.

Aroma: Dark and devilish. Really has that dessert stout thing going on…tonnes of chocolate, licorice, vanilla, red peppers, cocoa, marshmallow, charred malts and mocha. The addition of sea salt is a bit of a masterstroke. We were a bit hesitant at first but it really adds a nice touch of savoury salinity and balance.

Flavour: Again, really dialling in on the dessert stout character – milk chocolate, vanilla, mocha, cocoa, licorice, roasted malts. The salty aspect kind of playing two hands i.e salted chocolate but also a strong hint of salted caramel coming through. Beautifully sweet, salty and roasty finish with incredible length.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied but not as thick and dense as most imperial stouts. Could be the lack of barrel aging perhaps? Low co2. Very well concealed ABV (9.5%).

Overall: For a beer that we were a little unsure about it has really come through. It’s big and bold yet sweet and nicely balanced. And let’s not forget the risky addition of sea salt which in a way was the quiet star of the show. It’s our first crack at this American brewery and we’re impressed!

Cloudwater Brew Co ‘Participate In This Area’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

81484876_1263031417214334_66512817028595712_o“This one-off IPA is designed to showcase a range of bold flavours, while retaining an element of balance. Punchy, slightly savoury, resinous notes intertwine with succulent fruit flavours in a modern IPA that doesn’t hold back, yet is still smooth, soft and rounded.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Hazy pastel orange with a thumb of off white foam perched on top. Good head retention and fine lace work clinging to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Quite interesting actually, there’s some juiciness here but the creamy tropical fruits and spicy resins are more dominant. We keep picking up this really strange scent…the only thing we can familiarise it with is that gamey and ever so slightly smoked aroma we get when we walk in to a butchery. It’s really weird but as meat lovers we’re kinda digging it!

Flavour: Insanely smooth, fruity and creamy with literally no sign of any bitterness or booze. Literally brekky juice! Lovely pine resins, pithy citrus and zesty orange with a doughy white bready malt filling it out. The finish is fruity, creamy, mildly dry and well drawn out.

Mouthfeel: So smooth, tempered and velvety soft. Still holds a nice weight though. Minimal bitterness with the 6.7% ABV nowhere to be seen.

Overall: A very impressive Hazy from this English brewery. They’re still leading the way in the UK when it comes to the style in our opinion. Top notch stuff.

Robin Hood Brewing Pale Ale

Rating:

80481608_1262934463890696_3030908216914477056_oNO DESCRIPTION

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden amber pour with a loosely packed finger of head resting atop. It slowly reduced to a collar with reasonable lace as we go.

Aroma: Very shy notes of stonefruits and jammy orange citrus. Kind of malty sweet – bready and biscuity with mild hints of caramel and toffee. Somewhat of an English tone to it…. we’re guessing from the hops….possibly EKG or even a lower alpha acid Aussie hop like Pride Of Ringwood with its herbal spice and mild fruity characters. Not bad but lacking excitement.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose. Mostly earthy and spicy orange citrus, melon, an inkling of marmalade and herbs. Again quite malty – bready/toasty, semi sweet caramel and honey offering a lovely overall balance. Soft, delicate finish: toasty, jammy, slightly dry and a little short on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Light on with a frothy co2. Mild-medium body. Low bitterness and ABV (4.5%).

Overall: Definitely has an English/Euro approach to it. It ain’t a bad beer it’s just very uneventful although we can’t be too harsh as the brewer (Rob Paulazzo) is actually a winemaker so credit to him for having a crack.

Boatrocker ’19 ‘Fat Santa’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

80881660_1258654620985347_983657620860567552_o“Fat Santa is a rich, decadent example of a barrel aged imperial stout. This year, we’ve changed it up a bit and headed to the Northern Hemisphere for inspiration. Same incredible Ramjet base, but aged in 1st use Buffalo Trace barrel. The result is simply stunning… BIG bourbon character, with luscious coconut and vanilla from the wood, we’ve complemented this with our Holy Trinity of Tonka beans, Vanilla Beans and Coffee Beans. The perfect end to a big Christmas dinner, or maybe an ever so suitable entry to festivities?”

Glassware: Snifter

Appearance: Pitch black with a wispy brown head which quickly retreats to the rim. Spotty lace sticks to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Oh my goodness this is some classy stuff right here. It’s packed full of rich roasty malts, Vegemite, dark chocolate, burnt toast, coconut, hints of soy sauce, leather and coffee. 1st use Buffalo Trace barrels also give it an almighty hit of classic American bourbon – caramel, spice, sweet rum and vanilla. Oh my Lord that is good!

Flavour: Typically when an aroma is this good it transitions in to flavour…and that’s exactly what it does! Straight off the bat we’re getting an incredible fusion of bourbon barrels, coconut, vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, charred malts, treacle, spice, dark rum, dates and an almost roasted almond-like nuttiness which really draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Dense, oily, warm and comforting. Full bodied with low CO2 and a perfectly positioned ABV (10.9%). Spot on for the style.

Overall: This is going to be one of those beers where get all sad once we take our last sip. At $30 a pop were a bit hesitant to fill up the cellar with them but there’s no question it will age gracefully. Top notch stuff.

Brouwerij Lindeman’s Kriek

Rating:

80807130_1257880791062730_3579022219424038912_o“Beer of spontaneous fermentation. Lindemans Kriek is made from one-year-old oak-aged lambic and pure cherry juice. Red, slightly cloudy colour. Deliciously fruity with the fresh flavour of freshly picked sour cherries. Its sharp and full-bodied flavour gives way to a perfect balance between sweet and sour.”

Glassware: Teku

Appearance: Tis a gorgeous beer to look at…ruby red with a deep pink head which swells to a finger before slowly forming a collar. Laced well as we go.

Aroma: Definitely not what we were expecting! It’s very artificial with its dominant cherry sherbet and Dr Pepper-like sugary sweetness. It has hints of cola syrup at times as well. Picking up a slight musty-ness which is interesting as it’s not barrel aged. Kind of earthy deep down, minimal funk with just the slightest hint of aniseed. Weird. Don’t know if we’re digging it or not yet.

Flavour: Detecting a bit more tart cherry but still not getting much true and natural flavour of the fruit though. Again this Dr Pepper-like cherry cola thing happening is so unexpected and something we’ve never tasted in a Kriek before. It really doesn’t deviate a whole lot as it pretty much finishes how it starts.

Mouthfeel: Nice and spritzy with vibrant CO2. Light, aerated texture with the 3.5% ABV supporting that. Very approachable.

Overall: We don’t pretend to be Kriek guru’s but we’re pretty sure this isn’t your traditional representation of the style. Which is strange coming from such an esteemed and well established brewery. Tell ya what though it would go well on a stinking hot day but happy to give it a miss until that happens though.

Mr Banks ‘Cake Eater’ DDH Double IPA (Nelson & El Dorado)

Rating:

80782382_1255196121331197_7349555703431823360_o“Double dry-hopped, Oat cream Double IPA, brewed with lactose and oats. Hopped with Nelson Sauvin and El Dorado. (3rd Batch: Blue Can).”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Turbid pastel yellow with a short white head perched on top. It gradually forms a ring with wavy lace on its way down.

Aroma: The Nelson Sauvin and El Dorado work really well in tandem – sweet, ripe mango, pineapple and melon in spades with the more subtle touches of white grapes and slightly tart gooseberry (classic Nelson characteristics). Nice creamy base…the lactose and oats bind it all together. Maybe a hint of spice and pine resin too. Bloody ripper of an aroma!

Flavour: It opens with a bit of aggression actually. A lot more acidity, pithy grapefruit and rind which wasn’t as distinct on the nose. Stonefruit and melon starting to open up as it settles. Getting some dank herbs and peppery spice moving in to a dry and pithy finish which really carried through well.

Mouthfeel: Super creamy with good viscosity. Almost gelatinous at times. Medium-full body. 8% ABV fairly noticeable.

Overall: Aussie brewers are definitely getting a lot better at this NEIPA caper. Appearance and aroma is spot on here we just feel the slightly assertive bitterness and ABV is what separates us from the class of American NEIPA’s. But as they say…good things are worth the wait!

Hargreaves Hill ‘Pursuit Of Hoppiness #3’ Scandinavian IPA

Rating:

79736945_1249823875201755_5175794513506992128_o“The pursuit of hoppiness in an ongoing speciality series in which we explore the somewhat endless possibilities in the art of brewing with hops. Drinkers are given an exclusive look into the brewing process, with varieties, additions and time frame listed on the can label. Number three is a 7% Scandinavian IPA. A big, punchy, fruity IPA combining old school Norwegian farmhouse yeast with new world hop varieties.harg”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Deep golden pour with just the slightest haze. Modest head, sitting at about a finger in height before gradually receding to the rim. Wet streaky lace sticks to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: We like this direction from Hargreaves Hill. Let’s just say the POH#2 was a bit of a fail but the use of Kveik yeast here is not only crafty but nicely applied. Straight away this Nordic yeast offers a farmhouse spiciness with lots of straw/hay, pithy citrus peel and juniper. Nice background fruit profile to sweeten the deal. Digging it.

Flavour: The spiciness and farmhouse flavours of the yeast step back a little which we like. Certainly tasting the tropical fruits, pine, orange citrus and herbaceous notes from an all star American hop lineup….all hugged by the toasty malt bill. Nicely balanced finish – some yeast character mixed in with pithy citrus and grassy herbs.

Mouthfeel: Kind of a dry and chalky texture. Medium bodied with a well placed ABV (7%). Flat-ish CO2.

Overall: A well constructed IPA. Nothing flashy or over the top it just has all the ingredients working together. A bit of recreation with the Kveik to tick off the experimental nature of the series. Decent offering.

Counter Culture ‘Lovely Bubbly’ Brut Rose

Rating:

79415125_1249762005207942_4975487585397768192_o“Can you feel it? That certain something in the air that calls for bubbles and celebration? Well, silly season is upon us, and nothing says ‘good times’ quite like rosé brut sour. This delightfully blush co-ferment beer with chardonnay juice, chardonnay yeast, lactobacillus and thousands of fresh strawberries, balances sweetness and soft sour pinch with a dry crisp finish. Simply exquisite, Lovely Bubbly is our fifth release and now available.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Pours a relatively clear bright amber hue with little head forming on top. Lovely cascading lace clings to the walls of the glass though.

Aroma: Very interesting… definitely picking up the soft tart sweetness of the strawberries initially. There’s a nice yoghurt-esque lacto sourness which provides a bit of creaminess and that flows through hints of rose petals, passionfruit, lychee and vanilla. Just a hint of dryness to it as well which acts as a bit of a counter balance. Pleasantly surprised!

Flavour: Holy moly it literally tastes like a Chardonnay/Rosé blend…just with the added phenols from the yeast and a very delicate sourness. Like the aroma we get a delicious strawberry sweetness amongst rosewater, tropical fruits, subtle spice and citrus which draws out nicely in to the long finish.

Mouthfeel: Light and spritzy but it still holds a nice weight. The 6% ABV is also very well behaved. Tough to hand it a pucker rating as there really isn’t any.

Overall: Not a bad effort but as white wine drinkers we feel the white wine-hating beer drinkers are gonna give this the cold shoulder. We applaud the edginess of it but honestly there are many others in this series that top it.

 

Hargreaves Hill ‘Pursuit Of Hoppiness #2’ Double NEIPA

Rating:

75481693_1246906045493538_2480427644475146240_o“A Quadruple dry hopped NEIPA. We have upped the dry hopping regime in this beer to display how hops can work in symetery without overpowering each other and maintaining balance. The ultimate goal at the end of the day is drinkability so we have dialed down the haze factor of a “traditional” neipa and created a beer you could swear would not be 8.5% dangerously drinkable.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Straight off the bat this doesn’t look like a NEIPA. Almost 100% clear golden amber with a thumb of white foam perched on top. Good retention and lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Even the aroma doesn’t smell like a NEIPA. If we were blindfolded we’re going with a West Coast IPA every day of the week. She’s crisp and clean. Notes of orange peel and grapefruit, pine, mango, tangerine, melon, pineapple and unripened peach. Very minimal malt profile with some warmth from the booze tickling the nostrils.

Flavour: Again, crisp and snappy citrus, pine, subtle orange peel, tropical fruits i.e mango, pineapple. Grapefruit bitterness and some prickly warmth from the booze midway lays down for a relatively bitter finish full of unripened tropical fruits and a strange cloying malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: For a beer that shows its weight (8.5% ABV) in aroma it mysteriously hides it on the palate. Still, it’s crisp and zippy with fine CO2. Light-moderate body.

Overall: We’re not sure how these guys can go from their first release to this and call it the same style. POH #1 was a true hazy…turbid, juicy and even milkshake-like whereas this is almost completely West Coast. Almost Korben D-esque. Very confusing.

Dollar Bill 2019 ‘Spring Parlay’ BA Sour Red Ale

Rating:

79382417_1246874175496725_8438632931500490752_o“2019 Spring Parlay – Red Ale aged in Apassimento barrels. Spring ushers in an exciting new season of longer days and warmer weather. Cold mornings give way to sun filled days and bright red sunsets. Our Spring parlay is a complex sour ale primary fermented in stainless then aged 8mnths in barrels used to create some of Australia’s finest desert wine. Lambrusco Maestri Apassimento barrels add cocoa and dried fruit complexities along with aromas of leather and tobacco, lactic and acetic acidity.”

Glassware: Teku

Appearance: Deep ruby red with a short head which quickly forms a collar. Pretty decent lacing despite the lack of retention.

Aroma: Smells absolutely divine! It’s overflowing with red berry sweetness yet so nicely countered by tart cherry, currants, red toffee apple and cigar skins. There’s this distinct sophistication to it which is really intriguing…we keep picturing this swanky men’s club decked out with leather chairs and old wooden charm. So much depth and character to this nose.

Flavour: Wow. Flavour explosion! It hits the palate with a sharp yet tempered sourness which quickly moves in to tart cherry and then in to more sweeter berries and currants. It’s then met with a musty dryness which is emphasized by the oak and earthy tobacco and draws out in to the slightly dry and fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Slightly acidic yet quite meaty…certainly enough there to chew on. The pucker rates a 2.5/5 with the 6.4% ABV well concealed.

Overall: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again these guys would have to be one of the best sour brewers in Australia. We’re loving the depth and complexity to it but most of all…it acts like a good medium bodied red wine at times. Keep it comin DB!

Quiet Deeds X Venom Brewing ‘Viper Pit’ Hazy Double IPA

Rating:

78609083_1234667300050746_5227584745285615616_o“Our dear friends at Venom Brewing have come to Glen Iris to brew a special collaboration brew. A simple question was asked, “What would you want to drink right before diving into a pit of vipers?” The context isn’t important, you could be a snake charmer or a Colonial Marine. “A Citra forward DIPA was the answer.” And that is what we have in this can. 100% Citra hops from kettle to dry hop.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Turbid pastel yellow/orange with a thumb of loosely packed foam atop. It forms a thick and foamy collar with reasonable lace work as we go. Looks the goods!

Aroma: Tonnes of tropical and stone fruits, citrus, melon and pithy orange peel. Creamy oats and lactose, herbal spice and frosty fruits also coming through. Just the slightest hint of artificial sweetness but it’s not in the form of concentrated juice or syrup it’s more like one of our favourite childhood lollies…fruit pastilles! Superb aroma.

Flavour: Super smooth, juicy and creamy. It’s brimming with orange citrus, melon, papaya, peach and pithy citrus peel. Herbal spice, grapefruit and black pepper forms late in the piece and sets up for an assertive finish with pithy grapefruit, warming booze and peppery bitterness. Offering some incredible length as well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth and well rounded yet slightly aggressive and boozy (9%) after the swallow. Well weighted with a finer CO2.

Overall: If there’s any Aussie brewery that can knock Sauce off the podium it’s these guys. The aroma is brilliant…the texture was still a tad harsh though. We gotta hand it to them but, this is a cracker.

Sunday Road ‘Enigma’ Australian Pale Ale

Rating:

78916535_1244781965705946_3881126448043393024_o“Our Enigma Ale is a sessionable Australian Pale Ale created around the new star on the hop scene, Enigma. A hop developed and only grown in Bushy Park, Tasmania, Australia. It is excitingly different! We have also used some super tasty pale malts. Seriously we’ve eaten them for breakfast. No nasties. Just pure ingredients brewed with honest care. We hope you enjoy this crisp and balanced ale.”

Glassware: Shaker

Appearance: Bold amber complexion with a big and sturdy three finger head. It slowly deconstructs but works a healthy lace down the glass.

Aroma: Our very own Enigma hop is one of those variations that sometimes doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Although subtle, in this beer it provides mostly fruity accents ranging from rockmelon, peach/nectarine and mango to berries, orange citrus and juicy green grapes. Quite a nice semi-sweet malt structure too.

Flavour: Very light and fruity with similar traits to the aroma – orange citrus, peach, melon and green grapes. The malt bill is also rather shy…showing mild sweetness but adding good overall balance. Really easy-going finish of delicate tropical fruit with decent length.

Mouthfeel: Light on, somewhat spritzy. Light-moderate body. Hardly any bitterness (28 IBU) with the 4.4% ABV expectedly hidden.

Overall: Look it’s not going to smash any records but it is an adequate summer sessioner. Kinda similar to Stone & Wood’s Pac Ale but with more malt driven bottom end. A pretty good drop for these new kids on the block.

The Bruery ‘Vermont Sticky Maple’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

78557675_1234751196709023_7364682075737161728_o“We scoured the hills of the green mountain state to find the perfect maple syrup to complement this barrel-aged imperial stout. Sticky and decadent, with a subtly sweet and big, bold mouthfeel.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a thumb of finely beaded brown head perched on top. Good retention and healthy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: There aren’t many more satisfying things that can top the fusion of maple syrup, bourbon barrels and hearty stout. The chances become even smaller once vanilla, cocoa and caramel are added! Then consider the robust molasses, dark chocolate, toffee, marshmallow, subtle coffee and nutty roasted malts and you have an incredibly awesome aroma.

Flavour: It’s one of those times when we are hoping the flavour follows the aroma…and that’s exactly what it does! Sticky, sweet and sugary maple sidles up to the mildly smoky and spicy oak barrels. Lashings of vanilla, toffee fudge, dark chocolate and delicate bourbon complexity roll in to an incredibly smooth finish full of sweet maple, bourbon oak and smoky charred malts.

Mouthfeel: As the name suggests it’s sticky and gelatinous. On the lighter side of full bodied with the 11.3% ABV ridiculously well hidden.

Overall: The is classic Bruery quality…what it says is exactly what you get – a big generous stout jam packed with maple and well rounded bourbon barrel character. That good you could pour it over your pancakes!

Quiet Deeds X Sauce ‘Photosphere’ Hazy Double IPA

Rating:

78609083_1234667300050746_5227584745285615616_o“In mid-October, our friends, our friends from Sauce Brewing came down to Melbourne from Marickville to put something fun into tank. The Photosphere is the visible surface of the sun – a thick layer of gas with constant fiery eruptions. We felt the best way to celebrate the warm weather was to brew a thick, hazy DIPA with a huge hit of tangerine, passionfruit & citrus. Think tropical. Think lounging on the beach with friends. Think Photosphere.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Cloudy mustard yellow with a rocky two finger cap. The head slowly reduced to a collar with thick and blotchy lace clinging to the walls of the glass.

Aroma: A fair amount of sweet fruit sugars, nectar, frosty fruit and juice concentrate. Quite dank and resinous…also picking up a hint of coconut which is the main attribute of this new and uber popular Sabro hop. Dank herbs, tangerine, guava, pineapple, mango and melon all getting a good look in as well. Plenty on offer.

Flavour: Sweet and sticky fruit sugars, frosty fruit, pineapple, mango and sweet orange citrus i.e orange, tangerine. A little flutter of coconut around the edges. Bitter citrus kicks up late in the mid…emphasized by a bit of stinging booze which reaches in to the dry and pithy finish. Incredible length on it too.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth and creamy initially but it turns prickly and slightly sharp in the swallow. Quite a hefty burn (8.5% ABV). Medium-full body. Nicely carbonated.

Overall: When we saw that two of Australia’s hottest hazy brewers had teamed up we almost wet ourselves. The end product was a slight let down though. Too boozy and prickly for the style. The search for a contender for Trubble continues.

New England Brewing Brown Ale

Rating:

76897496_1232172380300238_791212892379676672_o“We never imagined that our English style 4.5% Brown Ale would win so many hearts! Classic flavours of caramel, chocolate, nuts and coffee are balanced by Australian hops, creating a rich reddish-brown coloured ale that loves pint glasses.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Light cola pour with a deep burgundy hue when held to the light. Big and frothy three finger head which peels off with little lace to show for it.

Aroma: Conventional notes of sweet, toasty and biscuity malt with distinct nuttiness and milk chocolate in support. A very fine roastiness to it as well. Undertones of vanilla, cheap leather, dark fruits and iodine filling it out. That’s a very traditional brown ale aroma right there.

Flavour: As expected…driven by the toasty, nutty and biscuity malts with subtle hints of chocolate, dried fig, toffee and doughy brioche. There’s a very faint earthy roast before it kind of falls away in to a mild finish with semi-sweet nutty flavours on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Lean and slightly watery. A flat-ish CO2 certainly doesn’t help. Low ABV (4.5%). Not really what we’d call an exciting texture.

Overall: We’ll concede that the brewers are going for a traditional English brown ale so we’ll go easy. In our opinion it’s too thin and watery and lacking that rich sweetness we’ve come to expect from top shelf brown ales. It ain’t bad it’s just not going to be a return-to beer.

Akasha Brewing ‘Cloud 9’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

78340713_1228217067362436_5594494528548503552_o“Cloud 9 Hazy IPA is full to the brim of super juicy Mosaic, Galaxy, and Citra hops. Think Passionfruit, Peach, and Citrus jumping out of the glass. Its full body perfectly compliments its big hoppy flavours, with virtually no bitterness. Cloud 9 Hazy IPA leaves you with a lush, refreshing, and delightful glass of beer.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Bright amber to gold with a mild haze. It produces a short head which settles to a fine film. Reasonable lacing as we go.

Aroma: Pretty damn clean for a hazy! Some juiciness here but it’s giving away mostly passionfruit, pine needle, grapefruit, mixed citrus, mango/peach and white grapes. Very clean and subtle malt profile. We’re really trying to find more from it but it’s just not there.

Flavour: Delicate hints of passionfruit, peach, mixed citrus, pine and grapefruit with a very dry and biscuity malt structure. There’s a little flutter of bitterness developing late before it lands on a tame finish with pine and citrus on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, kinda clean and a little thin. CO2 could be a bit more lifted and the 6.2% ABV is relatively well buried.

Overall: We feel that in the middle of this haze craze that Akasha have swayed from their West Coast roots and are stuck somewhere in ether with this one. It’s like a West Coast IPA in NEIPA’s clothing. We’ve had much better from Akasha.

Hargreaves Hill ‘Pursuit Of Hoppiness #1’ Triple Dry Hopped NEIPA

Rating:

75278296_1227289524121857_5940560775394361344_o“The Pursuit of Hoppiness is an ongoing speciality series in which we explore the somewhat endless possibilities in the art of brewing with hops. Drinkers are given an exclusive look into the brewing process, with varieties, additions and time frame listed on the can label. Number 1 is a New England IPA. A Hazy, Triple Dry-Hopped Juice Bomb, hopped exclusively with Australian hops varieties for a local twist.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Kind of a milky pastel yellow with a thumb of fizzy white foam atop. The head reduced quite quickly and leaves inconsistent patches of lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Pretty interesting. We’re picking up a milkshake IPA sort of vibe from it…lots of lactose, strawberry, blueberry, passionfruit, florals, woody and yeasty i.e spice and bubblegum. Pineapple, stonefruit, melon and citrus opening up as it settles. A real fruit salad…but a damn fine fruit salad.

Flavour: Showing less of that milkshake IPA vibe and more traditional NEIPA qualities like pithy citrus (grapefruit, orange peel), mango, pineapple, stonefruit, melon, passionfruit, peppery spice, dank pine resins and mild lactose sweetness. Good drive in to the dry and slightly bitter finish. Length for days too!

Mouthfeel: Dry, powdery, medium-full body. CO2 is spot on. 6.5% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: It’s intriguing to see HH breaking the shackles of traditional brewing and jumping on the hazy train. We’re used to seeing old world styles like ESB, red ales and stouts from them so this is exciting. They should be excited too coz this is a pretty decent interpretation.