Author Archives: 2hopheads

Valhalla Brewing ‘Obsidian’ Black IPA

Rating:

52605600_1045895328927945_4332941502750654464_n“Our first born and forever our favourite, Obsidian is a big black ale in the mould of a black IPA. Cola and coffee hide slight raspberry followed by chocolate and toast. Black malts with bold grassy hoppiness make this a gem of a black beer to treasure.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Solid black with a thumb of tanned foam emerging on top. Good head retention and healthy lace sticking to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: It displays a hearty roasted character which is underlined by the bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, coffee, cherry cola and subtle figjam while the piney and at times floral hops add that brilliant balance and freshness to it. It’s a very well polished aroma.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose with semi-rich roasted notes, chocolate and coffee which roll swiftly in to the floral and piney hops. An aggressive bitterness opens up on to orange peel and grapefruit late in the piece. Nice dry finish with a hint of pine and roasted malt lingering on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Up until now it’s been practically faultless but the texture is a bit too thin for us. The 65 IBU and 6.8% AbV don’t mess around. Mild-moderate co2.

Overall: This is just our 2nd entry as their beers are quite hard to source in NSW. It’s a shame coz they’re bloody decent! Honestly all this beer needs is a couple of small tweaks and it’d be a world class drop.

Pirate Life X Limeburners BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

53377821_1045308418986636_6686031759265497088_n“The story of the Limeburners x Pirate Life Whisky Barrel Aged Stout truly begins many years ago when Great Southern Distillery founder Cameron Syme began to hear the tales of his rebellious Scottish ancestors, who gave up the whereabouts of their illegal distillery and used the reward money to start a new one. A successful career in law took him to the UK where he took every chance to visit the birthplace of whisky – Scotland. After years of research and planning Cameron distilled his first whisky in 2004 and hasn’t looked back since. Today Cameron’s team, led by distiller Benjamin Kagi, makes some of the best whiskies and gins in Australia.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a big and foamy three finger head forming on top. It gradually reduces to a thick overlay with a smattering of lace on the glass.

Aroma: Big, dense and viscous…as anticipated! The influence of the whisky is front and centre as it punches through with caramel, vanilla, a hint of spice and a honey-like sweetness. That all offsets the roasty and toasty elements of the stout beautifully. It’s quite amazing how they’ve managed such a pleasant nose considering the style.

Flavour: Absolutely delicious! This whisky is just made for this stout….the two combine incredibly well. There’s just the perfect amount of sweetness and spice in the whisky which is infused through the roasty, lightly charred and smoky notes and together they offer this decadent and super moreish flavour profile.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and full bodied. Unbelievably well hidden AbV (8.6%). Mild-moderate co2.

Overall: We among many others turned away from PL when they sold out but there is no denying the brilliance of this imperial stout. P.s let this baby warm up as she really reveals the true whisky notes once it does. Kudos PL!

Dollar Bill Brewing 2019 ‘Summer Parlay’ BA Wild Ale

Rating:

52993382_1044942122356599_5839869540632100864_n“Wild fermented on organic tempranillo grapes. Citrus. tobacco and cherries with light bitterness and bold acidity. The perfect summer refresher. Suggested Track: ODB – Baby, I got your money.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Kind of a rosy pink colour with a light orange fused through. The pour doesn’t muster up much head, with it quickly receding to the rim and leaving spotty lace as we go.

Aroma: There’s plenty happening that’s for sure, we can already tell there’s good depth to it. There’s a lovely vinous acidity, grape skins, lemon/lime, musk, wood chip, Angostura bitters, light florals, rosewater and pink peppercorns. Maybe just a flutter of raspberry and or cherry along with a soft oak tannin.

Flavour: Right on the money! (pun intended). Sour citrus, red grapes, subtle oak chips and cherries/berries to the fore. There’s a short spike of lacto acidity which softens in to the sweetness of Angostura bitters and subtle rosewater, finishing on a tangy funk that endures nicely.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat flat but it’s kept alive by a medium pucker and a vibrant acidity. There’s a decent weight to it as well…not enough to make it full bodied but there’s certainly some density.

Overall: Really enjoying what these guys are putting out…top quality sours with a catchy name and eye catching labels. I mean they’re intricate AF! P.s love the addition of the suggested track! A bit of ODB during the review is a nice touch! Brilliant drop.

Modus Operandi ‘Future Factory III’ Triple IPA

Rating:

53022091_1043036489213829_8823881267339591680_n“The future can look dark & unnerving, but this hop laden, hazy Double IPA will prepare you for a journey so profound & juicy, you won’t fear the future; because you’re already here.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Light amber to gold with a hefty three finger head perched on top. Retention is great and the lacing makes a beautiful mess on the glass.

Aroma: Absolutely bursting with Citra hop, tropical fruits, citrus, pine, stonefruits, peach, eucalyptus and tangerine. It has that dank and sticky resinous character that we get from the best IIPA’s like Korben D and 777. The malt is subtle – somewhat bready – but it’s spot on as it allows those magnificent hops to shine!

Flavour: Fruit juice bomb on entry…everything from tropical fruits to citrus to stonefruits. Lines of orange peel and pine carrying some bitterness through the mid. It gets nice and big in the finish with bitter citrus and warming booze in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth for 10% AbV. Can’t find an IBU but it sure has some vigour. Medium body and Co2.

Overall: To be honest it wasn’t as great as the hype would have you believe but in saying that it’s definitely good enough to put M.O back on the map.

Hop Nation ‘Site Fermentation’ BA Sour

Rating:

52688494_1042736219243856_4713068158808752128_n“Blonde Melange had 9 months fermented and aged in PX Cherry and Chardonnay barrels. Blended and bottle conditioned.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Bright gold with a mild haze. It forms a ring which struggles to produce much lace.

Aroma: Of light sourness and Belgian tripel-esque sweetness. We say that as the latter posseses those yeast-driven fruits such as apple and pear along with subtle spice and orange peel. There is a fair amount of white wine tannins and grape juice…hinting at a dry, oaked chardonnay with just the slightest hint of wood coming through. Quite a nice aroma actually.

Flavour: Comes on with a crisp vibrance with white wine, peppery spice and tangy citrus to the fore. It has this distinct buttery note to it where the lemony citrus and unripened pineapple cuts through. The finish is dry, oaky and a little spicy and it endures rather well on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Dry and spritzy with a crisp acidity. The pucker rating is low with medium body. 5.5% AbV – well positioned.

Overall: It’s a funny one because at first we were ready to pan it as the sourness was practically MIA. But we see that it’s not all about the pucker…there’s a certain pronunciation on this kind of wine/beer hybrid idea that adds another layer of complexity. Solid offering.

Goose Island ‘Juliet’ BA Belgian Style Wild Ale – 2016 Release

Rating:

52608910_1042437315940413_1128722138442760192_n“A wild ale aged in wine barrels with blackberries, tart and jammy with notes of rye, oak and tannins.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Burnished deep orange/amber complexion. It forms a short fizzy head which doesn’t hang around long. Scarce lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Really funky and chock full of vinegary tang, tart berries and cherries, manky cheese cave and sweaty horse blanket. Picking up some lovely apricot and peach as well but we’re all over this woody cigar box character which even lends itself to a very subtle hint of chocolate shavings. Very interesting.

Flavour: It hits the taste buds with a blast of tart berries, tangy vinegar and acetic lacto sourness…bretty funk, stonefruits and wine tannins follow close behind. Candied citrus and sherbet forms late in the piece before it finishes dry, musty and funky with good duration.

Mouthfeel: Tannic and somewhat musty. Medium-strong pucker but with a really well behaved AbV (8.2%). Moderate body and Co2.

Overall: We’ve loved most of this BA sour series from G.I but we’ve noticed that they can get a little too heavy on the vinegar. This one isn’t too bad but we probably wouldn’t seek out again.

Brasserie Cantillon 2017 ‘Nath’ BA Lambic w Rhubarb

Rating:

52666783_1041276702723141_4255807944563621888_n“Blend of rhubarb with one and two year-old Lambic. Beer with a tangy and fruity taste. A slight astringency accentuates its subtlety and its end note. Long conservation beer, with an evolving taste.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Peachy gold with a healthy cover of dense foam. The head holds together well and decorates the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Smells magnificent! Full of acetic lemon, stonefruit, white wine barrels, soft spicy notes and yeasty funk. The rhubarb is pretty subtle but still offers a bit of its distinct tart citrus and herbal characters. Also getting a cucumber and or unripened honeydew tone as well. It just keeps on evolving! We could go on for days as there’s a new scent every time we take a whiff.

Flavour: Holy moly it does everything we want it to do…nice gentle sourness upfront rolling in to ripe grapefruit and lemon, straw, white grapes and apple. Hardly any manky funk to it…maybe a hint of yeasty spice and horse blanket but it finishes rather clean and somewhat grassy with a delicate dryness.

Mouthfeel: Light on, spritzy, mineraly. Super refreshing! 5.5% AbV is spot on. Mild-moderate body.

Overall: So it’s said that this beer is the head brewers wife’s favourite beer. Her name is Nathalie and she’s a kindergarten teacher (hence the children’s drawing on the label). We could only imagine being the kid who drew it…what a claim to fame! He’ll be the envy of his mates when they’re all of drinking age! Anywho, that’s a brilliant drop.

Brew Mountains Brewery ‘Black Stuff’ Porter

Rating:

52532784_1040907969426681_6305920225787248640_n“This full bodied twist on an English classic results in a creamy roasty-toasty Australian porter. The hop bitterness range is wide but well balanced and the grains strong and reassuringly present.”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Dark brown with light cola hues. It produces a wispy overlay which gradually retreats to the rim. Laced well considering the lack of head.

Aroma: Almost like a sweet coffee and caramel syrup character initially. Reminds me of the caramel latte’s I used to drink when I was 18! Quite a strong mixed berry note to it as well – somewhat artificial at times and similar to blackcurrant roll ups and grape jubes. Very unique. Almost no typical porter qualities to it though.

Flavour: We’re struggling to work out where the beer is going. It’s sweet and fruity upfront, full of dark berries and forest fruits. It hits a very delicate roasty note midway which rolls in to a dry and toasty finish with subtle bittersweet chocolate on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Kind of creamy texture. Mild-moderate body with a hint of the 30 IBU coming through in the swallow.

Overall: After trying their pale, IPA and now the porter we can see a bit of a pattern with this artificial sweetness that persistently comes through. As a whole the brewery shows promise but the beers need some tweaking.

3 Fonteinen Oude Kriekenlambik

Rating:

52348546_1036542286529916_1780606162891177984_n“3 Fonteinen (Oude) Kriekenlambik is the result of macerating hand-picked whole sour cherries on young lambic for at least four months, in a proportion of one kilogram of fruit per litre of lambic (and possibly blended with some more young lambic). Fruit intensity ranges from minimum 35% to 50%.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Really deep maroon/burgundy pour. Much darker than the kriek’s we’re used to. It holds a wispy pink/purple head that weaves a wavy lace pattern down the glass.

Aroma: Somewhat dry with a musky funk. Lovely emphasis on the cherries though…very tart and juicy. The barrels play quite a big role here, there’s a prominent woodiness…we picture old cherry stained oak and sauna room. Something kind of floral as well like rose petals and violets. Quite a well layered nose actually.

Flavour: That tart and slightly sour cherry just washes over the palate. It’s not an insane amount of lacto but it definitely posseses a lot of pucker. It opens up on to a musty/woody oak with a gentle touch of lemon in the background which then presents those tart cherries and hints of blueberry and oak in the finish.

Mouthfeel: There’s a tart and tannic minerality. Light on, spritzy with a modest 5% AbV. Rather smooth.

Overall: It’s a very well polished kriek. Not overly sour and bursting with tart cherry and old oak barrels. A very fine offering.

10 Toes Brewery ‘Happy Days’ IPA

Rating:

51371472_1035799029937575_2249425654548267008_n“A light straw coloured west coast IPA, tongue punching citrus, mandarin and peach from buckets of US and NZ hops with a crisp finish.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Bright golden pour with 100% clarity. It notches up two fingers of well retained head with good retention. Healthy lace clings to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Of streamlined citrus, pine and stonefruit with a dry and grainy malt structure. Big impressions of orange citrus – mostly orange, mandarin and tangerine with some subtle candy also creeping in. Delicate lemon/lime and herbs come together to offer a kind of mojito-esque freshness. West coast IPA eat your heart out!

Flavour: Oh snap! It comes on with ultra crisp pine and citrus moving more towards orange peel and grapefruit as it approaches the mid palate. Tasting some grainy malt tailing in late as it finishes on a dry, pithy bitterness which really endures.

Mouthfeel: Pithy/prickly texture with an IBU of 65. Mild-moderate body. It feels as if the 6% AbV overplays its hand but that may be due to the aggressive bitterness.

Overall: In this market flooded by POG, milkshake and turbid NEIPA’s it’s refreshing to throw back a traditional west coast IPA. It’s clean, crisp, bitter and full of citric goodness. Solid drop.

3 Ravens ‘salted caramel’ Milkshake IPA

Rating:

imageGlassware: Poured into a shaker glass.

Appearance: We see an almost impenetrable amber/burnt red body with an off white/beige 10mm head that fades fairly quickly. Minute carbonation seen at the rim.

Aroma: Sweet butterscotch caramel dominates the nose like we having a desert beer. There are background citrus hops, a salty or briny twang and vanilla. Really quite moreish actually.

Flavour: Wow…first hit is of sweet grains, salt, and caramel sugars. The salted caramel flavour is absolutely bang on. We lose the butterscotch lolly and it’s replaced by more a toffee flavour. The hops are blended really well into the caramels, alongside more vanilla and a creamy lactose.

Mouthfeel: the bitterness is nice and low here so it gives it that desert like status. Sitting at 6% alc vol you really have no detectable booze burn at all. So well balanced on the palate with that sweet yet salty combination. We must admit you would not want it much sweeter. Body is mild to moderate with a moreish sugary, salty end feel. It’s velevety and creamy from the lactose, oats and protein rich grains ubiquitous with NEIPAs. Leaves a stickiness on the lips after each gulp.

Overall: When we think of this beer we think of Bacchus’ Peanut Brittle..so pungent on the nose with exactly what the beer advertises… ‘Salted Caramel’. It’s a tasty drop indeed. We unsure if you could have more than 1 though. It would get a touch too sweet. Definitely we would buy again. Brilliant brewing.

Brew Mountains ‘Outrageously Good’ IPA

Rating:

51482168_1035215146662630_2545301579292999680_n“If you like the bitterness of a classic English style Indian Pale Ale and the huge hop aroma bursting with notes of citrus and tropical fruits of a West Coast IPA, you’ll love the English-Aussie-US Tryhybrid.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Deep burnished copper hue with a healthy two finger head. Good retention and excellent lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Extremely malt-forward. It’s drenched with syrupy caramel, toffee, honey and butterscotch but saved by a fruity hop profile of mixed berries and stewed fruits. We’re getting lots of green off it too. ..by that we mean green fruits like kiwifruit and honeydew, green herbs like spicy basil and green in the broadest sense – like botanicals and vines.

Flavour: It reminds us of their pale ale just with added body and a whole lot more hops thrown at it. Somewhat bogged down with its hefty malt bill though. The hop flavours are trying hard to cut through but all we really get is the bitterness. The stewed fruits and berries are poking around but no where near enough to carry in to the bitter sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, a little drying towards the back end. Mild co2 and medium body. The balance is completely out of step though.

Overall: It appears they have the same issue with the IPA which they had with the pale ale: too malt-heavy and not enough balance. The only difference is you can usually get away with it much easier when you can hide behind a 6.5% AbV. Sadly not up to scratch.

Brasserie Cantillon ‘Vigneronne’ BA Lambic w Muscat Grapes

Rating:

51394211_1032806616903483_6891750359052582912_n“Blend of lambics aged on average 16 to 18 months and of Muscat grapes. Muscat grapes make Vigneronne a delicate and very refreshing beer that, due to the fructose, is slightly less acidic than other Cantillon beers.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Hazy golden orange complexion. It forms a short head which quickly retreats to the rim. Some patchy lace as we indulge.

Aroma: One word…brilliant. we love how they’ve blurred the lines between beer and wine here. On one hand it’s like a slightly dry Moscato then the punchy lemon, oak and apricot arrives. Just a hint of white vinegar, barnyard funk and a bit of that manky old dirty sock character. So wrong yet so right!

Flavour: Very interesting. Certainly isn’t as sour as the rest of their range. There’s a quick cameo of acetic lemon and lacto funk initially but it’s quickly enveloped by freshly squeezed white grape juice, pear/apple and dry musty farmyard grain/spices. Lots of adjunct flavours on the palate as it finishes crisp and light with a mild lingering tartness.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat dry, tannic, spritzy. Well balanced acidity to sweetness. Nicely concealed AbV of 6.5% too we might add. It just exudes class.

Overall: These guys are just simply in tune with what they’re brewing and the six-pointed star on the strip confirms it. They describe each point of the star as a representation of the brewing process – fire (mash tun), earth (cereals), air (yeasts) and water. They just friggen love what they do which makes them so easy to love back!

Brew Mountains Pale Ale

Rating:

51339860_1032714166912728_7254318544559538176_n“A clean and fresh pale ale using crystal, vienna and wheat malts. Dry hopped to give a beautifully balanced citrus and floral aroma. Perfect for sharing with mates any time of year.”

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Nice and deep burnished amber pour with a finger of loosely held foam perched on top. Good enough retention to see a bit of lace work down the glass.

Aroma: Full of caramel malt and candied fruit sweetness. It has a strong artificial scent…we keep thinking boiled candy and butter menthol. There’s almost a thought of too much diacetyl for a minute but they’ve kept it in check…just! A bit of tropical fruit creeping in but it’s just too sweet in our opinion.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose with this distinct diacetyl-laden sweetness – honey, caramel and butterscotch mainly. Fleeting hints of tropical and stone fruits kind of getting a look in but it’s pretty subtle. It finishes with a nice balancing bitterness but the sweetness is too overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth, creamy, just a suggestion of hop bitterness in the swallow. Moderate body and Co2.

Overall: Not the most ideal start for this virtually brand new microbrewery. They’re one of a few new breweries to open in the burgeoning craft beer scene up in the picturesque Blue Mountains. Not to worry the IPA and the porter are still to come!

Brasserie Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio

Rating:

51072985_1030287137155431_3838800245420982272_n“Blend of lambics produced during different years. Beer with a slightly acidic and fruity taste, delicate and woody fragrance and a dry finish that lingers on the palate. Beer with taste evolution that will keep for a long time in a good cellar.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Lovely golden orange display. It forms a wispy head which manages a decent lace considering the lack of retention.

Aroma: We’re getting lots of candied lemon, dry musty funk, oak, straw and other farmyard grains. Quite zingy actually – lime zest, grapefruit and white grapes really make it pop. It certainly isn’t short on manky-ness either…cheese cave, subtle sweaty notes and horse blanket all here as well. Classic Cantillon!

Flavour: Offers good levels of acidity with a gentle puckering sourness. Tart lemons, straw and earthy farmyard are supported by a light woody oak character. Hints of peppery spice albeit very subtle moving in to the well balanced finish of tart lemon, oak and white grapes. Fairly good length to it as well.

Mouthfeel: Rather light on. Nicely rounded though and extremely well poised on the palate. Mild co2.

Overall: There’s one thing that it isn’t…and that’s too sour! It’s actually quite an approachable gueuze. Whether that has anything to do with this being the 2016 vintage we’re unsure but it really is a smooth and pleasant drop.

Goose Island 2018 Bourbon County

Rating:

51558883_1029779683872843_4715189778163695616_n“I really wanted to do something special for our 1000th batch at the original brewpub. Goose Island could have thrown a party. But we did something better. We brewed a beer. A really big batch of stout-so big the malt was coming out of the top of the mash tun. After fermentation we brought in some bourbon barrels to age the stout. One hundred and fifty days later, Bourbon County Stout was born.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black as midnight. It quickly forms a ring with minimal lace as we indulge.

Aroma: It’s almost 30 degrees outside and it really isn’t the ample time of year to be drinking a barrel aged imperial stout but…once we cop a whiff of this nose everything seems right! Wave after wave of rich dark chocolate, charred malts, subtle smoke, musty old wine cellar, molasses, dark fruits, oak, vanilla, toasted coconut and toffee. We’re only just scratching the surface too! That is unbelievable!

Flavour: This has some serious grunt. Loving the prominent vanilla sweetness that offsets all the super rich dark malts, chocolate and molasses. Really loving the bourbon accents that offer that faint smokiness which cuts right through it as well. Toasted coconut, charred wood and toffee develops late and leads in to a long and warming finish with incredible length.

Mouthfeel: Big and muscly. Full bodied. The AbV (15.2%) is borderline absurd but they manage to keep it in check. Somehow!

Overall: For such a gigantic beer they must be commended on keeping it not only enjoyable but really sophisticated. This would offer long cellaring potential as well. Kudos G.I!

Beachwood Blendery ‘Little Secrets” BA Belgian Sour w Raspberries

Rating:

51191950_1028963207287824_958138312462172160_n“Belgian style sour ale with raspberries and dry-hopped with galaxy and mosaic.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: It hits the glass with that gorgeous rosy pink hue. A very fine head is formed which snaps back to a collar. Little lace left behind as we go.

Aroma: The olfactory’s are filled with bright floral perfumes, raspberry, watermelon, subtle lemon, minty herbs, peach and a hint of fresh oak. It’s amazing how little funk there is and it’s even more amazing how much it reminds us of a raspberry and mint gravlax. Just the slightest suggestion of strawberry sherbet in there too. Very nice.

Flavour: Now we know where all the funk in the aroma got to…it’s here! Really nice punchy sourness integrates with the natural tartness of the raspberry and vinegary notes upfront. Mint, mixed berries, lemon and a touch of tropical fruits roll in to the slightly funky finish with lingering red grape and raspberry on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of pucker. Somewhat dry with good acidity. Light-moderate body and a nice spritziness. Very refreshing!

Overall: We’ve really been enjoying this cheeky little shipment of Beachwood. They’ve all been classy and very elegant offerings. We’ll certainly be on the hunt for more!

Monkish Brewing ‘Western & Del Amo’ Double IPA

Rating:

51198169_1028506944000117_2707728197226594304_n“Triple dry hopped double IPA with Galaxy and Motueka hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Turbid mustard yellow looking body with a short head that doesn’t hang around. Looks like fresh squeezed apple juice.

Aroma: The juice level here is off the chain! Lashings of mango, pineapple and melon with plenty of support from the peach, apricot, papaya, orange, pear, grapefruit and mixed citrus. Even further complimented by wafts of pine grassy hops and herbal spice. Even has a touch of forest floor to it. Mind-blowing smells!

Flavour: Heady impressions of mango, melon, pineapple and papaya to the fore…fuelled by a rather assertive booze burn. This opens up on to a bit of peppery spice and grapefruit acidity which sets up for a slightly harsh finish with intense resinous hop bitterness and citrus rind on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth initially but it develops a feisty bitterness in the tail. Dry chalky texture with medium body and mild-moderate co2.

Overall: These guys sure know how to brew a NEIPA! In all honesty we’ve had better from Monkish (namely Insert Hip Hop Reference and Broadcasting Live) but this one still deserves its good rating on untappd.

Veil Brewing ‘Black Ferrari’ Double Black IPA

51260330_1027855984065213_6449811594527375360_n“Citra & Galaxy Black DIPA”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Pouring an uber dark brown with two fingers of tan foam resting on top. Good head retention and excellent lace work on the glass.

Aroma: When a black IPA is done right it is one of the best aromas going around in our opinion. And this has been done right! That fusion of deep roasty malt, chocolate, coffee and cacao with the clean and hoppy notes of pine, citrus and herbs offer a brilliant contrast. Such an amazing fusion of aromas.

Flavour: Absolutely spot on! Neither the hops or the malts dominate…they both come on with as much intensity as each other. Bitter sweet chocolate, roasty malts, coffee, pine, pithy citrus peel, grapefruit and a subtle flutter of herbs are all amplified by a warming booze in the tail. Really good legs on it as well.

Mouthfeel: Rather aggressive, bitter and super dry in the finish. The 8% AbV reveals itself but doesn’t overpower. Medium body and co2.

Overall: A good ol fashioned west coast black IPA. She’s a bit of a palate wrecker but the high point is that it’s balanced – the hefty malt profile really pulls those hops in to line. That’s a pearler!

Mornington Peninsula Brewery 2016 ‘Cheviot’ BA Tripel

Rating:

50878259_1027513507432794_2922061719725408256_n“Cheviot is a strong Belgian Tripel offering a complex spiciness and assertive fruitcake flavours. 10 months ageing in Shiraz barrels add an extra layer of vanilla and oak intensity, followed by lingering notes of strawberry jam to deliver a decadent beer worthy of savouring.”

Glassware: Trappist tulip.

Appearance: It pours a bright and bold amber hue with a short head perched on top. There’s a gradual reduction but still a fine lace is carved out on the glass.

Aroma: Very interesting. Very intricate too we might add. The 10 months in Shiraz barrels have had a great effect on the beer in the way that it really showcases those juicy blackcurrant and strawberry notes along with French oak, spice and plums. We get a lot of mixed spirits coming through too – rum, brandy and a hint of bourbon are the most dominant. Fantastic aroma.

Flavour: Initially we couldn’t pick up any Tripel qualities but they’ve actually been fabulously interwoven through the fruity, spicy and liquer-ish notes very well. There’s a bunch of flavours we just can’t put our finger on but they taste something like Cadbury’s fruit & nut, cherry taffy and some kind of earthy berry like mulberry.

Mouthfeel: Quite full and chewy yet it’s far from being heavy. Mild-moderate co2 with an adequate warmth from the 9.5% AbV.

Overall: It’s actually a difficult beer to summise. In short it’s a complex little number that deserves more credit than it gets. It’s quite an impressive drop.