Author Archives: 2hopheads

Boatrocker Brewing Co 2017 ‘Ramjet’ WBA Imperial Stout

Rating:

25299386_785460868304727_7341734905627922861_n“Starward whiskey barrel aged imperial stout. 2017 release.”

Served in a snifter. Pitch black appearance with a finger of brown foam topping it off. Head retention is good and the lacing is thick and webbed as it subsides.
The nose? Just as we expected…huge!! Prominent booze and coffee with pronounced whiskey, oak, molasses and dark chocolate notes. A wealth of vanilla, marzipan, licorice, charcoal and treacle along with undertones of glazed cherries, fig jam and rum. Sheesh…bloody complex but absolutely brilliant.
Strong follow through in flavour. The taste buds are abuzz with warming alcohol (13.6%), coffee, whiskey, oak barrel, licorice and hints of vanilla around the edges. So much roast….picking up burnt wood, heavily roasted malts, ash and tobacco with that rich molasses sweetness leading to an aggressive finish with burning booze, espresso and dark chocolate lingering forever on the back end.
The texture is oily and astringent but the weight is still held around that medium-full mark. Mild-moderate co2. Definitely one for a highly seasoned palate.
Boatrocker do it again! To be honest we only boarded the Ramjet plane last year but we are absolutely hooked! For us, this is Australia’s version of the KBS and once again it’s tough to say which one is better. Can not fault it. Superb drop.

Badlands Brewery 2017 ‘The Gloaming’ Baltic Porter

Rating:

24993541_784105191773628_8438053430271282624_n“Each year we re-imagine The Gloaming with a new key ingredient. In 2017 roasted hazelnuts from iconic local growers, Fourjay Farms, have been introduced to the brewing process. As a luxurious addition, freshly harvested black truffles, unearthed just minutes from the brewery, join the infusion. “The Gloaming” is that period of the day between sunset & pitch black – this beer takes you to the edge of darkness but doesn’t push you over.”

Cool swing top bottle here. We popped and served in a beer tulip. Nice and deep cola colour with a thumb of light tan head perched on top. Retention is OK with a healthy lace clinging to the walls of the glass.
We’re taking in some rich and roasty aromas here. Tonnes of nutty malt, cherries, dark chocolate, cocoa, fig, vanilla, mushrooms, earth and coffee. She definitely displays some of those quintessential Baltic porter aromas too – think metal, subtle smoke and hints of molasses and prunes. Very well layered aroma here.
The flavour profile isn’t as rich and hard hitting as we’d hoped. In saying that though there is a big earthy character upfront which leads in to mild cherry, dark chocolate and molasses midway. The lightly roasted nuts are introduced as it rolls in to a relatively soft, dry and roasty finish which shows some good length on the back end.
The texture is smooth as silk but maybe a little too lean, especially now as it warms. Very well concealed ABV (7.3%). Little to no bitterness. Medium body and co2.
We’d be lying if we didn’t say we were expecting a bit more from this. It has been dressed up to perfection but for 26 bucks a bottle it hasn’t overly impressed us. Good but not great.

Omnipollo ‘Aurora’ Wheat IPA

Rating:

24862468_784104978440316_6774516581809135598_n“The wort of this beer looks radio active. Pale, wheaty and green tinted from a post boil hop burst. After a short and efficient fermentation we dry-hop it as many times as it takes and carbonate it softly. We love brewing beer, thinking about beer, dreaming about beer, talking about beer, breathing beer, changing beer, exchanging beer etc. Chill it perfectly and crush it deductively.”

Served in an IPA glass. It pours a cloudy and somewhat milky straw golden hue with a frothy two finger crown. Head retention is good and we see a wavy lave pattern as it ebbs.
Interesting aroma. Smells fruity and piney but also kind of creamy. Definitely get orange citrus upfront, mango, pineapple, subtle grapefruit and subtle dank pine notes. The wheat component is delicate, actually quite hard to pick up but it does come through dry and somewhat bready. Picking up some herbal scents, a bit of spice and this unique ice cream character – reminds us of mango Weiss bars.
Just getting the typical IPA characters on the palate – a nice little fusion of citrus and tropical fruit, pine and grassy/herbal hops. Again the wheat is super subtle, we’re getting more of a light pale malt coming through with grainy and semi sweet honey notes. Subdued fruits and pine return before its rounded out by mild citrus, pine and grassy hops.
The texture is drying and slightly powdery. Medium body and co2. Very well concealed ABV (7.2%), so to is the bitterness.
A little underwhelming we must say. It almost has a NEIPA feel to it with its hazy appearance, low bitterness and high fruity hop content but it just doesn’t seem to hit home for us. The wheat component is too subtle and it just lacks overall excitement. A rare miss from such an esteemed brewery.

Prancing Pony Brewery ‘Indie Kid’ Pilsener

Rating:

24899896_784104431773704_8570601112077841989_n“This delicious traditional Pilsener is made with untraditional hops and is the perfect thirst quencher. Crisp and clean and very easy to drink.”

Served in a footed flute. Slightly hazy golden appearance. It forms a short white cap which collapsed but still managed to weave a streaky lace down the sides of the glass.
The nose is crisp and really popping – the perfect elixir for this warm summer afternoon. Very well balanced, we get heaps of zingy citrus fruits and herbs but it’s countered with a firm grainy malt backbone. Plenty of cereal malts, some spicy undertones and just a hint of boiled vegetables. Maybe some light florals creeping through as well. Pretty decent.
Like the aroma, the flavour profile is also crisp and super snappy. Slightly dominated by the grainy and crackery malts, cereal and hints of cardboard. The hops introduce themselves effectively, although subtle with citrus, fresh herbs and light floral tones. Some grapefruit bitterness develops late before it finishes dry and crisp with good duration in the tail.
The texture is light and sparkling with quite a hearty bitterness (36 IBU) following through. Nicely carbonated. Mild-moderate body. A solid session beer that’s for sure.
It’s clean, crisp and crush-able but without being unfairly harsh it is still somewhat of a run of the mill pilsener. It does hit the spot though, not a bad interpretation of the style.

Modus Operandi ‘Future Factory’ IIPA

Rating:

imageThe future can look dark and unnerving, but this hop laden hazy DIPA will prepare you for a journey so profound and juicy you won’t fear the future, because your already here.

Poured into a pint glass we see a hazy burnt orange with a 10mm off white head that fades quickly in this crappy glass. Can see some carbonation rising up through the glass. Lovely pine driven and juicy sweet tropical hop aroma out of the glass, with some spice. First sip on a fresh palate is dominating bitterness from the hops, full of pine, sweet grapefruit, caramels, and more ripe tropical fruits like mango and a bit of peach and pineapple. Body is full here and mouthfeel is good with a nice weight that hides the 8.5% Alc vol. Carbonation in the mouth is low. The more we consume, we not only get a nice zing on the forehead but we get more resinous hops, ripe tropical fruits, interwoven with caramel and spice that hides the booze heat very nicely. It’s definitely sweet..almost cloying. Full of ripe fruit and pine. Almost syrupy. As we near the end of the glass we see very patchy lacing down the glass. Hmmm we are thinking to ourselves we could think of several good Australian DIPAs, such as the Korben D, riverside 777, 4 pines DIPA etc and thinking this would be last place. It’s a very tasty brew but based on the sweetness we can’t give full marks.

kAIJU ‘Peregrination’ IPA

Rating:

imageAs far as we can tell this IPA from KAIJU has been collaborated with the Catfish and Breakside. Whoever they are…

Poured into a shaker glass we see a hazy golden orange with plenty of small carbonation seen rising up to the 10mm White head that drops out from the middle. Lovely pine nose with hints of sweet malt, orange citrus and light fresh dough yeast. First sip leaves decent citrus bitterness on the palate. This is the dominant flavour, alongside some lemon, orange peel, and pine. Not as sweet now, and it’s actually quite drying and sharp on the palate as it lingers. This brew is light to medium body and good length. We note Alc vol of 6.2% and it blends into the citrus bitterness and pine. Light dry malts round up the palate so the bitterness shines. Nice head retention here as we near halfway through the glass with plenty of spotty lacing down the glass. As we near the bottom it starts to clear out the glass but the bitterness still grabs on the tonsils and almost makes it peppery. Just more of the same, pine, citrus hops with light drying malts and background doughy yeast. It’s a bit run of the mill but it’s not terrible by any means. Just doesn’t stand out really. We wouldn’t buy again.

De Struise Tsjeeses 2013 Reserva PBA Belgian Xmas Ale

Rating:

24293991_779020902282057_6653817597278570340_n“The amazing Tsjeeses Christmas Ale, aged in port barrels. 2013 edition.”

Served in a stemmed tulip. We’re met with an attractive chestnut hue which dons a short tan cap. Steady reduction with a healthy lace pattern sticking to the glass as we imbibe.
Oh man these Reserva beers by Struise are absolutely mind-blowing! The 2013 ‘Kerstbier’ was phenomenal but this aroma is simply in a class of its own. Crammed full of toffee apple, plum jam, raisin, fig, caramelised pears, sourdough, banana runts, spice, port and even a subtle hint of vanilla. How do these guys not carry a Trappist certification? This is without a doubt on par with the likes of Westvleteren and Westmalle.
All of those brilliant aromas have transferred on to the palate quite nicely. Waves of toffee and caramel, fruity esters, port, raisin, mild oak, spice and slightly tart plums start strong and mellow in to a super sweet dark fruity middle. The warming booze kicks in to gear as syrupy notes of honey and raisin finish with hints of apple and pear on the back end.
The texture is full-ish, well carbonated and sticky. 10% ABV is well concealed. Slightly cloying at times but no where near enough to hinder the overall brilliance of the beer.
World class drop right here. The years aging in port barrels has had a delicate yet effective outcome, handing this already rich and intense ale an extra layer of complexity, not to mention the softening of the booze. Excellent offering.

Alesmith Brewing Co ‘Orange X’ American Pale Ale

Rating:

24296584_779020592282088_3593987641611259263_n“Orange X is a fresh new take on our classic extra Pale Ale. We combined the crisp, light balance and generous hop profile of X – Extra Pale Ale with the bright, juicy citrus character of oranges as a tasting room exclusive here in San Diego. The positive response was so overwhelming that we decided to trust in our fans by putting it into cans. Orange X for the people!”

Served in a shaker. It pours a somewhat hazy golden amber hue with a thumb of foamy and well retained head perched on top. It’s working a nice webbed lace as it subsides.
The aroma is incredibly juicy, very citrusy and summery. The fruity sweetness is certainly more artificial than fresh, reminds us of these blood orange-flavoured sparkling sodas we’re keen on. Kind of has this Fanta and Sunkist accent to it as well. Also getting hints of tang, citrus rind and a touch of pine. Nothing overly exciting happening there.
We’d have to say this orange soft drink flavour is displayed much better on the palate. Very sugary sweet and citrusy with a kind of tangy edge. Soft orange blossom florals coming through the middle with a somewhat biscuity malt developing late. A gentle citrus peel bitterness then rolls in to a tangy, piney and slightly peppery finish.
The texture is nice and light, sparkling and vibrant. Mild-moderate in weight with an approachable 24 IBU. Highly crush-able!
Not totally overwhelming but it’s a nice seesional pale ale on this warm late Spring arvo….would be even more sessional in Summer! It’s not a bad beer by any means it’s just lacking a bit of pizzazz. We’ve had better from Alesmith.

Brouwerij De Molen ‘Push & Pull’ BA Imperial Tiramisu Stout

Rating:

24296416_778752955642185_8684357365362226548_n“Bourbon barrel aged imperial stout brewed with almond, coffee, chocolate & vanilla.”

Served in a snifter. Pouring blacker than the ace of spades. It builds a finger of brown head that holds its shape well, gradually receding to a fine overlay that deposits a spotty lace down the sides of the glass.
Not too sure if we’re digging this aroma. It’s really medicinal, brimming with cherry sherbet, plum jam, marzipan, icing sugar, some bourbon sweetness and a strange hint of citronella. Kind of questioning if we got given the right bottle here?! Maybe a hint of vanilla too but Tiramisu? Gotta be kidding.it smells like benadryl. This isn’t the De Molen we’re used to that’s for sure.
We’ll admit, they’ve saved themselves flavour-wise. That unsavoury medicinal character is much less pronounced and replaced by a bold whisky sweetness and slightly tart cherry notes. Still no Tiramisu though, a victim of the barrel aging process perhaps? Some marzipan and a hint of roasted nutty malt develops before a sweet and somewhat fruity finish reveals light milk chocolate notes on the rear.
They have struggled to shake the medicinal texture though – quite direct and a bit oily. To their credit they’ve hidden the booze (10.5%) well. Medium body and co2.
De Molen…we’re not angry, just disappointed! We’ve reviewed about a dozen of their beers and this one could possibly sit at the bottom. We don’t mean to harp on about this medicinal note but it really impedes on some of the more enjoyable flavours. And where’s the Tiramisu? It’s non existent. Looks like they’re human after all! 

Ocho Beer ‘Lusty Winter’ Porter

Rating:

24177168_778622405655240_2045173796676207320_n“A thundering great Baltic Porter with dark malty character and a winey, bittersweet finish..This is a Baltic Porter of Shakespeare proportions.”

Served in an English pint. It hits the glass with a slightly penetrable black hue. It generates a short tan head that slowly peels back to a film. Some fine lacing as we go.
There’s certainly a few interesting scents here. It all works off a solid base of roasty and bittersweet dark malts but the most noticeable aroma would have to be this sweet candy-esque scent….maybe marshmallow? There’s definitely a raw coffee bean accent to it as well but it’s not your typical robust Arabica or Italian espresso, it has a sweetness to it which reminds us of the Indonesian Kopi Lowak variety which is known more for its post-digestive process! Unique.
Similar traits in flavour too. It’s working off that roasty/toasty malt structure in to a sweet musk and or marshmallow note. Again that sweet but raw coffee bean comes through along with an assertive hop bitterness in support. Nice carry in to the dry, bitter and roasted finish. Showing some decent legs as well.
The texture is dry, bitter and a little sharp. Booze weighs in at 7.3% and doesn’t really try to hide it either. Medium body and co2.
Look the candy and semi sweet coffee notes are a good touch but it just falls short on wowing us. It ain’t a bad porter by any means but is it memorable?…probably not. Keen to try more from their range though.

Beer Farm India Pale Lager

Rating:

24301165_778617502322397_134624959003935796_n“Beer description: The beer the brewers make for their own selfish pleasure. Brilliantly pale and sparkling with only the faintest of maltiness. A crisp bitterness, fermented cold and lagered for weeks this is a classic beer style at its finest. Celebrating the vibrant stone fruit and flavours and aromas of American hop varieties.”

Served in a shaker. Pours a clear, light straw golden colour. It forms a thumb of foamy white head which is retained quite well. Lacing is scarce and streaky as it subsides.
The nose is light, hoppy and crisp with a nice balance between the grassy and piney hops and the corny and crackery pilsner malts. Picking up some citrus undertones in there too – subtle orange and rind. Some boiled vegetable notes creeping through too. Nothing to write home about but it ain’t bad.
Well it hits its mark we will give them that….it’s literally just a highly hopped lager. Grainy and starchy with hints of rice crackers upfront. The hops inject some lovely grassy notes, citrus, pine and gentle stonefruits. Picking up an earthy character before it finishes dry and slightly herbal with some good duration on the back end.
Nice texture…crisp and zippy with a vibrant co2. Light on and super seesional. 40 IBU and 5.2% ABV – enough to make it interesting.
We’re a little undecided on this one. It’s a beer that we wouldn’t even look at if there were better options but if choices were limited it would be a satisfying drop. It’s a perfect summer festival beer with its slightly lifted ABV, flavour profile and session ability. Plus it’s in a can! But will festival promoters ever put it on? We won’t hold our breath.

De Struise Tsjeeses ‘Kerstbier’ 2013 Belgian Blond

Rating:

24177131_777764292407718_7733095642270848930_n “Strong blond winterbier with fluffy white head. Aroma is elegant, it has hints of fruits, spices, refreshing herbs and noble hops. The taste is very strong, very complex and fairly dry for the style. This beer has an expressive taste and ends with a nice afterglow”.

Served in a stemmed tulip. This interesting beer offers a light chestnut hue with a short and finely beaded cap. Lovely lace work clings to the sides as it ebbs.
Holy moly! Where did this aroma come from?! It’s like a lovechild between a barleywine and a Belgian quad. It offers massive spicy overtones, canned fruits, golden syrup, toffee, residual sugars, booze and dates. Sensational aroma, so sweet, sticky and conplex.
Woooowwwww. The flavour carries on with the trend here. Loads of spice – mainly earthy and rich ones like clove, nutmeg and star anise. Super sweet toffee, syrup and raw sugar but not cloying in the slightest. A delicate nudge of booze makes way for a sweet and spicy finish that endures on the rear palate.
So smooth in the mouth. Velvety texture, a bit of warmth from the booze (10%), mild-moderate co2 and full in body.
Stunning drop. It’s almost 2018 now so this beer already brings 5 years with it…and boy hasn’t it improved! So slick, smooth and silky. Well tempered and incredibly well balanced. The 10% ABV has certainly mellowed too. The fact that we have another four stored away means there’s some absolutely top notch drinking in store for us! Flawless.

Brouwerij De Molen ‘Heaven & Hell’ Bowmore BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

24067943_777632492420898_2913534585530038999_n“Although hard to comprehend for many, this is the big brother of Hel & Verdoemenis. With loads of dark malts in both back and foreground, supported by strong but smooth bitterness from hops and roasted malts. Flavor indication: chocolate, coffee, toast.”

Served in a snifter. She pours a menacing black colour with an extremely well retained thumb of brown foam assembling on top. Impressive lace work clinging to the glass as we imbibe.
Oh wow, there’s peat and dark chocolate and tonnes of it! It smells oily and super rich with that salty soy sauce and molasses intensity to it. On the flip side there’s a dense and gelatinous aspect….chocolate mud cake and carob spring to mind. Once it settles in the glass the whisky notes begin to shine through. Really potent stuff.
Just as we thought, with a bit of time to warm this huge stout unveils that unwavering Islay whisky character – smoke, peat, salt and slightly medicinal with a big and warming booze burn (12.9% ABV). Undertones of ash, burnt chocolate and dank woody notes deliver a smoky and peaty finish with hints of salted chocolate and a persistent warmth from the booze.
The mouth feel is slick, oily and aggressive. The whisky texture really comes through with intent here as does the ABV but can you blame it when it almost clocks in at 13%?!
Tell you what, we had our reservations to begin with. But once those smoky and peaty whisky notes came through it almost takes on the strength of a boilermaker. The whisky flavours are absolutely dialled in. We’ll hold out until De Molen age a stout in Lagavulin 16yo barrels. Now that would be heavenly.

Wayward Brewing Co ‘Midnight Cowboy’ Hopped Porter

Rating:

24059224_777632115754269_1768441335391367296_n“Is it a porter or a black IPA? Using malt as dark as the soul of the beast gives The Cowboy its deep mahogany hue, juxtaposed over an aroma of hops that tradition might say belongs not in a Porter but in a beer of a sunnier disposition. The Cowboy laughs in the face of convention, preferring the company of those whose minds have been enlightened by the everlasting wisdom of Ninkasi.”

Served in an English pint. It hits the glass with a cola hue and a loosely packed two finger head on top. Retention is good though, but in saying that the lacing is sparse, wet and streaky as it follows.
The brewers certainly aren’t lying when they say this is a “hopped porter”. The nose displays distinct black IPA characters with its bold and roasty malt structure underneath a piney and citrus-laden hop profile. It fills out with a lovely blend of milk chocolate, cocoa, toffee and subtle charcoal. Nicely layered aroma indeed.
The flavour is similar to the aroma in terms of that well struck balance between roasty malts and citrusy/piney hops. Although it seems to lack that density the aroma possesses. Some fleeting hints of chocolate and a bit of cocoa powder here and there as well. The finish is well balanced with a subtle roast riding the dry and bitter hops to the back palate.
Due to the indecision between a black IPA and a porter the mouth feel appears to cop most of the blame. It becomes a little thin and slippery as it warms. Still, the delicate bitterness and co2 holds it up.
It’s a pretty decent drop. There’s a couple of things that detract but essentially it’s an enjoyable porter that has been simply spruced up with an extra helping of U.S hops. Not bad.

New England Brewing Co ‘Wooden Ram II’ BDG

Rating:

24059007_777631765754304_5278926080591942806_n“New England’s second Wooden Ram is a 7.3% French-style Biere de Garde. It is brewed in the farmhouse tradition of using fresh ingredients in autumn and storing during winter, for summer knees up! After being cellared during a New England winter in Hunter Valley Shiraz barrels, Wooden Ram II has wine and oak characters, complemented by malt sweetness and fruity aromas. Enjoy with cheeses, rich desserts, and good friends.”

Served in a tulip. Quite a contrasting range of colours in the glass – starting bright golden around the edges and working in to a light burgundy red in the middle. Short lasting white cap which still manages to stick a reasonable lace as it ebbs.
The aroma is somewhat complex. Definitely picking up the oak and subtle tannins from the time spent in wine barrels. The citrus component is acidic, tart and slightly artificial. We like the harmonious fusion of rich and sweet malt with the even sweeter dried fruit character – apricot, peach, pear and apple. Some really lovely farmhouse elements to take in here.
The flavour is a bit more heavier on the sourness than we were expecting. A touch of sour lemon and vinegar before the woody oak component softens it a little. Getting hints of full bodied red wine….the likes of Shiraz or Cab Sauv. Undertones of red berries and dried stonefruit mellow out in to a pleasant finish which offers a soft woody note in the tail.
The mouth feel is tart, well carbonated and a touch dry but ultimately smooth and approachable. The 7.3% ABV is well buried.
Biere De Garde certainly isn’t a style which we claim to know a lot about but from the relatively small amount we’ve reviewed it stacks up pretty well. Some sourness in there, woody oak, fruit, sweet malts and a hint of funky farmhouse. Practically ticks all the boxes.

Sailors Grave ‘law of the tongue’ Oyster stout.

Rating:

imageThis smokey oyster stout has been brewed with Wapango oysters and Sunrise limes from Murray View Organics. Brewed in the deep sou’east of Victoria.

Poured into a shaker glass, we see a 5-10mm tan head that is full of tightly packed carbonation. Retains fairly well, leaving just a patchy rim. Mat black appearance here. Fine carbonation seen. Aroma of roasted malts, espresso, some molasses, sea salt/brine, and some smoke or ash. First sip yields more roasted malt, definite smoke, bitter espresso, game like meat, more salt, and little lime. We trying to detect the limes here, and obviously the whole salt/sour thing is the way to go but it’s minimal to our tastebuds. Sure there is a bitterness on the palate but we can’t definitely say it’s lime. There is an oilyness to this brew and we see no lacing down the glass. It’s sticky on the lips after each sip. Light to medium body here with a good smoky, ashy, roasted malt backbone. It’s 5.5% Alc vol and it’s well hidden, basically imperceptible behind the smoke and malt. Minimal carbonation being a stout but there is a subtle spice or bubble on the tongue. As we near then end, we get all the flavours as described above. It’s a meaty brew with the use of oysters adding to this mouthfeel. Taste of the sea here with a decent smoked malt backbone. A tad more lime would have been better. It’s no 3 Boys Oyster Stout but it’s enjoyable.

Mountain Goat ‘Back to the Brewer’ Double Steam Ale

Rating:

imageThis brew is a bigger, brassier version of our regular steam ale. We have upped the ante on hops and pumped up the mouthfeel to give this pale gold brew a fruity, tropical palate and aroma. We think it goes perfectly with birthday cake. It’s a 20th birthday celebration with a collaboration with Two Birds and Hop Products Australia.

Poured into a pint glass, we see a hazy dirty dishwater appearance or that of tropical breakfast juice. Difficult to see the carbonation through the cloudiness. A bubbly off white 10mm head slowly fades into a 5mm one. Nose is pure tropical aroma – pineapple, orange, guava, green mango with pine, and some sweet malt and bread. Reminds us of juice with a touch of alcohol. First sip is surprisingly smooth. We get restrained bitterness mixing with pine, some citrus like orange, a touch of sweet grapefruit, and less tropical flavours than the nose but still pineapple, guava. Moderate body here but with minimal carbonation you take a big gulp and it smoothly slides down the gullet. Not a lot of lingering flavour here, other than a touch of spice. We note the Alc vol of 7.3% and it’s so hidden. You get more of a buzz on the forehead before you really detect it. There is a sweet caramel malt base here mixing nicely with the citrus and tropical hops. We note scattered lacing down the glass. As we near then end, we don’t really want it to end. So fruity, so tasty. Beautifully balanced malt to hop to booze ratio. Wow this absolutely pisses all over the steam ale. It’s not even a comparison. This is basically NEIPA style. Absolutely one of their better beers we have sampled over the last 17 years. Not sure where to fault. 1 star off for being associated with the steam ale. Thank god we bought 6 of them.

 

Two Hands Brewing ‘Piper XPA’

Rating:

imageTwo Heads is located on Piper Street Bathurst NSW. Nick lived on this street and won the first ever home brew competition – this hoppy beer sitting between a pale and a IPA is the result of his collab with this brewery.

Poured into a shaker glass we see an IPA looking colour – burnt orange which is hazy with some carbonation seen. Head disappears quickly leaving just a rim on the glass. Aroma is Devine. Nice caramel malts, with juicy pine and mandarin. There are tropical aromas of sweet mango, some passion fruit, and stone fruits like apricot and some peach. Very impressive. First sip is even better. Bitterness is very restrained on the palate and just glides down with minimal carbonation. More flavours of caramels, pine, peach, mandarin. It actually reminds us of a Balter IPA in a way. We notice 6.4% Alc vol and think wow. Hard to detect. The more we drink we just love the piney dry finish and the fruity, spicy, hoppy mild to moderate body that has a nice malty finish on the palate. Very smooth and easy to drink. There is some lacing on the glass. We feel this is certainly in the category of an IPA. Nice use of hops with a judicious bitterness. A touch more bitterness and this would easily rival the top shelf around. We like what we see here. Tasty drop.

Bridge Road Brewers ‘B2 Bomber Mach 6.0’ Belgian Black IPA

Rating:

23795374_775987085918772_697733813066623693_n“Bridge Road Brewers reached the 11th year of brewing in 2016. To celebrate we have continued the tradition of brewing a new yet bigger incarnation of the B2. This year we have stepped things up to reach Mach 6.0.”

Served in an IPA glass. Looks like a big ominous stout – pitch black with a finely beaded two finger head perched on top. Head retention is excellent and so to is the healthy lace work down the walls of the glass.
We get lots of grassy and piney hops against the robust dark malt backdrop. Good uplift from the coffee, cocoa and toast with a subtle candied undertone flowing through. Quite earthy, also hinting at black pepper, fennel seed, molasses and herbs with a touch of warming booze completing a seriously complex and multi layered aroma.
Oh wow! Depth and complexity for days on the palate. Plenty of action upfront – big, dark and roasty malt base with a piney and at times herbal hop bitterness cutting in. The feature we’re loving is this Candi sugar sweetness that’s coming from the Belgian yeast, adding that essential 3rd element which makes this black IPA stand out among the rest. It finishes slightly dry and toasty with incredible length.
It is unbelievably silky and smooth in the mouth. This is especially remarkable considering the 9.6% ABV. Dense and thick, mildly carbonated and full in body. Delightful!
Jeez what a beer this is. Can not fault it at all. We believe this is their 2016 release so the year and a bit in bottle has taken some of the edge off the hops but the rich malt character and the sweet Belgian yeast has more than made up for it. Sensational drop from Bridge Road…one of, if not, their best in our opinion.

Moon Dog Craft Brewery JTS 2017 Sextuple-Hopped Freeze Concentrated IPA

Rating:

23755784_775986625918818_6185605015129242311_n“Our annual release of Jumping the Shark is always super exciting here at Moon Dog! It’s our opportunity to make the biggest, most bad-ass, delicious beer we can think of. We jam in as much flavour as possible to create something really ridiculously special. This year we used more hops than you can shake a bine at! 20 varieties of hops from around to world added at 6 different points of the brewing process. This is a sweet, hoppy, boozy, resinous balltearer!!!!!”

 Served in an IPA glass. It pours a burnt orange colour with a massive four finger crown. The head slowly reduced and settles to a thick overlay which weaves a healthy lace down the walls of the glass.
The nose is extremely sweet. Very fruit forward but not in the way of freshly cut fruit, it’s more like a blend of fermented stonefruits mango, paw paw and rockmelon. Lots of similarities to a boozy fruit cocktail. Plenty of pithy and slightly acidic pineapple juice, guava, blood orange, lychee, toffee apple and subtle hints of fennel. The malt is sticky, chewy and caramel based. Very unique…..so Moon Dog!
The flavour is much of the same. Big emphasis on the sticky and sweet fermented fruits along with an almighty kick from the 14.4% ABV. What’s good is it doesn’t overpower, allowing a bit of that hoppy bitterness to creep through the middle. Getting a kind of burnt orange note developing late as it all flows in to a sharp, bitter and boozy finish with good duration in the tail.
The mouth feel, although astringent and warm, is incredibly well tempered for a beer of its size. Chewy, sticky texture. Mild co2 and medium in weight.
Our only gripe with this beer? The green bottle! WTF?! Why do they leave the beer exposed to bring light struck? Any who, Moon Dog as they consistently do, have provided us all with another whacky and wonderful offering as part of their Jumping The Shark series. Not as good as previous releases but still a beer to savour….or even age if you possess the patience.