Author Archives: 2hopheads

Deep Creek Brewing Co ‘Pontoon In A Monsoon’ IPA

Rating:

21687822_750410075143140_158722469231749229_n“Those long 19th century trips from the British Isles to the East Indies were a tough old journey for the barrels of beer that were sent to quench the thirst of the troops. Smart thinking resulted in loading the brews with hops to act as a natural preservative… and the India Pale Ale (IPA) was born! We loaded our galleon with a boat load of pale crystal malt, plus Centennial and Cascade hops, to bring you a strong IPA with toffee orange flavours.”

Served in an IPA glass. Nice clear amber pour with a tightly held two finger crown perched on top. Retention is good and the lacing is thick and soapy as we imbibe.
Uber American on the nose – clean, piney, citric and fresh. Has this super clean Hop Hunter scent like they’ve used hop oils. Wave after wave of the good stuff – grapefruit, passion fruit, orange peel, pine needles, cannabis aniseed, candied lemon and some resinous characters to boot. A delicately dry and grainy malt structure holding it all together. Looking good.
Excellent continuation on to the palate. Fresh, crisp and piney with that grainy malt there at the base. Flashes of herbs and grassy hop flow through the mid and lead to a sharp and ultra bitter finish with lingering grapefruit and orange peel on the back palate.
The texture is dry and frothy with discernible alcohol (6.9% ABV) warmth and aggressive bitterness. Medium body.
Much better from DC! Don’t know what it was about the Lupulin Effect series but they have nothing on this. It hits those classic American IPA notes with precision. It’s crisp, piney, clean and aggressively hopped but there’s enough malt to contain it. Two thumbs up from us.

Boatrocker Brewing Co. Tripel

Rating:

21687860_750410481809766_8852786245190137347_n“This is a 9.6% Belgian style Tripel using Westmalle abbey yeast and Boatrocker’s house made candi syrup. This has been cellared and bottle conditioned for over 3 months and will continue to develop.”

Served in a Trappist tulip. It hits the glass with a cloudy orange hue which forms a wispy head over the top. It peels off to an island with minimal lace sticking to the sides.
The aroma has a lot of depth to it, plenty of yeasty funk, big malt driven sweetness and a tonne of spicy phenol. Loving this candied apricot and apple pie accent along with a kind of stewed orange/Cointreau-esque character. It’s quite doughy as well. Subtle bread crusts and grains making their way through. Complex and highly aromatic.
Quite the unique and interesting fusion of flavours on entry – very doughy and semi sweet with a prickly injection of orange citrus and either paw paw or papaya. The 9.6% ABV plays a big role in bringing the Cointreau and Grand Marnier midway. It has a nice and measured sign off with notes of subtle spice, stone fruits and Sherry that is given a nice boozy warmth in the tail.
The feel is relatively mild for a beer its size. The alcohol certainly adds some ticker but that aside it’s smooth, moderately bodied and nicely carbonated.
That is a fine interpretation of a tripel. They’re few and far between in Australia, especially when brewed by Aussie brewers. We’re certain the Westmalle yeast had a huge influence in this beer and points for sourcing such quality product. It paid off! Solid offering.

Deep Creek Brewing Co ‘Lupulin Effect’ Red IPA

Rating:

21559119_749985445185603_2096519906645118333_n“Cannabis and hops are closely related. Both come from the Cannabinaceae family. They do share some physical traits, such as appearance and similar aromas. However, they differ on the chemical level. Both produce terpenes; cannabis terpenes are psychoactive where hops terpenes are purely for flavour, aroma and bitterness. Hops have been shown to help in relaxation, called the lupulin effect when consumed at moderate levels.”

Served in an IPA glass. We’re met with a reasonably clear amber hue that offers a soft copper tint. The creamy head swells to about a thumb before retracting to a thin sheet. Very healthy lace work following it down.
Smells fresh and very hoppy. Lots of luscious green leaves, pine, mango, paw paw, pineapple and a fair whack of booze. The malt profile is sweet, a little syrupy and caramelised. Getting this subtle scent of red peppers coming through too. Interesting touch. Not a bad aroma we must say.
Taste is following the nose. Seeing those hops just dominate the malts a bit. Getting a burst of citrus upfront but it’s certainly adjusted by the sweet caramel malts. The booze goes a little unchecked through the mid and gets intensified by a sharp citric bitterness which leads to a firm and warming finish.
Medium body with a creamy texture that coats the palate. The 7% ABV overplays its hand and the bitterness is quite aggressive. Slightly unbalanced.
We’ve been a little disappointed with this brewery to be honest. The artwork on their cans is very eye catching but the beer itself isn’t bringing it home for us. The balance isn’t quite right and the alcohol shows through a bit too much for our liking. Not a bad drop, just a tad rough around the edges.

Deschutes Brewery 2014 Reserve ‘Mirror Mirror’ BA Barleywine

Rating:

21463193_748795898637891_1743194503447251062_n“The Reserve Series romance all began with our first release of this limited-edition brew. Mirror Mirror, born of a double batch of Mirror Pond Pale Ale, is an inspired barley wine ale layered with intriguing nuances. Explore this latest incarnation and enjoy its delicious complexity in every sip. (Released March 2014)”

Served in a snifter. Pours a bit like muddy swamp water with a two finger head forming on top. Retention is good with a wavy lave pattern following it down.
Phwoar! That aroma. The complexity, the intense sweetness, the brilliance of a well brewed and well aged barleywine is not only 2nd to none but would easily challenge a dessert wine as an indulgent after dinner aperitif or night cap. With all that toffee, port, raisin, apricot, gingerbread, fig, residual sugar, fudge, brandy and sticky vanilla this is the epitome of opulence! Outstanding stuff.
It doesn’t shy away in flavor either. Big and extravagant notes of port, caramel, fig, brandy, brown sugar and raisin are given an almighty boost by the 11.2% ABV which injects prickly layers of belly warming goodness. It’s only subtle but we can detect a vinous accent from the hefty aging process it undergoes in American red wine barrels.
The texture is dense and syrupy with enough lift from the booze to save it from being edible. The co2 is mild but effective…also very important in the overall balance of the beer.
Oh jeebus! What an amazing beverage we have laid before us. Holier than thou. We’re not worthy! What we’re trying to say is this is down right incredible. Top 5 material without a doubt.

Deep Creek Brewing Co. ‘Lupulin Effect’ Double IPA

Rating:

21752172_748794698638011_8064911528735760414_n“Cannabis and hops are closely related. Both come from the Cannabinaceae family. They do share some physical traits, such as appearance and similar aromas. However, they differ on the chemical level. Both produce terpenes; cannabis terpenes are psychoactive where hops terpenes are purely for flavour, aroma and bitterness. Hops have been shown to help in relaxation, called the lupulin effect when consumed at moderate levels.”

Served in an IPA glass. Clear golden/amber in appearance. Not even our aggressive pour could churn up any real head as it produced a flimsy cap that peels back to a ring in seconds. Minimal lace. We’re getting a slightly dank and piney profile on the nose. Plenty of herbaceous notes – nettle leaf, tea and vines with that distinct Nelson Sauvin scent of white grapes. Very luscious and green which seems to be a characteristic of NZ IPA’s. Very mild malt presence – biscuity if we had to say anything.
Quite a unique set of flavours upfront. Persimmon is the most dominant but we pick up hints of gooseberry, lime juice and pine needle. Dank herbal hops, rotting leaves and pithy citrus set up for a long and acrid finish with loads of sting in the tail.
The texture is prickly and at times a little too astringent. Very unbalanced and hard to finish to be brutally honest. We get that it’s a DIPA but jeez a bit more malt sweetness would take the edge off of those hops.
This one started with a lot of promise but by the end it was too boozy (8.5%), too bitter and too unbalanced. Where they are doing well is the artwork on the can…very eye catching. But we can’t shirk the issue, it is what’s inside that counts the most and this slightly missed the mark for us.

Capital Brewing ‘Trail’ Pale Ale

Rating:

21463126_748794601971354_2260155540536000091_n“INSPIRED BY OUR DAYS HIKING IN THE HILLS OF THE CAPITAL REGION AND GETTING A GOOD DOSE OF MOTHER NATURE, TRAIL PALE ALE IS FRESH, JUICY AND SESSIONABLE. WITH A FLORAL AROMA, SMOOTH HOP BITTERNESS AND WELL BALANCED MALT PROFILE, IT FINISHES WITH A BRIGHT GOLDEN CLOUDY APPEARANCE. BEST ENJOYED OUTDOORS OR IN.”

Served in a shaker. Displaying a bold amber hue with two fingers of well retained foam perched on top. The head holds together well and works a healthy lace as it ebbs.
The nose is quite floral and piney with a hefty caramel sweetness. Subtle hints of forest berries, blackcurrant and blood orange get right in amongst those bready malt characters. Some nice aromas with good overall balance it it seems a tad restrained.
The palate offers a bit more than the nose. It’s certainly full-flavoured with a big burst of pine and citrus on entry. The caramel sweetness works itself in brilliantly to offset the bitter hops. It rolls in to a fruity middle and then delivers a long and dry finish with grassy/piney notes enduring on the back end.
She holds a nice weight in the mouth. Medium body with an assertive bitterness (45 IBU). It’s dry in texture but the malt profile makes for a smooth ride over the tongue. Quite pleasant to drink.
Tell you what the brewers have done an outstanding job at packing this much flavour in to a relatively light pale ale (4.7%). From the gorgeous colour to the session ability to the length in the tail it exudes class….and plenty of it. Another cracker beer from these guys.

Six String Brewing Dark Red IPA

Rating:

21558882_749149955269152_1301395100951329021_n“It’s not red. Or is it? What at first seems like another easy classification as a black IPA gets mighty confused when you hold it up to the light because, yes, there’s definitely redness there. And as there would be because the recipe is based very loosely on the West Coast USA style Red Ale, tweaked and nudged until it’s arguably become Six String’s signature beer.”

Served in an IPA glass. We’re met with a seriously deep amber almost burgundy hue with a monstrous three and a half finger head on top. The foam slowly recedes and leaves a smattering of lace in its wake.
The nose offers everything you’d expect from agood red IPA – dank and heady hops but beautifully contained by a rich and sweet caramel malt base. Oodles of juicy fruits, bitter citrus and grassy/piney hop but just as much toffee, treacle and toasty malt to balance it out. Impressive.
Excellent transition on to the palate. Spiked with bitter citrus and pine resin but again it’s smoothed over by those sweet and silky malts. Some tropical fruit appears before the bitter citrus (grapefruit, orange peel etc) rolls in to the long and slightly dry finish which presents that recurring balance well on the rear.
Nice and full in the mouth. Smooth and creamy but also a touch dry with assertive bitterness (51 IBU).
We honestly can’t believe it has taken us so long to review this beer! We’ve been smashing them for years now and only just realised about a week ago that we haven’t reviewed it. Well, now we have and it’s just as we remember it – big, hoppy but not in your face. Well balanced by the malts with a delicious sweetness from go to woe. Solid offering.

3 Ravens ‘The Druid’ Quadrupel

Rating:

21752133_748795638637917_1601090570109818470_n“The Druid is as arcane and eldritch as the name suggests. Dark malt sweetness, banana and bubblegum esters combine with raisin, fig and plum characters from the Pedro Ximenez barrel ageing process, to form an extremely smooth and dangerously easy drinking beer.”

Served in a Trappist tulip. The Druid offers a dark brown body that reveals chestnut edges when held to the light. It struggled to maintain its short head, eventually settling to a halo that deposits thin rings as we imbibe.
Bam! The nose is absolutely spot on. It’s hitting those rich and super sweet raisin notes and accommodating for the yeasty banana and spicy clove as well. Then we’ve got this creamy vanilla accent, a syrupy caramel and toffee and caramelised pear/apple pie scent over here. Even getting hints of blueberries as it warms. Brilliant.
The flavour comes on strong with prunes, raisin, clove, banana and stewed plums. It holds this combo so well as hints of brown sugar and toffee apple are offset with a bit of warmth from the booze (10% ABV). The alcohol burn hits a crescendo then eases in to a yeasty finish where we see an arsenal of flavours like banana, clove, bubblegum, rum & raisin and vanilla finish it off with excellent length in the tail.
Dense and syrupy in texture but held up really well by the alcohol. Full bodied with mild co2.
Jeez the difference between the Little Raven tripel and this is like chalk and cheese. This quad has all and we mean ALL the traditional aromas flavours whereas the tripel was left lacking and a bit off target. More of this please! Top shelf offering from 3 Ravens here.

Pact Beer Co. ‘100 Acres’ IPA

Rating:

21463195_748794418638039_4809311117758997440_n“Drawing equal cues from both the English and American IPA traditions, the 100 Acres IPA exudes a beautiful bouquet of clean pine and floral aromas with a firm bitterness that excites without overwhelming the palate.”

Served in an IPA glass. It hits the glass with a honey amber hue and seals off with a thumb of tightly beaded foam. Good retention and good lace sticking to the glass as it subsides.
There’s nothing fancy going on with the aroma but it still manages to offer a super clean pine note with heady floral accents, freshly cut grass, tangerine, passion fruit, orange blossom and soft grapefruit undertones. It’s also balanced quite nicely with hints of caramel and oaty biscuits adding to the allure.
The flavour serves up a delicious and well balanced fusion of piney and slightly herbal hops along with semi sweet biscuit malts. An assertive bitterness forms early in the mid which emphasises the pithy grapefruit which carries in to the piney and slightly resinous finish. Good duration on the back end too, this soft citric bitterness really goes the distance.
It’s dry and a little prickly but ultimately approachable. The 6% ABV doesn’t overplay its hand and she’s hit that perfect amount of co2.
As we pointed to earlier in the review, it’s not a flashy IPA it just quietly goes about its business and ticks all the boxes in the process. Quite the surprise (and sessional) package here. Fine drop from this Canberran brewery.

Lervig Aktiebryggeri Pilsner

Rating:

21751378_748794995304648_2630002860554854469_n“This is the beer of the People. It was originally brewed for the locals, who lost a piece of their city when Carlsberg closed Stavanger’s only brewery in 2003. Our Pilsner is brewed with 100% Pilsner malts, Perle and Saaz hops, fresh German lager yeast, and carefully lagered to give the beer an authentic touch and clean finish.”

Served in a flute. It pours a nice straw golden colour with a slight haze. It generates a healthy three finger head which retains and weaves a blotchy lace down the walls of the glass.
Classic Noble hop qualities on the nose – earthy, herbal, a little spicy and a little floral around the edges too. Tucked in right behind is that crackery and somewhat grainy pilsner malt backing. Subtle undertones of cereal – corn flakes, rice bubbles etc. Classy.
Tasting more of the malts in flavour. Grain, crackers and cereal come through with a gentle line of earthy hops cutting down the middle. The malts offer a mild sweetnees midway and set up for a nice smooth and refreshing finish with touches of earthy herbal hop on the rear.
It’s light, reasonably crisp and crushable in the mouth. Medium-high co2 with mild-moderate body.
An all round session beer this one. Light in ABV (4.7%) and seriously easy to put back. Certainly more in your traditional style with those old world ingredients really putting on a show. Just a tasty and well brewed pilsner. Solid offering from Lervig.

Stockade Brew Co. Oak Aged Yankee Brown Ale

Rating:

21314827_744964782354336_5063208419194954954_n“This American Brown Ale was stored in various liquor barrels, sourced from Lark Distillery in Tassie. With a natural, toasty malt flavour, the barrels have imparted an ever-so-slight sour note which fully compliments the touches of bourbon and port which shine through.”

Served in an English pint. It hits the glass with a pecan hue and generates a fizzy finger of head. It reduced to a film which works a modest lace down the walls of the glass.
Holy moly. We were expecting complexity but not at the levels we’re being shown here. It has earthy, spicy, sweet, sour and woody all wrapped up in one. The olfactory’s are hit with a wave of truffle, carob, licorice, figs, earthy malts, sauna room, cherries and dark fruits with a syrupy port character opening up as it warms. Wow, the way it keeps improving is incredible. Very impressive aroma.
Quite a bit of sourness initially but it’s softened by the woody oak and eventually upstaged by the tart cherries and earthy fig through the middle. The longer it sits on the palate the stickier and sweeter it gets, showing not only brilliant progression but a complex dark fruit/port note that really goes the length on the back end.
It’s surprisingly highly carbonated and tart in the mouth. Moderately bodied with a somewhat frothy and aerated texture. The 8.9% ABV is discernible in patches but ultimately well concealed.
Definitely not what we were expecting that’s for sure. The initial sourness hands it this kind of Flemish oud bruin character and reminds us of 8 Wired’s Grand Cru at times. That is a damn fine beer. We’re stoked that we have another three in storage, can’t wait to see how they improve in the coming years.

3 Ravens ‘Little Raven’ Tripel

Rating:

21370861_744964992354315_316042048320756046_n“Brewed to celebrate Belgian National Day 2017, this strong Belgian-style Triple is inspired by a famous example brewed in Canada, and showcases the Quebecois brewer’s distinctive yeast strain.”

Served in a Trappist tulip. Little Raven offers a bold amber pour with remarkable clarity. It arouses a finger of head that disappears as quickly as it forms. Minimal lace being left on the glass as we imbibe.
Interesting aroma. Certainly not your traditional tripel as it offers very floral and tangy notes with a distinct aged white wine sweetness. In saying that though there is a strong yeasty aspect as it hits a phenolic note with spicy apple pie, rosewater and poached pears coming through. Angostura bitters, alcohol and flambèd oranges open up as it warms. Quite a complex number!
Very sweet but also bitey upfront. Definitely doesn’t have the sophisticated flair that their Canadian counterparts possess. Tonnes of slightly cloying rosewater and tangy angostura bitters are here but there’s no counterbalance, minimal yeasty banana and or spice. Some alcohol astringency and pithy orange peel develops late before a sharp and boozy warmth finishes it off.
The texture is syrupy and somewhat dense. The 9% ABV doesn’t shy away. Medium body and co2.
We hate to say it but if it’s the French-Canadian style of the likes of DdC, Unibroue and Le Trou Du Diable they’re going for then they have missed the mark. We will admit it’s a very difficult set of flavours to achieve but it tastes far from the better balanced tripels we’ve tried from the aforementioned breweries. A bit of a shame really.

Stone Brewing ‘Ghost Hammer’ IPA

Rating:

21317914_744964609021020_4617824783405349794_n“Most areas of the brewery are dark or in shadows. Throughout the night the cellars resonate with the occasional knocking of expanding and contracting pipes. It can be a bit spooky to hear the brewery creak and groan as if possessed by a spirit randomly knocking about with a mallet. This IPA, liberally hopped with Loral™, honors our intrepid overnight team by naming it after their mischievous poltergeist companion – the Ghost Hammer.”

Served in an IPA glass. We see a hazy golden orange hue that’s covered by a thumb of puffy white foam. Head retention is good and lacing is even better.
Most notable on the nose would be its citrus and floral orange blossom characters but there is also a healthy dose of fruits like pineapple, blood orange and melon. Getting a kind of candied lemon scent along with pine, subtle spice and a light biscuity/honey malt at the base.
The flavour takes on a bit of a pithy and somewhat acidic grapefruit flavour upfront. A bit of that floral and candied orange getting amongst it as it moves in to a spicy note through the mid. Dry, a little acrid and bitter in the finish with a lingering grapefruit flavour in the tail.
Crisp, snappy and sharp in the mouth. The 6.7% ABV creeps up as the 56 IBU is quite well presented. Moderate body and co2.
Another fine offering from this super consistent brewery. It’s a slight step up from your intermediate style IPA’s without being a full on palate wrecker. Quality stuff – what we’ve come to expect from Stone.

Newstead Brewing Co ’21 Feet 7 Inches’ Porter

Rating:

21270845_743875405796607_3851977415781873708_n“Murky, silty and black as your hat. Chocolate and coffee flood the palate. Toasted malts are the heroes, with noble hop aroma and spice filling in around the edges. Oozing with creme this smooth Porter is perfect for quaffs on the river. Or in it.”

Served in a snifter. Pouring a relatively impenetrable black colour with a short tan head over the top. Seeing some spotty and slightly wet lacing as it ebbs.
The aroma offers some pretty decent depth. We’re picking up lighter scents of milk chocolate, cocoa powder, cherry, toasty malt and mild coffee but it gets its real depth with subtle notes of peat, licorice and molasses. Quite the surprise package actually, with low ABV (5.2%) and no feature additions it presents as a pretty solid traditional porter.
The flavour profile follows the nose with light toasty malts and milk chocolate that moves in to a delicate coffee note backed up by a soft hop bitterness in the middle. The finish is nice and roasty with a touch of dryness in the tail.
The mouth feel is well balanced between the smooth silky malts and the dry bitter hops. Just the right amount of carbonation to give it that lift. Medium body. Quite the sessional porter we have in front of us.
Very much in the conventional style. Very well balanced and sessional which isn’t easy to achieve with dark beers. Good thing we picked up a six pack then! Firm offering from Newstead here.

Brouwerij De Molen ‘Mooi & Meedogenloos’ Belgian Strong Ale

Rating:

21231271_743533825830765_577498694548956816_n“Mooi & Meedogenloos combines both Belgian style Quadruple and Imperial Stout. Sweet and spicy like the first but roasted and full bodied like the second. Flavour indication: chocolate, plums, brown sugar.”

Served in a snifter. This monster offers a pitch black body with a wispy brown head forming on top. It collapsed quickly and settled to a ring which doesn’t offer a whole lot of lace.
Holy moly this is one complex little number. One would almost expect such complexities when the end result is a 50-50 split imperial stout/Belgian quadrupel. All those big and brawny imperial stout aromas come forth – camp fire, molasses, licorice, cocoa and dark chocolate. Enter the Belgian counterbalance….the quad kicks in with its sweet yeasty phenols, plum, raisin, spice and sourdough. Wow.
The flavour profile is just something else. If an imperial stout and a quadrupel were to get it on…this would be the lovechild. Neither style stands ahead of the other, they just line up and marry together in divine harmony. Roasted malts, licorice and dark chocolate fuse with the sweet plum jam, spice and prunes with pin point precision. Phenomenal stuff.
The mouth feel is dense and full bodied but incredibly smooth and silky. Slightly lifted co2 with traces of warming booze (10.2%). So palatable for a beer of its stature.
Man we love this brewery! Without a doubt one of the best dark beer brewers in the world. This, like almost all of the beers in their range, is just pitch perfect. Simply world class product right here.

 

Cigar City Brewing ‘Jai Alai’ IPA

Rating:

21314444_743533495830798_2335983847170810809_n“Jai Alai, a game native to the Basque region of Spain, is played on a court called a fronton. Jai Alai players attempt to catch a ball using a curved mitt whilst the ball travels at speeds up to 188mph! Proving they have a sense of humor the Spanish dubbed this game, with its ball traveling at racecar speeds, “the merry game.” Tampa was once home to a bustling Jai Alai fronton but sadly all that remains of Jai Alai in the Tampa Bay area is this India Pale Ale that we brew in tribute to the merry game. The India Pale Ale style of beer has its roots in the ales sent from England to thirsty British troops in India during the 18th century.”

Served in an IPA glass. Amber to orange in colour with a thumb of extremely well retained head perched on top. Superb lace decoration clinging to the glass as we imbibe.
The aroma is oh-so-American. Gushing with candied orange, tangerine, lemon drops, lavender, pine, cannabis and a subtle bready malt structure at the base. We just love these traditional American IPA’s as they take us back to the glory days back before your NEIPA’s and monolithic triples and quads. Just a good and honest IPA aroma.
Neat transition on to the palate. There’s a big impression of candied citrus, pine resins, ruby grapefruit and herbal/grassy hop that stretches well in to the mid, picking up tropical fruit and earthy floral notes in the process. The back end anchors on the grassy/resinous hop characters with a long and dry finish.
She holds a nice moderate body with a creamy and somewhat effervescent texture. The 70 IBU forms late and the 7.5% ABV is dangerously well concealed, kind of creeps up on you.
Brilliant IPA. One of those beers that evokes old memories from just one whiff. It’s IPA’s like this that made the style a symbol of a revolution the world over. Kudos Cigar City this is an excellent drop.

Pact Beer Co. ‘Mt Tennent’ Pale Ale

Rating:

21369478_743533355830812_7199057749161624913_n“Inspired by the picturesque mountain and the legend of its bushranger namesake, the Mount Tennent Pale Ale walks the tightrope of accessible, sessionable and mindblowing all at once. Legend has it that John Tennent’s treasure is still buried at Mount Tennent, ACT. Many have tried to find it, but none have succeeded. Never mind… now you can find a little bit of Tennent’s treasure in every sip.”

Served in a shaker. Slightly hazy amber appearance with a fair bit of suspended sediment floating around. A short head forms but recedes to a film which works a healthy lace as it subsides.
The nose is nice and punchy with lifted citrus and pine resins. Also getting heady notes of orange peel, pineapple, mandarin and passion fruit with a delicate stonefruit accent – mango and rockmelon. Certainly more of a biscuity malt character with a subtle pinch of spice tying it all together. Superb aroma, very IPA-esque.
The flavour comes on strong with zesty citrus, pine resin and a semi sweet biscuit malt base. Detecting a light spicy note in here, at times a little herbal in its delivery. Hints of grapefruit and orange peel develop late in the mid and deliver a dry and crisp finish with good length.
The texture is fresh and snappy with a vibrant co2. Mild-moderate body. Slightly raised ABV of 5.2% which adds a bit more oomph.
Highly enjoyable pale ale here. We must have got this fresh off the bottling line as it is super crisp, punchy and flavoursome. Totally poundable, definitely a return-to beer especially now that summer is just around the corner and the weather is warming up. Solid offering.

5 Barrel Brewing 2017 Imperial Stout

Rating:

21192968_742416079275873_3736388087475583771_n“Imperial Stouts are to be savoured entirely. They are strong and rich with big roasty flavours and sweet, malty bodies to balance out the alcohol. Our Imperial Stout is brewed in January and aged on oak for 4 months to absorb the flavours of the barrel and mature slowly. The strong coffee/chocolate flavours work wonderfully with the plum and raisin qualities from the Shiraz. The body is full and rich, clinging to the glass and providing a sweet stickiness giving the hint that you’re sipping a wonderfully warming port.”

Served in a snifter. This bad boy pours like engine oil with a short brown head forming on top. It’s quick to reduce to a halo which posts a consistent set of rings as we indulge.
Big charred notes on the nose. In support are firm wafts of wet ash, dark chocolate, heavily roasted malts, molasses, cocoa and vanilla. Getting subtle hints of plum jam, licorice and gingerbread with a dank grassy note around the edges. Quite a complex little number.
The flavour really embraces the rich dark chocolate, coffee and charred malts. There’s a very subtle woody note that entertains the spicy licorice and molasses which in effect brings on the warming alcohol (9.6% ABV). A short burst of vanilla is introduced as it finishes rich, boozy and roasty with hints of plums and subtle dark fruits in the tail.
Although it’s big in flavour and aroma the mouth feel is oily and astringent with a firm bitterness developing late. Medium body, mild-moderate co2.
She’s a little rough around the edges but ultimately it’s a decent imperial stout. We’ve locked a few of these away so hopefully so hopefully they will settle down and drink like boozy liquid chocolate in a couple more years! Until then…

Capital Brewing ‘Evil Eye’ Red IPA

Rating:

21192932_742410259276455_1272184923769395229_n“A BIG & BOLD RED IPA NAMED AFTER AN OLD TREE STUMP TATTOOED WITH AN EVIL EYE, ONCE LOCATED ON LAKE GEORGE JUST OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL. WITH A FORWARD HOP PROFILE, IT’S FULL BODIED, HAS FRUITY NOTES, PACKED WITH FLAVOUR AND AROMA AND HAS A BALANCED DRY FINISH. WE’VE USED FRESH BATLOW GROWN US CASCADE HOPS FOR EXTRA HOP KICK.”

 Served in an IPA glass. She pours a clear, deep and bold amber with a soft cognac tint. It generates a puffy two finger head that settles to a thick overlay. Laced well.
This smells absolutely divine. The balance they’ve struck between the super sweet malts and the fruity hops is superb. Loads of caramel, toffee and butterscotch erupt out of the glass with the tropical stonefruits following close behind. A delicate hint of treacle and pine needle come through as the caramel malts fill it all out. Brilliant aroma.
The flavour backs up what the aroma is saying….big impressions of caramel malt sweetness, toffee and butterscotch with a healthy showing of tropical fruits such as pineapple, rockmelon and paw paw. A hint of citric acidity kicks in midway adding a grapefruit bitterness before it rounds off on a bitter yet sweet finish with excellent length on the rear.
It’s dry and bitter (60 IBU) but also quite gelatinous in texture. Medium body and co2.
Look out Bentspoke there’s a new player in town! What a way to kick off proceedings with this new Canberran brewery. This red IPA has it all – exceptional balance, big aroma and flavour and dangerous session ability with a relatively low ABV (6%) to boot. Solid offering here folks.

Bucket Boys ‘This Is Rice Country’ Rice Lager

Rating:

21191901_742407699276711_3636363395924993349_n“Acid on the sleeve. Ether in the trunk. Lawyer in the bath. Reptiles at the zoo. Poolside at the Flamingo. Excess while entertaining, seldom ends well. So when creating this lager, we layered in Sorachi hops for a fruity hit & made sure to add just the right amount of rice, drying it out while giving it a more muscular alcohol kick. This is rice country, after all.”

Served in a shaker. It offers a clear golden pour with a wispy head that rapidly reduced to a fine film. A wet streaky lace is left sticking to the sides of the glass as it ebbs.
The nose has that typical lager aroma – slightly corny with a hint of earthy/herbal Hop and semi sweet malt but the addition of Sorachi hops is, although subtle, a very nice touch that provides a little citrus zing. The use of rice is detectable and offers a dry and grainy undertone. It’s an above average aroma, quite good.
The corny DMS-like characters transition on to the palate with that bitter/earthy hop to follow. Grainy malts present through the middle leading to a dry finish that shows notes of rice and potato on the back palate.
The texture is crisp, dry and fairly light on with reasonably good body to back it up. The 5.4% ABV is subtle but gives it a nice little kick. Just a bit too mainstream for our palates though. Not to say it isn’t seesional and offers much more than your everyday cheap lager, we just can’t see ourselves returning.