Garage Project X The Veil ‘Hapi Sessions’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“The Hāpi Sessions, this year a series of ‘pen pal’ collaborations with breweries at the top of their game, each beer showcasing a different hop forward style in a playful ‘freestyle’ interpretation of one of the beers that helped to make each brewery famous.Groundbreaking brewery The Veil, from Richmond Virginia, brings the new normal, with a huge smooth mouthfeel from 50% oats, oat flour and Citra in the boil and a lavish dry hop of US Sabro and harvest fresh Riwaka from Freestyle hop farm.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Sandy pastel yellow with a murky haze. It forms a sturdy two finger head which holds together nicely. Leaving a set of rings on the glass as we go.

Aroma: We know the description “smooth” is normally applied to texture or flavour but this aroma actually smells smooth. Strong hints of hop oils, weed and spicy herbals, resin, pink grapefruit, tangerine and mixed citrus with more subtle touches of stonefruit, pine needle and coconut in support. Creamy oats and doughy white bread filling it out.

Flavour: Good damn that’s good. A wave of juicy tropical and stone fruits wash over. Orange citrus, lime and grapefruit also poking through. The smooth textural oats provide a lovely balance. Gets real weedy and resinous late in the piece…herbal spice, pine and candied lime in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth as silk. Literally coats the whole palate. Finely carbonated, medium body. 8% ABV…where is it?!

Overall: Outstanding drop. We’ve been lucky enough to try Veil beers on a few different occasions and each time we were blown away so it’s no surprise that once they teamed up with GP that they produced anything less. Brilliant.

Alefarm ‘Sparrows’ Double Hazy IPA

“Flying around the warehouse and landing gently on the floor is Sparrows, the latest addition to our DIPA range.⁣⁣ Sparrows is bringing with it 8.2% ABV and a dry-hop bill that reads Citra, Citra BBC, Ekuanot and Topaz, making for a hop-forward drinking experience with lots of fruit character in the aftertaste. Perfect for an easy-going Sunday in the sun.⁣⁣ We hope you’ll enjoy this beer as much as we do. Cheers, friends!⁣⁣”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Super hazy pastel orange with two fingers of fluffy white head. Excellent retention and tonnes of lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: Proper fruit basket although there’s one scent that does stand out…and that’s a rich scent of papaya/paw paw. Behind and around it are mango, peach, pineapple, mixed citrus, lychee, guava, fresh herbs, sappy pine resin and subtle spice. It has this distinct creaminess to it…wouldn’t say lactose it’s more like oats and coconut. Loving it.

Flavour: It holds on to the creamy and sweet buttery papaya/paw paw but Citra certainly comes in to the fold. Pithy citrus and pine cut through the fleshy sweetness of the stonefruits nicely. Some herbals and spicy resin getting amongst it as it finishes fruity, grassy and kinda dank. Good length too.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture with dry bitterness in the swallow. Fluffy Co2 and medium body. The 8.2% ABV is nicely hidden.

Overall: Pretty impressive stuff. This isn’t our first crack at this Danish brewery but it is our first entry. It’s good but is it good enough to take the heat off guys like Mountain Culture and Garage Project? Nope!

Phantom Carriage ‘Disembodied Entity’ BA Saison w Apricots

Rating:

“Saison barrel-aged with brettanomyces and apricots.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Cloudy pastel orange with a short fizzy head which peels off quickly. Not a great deal of lace is being left behind.

Aroma: Amazing. Almost smells like a world class Lambic with its gorgeous apricot, peach and candied lemon notes. Subtle hints of brett here and there…funky, spicy and horsey. Woody oak, white grapes, earthy hops and tart citrus for added depth. Superb. As we said it’s more Lambic than Saison!

Flavour: Holy moly she’s quite sour too! We detect the apricots instantly as they morph in to hints of unripened peach, melon and kumquat. Tart citrus comes through the other side as does a mix of wheat grains and straw. The stonefruits come full 360 and finish it all off.

Mouthfeel: Tart, crisp and slightly acidic. Kind of a lightly sparkling Co2. Pucker rating gets a deserved 3.5/5 and the 5.3% ABV is surprisingly lower than expected.

Overall: Probably our favourite of the PC beers we’ve had to date. Similar to Mortal Wood just with more pronounced bretty funk and wheat grains. Diggin it.

Cascade ’15 ‘Noyaux’ BA Sour w Noyaux & Raspberry

Rating:

“Noyaux (pronounced noy-OH) is a blend of sour blond ales aged in white wine barrels for up to 24 months with fresh raspberries and apricot noyaux. Offering a complex bouquet of raspberry fruit, rose petals, toasted almonds and soft perfume notes. The Noyaux nut can be found inside of the apricot pit which we take from the fresh whole apricots we use in making Cascade Brewing Apricot.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Hazy amber with a soft reddish tint. It produced a short fizzy head which forms a halo and drags a wet lace down the glass.

Aroma: On point! Raspberries hit the olfactory’s first followed by an amazing mixture of ripe peach, apricot and raw almond. 24 months in barrel is mind blowing and it has imparted subtle hints of oak, white grapes and sour red apple along the way. Maybe a touch of rosé coming through too. Brilliant aroma.

Flavour: Like all Cascade sours the first sip is sour AF. Extremely tart raspberry, rosé and oak make way for delicious waves of peach, apricot, vanilla, white grape and candied lemon. Mixed berry sherbet forming late as are the nutty almonds which lead in to a tart and citrusy finish.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, crisp and acidic. Kinda dry. Fizzy and effervescent Co2. Pucker rating hits an easy 4/5. 8.3% ABV is fairly well buried.

Overall: Classic Cascade. Incredibly complex yet still so light and crushable. We wish we were rich as we’d fill a whole shelf of the cellar with this. Superb.

Flamin Galah ‘Pilot’ NEIPA

Rating:

“Hints of chocolate flavours with lime, mandarin and stone fruit finish. Hopped with Galaxy and Wai-iti hops Ladies & gentlemen, we have been cleared to land at New England IPA Airport. Please fasten your craft beer seat belt, make sure your neck & mouth are in the upright position & your taste buds are ready for landing. The Wai-iti & Galaxy dry hop attendants are moving through the choc malt cabin to collect any mandarins, lime or stone fruits that may have become loose in the overhead bins during the flight. For your safety please remain seated until the Flamin Good Beer sign has been switched off.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Murky apricot coloured body with a thumb of off white head. Good retention and healthy lace clinging to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Smells of candied orange citrus, boiled candy, sweet lime, rockmelon, guava and honeydew. The brewers say there’s a chocolate malt used here but that would be news to us…we can pick up a semi sweet honey malt but that’s about it. A hint of resin and weedy herbals also developing late. NEIPA huh?

Flavour: Slightly delayed but once it kicks off it offers a fair amount of stonefruit and mixed orange citrus. Apricot, lime and weedy herbals provide an interesting and unique mid palate and eventually lay down for a fruity finish full of more stonefruits.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth and creamy. Nicely weighted with good carbonation. 5% ABV though? What the hell is that?!

Overall: We can’t work this one out. It’s called a NEIPA but there’s hardly anything NEIPA about it. There’s apparently a chocolate malt which isn’t detectable and it’s 5% ABV which technically makes it a session IPA. Confusion.

Cellarmaker ‘Dobis’ Tropical Pale Ale

Rating:

“We are firm believers in letting ingredients speak for themselves. Over crowding recipes with numerous ingredients can often times obfuscate complexity, not deepen it. Dobis P.A. is a lesson in just that, simplicity. We single hopped this pale ale with one of our favorite hops, Citra. It’s tropical aromatics of papaya and mango and its pungent flavor layers deliciously with the high quality malt. In fact, 95% of the malt we used was Golden Promise, an heirloom Scottish barley with a clean honey graham cereal character. We hope you enjoy this brew because this is who we are; it’s what we do.”

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Turbid Sandy golden complexion with two fingers of fluffy white head resting atop. Gradual reduction and spotty lace as we go.

Aroma: Light and kinda shy but there’s a wealth of tropical fruit and citrus in here…just have to dig the old schnozz in deep! Sweet and fleshy stonefruit such as paw paw, mango and lychee alongside pineapple, mixed citrus and herbal spice. It’s got that dry, chalky and bready malt profile filling it out nicely. Decent!

Flavour: Again, very light on but quietly dominated by the fusion of tropical fruit and sweet fleshy stonefruits. The dry and bready malt bill cutting through just enough to balance. Turns more citrusy late in the piece and delivers a slightly dry and fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Ultra smooth and fluffy. Lightly sparkling Co2 and mild-medium body. 5.7% ABV gives it that extra edge.

Overall: Ridiculously crushable. The feeling we get from this is it’s super mellow summer neck oil with an ABV that will creep up on you if not careful (so typical of the Yanks!). Solid.

Bulli Brewing ‘Pauline’ Red IPA

Rating:

“Not as red as a red wine, but in beer terms this is a red ale. Well hopped but not quite enough alcohol to make it an IPA, Pauline sits between a few typical descriptive beer categories. While it’s not a heavy beer, this is a full flavoured ale.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Deep amber to maroon with a sturdy two finger head. Excellent retention with wavy lace in its wake.

Aroma: It certainly procures that crucial balance nicely…tonnes of sweet caramel malt, toffee and buttered toast pulled in to line by the floral, fruity and slightly piney hops. We love that they’ve gone for an all Aussie hop bill too (Ella, Enigma & Vic Secret). Even though our hops are fairly modest they hold their own here.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose; robust and super sweet caramel malt base with all the trimmings i.e toffee, buttered toast and mixed nuts. Then the hops step in and provide their piney, fruity and floral characters to balance. It all leads in to a slightly bitter finish with plenty of malt sweetness on the outer.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and gelatinous with medium body and fine carbonation. The 6% ABV is well placed. Could have had a bit more bitterness if anything.Overall: Not a bad way to kick off proceedings with this somewhat local brewery (for one of us). Nicely balanced with good depth of flavour. Not overly memorable but good enough.

Fieldwork Brewing ‘Chloe’ Belgian Pale Ale

Rating:

Our first foray into the realm of classic Belgian beers is Chloe, a crisp ester-driven ale with a prickly carbonation and complex flavor profile that is far too drinkable and well worth the wait. The Belgian yeast we chose is a blend of two different classic strains that have a track record of making some of the best beers in the world longer than we have been alive, and luckily for us they work flawlessly together in fermentation matrimony. An all-Belgian malt grain bill lays the foundation for a delicately complex combination of new world hops and yeast-derived flavors.

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Bold amber with a mild haze. It forms a short white head which quickly retreats to the rim. Lovely cascading lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Far from what we’d usually expect from Fieldwork. It displays a very classic European hop profile i.e florals, fresh cut grass, herbals and mild earthy-ness. Picking up the delicate yeast esters too…slight musky, rosewater and Angostura bitters. As she warms the orange citrus and candied lemon begin to open up. Subtle yet tonnes of character.

Flavour: Spruiking the musky and floral yeast esters here, big time. To the point where it almost comes off as a Saison. Kinda spicy, funky, barnyard and herbals then the pithy citrus arriving late. Somewhat dry and grainy/husky with a grassy and mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and a little dry. Some tartness also creeping in. Light-moderate body, finely carbonated. The 6.2% ABV is nicely placed.

Overall: It’s certainly out of the left field but we tell ya what.. they’ve done a magnificent job balancing everything together while keeping the beer – as a whole – light on and somewhat restrained. Very pleasant though.

Big Shed ‘Mega Golden Stout Time’ Dessert Stout

Rating:

“Double Golden Stout Time! Enough Said.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with a fine dusting of microbubble on top. It completely disappears bar a very thin halo. Hardly any lace sticks as it ebbs.

Aroma: Exactly like its younger brother but slightly bigger and sweeter. That supremely decadent scent of caramel ice cream jumps out of the glass while a more subtle support role of Anzac cookies, vanilla, coconut, honeycomb and melted white chocolate plays out. We’ve been trying to pin down a certain character and we finally got it…Arnott’s Hundreds and Thousands!

Flavour: She’s a carbon copy of the original Golden Stout Time just bigger and sweeter. Expectedly, there’s a bit more fire (being 8% and all) and that stirs up a bit of rich toffee but yeah…it’s all caramel, honeycomb, biscuits, vanilla and coconut from start to finish.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, a little sticky, medium body. 8% ABV a little noticeable but fairly well kept. Low-ish Co2.

Overall: Look it’s absolutely divine and so indulgent but honestly what’s the point when the only thing that sets it apart from the original is a bigger ABV?! At least barrel age it so there’s a distinct difference. Still, it’s a corker of a beer.

2 Brothers ‘DK’ Choc Banana Brown Ale

Rating:

“A collaboration with our gaming mates over at Bartronica Melbourne.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Deep brown with faint mahogany highlights. It whips up a frothy three finger head which slowly breaks up and leaves a blotchy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: As anticipated the two feature flavours – chocolate and banana – present the strongest. It gives off this Choc Banana smoothie scent but it’s supported by an alluring mix of nutty malts, cola, cocoa, light roast and vanilla. Quite sweet and indulgent yet fairly well balanced at the same time.

Flavour: Certainly follows the nose with banana and chocolate front and centre. There’s a delicate roast underpinning it while the nutty malt continues through the mid. Chocolate, banana, vanilla and cocoa all make a rendezvous in the finish with good duration on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, sticky, medium bodied. Fairly flat Co2 but that’s preferred for this style. 7% ABV…. extremely well concealed!

Overall: Some things are just meant for each other. Bacon and eggs…tomato and basil, chocolate and banana…and 2 Brothers and Brown Ales! This style is obviously their strong point. Good on em, stick to what you’re good at right?!

Modern Times ‘Star Cloud’ Citra IPA

Rating:

“There is simply no way to adequately prepare your taste receptors for the jaw-dropping deluge of flavor contained herein. Packed with financially irresponsible amounts of incredibly choice Citra, Cashmere, and Motueka hops, this hazy IPA is a miraculously tasty juice-bomb replete with notes of tangerine, lime, citrus, and tropical magic. It’s a seriously excellent combo that may leave you with an intense desire to high-five the can.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Hazy pastel orange with a wispy overlay. It quickly peels back to the rim but still leaves a gorgeous cascading lace on the glass.

Aroma: Very light and lacking vigour. We’ve really got to dig our noses in to pull in the gentle rockmelon, paw paw, peach and citrus. Very shy Citra notes especially from a hop so high in alpha acids, it should be jumping out, but it ain’t. Some grassy and floral notes along with the creamy malt bill. Nice but very subdued.

Flavour: Again, where are the Citra hops?! Plenty of tropical fruit character i.e paw paw, rockmelon, guava, peach etc. None of the classic grapefruit, pith and oils typically seen from Citra. Creamy flaked oats and a hint of doughy malt balancing out. Kind of a dry and bitter finish with soft fleshy stonefruit drawing out.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth but with a medium bitterness in the swallow. Nice plump body. 6.8% ABV well positioned.

Overall: Not overly thrilled by it. The lack of Citra character is disappointing, particularly as it’s in the name of the beer.

Mother Earth Brewing ‘Alone In Space’ IPA

Rating:

“Alone In Space is a Hazy Oatmeal IPA and showcases four different tropical hops. It’s featured hop, Sabro, shines with a robust bouquet of tangerine, coconut, tropical and stone fruit, and hints of cedar. To support its hoppy character, a simple grain bill consisting mainly of oats is used to add a creamy body and limit malt influence.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Hazy golden orange with a thumb of finely beaded foam. Good retention and wavy lace strewn down the glass.

Aroma: It has West Coast roots mixed in with Northeast creaminess. Nicely defined citrus overtones, pithy rind and pine needle with the classic fleshy stonefruit and creamy oats synonymous with NEIPAs. Getting some light florals and candied fruits developing as well. The malt bill is creamy and full of flaked oats and cereal grains…as kinda expected.

Flavour: Mostly citrus and stonefruit with subtle touches of pine/resin, herbs and light florals. A little chalky and powdery, apparent oatmeal base filling it out. Orange citrus and peach coming forth late in the piece and delivering a fruity and piney/resinous finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. A little chalky. Light and fluffy Co2, Medium body. 6.9% ABV is reasonably well hidden.

Overall: We tried this purely off the brilliance of their “4 Seasons” BA Barleywine. Although this is decent it’s hardly memorable. There are multiple Aussie breweries putting out better oat-infused IPA’s than this.

Boatrocker ‘Oakey Dokey’ Oak Aged Stout

Rating:

“Full of Luscious British and New Zealand malts, balanced by classic hops and an oak finish. Full bodied and satisfyingly moreish.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a thumb of light brown foam perched neatly on top. Good retention and a wet cascading lace being strewn down the glass.

Aroma: Nothing extraordinary. It has a reasonably dense bottom end of dark chocolate, sweet espresso, subtle roast, toasted marshmallow, musk and rich toffee/caramel. The oak chips are too timid for our liking plus the stout as a whole (considering its substantial ABV of 8%) is a bit too reserved.

Flavour: There’s a wee bit more here but again, not enough for an oak aged quasi-imperial stout. It’s a mirror image of the nose; chocolate, coffee, light roast, toffee and treacle/burnt brown sugar shifting in to a pretty passive finish of mild roast and kinda sweet sugars. Decent length to it at least.

Mouthfeel: Oily but a little too lean. Mild bitterness in the swallow. Low-ish Co2. 8% ABV fairly well behaved.

Overall: For a brewery that has one of the best barrel aged stouts in its arsenal this is painfully mediocre. Considering the world class quality of the Ramjet and Roger Ramjet series we were expecting a lot more from this stout.

One Drop DDH Oat Cream IPA – Version 2

Rating:

“Soft, Fruity, Cushy AF. A far reaching and satiating hop complexity with a soft recherché of apricot, citrus, passionfruit & coconut. Lactose from Bega, NSW along with an unadulterated focus on achieving a soft and cushy water profile help to take the mouth feels to the nek level. A novel blend of our house NEIPA yeast and one from abroad commingle to provide a stone fruit and apricot cushion for your mouth. This is the Second Version in our exploration series of this style, and an ode to our Hundredth batch through the brewhouse. Layers upon layers of cream and a smooth stone fruit character make for the most insatiable pillow slurping experience one could hope to fall neck-beard first into.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Turbid off orange/sandy gold/dirty dishwater kind of affair. A short white head is formed which retains well enough to work a fine wet lace down the glass.

Aroma: Similar to V.1 with its heady stonefruit dominance, doughy/bready malt profile and super creamy lactose, vanilla and coconut. There’s one noticeable difference though, and that’s this real dusty and chalky character.. whether that’s the yeast or not we’re uncertain. Some citrus and passion fruit also creeping in late. Hhmm, maybe too much “oat cream”??

Flavour: Oh wow it’s so smooth and fluffy it’s like we’re drinking clouds. Subtle stonefruit initially but then the lactose, vanilla, coconut and oatmeal take over. A hint of peppery spice, mango and powdered sugar move in to a supremely sweet and creamy finish that endures.

Mouthfeel: Probably no need to say it but…it’s creamy AF! Light, aerated, fluffy, finely carbonated. 8.1% ABV very well buried.

Overall: Although the whole “oat cream” thing may have been overdone it still is a really enjoyable drop. Unbelievably smooth and silky, fruity and creamy. We actually prefer this over the V.1

Toppling Goliath ‘Fire, Skulls & Money’ IPA

Rating:

“Inspired by a trip to the West Coast, this brew was designed to capture the wild spirit of adventure and brewed to be enjoyed with friends. It’s a rich IPA for those with wanderlust in their heart and fire in their eyes. Join our Citra, Mosaic, Galaxy, and Nelson Hops on a journey to the bottom of your glass.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Hazy light pastel orange with golden highlights. Sturdy two finger crown which holds together well. Seeing thick blotchy lace sticking to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Definitely picking up the hop oils and citrus-laden Citra hops. Stonefruits i.e peach, melon, paw paw and mango. Passion fruit, lychee and pineapple also coming along for the ride. Some herbs and slightly dank pine/resins, diesel and vines with a mostly semi sweet and kinda husky malt profile.

Flavour: A bit of a mix of stonefruit and mildly pithy citrus upfront. The sharper pine and herbaceous notes doing their best to cut through. Somewhat grainy and husky malt profile taking a bit of a spell on the sideline while the finish is fruity sweet but also herbal and resinous.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth and rounded with a hint of bitterness in the swallow. Medium body, 7.2% ABV shows its hand at times.

Overall: It goes to show how much better Aussie breweries are getting when TG hazy’s no longer excite us. This ain’t bad but it’s nothing special at the same time.

Toppling Goliath ‘DDH Light Speed’ American Pale Ale

Rating:

“Its bitterness flies under the radar as hops create hits of lemon and orange aromas. Double Dry Hop Light Speed is a medium-bodied pale ale that is out of this world. “

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Would be clear golden complexion if not for the fine suspended sediment. It conjures up a massive four finger head which takes ages to recede. Excellent lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Interesting. Very raw and husky initially but once she settles in we see classic WC IPA qualities kick in; orange, grapefruit, passionfruit, mango, peach, pineapple, grassy hops and cedar. A slight honey malt sweetness provides a nice backdrop. Some florals also in here. Pretty basic stuff but it’s good all the same.

Flavour: A little weak and watery to be brutally honest. Citrus-forward – lemon, grapefruit and orange mainly. Soft tropical fruits and grassy hops tucked in behind. Delicate honey malt sweetness midway moving in to slight cedar/woody notes then in to a grainy, straw-like finish which hangs on.

Mouthfeel: Kinda flat and uninspiring. A little thin. Some dryness with mild-moderate body. 6.2% ABV is pretty well kept.

Overall: Must admit we’re not that impressed and with expectations aside it still wouldn’t cut the mustard. The aroma is great but the flavour and texture really lets it down. Very meh.

One Drop DDH Oat Cream IPA – Version 1

Rating:

“Fluffy, lush, silky & smooth. A far reaching gossamer-like hop complexity with soft florets of tangerine, lime, tropical fruit, & coconut. Our Four Ways of Oat processing, together with creamy Australian lactose, help to take the density of feel and flavour to new heights. Softest of water and a novel yeast provide the upmost cushy comfort. All coalesce into the First Version of our exploration series of this style, and the lofty heights of where the fluff can go. Layers upon layers of creamy smooth mango and sultry ripe naval orange make for the most insatiable cloud drinking experience one could hope to float across.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Turbid mustard/sandy yellow pour with a loosely packed three finger head. It quickly reduced but manages a thick soapy lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Wow it invades the olfactory’s with its fleshy stonefruit, oatmeal, vanilla and mixed citrus. It feels really dense and doughy yet well countered by the direct citrus i.e lemon, grapefruit and orange blossom. Lactose-a-plenty, coconut, soft herbal/weedy notes, pine/sappy resins and hop oils also getting amongst it.

Flavour: Super resinous and herbal, a bit dank too. Sappy pine, mango, unripened paw paw, mixed citrus, creamy oatmeal, vanilla and toasted coconut. Hits a slightly pithy note midway then leads in to a dry and kinda yeasty finish with lingering herbals and resin on the back end.

Mouthfeel: As described perfectly on the can – “fluffy, silky and smooth”. Medium body, lightly sparkling Co2. 7.1% ABV is fairly well behaved.

Overall: We like it. Yeah it’s no Mountain Culture or Garage Project but it’s smooth and creamy AF. Nicely balanced flavours to boot. Solid.

Mikkeller ‘Beer Geek Breakfast’ Vanilla Maple Shake Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Imagine a huge imperial stout clocking in at 11.8% brewed with coffee and vanilla. Then add a shitload of maple syrup. Yes! This is a real treat.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pours like sump oil with a thumb of brown head resting atop. It slowly recedes but works a reasonable lace down the glass.

Aroma: Hold the phone this smells bloody magnificent! Nice and rich, roasty, full of molasses, espresso and dark chocolate. Enter the adjuncts. Those sweet sweet (literally) adjuncts: maple, vanilla, butterscotch, marshmallow, brown sugar, oatmeal, lactose, subtle spice and burnt toast. Burnt toast with blackberry jam to be more specific. Soooo good.

Flavour: We were hoping it all transferred from the aroma and it does! Big and menacing yet so sweet and decadent. Robust coffee, charred malts, dark chocolate and molasses are countered by the hedonistic licorice, vanilla, maple, butterscotch, toffee, lactose and spice. Oats and burnt toast giving it that brekky stout quality. Superb!

Mouthfeel: Luscious, rich and velvety. Full body, moderate Co2. 11.8% ABV comes through intermittently.

Overall: This is 100x better than the Waffle Breakfast. Here we’ve got that in your face Impy Stout aggression with the soothing touches of maple, vanilla, toffee and the rest of the cabal. Sensational drop.

Range Brewing ‘Late Night Snack’ Imperial Blueberry Smoothie Sour

Rating:

“Late Night Snack is a beer for when you really want blueberry pancakes, but also really want a beer. It is packed to the brim with blueberry, blackcurrant, vanilla, maple syrup and lactose. It is rich, creamy, tart, full-bodied and zingy. The colour is nothing short of insane, pouring a deep purple, shining light on the truly ridiculous amount of fruit that went into it. It’s our favourite Imperial Sour to date.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Cloudy maroon with soft purple hues. A finger of pink-ish head forms but quickly retracts. It drags a wet lace down the glass.

Aroma: Like a glass of macerated sour cherries and mixed berries. Really liking the subtle maple sweetness too. Lots of creamy vanilla and milk sugars, black and red currants, Pinot Noir-like dark fruits, artificial fruits and a certain dessert quality which we can’t quite put our fingers on….cherry pie maybe?

Flavour: Absolutely awash with every kind of berry, cherry and currant imaginable. The maple sweetness runs through it while the creamy vanilla and milk sugars take a back seat. It all shifts in to a tart and somewhat savory finish that lingers nicely.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, velvety and super smooth. Did someone say sour? It’s slightly tart but it sure ain’t sour. The 8.7% ABV is really well hidden though.

Overall: Much better than previous sours we’ve had from Range. The aroma and flavour profile is brilliant but the lack of sourness is disappointing. Still, an enjoyable quaffer.

Quiet Deeds ‘Knock On Wood’ Barrel Aged Pilsner

Rating:

“Dreams of doing a barrel aged pilsner have long bubbled in the background at Deeds. After lagering for a month in tank, we racked the whole batch into Chardonnay barrels and let it age on oak for 90 days. The result is a crisp, oaky experience that celebrates Spring!”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Transparent straw golden pour with a healthy three finger head nestled on top. Good retention and lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: Certainly has a traditional character. Mixed herbs, mildew, lemon and a subtle hint of Riesling. We must say the Chardonnay barrels don’t seem to offer a whole lot, maybe a wee hint of apple/pear and other sweet and delicate fruits. Just a flutter of vanilla and oak coming across. Not much happening here.

Flavour: Ok this is where it’s all at. It kicks off with a herbaceous Noble hop quality which is fused through the delicate fruits and oaky Chardonnay – the latter displaying soft buttery accents. Quite pithy late in the piece, finishing dry, mildly bitter and grassy with excellent length.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and light. Smooth with a discernible bitterness post swallow. Mild-medium body, Co2 is spot on. 5.9% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: As soon as we saw this we knew we had to try it as we’ve never had a barrel aged Pilsner before. Did it excite? Well, no not really. We would have liked a bit more from the barrels but the base Pilsner was good.