Balter ‘Dazy’ DIPA

Rating:

032BCD4C-3D66-41CE-92CB-F4379B89909CGlassware: Poured into a pint glass to extract all the goodness of this 500ml can, and to get a good look as to whether this beer is ‘hazy’.

Appearance: Pours a lovely dark yellow, with a finger width white head that retains well at half a finger. It’s definitely hazy but not like a turbid NEIPA standard. There is plenty of carbonation seen. Thick lacing like soap is seen stuck to the glass.

Aroma: As the can says, “fleshy fruit flavours, spicy alcohol and an undercurrent of bitterness”. We can definitely smell stone fruits such as peach and tropical sweetness such as passion fruit and mango, with pine, red grapefruit, and citrus. There is a subtle spicy aroma also like pepper. Alcohol is well hidden amongst the fruity goodness.

Flavour: First sip reminds me that I’m drinking a tasty double IPA. The bitterness is low and intermixed with some caramels from the malt, a touch of booze heat but again well contained, and the backbone of more tropical fruit as described above, alongside some sweet grapefruit, orange peel and pine resin that gives it that spice like quality. Very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: for 8% alc vol it’s well hidden. Again bitterness is subdued allowing for a decent gulp, and the carbonation doesn’t hinder the experience. Great length on the palate. Body is moderate to full. As we near the end of the glass the alcohol is registering on the brain.

Overall: we tried at GABS 2019 and whilst we didn’t give it a 5/5, on a fresh palate, it’s a decent and enjoyable offering. We have been drinking so many NEIPA’s lately that to go back to a well brewed DIPA is refreshing. 1 is definitely enough on your own, otherwise a looming headache is likely. Another well brewed Balter beverage. P.S…apologies for crushed can.

Range Brewing Oatmeal Stout

Rating:

70597867_1166452346872242_1652343626090414080_n“This creamy oatmeal stout was brewed to be a smooth mid winter delight. We’ve used to massive quantity of oats in this batch, as well as editions of chocolate malt and roasted barley to the malt bill. It is jet black, with a creamy espresso coloured head. We get a beautiful balance between toasted notes and a light malt sweetness and a super smooth bitterness to finish.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a short yet finely beaded brown head emerging on top. It doesn’t hold together long, dispersing and settling at the rim. Fine rings stick to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: There’s a discernible savoury sweetness that we were detecting even as our glasses sat idle on the table. It’s somewhere between honeycomb and pistachio. And then there’s the delicate touch of cherry too! All the while that creamy, porridge-like oatmeal underlines it all. Subtle notes of vanilla, chocolate shavings and French toast just for good measure!

Flavour: It’s a bit slow out of the gates. Slightly watery with the oatmeal front and centre. Then the magic happens…it’s like an explosion of flavour goes off and sends coffee, chocolate, roasted nutty malts, dark fruits and earthy wood in each and every direction. This cluster of flavours reaches well in to the finish and goes for days on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth. Could have a little bit more weight but we’re not going to nitpick. Nicely rounded with the 6.1% ABV buried well.

Overall: Not as good as the pale ale but it’s still a cracking drop. Dead set…where did these guys come from?!

Range Brewing DDH Cashmere & Idaho 7 Pale Ale

Rating:

69505235_1165728240277986_3719183885808959488_n“This double dry hopped Pale Ale features two NW American hops – Cashmere and Idaho 7. The beer is bright orange and super hazy in appearance. We get strong mandarin and citrus aromas. A creamy mouthfeel and smooth body lead to sweet melon flavours on the palate, finishing juicy like we like it. Very easy to consume!”

Glassware: Shaker

Appearance: Good colour – deep orange to amber with a decent haziness. It constructs a thick and fluffy two finger head before settling to a wispy overlay. Soapy lace covers the glass as we go.

Aroma: We get a lot of stonefruit initially i.e apricot, rockmelon, papaya, peach. Lots of tropical fruit like guava, passionfruit and mango also coming through. Subtle orange citrus notes, pine, lemongrass, herbal tea and a semi sweet grainy malt at the base. Excellent depth and character.

Flavour: Beautifully balanced hints of stonefruit and tropical fruits against the subtle sweet and grainy malts. Tasting a bit more pink grapefruit on the palate…urged on by the soft hop bitterness surely. So incredibly juicy and ultra smooth though…rolling in to a fruity finish with a flutter of stonefruit on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, creamy and perfectly carbonated. Medium-full body adding that chewy texture. Well concealed ABV (5.8%).

Overall: Really really impressive. Full flavoured yet so streamlined and brilliantly balanced. Man if this is what Range can do with a pale ale then we can’t wait to see what they can do with their other beers! Top shelf stuff.

Goose Island 2018 ‘BCBS’ BA Imperial Vanilla Stout

Rating:

69268730_1162342700616540_3170632642743762944_n“This long time favorite makes a long-awaited return to the Bourbon County Stout roster. Utilizing whole grade A vanilla beans from Madagascar, Vanilla delivers on all the quintessential things fans love about this variant: aromatic vanilla, marshmallow, toffee, oak, and floral notes highlighting the creamy mouthfeel and enhancing the chocolate flavors that are ingrained in Bourbon County Stout.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as midnight! Hardly any head forms in the pour and whatever does vanishes almost instantly. No lacing whatsoever.

Aroma: It literally jumps out of the glass! The vanilla is so creamy and sweet that we just want to bathe in it. The sticky and rich molasses, the heavily charred malts and dark chocolate, the coffee…as big and menacing as they all are that vanilla still comes out on top. Then there’s the barrels imparting georgeous oak and subtle bourbon…good heavens!

Flavour: The progression of flavour here is off the charts. There’s a huge surge of bourbon, molasses and vanilla upfront which rolls in to further notes of licorice, star anise and brown sugar. There’s a tussle between vanilla and bittersweet chocolate that goes for days but it’s backfilled with hints of woody oak, toffee, charred malts, coconut and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Oily and viscous. Minimal CO2 with a belly warming 14.9% ABV. Yet for its size and immaturity it’s still reasonably well balanced. Incredible.

Overall: Taking the above in to consideration we still think this bad boy needs at least 5 years in the cellar. It’s still quite brash. We’re not taking anything away from it though…the BCBS range is still one of the best in the world.

Toppling Goliath ‘King Sue’ Double IPA

Rating:

69594648_1160550670795743_6982060258428452864_n“This lusciously hazy double IPA gains its hints of mango, orange, and pineapple from the use of the delicious Citra hop.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Turbid and pale orange juice looking affair with a healthy white crown perched on top. Good retention and lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Proper fruit salad juice bomb. Every kind of tropical and citrus fruit you can imagine. Stonefruits aplenty, melon, peach, apricot, even kumquats coming through. It holds that fresh white bready malt character so synonymous with top shelf American NEIPAs. Hints of botanicals, lemongrass, dank pine and peppery spice. Nailed it!

Flavour: Comes on with a burst of tropical fruit sweetness. Showing a bit of that 7.8% ABV early on too. A fair bit of peach and apricot which lays down for the slightly pithy grapefruit and citrus rind midway. An acidic bitterness pushes forward but settles down for a warming finish with additional herbal spice and dank pine.

Mouthfeel: Quite sharp and prickly. As stated previously the 7.8% ABV certainly isn’t shy. Neither is the 100 IBU for that matter! Fairly light on with good CO2.

Overall: Somewhat of a rendezvous between the east Coast, the Mid West and the West Coast. The Citra hop shines again here too…we’d say it’s more at home here as opposed to Pseudo (which is interesting because he’s more of a West Coast style). All in all a very decent offering.

pFriem 2016 ‘Frambozen’ Lambic

Rating:

69227710_1154945388022938_4202434583544725504_n“Inhale our raspberry Lambic-style ale, pFriem Frambozen, and huge perfumy aromas of fresh fruit will tease your nose. Take one sip and your taste buds will be embraced by the flavors of lavender and fresh jam, and the tart, prickly finish will make you long for another.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Kind of a pastel red hue with a hint of burgundy. It forms a short and super fizzy head which dissipates instantly. No lacing…as anticipated.

Aroma: Smells magnificent. Tonnes of juicy sour cherry, mixed red berries, sherbet, hints of oak and red wine vinegar. So well balanced…more than enough fruit sweetness to counteract the lambic sourness. Smells as good as Cantillon or 3F!

Flavour: Just like the aroma – amazing. It kicks off with a bit of lacto sourness and manky funk but the sour cherry and berry sherbet quickly takes hold. Subtle peachy/apricot flavours getting amongst it while the oak adds a gentle woody note. The finish is fruity and slightly vinous but it does pull up a little short.

Mouthfeel: Tight and spritzy with a lively CO2. Light-moderate body. The acidity is there but it’s approachable so the pucker rating gets a 3/5.

Overall: The aroma is nothing less than works class. The flavour, although delicious, seemed to lack a bit of intensity…considering this is a 2016 vintage the age could have softened it a bit though. That’s as far as any criticism will go because at the end of the day it’s an absolute corker!

Hope Brewing Semillon IPA

Rating:

69403323_1153851164799027_6773400087079944192_n“The 2019 release of Hunter Harvest is where grape meets grain; in a hopped up IPA. World famous Hunter Semillon from our estate adds zest and lemopn lime edge to this already piney and resinous imperial brew.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Lovely bold amber pour with a thumb of frothy white head perched on top. It falls away gradually yet still manages sufficient lacing.

Aroma: Not really picking up a whole lot of the Semillon on first smell. Getting a lot of dank pine resins, booze, sweet malts and stewed stone fruit though. As it settles some yellow citrus (grapefruit, lemon) and freshly sliced pear come through…albeit conservatively. The sweet malts become a little syrupy as well.

Flavour: A mirror image of the aroma – dank, resinous fleshy stone fruits and sweet stewy malts bolstered by a warming booze. Pithy grapefruit and lemon peel then rolls in to a dry and super bitter finish which goes for days.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, prickly and somewhat astringent. Medium body and assertive bitterness (100 IBU). The 9.5% ABV is also quite evident.

Overall: One of us is a real big fan of Semillon so it’s a bit of a shame that the wine features were a bit subdued. The imperial IPA side of it was good though… dank, hoppy but well balanced with a sweet malt base. Not really memorable but a decent drop.

 

Stone & Wood/Counter Culture ‘It’d Be Rude Not To’ French Toast Stout

Rating:

68439605_1153780061472804_5667870016121339904_n“Prepare to salivate. Our delectable French toast stout, It’d Be Rude Not To is the third release of our limited Counter Culture range – and a beer for those times you just can’t refuse. Dark, decadent and oozing with patisserie goodness, we admit It’d Be Rude Not To is a little bit naughty.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short but finely beaded brown head. Reduction is slow and steady and leaves a cascading lace down the glass.

Aroma: Definitely dominated by the winter spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice) but well supported by sweet and syrupy maple and caramel, melted chocolate, vanilla and milk sugars, toasty malts and sugary coffee. We can even pick up subtle hints of banana, toffee fudge and toasted marshmallow. Incredible aroma!

Flavour: Nice and creamy but jam-packed with rich maple and cinnamon, toasty malts and coffee, some dry bitterness, bittersweet chocolate and light black strap molasses. As it progresses it changes lanes again and finishes on a base of sweet caramel and maple, spice and toasty malt.

Mouthfeel: There’s a good weight to it but it’s still somewhat approachable. Slick texture and well concealed ABV (7.4%). Low CO2.

Overall: In our opinion this Counter Culture series is their best work yet. Even as avid IPA lovers we think it’s better than Fixation. They’re playing around with exciting flavours and it already enjoys a bit of a cult following. Can’t wait to see what they come out with next! Top drop.

Cigar City BA Imperial Milk Porter

Rating:

68454769_1150158711834939_8298541191478116352_n“So, what you’ve got here is a high gravity porter brewed with lactose. It tastes like “finding a $20 bill in your coat pocket” complemented by notes of “catching a foul ball at a baseball game,” while the finish is pure “that satisfying feeling of popping bubble wrap.” It’s good.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a thumb of loosely held tan foam resting atop. Gradual reduction before it settles at the rim. Laced pretty well actually.

Aroma: We can smell it as it sits idle on the table! A good swirl arouses a plethora of rich and dark aromas like molasses, melted dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, lactose, whisky, charred oak barrels, toasted coconut and earthy spice. The overall depth and complexity here is next level. Superb!

Flavour: Holy moly…it bursts on to the palate with incredibly rich yet smooth and dark malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and cocoa which rolls in to the oaky and whiskey-infused barrels. All the while that sweet and slightly sugary lactose character underlines it all. Definitely picking up hints of molasses before it wraps up with an enduring lactose sweetness.

Mouthfeel: So smooth and silky…hides the 8.5% ABV nicely. There’s a good density to it but it still feels light and accommodating.

Overall: Superior stuff really. Everything just fits together so well…the barrels, the lactose, the high ABV, even the rich molasses. It’s all so perfectly composed. Brewing at its finest.

Modus Operandi ‘Pangea’ IPA

Rating:

68613351_1150158351834975_3631560372512620544_n“Our latest national limited release merges your oral continental borders with a gobful of hops from gob smacking hop regions around the globe. Unfiltered with a distinct hop-driven haze care of six different hopping processes and a double dry hop, this international IPA will have your buds in a round-the-world frenzy. More hops than a roos honeymoon, break down borders and hop into Pangea International IPA.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Light amber to gold in colour. Very mild haze and a frothy two finger head emerging on top. Good retention and healthy lace sticking to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Very green and grassy, lots of herbals and weedy notes, sappy pine resins and rainforest characters. Every time we smell it we get taken away to sphagnum-covered field in Scotland. Random AF! Nice impressions of stonefruit i.e mango, rockmelon and peach with a light biscuity malt tying it all together. Very nice.

Flavour: It offers a fair amount of dank pine resin, bitter citrus (yellow grapefruit, orange peel) herbal spice and gooseberry on the fore. The mid really hones in on the acidic citrus, hop bitterness and subtle warmth from the booze while the finish provides a bit of astringent bitterness but lovely citrus and herbal notes for days.

Mouthfeel: Quite sharp and prickly. Medium body with an aggressive bitterness. Just a small bite from the 6.5% AbV.

Overall: If you like your big and punchy west coast IPA’s then you’ll be all over this. Has a bit of old school flavour sidling up to some new world ideas (apparently the hop bill touches all corners of the globe!). All in all it ain’t a bad drop.

Dainton ‘Shellraiser” Oyster Kilpatrick Imperial Stout

Rating:

67812030_1143796119137865_8311881909655306240_n“Another year and another ‘collab’ with these crazy folks. Also some NSW farmer helped source the actual 110 dozen oysters in this brew. Note – there is no bacon, though it does taste a bit like bacon … ‘Facon’, I call it. I don’t. You do.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a frothy two finger crown. The head holds together and laced well.

Aroma: Definitely getting a salty/briney note hitting the olfactory’s first…surely the oysters. Some sweet and smoky notes which remind us of honey glazed ham also getting amongst it. Hints of mild roast and licorice, chocolate and a subtle candied scent which we can’t quite put our finger on…we want to say musk but we’re not certain of it.

Flavour: Again quite salty and briney upfront. Mild gamey-ness from the oysters, bitter sweet chocolate, some vanilla, some warming booze and roasty malts. It moves in to delicate licorice and or molasses with soft smoky notes rolling in to a salty finish which provides lightly charred malts and soft bitterness on a good length.

Mouthfeel: Nice and balanced – not too heavy not too light. Oily and well rounded. The 9.5% AbV is really well hidden.

Overall: Look it’s not going to set any records but it’s a fairly decent drop. The actual collaboration is the craziest thing about it! I mean there’s Dainton from Victoria, Van Dieman from Tassie and Bright Tank and Rocky Ridge from WA! The logistics alone is nuts! The beer though…not bad.

Deschutes 2016 Brandy BA ‘Abyss’ Imperial Stout

Rating:

67097311_1137911909726286_6522436742723665920_n“Enticingly ripe, earthy fruit rudiments awash in the open salt air of Normandy, lightly augmented with mushrooms grown in the depths of the Tronҫais forest. Delicate notes of Livarot glazed with an orange reduction and textured with toasted coconut shavings. Distinct aromas of cinnamon and ulster cherry, foxtrot in time with tangs of vanilla and brown sugar. Balanced, approachable wood zests meld charmingly with the finish of figs and Allegheny plums.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as midnight! It forms a dark brown head which swells to two fingers before it gradually recedes. Healthy lace clings to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: It’s remarkable how much of an impact the brandy barrels have put on this stout…cognac-like sweetness supported by dark fruits i.e raisin and dates, rich toffee, caramel and vanilla. So much so that it resembles a top shelf barleywine with its hallmark residual sugars and caramelised malts. Not to mention the warming booze and oak that isn’t shying away!

Flavour: Jeez even after three years in the cellar this bad boy still packs some heat! A wave of stinging booze, bitter espresso, molasses and charred malts hit the palate like an overhand right from Riddick! Brandy takes the back seat with its semi-sweet dark fruits and spice developing late in the piece. There’s little respite as it finishes with an aggressive espresso bitterness and an enduring burn in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Dense, oily and viscous with low Co2 giving it that extra weight. 13.3% AbV – explains that lifted booze burn.

Overall: Still a bit too aggressive in our opinion. The aroma was bang on point but the flavour is too heavy on the booze and bitterness. A bit of a shame coz this cost a few pennies!!

Bentspoke ‘Big Nut’ Black IPA

Rating:

67108553_1137854843065326_1488147988437008384_n“Our latest release is part of the Drifter series, a range of seasonal beers that drift in and out. Big Nut is a black IPA that’s been a long time coming for customers at the brewpub. Big Nut has been one of our most popular winter beers at the brewpub. Our Draughters’ members have been heckling us for years to put it in a can.More than just the beer, Big Nut began its story at the Braddon brewpub in the most literal sense, a big nut used in a tap handle.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Solid black with a sturdy thumb of tan foam perched on top. Retention is excellent and the lacing makes a mess of the glass.

Aroma: The nose is filled with big roasty malts, subtle smoke, charred wood, bitter espresso and licorice. Enter the hops! They come in with a piney, herbal, grassy and citrusy profile that balances everything out. Black IPA’s are one of our favoured styles for this reason…taking scents from both ends of the spectrum and blending them together. Brilliant!

Flavour: Even better than the aroma…and that is rare! We’re getting all of that dark roasty malt, coffee, chocolate, mild smoke etc, all the clean, piney, herbal and citrusy hops but the clincher is the overall silky smoothness that wraps it all up. Pithy grapefruit and orange peel forming late and finishing with a dry bitterness alongside a mild roast and charred malt character.

Mouthfeel: As we touched on previously the overall smoothness is next level. The bitterness (45 IBU) and the booze (7% AbV) are both incredibly well disguised. One of the most session-able black IPA’s we’ve ever had.

Overall: What else can we say? Other than this is an absolute ripper of a beer. Bentspoke do it again!

The Lost Abbey ‘Framboise De Amorosa’ BA Raspberry Sour

Rating:

67101852_1137004513150359_871512507183792128_n“Framboise de Amorosa is our first foray into the world of raspberry beers. It begins as Lost and Found ale and is sent into freshly emptied red wine barrels. The beer spends over a year in the wood during which time it is spiked with three additions of raspberries.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Kind of a muddy light brown affair with a wispy off white head. It slowly peels off but enough hangs around to leave a healthy lace on the glass.

Aroma: The raspberries really shine through. On one hand we get the tart fresh version and on the other we get the vinous red wine version. The latter also leads us in to the musty French oak very nicely. There’s certainly a lacto sourness but most of it is coming from the natural tartness of the fruit. Undertones of red peppers, glazed cherry and pink lady apples for extra enjoyment!

Flavour: Insanely sour. It took us a few sips but it does mellow out once the palate becomes accustomed to it. Then those luscious raspberries come through…again, fresh at first then morphing in to the more jammy and vinous raspberry synonymous with a good Pinot Noir. Lovely expressions of French oak with its subtle vanilla and musty accents rolling in to a sweet and sour fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Huge initial pucker that carries. Nicely weighted body, medium acidity and a tart and rather dry texture. We’ve only just realised this is 8.5% AbV! Very well concealed!

Overall: This is actually the first sour we’ve tried from Lost Abbey. And we’re very impressed!

Moon Dog ‘Captain Raisin Beard’ Rum BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

67552946_1134364183414392_3785834541222985728_n“Captain Raisin Beard and his motley crew of brewers ventured to the Caribbean to collect very special small batch rum barrels. These rum barrels survived the high seas and landed safely at the Port of Abbotsford where this Rum ‘n’ Raisin Imperial Stout has sat aging. This Imperial Stout is Raisin’ the bar on barrel aged greatness and this dark confectioner’s dream is full of the rum booty!”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a billowing three finger tan head. It’s loose and rocky but it persists and works an excellent lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Holy moly…decadence is the name of the game here. Alluring wafts of Caribbean rum, dessicated coconut, cinnamon, oak barrels, toffee fudge, caramel, vanilla essence, fruit cake, melted chocolate, coffee and some warming booze tickling the nostrils. Man it really comes together once it settles in. This is a world class aroma right here.

Flavour: Showing a bit more aggression as opposed to the aroma. The booze burn, charred malts and bitter coffee come on hard but mellow in to those delicious Caribbean rum flavours, vanilla, chocolate, treacle, burnt brown sugar and dark caramelised fruits. Touches of woody oak and charred malt through to the drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous…some real density to it. Low co2 and high AbV – 12.9% which understandably has presence.

Overall: It has been a long time since we’ve been this impressed by a Moon Dog beer. We’re confident in saying its the best we’ve ever had from them…alongside the 2015 edition of JTS of course! All it needs is a few years in the cellar and this will really come in to its own. World class.

 

Holgate Brewhouse Double ESB

Rating:

67322980_1134239863426824_7070321127691649024_n“Our Double ESB is a strong and celebratory take on the classic. English crystal and roast malts give a rich and chewy malt character alongside a quintessentially English hop character (floral, spice, honey) courtesy of East Kent Golding hops.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Deep amber complexion with a fizzy three finger head emerging on top. Retention is pretty good so we’re seeing a thick and soapy lace sticking to the glass as we go.

Aroma: It’s got those hallmark bready and caramel malt-forward scents followed by toffee apple, fresh brown bread, toast, herbal spice, raisin, marmalade and subtle orange peel. A bit of a sweet nutty accent happening as well. They’ve hidden the 7.5% AbV remarkably well…can’t even get a hint of it! They’ve absolutely nailed this aroma.

Flavour: Nice transition from the nose…again, bready/toasty and sweet caramel malts dominate the fore. Just a hint of the warming booze creeping in. Right on cue those zesty orange notes come to the party – pithy orange peel and hop bitterness drying things up nicely. Caramel, toffee and light brioche carrying in to a bitter sweet finish that goes the distance.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full, chewy and gelatinous with mild-medium co2. A slight burn from the booze but honestly it’s pretty well shackled.

Overall: Holgate’s original ESB is one of Australia’s best interpretations of the style so it comes as no surprise that this iteration is practically faultless. The AbV shows through a tad but we can’t blame them for that (it is a double ESB after all!). Kudos Holgate that’s top shelf stuff.

 

Eden Brewery ‘Fallen Phoenix’ Imperial Kottbusser

Rating:

67263170_1133040546880089_2413172627033030656_n“In celebration of Eden Brewery’s second year, they have released this unique brew. The “Fallen Phoenix” is based on their flagship Phoenix D Kottbusser where the traditional taste of honey, molasses,oats and wheat are joined by gourmet chocolate and over 50kg of honey comb. Think cold melted violet crumble. Made to be sipped nice and slow.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as the ace of spades! It forms a short tan head which slowly retreats to the rim with a neat wavy lace sticking to the glass as we indulge.

Aroma: Thick, rich and dark roasted malts hit the olfactory’s like a freight train. So much to unpack! Tonnes of molasses, licorice and treacle, plum jam, espresso coffee, chocolate, raw tobacco, port and subtle honeycomb on the edges. Just a flutter of warming booze tickles the nostrils.

Flavour: Complex layers of booze-fuelled roasted malts, espresso, licorice and sharp yet semi sweet molasses get things underway. A nice line of sweetness – honey like but with a hint of vanilla – passes through before it rolls in to a robust and warming finish with port, vanilla and molasses drawing out on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Dense and chewy AF! The viscosity is next level. It feels like a flat-ish co2 but with a subtle lift.

Overall: That’s an absolute pearler! We reckon there’s always that one beer that puts a brewery on the map and for Eden this is it…it’s rich, decadent and dangerous but above all else it’s well structured. Superb.

Three Floyd’s ‘Zombie Dust’ American Pale Ale

Rating:

67215459_1133919206792223_2528890384700932096_n“This intensely hopped and gushing undead Pale Ale will be one’s only respite after the zombie apocalypse. Created with our marvelous friends in the comic industry.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy pastel orange with a light amber fusion. It forms a healthy two finger head which holds its shape and makes a mess of our glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Bright orange blossom and tangerine overtones, honey & lemon strepsil, orange zest, lemongrass, blended tropical fruits like lychee, mango, pineapple and ruby grapefruit. The malt profile is rather sweet and sticky…honeyed and slightly syrupy but it’s nicely balanced by all of the citrusy and tropical fruity hops.

Flavour: A bit of oldschool west coast IPA going on! Dry, bitter and mildly acidic grapefruit and orange peel mixed in with a whole lot of mixed citrus – pithy, zest etc. A hint of honey and candied lemon around the mid palate which lays down for another rush of citric bitterness. A hint of herbal spice late in the piece leading to a dry finish but with a soft rounded sweetness.

Mouthfeel: There’s a nice crispiness to it. Medium body with an assetive hop bitterness (60 IBU). Some stickiness on the lips as well. 6.2% AbV. Everything just sings in harmony!

Overall: An absolute pleasure to drink…just so well balanced and effortless. This has been on our beer bucket list for years so we’re stoked to be finally trying it…and it lives up to the hype! It’s a cut above really.

 

Stone & Wood Limited Release Barrel Aged Stone Beer

Rating:

66463378_1128470284003782_6211507352743444480_n“In May 2017, we squirrelled some of our Stone Beer into a handful of whiskey  & port barrels to age…After 12 months of soaking up the woody goodness, our team have pulled the corks on the barrels and filled our signature Stone & Wood ceramic crocks as well as a few sneaky kegs to ship to a handful of lucky venues.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Dense black with a sturdy thumb of tan foam resting on top. It retreats to the rim and leaves a cascading lace down the glass.

Aroma: Not as vigorous as we’d hoped but still plenty of character. Lightly charred malts, mild smoky notes, chocolate, toasted nuts, cherry, tobacco, licorice, treacle and a subtle dash of vanilla sweetness to pull it all in to line. We already love the stone beer but the barrel aging has handed it more of a sweet and smoky character which is sensational!

Flavour: Much like the aroma in the sense that it doesn’t really come on with much ferocity but it still manages a swathe of flavour…mostly charred and toasty backed up by warming notes of whisky and booze. Some bitterness getting amongst it – coffee and ash – leading in to a dry and roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Rather light on for a barrel aged porter. Co2 is lifted and it conjures up a little bitterness from somewhere. 8.8% AbV showing through at times. Bit of a mixed bag really.

Overall: Although it seemed to lack intensity at times there is more than enough here to sink our teeth in to. We’ve gotta pay homage to this awesome ceramic crock too…this is going to slot in nicely on our honours shelf.

Wicked Weed ‘Marina’ BA American Sour w Apricot & Peach

Rating:

66447768_1127729334077877_5629285013481586688_n“The daughter of a poor, ailing farmer, Marina was wrought with the burden of responsibility. Her father had done his best to raise her with all the love and lessons befitting a princess. Time passed and with it her father. Her worry for the land deepened and dominated her every thought. One night, Marina found a letter scribbled in her father’s hand: “Do not fear; you are the daughter of the king, sister to Medora, raised outside the kingdom to keep you safe when war was upon us.” Marina, unburdened and full of rejoicing, returned home to her sister, and it was said of them, never did such just and loving rulers watch over the people.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Somewhat hazy pale golden hue with a loose wispy overlay. Seeing some wet and streaky lace clinging to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: The earthy apricots really lift out of the glass…as do the peaches. Smells bloody magnificent! Some extreme funk going on – strong lacto acidity and a lot of manky cheese and barnyard character as well. Just a hint of the white wine barrels peeking through bringing sour white grapes, vinous fruits and oak along with it. Brilliant!

Flavour: Oh wow the initial sourness is insane…really gets the saliva glands going! Again apricot and peach for days, sour grapes, young chardonnay and oak laying the foundations. Mild hints of hard cheeses and sweaty funk midway then moving in to a fruity finish which offers more peach, earthy apricots and subtle manky funk.

Mouthfeel: Quite a spritzy texture to it. Medium-high co2 and light-moderate body. The pucker is pretty full on initially but it does mellow out so it scores a modest 3.5/5.

Overall: We’ve been loving the influx of Wicked Weed beers recently. Although they sold out a long time ago we’re still massive fans of what they’re putting out. This one included!