Boatrocker ‘2021 Fat Santa’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Fat Santa, a beer now synonomous with Boatrocker. Our famous Ramjet base beer has been aged in first use Buffalo Trace barrels. After disgorging, the beer is treated to whole coffee beans, Madagascan vanilla beans, and South American Tonka beans.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Dense black with a thumb of finely beaded brown foam emerging on top. Retention is ok, eventually the head disappears but it leaves a beautiful cascading lace down the glass.

Aroma: Oh my word all we now want for Christmas is a whole case of this! Yes, it’s the Ramjet base with added tonka beans, coffee and vanilla (which makes up a big part of its beauty) but let’s be real this is all about the incredible Buffalo Trace Bourbon/barrels. For such a relatively cheap Bourbon it punches well above its weight when a Stout of this calibre is housed inside its barrels. So so good.

Flavour: Because we waffled on so much with the aroma we’ll actually cover the flavour profile here; absolutely delicious notes of treacle, vanilla, charred oak, chewy toffee, heavily roasted malts, coffee, mixed spice i.e star anise and clove, Carribbean Rum, muscovado sugar and a rich nutty quality. Excellent finish too- Bourbon oak, vanilla and charred malts. Perfect really.

Mouthfeel: Super slick and oily AF. Low Co2, full body. The 11% ABV comes through but it’s well behaved for its size.

Overall: For years we’ve considered the Ramjet/Roger Ramjet the pick of Boatrocker’s barrel program but we think our minds have officially changed. This vintage of Fat Santa could easily stack up against any high quality American BA Stout. World class stuff.

Sünner ‘Hircus’ Malz Bock

Rating:

“Hircus is a dark malt bock which is produced in traditional open fermentation using our own well water. Five fine malts from the Weyermann malt factory and three traditional German hops give the beer its special aroma. Pronounced malt, chocolate and caramel notes characterize this brew and express themselves through an elegant and creamy finish.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Deep ruby red with a light brown tint. It forms a fairly well bonded two finger head which gradually recedes to a fine overlay. Brilliant lacing is strewn down the glass.

Aroma: Dead set this would have to be one of the best smelling Bocks we’ve ever come across. Absurdly rich and sweet but it’s so well balanced by this huge presence of bread in all its forms; toasted, doughy, fresh, crusty, sourdough, dark and rye. It also offers a good dose of dark fruit such as cherry, blood plum and raisin. Layers of dried leaves, wood shavings, toffee apple, cola and banana split adds to the depth. Phenomenal!

Flavour: Hot damn the transition is dead set perfect. It’s just a little bit drier and a touch less sweet than the nose but in our opinion that’s ideal. Mostly because it avoids being turned into a sugar bomb and is moreish as hell. We get toast, cocoa powder, roasted nuts, toffee, woody notes, dark fruits, earthy caramel and dried oats before the complete savoury finish punctuates a flawless beer.

Mouthfeel: Nice and sticky, a bit gelatinous. Mild-moderate Co2, medium body. The 7.2% ABV is well buried.

Overall: Well, well, well we’d be confident in saying that’s the best Bock we’ve ever had. Not a surprise considering one of the best Kölsch also comes from the same brewery. Simply faultless.

Working Title ‘Salvation’ West Coast IPA

Rating:

“Old school and loving it. Will it be our Salvation in these hazy times? Probably not, but a little bit of reminiscing never hurt.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: They don’t come much better looking than this. It pours a bold amber complexion with a well maintained two finger cap. Good retention and lacing as we go.

Aroma: They’ve struck an impeccable balance here. As soon as the semi sweet and biscuity malts hit the olfactories the piney, citrusy and spicy hops pull it all back into line. Nice subtle waves of caramel and honey along with mixed orange citrus/candied, slightly dank herbals, sappy resins, light floral characteristics and aniseed. Really liking this aroma and really hoping it all transfers to the palate.

Flavour: Right on the money! It kicks off with that classic West Coast dry bitterness but is quickly softened by the rounded malt sweetness. Then almost instantly the all American hop profile slashes through the malts like a knife through hot butter. Mixed citrus then carries it all through to a distinctly dry and bitter finish which draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Slightly soapy and a bit acrid but that’s to be expected for the style. Co2 is spot on. Medium body. The 7.5% ABV is pretty well concealed.

Overall: Not bad. Not bad at all. We’ve found this mobs beers are getting and better each time we’re reacquainted. That’s a pretty damn fine interpretation of the old classic. Solid.

Bridge Road ‘B2 Bomber – Mach 11.5’ BA Imperial Belgian Black IPA

Rating:

“Here is the inaugural bottle release of our barrel-aged B2 variant for 2021.We took our B2 Bomber Mach 11, a black Belgian double IPA, and aged it in Corowa Whisky barrels for six months.
The hop punch of the original beer has mellowed, and the warming influence of whisky intertwines with soft oak and vanilla notes.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Black pour with a sturdy two finger brown head resting on top. Excellent retention and thick rings mark each sip as it subsides.

Aroma: Rich and complex. The black IPA base is just out in front at the moment with its classic fusion of heavily roasted malts balanced by the piney and citrusy American hops. The whiskey component has been integrated really well – nicely tempered and the kinda sweet, caramelised and vanilla-laden scents blend back in beautifully. Just a hint of oak and some fiery warmth to round it out. *Rubs hands with excitement*

Flavour: It comes on with serious vigour. Though we’re surprised as we’re sat back waiting for the booze burn and general shock to the senses that a 10% ABV beer usually brings…but it never comes. It’s astonishingly smooth even though the whiskey is rather prominent upfront. The lightly roasted malts dominate the mid palate with the piney and citrusy hops tailing in late. Then the whiskey and roasted malt return for the nicely drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Super slick, oily and gelatinous. Mild-moderate Co2, medium body. The 10% ABV is fairly well behaved for its size.

Overall: Well it looks like Bridge Rd are officially back. After a couple of years of Co2 and quality issues this brilliant annual release looks set to make a return to our cellars. Big and warming and equally satisfying.

8 Wired ‘Dynamite’ Black IPA

Rating:

“An explosive blend of smooth malt and roasted black wheat creates a perfect foundation for an eruptive hoppy cocktail of Centennial, Amarillo and Idaho 7 blowing up the bitterness. Are you mad for malt? Do you hunger for hops? Dynamite is a hoppy brew with some light roasty notes. Grab a can, its the best of both worlds!”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Fairly dark brown pour with a lighter gradient at the foot of the glass. It produces a fluffy two finger head which maintains its shape. Big thick rings are posted as we imbibe.

Aroma: Good depth and a really robust roasted malt base. Getting burnt toast, espresso coffee, chocolate bullets and almost an umami-like soy sauce quality. The way the malts fold into the hops is exemplary…starts super piney/sprucey then shifts into heady grapefruit, lemon rind and dank weedy herbals. We always bang on about balance with black IPA’s and this is balanced like a beer on a barrel!

Flavour: The hops come on pretty strong upfront. Not only with its dry bitterness but lots of pine and pithy citrus as well. Something kinda sweet like caramel, maybe? On the flipside it could be a hint of tropical fruit. The contrast between the hops and malt hits a crescendo midway with the malts going full roast and the hops full pithy and then settling for a perfectly balanced finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and silky then dry and abrasive in the swallow. Mild-moderate Co2, medium body. 6% ABV is kind of on the tamer side for the style.

Overall: We’ve been fanboys of 8 Wired’s IPA’s since back in the Super Conductor days. They were great IPA brewers back then and they still are now. Quality stuff.

Foghorn ‘Hunter Classic” Kölsch

Rating:

“Refreshing lager-like drinkability with the complexity and character of an ale? That’s Hunter Classic. Inspired by the cold fermented Kölsch style ales of Germany, this multi award winning brew belongs 100% to the Hunter. A Trophy winning recipe perfected over 20 years of brewing. Enjoy a Classic.”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: Hits the glass with a pale gold complexion and good Co2 activity. It forms a big three finger head which peels off rather quickly. Some spotty lace here and there, that’s about it.

Aroma: Not many other beers can beat a crisp, lightly hopped and refreshing Kölsch on a 30+ degree afternoon so it’s safe to say we’re digging this already. Loving the initial grainy malts, they combine beautifully with the modest hop profile. We get slightly buttery biscuits, estery orchard fruits, starchy veggies like potato and parsnip, rice crackers, soft spicy notes and florals. A flutter of honey here as well. Solid.

Flavour: Pretty similar to the nose with its dominant hay and wheaty grain bill. Soft esters, subtle woody notes and semi sweet honey in support. Hits a bit of a tangy note midway then shifts into a more savoury rice cracker-like character late in the piece. Noble hops own the finish with its herbaceous, grassy and spicy notes. Good duration on it too.

Mouthfeel: As expected – crisp, light on, clean and perfectly weighted. Just a nice subtle sparkle to the Co2 and the 4.5% ABV is tucked away nicely.

Overall: We had to make this a quick review as this was going down the gullet waaayyyy too easily. Should have got a 4 pack between us! Put simply, this is the epitome of a summer session beer. Top notch.

Bruny Island Whey Stout

Rating:

“Whey Stout is a roasty milk stout enriched with lactose from our very own organic cow’s milk whey left over after making our Raw Milk C2 cheese. Our brewer’s yeast cannot digest the lactose sugar, meaning that it stays behind in the beer and enhances the sweetness and gives the texture greater creaminess.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Mat black with a thumb of light brown head resting atop. Good retention and healthy lace work is strewn down the glass.

Aroma: Interesting. If we were blindfolded we’d be inclined to say this was a baby black IPA or at the very least an American Brown Ale. The typical Stout features i.e roasted malt, coffee, cocoa, licorice etc are completely MIA. What we get is a delicate fusion of wholemeal bread, chocolate powder, earthy hops, jammy dark fruits and a hint of orange citrus. Can’t help but pick up this kinda piney/spruce scent as well.

Flavour: Look to be brutally honest this should not be labelled as a Stout. As we eluded to on the aroma at the very least it could pass as an American Brown Ale. Hints of cocoa powder, toast, super subtle coffee and dark fruits is as bold as it gets. We understand they’re using whey as opposed to stronger tasting milk sugars so it’s not as sweet but there isn’t much sweetness to it at all. The somewhat piney and citrusy hops are almost the stars of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and well rounded. Nice bitterness which counteracts, slightly higher Co2 than usual. 5.8% ABV – pretty well buried.

Overall: Don’t know about this one. We sincerely love what these guys are all about: local ingredients, small batch, preservative free etc but the quality and execution is a bit off the mark. Call it an American Brown Ale and we’d reconsider.

Tumut River Brewing ‘Ripe Cherries’ Dark Ale

Rating:

“Is there a better pairing than rich dark chocolate and juicy cherries? Sure sure, a famous chocolate bar may have worked the original magic but we took it to a whole new level by fermenting it and putting it in a can. The Ripe Cherries recipe is built around the Bounty Hunter profile, featuring choc black and veloria malts as well as malted oats from the Riverina, giving this beer a great smooth feel and a chocolate finish.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Almost a jet black complexion with a slight gradient at the foot of the glass. It only manages a finger of finely beaded brown foam before gradually peeling off. Beautiful cascading lace is strewn down the glass as we go.

Aroma: Hot damn the cherry ripe is large on this one. The intensity of the cherries is amazing…kinda sweet but rich and medicinal at the same time. The chocolate and coconut add thick layers of sweet, savoury, nutty and vanilla-esque complexity while the subtle roasted malts fill it out even further. Definitely getting rich caramel/toffee from it too. Superb.

Flavour: Well it definitely doesn’t lack natural cherry flavour. Sheesh, it almost tastes a bit like cough syrup. The chocolate, mild roasty notes and classic Dark Ale nutty-ness is here but unfortunately the coconut doesn’t appear until late in the piece. We could say the same about the caramel/toffee and creamy vanilla as well…they’re MIA which sucks coz that’s what made the aroma so good.

Mouthfeel: Slick but a little too lean. Mild-medium body, low-ish Co2. The 5.2% ABV is neither here nor there.

Overall: What started off with extreme promise ended pretty poorly. Just not fans of the cherry cough medicine flavours which is dialled up to 11 here. It worked on the nose because it had enough behind it to balance it out but it went downhill from there. Shame.

Beer Fontaine ‘Spring Seasonal’ Saison

Rating:

“A crisp beer brewed in a traditional style, fermented in large egg shaped fermenters letting the yeast develop a distinct & unique flavour profile. The vibrant citrus & floral notes pair perfectly with a cheese plate or shellfish.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Light straw golden pour with a moderate haze. It constructs a humongous four finger head which gradually recedes. Thick blotchy lace clings to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Jeez on first acquaintance one could be excused for thinking they had a Wildflower or La Sirene in their glass. This smells top shelf! Super earthy and bretty with strong barnyard funk, pot pourri florals, lemon/lime juice/rind, peppery spice and bubblegum. Big impressions of hay and straw, bush honey, Angostura bitters, five spice/clove and aniseed. Some light estery orchard fruits knocking about as well. Love it!

Flavour: Not as well structured or as streamlined as the aroma but it still offers a damn fine amount of earthy barnyard funk, wheat grains, hay/straw, semi sweet honey and slightly tart and tangy lemon, lime and rind. Quite floral too. Definitely hits a dry and spicy note midway with a flutter of orchard fruits peeking through. Nice crisp finish with lingering citrus and dry peppery spice on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light and flaky. Very effervescent. Moderately bodied and the 6% ABV slots in nicely.

Overall: A very nicely composed offering. As we’ve said already these guys bat well above their average. Some Saison’s we get from well established breweries are junk and these guys are only just starting out and it seems like they’ve been brewing Saison’s for decades. Keep em coming!

Beer Fontaine ‘Just Cask Me’ Rye BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Aged for 1 year in barrels that once housed Australia’s favoured rye whisky. This version of our imperial stout takes on a spicier, fruitier note that lingers softly between sips. Lovely paired with a creamy dessert.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a short tan head which fades almost instantly. It forms a collar and struggles to produce much lace as it subsides.

Aroma: Much much smoother in comparison with the straight whiskey expression. The key difference being the rye and the subtle nuances it brings such as a more Bourbon-esque sweetness, spice and what one of us likes to describe as bubblegum toothpaste. Much more like the straight whiskey expression though, is the fairly rich and robust Stout base that has enough to carry the whiskey along. Decent.

Flavour: In terms of intensity vs sweetness this one lands smack bang in the centre between whiskey and Bourbon. And in some ways taking on attributes of both styles. Kinda sweet, grainy and spicy then the lightly charred malts, chocolate, cacao, coffee and licorice washes over the tongue. Once it retreats the rye whiskey/barrels are once again revealed and finishes it all off with a hint of roasted malt and wheat-like grain.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full, muscly and dense. Low-ish Co2. 10% ABV is pretty well contained.

Overall: We’ve gotta give credit where it’s due. This is a very green BA Imperial Stout (packaged 10/21) from a brewery that has only just done its first release to the market. On top of that is their ethos of sticking mostly to barrel aged beers so it’s no child’s play. Big ups to this mob, they certainly look to have the goods.

Little Bang ‘Ira’ India Red Ale

Rating:

“Meet Ira. He’s not an IPA, not a Red Ale or some kind of pseudo-Scotch Ale, but a bit like all of them. Ira is… different. Sure, he’s not the coolest beer style around, but beyond the socks and sandals Ira’s having freaky thrills we can barely understand. Booze and IBUs, toffee pinecone, pineapple and dank. Is he weird? Or just a new kind of awesome?”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Copper to deep amber colour with a sturdy two finger head perched on top. Excellent retention and fine lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Truck loads of sweet candied fruits, toffee, burnt caramel, ripe tropical fruits like mango, lychee, papaya, pineapple and passionfruit, kinda dank pine resins and tree sap for the most part. We really get a sense of fruity summer cocktails and the not-so-subtle tickle on the nose from the 6% ABV. Big, sweet and boozy yet fairly well balanced at the same time.

Flavour: A little brash and rugged as opposed to the nose. The booze burn is more noticeable plus the candied fruits turn a bit syrupy here. The dank, piney and fruity hops do a good job of pulling it all back into line though – and also bring a bit of pithy citrus to the party. It punctuates on a sweet yet dry and bitter finish which really lingers.

Mouthfeel: Slick and gelatinous with a boozy bite. Slightly flat, medium body. Definitely dries out in the swallow. The 6% ABV doesn’t shy away either.

Overall: We were on board early in the piece but they couldn’t keep it together unfortunately. Once it warmed it turned real syrupy and the booze was revealed too much. We’re yet to be wowed by Little Bang and we’re hoping that changes.

Hawkers ‘Lucky 13°’ Bohemian Pilsner

Rating:

“This beer is a clean, crisp homage to the roots of Pilsner. Lagered for a full two months, brewed with Bohemian Floor Malt and hopped with nothing but Saaz, it’s a clean, crisp journey back to old-world brewing.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Bright golden pour with a monstrous three and a bit finger head which takes an age to reduce. It leaves an absolute mess on the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: From the outset it screams classic old world Pilsner. It’s got a strong but well tempered Noble hop profile which throws out the hallmark florals, herbaceous notes, mildew, black pepper and subtle earthy and grassy characters. Super clean and semi sweet malts providing delicate touches of water crackers, rice biscuits and flower nectar. Exceptional balance on show here.

Flavour: Everything has carried over from the aroma very nicely. A short and punchy bitterness upfront is quickly enveloped by the delicious herbals and florals, subtle peppery spice/rocket and the dry biscuity malt doing its thing in the background. A hint of malt sweetness pops up but is overtaken by the returning hop bitterness and soft pithy notes which deliver a crisp and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean and dry. Nice and subtle sparkle to it. Moderately bodied. The 5.4% ABV is slightly higher than average but it’s neatly tucked away.

Overall: Very sessional. Not too badly priced ($7.50) for a 5.4% 440ml tinny also. We love that they went for an all out traditional Czech Pilsner and we love the fact they pulled it off even more. Classy stuff.

Beer Fontaine ‘Patience’ Whiskey BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“The beer that started it all. aged in Australian single malt whisky barrels for 1 year. 1 whole year of waiting, looking at barrels & being patient, knowing it’s worth the wait. A complex beer tasting of dark chocolate, coffee & whisky, all balanced by a soft bitterness & that superb barrel-aged flavour.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short but finely beaded head which gradually retreats to the rim. Lovely cascading lace is strewn down the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: We can actually smell this beast as it sits at least 30cm away from our nostrils. Good Lord! Once it’s right under them we get a real good idea of the whiskey component. On first impressions it’s spicy, a little fruity and grassy but the more we isolate it the more we pick up the deeper and more rounded chocolate and caramel. This works into the robust base Stout beautifully, accentuating the damp and hedonistic molasses and licorice. Wow.

Flavour: Very aggressive. The whiskey really comes through with intent. Probably a little too much for our liking to be quite honest. It seems like the base Stout is pretty husky and can handle the whiskey until the finish where it seems to check out early on and the whiskey takes hold again. Saying that the back palate is pretty well balanced so it kinda corrects itself… thankfully!

Mouthfeel: Dense, muscly, warming. Slightly abrasive. Medium-full body. The 10.5% ABV is slightly harsh.

Overall: It’s always going to be a little contrasting going from the typical whiskey/bourbon barrels used for Impy Stouts to something like this. As whiskey fans we’ve never added an Archie Rose dram to our collection so it’s unfamiliar territory. The whiskey is well integrated but is this particular whiskey right for the style? Still undecided. It certainly has very green and unique traits so it’s lucky it has a big Stout base to keep it in check.

Shark Island ‘The Point’ Dark Ale

Rating:

“Our ever popular, easy drinking dark. We set out to create a beer that has the hops of an English Porter, married with the smooth malts of a German Schwartz Bier and we think we’ve nailed it. Not heavy on the palate but still with plenty of chocolate and roasted aromas, this a dark beer to enjoy whether it’s 4 degrees or 40 degrees. A year round beer for a year round wave.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Dark brown pour with a slight gradient at the foot of the glass. It only manages a short tan cap which forms a collar with scarce lacing as we go.

Aroma: A lot fruitier than we’d anticipated. We really like it but. We want to say blackcurrant but there’s also hints of cherry and plum coming through too. What’s good is there’s still a robust malt backbone on it – well integrated chocolate, licorice, toffee and cigar skins – which start at the bottom end and work their way back into the fruitiness. Good structure and overall balance. Head nods all round.

Flavour: Exactly how we like Dark Ale’s to be…light and approachable but still chock-a-block full of deep roasted notes. It’s like the aroma with that slightly sweet fruit but countered by a hearty roast, milk chocolate and a flutter of coffee. Getting a subtle earthy/spicy hop coming through the middle which adds another layer of complexity to it. A hint of ash developing late before it finishes roasty, a little sweet and a little fruity.

Mouthfeel: A bit light on but we don’t mind as a slightly lifted Co2 and a mild bitterness is there to back up. Only 4.6% ABV so they’ve done well to pack all this flavour in.

Overall: It’s been a long time between drinks for us and Shark Island. We’d forgotten just how much of an underrated brewery they are. Locals too! Solid offering.

Sunday Road ‘Sweet Escape’ Cold IPA

Rating:

What is a Cold IPA you ask? Think of it as a light malt canvas painted with hops. Sweet Escape is made with a low sulphur lager yeast that’s fermented cooler than an ale yeast – yet warmer than a lager yeast traditionally would be. It’s then hit with  hop bill of Ekuanot, Amarillo, and Idaho7 to give it that hop burst style. This, rewarding you with a strong aromatic hop intensity, mild bitterness, and a crisp and clean finish – which will undoubtedly have you reaching for that second sip! Go on, let your tastebuds find that Sweet Escape they’re longing for….

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Gorgeous bright golden complexion with full clarity and good Co2 activity. It forms a fluffy two finger head which slowly peels off, revealing the intricate lace work on the glass.

Aroma: Heavenly. Straight away we can smell the freshness (packaged on 3/11/21). The hops are so clean and fruity and they fill up the nostrils with tropical fruits, distinct candied citrus like lemon, lime and grapefruit, fresh pine needle, herbal spice, cedar and tangy orange. A lovely crisp malt structure is only further adding to the beers extremely appealing character.

Flavour: Dead set spot on. Getting a hint of semi sweet malt which counters the snappy pine needle and zesty citrus rind. There’s always this kinda peppery herbal accent doing its thing in the background too. As it pushes forward unripened tropical fruits, shallot and lime come to the fore then delivers a clean and fruity finish which lingers for a little while then tapers off.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and well defined yet still packing enough to chew on. Medium body, Co2 is perfect. 6.8% ABV is very well buried.

Overall: In comparison there’s not a lot that differs between this and ‘Vacation Rental’…other than a different hop bill of course. The main reason we went for it was because SR are one of the leaders of this style. On par with Garage Project in our opinion. Top notch.

Boatrocker ‘Cremejet’ BA Imperial Stout w Creme Caramel

Rating:

“Who doesn’t love a Crème Caramel?! Knowing that Caramel and Vanilla would work to accentuate the rich malt of Ramjet, we couldn’t resist trying to make a fun variant of this famous beer for our now infamous Ramjet Day… Think rich, luscious malts, big whiskey and sweet Crème Caramel! Adult dessert in a glass.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a brown head which swells to two fingers before retracting. It retains well and draws a fine lace down the glass.

Aroma: If we didn’t know any better we’d have thought we had a big sweet Quadrupel here. Man that rich creamy caramel lifts out of the glass with vigour. Coupled with other sweet hits of toffee, butterscotch and honeycomb it really is tantalising the olfactories. So well layered too…as the rich chocolate, licorice, coffee and jaffa then make way for the subtle whiskey notes that have been pushed deep down. Oopht!

Flavour: Interesting little switch up. It’s much sharper and more aggressive than the nose but we’re diggin it. The whiskey is punching through harder and the big charred malt base is throwing the old one-two of licorice and molasses. Around the mid palate is where the super sweet and sticky treacle, toffee and honeycomb kicks off. It then makes a rendezvous with the roasted malt base and rolls into a sweet yet charred finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Really slick and oily. Fairly dense with a fine Co2. On the fuller side and the 11.4% ABV is pretty well behaved for its size.

Overall: We’ve been fan boys of Ramjet ever since we tried it way back in 2015 and we really like the direction they’re taking it. A lot of the top American breweries do spin-offs of their original BA Imperial Stouts so we hope to see the experimental side continuing to flourish. Solid drop.

Future Mountain ‘Incantation’ Farmhouse Table Beer

Rating:

“Incantation is back! And now in very shareable 750ml bottles! Brewed with pilsner malt, raw wheat and flaked triticale and fermented out completely dry with a mixed culture grown up from various sources in our lab. Pouring golden straw in colour with a gorgeous white head, fresh lime, dandelions, and hay on the nose, a firm bitterness, dry with plenty of funk. INCANTATION. Designed to share!”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Wow it’s unbelievably light with a fair bit of cloudiness. It actually looks like a cloudy apple cider. Just with a lot more head…and decent lacing.

Aroma: Very delicate with a whisper of tart citrus, raw earthy grains, sulfates, brine/salty water and a really subtle peppery accent. We keep picking up this somewhat chemical note too, kinda like chlorine or gas. This is literally the first time we’ve ever said a beer smells like gas. Also getting a strong scent of either horseradish or freshly chopped turnip. Also a first. Weird, weird aroma. Can’t say if we dislike it or hate it yet.

Flavour: Tasting a bit more like a Farmhouse Ale now. Lots of dry and musty barnyard, earthy grains i.e straw, wheat and hay, soft citrus notes and lemon curd. Still tasting the mild chemical notes here and there which to be quite honest is a huge turnoff. It’s just super earthy, grainy, some rolled oats and water crackers messing about. Not much (positive) to say about the finish unfortunately.

Mouthfeel: Very light, crisp and crushable. Nice spritzy Co2, light body. 3.4% ABV.

Overall: Yeah this will be our first and last Table Beer. We’ll admit we know very little about them other than that they’re originally from France/Belgium and they’re best paired with food. There’s little wonder why the beer needs to be paired with food as any extra flavour will help. A lot!

Oskar Blues ‘Jefes Horchata’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Jefe’s Horchata Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout is a 12.8% ABV imperial stout with spicy cinnamon and creamy vanilla flavour.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Ominous pitch black pour with two fingers of finely beaded brown foam perched on top. Good retention and healthy lace sticking to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: One word…stunning. Straight off the bat we’re getting almighty wafts of cinnamon, vanilla, Bourbon/barrels, red peppers and sticky toffee. can’t help but think we’re getting fresh coriander and lime from it too. Setting the formwork is that world class Ten Fiddy base which exudes not only style but truck loads of chocolate/cocoa, licorice and subtle hints of coffee. Jeez we’re inhaling it so much we’re getting headspins!

Flavour: Pretty much a mirror image of the aroma. Intense cinnamon, vanilla, warming booze, mild bourbon/barrels and red peppers get the party started. Again that delicious Ten Fiddy base is right in there in support and carries it all through the mid like a seasoned pro. It all seems like its tapering off until it once again intensifies and finishes with as much depth and vigour as it did at the beginning.

Mouthfeel: Dense and muscly. Full bodied, perfectly carbed. The 12.8% ABV is definitely perceptible but we can forgive.

Overall: We are being spoilt with brilliant Stouts lately; ’21 Ramjet, To Build A Fire, this and we’ve also got Cremejet in the fridge as well. Seriously, we’d bathe in this (not together of course 😅). Absolutely phenomenal stuff.

Phantom Carriage ‘They Thirst’ BA Saison w Apricot & Mosaic Hops

Rating:

“Barrel-Aged Saison Blend with Apricots and Mosaic Hops.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Nice bright golden complexion with next to no head. It quickly forms a thin collar which doesn’t produce any lace as it subsides.

Aroma: Well what it lacks in head is surely made up here! There’s so many aspects but they all come together to create this unique Saison/Gueuze amalgamation. Initially we get a semi sharp lacto sourness but right behind it are the sweet yet savoury apricots, delicate tropical fruits and herbal spice from the Mosaic hops, lemon sherbet, straw, hay and wheat grains. Just a hint of damp oak too. Delightful!

Flavour: It’s almost overwhelming we don’t know where to start. There’s a little switcheroo to begin with…first we taste the apricots, peach, mild tropical fruits and lemon then the lacto sourness spikes. It’s only short-lived though and as it tapers off it’s replaced by damp oak, wheat grains, hay/straw and a bit of funk. It then draws out on a lengthy finish of apricot, tropical fruit and oak.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light, crisp and refreshing with a mineraly texture. Nice vibrant Co2, mild-moderate body. The 6% ABV fits in neatly.

Overall: We wish PC’s sours were more readily available here in Oz. We seriously love the how they blend Wild Ales, Saisons and Gueuze together like this. Brilliant offering.

Deeds ‘To Build A Fire’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“Now that you are out in the fray, the true test of survival begins. As the cold creeps in, don’t rest your eyes, don’t close them, and absolutely do not fall asleep. You need to find something to warm you up. This Imperial Stout has been aging in Bourbon Barrels for 12 months and might be exactly what you need. Generous additions of cacao and hazelnut have shaped a flavour in this dark, viscous liquid that is both deep and rich, with intense notes of everything delectable including that sweet, sweet bourbon. Drink Fresh or maybe just hold onto it for when you wake up…”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: She’s an ominous-looking beast. Like engine oil with a short dark brown head which quickly collapsed. Nice wavy lace despite the lack of head retention.

Aroma: Oh my Lord is that is good! We once saw someone say that Once More Into The Fray was akin to BCBS…we think this one could very easily stack up against it. That deep seated Bourbon along with the damp oak, toffee and spice marries together with the base Stout in truly perfect matrimony. Also, where is the burn?! Where is any flicker of the almost 15% ABV? That is outrageous!

Flavour: Ok we found the burn. But honestly it’s so well integrated into the rest of the beer that it’s quickly forgotten about. And much like the aroma the Bourbon/barrels, toffee and spice merge with the ultra rich molasses, espresso, dark chocolate and leather to create this absolute flavour sensation. It finishes like it starts – with style. And a slight sting in the tail 🤪

Mouthfeel: Dense, oily and warming. There’s a slight fizz on the tongue which we’re liking. Full bodied. As mentioned already the 14.9% ABV can be found…quite easily.

Overall: Very much like BCBS just without the finishing polish and finesse. The mere fact we’re comparing it to a beer of that calibre speaks volumes anyway. Top shelf stuff.