Evil Twin Brewing ‘Bozo Beer’ Imperial Stout


35519849_873438429506970_3512158984603697152_n“This is a really big beer and we wanted to put it in small bottles, but the two bozos were so fat they couldn’t fit on the label. Enjoy this rich, ridiculous and screwball-ish Imperial Stout with hints of: molasses, lactose, chocolate, almond, hazelnut, vanilla bean, cinnamon, oak spiral, chilli, marshmallow, muscovado sugar, chestnut and coffee. Made for Bozos.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Black as midnight. It caps off with a pancake head which holds together really well but only manages a patchy lace as we go.

Aroma: Before we say anything we have to commend them on somehow disguising that incredibly high ABV (17.2%). Tonnes of raw cacao powder, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, molasses, vanilla, nutty malts, espresso, salted caramel, peppers and Asian spice. As she warms we start to pick up that marshmallow accent… lovely touch. What an excellent aroma!

Flavour: Holy moly the palate is totally inundated as a tidal wave of bitter dark chocolate, raw cacao, vanilla and residual sugar pounds the taste buds. We can pick up those sweet marshmallow notes coming through. The booze burn through the mid is colossal but we’re quickly diverted on to the bitter espresso, earthy spice and warming chillies instead. It finishes with a slightly harsh bitterness, peat, charred wood and espresso.

Mouthfeel: Dense and viscous. Nicely carbonated with full body. 17.2% ABV. Outrageous!

Overall: We’d say it’s borderline insensible! But that would be our boring selves talking. It’s huge, full of character and really fun. We’ll finish on two words though….be careful!!

Smog City Brewing Co ‘Benny & The Bretts Vol.2’ BA Sour Red Ale


35415397_872641472919999_3298931785550790656_n“Sour red ale aged in Sangiovese barrels.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pouring a gorgeous crimson colour with a super fizzy two finger head sitting atop. Reduction is slow and steady but it eventually settles to a ring with sparse lacing as we go.

Aroma: Intricate and very well layered! The sourness is there, obviously, but it’s nicely offset by the sweet and rather juicy red malts and subtle oak additions. Along with those divine notes of red wine and tart cherries is a kind of artificial-like scent of candy canes and raspberry sherbet. So much depth and character on this nose.

Flavour: The sourness is showing a bit more intensity, ever so slightly though. Pronounced vinegar and lemon juice comes forward but it’s quelled by sweet candy and oak-driven vinous notes. Picking up hints of tart cherries late in the piece as it leads in to the smooth and slightly dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Prickly, slightly acidic and well carbonated. Relatively light on though.

Overall: We’re suckers for a good label so this one drew us in instantly. Good form Smog City! But also well followed through….superb balance but still showing plenty of sour character. Impressive.

Holgate Brewhouse ‘2018 Millenium Falcon’ Emperial IPA


35473203_872233679627445_5598436286324015104_n“Get ready for a tropical hop hit from beyond the stars! May the hops be with you! First brewed in 2013 to mark our 1000th brew, the Millennium Falcon is made with pale malt and an interstellar hopping rate to produce an “Emperial” IPA that is simply out of this world.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Golden amber with a light hop haze. The head swells to about a thumb before slowly receding to a film. Seeing some nice lace work as we hook in.

Aroma: Smells fantastic. Super fresh and hiding that 9% ABV really well. Lots of clean pine needle, citrus juIce, pineapple, mango, yellow grapefruit and dank herbals. Somewhat of a semi sweet and buttery malt structure holding it all together. Solid introduction so far.

Flavour: A bit more aggressive that’s for sure. Tasting some sweeter fruits like pineapple, mango and melon initially with grapefruit developing towards the middle. A steady booze burn ascends in the background as it steers to orange rind and sharp pine/spruce to finish. Good endurance – dry and bitter but still balanced enough to show some sweet-ish buttery malts on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Well rounded, slightly sharp and chalky. The bottle states a 100+ IBU and although it’s felt it levels out with a fine malt presence.

Overall: After returning from a West Coast brewery tour recently our palates have been treated to some of the finest IPA’s in the world. We’re stoked to say that this Aussie IIPA would easily stack up against them all. Very worthy.

The Bruery ‘Share This Mole’ Imperial Stout


35377556_871128166404663_3447460636638838784_n“Let’s move beyond the concept of grabbing a beer, and reach for something bigger. Share This beer and be part of helping friends become mobile for the first time in Mexico – the source and inspiration of select ingredients in this beer. Each release in our Share This series spotlights unique ingredients and an important cause. Share This: Mole is a mole-inspired imperial stout collaboration with Chef Anne Conness, featuring ancho chilies, chipotle peppers, cinnamon, vanilla and cacao nibs. For each bottle we produce, Free Wheelchair Mission receives one dollar.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Pours like engine oil but it whips up a healthy two finger head that persists. We’re seeing a dense lace clinging to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: So much complexity but it’s also well balanced. We’re picking up a healthy dose of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate and cacao which is nicely softened by a touch of creamy vanilla and toasted coconut. Delicate layers of roasted peppers, chipotle, nutty spice, a sweet-ish hint of marshmallow and even some peppermint for good measure.

Flavour: More of the same – big roasty malts, charred wood and raw cacao on entry. The peppers begin to open up early mid way and hints of earthy and nutty spice make way for molasses and a belly warming booze (11.1%). A flutter of bitter espresso, toasted malts and vanilla completes this remarkably flavoursome yet well balanced impy stout.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly leaner than we anticipated. Slightly oily and sharp with the 11.1% ABV discernible but well tempered. Mild Co2.

Overall: Another detailed and seriously intricate offering from these master brewers. She’s rich and very decadent so abide by the label and Share This! Top notch.

Faction Brewing Pale Ale


35286319_870683296449150_111781093723602944_n“Year-round pale ale generously hopped with Simcoe, Columbus and Mosaic.”

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Bright amber with excellent clarity. It forms a two finger head that holds its shape and decorates the sides of the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: 100% true to style APA. Smelling super fresh loaded with grapefruit, orange, pine, mandarin, subtle dank notes and really delicate herbals – basil, lemongrass etc. There’s a good impression of malt sweetness to balance it all out as well. They’ve absolutely nailed this aroma down!

Flavour: Right on the money! We get that burst of sweet and slightly bitter citrus upfront that’s underpinned by subtle hints of pine, orange peel and grassy/herbal hops. The bitterness carries through the mid but that sweet biscuity malt seems up to the task. Lovely smooth transition in to a well balanced finish. Good length.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and well rounded. Effortless over the tongue with mild bitterness in the swallow (45 IBU). Medium body and co2.

Overall: This is our first crack at this Californian Brewery’s range and what a fine offering it is! If there was only one pale ale we had to drink for the rest of our lives it would have to be this. Sensational!

Dogfish Head Oak-Aged Vanilla ‘World Wide Stout’ BA Imperial Stout


35246346_870452443138902_8801834513014456320_n“Rare and often rumored about in the darkest corners of the beer community, World Wide Stout is dark, rich, roasty and complex, and lingers somewhere beyond the limits of the average beer. Brewed with a ridiculous amount of barley, we’ve now taken this Dogfish Head classic and aged it on oak with real vanilla beans! With a little tender love and care we foster this beer from smooth, sweet wort into the big, bad blackend stout it always longed to be. Its bold, port-like complexity goes great with (or as) dessert.  With its high ABV, this is an excellent candidtate for cellaring, so grab a few bottles to enjoy now and lay the others down for a few years.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a finger of brown foam which rapidly reduced to a collar. We’re seeing a wet lace drag as we imbibe.

Aroma: Pungent! The two feature flavours both dominate the nose…with the vanilla slightly outweighing the oak. Unfortunately it appears to be a bit of a one (or in this case two) trick pony with only very gentle glimpses of molasses, subtle peaty notes and licorice backing it up. The upside is the extremely high ABV (16%) is nicely disguised.

Flavour: So much more complex than the aroma. Some vanilla and oak but there’s a wealth of other flavours like earthy tobacco, burnt wood, toasty malt, cherry fruit sweetness, prunes, licorice and dark chocolate. There’s an insane amount of booze carrying through to the finish with a stack of roasted and burnt notes going the distance.

Mouthfeel: Oily and astringent. Surprisingly well carbonated with medium body.

Overall: It’s a memorable beer but it’s just so damn extreme. It’s just like the 120 minute IIPA in terms of it could be an all time beer but the slight overreach actually detracts from it. Great drop but rather tough to finish.

Firestone Walker 2018 ‘Sucaba’ BA Barleywine


35246319_870390989811714_6052729120549240832_n“After taking a year off, Sucaba returns for a curtain call in 2018. As always, this latest vintage delivers big, boozy bourbon and American oak aromas combine with soft chocolate malt undertones. Complex malt flavors are framed in oak with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, toasted coconut and a touch of dark cherry. Sucaba is a one-of-a-kind sipping experience.  It is a beer built to last, and one that will reward careful cellaring for years to come. We highly recommend counting the years with an abacus.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Rather dark for a barleywine. It hits the glass with an extremely deep mahogany hue with a short tan head forming on top. It quickly snaps back to a ring with some spotty lace as we hook in.

Aroma: Decadent and seriously rich. It has traits of the Parabola with that sticky, sweet and caramelised base. Lots of dark fruits with fig, raisin and prunes, hints of bourbon barrel, coconut, vanilla, toffee and cigars in support. Not a whole lot of that hallmark residual sugar sweetness but in all honesty it actually works well enough without it! Superb aroma.

Flavour: Oh man. Smooth, elegant and simply delicious. Sweet dark fruits a plenty with a hint of the bourbon barrels following close behind. Just a suggestion of warming booze (12.5%) which is incredible considering its size. Amazingly it burns off and finishes with a sticky sweet number which offers bourbon oak and delicate toasted vanilla on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and gelatinous. Full-ish body with moderate co2.

Overall: This is the George Clooney of beers. It’s classy, elegant and silky smooth! Kudos Firestone that is an absolute corker!

Bottle Logic Brewing ‘Ocularity’ Double IPA


35228543_869667159884097_7824067852117213184_n“A piney and resinous Double IPA made with Chinook, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber/orange with two fingers of white foamy head over the top. Decent retention and lots of lace clinging to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Aaahhhh a good old pine bomb! Like the IPA’s of yesteryear. Layer upon layer of weedy pine resins, tropical fruits (mango, passion fruit, paw paw, lychee), zingy orange peel, some citrus notes like grapefruit, tangerine and mandarin. The malt backing is quite sweet – some caramel/honey with a touch of buttery biscuits. A traditional West Coast IPA!

Flavour: Lots of zesty and zingy orange citrus to the fore. The booze is rather aggressive in its delivery, bringing the cocktail fruits along with it. Sharp notes of pine needle, grapefruit and mild white pepper roll in to the dry and super bitter finish which reveals more of that warming booze (9% ABV) and acidic citrus at the back end.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, aggressive and extremely bitter (100 IBU). Medium body and co2. Definitely feeling the heat from the ABV as well.

Overall: In this era of the “haze craze” we must admit it is refreshing to rewind back to the gold old days. Ocularity offers that quintessential west coast IPA character – the booze, the bitterness and the almost palate wrecking aggression. Love it!

Firestone Walker 2018 ‘Parabola’ BA Imperial Stout


35043496_868797883304358_20831175501152256_n“Parabola is a beer of darkness and immensity, a barrel-­aged beast that is routinely ranked as one of the top beers in the world.  This Russian imperial oatmeal stout is aged for a full year in  Heaven Hill barrels, developing flavors of rich, chewy roasted malts, charred oak and bourbony vanilla. Parabola bares its teeth with its impenetrable black hue and soaring alcohol, yet its bite remains refined with a silky, balanced finish.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Virtually impenetrable black with a short tan head which gradually recedes to a collar. We’re seeing some decent lace sticking to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Big impressions of the bourbon barrels coming through. Tonnes of warming booze, molasses, sticky syrup, toffee fudge, dark chocolate, leather, licorice and charred wood make up the bulk of it. There’s a complex spice flowing through too, it’s got a hint of creamy vanilla with a flutter of earthy nutmeg and tobacco. Some nutty malts as well. Wow she’s intricate and really well layered.

Flavour: Oh my goodness! Plenty of bourbon character initially but nicely countered by the sticky caramels/toffee, dark chocolate, mild coffee and vanilla cream accents. Picking up some faint oak flavours along with a belly warming booze (12.7% ABV). Sweet dark fruits, treacle and earthy spice finish it off with raw tobacco and charred wood on a length.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, warming and oily. Somewhat leaner than expected. Low co2 and does well to hide that enormous ABV.

Overall: Simply brilliant. It has that KBS quality with an extra earthy complexity added. We can’t wait to see how a few years will improve it. Magnificent!

Smog City Brewing ‘Bluet’ BA Sour Blond w Blueberries


35059775_868608349989978_2143708023854465024_n“White wine barrel-aged sour blonde w/ blueberries.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Very interesting colour. Almost mauve-esque with a cherry red tint. It forms a finger of super fizzy head which dissipates instantly. And no head = no lace!

Aroma: Smells of spent wine barrels, tart blueberries, glazed cherry, wine tannin, sherbet, musty oak and a delicate barnyard funk. The bottle states over 800 pounds of whole blueberries were used and we can definitely smell them although it’s not overdone, they’ve been used to perfection. Intriguing aroma.

Flavour: Revealing its sour profile on entry. Sharp but pretty well retained lacto acidity with tart blueberry and musty oak undertones. Quite a fair bit of fresh lemon juice adding an extra zingy sourness to it. She does soften nicely through the mid though, showing those artificial fruit tingles before it rounds off on a soft fruity finish with lingering blueberry notes on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Quite acidic upfront, tapering off in to a smooth finish. Effervescent texture and rather light on.

Overall: Pretty good. A bit more character from the wine barrels would have been good but ultimately it’s a damn fine drop.

Alvarado Street Brewery ‘Countach’ Double NE IPA


34841081_868208896696590_5276490842100465664_n“Double IPA fermented with an expressive blend of yeasts, resulting in flavors and aromas of juicy nectarines and ripe pineapple. Dry hopped heavily with a unique pairing of American and Southern Hemisphere hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Murky mustard yellow body with a huge three and a bit finger head capping it off. Solid head retention with a smattering of lace left behind.

Aroma: Tonnes of uplift. As the glass just sits their idle we can still get wafts of juicy fruits like mango, pineapple and guava. It has that somewhat chalky vanilla note with flashes of minerals, herbs and botanicals also coming through. Some grapefruit, apple/pear and citrus rind in here too. Dead set right on the money.

Flavour: Holy moly this is good. Super smooth and fruity as it comes on, oodles of sweet fleshy fruits (mango, pineapple, orange, melon), some pine resin, grassy hop, creamy vanilla and grapefruit. A touch of bready malt forming as it finishes remarkably smooth and fruity with lingering grassy hop and pine resins in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and slightly chalky with the 8.1% ABV concealed magnificently. Lively co2 and a nicely held IBU (45).

Overall: Incredible. Most probably one of the best NEIPA’s we’ve ever had. Faultless.

Pure Project & Horus Aged Ales ‘Chocolate Mountain’ Imperial Stout


35076656_868067313377415_2596320666873495552_n“A deep, rich, luscious Imperial Stout, with intense notes of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. This dark beauty features sweet and velvety layers of flavor, a super lush mouthfeel, and a distinct warming finish.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: As black as midnight with a finger of finely beaded brown foam assembling on top. The head slowly reduced to a ring with healthy lace work on the glass.

Aroma: Smells of rich chocolate and cocoa with a gorgeous creamy vanilla flowing through. It’s remarkably smooth and well layered with virtually no trace of the hefty ABV (13%). Also picking up hints of nutty malt, dark fruits, caramel and subtle woody tones to fill it out even more. Indulgence!

Flavour: Absolutely brimming with it! Big impressions of roasted malt, chocolate, cacao and a hint of creamy vanilla come on instantly. It intensifies through the middle with a bit of warming booze, roasted dark and chocolate malts, molasses and charred wood. The finish is robust and drawn out with everything converging on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous. Full bodied with moderate co2. 13% ABV – a tad more distinguishable in the mouth.

Overall: Incredibly smooth for its weight and a real winter warmer. Perfect for a night cap or as an after dinner dessert beer (which is how we enjoyed it!). Brilliant.

Epic Brewing ‘Big Bad Baptist’ Triple Barrel Aged Imperial Stout


34667600_866556666861813_1007798489570082816_n“Three’s not a crowd in this limited edition Triple Barrel Big Bad Baptist. We aged coconut and Blue Copper’s Colombian coffee beans in fresh whiskey barrels, while our imperial stout aged in both rum and whiskey barrels. The trio was then hand blended, creating our most over-the-top version of Big Bad Baptist yet. Best enjoyed slowly, three sips at a time.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Opaque/black with a thumb of loosely held foam sitting atop. The head settles to a ring with a wet lace drag as it ebbs.

Aroma: Oozing with rich and layered notes of cocoa, toasted coconut, sweet espresso, cane sugar, marzipan, vanilla, earthy spice, subtle whisky and rum along with caramel/toffee fudge and something rather sweet and nutty like snickers or Hershey’s bar. Absolutely mind blowing!

Flavour: Incredibly smooth as that silky chocolate, cocoa, vanilla and toasted coconut washes over the palate. Enter the espresso, burnt maple, caramel and subtle sweet rum but again it’s so smooth and well balanced. Some warmth developing late as it finishes toasty/roasty with lingering dark sugar sweetness and delicate coconut/vanilla notes on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Muscly but still somehow composed. 11.4% ABV – ridiculously well buried. Silky smooth texture, medium-full body and moderate co2.

Overall: Mind literally blown! Here’s a tip….if you see this on the shelf then don’t hesitate….bag it! And buy a few of them because this would age gracefully. Shame we didn’t take our own advice! Phenomenal!

USA Brewery Tour – Russian River Brewing Co


34096001_864122190438594_316690732125519872_o 34203669_864122230438590_3469672901823692800_o 34214909_864122273771919_128248921754435584_oHere we are! The holy grail of craft breweries for a large number of craft beer enthusiasts. Not only famous for their Pliny (Younger & Older) but also for a whole host of other beers like the ‘ation sours – Supplication, Consecration, Sanctification and the Belgian range which include the Damnation, Benediction & Salvation. Then there’s the super limited release of Beatification which is a 100% spontaneously fermented Lambic sour which is aged in wine barrels. It’s a bit of a tongue twister but the demand it garners rivals most limited releases anywhere else in the country. It’s safe to say that this brewery is one of the most well known and respected in the USA and kudos must go to Vinnie Cilurzo (head brewer) for shaping it in to the huge and independent brewery it is today.

Equally as impressive are their flights. They come flush with 18 options which almost allowed us to knock over every one of their 20 beers in one hit! Our flight consisted of the STS Pils, Key Grip Pale Ale, Gaffers English Ale, ‘Ron Mexico’ (a standard Mexican Lager), Dribble Belt Hoppy Session Ale, Blind Pig IPA, Row 2, Hill 56 Simcoe Pale Ale, Tempo Change IPA, Pliny The Elder IPA, Redemption Blond Ale, Consecration Dark Sour, Perdition BDG, Damnation Golden Ale, Benediction Dubbel, Salvation Strong Dark Ale, Sanctification Sour and the Supplication Dark Sour. Every one of them with their own distinct brilliance.

We came, we saw, we conquered! And it lived up to every little expectation. We didn’t want to leave but with jet lag well set in and a lack of sleep coupled with a beer flight and a few pints of Pliny it was obvious we were going down hill fast! From Russian River, with love!



USA Brewery Tour – Third Street Aleworks


34050251_863379407179539_466199007555747840_n 34074355_863379333846213_1920723539573342208_o 34133055_863379367179543_1711003718188531712_nOur next stop was literally right in the heart of San Francisco’s wine country – Santa Rosa – a bustling little rural town known mostly for its wineries, breweries, lakes & parks and also the famous writer of the old cartoon ‘Peanuts’ Charles M. Schulz. But we were here for one thing (well maybe a couple of things) and that was to hit the local breweries! Third Street Aleworks was on the cards mainly because of its close proximity to another venue (we won’t mention it here but we think you know what we’re talking about).

The bar itself had a somewhat Irish/English pub feel to it with a cool little outdoor area and glass-back windows that give punters a view in to the actual brewery. It was surprisingly busy for a Tuesday arvo so we took a seat at the bar. The tap list was impressive but it was the size of the tasting flight that really took us aback as there’s enough space for 17 taster glasses but the brewery only offer 16 beers! “We’ll try every one of your beers thanks!”. But this is where it went down hill, there wasn’t really one beer that stood out, they were all a bit underwhelming and unbalanced. There were a few that were better than the others i.e the Annadel English Pale Ale, the Bodega IPA and the Stonefly Oatmeal Stout but other than that we were happy to move on!

Because just around the corner was what we were really here for!

USA Brewery Tour – Bear Republic Brewing Co.


33890807_863304300520383_1931078980601905152_o33923764_863304277187052_7313450803887341568_o 33965583_863304333853713_840699432549744640_oIt all kicked off on a picturesque afternoon in the heart of Californian wine country. This is after a 6am alarm and battling Sydney’s peak hour traffic to catch a 13 hour direct flight to San Francisco. Once we landed (the day before we left!) we followed that up with a short(ish) drive north out of the city to the semi rural town of Novato. There we finally stood in front of the brewery, situated at the front of a golf course and locked in by a gorgeous little lake. The place is deceptively big with the tanks to the left, the bistro to the right and a kind of sports bar set up in the centre. After we paddled up (by the way they call them flights in America) that huge sun-drenched decking area outside was calling our names!

As to be expected the beer selection was incredible. We loaded up with the Double Aught Pilsner, Grand-Am APA, Racer 5 IPA, Hop Shovel IPA, Hop Rod Rye IPA, Juicy IPA, Racer 500 IPA, Initial Attack Belgian IPA, Fastback Racer IIPA & the Big Bear Black Stout. With all of these delicious IPA’s we were wondering if our first stop had set the bar too high (along with our BAC!).

Too bad we had to keep moving as we could have really got comfortable here. We hope the Novato locals know just how lucky they are having an institution like this nearby. What a way to kick off proceedings!

The Bruery ‘Autumn Maple’ Imperial Belgian Brown Ale


33817386_862339783950168_5675952216859475968_n“Brewed with 15 lbs. of yams per barrel (in other words, a lot of yams!), this autumn seasonal is a different take on the “pumpkin” beer style. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, maple syrup, and fermentation with our traditional Belgian yeast strain, make this bold and spicy beer perfect for a cold autumn evening. We have also created bourbon barrel-aged, barrel-fermented, and darker variations of Autumn Maple.”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Light brown to mahogany with a big and fizzy two and a half finger head emerging on top. Steady reduction with patchy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: A seriously complex little number! It’s spicy, earthy, sweet, syrupy and yeasty with a warming booze behind it all. Tonnes of Belgian candi sugars with the nutmeg, clove and star anise dominating. Sweet potato, maple syrup, caramelised brown sugar, fresh cinnamon sticks and subtle vanilla just to make it all the more interesting.

Flavour: Quite heavy on the spice front. We’re getting a lot of nutmeg, clove and pink peppercorns that draws out all the way to the finish. Definitely getting some Belgian yeast/phenols coming through – pear, apple pie and banana runts along with earthy spiced pumpkin and molasses. It takes on a bit of cloying sweetness with a flutter of orange peel, spice and maple syrup on the close.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, viscous and sticky but still quite moderately bodied. Medium co2 with a discernible ABV (10%).

Overall: We hold this brewery in very high regard but the flavours are slightly muddled here…. yes it’s extremely complex but the balance just isn’t quite there. As it’s Autumn here in Australia we’ll drink to the season but probably won’t seek it out again.

Russian River Brewing ‘Supplication’ BA Dark Sour Ale


33753516_862336287283851_4630216891049181184_n“Brown Ale aged in used Pinot Noir barrels from local Sonoma County wineries. It is aged for about 12 months with sour cherries, brettanomyces, lactobacillus, and pediococcus added to each barrel. Flavors from the cherries, Pinot Noir and oak balance each other nicely with a little funk from the brett.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: It pours an attractive copper red with two fingers of loosely packed bubble sitting atop. It reduces to a film but still manages to decorate the glass on its way down.

Aroma: Brilliantly balanced between the sweet and the sour. Sweet red wine tannins, glazed cherries, raisin and raspberry mingle with the sour notes of tart lemon/lime, barnyard, bretty funk and fruit tingles. It’s showing good depth with a strong musty cellar room character as well.

Flavour: It comes on quite strong but like the aroma it balances out really well. Lots of vinous red wine upfront, cherries, raspberry and mild vinegar to follow. Some earthiness coming through, can’t quite put our finger on it. A bit of spice and musty oak developing late as it rounds out on a slightly dry and tannic finish.

Mouthfeel: Spritzy and relatively light. Sourness is sharp and acidic but nicely tempered by the oak. Medium-high co2.

Overall: Although we prefer Sanctification the complexity and depth in this has to be admired. We used to dislike sours but it’s ones like this that are making us eat our own words!

Pure Project ‘Triple Hyped’ Triple IPA


33720265_862081630642650_2576387556149035008_n“A dangerously drinkable 10.3% Triple IPA featuring Nelson, Citra, and Mosaic Hops.  Aromas and flavors of guava, mango and ripe tropical fruits appear over a subtle bitterness and smooth mouthfeel.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy pale gold with a two finger cap over the top. Excellent head retention and healthy lace work on the glass.

Aroma: Rather interesting it’s like the east and west coast are having a secret rendezvous in our glass. On one hand we’ve got grapefruit, lemon, orange peel and pineapple and on the other we have pineapple, mango, peach and guava. The best thing is that they work harmoniously! Very little in the way of malt, bready if we had to choose. Very nice!

Flavour: Damn smooth for a triple IPA! It leans a bit more to the East Coast with its sweet fleshy fruit profile i.e mango, guava, pineapple etc. Some flashes of citrus and pine resin here and there. How the hell is this a triple IPA!? Some prickly warmth from the booze but that all tapers off by the finish which mind you is as smooth as a baby’s bottom!

Mouthfeel: Creamy, rather light on and dangerously drinkable. The 10.3% ABV is hardly even noticeable. WTF?!

Overall: Sorry to sound like a broken record here folks but how the hell is this a triple IPA?! It drinks like something half its size and it’s smooth as silk. Extremely well structured beer. Sensational.

Toppling Goliath ‘Mosaic Dry Hop Golden Nugget’ IPA


33686749_862072590643554_7220935786697326592_n“The combination of golden promise malt, Mosaic, and Nugget hops make this IPA a bouquet of hop, citrus, and pineapple aromas, followed by floral sweetness. a bold, hop-forward taste captivates the senses and leaves behind a pleasant bitterness.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Super cloudy golden/mustard yellow. It constructs a big three finger head that persists with a smattering lace all over the glass.

Aroma: It showcases the magnificent mosaic hop really well. Tonnes of pineapple, peach, lychee and pear. Super juicy with solid creamy and stonefruit characters……literally brekky juice! Some mild citrus undertones, a touch of spice and some botanicals thrown in for good measure!

Flavour: So juicy. It actually tastes like a fruit salad. I mean pineapple, rockmelon, pear, orange, lychee, grapefruit, peach, guava and banana are all here. Creamy and somewhat musty notes in the back seat. Smooth and fruity through the mid then finishing on a slightly bitter note with hints of grapefruit and grassy hop character on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Creamy texture with a bit of drying bitterness late in the piece. Medium body with a well masked 60 IBU and 6.8% ABV.

Overall: Hard to fault it really, it’s a damn fine NEIPA. One of those beers where you wished you had another 12 in the fridge. Sadly we don’t as we muled this back from the USA. Top notch.