Boatrocker Brewers Oatmeal Oyster Stout

Rating:

26907231_802424703275010_7022751970775280188_n“We started with a classic Oatmeal Stout and added 12 kilos of fresh oysters to 1300 litres of wort. This created a subtly briney, full bodied English style oatmeal stout brewed in collaboration with our good friends, Pambula Oyster Co.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Jet black, maybe just an inkling of light penetrating around the edges. Sturdy two finger mound with good retention and fine lace as it subsides.

Aroma: Hearty yet well balanced. Brilliant application of the oysters here – briney and slightly salty, the perfect way to offset the big roasty malts, chocolate and oats that are in absolute abundance. A little bit of coffee, a touch of molasses sweetness and salt water to round it out.

Flavour: A little slow to get going to be honest. Certainly displaying the salty and somewhat gamey oysters initially with a delicate backing of nutty malt. She definitely intensifies as the soft nutty notes become roasty, eventually leading in to a robust finish of coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate and mild soy sauce.

Mouth feel: Mineraly and kind of watery in texture. Unexpectedly thin for a Boatrocker stout. The light-ish 5.4% ABV could be playing a hand in that though. Mild-moderate body and co2.

Overall: Not exactly what we were expecting. It’s actually much more approachable than it looks. The addition of oysters is well presented and that dark roasty base is there to balance. Not bad, it’s just lacking the knock out blow in our opinion.

Hawkers Beer West Coast IPA

Rating:

26907715_802421946608619_1605172348396349614_n“Not for the faint hearted. A big hoppy bitter West Coast style IPA with huge floral, fruity, and piney aromas.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden orange complexion. It only manages a small fizzy head that reduced to a halo with some patchy lace work left behind.

Aroma: Really hitting that West Coast IPA trait with its big and clean pine and orange citrus notes. Tonnes of tropical fruit, stone fruit, light florals and pithy orange peel backing up. Dry and bready malt profile, not doing a whole lot to pull those big, punchy hops back…and that’s the way we like it!

Flavour: Zesty citrus, pine, hop oils and passion fruit on the fore. Stays clean as a whistle as it surges through the mid, picking up a hint of grapefruit as it delivers a crisp and tidy finish with plenty of lingering pine and zingy citrus sitting on the tongue.

Mouth feel: Sharp and snappy. Ultra clean with a somewhat oily texture. 75 IBU – contained brilliantly. Well masked 7.2% ABV with just the right amount of co2.

Overall: Hawkers do it again! It should come as no surprise though, the quality of their range clearly shows the head brewer knows his stuff. True-to-style West Coast IPA, she’s aromatic, punchy, bitter and assertive. Excellent offering.

Badlands Brewery ‘Brewbacca’ Kolsch

Rating:

26805304_802420279942119_5627428553504935138_n“This ale is based on a Cologne style Kölsch. A subtle, warm and cuddly beast, Light biscuity character from the German Pilsener malt marries with soft and understated aroma and citrus flavours from Hallertau hops, the King of German noble hops.”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: Straw gold with excellent clarity. It constructs a frothy two finger crown that holds its shape well. Healthy lace seen as we go.

Aroma: Uber grainy and earthy with a nice floral bouquet in support. More of a biscuity malt opposed to the usual rice crackers and hay. Kind of dry, kind of musty with a very subtle hint of wet paper. Undertones of rockmelon/paw paw, mild yeasty funk and spice filling it out. Good nose, full of character.

Flavour: It comes on quite strong for a kölsch. Tonnes of grainy malt, citrusy hops, straw and light florals on entry. Really good carry in to the mid where a subtle earthy note picks up a bit of cheeky spice. Slight musty-ness before it rounds out on a mild finish which shows straw and grainy malts in the tail.

Mouth feel: Light on, slightly drying and slightly lean. Moderate bitterness (25 IBU) and good co2. Super sessional.

Overall: A very well brewed kölsch. Cool strip too – love the natural timber looking background with the spin off of chewbacca from Star Wars….very eye catching.

Hairyman Brewery ‘Cory’s Claim’ Dark Ale

Rating:

26734417_801079720076175_8203168726081252977_n“On February 4th 1852, George Cory set out with his pack horses for his fellow gold miners at Sofala. It should have been an easy two-day journey along flat tracks. Eight days later George arrived completely buggered. He told of how for days he had been chased to hell and back by the legendary ‘Hairyman’. To spare his poor nags it had been necessary to lighten their loads, which for the record consisted of six firkins of fine dark ale, rich in hops. Fortunately, George had managed to bring though almost a whole firkin. His mates were just glad to have their cobber back safe after his ordeal at the hands of that fiendish mongrel.”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Deep cola hue with a short cap over the top. Steady reduction and a spotty lace working its way down the glass.

Aroma: Quite similar to their lager and by that we mean similar in composition. The nose is brimming with nuts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and caramel/toffee. A hefty malt structure is providing that subtle roast/smoky character at the base. Very basic but executed to perfection.

Flavour: It comes on quite strong actually. An unexpected bitterness quickly lays down for the nutty malts, chocolate, cocoa powder, coffee and caramel. The lingering bitterness takes on some of that roast through the mid as it delivers a bold finish which offers hop bitterness, roasted malts, coffee and nuts in the tail.

Mouth feel: Very slick and velvety but also a touch dry and forthcoming. How they’ve achieved that with only a 4.7% ABV is phenomenal. Good weight. Mild-moderate co2.

Overall: It has been many years but we think the Lord Nelson ‘Old Admiral’ has finally met its match! It has lambasted a long reign at the top of the table when it comes to dark ales but this right here….this would give it a run for its money. Superb.

Sauce Brewing Co ‘Bubble & Squeak’ NE IPA

Rating:

26804833_801083326742481_5948176274006242207_n“Our hugely popular New England IPA is now available in 500ml cans! Overloaded with late whirlpool and dry hops, this hazy tropical fruit bomb is all the rage. 6.5%”

 Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Super cloudy mustard-ish yellow gold with a thumb of reasonably well retained head perched over the top. A mix of spotty and streaky lace clings to the glass as we indulge.

Aroma: Sticking to its uber juicy roots as it erupts with pineapple juice, mango, lychee, papaya, blended citrus and a unique scent of coconut cream. Subtle malt profile – bready if anything but it fuses in to that breakfast juice character so well.

Flavour: An exact mirror image of the aroma. More of that Brekky juice medley with a mash up of pineapple, orange and mango. It could just be the proteins that are a by-product of brewing NEIPA’s but we always seem to taste a somewhat creamy vanilla and or lactose-esque flavour. Closing on a mild fruity finish that pulls up a bit short.

Mouth feel: Creamy AF. Somewhat mineraly as well. Kind of dry with a well concealed 6.5% ABV.

Overall: We’ve been fanatics of the IPA style for over a decade now so one would think the new variant would excite us. It doesn’t…..that much. Yes, OK its juicy and flavoursome but we can’t quite grasp why the style is so popular. It’s a good beer but it’s hardly memorable. Not bad.

Dainton Family Brewery APA

Rating:

26239860_800877030096444_7081916706989523821_n“The first recipe brewed and released out of our Carrum Downs brewery, this American Style Pale Ale showcases several varieties of American hops. This lends a firm yet approachable bitterness, balanced by a touch of malt sweetness that makes this a very sessionable beer.”

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Light amber in colour. Our pour generates a loosely packed two finger head that falls away pretty quickly without a great deal of lacing in its wake.

Aroma: Nice and hoppy with that trademark orange citrus zing lifting out of the glass. Juicy wafts of grapefruit, peach, nectarine and paw paw punch through with strong support of pine and slightly dank resins. Loving this malt backing too – she’s offering bready overtones with just that subtle caramel to sweeten the deal. Lovely.

Flavour: It’s all about the hops on entry. They’re citrusy, piney and fruity with an ever so delicate touch of spice. The middle takes on more bitter characters like grapefruit and orange peel before it delivers a nicely balanced finish with hints of toasty malt and zesty citrus.

Mouth feel: Clean and slightly dry with a creamy texture. 40 IBU and 5.2% ABV – both very well behaved.

Overall: It’s got serious potential. We love how APA’s always have that little bit extra oomph compared to a standard pale ale. This one has that in spades. It could be one hell of a session beer that’s for sure.

Hairyman Brewery ‘Follet’s Fable’ Pacific Lager

Rating:

26804578_800873353430145_4946493058001177208_n“In July 1791 while exploring the Hawkesbury River system, Matthew Follet’s small boat became separated from his companions. After days of frantic search, they found him on a river bank far down-stream, bedraggled, red-eyed and with a shocking story. He had been passing through a wild, narrow gorge when a monstrous ‘Hairyman’ had descended on him and forced his boat against the rocks. Follet had hammered the bugger, but with the vessel fatally holed he had just one option: two barrels, lashed together and emptied of their contents (the expedition’s ration of cool, clear satisfying Pacific Lager), had made a crude but effective raft to escape on. In view of all that Follet had gone through, it was thought best to cut short the expedition.”

Glassware: Footed Flute.

Appearance: Crystal clear straw golden complexion. A finger and a half of creamy white head forms before reducing to a healthy overlay. Some patchy lace sticking to the glass as we go.

Aroma: Basic lager nose but it’s super clean and enhanced by a delicate citrus hop profile. The malts offer hay, cereal and grains with a somewhat earthy undertone – again delicate and very well tempered. So simple but so well executed.

Flavour: Really well balanced upfront, we taste a gentle wave of citrus washing over the tongue. There’s a nice addition of grainy malt and peppery spice also coming along for the ride. Hitting a slight earthy note midway before rolling in to a kind of woody, semi dry finish. Fairly decent length provided on the way out.

Mouth feel: Light on, crisp and effortless. Nice and refreshing co2 and mild-moderate body. The ultimate quencher.

Overall: It’s not breaking any sound barriers but we get the feeling it’s not meant to. It’s simply hitting its mark with precision. Probably one of our least favoured styles but this one we can dig. Just a solid craft lager.

Hairyman Brewery ‘G.P.A’ (Gutsy Pale Ale)

Rating:

26993417_800869213430559_7336943258026843190_n“Chock a block with big hop hero’s Centennial and Pacifica, brimming with citrus and floral aromas offering hints of earth and spice for balance. Solid bitterness to keep it in the big India pale ale style. Bronze Award Winner of 2017 Sydney Royal Beer & Cider Show in the India Pale Ale Category.”

Glassware: Shaker

Appearance: Deep and intense amber hue with a short cap emerging on top. The head holds its shape and works a fine lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: We can see where the name ‘gutsy’ comes from. Getting a sweet caramel malt structure with a slightly dank, citrusy and herbaceous hop profile cutting through. Some light earthy notes hanging around along with a delicate floral undertone. Packing in some robust aromas here.

Flavour: Very similar to the aroma but with a more pronounced orange citrus character. Again we see it backing up the aroma with a dense caramel malt sweetness and dank hoppy notes which is boosted by a bit of a burn from the 6.3% ABV. The finish is bitter and drying with a bit of aggressive hop and boozy warmth in the back end.

Mouth feel: Dry and bitter but also quite chewy and full-ish with a vibrant co2 and a feisty 46 IBU.

Overall: A very enjoyable drop with plenty of attitude. Our first review for this brewery and they’re off to a flyer. What’s better is that they’re just down the road from us! Winning.

Feral Brewing ‘F 15’ BBA Imperial Brown Ale

Rating:

26196331_796753763842104_7976658623485187260_n“A dogfight 15 years in the making, this anniversary ale celebrates all the Mavericks who helped us throughout all our brewing adventures. Aged for six months in Heaven Hill Distillery bourbon barrels. This special brew also pays tribute to the weird and wonderful WIll Irving, as he’s knocked up more flight hours in the Swan Valley brewhouse than we’ve got knocked up geese. A champion in the brewery, he’s crafted one of the most diverse and respected ranges of beer anywhere on earth. Australia’s beer landscape today is an infinitely better place thanks to him. Cheers mate!”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Dark cola hue with a short yet extremely well retained head forming on top. We’re seeing a wavy lace dispensed as we imbibe.

Aroma: Ooph….complex! What initially came off as a subtle hint of sourness quickly takes shape as the result of aging in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. Hints of toffee and vanilla come through with a surge of wet oak barrel in support. Some nutty undertones here and there with a suggestion of metal creeping in. Subtle chocolate, prunes and molasses filling it out.

Flavour: We’ve given this bad boy about 30 mins to come up to room temperature….almost. Lots of bourbon flavour upfront – caramel, toffee, vanilla and rye spices. A bit of nutty malt, some dark fruit sweetness and a light roast gets another helping of spice as it finishes toasty, slightly dry and woody. Excellent length on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Steady and quite approachable. No harsh burn at all which is incredible considering the 9% ABV. Slick texture, moderate co2 and body.

Overall: What started with a bit of apprehension has finished with total satisfaction. Come to think of it, it is unbelievably smooth and so well balanced for its weight. Certainly improves as it warms too. Impressive drop.

Dainton Family Brewery IPA

Rating:

26230683_796753597175454_8045318582627705889_n“It’s a beer that takes heady inspiration from the US, piling on additions of Columbus, Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic to create a beer that, over the course of a glass, acts as something of a checklist for flavours and aromas you expect from New World hops. Lime and pineapple aromas: check. Grapefruit marmalade: check. A touch of capsicum: check. Some herbal, earthy touches: check.”

Glassware: IPA glass. 

Appearance: Hazy golden orange body that’s capped by a big three finger head. It slowly reduced to a wispy overlay which leaves a smattering of lace sticking to the sides of the glass.

 

Aroma: Heady, punchy and undeniably American. The olfactory’s are bombarded with grapefruit, orange peel, pine, passion fruit, unripened pineapple, woody spice, jam and a sweet caramel malt at the base. It also has this certain dank quality to it as well. Superb aroma.

Flavour: Nice follow on from the nose. Strong initiation by the grapefruit, pine and tropical fruits but it’s the caramel malts hitting their stride through the mid palate. It’s only short lived though as bitter citrus, pine and orange peel take back the reins and finish on a dry bitter note with reasonable length in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Dry overall texture but the malt bill offers a slight chewy-ness. 6% ABV is well behaved and the 55 IBU is assertive but still amicable.

Overall: Dainton have undergone a bit of a re-branding of late and apparently this IPA is the new version of their old ‘insane uncle IPA’. On its merits it is a good IPA – big and ballsy but without that hefty ABV. Memorable? Not so much….but a nice drop that’s for sure.

 

Thunder Road Pilsner

Rating:

26230850_796614927189321_8476735551936545689_n“Whilst this is a premium classic style that everyone will recognise as familiar, few could imagine a Pilsner with live yeast and freshness for 24 months or more.  Light in colour, full strength classic European design with a refined floral hop aroma and a hint of citrus.  This is a refined Pilsner with extraordinary prestige and character.”

Glassware: Footed flute.

Appearance: Clear golden colour with a sturdy two finger head perched on top. Steady reduction and some nice lace work as we go.

Aroma: Definitely has some traditional aspects to it. It’s a semi sweet and grainy malt base with a touch of honey and white bready notes in support. The hop bill is somewhat muted but we’re still able to pick up an earthy and slightly floral complexion with an undertone of spice, cereal and hay. Not bad.

Flavour: We’d say it comes on from more of a malty angle. Grains, honey and rice crackers to the fore with a bready/doughy note in the middle. A gentle bitterness is introduced before it rounds out on a sweet and slightly floral finish.

Mouthfeel: Not like most pilsners to be honest. The usual light and crisp texture so synonymous with the style makes way for a fuller and stickier feel. Still, it’s approachable and easy to put back.

Overall: Quite the versatile pilsner. The somewhat heavier approach opens it up to enjoyment in less warmer weather but still keeps to its light and crush-able roots. Decent offering.

Little Creatures ‘Reinhold’ German Altbier

Rating:

26195340_796623620521785_7603054270307948585_n“Reinhold is a sibling of the traditional Altbier style; you might even say it’s what Rogers’ (Creatures’ American Amber Ale) German cousin might look like. Full of toffee and fudge aromas, with some grassy hops peeking through, this beer is assertively bitter to start. It then gives way to a full mouthfeel f sweet malts, reminiscent of Oma’s dense fruit cake. Prost!”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: Clear amber hue with soft candy red highlights. A two finger head assembles on top before gradually receding to a film. Laced really well.

Aroma: Quite complex with heady notes of caramel, toffee, nuts, apricot, toast, grassy/herbal hop, earth and caramelised fig. It almost has this rum & raisin scent to it as well. Unique and actually quite intriguing. It’s like Vienna lager meets English ESB.

Flavour: Malt forward for the most part but countered nicely by an earthy hop bitterness. Good transition from aroma to flavour with the caramel and toffee dominating the subtle toasty malt base. Very mild notes of orange citrus making a late appearance as it finishes sweet and nutty with a lingering hop bitterness on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky and medium bodied…not too muscly but still holding a good density. Just a hint of warmth from the 6.5% ABV but it’s ultimately well concealed.

Overall: A very interesting beer. The brewers have called it an altbier but it could very easily pass as an ESB, Vienna lager or an amber ale. It’s versatile and full flavoured. A lovely ‘Little’ number indeed!

Fixation Brewing ‘Obsession’ Session IPA

Rating:

26167944_796614290522718_1679728880890177293_n“Take a journey to flavour town! A town with a sensible approach, this is gonna be a long, chilled-out perfect day full of fun times. Fixation Brewing Co. won Champion Medium Brewery at the 2017 Craft Beer Awards. Obsession is coming in at 4.6% abv and loaded with US Mosaic and Simcoe hops. We are obsessed.”

Served in an IPA glass. Relatively clear golden appearance which dons a two finger crown. The head is well retained so a healthy lace is strewn all the way down the walls of the glass.
We’re getting tonnes of fresh and fruity hop character erupting out of the glass. Literally every scent we’d expect from a hop charged West Coast IPA – grapefruit, orange peel, pine needle, tangerine, unripened pineapple, lemon/lime, melon and woody spice. The malt profile is delicate and semi sweet with hints of white bread and grains.
It appears to fall away on the palate unfortunately. All of those uber-aromatic hops are filtered down to a bit of grapefruit, pine and subdued malt sweetness. It carries through the mid quite well, to its credit, and finishes light, dry and bitter with some grassy hop and citrus in the tail.
The mouth feel is weak and a tad too lean. A victim of the mild ABV perhaps. The 36 IBU provides a vigorous bitterness which gives off that sense that we’re sinking a bigger and ballsier IPA.
Certainly not our pick of their range although it would be a good option for the designated driver. There’s just not enough follow up in flavour for it to become a go-to session beer for us. Stick to the higher ABV IPA’s that’s where it’s at.

Bridge Road Brewers ‘B2 Bomber Mach 7.0’ Belgian Black IPA

Rating:

26169123_795027027348111_3211243286685839091_n“Bridge Road Brewers reached the 12th year of brewing in 2017. To celebrate we have continued the tradition of brewing a new yet bigger incarnation of the B2. This year we have stepped things up to reach Mach 7.0.”

Served in a Trappist tulip. Mach 7.0 hits the glass with a jet black hue and an enormous four finger head. Excellent retention which allows a thick and blotchy lace to be dispensed down the sides of the glass.
Oh man that aroma! So rich, so roasty and so complex. Intense coffee and roasted malt characters blend gracefully with the super clean pine notes and subtle citrus and grapefruit. Layers of licorice, tobacco, charcoal, cocoa, dark chocolate and subtle smoke only just allows for those gorgeous Belgian candi sugars to sweeten the deal. Some absolutely incredible aromas here.
The flavour backs up with conviction. Big, roasty and boozy with just the slightest hint of yeasty sweetness. Nothing really dominates it’s just a symphony of immense flavour that has the taste buds dancing. We’re loving how the Belgian candi sugars develop as it warms, really bringing that sweet balance to the rich and vigorous malts. Nice and warm in the finish with excellent duration on the rear.
Dense and chewy in the mouth but becoming more oily as it settles. Medium-full body with that 10% ABV packing heat. Moderate co2.
Sensational! Every year Bridge Road say they brew a “new yet bigger incarnation of the B2” and we couldn’t agree more. Although it’s very similar to the Mach 6.0 it still offers an epic aroma and flavour profile. We don’t think there’s any better way to finish off 2017. Another year full of top notch craft. Bring on 2018 and the Mach 8.0!

Goose Island ‘Goose’ IPA

Rating:

26169272_795026460681501_572368316253695104_n“Our IPA recalls a time when ales shipped from England to India were highly hopped to preserve their distinct taste during the long journey. The result, quite simply a hop lover’s dream. And this classic ale adds a fruity aroma, set off by a dry malt middle, to ensure that the long hop finish is one you’ll remember.”

Served in an IPA glass. Relatively clear amber pour with a finger of finely beaded foam on top. The head falls away a bit but still manages a spotty lace as it ebbs.
The nose is super malty with caramel, bread and semi sweet honey notes leading out. We’re detecting some of the more typical IPA characters like citrus, tropical fruits and pine but they’re discreet and seem happy to just sink in to the robust and sweet malts. Some earthy undertones with a light floral bouquet also coming through.
Much more of the same in flavour. We weren’t too game to call it on the nose but with one sip it’s obvious that it’s an English style IPA. Sweet and bready with light spicy, floral and earthy tones. Just a faint hint of pine and citrus here and there with a delicate herbal note on the flank. Mild finish with a dry, spicy and grassy hop profile sitting on the back end.
The texture is pretty well balanced. A well concealed 55 IBU and a lifted malt bill equates to an approachable mouth feel. Medium body and co2.
Certainly an English inspired IPA but what we like about it is that it’s slightly Americanised. Those subtle hints of pine, citrus and stonefruit puts a very low-key West Coast spin on the beer. Good but not great.

Sauce Brewing Co. ‘Saucy’ Pilsner

Rating:

26196259_795026020681545_4768615098067627598_n“Classic German pilsner with a hoppy new world twist.”

Served in a footed flute. Ever so slightly hazy with a golden hue. A big and puffy three finger head forms on top with good retention and heaps of thick, soapy lace as it subsides.
Getting lots of spicy straw lifting out of the glass. This pilsner is dry hopped with NZ motueka so naturally it offers bright citrus overtones – plenty of lime, lemon zest and grapefruit. Nice light malt structure at the base with its grainy, bready and slightly toasty profile. Super crisp and refreshing on the nose.
Really well balanced on the palate. Upfront there’s a healthy tussle between the light grainy malts and the citrus-forward hops. Hints of straw and hay come through the middle with a hint of peppery spice sitting on the tongue. The finish is crisp and snappy with a light bitterness on the back palate.
The texture is light on and effervescent. Mild-moderate body with an active 27 IBU. Co2 is precise. Really crush-able.
Pretty decent pilsner overall. Certainly in the new world style but still kept somewhat traditional with its German malt base. They’ve done a good job with this pilsner, probably one of their best offerings to date. Kudos Sauce.

Boatrocker Brewing Co ‘Fat Santa’ BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

25507642_788432194674261_7929524104610143556_n“Fat Santa is a rich, decadent example of a whisky barrel (ex-red wine) aged imperial stout. Aged for 6 months, then racked onto whole coffee beans, vanilla beans and tonka beans. Think dark chocolate, whisky, red wine, coffee marzipan and vanilla – all the things that Santa loves. A perfect match with Christmas pudding, custard and cream. Merry Christmas!”

Served in a snifter. Fat Santa pours as black as the midnight sky with a foamy and well retained thumb of brown head taking shape on top. We’re seeing a spotty lace clinging to the glass as it ebbs.
The nose is big, boozy and reveals glimpses of their ‘Ramjet’ stouts. There is layer upon layer of dense, rich and roasty malts, coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, oak barrels and vanilla essence hitting the olfactory’s. Lovely wafts of licorice, subtle smoke and chocolate mud cake add complexity and further intensifies this hedonistic aroma. Brilliant.
Pow! The flavour profile is rich and in-your-face. Upfront we taste loads of coffee, roasted malts and dark chocolate with subtle earthy/woody oak barrel developing early in the mid. A strong warming booze is injected midway, opening up on to an assertive bitterness which delivers a dry, smoky and uber roasty finish that offers magnificent length in the tail.
The texture is sharp, oily and astringent with a nice little co2 level. Big and warming booze (10.7%) held up with a medium-full body.
Sensational drop. Boatrocker have comfortably taken their position as one of Australia’s best when it comes to experimenting with barrels. Although it’s very similar to their Ramjet series it still provides an absolute wealth of aroma and flavour. Maybe not as refined as the Ramjet but still an excellent offering.

Frenchie’s Brewery Kolsch

Rating:

25550192_788431741340973_8853537171462504594_n“Kölsch is a refreshing classic beer from the German city of Cologne, where our head brewer Vince used to study. This one is largely inspired from his favourite, the Mühlen Kölsch at Heumarkt, Cologne. It is brewed with the finest noble hops, blending there flavours with gentle malt notes and a delicate fruitiness from fermentation, it finishes clean and dry.”

Served in a footed flute. Crystal clear and light straw golden in appearance. It constructs a short bubbly head which collapsed and struggled to produce much lace as we go.
The nose is dry, grainy, bready and a little spicy with a delicate citrus zing cutting through. Picking up an interesting herbal undertone that is reminiscent of green tea and vines. Some very subtle hints of DMS/corn but ultimately it’s a nice, clean and summery aroma.
The flavour profile doesn’t steer too far off course. The front palate is grainy and a touch spicy with bread crusts and delicate herbal notes. A mild dryness opens up around the mid with a semi sweet malt character developing late. It finishes clean, crisp and spicy with floral pot pourri notes on the rear.
Super light and crush-able in the mouth. It holds a nice moderate weight with a mild bitterness (25 IBU) around the edges. Good co2.
We love a well brewed kölsch and this one hits the spot. It’s got those lovely spicy noble hop features with a light bready/grainy malt structure. She’s light on, approachable and full flavoured as well. Kudos Frenchies that’s a decent drop.

Boatrocker Brewing Co 2017 ‘Ramjet’ WBA Imperial Stout

Rating:

25299386_785460868304727_7341734905627922861_n“Starward whiskey barrel aged imperial stout. 2017 release.”

Served in a snifter. Pitch black appearance with a finger of brown foam topping it off. Head retention is good and the lacing is thick and webbed as it subsides.
The nose? Just as we expected…huge!! Prominent booze and coffee with pronounced whiskey, oak, molasses and dark chocolate notes. A wealth of vanilla, marzipan, licorice, charcoal and treacle along with undertones of glazed cherries, fig jam and rum. Sheesh…bloody complex but absolutely brilliant.
Strong follow through in flavour. The taste buds are abuzz with warming alcohol (13.6%), coffee, whiskey, oak barrel, licorice and hints of vanilla around the edges. So much roast….picking up burnt wood, heavily roasted malts, ash and tobacco with that rich molasses sweetness leading to an aggressive finish with burning booze, espresso and dark chocolate lingering forever on the back end.
The texture is oily and astringent but the weight is still held around that medium-full mark. Mild-moderate co2. Definitely one for a highly seasoned palate.
Boatrocker do it again! To be honest we only boarded the Ramjet plane last year but we are absolutely hooked! For us, this is Australia’s version of the KBS and once again it’s tough to say which one is better. Can not fault it. Superb drop.

Badlands Brewery 2017 ‘The Gloaming’ Baltic Porter

Rating:

24993541_784105191773628_8438053430271282624_n“Each year we re-imagine The Gloaming with a new key ingredient. In 2017 roasted hazelnuts from iconic local growers, Fourjay Farms, have been introduced to the brewing process. As a luxurious addition, freshly harvested black truffles, unearthed just minutes from the brewery, join the infusion. “The Gloaming” is that period of the day between sunset & pitch black – this beer takes you to the edge of darkness but doesn’t push you over.”

Cool swing top bottle here. We popped and served in a beer tulip. Nice and deep cola colour with a thumb of light tan head perched on top. Retention is OK with a healthy lace clinging to the walls of the glass.
We’re taking in some rich and roasty aromas here. Tonnes of nutty malt, cherries, dark chocolate, cocoa, fig, vanilla, mushrooms, earth and coffee. She definitely displays some of those quintessential Baltic porter aromas too – think metal, subtle smoke and hints of molasses and prunes. Very well layered aroma here.
The flavour profile isn’t as rich and hard hitting as we’d hoped. In saying that though there is a big earthy character upfront which leads in to mild cherry, dark chocolate and molasses midway. The lightly roasted nuts are introduced as it rolls in to a relatively soft, dry and roasty finish which shows some good length on the back end.
The texture is smooth as silk but maybe a little too lean, especially now as it warms. Very well concealed ABV (7.3%). Little to no bitterness. Medium body and co2.
We’d be lying if we didn’t say we were expecting a bit more from this. It has been dressed up to perfection but for 26 bucks a bottle it hasn’t overly impressed us. Good but not great.