One Drop Brewing ‘5 Brett’ Saison


87273474_1310917115759097_8601730096908206080_o“5 Brett Saison, based on our popular house saison, is a mixed 7 grain base with a melange of additions including pink peppercorns, mandarin peel, cardamom and Tasmanian pepper berries, then bottle conditioned with 5 variants of Brettanomyces, wild strains that impart offbeat qualities like barnyard funk, tropical fruit, and earthy pepper.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Pale golden amber with two fingers of rocky white foam on top. It slowly reduces with thick blotchy lace in patches.

Aroma: Heady notes of Angostura bitters, citrus rind, candied lemon and lime, mature chardonnay and barnyard funk. Kind of smells a bit like an old fashioned. Definitely picking up some cracked pepper, sour cola lollies, herbal spice (aniseed, basil and curry leaf). Theres something quite tangy happening here but just can’t put our finger on it.

Flavour: Changes fairly dramatically. Very dry and musty, strong on the barnyard funk and herbal spice – aniseed and peppery basil. Pithy grapefruit and citrus rind bitterness midway moving in to a rather strident finish with lingering pepper and rind on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Dry and a little astringent. The 8.2% ABV certainly adds another layer of warmth. Mild-moderate body with a slightly lifted Co2.

Overall: Love the edgy-ness of the beer – 5 different strains of brettanomyces, spice adjuncts over an already complex style…then boosted up by a mammoth 8.2% ABV. The texture and aggression would be our only criticism. Other than that it’s an impressive drop.

Perennial Artisan Ales 2019 ‘Abraxas’


84313573_1302208006630008_6357157596490629120_o“Imperial Stout with Ancho Chilies, Cacao Nibs, Cinnamon, and Vanilla Beans”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black as midnight with a quickly fading dark brown head. It settles at the rim with little lacing as we imbibe.

Aroma: Sweet baby Jesus this smells good…kinda like chai latte, iced mocha and hearty stout all rolled in to one. Then topped off with that classic acidity from the chilli peppers. The olfactory’s are in a spin trying to work out which scent dominates. Ultimately nothing does, it’s simply an amazing concoction of spice, peppers, charred malts, chocolate, espresso, vanilla, raw cacao, cola and toasted marshmallow. Freakin amazing!

Flavour: Again that chai latte note features quite prominently with its array of mixed spice, milk froth, vanilla and mild coffee. A surge of charred malt, chocolate, cacao and licorice is beautifully balanced by a touch of cola syrup and muscovado sugar sweetness. Then it all levels off in to an incredibly smooth finish with lingering warmth, spice, espresso and cocoa.

Mouthfeel: Oily and slick. It’s truly amazing how some of these U.S breweries achieve such a low density while maintaining a full body and massive ABV (11.5% in this case).

Overall: We think it’s safe to say that the ’19 vintage is better than last year’s. We found the ’18 was too eager on the spice front where here they’ve struck that perfect middle ground. Flawless.

Alvarado Street X To Ol ‘Pool’ Double IPA


84676065_1299821286868680_4760807188455227392_o“Collaboration Double IPA with our buddies, To Øl Brewing in Denmark! We didn’t hold back on the sexy hops, this one is all Nelson, Mosaic & Strata.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Hazy pastel orange pour topped off by a finger of fluffy white foam. The head holds its shape nicely and weaves a fine lace down the glass.

Aroma: Definitely a strong fruit salad presence – mixed citrus, stonefruits, berries, tropical fruits etc. Tart funky white grape/chardonnay quality from Nelson Sauvin also coming through. Pine, dank weedy-ness and evergreen, even a hint of lemongrass and fennel. The malt bill offers a bit of crusty white bread but it’s really all about those hops! Superb.

Flavour: Almost better than the aroma! And that rarely happens! It opens with a burst of soft fleshy stonefruit i.e rockmelon, papaya, peach, maybe a hint of apricot creeping in. Dank herbs/weed, pine resins, lemongrass and mixed citrus cutting a nice line through and then stretching in to the ultra smooth and creamy finish with a flutter of pithy orange peel on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, chalky, nicely aerated Co2. Medium body. 8% ABV…very well concealed. Dangerously crushable for its size.

Overall: Can’t ask for too much more really. This is our 2nd entry for ASB and both have been world class. The Countach probably pips this at the post…not a lot between it though. Absolute cracker of a hazy.

Cigar City 2017 ‘Hunahpu’ BA Imperial Stout


84332739_1297943050389837_2735655775392235520_o“We brew Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout once a year and release it only at the brewery on the second weekend in March. We will continue to do so until the end of the cycle.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Sump oil with a short fizzy head which takes on an incredibly dark bronze/ochre brown-like colour. It doesn’t hang around long… eventually forming a collar with spotty lace as we go.

Aroma: So much to unpack. The chilli and cinnamon seem to come through the strongest. This is despite a wealth of rich and hedonistic dark malts, raw cacao, salty dark chocolate, raw vanilla bean, toffee fudge, licorice, espresso, soy sauce/molasses and cigar skins. Also picking up a faint hint of peppermint but it’s surely our olfactory’s confusing the scent of the chillies. Amazing!

Flavour: Follows on with the dominant cinnamon and chilli peppers. Well supported by vanilla, raw cacao and mild dark fruit sweetness. Soy sauce and salty dark chocolate hanging around the mid then leading in to a warm and spicy finish with tonnes of charred malt, espresso and dark chocolate on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Thick beer soup…but with added oiliness and warmth from the 10.2% ABV and chillies. Low Co2.

Overall: The depth, complexity, richness and unrestrained vigour is what makes this stout so sought after. Very similar to the ’16 vintage but maybe a bit less Asian spice and more chilli, salty chocolate and cacao. Mind blowing…as usual!

Cigar City ‘Konigsberg’ BA Imperial Stout


83049388_1290259871158155_4481787408324493312_o“Inspired by the confederation of merchant guilds that dominated trade in the Baltic and North Seas for 300 years, this beer is the coalescence of a Cognac Barrel-aged Baltic Porter, a Brandy Barrel-aged Imperial Stout, coconut, cinnamon and vanilla beans. Merchant sailors from London to Königsberg would be pleased indeed.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a short brown head which quickly forms a collar. Reasonable lacing for the lack of retention.

Aroma: Huge barrel expressions – damp musty oak that hasn’t seen the light of day for years with the brandy offering lovely dark fruity notes alongside rich toffee and subtle maple syrup. Loving the addition of coconut, vanilla and cinnamon…although mild they go a long way to filling out he nose. Tonnes of licorice, dark chocolate, coffee, ash and chocolate brownies. Incredible depth.

Flavour: Just a big melting pot of dark and roasty malts – molasses, coffee, dark chocolate, licorice, charred oak and truffle. Beautifully (but delicate) brandy/cognac accents hit a port-like sweetness with the damp musty barrels also getting a look in. Cinnamon, vanilla, toasted coconut and red peppers building late and reaching well in to the raw, roasty and decadent finish.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly lighter than anticipated. It’s not thin…more oily and slick with low Co2. Amazing feat considering the 11.2% ABV.

Overall: Once again Cigar City bring the goods, these guys are the masters of raw and aggressive impy stouts. It’s quite similar to Hunah so anyone who’s had that experience should know the level of quality here. Well in CC!

Angry Chair ‘Popinski’ Russian Imperial Stout


83026749_1289420381242104_4492274691964141568_o“Popinkski is our rich and flavorful Russian Imperial Stout. This beer packs quite the punch. Please drink fresh and with a comrade.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a wispy brown overlay. It quickly retreats to the rim with thin rings posted down the glass.

Aroma: Super rich and menacing AF! Oozing with complex dark malts, espresso, molasses, dark chocolate, licorice, charred wood, muscovado sugar, toffee fudge, cherry ripe and very subtle vanilla/toasted coconut. It really sweetens up a lot as it settles – kinda resembles a boozy black coffee with a few too many spoonful’s of sugar. Phenomenal aroma.

Flavour: Oh wow it comes on with severe aggression. Unsweetened espresso, molasses, charred wood, raw cacao/dark chocolate, burnt toast, leather, chocolate bullets and an almost red pepper-like warmth (could also have something to do with the 10% ABV). Gorgeous finish…raw espresso bitterness but countered by a rich velvety sweetness which goes for days.

Mouthfeel: So dense you could chew on it…one of the most viscous beers we’ve had. Extremely low Co2 with the 10% ABV discernible for the most part.

Overall: What a way to kick off proceedings for this brewery. We’d heard plenty about them so we were naturally very keen to get our hands on anything from them. This is just the epitome of a RIS – big and unrelenting with huge body and depth. Top notch stuff.

Wild Barrel ‘Hazy Star’ Hazy IPA


83003576_1288993994618076_4562097081942016_o“Hazy juicy IPA dry hopped with Galaxy &Nelson.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Hazy orange with a huge fluffy four finger head. It takes a lifetime to reduce and once it does it leaves a thick blotchy lacing in its wake.

Aroma: Two of the biggest and brightest stars of the Southern Hemisphere come together in this American IPA. Straight off the bat those classic peach and passion fruit notes lead out with the more subtle lime, gooseberry and mature Sauv Blanc from Nelson in support. Also picking up hints of stonefruit, mixed citrus and leafy herbs i.e basil and thyme.

Flavour: Not really popping as much as the aroma. Muted notes of stonefruit i.e peach, rockmelon, paw paw…tangy orange, some candied lime, gooseberry and passion fruit. Very little malt coming through – white bread/crusts if anything. Soft fleshy fruits, tangy orange and a hint of rind in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Nicely balanced, light-moderate body. Slightly dry and chalky texture. 7.1% ABV has a bit of attitude but mostly well behaved.

Overall: Not totally sold on this one unfortunately. The aroma was superb but the flavour profile and slight astringency let it down. Pretty cool to see these U.S breweries embracing the Antipodean hops like this though.

Cycle Brewing BA Hazelnut Imperial Stout


82187866_1285434498307359_6503476897358282752_o“Bourbon barrel aged over 1 year, hazelnut and cocoa nibs from Pinellas Chocolate Company.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Dense engine oil with a minimal head which forms a thin ring instantly. Some spotty lace here and there is as good as it gets.

Aroma: Holy moly there’s dessert stout then there’s this bad boy! Hazelnut definitely leads out – a bit of a mix between raw and roasted but either way it’s heavenly. A bit of a hazelnut syrup starting to open up as it settles. Around it we get robust cocoa, espresso, chocolate, bourbon oak, toasted coconut/vanilla, charred wood and mild molasses. One of the most dynamic aroma’s we’ve had the joy of inhaling for a while.

Flavour: Absolute replica of the nose…cue the cheer from our taste buds! Dominant syrupy hazelnut with a flutter of the raw and roasty versions. Cacao, liquid chocolate, bourbon oak – vanilla, toasted coconut, caramel and spiced toffee. A touch of lightly charred wood before a kind of sweet, nutty, roasty and oaky finish lingers for an eternity.

Mouthfeel: Unbelievably smooth, creamy and viscous. The 11.5% ABV is that well hidden it’s nuts. Super low Co2. Like thick stout soup!

Overall: This is now our 3rd entry for Cycle and although they’ve all been world class this one is on another level. This hazelnut definitely owns the almond. Brilliant drop.

Wicked Weed ‘La Mure Morte’ BA Sour w Blackberries


82371163_1284695735047902_4720661562203832320_o“Barrel-Aged American Sour Ale with Blackberries.”

Glassware: Teku

Appearance: A ravishing deep ruby red with a short and fizzy head which hastily forms a collar. Patches of broken lace here and there.

Aroma: Smells freakin amazing! Even though blackberries have a much less distinct profile they’re on parade right here – earthy yet sweet and tart and fusing with the natural vinous accents imparted by the red wine barrels (which also add a lovely damp and musty oak character). Super sour notes of classic lambic too…sweaty, barnyard lacto funk. Top shelf stuff.

Flavour: She ain’t messing about. Very sharp yet short-lived rush of tart berries and lacto sourness which we can literally feel taking layers of enamel off our teeth! It really mellows out in to a fruity middle full of blackberry pulp, vinous oak tannin, spice and fruit acids which lead in to a juciy finish with mild tartness and delicate oak for days.

Mouthfeel: Quite sharp and acidic upfront but almost creamy and velvety post-swallow. Mineraly, soda water-like texture… definitely adding to the light feel.

Overall: Absolute pin point precision from Wicked Weed. Very hard to fault it as everything compliments the next. Really well balanced too which we’ve found to be a slight downfall in some previous offerings. Impressive!

Parallel 49 ‘Filthy Dirty’ IPA


82241561_1283393891844753_5142240742931955712_o“It’s time to get down and dirty. This West Coast IPA may be full of filthy amounts of fruity and tropical hop character, but it’s nothing but clean on your palate. All those other IPAs are a boar, we’re here to hog the spotlight.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Deep bold amber with good enough transparency. It notches up two fingers of khaki head before peeling off. Nice wavy lace in its wake.

Aroma: Like taking a step back in to 2010! Proper old school, pine-driven West Coast style IPA balanced only by a hefty caramel malt sweetness. Maybe a bit of cloying honey too. Has a bit of a grainy, unfinished wort scent to it as well. But like the good ol days it’s supported by tonnes of grapefruit, orange/rind, dank sappy resins and weedy/tea leaf herbals. Some good and bad to it.

Flavour: The malts yield a fair bit of artificial sweetness along with a very subtle hint of buttery diacetyl. Still, nice hop profile which does counter a little…pine, grapefruit and orange rind pithiness, grassy/weedy herbs and distinct florals move in to a dry and bitter finish with some good ol West Coast aggression on the back.

Mouthfeel: Dry, bitter, a little prickly. Medium bodied. The 7.2% ABV is relatively well concealed. 76 IBU…we get every bit of it. What you’d expect from the style though.

Overall: There’s high points and low points all the way through. It’s quite messy at times and it actually reveals the inexperience of the brewer(s). Not fans at all.

Three Floyd’s 2019 ‘Dark Lord’ Russian Imperial Stout


82241864_1281693892014753_4512238928316596224_o“Dark Lord, a 15 percent ABV Russian imperial stout that is brewed with coffee, Indian sugar and Mexican vanilla.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Blacker than the ace of spades and topped off with a wispy brown overlay. Despite this it holds up nicely and leaves a cascading lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Big and muscly with layers of molasses, licorice, dark chocolate, ash and prunes/dates. The latter definitely building as it settles. Getting a lot more sweetness out of it now – cola syrup, muscovado sugar, sweet espresso, earthy spice, toasted coconut and or burnt vanilla. Nailed it! Could one expect anything less from such an esteemed RIS?

Flavour: Jeez there’s a lot to unpack. It’s incredible how there’s so little aggression. Slick and velvety molasses, muscovado sugar, licorice, sweet espresso and this pie crust/wheatmeal biscuit-like character which is hard to pin down. Lots of sugary dark fruits i.e dates, raisin, cherry. Subtle vanilla, coffee, molasses and chocolate on the long and drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Insanely smooth, sticky and gelatinous. The thing is 15% ABV for Christ’s sake it doesn’t even drink like an 8%er! Full, slick body, low Co2. Perfection.

Overall: Our take on Russian Imperials are that they’re aggressive palate wreckers but not DL! No…somehow they’ve managed to tame the beast and turn it in to a palate-friendly adventure that leaves us wanting more. It’s just in a class of its own really…no other way to put it.

Moonraker ‘Sails Meeting’ Imperial IPA


82338993_1281316968719112_4955735799602610176_o“Imperial IPA with Mosaic, El Dorado, Citra and Vic Secret.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Super hazy golden orange complexion. It builds a three finger head before gradually peeling off to a fine film.

Aroma: Juicy, tropical fruity hops in abundance – mango, pineapple, melon, guava, sweet orange citrus, ruby grapefruit and paw paw leading out. Some dankness to it…mostly piney with hints of forest floor and evergreen fused through. A hint of that Frosty Fruit/concentrated juice sweetness with a dry, bread crusty malt bill. Classic hazy aroma.

Flavour: Bam! The beer just went up a few more notches! So juicy and silky smooth. Proper fruit salad – citrus, tropical fruits, stone fruits and passion fruit in spades. Subtle hints of pine and resin, some apple/pear coming in to the fold. Crazy smooth finish with distinct stone fruit hanging around on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Remarkably soft, creamy and approachable…which is outrageous considering the ABV (8%). Hardly any bitterness, medium body and finely carbonated. Dead set spot on for a hazy.

Overall: Moonraker who?! The States just keep pumping them out don’t they. We wish an Aussie brewery could get even close to this level…and this is from an otherwise unknown microbrewery in Cali. Two thumbs up from us. That is an absolute cracker!

Cycle Brewing ‘Rare Dos’ BA Imperial Stout


82228701_1280476552136487_5974533971000688640_o“Rare Dos aged in whiskey barrels for over one year.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Pours like sump oil with a quickly fading dark brown overlay. A bunch of loose bubbles settle at the rim with spotty lace as it subsides.

Aroma: Big, mean and aggressive. The year and a bit spent in whiskey barrels has had a huge impact…yielding light peaty notes, old damp oak, salted dark chocolate, rich and earthy espresso and treacle. Massive support structure of raw vanilla bean, charred malts, cigar skins, leather and iodine. Ooph..this is one deep and complex number.

Flavour: Certainly carries that aggression and raw earthy character through from the nose. Strong whiskey components (peat, damp woody oak, cereals), dark chocolate and espresso, brandy, leather, charred malts and burnt toffee. Again, raw and earthy in the finish – whiskey dominates with damp woody oak and charred malts which linger for days.

Mouthfeel: Rich and warming with a dense viscosity. 11% ABV…evident as to be expected. Full body, low Co2. Ominous stuff.

Overall: Definitely not for the faint-hearted. This beast is a raw, scaled back whiskey barrel aged impy stout with serious aggression and disdain for the palate! But we freakin love it! Kudos Cycle.

Toppling Goliath ‘Mornin Latte’ Imperial Coffee Milk Stout


82561776_1278452659005543_347199027290308608_o“Imperial Coffee Milk Stout brewed with lactose and a careful blend of cacao nibs giving it a dark chocolate, toasty and toasty sweet coffee taste.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black with a short and dark tan head which doesn’t hang around long. A halo is quickly formed with consistent rings each sip.

Aroma: Woowww! Smells just like a Dare iced coffee that is insane! So sweet, milky and sugary yet still resembling a latte really well. Getting high off this almost raw coffee bean scent…heavenly! Gorgeous waves of cocoa, chocolate and vanilla in support. Subtle roasted malts in the background. We’d kill to try a bourbon barrel aged version of this. 10/10 for the aroma that is just the cream of the crop!

Flavour: It kicks off with an interesting licorice-like taste before the luxurious coffee and vanilla takes hold. Surprisingly little milky/lactose sweetness on the palate… we’d be more inclined to say piccolo rather than latte at this stage. Lots of cocoa and chocolate sauce, toasted nutty malts and mild char/ash in the finish. Good legs on it too.

Mouthfeel: Dense, creamy, sticky and full bodied…exactly what we were after. The 8.9% ABV is so well hidden with a very tight and fine Co2.

Overall: This is the epitome of a coffee stout. Jam packed with coffee, vanilla, lactose, chocolate and roasty malts brought home with a dense and sticky viscosity. If you love your stout you love your coffee then get all over this. Guaranteed you won’t be disappointed. Top shelf.

Wild Barrel ‘Catch You On The Hazy Side’ NEIPA


82056654_1277456092438533_858428009575612416_o“NEIPA dry hopped with Galaxy & Citra.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Super hazy pastel orange with a billowing three finger head which is hardly going anywhere! Once it does it makes a beautiful lacey mess on the glass.

Aroma: The can says dry hopped with Galaxy and Citra but there are scents here that we’ve never got from either of those hops before…namely this slightly tart and funky red currant and or pomegranate-like character. We’re actually really digging it though. Other more classic notes of zesty orange, passion fruit, grapefruit, peach, nectarine and rock melon are all here in spades. Loving this!

Flavour: Definitely loses that tart and funky red currant character and dials in on the hazy – stone fruit and tropical fruit galore! Rockmelon, papaya, guava, pineapple, mango, passion fruit, orange, peach and grapefruit. Literally a fruit salad. Gorgeous fruit smoothie-esque finish… creamy, juicy fruits with no bitterness. Superb.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth, creamy and juicy. Ultra low bitterness, well concealed ABV (7.5%). Finely carbonated. Medium-full body. Practically faultless.

Overall: Jeez what a find these guys were! Stumbled in to Page Bottler not knowing and left with a few. Gonna have to find more now this is an absolute cracker!

Parallel 49 ‘Trash Panda’ Hazy IPA


82835331_1276857069165102_7649611348615102464_o“The urban trash panda will spend most of its life scouring garbage bins for the dankest, juiciest hops that the Northwest coast can offer. Don’t be fooled by this bandit’s cute little mask – this snarling vermin won’t leave any can unturned.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Hazy burnished orange with a thumb of sturdy white foam rested atop. The head is retained well and leaves a smattering of lace in its wake.

Aroma: A bit of a citrus bomb – yellow grapefruit, orange (and rind), lemon/lime, some pretty dank piney notes leading out as well. Theres something quite old world about it…offering a strong floral bouquet, dank herbals and earthy/grassy accents like a good English IPA would. Subtle hints of melon and stonefruits also getting a look in. Good depth here.

Flavour: Somewhat similar to the nose: clean piney notes, minty herbals, orange peel, tangerine, weedy resins and apple/pear. The latter holding up the most through the mid with that orange peel pithy-ness building in to a dry piney/grassy finish which endures quite nicely on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Pretty inoffensive for the style – soft and smooth. The mild ABV (5.5%) probably adds to the approachability. Medium body and Co2.

Overall: We honestly weren’t too sure what to expect here. An unknown Canadian brewery with an early 90’s style rock band cover as the graphic it could have gone either way. In the end and funnily enough it’s a bit middle of the road…nothing exciting but not too bad either.

Westbrook ‘Mexican Cake’ Imperial Dessert Stout


82207406_1276810875836388_6971142739324829696_o“Way back in December 2011, we brewed our first anniversary beer – a serious imperial stout aged on cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and fresh habanero peppers. It was so delicious we decided to bring it back once each year.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a thumb of dark brown foam resting atop. Slow and steady reduction…forming a collar with spotty lace trailing it down.

Aroma: Very intriguing – we can certainly pick up the spicy accents – mostly peppers with delicate touches of cinnamon, star anise and vanilla. It’s unique in the way that it doesn’t seem heavy at all – there’s minimal char and deep roast, mild dark chocolate and coffee aromas. The only dominant stout characters are the cacao, milk chocolate mousse, subtle licorice and carob. Then spice and peppers really opening up as it settles.

Flavour: Again, really hiding the heaviness of the style well. It drinks more like a big and boozy dark ale if anything. The spicy notes do a lot of the talking – the habanero peppers muscle up against the delicate cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Cacao and mild dark chocolate feature nicely before it rounds off on a warm peppery finish with a dry roasty undertone.

Mouthfeel: Light on and inoffensive – apart from the lingering burn of the habanero peppers. Very uncharacteristic of the style… considering the weight (10.5% ABV).

Overall: This is our 2nd entry for Westbrook and they have gone over and above what we were anticipating. This is impressive not only from a non barrel aged perspective but how they’ve managed to keep it so light and approachable. Lovely drop

Rabbit & Spaghetti Golden IPA


82462143_1276612695856206_2108292135848509440_o“Brewed in honour of Lt Edgardo Simoni (AKA The Fox) an Italian soldier captured in North Africa and interned in Australia during WWII. He infamously fled custody 3 times and cheekily assumed the identity of a door to door cosmetics salesman in Melbourne. He rose to be the company’s number one sales person whilst concurrently being Australia’s most wanted man.”

Glassware: IPA

Appearance: Clear golden amber with a big and frothy three finger crown. Good retention and thick soapy lace clinging to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Pretty basic tropical fruits and sappy resin with spicy floral and orange citrus highlights. It fills out with quite a sweet caramel malt alongside a flutter of bush honey and eucalyptus-like herbals/florals. Maybe just the slightest hint of tea leaf coming through too.

Flavour: Weak and somewhat watered down notes of semi sweet caramel malts, honey, spicy pine resin, orange citrus and tropical fruits i.e mango, pineapple and stonefruit. Sets up for a fairly soft and uneventful finish which pulls up pretty short.

Mouthfeel: Thin and slippery over the tongue. There’s a vibrant Co2 which gives it a bit of texture though. 4.7% ABV – very light…could explain the lack of intensity.

Overall: We can never be too hard on the winemakers who try their hand at brewing as it’s not their day job. Although this is kinda weak and watery with muted flavour. Good for the entry level craft drinker that’s about it.

Cycle Brewing ‘Joyous Almond’ Imperial Dessert Stout


81865844_1275429285974547_7640890331621228544_o“Vanilla barrel aged imperial stout treated with vanilla beans, cinnamon, chili peppers, and cocoa nibs.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Black as midnight with a short and fizzy brown head. It steadily reduced and manages a healthy lace down the glass.

Aroma: Big and meaty. Super rich molasses and soy sauce yet it still offers a lovely toasted coconut and treacle character. Picking up a unique scent of after dinner mints mixing in amongst lavish notes of dark chocolate, bourbon oak, raw coffee bean, earthy raw almond, vanilla and charred malts building late. A bit of a mild warming booze here too.

Flavour: Getting quite a lot of coconut upfront. Less natural flavor, more toasted and bourbon-infused with a hint of spicy vanilla. Underneath is a hedonistic fusion of marzipan, chocolate cake, old bourbon oak, toasted nutty malts, toffee fudge and burnt brown sugar sweetness which goes on for days on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Pretty slick with a bit of dense stickiness. Medium-full body. Quite a lively Co2 for such a big BA stout. Typical of the Yanks…no ABV! Our guess is over 10%.

Overall: A very impressive stout. It may not have the finesse of say, 50/50 or 3 Floyd’s but it certainly has depth and complexity. Cracking drop.

Jindabyne Brewing ‘Kiandra’ Golden Ale


81542640_1274945476022928_3308675666186076160_o (1)Fresh, nutty malt with hints of caramel give our golden ale a solid backbone to underpin the delicious hop combination. Predominant aroma and flavours of fresh passionfruit and pineapple, with complexity and depth.”

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Golden amber with full transparency. It forms a sturdy two finger head which maintains and works a thick sudsy lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Very traditional and old-world kind of feel to it. Beautifully balanced though. Biscuity malt structure with soft fruity hops – mostly passion fruit, mango, pineapple and melon. Just a hint of buttery sweetness, mild herbal and floral notes and a white grape-like tartness. So much depth for the style.

Flavour: So crisp and clean…we reckon it’s all down to the pure mountain water they use. Perfectly balanced malt to hop ratio – biscuity and slightly nutty malt gives way to the fruity and floral hops. A hint of pithy orange peel late in the piece finishes with a soft dry bitterness, marmalade and buttery toast.

Mouthfeel: Super clean, crisp and effortless. Mild-medium body. 4.2% ABV. Definitely a stayer.

Overall: We’re absolutely loving this brewery! In this day of crazy haze and sourness these guys are sticking to tradition and brewing old word faves with absolute perfection. Honestly JB deserve more attention than they get!