Brasserie Cantillon ‘Iris’ Barrel Aged Lambic

Rating:

39883588_938227779694701_1726367795458867200_n“Spontaneous fermentation beer produced using only pale-ale type malt. Iris brings together two elements that were very present in our beers until the middle of the 20th century : the acidity produced by spontaneous fermentation and the bitterness resulting from the use of fresh hops followed by cold hopping.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber with a cm of finely beaded foam perched on top. The head fades to a wispy film which leaves a wet lace drag as it ebbs.

Aroma: Dry, musty and a little spicy. A fair bit of acetic lemon, candied citrus, unripened stonefruit, apricot and woody oak tannins balanced by slightly earthy funk and subtle caramel sweetness. Picking up a very unique scent of cheese and crackers…we say unique because somehow it incorporates both! Hops are rather herbal and certainly coming through a lot more than previous Cantillon beers we’ve had.

Flavour: Again quite dry and musty, acetic and grainy with a hint of alcohol warmth coming through. White grape juice, woody oak, barnyard funk and peppery spice moving in to bitter grapefruit, lemon peel and green apple late in the piece. The finish is dry, herbal and woody with excellent length on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and drying but much smoother than previous styles. Moderate co2 with a slightly higher and more pronounced AbV (6.5%). Medium acidity.

Overall: Easily the driest and most hoppy beer we’ve had from Cantillon. This could certainly have something to do with its maturity though – it was bottled this year and could do with some aging. That said though it’s still a highly enjoyable, balanced and refreshing drop.

Treehouse Brewing Co ‘Doubleganger’ Double IPA

Rating:

39918032_938070493043763_7872835968812711936_n“This beer was conceived with the intent to push the concept of Doppelganger to the limit of flavor and intensity. Both the kettle hopping rates and dry hopping rates were increased while keeping the base beer the same. The result is intense, but also surprising in its balance and softness. The mouthfeel is viscous and coating with flavors of overripe mango, dank citrus, and tropical fruit balanced by a sharp but pleasant finish. A treat to warm you up as a true New England winter takes hold!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Murky orange kind of affair – looks a bit like freshly squeezed orange juice topped off by a puffy two and a half finger crown. The head holds for a minute before settling to a thick overlay which leaves a healthy lace in its wake.

Aroma: Lots of tropical fruit, lots of orange citrus and resinous/sappy pine lifting out. Plenty of peach, apricot, pear and apple and paw paw also getting amongst it. That stonefruit profile really starting to open up as it warms. Also loving this subtle and slightly sugary hint of frosty fruits with just a flutter of alcohol warmth in the background. Absolutely hallmark Treehouse.

Flavour: Tasting that brekky juice character on entry. Followed up by orange rind, unripened mango, melon, pine and green botanicals. Quite smooth but the middle develops a bit of warming booze and assertive hop bitterness. A hit of yellow grapefruit, pithy orange and herbs finish with a dry hop bitterness in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light and smooth but with a firm bitterness forming in the swallow. Light warming alcohol (8.2%), medium body and co2.

Overall: Rather bitter for a Treehouse NEIPA…we dig it though. It somewhat balances out the juicy notes, not to mention the addition of some aggression. All in all it’s a solid NEIPA.

USA Brewery Tour – Monkish Brewing Company

Rating:

This husband and wife operation have taken Monkish Brewing from humble beginnings to one of the hottest new(ish) breweries in Los Angeles. A program which kicked off with a few random Belgian ales back in 2012 has expanded to produce some of the best hazy IPA’s and stouts and then on to a respectable barrel/souring program. It’s funny as the latter was actually what they wanted to focus on originally! Henry Nguyen, the pastor turned head brewer now focuses mainly on the microbial bacteria….more commonly known now as Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus – the 3 main players that create that funky, tart and acetic aroma and flavour in your sour beer.

The brewery bar has a relatively small but stellar range of beers. They offer 12 taps but no paddles so we slowly worked our way through from lightest to darkest starting with the Belgians – Tape Deck and Feminist – both were OK but somewhat forgettable. We moved on to the sours next. Silent Language and Invert The Sun were both absolutely delicious and a huge step up from the Belgians. We hit the crescendo with their IPA’s which were all in the NEIPA style, super cloudy, juicy and ultra smashy. We finished on their Russian Imperial Stout (Matrimonium) which was big, roasty and aggressive…a lovely way to finish off.

We really enjoyed visiting this joint. It had a great atmosphere out the back where you can literally sit amongst the barrels and tanks while you tuck in to whatever mobile food truck is attending on the day. Certainly wouldn’t mind having this place around the corner!

 

Trillium Brewing ‘Number 49’ El Dorado Double IPA

Rating:

39496811_936067696577376_5661603057541054464_n“Permutation is our experimental series of small batch offerings, showcasing the unique visions and innovative concepts developed by our brewing and cellar crew. Permutation 49 is a Double IPA brewed with Lactose featuring El Dorado in the double dry hop and pours a deeply hazy, vibrant orange hue.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Murky orange complexion that tops off with a cm of tightly held foam. Good head retention and healthy lace work as it ebbs.

Aroma: Nice and juicy. Lots of citrus-forward and zingy hops with a strong focus on pithy grapefruit, orange and tangerine. Picking up plenty of tropical stone fruit as well – mostly mango, rockmelon and paw paw with distinct piney notes cutting through. Maybe some creamy pineapple in there too. The malt is sweet, doughy and honeyed, offering a good balance to those dominant El Dorado hops. Brilliant nose.

Flavour: Much more dense and chewy, showing its AbV just a smidge more than the aroma. Less definition on the citrus with further stone fruit character to the fore. Jammy notes of apricot and marmalade blend nicely with the creamy vanilla/lactose before it moves in to the incredibly smooth finish which displays creamy orange, pine and candied citrus on a length.

Mouthfeel: Silky soft texture, well rounded and hiding that AbV very well (8.3%). Medium body, mild-medium Co2.

Overall: What a drop! Straight up west coast IPA on the nose then showing suggestions of NEIPA on the palate. Remarkably smooth and luxurious finish. One of the finest DIPA’s we’ve ever drunk. Brilliant.

Fifty-Fifty Brewing ‘Eclipse’ E.H Taylor BA Imperial Stout

Rating:

39507357_936051376579008_1875618291246956544_n“Stout brewed with honey and aged in oak barrels.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Black with just the slightest hint of dark brown fused through. It builds a sturdy two finger head which persists and leaves a thick soapy lace trail down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Oh wow, intriguing. Lots of bourbon coming through initially but not in the traditional and rather aggressive sense. This is nice and smooth, caramel-laden and sweet with vanilla, butterscotch, honey and maple syrup decadence. Getting good support from the roasted malts, barrels, molasses, licorice and coffee also. Picking up some spicy notes as it settles in. Sensational.

Flavour: It comes on strong without overdoing it. Nicely balanced with oak and just enough caramel/toffee sweetness to nullify the surging bourbon. Strong presence of spice and licorice leading to more of a viscous molasses in the middle. It continues this excellent progression in to a semi-rich, roasty and espresso finish which goes the distance.

Mouthfeel: Luscious creamy texture with medium-full body. Low Co2 and incredibly well masked AbV (11%).

Overall: Without a doubt the best Eclipse variation we’ve had. It’s rich and dense but it’s really well balanced by the honey and natural caramel sweetness imparted from the Buffalo Trace barrels. We’re literally salivating at the idea of a EH Taylor/Eclipse boilermaker now. Just need a spare $350 for a bottle!

Phantom Carriage ‘Mortal Wood’ BA Lambic Blend

Rating:

39137892_930719700445509_2576213459649691648_n“Mortal wood represents the continued efforts of Phantom Carriage to craft and hone its sour, barrel-aged beer program. This beer is a melange of aged lambic-style ales that were finished in white wine barrels and then blended to give a complex and layered flavour profile.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Pale gold with a light haze. The pour generates a thumb of fizzy white head which quickly snaps back to the edges. Very minimal lace as we tuck in.

Aroma: Smells of old and musty wine barrels, white grape juice, peppery spice, candied lemon peel and aged white vinegar. Hints of dried apricot and unripe peach also coming through. Loving how the sour/cheesy funk is very well tempered and nicely offset by the complex barrel characters. Fine aroma.

Flavour: Pleasantly follows the nose with musty wine barrels and a slightly heavier pronunciation on pithy lime juice and lemon rind. Dry peppery spice and very subtle vinegar through the mid shifts in to the bone dry finish which offers candied citrus, pear and white grapes on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Very champagne-like with its delicate sparkle and light dry texture. Mild-medium body. 6%AbV.

Overall: We found this to be a fairly approachable sour, easily our favourite Phantom Carriage beer so far. Well structured, balanced and effortless over the tongue. Solid drop.

Trillium Brewing ‘Pot & Kettle’ Oatmeal Porter w Chocolate

Rating:

39018504_927990300718449_8388899503725346816_n“For this rendition of our signature porter, brewed with oats, we added a post-fermentation dose of chocolate. Inviting aromas of coffee milk, cacao nibs, and pudding are followed by a hazelnut heavy palate, strong notes of dark chocolate, and Pot & Kettle’s signature smooth mouthfeel. Opaque in appearance with a warm brown color.”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Dark brown almost black with a thumb of loosely held foam on top. It quickly snaps back to the edges with little lace work on the glass.

Aroma: Nice and hearty, works well on this cool winters arvo. The two feature flavours present beautifully – the oatmeal with its somewhat savoury cereal grains and the chocolate that really comes through. It’s like an early 19th century winter brekky….porridge and hot chocolate! Subtle dark fruits, apricot, toasty/earthy malts and figs just coz they can!

Flavour: Displaying dark fruits initially, making way for the roasty malts, chocolate and apricot as it nears the mid. The oats are mild early on but they really start to take shape in the middle supported by carob, cocoa powder and gently roasted malts. Some biscuity/nutty malt pairs up with the chocolate to finish off.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, effortless and well rounded. Medium body with a nicely disguised 7.5% AbV. Dangerously drinkable!

Overall: A light yet full flavoured porter. It kind of goes through the motions starting with the oatmeal and chocolate to choc chip cookies and eventually revealing a distinct esrthy apricot as it hits took temperature. This USB our first crack at Trillium (besides the collab beers of course) and we’re very satisfied. As expected.

Treehouse Brewing Co. ‘Haze’ Double IPA

Rating:

39044765_927616497422496_3679545387821039616_n“Our core double IPA! Haze is crafted with pale malt and an extreme kettle and dry hop dose of our favorite Northwest American hops. We smell a ton of peach on the nose, with complimentary notes of orange and passionfruit. The flavor is similar with a blast of citrus fruit & peach quickly followed by a bounty of tropical fruit.  A lingering and pleasant saturated hop oil finish awaits. . . . A real juice bomb of a beer, and a true Tree House original.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy AF! Pale mustard yellow sort of affair with a fluffy two finger head sitting atop. Decent retention with thick soapy lace coating the walls of the glass on its way down.

Aroma: Amazing. Like a freshly cut fruit salad topped with pine needles, dried apricot and fennel. It offers plenty of that hallmark creamy/chalky vanilla along with leafy herbs and botanicals as well. Picking up hints of frosty fruit ice blocks which envokes a bit of nostalgia for us. Nice grainy malt character at the base. Lovely aroma.

Flavour: A tad surprising really. No where near as much fruit. The hop profile is very delicate – mostly citrus forward notes of orange, grapefruit and a touch of passion fruit. A late hop bitterness surges forward in to a dry, bitter and citric finish with fairly good length on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Remarkably light and chalky. The 8.2% AbV hides itself very well and the 90 IBU is prominent late in the piece. Mild-medium body and Co2.

Overall: Very Green is the only other TH IPA we’ve tried and this one doesn’t come close. It is a very tidy NEIPA but we won’t lie….we were expecting a bit more from it! Not bad though.

Treehouse Brewing Co ‘Hold On To Sunshine’ Coffee Stout

Rating:

38855471_926894017494744_7627366626362392576_n“Hold On To Sunshine is a rich and delicious stout intended to be savored and enjoyed as we enter the cooler Autumn months here in New England. Life can come at us fast and hit us with unexpected hardship, inducing stress, fear, anger, confusion, sadness, and uncertainty. But together we must find solace and comfort in each other, and in something wonderful, equal, and free for everyone to hold on to – Sunshine. For Lauren.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Jet Black with a thumb of finely beaded foam perched on top. Good head retention with wavy lace work down the glass.

Aroma: Plenty of uplift. Tonnes of black coffee, milk sugars/lactose, vanilla, marzipan, toasted marshmallow and roasted malts. Quite musky with undertones of dark chocolate, honeycomb, powdered cocoa and dark fruits backing up. It offers a solid density yet it’s still so light and pleasant to take in. Superb.

Flavour: Smooth and unbelievably well balanced. Delicious notes of coffee, vanilla, and milk sugars to the fore. A lovely roasted malt at the base along with dark fruits, licorice and hints of very mild molasses filling it out. Just a faint tickle of booze as it moves in to an ultimately dry finish with roasty malts, mild ash and coffee in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and silky smooth with an assertive dryness developing late in the piece. It holds an excellent weight and the 7.6% AbV shows through at just the right times.

Overall: Unbelievably well put together. This is our first crack at Treehouses dark range and it’s official…..they’re just as good as their hoppy beers. Brilliant balance between the bitter coffee and the sweet milk sugars, the booze is spot on and the roasted malts provide the perfect base. Delish!

Evil Twin Brewing ‘Irish-ish’ Coffee Stout

Rating:

38665667_921779991339480_3256103668755202048_n“This massive winter warmer is brewed with lactose, demerara sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, medium toasted oak spirals and – of course – a ton of delicious coffee from our friends at @tandemcoffeeroasters.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Dense black with a thumb of reasonably well retained foam capping it off. It leaves a fine spotty lace clinging to the glass.

Aroma: Quite unique we must admit. It’s not the super rich and boozy nose we were anticipating it’s actually rather light and sweet with a heady dose of earthy spice and what we can best describe as piney hops. Lactose, vanilla and marshmallow makes up a fair chunk of the sweetness with just a touch of caramel and coffee to fill it out. Can’t say that were fans at the moment.

Flavour: Acting a bit more like an Irish coffee. Subtle coffee roast, crystallised sugars and what would appear to be the sweet and somewhat fruity Irish whiskey (cue those piney hops on the nose!). The booze starts to warm up around the mid, backed up by earthy spice and more coffee. Charred malts and a more bitter espresso note picks up and rolls in to the dry, toasty and semi sweet finish which endures nicely.

Mouthfeel: Silky, warming and kind of dense. Low Co2, medium-full body. 10.3% AbV – fairly well behaved.

Overall: It’s a good enough offering but it’s just a tad uninspiring. Back in our day we used to get stuck in to the Irish coffee post Anzac Day commemorations and ours didn’t taste anything like this. Maybe we weren’t making them properly! Nevertheless it’s nothing to write home about.

Dainton & CVBC ‘Cherry Gripe’ Chocolate Cherry & Coconut Stout

Rating:

38633648_921624381355041_6899310575235366912_n“Why the gripe? Well we had a bit of an in-house biffo so hence the name. And yes, it tastes like cherry, chocolate and coconut in perfect balance! Brewed with our mates from the Clare Valley Brewing Co. Not that Damo did anything at all. Lazy bugger.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Opaque black with two fingers of fizzy brown head resting atop. Steady reduction, eventually settling to a halo. Lacing is wet and sparse as we hook in.

Aroma: Definitely hitting that fruity dessert beer note with lashings of juicy cherry, coconut flakes, strawberry jam, vanilla, chocolate and nutty malts. Maybe just a hint of toast and earthy truffle and or cocoa getting a look in also. Not so much cherry ripe, more jam doughnut meets lamington.

Flavour: Cherry ripe?? Nowhere to be seen. Yes there’s jammy notes of cherry, strawberry etc with hints of chocolate and coconut but nothing about it screams cherry ripe. More cherry fruits through the mid leading in to a mild roasty, dry and chocolate finish. Length isn’t too bad at least.

Mouthfeel: Lean and slippery – not what we’d expect from a 7.5% dessert stout. Mild Co2 and body.

Overall: Weak, watery and hardly resembling a cherry ripe. The reason why beers like Golden Stout Time (Big shed), Snickers and Ferrari Rocher (Bacchus) are so good is that they taste exactly like the sweet they’re emulating. They would have been better off brewing this and just calling it a cherry stout.

Hermitage ‘Cranberry & Peach’ American Sour

Rating:

38473466_920829298101216_2158446234195460096_n“Sour Ale brewed with Cranberry and Peach aged in American and French Oak wine barrels. A blend of 18-36-month-old blonde ale, fermented with Brett and aged with tart cranberry and sweet peach.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Cloudy amber complexion with light orange hues. It forms a short head which slowly peels back to a ring. Some spotty lace as we go.

Aroma: Nice and funky with tart red berry overtones, stone fruit and subtle woody oak tannins in support. Rather floral, apricot and peach skin also opening up as it settles in the glass. Mild acidity – getting a lot more tartness from the berries rather than from the lemon/lime juice. Crisp, fruity and refreshing. Nice aroma.

Flavour: Ooph…sour, tart and lip puckering! Tonnes of lacto acidity, bretty funk, lime juice and uber tart red berries upfront. We’re picking up the peach notes in the background which are unfortunately overtaken by an unpleasant acidity akin to white vinegar – quite a turn off! It finishes with further notes of white vinegar, white grapes and muted oak musty-ness.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, acetic and sour. Fairly light on with moderate Co2.

Overall: This is probably our least favourite sour we have had to date. The aroma is fine but the flavour is muddled and unbalanced and actually started making us feel sick. Hardly any barrel character on show either. Quite disappointed as we had heard good things about this brewery.

Hawkers Beer 2018 Bourbon & Rum BA Imperial Stouts – Parallel Review

Rating:

38247305_918540128330133_8350982347025285120_n“Big, dark, and beautiful. Bourbon on the nose with oak, vanilla, light coconut highlights. This beer is simply luscious. A rich Imperial Stout aged in rum barrels to give aromas of vanilla and freshly cut wood with smooth molasses and a warming spirit on the palate.”

RUM BARREL.

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black. It forms a cm of dark brown foam which quickly retreats to the rim. Scattered lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Rich and aggressive but well polished. Strong impressions of espresso, licorice, old leather and tobacco with a flutter of sweet dark fruits and vanilla to balance. The rum comes through gently with notes of caramel and burnt brown sugar. Delightful!

Flavour: Dead set spot on! Well tempered in its delivery of rich dark malts, espresso, tobacco and molasses. The subtle creamy vanilla, toasted coconut and sweet rum flavours balance it like a beer on a barrel!

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth for its size (11.7%). Oily, warming and dense with medium-full body.

BOURBON BARREL.

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Exactly like it’s twin – dense black but with a big and well kept two finger head. Laced a lot better as well.

Aroma: Wow the difference is really significant. The bourbon barrels are much more aggressive, more pronounced and oaky. It still displays plenty of raw earth, charred malt, licorice, peppery spice, toasted coconut and vanilla with super subtle dark fruits down deep.

Flavour: It has that complex fusion of dark chocolate, espresso, bourbon barrel, charred malts, toasted coconut, molasses and subtle vanilla. There’s a bit more of a booze burn but that can be forgiven for being a bit stronger.

Mouthfeel: Slightly different to its twin – it’s bigger, prickly and warming. Creamy and full bodied.

Overall: Two extremely impressive offerings from Hawkers. It is really hard to choose which is better, they both display their respective barrels impeccably. It is so encouraging to see Aussie brewers producing world class beers like these. We knew Hawkers had serious potential but they just went up a few more notches. Kudos!

 

Brasserie Cantillon ‘Rose de Gambrinus’ Lambic w Raspberries

Rating:

38284536_917955951721884_2603908929192722432_n“Blend of lambics and raspberries – 200 g of raspberries per litre of beer. Beer with a slightly acidic, fruity and fragrant taste. Just like kriek, the “fruitiness” of Rosé de Gambrinus is at its best when the beer is young. With age the lambic will take the upper hand, but this is at the expense of the fruit component.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Raspberry coloured pour with a short washed out pink head on top. It slowly fades and leaves a wet lace drag in its wake.

Aroma: Lots and lots of the finest raspberry! Fresh, candied and jammy. It’s matched by a heady dose of tart lemon/lime juice, cranberry, red wine vinegar and more delicate oak tannins. Somewhat of an earthy funk which yields farmyard spice, hay and wheaty grains. This really is a sensational aroma…. perfectly balanced and so well structured.

Flavour: Certainly packs a lot more acetic punch as opposed to the aroma. Again, tonnes of raspberry albeit a lot more tart and funky. Big presence of lemon and lime juice, mild red wine vinegar but lifted farmyard grains, earthy notes and raspberry sherbet forming late in the piece. Some musty-ness becoming dry and citric in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Mostly tart and effervescent – almost like a sparkling wine. Acidity is moderate with light body. 5% AbV is expectedly hidden but adds to the beers overall session ability.

Overall: Really digging Cantillon at the moment, even though it’s not really the right weather for it! Guess that goes to show the quality in the product. This is just a perfect balance between sweet and sour fruits with that lovely funk/farmyard character at the base. Solid drop.

Modus Operandi ‘Moon Tan’ Stout

Rating:

B3E1E787-DBB3-4662-9B19-D938195EBF10Glass: Served in an English pint

Appearance: Black with a massive 2 finger cloud-like and soapy tan head that leave an enormous lace down the glass as the head settled to about a finger width. Certainly a lot of carbonation here as evident by the head, and not by the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Roasted malts, mild coffee, some soft chocolate, caramels, coconut/nuttiness, and toffee. Got a slight tang to it upon first sniff out of the can which we unsure if it’s hop or just yeast. Almost a lightness to the aroma like it’s hiding.

Flavour: Initial sip is light silky roast and then it intensifies in coffee and chocolate, with again a bit of a tang like there is a sour element to it?? We are wondering if there is a type of souring going on here mixed in with the dry roasting and nutty characteristic of the malts. There is bitterness there, with some booze heat but not overpowering at all. As we sip there is a slight medicinal element very back palate but it disappears quickly so as to not ruin it.

Mouthfeel: Silky and luscious as the can describes is right. It’s moderate in its body and carbonation is mild to moderate at best with a good swig. Alc vol here is 6.8% and hidden very well alongside malts. No IBU stated. Length trails off but elicits a sweet and sour thing which is food for thought. Feels slightly soft for a decent stout.

Overall: Not sure what to think actually. Not a bad beer though. We are trying to get around the mild sour element and understand it. With very little information on the can it leaves you wondering. The can does say “mesmerising”. Love to know the ingredients here. A mystery.

Mikkeller ‘ Beer Geek’ Oatmeal coffee stout

Rating:

5D0B3532-9E77-4A7E-BA96-6F2C937CE265Glass: English pint

Appearance: Black with a mahogany hue at the base held up to the light. A dark tan head forms roughly a finger width at best and then slowly fades leaving just a bubbly rim with lacing already evident. Plenty of carbonation seen sizzling in the glass on close inspection.

Aroma: All the features of a typical coffee stout..espresso, roasted malts, chocolate alongside liquorice, leather, molasses, vegemite yeast, some toffee, and possibly earthy hops. Hard to distinctly observe the hop due to the overall aroma as explained above. It’s very similar to the Founders Breakfast Stout.

Flavour: Initial front palate is espresso coffee, alongside bitterness from dark chocolate, roasted malt caramels, toffee, some dark fruits, raisin, booze. It’s so damn smooth though. Just glides down with a slightly oily or velvety characteristic..obviously the oatmeal showing up here. Backpalate lingers with a slightly fruity and drying element to it. Definite hop involvement here.

Mouthfeel: Mild to moderate carbonation felt around the tonsils. Slightly slick and velvety. Alc vol here of 7.5% makes it very quaffable as the booze is so welll hidden..just feels more like a tingle on the tonsils. No IBU started. Great length of coffee/hop bitterness and a drying out on the palate.

Overall: We recently returned from our USA beer trip and Mikkeller in San Diego was a highlight. We are fairly certain this was the drop that was absolutely marvellous off tap but admittedly we were legless by that time. Maybe not as good out of the bottle but very tasty indeed. Could easily have for breakfast.

Big Shed Brewing ‘Boozy Fruit’ NEIPA

Rating:

6822804B-9BAF-4F4E-A77D-A6A16E27FDE5Glassware: Goblet

Appearance: Pours a dirty dishwater colour with plenty of carbonation seen bubbling away. There is an off white 1 finger head full of compact small carbonation. Retention is excellent..a bit creamy lace that doesn’t budge. Massive wall of lacing seen as the brew is imbibed.

Aroma: Breakfast juice..sweet tropical flavours burst out of the glass with passion fruit, guava, ripe pineapple, alongside citrus orange and pine. Smells reminiscent of a frosty fruit ice block we used to have as kids.

Flavour: My goodness does this have alcohol in it?? It just glides over the palate and down the gullet leaving a decent yet balanced bitterness from the hops. More pine, grapefruit/lime/orange peel citrus and now only can you start to tell there is alcohol in it (6.2%) after a few sips. Slight amount of spice tingling the tonsils. Faint caramels here. The tropical fruit bowl is now subdued but the aroma doesn’t change so it’s nice balance between olfactory and taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body on the palate with mild to moderate length, leaving a restrained bitterness and spice tingle. No IBU stated but either way it blends in perfectly especially the back palate.

Overall: Bloody tasty. This was the GABS 2018 people’s choice winner. At the time we remember it being a standout, or at last top 5. We have had some amazing NEIPAs in our time since the craze began and it’s very good. A worthy purchase.

Six String Brewing ‘Four’ Belgian Tripel

Rating:

266AA8EB-6B10-4682-9388-D63C963281FEGlassware: Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Exceptionally clear deep yellow with a bubbly white head that is already clinging to the glass as it slowly but surely recedes. Ends up a rim of tightly packed small bubbles. Carbonation clearly seen but not excessive.

Aroma: Has a defining lager/Pilsner like nose that when warms up slightly yields honey, subdued caramel sweetness, background Belgian yeast, bread/dough, some banana, bubblegum, pear and crackers. It’s all very light on though. As the brew warms up there is a distinct liquor like floral complexity to it which is rather pleasant.

Flavour: Whoa the Flavour! Just hits you in the face. Big step up from the aroma. A bit of booze (9.5%) laces the palate, alongside sweet caramels, Belgian bread yeast, pear, something musty or earthy like damp soil, some bitterness but it’s low and interwoven with the touch of spicy malt and champagne like drying finish.

Mouthfeel: IBU here is 26. For the alc vol of 9.5% the body is medium and quite drinkable. A decent swish around the mouth elicits booze-like heat, a dryness and yeasty flavoured carbonation. Decent length..keeps on going long after the last sip. Like Debbie does Dallas..so to speak.

Overall: It’s a nice drop (434/860 brewed). Served in a champagne bottle and cool artwork it’s an eye catcher when perusing the vast ocean of good craft beer bottle O’s. Would we buy again? Not really..not a stand out. That’s not to say it’s not enjoyable. This is just a lot of beer in a bottle. Serve among friends.

 

Six String Brewing ‘Mint Condition’ Choc-Mint Milk Stout

Rating:

9CB599D5-267F-4D83-AA67-B091B9AE6074Glassware: English pint

Appearance: Rich dark brown bordering on black but held up to the light exhibits more of the former. Tan head that disappeared almost as quick as the pour. Discrete carbonation seen up the side of the glass.

Aroma: Reminds us of one of the after dinner mints we used to ravenously consume at our favourite childhood restaurant. Certainly an airy or milky aroma filled with chocolate, sweet dark malts that aren’t excessively roasted, obvious mint that is pleasing to the olfactory (almost spearmint?).

Flavour: Very bloody tasty! We get a creamy, lactose hit that has an oat like velvetyness. Tastes more like a light stout or even a porter. The mint leaves a slightly cooling effect on the tongue but it just blends so nicely with the milk chocolate sweetness. The can states cocoa (cacao?) but it’s not overly bitter at all. It’s an alcoholic (Alc vol 7 %) liquid after dinner mint. Booze is so well hidden it’s dangerous.

Mouthfeel: Decadent, rich, creamy, slick…use whatever adjectives you like. It’s so smooth on the palate. Unexpectedly light for a stout..again it’s almost a porter or a light stout. Slightly watery but it doesn’t detract..we are actually glad it’s like this. Carbonation is basically nil like a sessionable ale in a English pub. Lovely cooling mint freshness on the palate that cleanses. Unsure of IBU as it’s not stated.

Overall: Impressive drop. Anyone who loves mint will thoroughly enjoy this. It’s tastes almost exactly as it describes on the can which is an extra tick from us. Melt an after dinner mint and this is it. At 7 % alc vol?!?…wow. One of our favourite Six String drops.

Murray’s Brewing ‘Angry Fred’ IPA

Rating:

53D24FA2-B29F-4B65-8EC9-9C16BC605141Glassware: Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: We see that typical hazy burnt orange with a finger and a half width bubbly yet compact and almost velvety white head that retains brilliantly. Lots of minute carbonation coming from underneath.

Aroma: Plenty of tropical fruit like green mango, white grapefruit and orange citrus, fresh pine, spice and resin. It has single Maris Otter malt which delivers that slightly nutty but ale-like aroma. Slight caramels hanging around there that aren’t overly sweet. Not a lot of booze detected. Quite nice on the olfactory.

Flavour: The citrus hops dominate firstly then combine with more sweetness of the malt as we hit the back palate. The bitterness is nicely blended here and it’s smooth but assertive. Tropical flavours taste slightly less than the aroma but there is that hoppy resin on the palate. Only mild spice now detected. Alcohol volume here of 6% and its about right. Lingering caramels, citrus, and nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: A light to medium body with similar carbonation offers that ale like smashing on a spring day. We unsure of the IBU but we would guess it’s somewhere north of 70? The bitterness lingers on the back palate but doesn’t overpower. Length is mild to moderate. You just keep sipping which ain’t a bad thing.

Overall: We loved the original Fred when it first came out and but we thought the brew had altered slightly so when the Angry Fred came out we were excited. It’s delivered assertive bitterness yet still retaining that piney, citrusy, resiny goodness. As smashable drop and we hope it’s a regular at Murray’s Brewery because we visit it regularly and we could down several.