Ocho Beer ‘Deciduous’ Rye IPA


23795341_775986209252193_110284849508308412_n“Brewed using fresh hops within 24 hours of being harvested from Bushy Park in Tasmania’s south. The Rye IPA base has a rich and toasty malt character, to which the generous hop additions add lifted apricot jam and Seville orange notes. The primary hop is HPA-035, an experimental variety with a spice & citrus character, as well as Ella, a variety which adds stonefruit and floral notes. We added fresh hops at a rate of 30 grams per litre at the end of the boil and allowed them to steep for about an hour before chilling and transferring to the fermenter. Adding the hops so late in the process means we preserve all their wonderful aromatics.”

Served in an IPA glass. Very attractive pour – offers a kind of burnt amber with a reddish copper hue. It constructs a thumb of finely beaded foam which hangs a sheet of lace down the sides of the glass. Looks magnificent!
The nose is brimming with rich and sweet caramel malt, mango, paw paw and peppery rye spices. There’s a good dose of toasty bread and dry spice but the focus really is on this ripe tropical fruit character. Underneath that…a hint of berries, blackcurrant and forest fruits. Lovely depth to the nose.
The flavour is quite intriguing. Starts off sweet with that spicy rye tailing right in behind. The interesting feature we get is an almost sharp juniper berry note along with pine, grapefruit, mixed citrus and a somewhat sappy/jammy sweetness. It finishes dry and mighty bitter with grapefruit and orange peel on the rear.
Moderately bodied and creamy for the most part. Quite an aggressive bitterness develops in the swallow.
We hadn’t heard of this Tassie brewery until we stumbled across them at one of our favourite bottle shops. Interesting name, certainly helps their cause once we link it to a couple of hilarious scenes in the movie Dodge ball. It stands on its own though, looks great, smells even better and it all follows through in flavour. Solid drop here.

Bentspoke Brewing Co ‘Crankshaft’ IPA


23316421_769852663198881_7769223260942911980_n“Crankshaft’s younger sister; Sprocket is a big and hoppy brew with raw, tropical fruit, sniffs and tastes. Sprocket features Mosaic lupulin powder, a new hop product that adds intense tropical fruit flavours, and then kicks in with further hops including Amarillo, Citra & Galaxy.”

Served in an IPA glass. Slightly hazy golden-yellow appearance with a healthy two finger crown nestled on top. Reduction is steady and weaves a patchy lace as it subsides.
The aroma is gorgeous – plenty of uplift from the sweet orange citrus, tangerine, marmalade and tang. Hints of grapefruit, a bit of pine, passion fruit, lychee and stonefruits. We get a crisp, crackery malt structure at the base. A lovely number thus far.
Extremely well balanced flavour profile with the lovely and bright citrus overtones blending with a semi sweet and slightly biscuity malt. Hints of passion fruit, ruby grapefruit, tangerine and citrus rind in support then subtle pine and more grapefruit bitterness in the nicely drawn out finish.
Super smooth mouth feel. Light, crisp and effortless in the swallow. 50 IBU and 7% ABV – both remarkably well concealed. Mild-moderate body.
Very well constructed IPA here folks. Full flavoured and gutsy yet so well tempered. It’s Bentspoke’s third release in the can but we know there is so much more firepower in that arsenal of theirs! We’ll just patiently hold out for their cluster series to be released. Until then, this is a superb IPA to put back.

Mayday Hills ‘Marmalade IPA’


imageThis beer is a collaboration between jim jam foods who make marmalade, and Mayday Hills – who are actually Bridge Rd Brewers but their farmhouse project. Great idea. Here, 100% Brettanomyces were fermented in the oak Foeder before being emptied onto fresh marmalade. Yum.

Poured into a shaker glass we see a cloudy burnt orange colour with tightly packed off -white 15mm head that doesn’t budge. Beautiful retention. Small carbonation seen rising and contributing to the overall aesthetics. Aroma is marmalade, fresh citrus hop, Brettanomyces yeast that reminds us of a Belgian, banana, pear, slight caramels and booze. Flavour is big and bold. Decent bitterness mixes with farmhouse/Belgian yeast that leaves a funk on the palate. Citrus hop and the fresh marmalade interweaves leaving a sweet malt hit, like candy sugars. Carbonation is low on the palate allowing for a decent gulp. Body is moderate. Good length of bitterness and slight booze. We note here 7.5% Alc vol and we certainly feel it but it’s not a major player here which is great. We note small irregular patches of lacing down the glass. As this beer warms a smoothness dominates, just leaving really Belgian like flavours, funk, citrus and a bit of booze. The marmalade jam slightly hides behind this which is a bit of a shame but overall it does its job. It’s definitely not a grapefruit sculpin-like jam hit though. Interesting brew and we like the creativity.

Mornington Peninsula/Bucket Boys Extra Pale Ale


imageThere is a bunch of rambling jibberish on the side of the can about X this and XX that. Basically from what we can gather it’s an obvious collaboration between the above, and this is a pale ale..with some extra.

Poured into a shaker glass we see a cloudy straw/dark yellow brew that’s teeming with carbonation. There is a nice big 15mm cloudy white head that retains beautifully and basically doesn’t budge. It almost looks over carbonated but we can’t see a date anywhere. Aromas of cereal malts, bready dough/yeast, light caramels, citrus like lemon and some pine. Faint tropical notes here also. The flavour is tasty. It’s smooth on the palate, with decent bitterness for a pale ale. Nic drying effect. Carbonation sizzles away on the tongue. We get more flavours of citrus, grape/wine like hops now coming through, with more doughy yeast, and some pine. Good length on the palate. Body is medium and very do-able. We note Alc vol of 5.6% and it certainly is much stronger than say a Balter XPA. We note plenty of lacing down the glass. We get right at the end a bit of spice on the tonsils. Overall this is a tasty drop. We get a mixture of classic pine/citrus and American style mild tropical hops mixed with almost sauvin hops. We take umbrage though with this XPA category. Where does it end? Is it simply a stronger brewed pale ale or a lighter IPA. Anyhoo, tasty and refreshing.

3 Ravens Juicy IPA


imageThis NEIPA features protein rich triticale and oats, fruity yeast and a cult lineup of postmodern hop varieties added judiciously for palate-coating breakfast juice vibes.

As the label says, it pours a hazy straw colour with plenty of small carbonation sizzling away. There is a thin head that fades quick leaving just hazy beer with a rim of white. Certainly smells fruity like tropical juice for breaky. Orange Citrus and sweet malts, some pine on the nose. First sip sings a different tune. More bitterness on the palate, more grapefruit and some lemon/lime, pine, alongside light cereal like malts/caramel. The bitterness has a nice lingering presence. Carbonation initially sizzles then dies off nicely. Body is medium and the denseness must be from oats and triticale. It’s thicker than you would imagine, almost velvety but not quite. The Alc vol here is 6% and very little is detected as the bitterness and the slight sizzle on the tonsils dominates. Midway through the glass, there is almost a film that develops on the gums that you find your tongue removing. Patchy lacing down the sides of the glass by now. As we round out the bottom of the glass, basically the same flavours dominate at the start. Grapefruit, pine, cereal malts, with milder spice notes and orange. Overall it’s pleasant and a nice drop. Nothing amazing but drinkable that’s for sure.

Buxton Brewery Guatemalan Coffee Extra Porter


23167642_768031066714374_7755092353853996744_n“This edition of Buxton’s Extra Porter features Guatemalan coffee beans roasted at Has Bean Roastery in addition to the usual charge of cacao nibs and vanilla.”

Served in an English pint. Just about impenetrable black in appearance with a thumb of brown foam perched on top. Head retention is good, leaving a smattering of lace as it subsides.
It’s simply awesome how two things are just meant for each other – peas and a pod, man and woman, bacon and eggs, coffee and dark beer! This hedonistic fusion is nothing new bit it ever fails in providing pure satisfaction. We get raw coffee bean, vanilla, cacao, chocolate, coconut, brown sugar and hint of nutty malt and it’s enough to take us to pleasure town! Simple but magnificent aroma.
Wow. The coffee is no longer playing around once it hits the taste buds. It’s raw, bitter and bold as hints of short black, burnt chocolate, roasted malt and a dry woody tone comes forth. The intensity is upheld really well, just allowing a hint of vanilla and roasted coconut to counteract the bitterness. Nice and roasty finish – dry, bitter and assertive with a lingering espresso note in the tail.
She’s creamy in texture but also quite bitter and a little prickly. Just a touch of warmth from the 7.4% ABV. Medium body and co2.
That’s a damn fine drop. We highly recommend to anyone who loves dark beer and coffee. It’s rich, bitter and roasty but well balanced by the subtle vanilla and coconut. Brawny, boozy and not for the faint hearted that’s for sure. Delicious!

Cupitt’s Belgian Dark Strong Ale


23244060_768030066714474_4809796368563128603_n“A dark, decadent and complex Belgian Ale displaying caramel, burnt toffee, plums and spice. A beer to savour.”

Served in a Trappist tulip. This seasonal release offers a light burgundy hue which is capped by a wispy overlay. The head quickly forms a ring but still manages to deposit a wavy lace down the sides of the glass.
Certainly isn’t trying to hide the booze here. Even with the glass resting on the table we can still pick up astringent notes of alcohol and hints of ethanol. Once it’s up close it’s a lot better (thank god!) those estery accents such as pear, rosewater, bubblegum, apple pie, clove and banana runts waft out. Very rich and sweet malt at the base, filling out with toffee, caramel and plum jam. It’s a basic Belgian make-up but quite nice all the same.
Flavour-wise we’d put it somewhere between a dubbel and a tripel. There’s some sweet dark fruit character here but also a somewhat dry and slightly sharp spicy/phenolic yeast note to it. The strong presence of booze carries in to the flavour profile while the finish is sweet, a little spicy and a little toasty.
The texture is dry, warming and well rounded. The 9.1% ABV is bold and quite strident. 30 IBU, medium bodied and mildly carbonated.
Can’t say we’re totally thrilled by it. While there are some good Belgian aspects we still feel that it’s a bit muddled and a bit underwhelming. Middle of the road representation of the style to be quite honest.

Cupitt’s India Black Ale


22851698_765032927014188_6241533746304581756_n“Loads of new world hops are combined with roasted malts to create a blend of pine, citrus, dark chocolate and coffee; finishing with a clean, refreshing bitterness that has you coming back for more.”

Served in an IPA glass. We cast our eyes over a dark cola-like colour and a healthy two finger head that holds together really well. Reduction is minimal and the tight, webbed lacing looks awesome as it ebbs.
Pow! The olfactory’s are bombarded with anabsolutely magnificent set of roasted and hoppy aromas. The malts offer a rich, dark and heavily roasted profile packed full of espresso coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, cheap leather and tobacco while the hops offer a herbal tea leaf character, pine, citrus, aniseed and hints of passion fruit. Maybe a subtle suggestion of mixed dark berries in here too. Brilliant.
The flavour backs up the aroma with this incredible blend of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts that work in to a leafy, herbaceous and citrusy hop profile. Some short and sharp jabs of booze (7%) are absorbed by the piney hops as hints of treacle and burnt toast roll in to a dry, bitter and roasty finish.
The texture is frothy, dry and slightly sharp at times. Medium in weight and bolstered by an assertive 70 IBU.
Without a doubt this is the best beer we’ve tried from Cupitt so far. Right from outset it was forthcoming and aggressive but measured and well balanced. A fine drop that’s for sure.

Brooklyn Brewery 2012 ‘Monster Ale’ Barleywine


22815539_765032450347569_3237719762857128468_n“Brooklyn Monster Ale is a classic barley wine, a style of ale originally brewed by the butlers to the English and American aristocracy. It is brewed from three mashes of heirloom British malt and spiced with aromatic American Willamette, Cascade and Fuggle hops. After four months of aging, it has a magnificent burnished copper color, an aroma redolent of sherry, citrusy hops and fruit, a soft, warming, complex palate, a spiritous finish, and a strength of 10.3%. It is vivacious when young, but will age gracefully for many years, becoming more complex over time.”

Served in a snifter. She pours a somewhat rusted bronze/chestnut hue with a wispy cap forming on top. It reduced back to the edges with little signs of lace as we indulge.
The nose is oh-so-rich. Driven mainly by the super sweet dark fruits like raisin, dates, fig and apricot. Toffee, caramel and butterscotch also hold a big presence. Lots of residual sugars, nutty malts, booze (rum, Sherry and port), stewed oranges and an undertone of vanilla. It’s interesting as we keep getting flashes of imperial IPA characters so the hops, although dank, are still well alive after five years.
Very complex in flavour. It’s rich and boozy with this big impression of burnt orange and brandy. The 10.1% ABV definitely isn’t shying away. A somewhat sharp and plummy note develops with a subtle tip of the hat to dried dark fruits and treacle. Sharp, bitey and dry as it rounds out the finish with incredible length.
The texture is dense and chewy but also rather dry and warming. Full bodied and the co2 is kept to a minimum.
We pulled this out of the cellar after holding on to it for about a year and a half. Of course it already had about 4 years on it and it’s still drinking with a bit of immaturity. It will be very interesting to see whether it has improved with another couple of years on it.

Capital Brewing ‘Coast Ale’ California Common



Served in a shaker. Relatively clear golden appearance. The pour yields a short white cap which peels back to a thin film with some sparse lace clinging to the glass.
We’re getting a nice fusion of grainy and semi sweet malts with a with a hint of zesty orange citrus. Something sweet and candied in there….maybe marmalade? Picking up a soft spice, apple, paw paw or rockmelon, corn flakes and hay. A little floral bouquet in there too. A nice assortment of aromas here.
The flavour profile is subtle but certainly not short on character. Somewhat typical lager notes on entry – dry, grainy, a touch of earthy hops with some adjunct fruits and spice. The grainy and straw-like malts carry it through in to a mild finish which offers hints of green apple and citrus on the rear.
The texture is super light, clean and crisp. Mild-moderate body with good lift from the co2. Veeerrrryyy pound-able.
We’ve been pretty impressed by this breweries range so far. And although the wow factor is limited with this style they’ve still managed to make it interesting, tasty and ultra sessional. Another decent offering from the Capital boys.

Cupitt’s BA Russian Imperial Stout


22730173_763821070468707_3851724669412759526_n“A rich and indulgent Stout with dominant dark chocolate and coffee flavours. 12 months of maturation in Shiraz barrels adds layers of complexity that will continue to develop in the bottle. Dangerously drinkable.”

Served in a snifter. As predicted this R.I.S pours as black as the night sky with a dense and foamy two finger mound. It holds its shape extremely well and weaves a very healthy lace as it ebbs.
The aroma is bursting at the seems with dark and heavily roasted malts, ash, singed wood, Vegemite, molasses and leather with hints of vanilla and coffee. There’s quite a firm creamy sweetness pushing through too….not so much in lactose or milk sugars but it’s more like marzipan in its delivery. Little hints of cocoa here and there. Very nice aroma indeed.
Flavour wise it’s not as forthcoming as it is on the nose. It’s slightly unrefined and a little bitter upfront but it does mellow out in to a much more creamy and roasty mid palate. Those subtle coffee notes begin to come through late as does the ash and light woody tones. A bit of that bitterness creeps in again as it finishes dry and toasty with coffee and bitter chocolate on the back end.
It’s sharp, dry and slightly unbalanced in the mouth. Quite boozy as well (8% ABV). Mild co2 with medium-full body.
Is it a decent R.I.S? Yes. Is it memorable? Not so much. The 12 months in barrels hasn’t done a great deal to it which is a bit of a shame. There are some really good elements but it just seems to fall short of the line. It’s good without being great.

Dainton Family Brewery Rum-Soaked Raisin Belgian Quadrupel


22814322_763820613802086_9078733086737528349_n“Fermentologist Cam returned from a Belgian sojourn with a ‘beer full of mind and a mind beer of thought’….? Behold his exotic creation! Delicate caramel characteristics dance with dark fruit in a lusciously styled brew. Rum-soaked raisins give subtle complexity to deliver an exquisitely enticing elixer.”

Served in a Trappist tulip. She pours that attractive deep mahogany hue with two fingers of well retained head perched on top. It only peels off a smidge which allows a thick and soapy lace to be strewn down the walls of the glass.
The aroma is super sweet but not cloying. The hallmark quad scents of raisin, dates, banana, clove and toffee are all present but there’s a touch of something spiced and caramelised. It has to be the rum component which works in beautifully. It’s certainly showing its ABV (11.2%) but with everything that’s already going on it just simply falls into line. Superb aroma.
Holy moly! A torrent of sweet, sticky and spicy flavours are let loose on the palate. Lots of dark spiced rum, toasty sugars, boozy Christmas cake, banana bread and plum jam make up the body of it. Quite a hefty booze burn is felt throughout, although not as prominent in the finish where we get a dry sweetness and hints of spice on a length.
The texture is sticky and dense but it’s very well balanced by a mild dryness and the brawny 11.2% ABV. Full bodied, mild-moderate co2 and just….full on.
Bloody impressive quad. As most would know, this is a very difficult style to brew but Dainton have hit the nail on the head. The injection of rum is genius, it works in so well with the sticky, sweet and spicy characters of the quad. Could have either masked or scaled back on the booze a touch but that aside…ooph. Top shelf drop.

Bacchus Brewing Co ‘Mini Fruits’ NE Pale Ale


22730239_763820350468779_7790004537971138194_n “The New England style of pale ale is brewed with low bitterness but still uses a huge amount of hops. Varieties used are added late in the brewing process to promote a tropical, juicy sweetness with out bitterness. The beers are generally hazy from proteins & yeast accentuating the full & creamy mouth feel.”

Served in a shaker. We kept most of the settled yeast in the bottle so this NE pale ale pours a reasonably clear amber colour with a big and fizzy three finger head. It settles to a fine overlay that laced well.
We’re getting a lovely blend of tropical and citrus fruits on the nose – kind of has this fruit salad quality to it. Lots of passion fruit, pineapple and orange with subtle piney notes cutting through. Just a light pale malt at the base that adds a bit of balance.
It hits the taste buds like a good IPA would….fruit-forward, punchy and citric bitter which mellows a little and reveals the subtle grainy malt. This grapefruit acidity carries through the mid and rolls in to a piney and somewhat citrusy finish that unveils a hint of that warming 6.1% ABV in the tail.
Well rounded and pleasant in the mouth. The bitterness is well behaved and the co2 is nice and lively. Mild-medium body.
It wasn’t until we popped the cap that we realised it was a New England pale ale, as opposed to its hugely popular bigger brother (NEIPA). Thing is it drinks with just as much vigour anyway! Very tidy. Another solid offering from Bacchus.

Omnipollo/Buxton Original Rocky Road Ice Cream Porter


22780220_762307777286703_6731028465124056034_n“Part of Omnipollo/Buxton Original Ice Cream Series that took off in 2014. This is a pecan caramel Porter brewed with caramel sauce, vanilla and lactose. Delicious.”

Served in a snifter. Pitch black appearance. The pour stirs up a short brown head that gradually dispersed. It settles to a ring which still manages to deposit a healthy lace as we imbibe.
Really getting those marshmallow and chocolate notes punching through. Picking up a strong scent of peanuts with undertones of coconut and subtle cherry as well. Plenty of vanilla and caramel sweetness, assorted nuts and molasses to tie it all together. Hitting that rocky road note nicely.
Flavour wise….we’re not so sure. All of those true marshmallow, cherry and chocolate aromas seem to take on a more artificial and slightly cloying flavour profile. The booze (10%) is injected with ferocity which unfortunately further supports the artificial character. We also get a slightly salty note too….which is a little weird. Nice finish though, good amount of roast, bitterness and sweetness.
Quite a dense and rich feel in the mouth, low co2, medium-full body and well warming. Certainly isn’t as accommodating as the Noa or pecan pie.
Yeah we’re not completely sold. The rocky road qualities come through well on the nose but not so much in flavour. It’s a bit boozy as well but it’s an imperial so that can be excused. Considering the quality of the rest of the ice cream range this one doesn’t really compare. Probably more on the same level as the ice cream pale ale. Good but not great.

Cupitt’s Whey Porter


22554812_762305630620251_4936549119854632730_n“A full bodied Porter brewed using lactose rich Whey from Cupitt’s Fromagerie. The palate is smooth and creamy, with nice roasted flavours and a sweet, milk chocolate finish.”

Served in a beer tulip. Pours quite a dark cola hue with a fizzy two finger head that collapsed to a ring almost immediately. Lacing is scarce and spotty as we imbibe.
Very sweet and creamy initially, definitely getting the lactose, vanilla and whey characters leading out. There is a good balance being struck here though, picking up a firm roast, dark chocolate and coffee with a kind of syrupy caramel and or toffee undertone. Really liking this subtle but aromatic fusion of sweet milk sugars and dark roasted malts. Lovely aroma.
There’s a nice transition on to the palate. All of those sweet and creamy milk sugars, vanilla and whey characters are offset by the dark, lightly roasted malts which offer a delicious blend of coffee, chocolate, caramel and cocoa….almost has this chocolate milkshake quality to it. The booze is low (4.2%) which further supports that impression.
The texture is light and slightly fizzy with medium-high carbonation. Mild-moderate body, slightly short in length.
This brewery has only been in operation for a short time, more widely known as a winery, a fromagerie and a great place for food even before the word brewery is mentioned. They must be super busy because if they can also pump out a delicious range of beers then they literally have all bases covered! Kudos Cupitts.

Lost Coast Brewery ‘Fogcutter’ Double IPA


22554752_762305143953633_7930084252613813275_n“Buckle up, buckaroo – you’re about to go on a wild, hoppy ride. The Fogcutter is our first true double IPA, and it’s quite the work of art. Yeah, it’s bitter, but it’s supposed to be. And the variety of malt flavors and aroma help balance it all out, as any good DIPA deserves. The bright, citrusy nose is born from the extra dry-hop from Cascade, Centennial, Crystal, Chinook, and Citra hops.”

Served in an IPA glass. It hits the glass with a hazy amber orange hue. It forms a thumb of white foam over the top which peels back to a thin sheet but still works a magnificent lace pattern down the sides of the glass.
The nose is super sweet, super fruity and floral with a strong showing of candied orange, sherbet, Cointreau, pine resins, passion fruit and tangerine. Some tropical notes in here too – lychee, pineapple and guava. Quite a firm herbal aspect in here too: tea leaf, grassy hop and maybe a hint of lemongrass. Nice range.
The flavour hits that American IPA note with pin point precision. Big grapefruit kick upfront followed up by a fusion of orange blossom, candy and pulp. Pine resins, white pepper, subtle caramel malt and a hefty hop bitterness is in support. Nice carry though the mid rolling in to an ultra dry finish with grassy notes, a pinch of spice and some warming alcohol in the tail.
Slick but ultimately dry and astringent in the mouth. The 80 IBU is well represented. Medium co2 with a discernible 8.7% ABV.
Gotta love a traditional American west coast IPA don’t you! This beer isn’t bringing anything new to the table, it just has the basics dialled in – big fruity aromas, bitterness, citrus, tonnes of hops and a bit of booze to seal the deal.

Two Birds Brewing ‘Knock On Wood’ BA Belgian Blonde


22780291_762304763953671_1660180611813551713_n“This Limited Release beer was brewed in honour of the Two Birds 6th Anniversary, traditionally marked with the gift of wood. For the occasion, a Belgian Blonde Ale was aged in French Oak barrels, previously used to age wine. Knock on Wood is peachy, spicy and complex with vanilla oak notes and a touch of funk. Perfect for celebrating special moments and days worth a cheers.”

 Served in a Trappist tulip. Crystal clear and amber in appearance. The pour arouses a puffy two finger head that steadily recedes and settles to a dense film. Seeing some soapy lace work as it ebbs.
The aroma opens with a strong floral note, candi sugar, heady spices, musty oak, vanilla and a light citric funk. It offers quite the vinous character too – like a blend of young chardonnay and champagne…surely due to the time spent on French oak barrels. Plenty of fruity esters, yeasty phenol and saison-like funk here. Not bad.
Interesting flavour profile. It follows the nose in terms of citric sourness, esters and oak but there’s a certain earthy and or woody accent that wasn’t as easily detectable in aroma. Good impressions of stonefruit sweetness – white peach, nectarine. Subtle and semi sweet malt structure with a light, funky finish which provides hints of spice and woody oak tannins on the rear.
The texture is quite light on, approachable and balanced with a very vibrant co2. 7.1% ABV is well concealed and the sour qualities are nice and mild.
Not too shabby for a couple of birds (pun intended) from west Melbourne! Certainly isn’t short on character. Some extra complexity thrown in from the barrel aging process as well. Solid offering.

New England Brewing co ‘Minutemen’ IPA


imageMinutemen is a hazy NEIPA bursting with fresh squeezed hop goodness. You will get a thick hit of pineapple and orange juice thanks to a massive dry hopping of Citra and El Dorado hops. The finish is a smooth and creamy fruit punch.

Poured into a token Father’s Day goblet, we see a hazy dirty dishwater with an off white tightly packed creamy head with retains well leaving soapy residue on the glass. Can see plenty of CO2 bubbling away here. Initial aromas of juicy fruits like pineapple, orange, resiny pine, spice, and caramels. We could sniff this all day. First sip is interesting. It’s light bodied on the palate. Almost airy. The flavour profile is less than the nose, leaving a spice or tingle on the tongue and back palate. Nice and smooth though. Bitterness is restrained. Carbonation is low allowing for a decent mouthfeel. We get fruity flavours of citrus no doubt alongside caramel malts, resin, pine, doughy yeast but the overall package just glides down the gullet leaving you wanting another. We note an IBU of 50 and its impressive because it’s wrapped up nicely with the mid range malts and Alc vol of 6.5% which is almost imperceptible. Huge wall of lacing here on the glass. We note clumps of sediment on the bottom of the glass like glue. We are massive fans of IPAs and this is certainly a nice drop. Classic NEIPA style..fruity nose and restrained bitterness.

Deschutes Brewery ‘Not The Stoic’ Belgian Quadrupel


22279595_757034764480671_881489524923112817_n“Aged and sequestered in select oak casks. The result – a contemplatively brewed quad created in homage to all those who doubted the original. This unrepentant rendition is definitively Not The Stoic. (Released April 2014).”

Served in a snifter. It hits the glass with a deep and murky brown hue which forms a finger of tanned foam on top. The head falls away and settles to a thin veil. Despite the diminishing head it still paints a nice wavy lace as we imbibe.
The nose offers a lot of residual sweetness – a lot like a barleywine only more complex due to the Belgian aspect. It’s teeming with brown sugar, alcohol, banana bread, clove, raisin, cherry, red grapes and black pepper. Also getting a lot of caramel and toffee, butterscotch and molasses. Brilliant.
Oh wow that syrupy sweetness really comes on strong. Plenty of assistance from the booze here but nevertheless those sugary and super sweet dark fruits like raisin, fig, plum and cherry fuse with the banana and spicy rye notes beautifully. Seeing a bit of dryness around the mid palate as it surges in to a sweet finish which offers apple, plum and subtle caramel on a length.
Sticky, chewy and gelatinous in the mouth. Medium-full body, mild-moderate co2. 12% ABV.
Quadrupel or barleywine? That is the question. We could literally cut down the centre of the two styles here although the slightly stronger Belgian yeast component maybe just inches forward in the end. All of that aside it’s still a really good drop that deserves respect.

8 Wired 2015 Grand Cru – Pinot Noir Barrel Aged Sour


22281691_757034254480722_5368377065850443332_n“Aged on currants and cascara with brettanomyces and pediococcus in Pinot Noir barrels. Then blended into a red wine foedre for further ageing..”

Served in a tulip. This attractive little number boasts a crimson red body and a short tan head. Retention is poor as it rapidly reduced to a ring with spotty lace following it down.
The aroma is super complex. There’s certainly no lack of woody oak and vinous tannins. Quite earthy, spicy and tart with plums, cherries and pomegranate making a distinct appearance. The sourness is bold but bearable, taking on a somewhat sour apple and slightly acetic approach. Some faint hints of aniseed, barnyard, alcohol and musty cellar room to further complicate things! Quite nice actually.
The flavour profile is similar to the aroma but with a more pronounced sourness. The strong oak, vinous tannins, the slightly tart plum, pomegranate and cherry…all here along with a lifted booze and spice character. Our main concern would be that it gets a bit too vinegary by the end but then again in light of this the subtle earthy note does take a bit of the edge off.
The texture is sharp, tangy and acidic with pretty good co2 considering the two years spent in the bottle. Medium body.
Yeah we can’t say that we’re blown away but there is definitely some potential here. We’ve locked a couple more of these away so here’s hoping a few more years will be kind to this slightly unrefined ale. Good but not great.