“Düsseldorf Altbier style. ‘Alt’ means ‘old’ in German but in this case does not refer to an aged beer, it simply reflects that in Germany, ale brewing is considered the old way of fermenting as opposed to lager beers which are (relatively) newer. Big on flavour yet retaining the drinkability of a session ale as it the way of the brewpubs and beer taverns in Duesseldorf.Like it’s ‘hybrid’ cousin the Koelschbier (German Ale), the extra fruitiness created by the use of warmer temperatures during primary fermentation customary for an ale is smoothed out an extended cold conditioning similar to a lager.”
Glassware: English Pint.
Appearance: Deep amber with candy red highlights. Only manages a short head which quickly peels back to the rim. Laced reasonably well considering the lack of retention.
Aroma: Very traditional Amber Ale here – kinda earthy, gritty and a little yeasty but still dominated by the gorgeous toffee, burnt caramel, fig, mixed nuts, toasty malt and baker’s chocolate. Some tart dark berries and fruits i.e cherry and plum also coming through. Subtle straw and wheat grains as well. Good depth and complexity.
Flavour: Nice transition from the nose. That same gritty earthy-ness offsets all the sweet malt characters perfectly. Some classic German yeast esters peeking through with the doughy/toasty malts coming out the other side and delivering a slightly dry and earthy finish with delicate dark fruits on the rear.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and a little creamy. Nice frothy Co2, medium body. 4.7% ABV spot on for the style.
Overall: It’s always good to break the cycle of edgy new world beers with a traditional old favourite. If there’s any Aussie brewery (apart from Jindy Brewing) that can brew a German beer as good as the Germans it’s Zierholz. Solid.
“Woolshed Brewery AAAMber Ale has been named after the AAAM brand which is given only to the finest Merino wool once a sheep is shorn. So, having selected what Woodshed believe to be the best Australian hops, and combine this with the rain water collected from a sheep shearing shed roof, the brewers at Woolshed figured that it’d be an appropriate name for their Australian amber ale.”
Glassware: English Pint.
Appearance: Deep amber with faint strawberry highlights. It constructs a big and rocky three finger head and takes an age to reduce. Not a great deal sticking to the glass though.
Aroma: Not your typical Amber Ale aroma’s for one. It has this weird earthy-ness which we can’t get past. Also picking up old floral hops and a slight chemical-like note. Yikes! Bad start. Tried to find a bottling date but to no avail. This is why cans are so much better!
Flavour: Slightly over carbonated. Very little in the way of flavour initially but some semi sweet malts bring out hints of nutty toffee, honey and very subtle maple. The hops don’t do it any justice…they have this earthy and floral character that kind of clashes with the malt sweetness. The finish is just dirty and earthy.
Mouthfeel: As touched on before it’s slightly over carbonated. Somewhat thin with little body. The 5.4% ABV is well hidden but then again it is only 5.4%.
Overall: We’re thinking this is either really old or it’s infected. It just doesn’t smell or taste right. The over carbonation points to age and poor storage. We won’t name the bottle shop but we’re certainly a little peeved.
“A sturdy but sprightly malt base provides a firm foundation for fresh fruit and spice notes to show off a little.”
Glassware: English Pint.
Appearance: deep amber with two fingers of fluffy foam atop. Good retention and healthy lace clinging to the glass as we go.
Aroma: Tantalisingly sweet and caramelised…yet well balanced we must add. Tonnes of nutty malt, caramel, toffee, butterscotch and honey with hints of lemon, pine needle, dark fruits i.e raisin, fig, dates and earthy spice. Some mild herbaceous notes coming through as well. All Inn all (pun intended) a very pleasant aroma.
Flavour: Very similar to the nose but with a slightly more lifted hop profile and bitterness. Delicious waves of caramelised malt suggests toffee, caramel and butterscotch which meet with a slightly piney and citrusy middle. Delightfully nutty and toasty malts pick up and move in to well balanced finish of caramelised malt, piney hops and moderate dryness.
Mouthfeel: So well balanced…like a beer on a barrel. Mild stickiness, medium body and Co2. 4.7% ABV. Absolutely in session territory here.
Overall: We haven’t graced our palates with an All Inn beer since we visited the brewery all those years ago. This is quite a good amber ale – sweet, nutty, well balanced. Definitely doing all the right things. Solid drop.
“This American style amber ale is crammed full of a propriety blend of American hops called Falconers Flight. The aroma and flavour is an explosion of tropical fruit and citrus. The rich malt backbone balances the hop intensity perfectly.”
Served in an English pint. Pouring a relatively clear crimson hue that dons a thumb of loosely packed bubble over the top. The head is retained quite well as it works a webbed lace pattern down the walls of the glass.
That nose is oh so sweet! Don’t know how he does it but Ross (head brewer) somehow brews beer that we just want to indulge in. This moreish sweetness that is leaping out of the glass is a blend of butterscotch, caramelized malt, toffee and golden syrup. Yep, you could literally pour this over your pancakes! We like how the feature hop (Falconers Flight) is used wisely with its subtle tropical fruit characters peeking through to balance out the malts.
The American character represents with its moderate hop bitterness. The texture is creamy with medium body. Slightly lifted Co2.
Definitely a much more balanced flavour profile. We get that caramelized malty sweetness coming though with this fruity and somewhat dry line of bitterness from the hops. It’s a little obscure but there is a faint hint of grapefruit that reveals itself midway. There’s a bit of a tussle between the hops and malts as it eventually finishes on a dry bitterness with a hint of nutty malt in the tail.
Definitely hitting its mark as it displays this kind of amber IPA character to it. We hate to admit this but as we’ve grown accustomed to such a high level of quality from Bacchus that when we come across a beer that doesn’t completely blow us away we get a bit complacent. It’s actually not a bad beer, it’s just no snickers ale, barosski or PBJT. Not bad.
“Darker doesn’t always mean stronger. Amber beers usually carry a maltiness that you don’t find with paler styles. The malt character can range from a light caramel to full on rich toffee and toast. Our Hoppy Amber is verging on an IPA, but there is punchy malty body that pushed us to call it an Amber. It has a wonderful fruit, pine and spice balance that develops on the palate. It has a firm bitterness, but the caramel sweetness rounds it out to ensure your senses aren’t overwhelmed.”
Served in an English pint. Rusted amber complexion that reveals a candy red hue when held to the light. A thumb of loosely packed bubble forms the crown before it reduces to a film with some patchy lace working its way down.
We remember this beer as the pick of the range when we visited the brewery last year and it’s great to see it hasn’t changed. It still has all of those superb red IPA qualities with its gorgeous caramel malt base providing the formwork for the fruity hops to work off of. Everything from sticky toffee, caramel and butterscotch to pine, grassy hops and passion fruit. Picking up a subtle hint of toasty malt in here too. Excellent aroma.
Lovely balance of smooth malts and bitter hops on the tongue. Just the right amount of carbonation with a little tickle from the 6.5% ABV around the edges. Medium body. 50 IBU.
Again, balance is the key in flavour. Sweet and somewhat chewy caramels wash over the front palate. All the while that subtle bitterness plays 2nd fiddle until it comes alive in the mid bringing with it fruity and piney notes that reach well in to the long and dry finish. Good length as this tussle between the pine/herbal hops and the sweet toasty malts duke it out on the back end.
It’s actually really hard to fault this beer. The balance is spot on, the ABV gives it a boost and the delicate toasty note adds that extra complexity. Really classy drop from this brewery.
“This beer was originally created for the Bacchus B20 beer fest. 20 “one off” unique beers, each brewed to represent a country/leader at the G20. USA – peanut butter jelly time popularized by the Family Guy. This is a peanut butter and jelly Amber Ale.”
Served in an English pint. She pours an attractive amber hue with excellent clarity. The short head slowly reduces to a film that struggles to leave a foot print on the glass as it ebbs.
Once again the willy wonka of the beer world has produced an absolutely stunning aroma that oozes decadent and moreish sweetness. This is the most impressive part though, of all the dessert beers we’ve reviewed from Bacchus (and there’s been quite a few) not one has been cloying or unbalanced. They all hit their mark perfectly as this one does with jelly, peanut butter, coconut flakes, raspberries, milk chocolate and vanilla. God, take us now!
The mouth feel is spot on. Just enough weight from the body with a smooth and sleek texture. Nice vibrant Co2 provides that vital uplift in the mouth. Brilliant.
We’ve never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but if this is what they taste like then damn! We can see why they’re so popular. Big hit of sugary jelly upfront followed by a soft peanut butter creaminess. What could best be described as a very subtle salinity gets washed over by super sweet malts, crystallized sugars and marshmallow in the finish.
Phenomenal stuff. It’s that kind of beer you wish would never end. The aromas and flavors are so delicious that words almost don’t do it justice. You’ve just got to try it to understa
“Fire Within is characterised by a rich copper colour and caramel sweetness, balanced with the floral and citrus flavours from a healthy dose of classic American hops. The result is a rich smooth brew that will ignite the taste buds. ”
Served in an English pint. The attractive copper appearance is topped off with a finger of off white foam that actually holds together pretty well. A healthy lace is strewn down the glass as we imbibe.
The nose is one of the best we’ve smelt from an amber ale in a long time. Akasha are known for their hop-forward and American inspired beers, which this also is, but for us it’s the big, sweet and toasty malts the are winning us over. Caramel, toffee, earthy figs, maple syrup and nuts come through with a piney and slightly resinous hop profile in support. The two together actually have a black IPA-like complexity to it. Excellent stuff.
The texture of the beer is much more willing to reveal the hops than the nose. The 45 IBU provides an assertive hop bite while the moderate Co2 adds the active bubbles. Nicely centred body. Drinks well.
Good continuation from the nose. Toasty malts dominate upfront with toffee, earthy notes and eventually a dank sweetness that bridges on to a piney and resinous mid palate. Another tussle between the two plays out as it finishes with a bitter dryness and a toasty, almost nutty character on the back end.
This amber ale is a good example of why Akasha just keep going from strength to strength. It has everything here! The robust malt base, the dank and resinous hops, a lifted ABV (5.8% ABV) and an overall balance that makes this one solid quaffer. A classy drop.
“Brewed initially to represent Italy at our B20 beer fest this racy little amber beer is a luxurious flavour mix of milk chocolate and hazelnuts.”
Served in a beer tulip. This addition to Bacchus’s stellar range pours a light burgundy hue with a short, frothy cap forming on top. It eventually collapses to a collar with minimal lace left in its wake.
We once saw a reviewer sum Bacchus up as the “willy wonka of the craft beer world”. We thought this was absolutely spot on because if you, like us, have tried many of their beers you’d know that they have turned the most delicious sweets into beer….with delicious perfection! This one is no different, with its subtle similarity to the peanut brittle gose this moreish and devilishly sweet concoction of milk chocolate, nuts, nougat, caramel, nutella and kit kats is enough to send our sweet tooth in to overdrive! Amazing.
She offers a vibrant texture with an active Co2 level along with a silky smooth mouth feel. The 7% ABV is extremely well buried. Roughly medium in body. A real pleasure to drink.
The palate is treated to a big impression of melted caramel, nutella, milk chocolate and chocolate wafers. Not so much the flavour of a Ferrero Rocher (although it is here) more the blissful, eye-closing indulgence this beer is providing is enough to make us want to buy 12 more!
Man that is dangerously addictive. What’s even better is that for all of its decadence it’s not at all cloying. The extreme sweetness is so brilliantly balanced that we just want to eat it. Forget dessert, from now on just buy one of these. Outstanding stuff.
We have a special affinity for the goat army since we first tasted the hightale ale back in 1999. This brew is the bigger, maltier, hoppier brother of the hightale. We like the informative label also, a feature of the In Breed series of beers of late.
Poured into a pint glass to extract the full goodness from this 740ml bottle, we see a lovely deep Amber body. There is a good 10mm off white head of compact little bubbles which retains beautifully. Nice amount of carbonation in the glass too. First whiff is Marmalade jam, citrus and sweet malt. Reminds us of a Ballast a Point grapefruit sculpin which is frickin impressive. First sip yields solid bitterness in the mouth but not overpowering. It lingers right the way past the back palate until you have the next sip. Almost sits on your tonsils with a tingle. We imagine the IBU is 65+. Bit of spice here like they have used rye malt. We not sure but we like it. Grapefruit bitterness, mixed with lemon rind, sweet caramel malts, and an almost roasted almond like flavour which again must be the malts. Good Alc vol here of 7%, you can’t even tell. As we imbibe there is a wall of lacing opposite from where we sip. Body is medium with good length. There is mild carbonation in the mouth. You almost get confused with the spice bubbling away. This is a really tasty beer. It’s smooth as on the back palate, no offending booze burn, beautiful marriage of citrus and spicy hops with roasted and sweet malts. This is a winner. Well done lads.
Created from Nomad Brewing, Pallet Magazine and Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head. This bad boy is brewed in Sydney using Vic Secret and Melba, along with wattle seed and finger limes. Sam added American maple sugar and mesquite (smoked) malts, with Birra Del Borgo yeast from Italy.
Wow, what a collaboration. Dogfish Head for us is one of the premier craft breweries. We salivate with anticipation. Poured into a schooner, lovely mahogany greets us with no head. Very much an amber ale appearance. On the nose, we get subdued sweet malts, very mild pine, and mild booze. First sip is interesting. Definite sharpness or tartness which must be the finger limes. The IBU here is 20 by the way. This upfront tartness fades leaving a subsiding bitterness, with that smoky/ash flavour from the malt, and a mild sweetness that must be the maple sugar. We don’t get a lot of hops really other than mild pine. Definite nutty flavours here which are either the malts used other than mesquite or the wattleseed. It’s almost coffee-ish. Maybe some mild dough yeast. As we get through the glass the sweetness is now obvious on the lips, like a sticky film. The relatively medium body actually seems lighter and for 8% Alc vol, it doesn’t really come into things as the combinations of flavours drown it out which is a testament to the brewing process. The smokiness really combining with the finger limes, and the nutty, almost coffee flavour are really the standouts here. Everything this beer says it does, it does. It’s a damn fine effort and we expected nothing less when Dogfish Head are involved. Brilliant!
“This year we’ve pulled together three local lads who share a love for the sun, the salt and the sea… It’s no wonder that they’ve brewed a beer inspired by perfect endless days spent on the eastern most tip of Australia. Introducing Dead East Ale, an amber ale encompassing a mixture of hops Simcoe, Citra and the experimental Crosby #6 to give punchy aroma and flavour, that is then balanced by a selection of roasted malt varieties for a more satisfying finish. A beer perfect to relax with by the ocean after a long day in the sun.”
Served in a shaker glass. The attractive crimson body is covered by a finger of beige foam that gradually reduced to a light film that settles on top. Lacing is scarce but streaky in random patches. The hop bill is made up of 2 of the USA’s best – Citra and Simcoe – that provides generous amounts of luscious tropical fruit and citrus while the experimental “Crosby #6” hop is providing this vinous, rotting leaves and resinous-like aroma. Quite a firm malt backing too, a delicately rich and caramelized toffee scent creeps in nicely. The aroma as a whole almost reminds us of a really good red IPA. Very encouraging start to this beer. In the mouth it’s super smooth with a mild developing dryness to the back end. Quite creamy in texture and moderate in both body and carbonation. Only 5% ABV so expectedly no alcohol warmth is detected. Excellent balance is procured from start to finish here. Upfront a healthy tussle between ripe tropical fruits and sweet caramelized malts plays out. As it progresses forward through the mid a delicate bitterness builds that in turn leads on to a slightly dry and malty finish. A succession of subtle yet delicious flavours all consolidate to produce this captivating number. A confident step forward from their ‘heart breaker’ red ale so this amber can bask in its own greatness. Solid offering.
“Hazards beer is a premium boutique beer brewed in accordance to the very old German purity law which states that only Barley, Hops, Water and Yeast can be used for brewing. There are no additives and the beer is not filtered or pasteurised.”
From the stunningly beautiful freycinet peninsula in Tasmania, this is our first review of this small microbrewery. This ale is brewed according to German purity laws so we not expecting anything amazing, from a craft perspective. There is very minimal on the nose.. some malt. Pouring an orange/golden, there is plenty of bubble, leaving an almost milky head. First sip yields very mild hops..in this case hallertau are used. Mostly malty grain is tasted. Not much else to be honest. Being an ale, it’s smooth and sessionable, and sits at 5.2% alc vol. It’s a tad watery in the mouth though. We would love to try what else this brewery has to offer, as this ale is standard, average only brewing. It’s was a nice drop, but that’s it.
“A full-flavored amber ale made with roasted caremel malt. Richly colored and medium-bodied, Alleycat is an assertive blend of malts with a sprightly cascade of hops”.
Served in a shaker glass the amber pour boasts a gorgeous copper red hue. The foamy two finger head dissipates quite quickly to a rim of foam around the side of the glass. Laced poorly. A sweet bready malt-driven aroma is offering warming additions of toffee, almond, marmalade, maple syrup and fig. There is also a lovely spicy hop profile to balance it out. Respectable aroma. The mouth feel was smooth with mild-medium carbonation. Medium bodied. We found the flavour slightly subdued initially but once it warmed the flavours began to open up. Similar to the aroma, the palate was also mainly sweet/caramel malt driven. Toffee, honey and jam with a subtle hoppy background. Nice toasty finish. The 5.5% ABV is spot on. Essentially this isn’t a bad beer it’s just a little unconvincing. It’s slightly frustrating because it had had set the platform to be a really good brew but it seemed to lack that knock out punch. Good, but nothing great.
“Brewed with the juice of over 10,000 luscious pomegranates, ORIGIN is a complex, rich and balanced Imperial Amber Ale with a truly unique character. The pomegranate juice is added during fermentation, leaving only the residual sugars, which serve to balance the hop bitterness.”
Poured into a shaker glass the appearance displayed a murky mahogany with some copper red highlights. The fizzy 1 inch head dissipated quickly to a rim of foam around the inner edges of the glass. Minimal lacing. As to be expected the sweet aroma from the pomegranate is gorgeous and is further complimented by hints of tart berries, caramel and candy cane. The mouth feel was smooth, almost velvety with a mild carbonation level. Flavour boasts a good balance of sweetness coming from the pomegranate and a good touch of tart berry sourness. We also picked up hints of caramel, malt and a really subtle spice. The only downfall is its slightly one dimensional. Nevertheless the flavours here do marry together really well. The 8% ABV is so well hidden and also deserves credit. All up, it’s not bad but nothing overly special.
“Hawthorn Amber Ale is a rich malt flavoured ale, presenting itself as dark auburn coloured with hints of red. More British than the Queen’s corgi’s, our Amber Ale is meticulously brewed to the true Northern English style. The inclusion of the world famous base malt – Maris Otter, ensures a lovely rounded body, whilst a small addition of Chocolate Malt in the grain bill delivers a warm bittersweet roasted caramel flavour. Mild English hops balance the sweet malt nicely, and plenty of dry hopping after the fermentation infuses a floral and spice aroma. Hawthorn Amber Ale is an all malt beer with no added sugar, chemicals or preservatives. Smooth and well balanced, drink it a few degrees warmer than the fridge for the full flavoured experience. Best from a glass”.
Poured into a shaker glass the appearance offers a deep amber with a tight one and a half finger beige head. Good retention drawing some nice lace trails as the beer recedes. The aroma displays a gorgeous roasted character with hints of toffee, nuts and toast. An encompassing candy-like aroma adds depth and a sweet component to the nose that is really alluring. Medium carbonation with a frothy mouth feel. Medium body. Sweet malt, nuts and light, spicy hops initially make way for a subtle peppery mid-palate. Flashes of caramel malt move forward through to the nutty finish. Unfortunately the overall flavour becomes quite thin and one dimensional which is a real shame. The 4.7% ABV is quite modest, we feel the beer could have been lifted a bit if the percentage was higher. All in all, a good beer with the right foundations, just lacking the knock out blow for us.
Our 2nd installment for this brewery. Poured into a shaker glass, the pour is displaying an amber/brown appearance with a compacted white head that swells to about a finger in height before slowly collapsing away leaving no head at all. No lacing whatsoever. Aroma shows a mild crystal malt-driven character with hints of nuts, fig, toffee, spice and brown sugar. Mild-medium carbonation with low bitterness. Slightly silky mouth feel with average body. Bordering on being too thin. The taste mirrors the aroma with a malt driven palate. Slightly earthy hints of biscuit, nuts and caramel outdo what little hops come through. A touch of citrus comes in late but has no real effect. Pretty average length. At 5.2% ABV we were hoping for a bit more oomph but it simply wasn’t there. We can’t work out what this beer is missing but what we can be certain of is that we’ve had plenty of better amber ales.
“Rogue’s annual holiday offering, Santa’s Private Reserve, is a variation of the classic Saint Rogue Red, but with double the hops–including Hops and Barley grown and harvested at Rogue Farms”.
Another annual holiday ale from the man with the famous ‘Pacman’ yeast. For those who don’t know yet, the pacman strain this brewer uses derives from the beard of the head brewer himself. What a thought to process just before taking a swig huh? Wen served in to a beer tulip, the amber/copper pour whips up a creamy two and a half finger head that retains well drawing out some soapy lacing that clings to the walls of the glass. The aroma doesn’t possess much..it’s mainly driven by bready malts with hints of grain, nuts, berries, raisin and toffee/caramel undertones. In the mouth it’s quite light on with medium carbonation and body. Assertive hops upfront are well balanced by the presence of Munich malts, toast and caramel. The mid slightly drops off but it’s picked up by suggestions of pine and spruce that linger well on the back palate, displaying good length. 6% ABV. Not as spicey as most Christmas beers, although in it’s defence it is a well revved up amber ale. We thought spices such as clove and nutmeg would go down really well with this, but still, not a bad beer.
“Fueled by rage, mysticism and pure evilness, the Red Eye Rye is a sessionable beer that continues to offer more depth every time you sip away. Sure you are selling your soul as you do so, but the fruity aromatics, spicy hint of rye and delicate caramel notes will ease you conscience as you slip into the darkness of pure sin. Best enjoyed in the company of your annoying family. No family members were harmed in the making of this beer”.
This is the first we’ve ever heard about this little family micro-brewery who are situated in North Melbourne, Victoria. Served in a shaker glass the deep amber pour presents appealing copper red hues. The 2 finger beige head struggles to maintain and eventually collapsed to a thin film over the top. Laced reasonably well. In addition to the gorgeous aroma of spicy rye, a scintillating combination of hops including Nelson Sauvin, Galaxy & Columbus give off wafts of resinous pine, grass, mango, grapefruit and passion fruit. Caramel malts and doughy undertones provide a good balance while a subtle honey-like sweetness fills it out nicely. In the mouth it feels smooth and silky with medium carbonation. Medium-full bodied. The fore-flavour presents sweet fruity notes, quickly followed by an assertive hop bitterness that develops late and carries through the mid-palate. Pine, rye malt and subtle caramel linger on the palate nicely, displaying great balance and duration. Only 4.8% ABV so the depth in aroma and flavour are all due to excellent brewing. An extremely tasty brew from this relatively new Aussie micro brewery. Really good offering here.
“From a lineage of cryptic beer names … Hud-a-wa’ is Scots for “hold the wall” and was the nickname of one of our great-great-grandfathers. he was a strong fella who once held up a wall while his workmates escaped fro a collapsing mine. He’d have approved of this strong amber ale: rich and restorative, yet with enough hop to keep you wanting more. As hud-a-wa’ would have said: “Here’s tae us, wha’s like us, damn few, and they’re a’ deid… mairs the pity!”
Picked up this beauty from the Tassie beer festival in Hobart. Deep amber almost copper pour with a decent sized lasting head. Laced pretty well. Slightly creamy aroma with hints of vanilla, nuts, grape and biscuit malt. Nice hoppy presence in here, plenty of quality strains in this brew (Nelson Sauvin, Pacifica, NZ Golding & Cascade). Medium carbonation and good body. Upfront there is a rich, spicy character with some warming alcohol. Also a subtle presence of whiskey and biscuit malt move forward on to fruity flavours in the mid-palate. Maybe blood orange. That’s followed by a slightly roasted finish full of caramel and toasted malts. 7% ABV is there but doesn’t overpower. The flavours are gorgeous but the richness keeps this beer from being sessional. Definitely keen for another though.
On tap at the brewery in Wollongong. Dark amber pour with subtle red hues, not much lacing to speak of. Love the aroma, hop-driven but balanced by the caramel and malt. We also picked up wafts of citrus and toffee. Mild carbonation. Huge hop profile for an amber ale. Bitter upfront with hints of pine and grapefruit, but mellows off into a slightly roasted toffee palate. 5.4% ABV