“A dogfight 15 years in the making, this anniversary ale celebrates all the Mavericks who helped us throughout all our brewing adventures. Aged for six months in Heaven Hill Distillery bourbon barrels. This special brew also pays tribute to the weird and wonderful WIll Irving, as he’s knocked up more flight hours in the Swan Valley brewhouse than we’ve got knocked up geese. A champion in the brewery, he’s crafted one of the most diverse and respected ranges of beer anywhere on earth. Australia’s beer landscape today is an infinitely better place thanks to him. Cheers mate!”
Glassware: English pint.
Appearance: Dark cola hue with a short yet extremely well retained head forming on top. We’re seeing a wavy lace dispensed as we imbibe.
Aroma: Ooph….complex! What initially came off as a subtle hint of sourness quickly takes shape as the result of aging in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. Hints of toffee and vanilla come through with a surge of wet oak barrel in support. Some nutty undertones here and there with a suggestion of metal creeping in. Subtle chocolate, prunes and molasses filling it out.
Flavour: We’ve given this bad boy about 30 mins to come up to room temperature….almost. Lots of bourbon flavour upfront – caramel, toffee, vanilla and rye spices. A bit of nutty malt, some dark fruit sweetness and a light roast gets another helping of spice as it finishes toasty, slightly dry and woody. Excellent length on the back end.
Mouthfeel: Steady and quite approachable. No harsh burn at all which is incredible considering the 9% ABV. Slick texture, moderate co2 and body.
Overall: What started with a bit of apprehension has finished with total satisfaction. Come to think of it, it is unbelievably smooth and so well balanced for its weight. Certainly improves as it warms too. Impressive drop.