Our recent Victorian brewery pilgrimage found its way to the gorgeous Bellarine Peninsula. It was there we found Bellarine Estate and Two Wives Brewery where we sampled a few wines and a few cheeky (pun intended) beers as well. This particular brew of theirs is a “bold rye IPA full of character and aroma found in specialty malts and hop flowers”.
Served in an IPA glass. A fat fingers worth of well retained head lays atop a slightly hazy amber body. Retention of the head is superb as it weaves healthy lace patterns down the walls of the glass. Some lovely aromas emanating here. She’s actually quite malt forward, we’re detecting a strong spicy rye character with a discernible caramel sweetness leading out. The big, tropical fruity hops provide supportive wafts of pineapple, mango, lychee and candied orange but not only that the balance that’s struck between the two is brilliant. It hints at this artificial and almost boiled lolly scent at times. Really nice. The beer holds up nicely in the mouth. Medium in body and the malts guarantee a smooth and effortless journey over the tongue. Bitterness is kept well contained and the 6% ABV is incognito. The taste follows on from the nose – a delicious fusion of spicy rye and caramel malts are perfectly countered by tropical fruits that are conspicuously laced through. The flavour doesn’t vary a whole lot as this trio takes on a delicate bitterness before finishing dry, sweet and fruity with considerable length to the back end. This little micro brewery may be largely unheard of but for us this rye IPA puts them squarely on the map. Extremely well balanced with high drink-ability. Jeez, if this is what some wives get up to we may have to think about putting ours in to training! Solid drop.