Author Archives: 2hopheads

Garage Project X Cloudburst ‘Welcome To Cloudland’ West Coast IPA


“The Hāpi Sessions 2023, a hat-trick of collaborations from three breweries at the absolute top of their game, each showcasing a different hop forward beer in a playful ‘freestyle’ interpretation of the style that put them on the map. With Cloudburst founder Steve Luke in town for the NZ hop harvest and Hāpi Symposium, we jumped at the opportunity get on the brew floor together. For Hāpi Sessions Vol. 10, Jet City brewers Cloudburst bring the Seattle sound with a blended take on what they call a North-West IPA.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bright golden pour with almost full clarity. It constructs a three finger head which is retained well, leaving a proper smattering of lace on the glass.

Aroma: Again, much like the Pilsner collab with Highland Park, the Kiwi hop combination provides a luscious green character which is refined further by a real weedy and resinous note. It has a super oily, cryo-like intensity which is superb. Fresh herbs like basil, aniseed and lemon myrtle then filled out by a semi sweet honey malt. Beautifully balanced aroma.

Flavour: Like a true old-school West Coast IPA minus the bitterness and enhanced by the unique Kiwi hops. It’s actually quite remarkable how smooth and silky it is. We’re getting pine forest, weedy resins and fresh green herbs on entry. That mild honey sweetness comes along for the ride as well. Subtle green fruits like kiwifruit, grape and honeydew helps form the rather vinous finish that lingers.

Mouthfeel: So unbelievably smooth for the style. It feels like it’s missing something without the bitterness though. Flat-ish Co2, medium body and a nicely hidden 7% ABV.

Overall: Not bad. We don’t rate it that highly due to its slightly cloying nature and flat-ish carbonation. Other than that it’s a pretty well structured beer that drinks effortlessly. Good but not great.

3 Ravens X Carwyn Cellars ‘BAPIOS Conspiracy’ BA Imperial Stout


“Aged in American oak rye whisky barrels that had previously held our 18% peated imperial oatmeal stout – this beer has continued fermentation in barrel (due to the enzyme/yeast blend used in the previous beer) resulting in a drier, stronger beer that features characteristics from both previous contents – the sweet oak, spice and spirit character of the rye whisky as well as the smokiness and almost port-like qualities of the BAPIOS.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with a fine light brown overlay. It quickly forms a collar and struggles to produce any lacing.

Aroma: It appears quite weak and tired. The package date was November ’21 so it does have some age already on it. There’s a very delicate hint of Vegemite which is a sign that a BA Stout is on its last leg. Basically, it means the yeast has died and the resulting flavour is that of Vegemite/Marmite and sometimes even soy sauce at its worst. The whiskey/oak notes are still hanging around so…not all bad.

Flavour: My oh my. This isn’t getting any better. It’s straight into an acrid, face-wincing astringency further emphasised by an unchecked booze burn. The subtle whiskey really is the only aspect that is offering something in this transaction. The base Stout also seems a touch too weak to handle the complexities of the whiskey and oak. Also the finish is overly bitter and pulls up short. Sheesh.

Mouthfeel: Not bad, holds up ok. It’s oily and sharp with medium-full body. The 11.5% ABV is too noticeable though.

Overall: It’s clear this has passed its BBD. But even tasting it in its current form it’s hard to say that the fresh product would’ve been much better. It’s just not an enjoyable beer. Period.

Madocke ‘Reynard’ Strong Amber Ale


“STORY SERIES — This Belgian Style Strong Amber Ale has a complex, intense and sneaky character, just like Reynard the Fox. With fruity aromas, medium malt intensity and yeast derived herbal and peppery flavours, it makes this beer the flagship of our range.”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Slightly hazy peachy/orange hue and a light, fluffy two finger crown. Excellent retention and lots of lace being deposited on the glass.

Aroma: Getting real strong Belgian vibes from it. Very interesting…it gives off half Saison half Tripel characters with its spice-driven yeast profile, semi-sweet malts and herbal/earthy old world hops. Heady wafts of pepper-crusted orange, apricot, floral peach, a kind of dusty caramel and a subtle zesty lime. Some very distinguishing scents here. Really diggin’ it.

Flavour: A lot of that quirkiness has doubled down here. Especially the spicy yeast/phenols, tangy orange and the floral peach/apricot. Really good support in the form of herbal hops and that strange dusty caramel sweetness. Super complex and multi-layered finish of floral stonefruit, peppery spice, orange citrus and a dry, rounded bitterness to balance.

Mouthfeel: Quite chewy, smooth and gelatinous. Medium bodied and the 8.5% ABV is positioned favourably.

Overall: There’s a lot to like about this. It’s a tad mysterious as we can’t really classify it. Yeah, the label says it’s a strong Amber Ale but it’s much more intricate than that. It’s yeasty, spicy, semi-sweet, fruity, warming. Ooft. Got it all.

Garage Project X Highland Park ‘Immense World’ West Coast Pilsner


“The Hāpi Sessions 2023, a hat-trick of collaborations from three breweries at the absolute top of their game, each showcasing a different hop forward beer in a playful ‘freestyle’ interpretation of the style that put them on the map. Hāpi Sessions Vol. 12 sees LA wunderkinds Highland Park come to the Garage to breathe new life into an old style with their hop fuelled West Coast take on the classic pilsner.”

Glassware: Footed Flute.

Appearance: Bright golden pour with a slight hop haze. Two fingers of tightly beaded foam sits neatly on top and leaves a tonne of soapy lacing in its wake.

Aroma: The only thing better than a finely brewed old world Pilsner is a NZ-hopped Pilsner. Hops such as the two used in this brew (Riwaka & Motueka) along with others like Nelson Sauvin and Wai-iti are made for the style. Not only due to their Saaz ancestry but because they impart this uniquely green and luscious pine forest quality. There are also strong floral notes, green mango, passionfruit and spruce.

Flavour: So damn tasty. So crisp and clean you’d almost be fooled into believing it’s good for you! Just the mildest brush of pine/resin, unripened nectary fruits and herbals upfront. Candied lime and passionfruit through the mid which sets up the ultra fine and green finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and incredibly clean. Perfectly rounded. Light-moderate body and the 6% ABV is very well disguised.

Overall: Insanely delicious. Seriously, if we were told we could only drink one beer for the rest of our lives this would be in the toss up. It’s just all-round perfect beer. Magnificent stuff.

Good Land ‘Jazeker – BA Edition’ Coffee Imperial Stout


“Yeah sure! Conditioned on a blend of coffee beans roasted by our mates at Fat Cat Roasters and some thick as vanilla beans for good measure. Jazeker is what Good Land is all about, daring yet refined with this warming, intense imperial stout.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: As black as the ace of spades with a loosely packed two finger head which slowly peels off. Hardly any lace sticks as we go.

Aroma: The heavenly marriage of coffee and vanilla tantalises the olfactory’s. Buffalo Trace is our most favoured Bourbon cask for Impy Stouts to be aged in so we would’ve loved for that to be amplified a bit more. This could also just be our love for that (rather cheap 😬) Bourbon talking. Nice and robust Stout base as well – dark chocolate, molasses, cacao, light char. Smells the goods!

Flavour: Ok, they were saving all that Buffalo Trace for the palate! Big helpings of coffee, vanilla, molasses, treacle and leather but the Bourbon comes through with that orchard fruit, caramel and brown sugar. A really nice woody oak is fused through it all as a warmth from the booze peeks through then a roasty, bittersweet and coffee-laden finish punctuates it.

Mouthfeel: Dense, full and muscly. Co2 seems low but the hop bitterness takes its place. The 11.7% ABV is pretty well concealed.

Overall: Pretty damn good. If Ramjet and Deeds’ Into The Fray series are class A then this release fits comfortably into a class B Aussie-brewed BA Stout. Well integrated Bourbon oak, well balanced, rich and aggressive. Quality stuff.

Sierra Nevada ‘Bigfoot ’23’ Barleywine-style Ale


“The beast. The beer. The legend. After the workday grind, reconnect with your wild side through our untamed barleywine-style ale. This classic lives up to its namesake: massive malt body, sheer hop intensity, standing at 9.6% ABV.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Attractive pour – deep burnished copper/red, slightly muddy but translucent on the edges. Two fingers of finely maintained head perched on top. Good retention and thick blotchy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Arguably one of the world’s most recognised iterations of the “Barleywine-style”. It’s not big and hedonistic but more mellow and exquisitely balanced. It’s rich with those hallmark residual sugars, caramel and toffee but it has a line of tangy orange/rind and dark fruit that runs through it. Subtle yet notable scents of fortified wine, pine forest, tree sap and earthy spice in support.

Flavour: Quite similar to Dogfish Head’s 120 minute IPA in the sense that it’s rich and malty sweet but there’s a distinct hop profile to it. It’s hard to say where the Barleywine begins and where the Imperial IPA ends. It hits a crescendo with a grapefruit acidity before the rich malts once again smooth it out for the well drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, gelatinous then dry and acidic post swallow. Medium body and a slightly recognisable 9.6% ABV.

Overall: A cracking drop. It just exudes class at every step. May have to buy a whole lot more for the cellar!

Madocke ‘Celebration’ White IPA


“The perfect marriage of two distinct beer styles; the American IPA with its high hop character and the wheat-based Belgian Wit with its refreshing and spicy presence. A creamy refreshing beer with lots of lemon and spicy characters combined with the tropical flavours of carefully selected hops creating a perfectly balanced beer with smooth bitterness and a subtle herbal profile. This White IPA will have you dancing the night away.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: We were quietly hoping for a whiter, creamier pour but the slightly hazy, pale golden-yellow complexion will have to make do. It forms two and a bit fingers of rocky white head which gradually deconstructs. Healthy lace trails as we go.

Aroma: There are very few styles out there that are as underrated as the old White IPA. We remember Hitachino Nest’s interpretation as being one of the best. Wafts of tangy orange/rind, mandarin, lemon/lime, meringue and all sorts of spices – pepper, clove, cardamom and aniseed. The American IPA aspect could do with a bit more representation in our opinion.

Flavour: It’s definitely not short on it. Is it White IPA-worthy though? We’re not totally sold. Tonnes of citrus upfront…lemon, lime, mandarin, orange and rind. Peppery and herbal spice woven through. Slightly harsh bitterness kicking up across the mid. A little acrid in parts too, then into a rather dry, acidic finish with a slight sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Prickly, dry, a little rigid. The body is mild-moderate and the 6.8% ABV burns a tad in the finish.

Overall: Hhmm, well it definitely wasn’t the White, creamy and fluffy IPA we’d hoped for. Quite the opposite. It’s tough to even call it a White IPA to be honest. Pretty disappointing.

Resin ‘Sweet As’ Brown Ale


“Chur Bro, pop on your jandles and make your way down to Resin HQ to try our newest brew: Sweet As! This one is our take on a classic American Brown, switching up the usual roasted bitterness for a sweet chocolatey flavour profile. We’ve used New Zealand hops exclusively in this brew, with Motueka, Riwaka, and Kohatu. Plus, the addition of lactose increases the sweetness and gives off that sought after silky mouthfeel.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Deep mahogany pour that shows ruby edges when held to the light. It constructs a light and fluffy two finger head which retains well and laces even better.

Aroma: Extremely fruity and sweet which screams an American influence. We’re picking up this jammy raspberry and or strawberry-like quality from it. We wouldn’t say chocolate but it definitely has a cocoa or carob accent happening as well. It has a certain herbal character which is totally throwing us…don’t get us wrong we like it, it’s just unique. Pine, red grapes and candied lime also peeking through. What the?!

Flavour: We’re sat here looking at each other waiting for any type of signal. Nothing comes until that good old look of acceptance comes over us. Clean and crisp pine, florals and fresh herbs cut through the nutty and toasty malts but it’s the assertive bitterness that removes all doubt. Hints of dank herbs and cigar box shift into a dry, bitter, fruity and mildly floral finish that lingers.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth, silky and moderately bodied. A rounded bitterness post swallow and a well placed 5.3% ABV.

Overall: It’s a well brewed American Brown Ale but we’re just not totally sold on the aroma and flavour profile. It’s not really gelling. Good but not great.

Banks ‘Cake Eater – Citra & Mosaic’ DDH Hazy DIPA


“Cake Eater Citra & Mosaic. DDH Oat Cream Double IPA. The 5th instalment to the Cake Eater series.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Looks damn fine. Pours a light and turbid deep pastel yellow-orange with a well manicured head on top. Good retention and equally as good lacing as it subsides.

Aroma: Wooww! This is literally giving off 2017 Treehouse vibes. The Citra and Mosaic blend together so freakin well it’s amazing. It’s these combinations of citrus and tropical fruits, pine and herbals, ripe stonefruit and green mango etc. The main trifecta for NEIPA’s is here too – white pepper, chalky oats and frosty fruits. All of this is built upon a solid base of smooth oats creamy vanilla/lactose.

Flavour: This is literally on U.S level. The balance is perfect and the dry peppery spice and chalky characters offset the sweet and juicy fruits to a tee. Getting a hint of dank/weedy resin, aniseed/Thai basil, pine, ruby grapefruit and green mango which pulls through the mid as well. It’s intensified by a real oily and or Cryo-esque sharpness which is softened by a sweet, fruity yet peppery finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth AF for 8% ABV. Creamy, dries out slightly in the swallow. Medium body and perfectly carbed.

Overall: World class stuff here from Banks. This series has improved exponentially since the last time we tried one. We’d say without hesitation that this is on par, if not better, than MC. We now officially have two Aussie breweries that can match the best NEIPA breweries in the USA. Magnificent drop.

Mountain Culture X Bottle Logic ‘Imperial Logic Imperial Pastry Stout’


“How do you begin to describe a beer as special as this? A beer that, during recipe formulation with our friends Wes and Stephen from Bottle Logic, we very quickly realised was going to be the thickest, sweetest, creamiest stout we’ve ever produced. By a long shot. Using twice as many adjuncts than our regular stouts, we had to source specialised equipment in order to fit them in the beer. A whole pallet full of shaved coconut, freshly roasted coffee beans and cinnamon have been added to a rich, dark malt stout base that meld together for a syrupy, velvety and decadent finish.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pours like engine oil. We always get a little excited when we see a big Stout pour this dark. It forms a finger of tightly held brown foam which holds its shape. A wet spotty lace falls down the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: The way we see it this collab is taking arguably the best Australian brewery and (maybe even more arguably) the best American brewery and putting them together to produce one of our most favourite styles of beer – an Imperial Pastry Stout. That all equals an instant purchase on our end…no matter the cost. So now, because we’ve waffled on so much already let’s move to the flavour profile.

Flavour: Ooft! Thicc, luscious and indulgent. It has a rather sharp booze burn upfront but it’s saddled with a tonne of dark chocolate, charred malts, espresso coffee, burnt spices, toasted coconut and licorice so you don’t actually realise how pissed you’re getting. It gets real harsh, almost acrid through the mid but thankfully it settles a bit and finishes charred, spicy and bitter with a significant sting in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Dense, muscly and warming. Full body, low-ish Co2. The 10.7% ABV doesn’t try and hide.

Overall: We’re unsure about it to be honest. Started real strong but the harsh and ferocious nature was left a little unchecked. It’s slightly disappointing coz we’re left wondering what it could’ve been.

Principle ‘Sequoia’ Smokey Red Lager


“Beechwood smoked barley, oak smoked wheat. Great autumn/winter beer. The smoke is entirely on the nose with sweet bacon & BBQ coming through. A malt forward, clean lager with a finish of cinnamon & caramel.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Bold amber colour, good clarity and a short white head which gradually forms a collar. It deposits wet spotty lace which drags legs down the glass.

Aroma: These lightly smoked malty numbers are our jam right now. Well, for one of us at least. It’s offering up a hearty fusion of ham hock, cured meats, smoked malt and umami but it’s wonderfully balanced by a sweet red malt, toffee apple, cinnamon and earthy hops. We’re getting dizzy from taking this aroma in too much.

Flavour: Mirrors the aroma really well. The smoky notes are subtle and offset the naturally sweet and syrupy qualities of what we personally think is a Vienna-style Lager. Dark caramel, toffee, prunes, cinnamon and cumin provide a rich and emphatic impression while a soft bitterness that clings on contributes to a dry yet well balanced finish.

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth initially but ultimately dry post swallow. Medium body and a nicely positioned 6.5% ABV.

Overall: Once again Principle nails a European classic. We’re starting to think these guys should just do away with the American/new world stuff and focus on old world beers as everyone we’ve had from them so far has been remarkable.

Resin ‘Peggy’s’ Pilsner



Glassware: Footed flute.

Appearance: Pale straw golden pour with an observable haze. It holds a finely beaded thumb of white head which retains well and laces the glass with thick suds on its way down.

Aroma: It’s certainly giving off new world vibes. The brewery gives zero specs but our olfactory’s tell us it’s a mostly NZ hop bill with maybe a helping of Galaxy or Sabro. Distinct green qualities, slightly vinous, gooseberry, tomato vines, earthy spice, florals and unripened stonefruit. Very gentle pine and coconut also coming through. Clean and grainy malt profile. Pretty decent.

Flavour: Very nice. Clean, snappy and everything is in fine formation. Getting a somewhat weedy/resinous character initially which morphs into pine and eventually green mango and dried coconut. A short cameo of old world Pilsner comes through in the form of herbs/florals before a clean and well drawn out grassy finish.

Mouthfeel: It does have a real crispness to it but it also provides a bit of weight. Almost a chewiness like an ale would. 4.6% ABV which is punching well above.

Overall: Wow, impressive stuff here from Resin. They’ve managed to cram a truckload of aroma and flavour into a style that usually requires simplicity. They’ve done well to spruce it up the way they have. Thumbs up all round.

Vocation ‘Imperial Affogato’ Coffee & Vanilla Stout


“An opulent double mashed coffee and vanilla imperial stout, brewed with coffee beans from Halifax small batch coffee roasters, Antonia & Panesar. Deep, dark malt flavours with full-bodied roast espresso aromas, notes of sweet vanilla, and a creamy finish from a touch of milk sugar.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a thumb of brown foam nestled in on top. The head is retained rather well but only manages a sparse wet lace on its way down.

Aroma: Those that have been following us for a while would know that we’ve embarked on a mission to find an Affogato Stout that actually tastes like Affogato. Years into this quest we’re still to find one. Already we can tell that there’s hardly any similarity to the elusive dessert here. Yes, we get bittersweet coffee, spicy vanilla, burnt sugars, chocolate and marshmallow but it doesn’t smell like Affogato!

Flavour: Very sweet. Lots of caramelised sugars and dark fruits which kinda steal the limelight away from the milk-sweetened coffee. Delicately roasted malts… we’d even say not enough roast as the sweetness is too dominant. Enhanced even further by creamy vanilla also. It all just slides off a cliff and hardly produces any discernable flavour in the finish, other than a mere residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky, medium bodied. Too light for 10.7% ABV but we must say the booze is concealed incredibly well.

Overall: Another complete strike out in terms of an Affogato Stout. You’d be hard pressed to even call it a Pastry Stout. It’s just too sweet, timid and lacking any kind of cut-through. Disappointing.

Jindabyne Brewing ‘Frothin’ Hoff’ Brown Ale


“At Jindabyne brewing we love brewing so to keep it fun we like to change-it-up and brew a variety of seasonals throughout the year., we hope you guys enjoy them like we enjoy the four seasons we experience in the mountains.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Very light brown to amber with a thumb of off-white head perched on top. Good retention and healthy lace clinging to the glass as we hook in.

Aroma: Very old skool style Brown Ale which is totally this brewery’s MO. It’s one of the main things we love about them. Our first thoughts of it once laying eyes on and smelling it is a close resemblance to the O.G – Newcastle Brown Ale. It has a delicate nutty aroma with a good helping of caramel and toast. Something a little tangy and marmalade-like in here too. Love it.

Flavour: That tangy component is much more noticeable here. At first we thought it was a kind of marmalade-on-toast flavour but after a few more sips it’s more of a fusion of earthy and citrusy hops mingling with the semi sweet and nutty malts. There’s a slight shift late in the piece which finishes the beer off with a hint of toast and golden raisin.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky and effortless. Slightly lifted Co2 which we like. The 4.5% ABV is spot on for a conventional Brown.

Overall: Solid. Love the move into 500ml bottles too. Somewhat bucking the trend and going back to glass. How very European. Suits their approach.

Good Land ‘Something Something Vic Secret’ Double IPA


“The second release in our Something Something series sees us dry hop in two stages with Vic Secret™ during fermentation and a double huge charge of Vic Secret™ during conditioning.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Super murky deep pastel orange capped off by a sturdy three finger head. It forms an egg shape and leaves an absolute smattering of lace on the glass.

Aroma: Probably one of Australia’s finest hop varieties. Great for single hopped beers too as it provides heady tropical fruits, some citrus, pine needle, herbs like lemongrass, thyme and eucalyptus such as in this iteration. Unsurprisingly the malt bill plays 2nd fiddle…conveying a delicate oat profile with bread crusts and wheat grains. Diggin it thus far.

Flavour: Man, the hop punch it’s got behind it. Ooft! Quite a rigid bitterness upfront which was totally unexpected. We saw the haze, smelt the green hops and creamy malts and anticipated a smooth NEIPA-like texture but not to be. The piney aspect plays a huge role – very sharp and clean – and then followed by the pineapple, green mango, orange and mixed herbs into a very green and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Dry and bitter, slightly acrid. Medium body. The 7.7% ABV packs a bit of punch in the finish.

Overall: At its core it’s an okay DIPA but it’s certainly a bit rough around the edges. Far too assertive and bitter for a Hazy IPA. Not the best beer we’ve had from them.

Resin ‘Dubbel Trubbel’ Belgian Dubbel


“Meet DUBBEL TRUBBEL. We’re upping the ante, with double the beer, double the fun… and double the trouble. This full-bodied baby boasts note of raisin and dried fruit. With Belgian yeast esters on the nose, Dubbel Trubbel is the most marvellous of malt brews!”

Glassware: Trappist chalice.

Appearance: Falling somewhere between mahogany and auburn with a short off-white head that slowly dissipated. It settles to a fine overlay and produces magnificent lacing as it subsides.

Aroma: We’re unashamedly critical when it comes to Trappist beers brewed outside of Belgium. Mainly because no one can brew them like the Belgians. Maaaaybe with an exception or two. Alas, we must admit this smells pretty darn good. Nicely balanced caramel/toffee aromas, delicate toasty notes, earthy, well tempered spices, phenols and banana runts. At this stage we’re very much impressed.

Flavour: What we’re really liking early on is the balance. A lot of non-Belgian Dubbels completely screw up that side of things so it’s great to see these guys are on point there. Nice and chewy yet slightly dry and bitter. The spice aspect, which is nicely integrated, adds another layer of complexity. Light caramel sweetness, toffee and gingerbread into a perfectly poised finish that draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Kinda light on for the style but we’d rather that than a syrupy mess. Rather chewy, medium body, perfectly carbed and the 6.6% ABV is well disguised.

Overall: Pleasantly surprised. Good can artwork and great follow through with the beer. Definitely wasn’t expecting the level of quality produced so big ups to Resin. Solid offering.

Range ‘Dripping In Green – Citra & Simcoe’ Hazy IPA


“Dripping In Green: Citra + Simcoe is a brand new IPA which we’ve applied our ultra saturating Green technique to. We’ve layered through every single type of Citra and Simcoe product we could get our hands on to produce a super punchy and hop forward hazy IPA.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Moderately hazy, pale golden orange complexion with a thumb of loosely held foam perched on top. Gradual reduction, forming a thick sudsy collar which cakes on the side of the glass.

Aroma: Massive fruit salad characters emanating. Citrus is obviously the standout with overtones of pithy orange, ruby grapefruit and mandarin peel. Then followed through by nectary passionfruit and ripe peach, mango, pineapple and grape skin. Very mild pine and herbal characters filling it out. The grain bill is pretty much just a mix of oats and grainy pale malt. Decent.

Flavour: We really dig this hop combination. It’s been done a million times before but there’s something about the fusion of heavy citrus and herbs that is eternally delightful. The back up shown by the fructose-laden tropical fruits rams it home beautifully. Nice smooth and well rounded finish with good duration.

Mouthfeel: Effortless, kinda creamy and nicely aerated. Medium body and a well concealed 6.6% ABV.

Overall: We must admit we wanted to be blown away by this but we weren’t. Yes, it’s a well brewed Hazy but there isn’t much that differs from the last brewery that put the two together. Good but not great.

Fixation ‘Double Down Brown’ Coffee India Brown Ale


“Only a select few beers make their way through the incubation period to graduate to the status of Freshly Hatched. These limited-release beers from Fixation Brewing have been skillfully honed and crafted to deliver the very best example of their style.”

Glassware: American pint.

Appearance: Deep ruby red pour with full clarity. It forms two fingers of fluffy tan head that holds its shape nicely. Healthy lacing clings to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Getting soft and bittersweet coffee off it initially. Gentle roasted notes, herbal and earthy hops, caramel, cookie dough, brown sugar and pine backing up in support. Not a whole let else. Unfortunately it has a bit of a watery aspect to it. Nice aromas but it’s just lacking any sort of vigour.

Flavour: Same story here too – tastes a little insipid which is disappointing considering not only the style of beer but also the featured coffee used in the brew. We get mostly bitterness and roast with restrained coffee earthy-ness and semi sweet caramels leading into a slightly bitter finish with soft nutty, roasty and piney notes on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Not too bad actually. The one part of the beer that isn’t weak and watered down. Nicely carbed, medium body. They’ve hidden the 7% ABV quite well also.

Overall: Not what we were hoping it to be. The coffee was too shy and the beer as a whole was watery and pedestrian. Shame.

Sauce ’23 Whiskey/Bourbon BA Imperial Stouts


“Bourbon – The 2023 batch of imperial stout has been aged in a new set of ex-bourbon barrels, so expect plenty of bourbon up front, followed by a smooth, roasty and subtly oaked extra strong stout.

Whiskey – We’ve received a new set of ex-Aussie whisky barrels, so this batch of imperial stout has plenty of whisky character, followed by a smooth, roasty and subtly oaked extra strong stout.”

Glassware: Snifter.


Appearance: Solid black with a finger of brown head topping it off. Gradual reduction with wavy lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Quite sweet for a whiskey barrel. Smells much too mild and green to be anything but an Australian whiskey. Really nice Stout base…big, robust and charred. Plenty of coffee, dark chocolate and cocoa. We like it.

Flavour: We’re usually always Bourbon barrels when it comes to BA Stouts but we really like this whiskey that has been used. It’s quite green but its nice and mellow, moderately sweet and spicy character integrates well with the base Stout.

Mouthfeel: Kinda chewy, silky and full bodied but quite palatable for 11% ABV.


Appearance: Pours exactly like the whiskey edition – solid black, one finger of brown head which forms a thin collar. Wavy lace as we go.

Aroma: Pretty shy and unusual Bourbon qualities initially. Somewhat hard to tell if it’s an Australian Bourbon or a poor use of American Bourbon barrels. The stout base, again, is good but it gets a little muddled in and amongst the barrel notes. Weird strike out as the BBA editions in the past have been the standout.

Flavour: Yeah they’ve changed the barrels that they’ve used in previous releases. From memory they used Buffalo Trace and this doesn’t come across as the same. This year the whole beer has astringency, obscure Bourbon flavours, and that affects the base Stout. Not digging it.

Mouthfeel: A little sharper and less palatable than the whiskey edition. Full bodied and the booze is a little more pronounced.

Overall: Well…it appears the pair have done a full switcheroo. Last year the BBA was the fave and the WBA was the least. We’ve noticed there’s no Rum edition this year which is a shame as we kinda liked that expression. Yeah, not all that enthused this time around.

Deeds BBA Peanut Butter Imperial Stout


“There’s nothing quite like the taste of chocolate and peanut butter layers on top of ech other. A little bit of sweet and a bit of salt, sometimes even crunch. No matter what time of the year we’re in, it feels very much like pastry stout season here at Deeds. So why wouldn’t we organise a dessert for our staff and customers for the foreseeable future.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Matte black with two fingers of creamy brown head nestled in on top. Excellent retention and spotty lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Smells fantastic but we’ve really gotta dig our noses in deep to get the full conveyance. It’s certainly not short on complexity and depth…a beautiful nutty sweetness runs deep, nicely blended bourbon oak and spice, peanut brittle, burnt toffee and then the solid Stout base of coffee, dark chocolate and molasses. The only thing it lacks is intensity. It’s just not lifting out of the glass like it should be.

Flavour: Oohh baby. So rich, so complex and so nicely structured. We remember the base peanut butter Stout clearly so it’s a treat to have it built upon with bourbon/oak, spice and an accentuated caramel and nut-infused toffee sweetness. No issues with lack of intensity here as it drives forward with a rich, warming, boozy and charred finish that provides a long and delicious finish.

Mouthfeel: Slick, a little oily but unbelievably easy to put back for 11.7% ABV. Full bodied. Low-ish Co2.

Overall: Not a part of their black & white BA series but one that could almost be held to the same standard. It just falls short on that final blow that releases like infernal agreement and desperate invocation had. Still, a very respectable drop.