Author Archives: 2hopheads

Ringwood Brewery ‘Forty Niner’ Golden Ale

Rating:

“Ringwood’s Golden Ale was first brewed in 1978 and takes its name from the beers strength at 4.9%. A full-bodied malty beer, Fortyniner has a strong hop character and a deep bitter-sweet finish.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Slightly burnished orange to amber with a thumb of finely beaded foam atop. The head slowly recedes and leaves a cascading lace in its wake.

Aroma: Fairly sweet and malty initially then the jammy and citrusy hops gradually peek through. Lots of caramel and artificially sweet overtones, nutty malt, bread/dough, dark fruits, marmalade, apricot, floral perfumes and subtle yeast esters; mostly pear and rosewater. Quite a fascinating aroma… unbelievably rich and sweet for a golden ale.

Flavour: It grapples with the same issue as the aroma in our opinion…which is lots of sweet and sticky malts and little hop character to balance. To be fair there is a slight bitterness that kicks up around the mid and offers grassy and herbal-spicy notes late in the piece. A few more sips and we are getting a bit more citrus and pithy rind, especially in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A little sticky upfront then a developing dryness ensues. Medium body, flat-ish Co2. Only 4.9% ABV so big ups for filling it out as well as they have.

Overall: This is our 2nd entry for Ringwood and we must admit we haven’t been overly impressed. Points for complexity but there’s something about it we’re not digging. The yeast profile maybe? Anywho, there’s far better English ales out there.

Brasserie Le Fort Belgian Brown Ale

Rating:

“LeFort is a complex, dark beer of 9% ABV with a sweet and fruity touch. The pale and roasted, dark barley malts give the beer a perfect balance. The beer is lightly flavored with chocolate and caramel and the high fermentation gives a slight fruitiness. This results in a dark beer with a completely unique taste.”

Glassware: Trappist Goblet.

Appearance: Slightly dark rubescent red with shades of maroon and light mahogany. A short and fizzy tan head emerges and hangs around long enough to decorate the glass.

Aroma: Oh wow…initially it’s all about those malts – nutty and chocolatey at first then a little more toffee and fudge-driven as it settles in. Lots of yeasty banana bread, clove/mixed spice, a hint of bubblegum. Also picking up a lot of dark fruits like raisin, blood plum, toffee apple, cherry and red vinous berries. Belgian Candi sugars also creeping in late. Diggin it!

Flavour: Like the aroma there’s 1000 different flavours happening and trying to isolate them all is tough! A bit more spiciness upfront.. clove, nutmeg, all spice etc but it’s quickly enveloped by a wave of rich and sweet malt, dark fruits and endless yeasty goodness. Lots of toasty/doughy malt mid way, esters, Candi sugars and banana leading in to a dry, fruity, yeasty and warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Like thick beer soup! Dense and chewy yet foamy and highly carbonated. Medium-full body. The 9% ABV is incredibly well concealed.

Overall: It’s like nothing we’ve ever had before. It falls somewhere between a malty Brown Ale, a yeasty Dubbel and a hedonistic Quad. Bloody impressive though. Rich, luxurious, complex. Top drop.

Ringwood Brewery ‘Circadian’ Session IPA

Rating:

“Circadian means a pattern recurring naturally on a twenty-four-hour cycle. At Ringwood we felt that it would be the perfect name for our new ‘Every day IPA’. To give circadian the full flavour of an IPA while keeping the ABV to a sessionable 4.5% we used a total of 5 exotic hops! We recommend Circadian is best enjoyed with a spicy curry and good company.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bright amber and as clear as day! It forms two fingers of sturdy white head which holds up well. It posts thick and sudsy rings down the glass.

Aroma: To be honest it doesn’t smell at all English. If we were to guess our first thoughts would be an Australian IPA as we reckon our IPA’s fall somewhere between the malt-forward English version and the hop-charged American ones. It’s obviously crammed full of American hops as we’re copping a tonne of pine and candied citrus, mild tropical fruit and spice. As it warms the rich and sweet malts really come in to play. A little unorthodox but we like it.

Flavour: A little lackluster unfortunately. The hop bitterness is here but the actual hop flavour is rather muted. The BB date is 30/6/21 so it is quite old but then again English IPA’s age better than all their other counterparts. After a few more swigs we do pick up subtle pine, citrus, a bit of resin and evergreen along with a somewhat dry and earthy malt profile but that’s about it.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, slightly dry and well rounded. Nice vibrant Co2, medium body. Only 4.5% ABV so they’ve done well to cram all that in.

Overall: Well this is about as American as an English IPA can get. We’ll admit it was a pleasant surprise but it’s a shame it tastes a little tired. We’d love to try it again fresh.

De Brabandere ‘Bavik’ Super Pils

Rating:

“1894 was a very special year: it was the year when the one true Bavik Super Pils was born. And the Bavik Super Pils has made its own way to quality and taste ever since.”

Glassware: Footed flute.

Appearance: Light golden yellow with a gigantic four finger head perched on top. Takes ages to recede but when it does it leaves an absolute mess on the glass.

Aroma: Quite a robust nose for a Pilsner…we were getting wafts as we were writing the appearance. So nicely poised as well. Subtle Noble hop characters (spicy, herbal, grassy) just sitting on the semi sweet crackery malts. Light florals, a touch of earthy-ness, a hint of buttered corn (DMS) but we think it works with the style. Classic Euro-style Pils.

Flavour: Nice follow through. Again, super clean Noble hop qualities – herbals, florals, spice, a touch of earthy mildew. The semi sweet malt profile offers up rice crackers, grains and a touch of honey. There’s a lick of bitterness as it finishes dry and grassy with good duration.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean and tidy. Light on with medium carbonation. 5.2% ABV is only slightly higher than the average but nowhere near enough to make any waves.

Overall: So damn crushable it’s not even funny. We couldn’t have chosen a better to kick off with on this warm and lazy Sunday arvo session.

Ballistic X Craft Cartel Affogato Brown Ale

Rating:

“Aroma of espresso coffee and milk chocolate, with a hint of ice-cream. The taste is of subdued chocolate, malt sweetness and creamy vanilla. The lactose gives the beer a luscious rounded mouthfeel which coats the inside of your mouth.”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Gorgeous dark cola to mahogany with a frothy three finger head. It slowly deconstructs and drags a wet lace down the glass.

Aroma: Nice, dark and roasty. Loving the amount of bottom end…plenty of heavily roasted malts, espresso and light campfire/ash. As she settles the vanilla and lactose open up and start revealing the sweet ice cream-like notes. Chocolate and cacao, burnt toast, earthy spice and a touch of licorice also getting a look in. Good depth… hopefully this all carries in to the palate!

Flavour: Well it holds up pretty nicely. More of a blended profile as opposed to the aroma; roasted malts, chocolate and coffee fused with the sweet and spicy vanilla, lactose and nuts. Picking up the ashy flavours late in the piece as it delivers a roasty and toasty finish with lingering coffee and dark chocolate on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth and oily. A slightly lifted CO2 hands it a bit of extra life but it still sits a little on the lean side. Mild-medium body. 5.5% ABV is nicely placed.

Overall: It’s a good beer but it just falls short of the mark for us. The Affogato side was portrayed well but for one of us Affogato is a favourite dessert and without the addition of either Frangelico or Kahlua it just isn’t complete! Either way it’s not a bad drop.

Bridge Road “NEeD #2′ West Coast IPA

Rating:

“The second beer in our new bi-monthly IPA series is a nod to the old school, with a Bridge Road twist. A luminous copper colour in the glass, the aromas are of pineapple, citrus + pine. Some grapefruit earthiness on the palate, makes way for a firm lingering bitterness and a hint of malt sweetness on the finish. It’s lean, mean, dank and ready to be drank.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bold amber with practically 100% clarity. It forms a sturdy two finger head that maintains its shape nicely. Healthy lace as we go.

Aroma: Jeez this has top shelf old skool west coast IPA written all over it. The first whiff yields dank piney resins and weed, mixed tropical fruits like pineapple, lychee, passionfruit and melon, earthy orange citrus and ruby grapefruit, florals/blossom herbals and a kinda spicy and stewy note which reminds us of the IPA’s of yesteryear. Tight AF!

Flavour: Dead set spot on. Aggressive yet well tempered. It comes on with all of that dank, resiny goodness, pine and weedy herbals then in to the pithy citrus and rind. We noticed this on the nose and were too caught up in the hop profile but it has an excellent caramel malt base which fills it out nicely. Tropical fruits tailing in late before a sharp, piney and herbaceous finish.

Mouthfeel: Chewy initially then it completely dries out post swallow. Medium body, IBU would have to sit around the 60 mark. Low-moderate CO2. 6.9% ABV reveals itself here and there.

Overall: This would have to be the best beer to come out of Bridge Road for years! It’s pin point for the style…big and aggressive yet well balanced and palatable. Kudos to the brewing team for this one. Superb.

Resin ‘Raspberry Fields’ Raspberry Berliner Weiss

Rating:

“Say g’day to the pink-drink of your dreams: our iconic Raspberry Fields Sour. You can expect the sourness of the Berliner Weisse to hit your palate first, followed by slightly bready notes, and finally finishing with a kick of raspberry sweetness!”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Pours an attractive deep pink with peachy hues. A short fizzy head emerges but it quickly dissolves until there’s nothing left.

Aroma: Nice and tart, light and ultra refreshing. The raspberries play a dominant role as to he expected. Behind it are very subtle hints of wheat grains, pink lemonade, pomegranate and a stray flutter of lime. Maybe the slightest hint of peppery spice coming through too. Basic but very alluring.

Flavour: Like the aroma it’s super light and almost revitalizing. Tart raspberry, wheat grains, mild salinity, slight earthy-ness and pink peppercorn mostly. Nice pulpy finish with a touch more salinity rounding it out.

Mouthfeel: Delicate, tart, refreshing. Light and effervescent Co2. Pucker rating only reaches an approachable 2/5. 3.5% ABV so it’s well within marathon territory.

Overall: Lovely drop. We can envisage ourselves pounding copious amounts of this on a stinking hot day. Don’t think it’s got the finesse to beat Wayward’s version but it certainly comes close! Kudos.

Marston’s ‘Old Empire’ IPA

Rating:

“A memorable and deceptively easy drinking IPA. This is an authentic recreation of the beer style created for, and enjoyed throughout the Empire. Goldings, Fuggles and American Cascade hops combine to give a crisp, citrus hops aroma with a balanced bittersweet finish,”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Amber with a mild haze. It constructs a rocky two finger head which gradually peels off and leaves an absolute mess on the glass.

Aroma: Straight up English IPA. There’s a solid base of semi sweet and lightly roasted malts for the orange citrus-driven and grassy/herbal hops to work off. Definitely some floral and spicy aspects along with that somewhat earthy, cedar-like character that’s synonymous with English ale. Just a hint of funky English yeast cutting through as well.

Flavour: We’re seeing the age old battle between malt and hops play out here. Earthy, citrusy and herbal/grassy hops seem to take control but the toasty and semi sweet malts immediately pull them back into line. Also getting a dry, spicy and grainy flavour which forms a big chunk of the finish…which really goes the distance.

Mouthfeel: Very well rounded. Slightly chewy yet crisp and a little dry. Perfectly carbonated. The 5.7% ABV is right on the money as well.

Overall: This style has to resurface again at some point. There’s too much to like about it for it not to. The precise balance, the light and crushable yet kinda complex nature of it. We want to see more new world English IPA!

Horal ‘Megablend ’19’ Oude Geuze

Rating:

“For this bottling of the old geuze mega blend 2019, 8 different breweries and studs have mixed lambic together. This mega blend was specially made for the 12th edition of Tour de Geuze and will have matured in the bottle for more than 6 months on the day of the Tour de Geuze 2019. The mixture contains Lambic that was 1, 2 and 3 years old when filling the bottles. Featuring a mix of lambics from 8 producers: 3 Fonteinen, Boon, De Oude Cam, De Troch, Hanssens, Lindemans, Oud Beersel, Tilquin and Timmermans. HORAL is the High Council for Artisanal Lambic Beers a non-profit organisation that represents gueuze producers in the Payottenland and the Valley of the Senne in Belgium.”

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Just a forewarning…open slowly! The caging was literally the only thing keeping the cork in the bottle! It pours a bold amber hue with a fizzy thumb of head. Steady reduction and minimal lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: As classic as traditional Lambic could be…ultra funked up, sour apple/cider, lemon juice, white vinegar, stanky cheese cave, unripened peach, white grapes and what we can only describe as pure lactic acid. Some floral perfumes also getting amongst it. Getting that crystalized sugary sweetness which reminds us of lemon sherbet. Big love!

Flavour: Oh wow the sourness is much more restrained than we anticipated…it’s actually more funky than it is sour. We get horse blanket, cheese cave, yeast esters, crisp sour apple and or cider front and center. Unripened stonefruit i.e nectarine, peach skins along with lemon sherbet as a customary late arrival to finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, frothy, light on. It’s very highly carbonated, akin to champagne at times. The 7% ABV goes largely unnoticed. Pucker rating…hhmm…a 3/5 we reckon.

Overall: The idea that 8 of the worlds best Lambic producers would get together to brew one amazing beer is enough to wet out pants. The fact that it (expectedly) comes through is even better. We have one question though…where the hell is Cantillon?!

Resin ‘Flame Tree’ Amber Ale

Rating:

Glassware: American pint.

Appearance: Kinda muddy rusted amber with a rapidly vanishing head. Looks like there could be Co2 issues here. We sincerely hope not.

Aroma: Smells like it has life so that’s a good sign. Lovely wafts of sweet malts encapsulating toffee, caramel and nutty grains. Fleeting hints of Asian herbs like lemongrass and coriander, a touch of peppercorn, fleshy stonefruit like paw paw and rock melon, apricot, kumquat and marmalade are all tied up in a neat little package. Quite a nice aroma in the end.

Flavour: Ok the Co2 worries we had at the beginning are all but gone…it just simply didn’t retain its head. It opens with a fruity kick and a solid support from semi sweet toffee and caramelised malts. Subtle jabs of citrus, peppery spice and herbs are thrown the whole way through until it punctuates on a dry yet malty sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: A little sticky, gelatinous and well rounded. There’s a nice line of hop bitterness, a slightly flat-ish Co2 and the 6% ABV is well behaved.

Overall: That’s 3/3 for this respectable, new-ish brewery. We wouldn’t go as far as saying this is an American style Amber Ale but there’s definitely a lifted hop presence and a higher ABV to boot. We likey!

Counter Culture ‘Holy Grain’ Honey Toasted Hazy IPA

Rating:

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Bright golden complexion with little haze. It forms two fingers of fluffy and well retained head which goes the distance. A nice smattering of lace decorates the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: For a rather light aroma there’s surprisingly good depth. It kicks off with a hint of hop oil and pine needle then it’s quickly chased by a mix of stonefruit and passionfruit, dried coconut, creamy oats, vanilla, wholemeal toast and semi sweet honey. Buried a little deeper are the hallmark hazy characters i.e frosty fruits, brekky juice/concentrate, paw paw, papaya etc. We haven’t been digging Sabro lately but we dig it here.

Flavour: Sweet and creamy upfront with the Sabro front and center. Coconut, vanilla, oat cream, sweet orange citrus and stonefruit. Toasted grains and subtle honey sweetness add an interesting, albeit subtle, element. Even more so when it meets the juicy and citrusy notes late in the piece. She really dries out in the finish and carries piney, citrusy and creamy notes for days.

Mouthfeel: Fluffy, creamy and aerated. Quite light on actually. Mild-medium body. 6.2% ABV is well positioned.

Overall: We can say with certainty that this new release blows Earl Of Swirl out of the water. It’s fun and well structured. Good beer.

Marston’s ‘EPA’ English Pale Session Pale Ale

Rating:

“EPA stands for English Pale Ale. And the stilt walker is actually an original hop picker. In this case Cascade and Styrian hops. They give it the subtle citrus flavours and delicate bitter aftertaste. An easy drinking, refreshing, light, blonde ale. Appeals to ale and lager drinkers. And the occasional stilt walker.”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Pours a lovely golden amber with a thumb of fizzy white head atop. It slowly recedes and works a wavy lace down the glass.

Aroma: Picking up a well balanced fusion of sweet caramelised malts, floral and citrusy hops and that classic earthy/woody note we get from British ale yeast. There is a nice crisp freshness to it too (even though the beer itself is a tick over 7 months old). Peppery grains, orange zest, blossom and a subtle musky-ness to boot. Not half bad.

Flavour: Again, there isn’t really one dominating feature, just a mellow fusion of zesty citrus, toasty and grainy cereal malts, light florals, a hint of candy/musk and a dry woody note in the background. It provides a fairly clean and dry finish with delicate piney notes on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp and dry. Mild body with a vibrant carbonation. Only 3.6% ABV so it really is a stayer.

Overall: Look it’s not a terribly exciting beer but it does the job. It’s got good depth of flavour and aroma with only a small ABV. A pleasant drop.

Black Sheep ‘Riggwelter’ English Strong Ale

Rating:

“Riggwelter takes its name from a local Yorkshire Dales farming term which has Nordic roots; “rygg” meaning back, and “velte” meaning to overturn. A sheep is said to be rigged or ‘riggwelted’ when it has rolled onto its back and is unable to get back up without assistance. What better name for a strong beer from the Black Sheep Brewery in Yorkshire, eh?!”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Gorgeous deep crimson pour with two fingers of finely beaded foam resting atop. Excellent retention and healthy lace clinging to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: We already love it as we can smell it as it sits idle on the table. Below the nostrils it offers an intense array of sweet malts and floral and fruity hops. Oodles of caramel, toffee, dark fruits like raisin, dates and plum, light florals, variants of orange citrus like blossom, marmalade and flambèed. Getting this scent of burnt butter and mushrooms? Kinda nice though.

Flavour: She’s actually richer and more complex on the palate. It almost reaches Dark Ale level with its heavy caramel, toffee and lightly roasted malts. Still plenty of dark fruit sweetness but the burnt toast, coffee and cocoa through the mid adds another dimension to this already brilliant beer. Then throw this almost funky English yeast in the mix and we have one smashing beer.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and gelatinous yet still quite crisp and perfectly balanced. Medium body, flat-ish Co2. 5.7% ABV is nicely disguised.

Overall: We’re absolutely loving our English ales lately. They’re such an underappreciated style and when they’re done this well you just have to appreciate it. Superb.

Garage Project ‘Excessive Machine’ Triple Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Take a trip to the outer limits. Excessive Machine, a huge hazy orgy of excess, where too much is barely enough. Brewed with unreasonable quantities of malt, jacked up on brewer’s sugar, then triple dry hopped with exorbitant amounts of Mosaic, Simcoe and Strata creating opulent layers of juicy tropical fruit, pineapple and passionfruit laced with dank resinous notes. Nothing succeeds like excess.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Hazy pastel orange with pastel yellow highlights. Nice thick haze going on. Two fingers of well retained head creates a fine lace down the glass.

Aroma: Oh wowsers it’s like a big boozy fruit salad.. the fruit profile coming off it is intense! Tonnes of pine resin and weedy herbals, dried coconut, peppery spice, juice concentrate, frosty fruits, mixed berries and one last thing we can’t quite our finger on. It’s best described as dank!! Just all sorts of danky goodness.

Flavour: Like a mirror image of the aroma: ripe and fleshy stone fruit, citrus, pineapple, guava, passionfruit, dank weedy herbals and pine. Some malt sweetness showing up too…really magnifies the sweet tropical fruits and subtle candy notes. The fruit salad character surges in to the slightly dry and pithy finish and hangs around for days!

Mouthfeel: Dense, smooth, chewy and luxurious. Medium-full body, mild-moderate CO2. The 10.2% ABV provides a bit of warmth but it’s generally well behaved for its size.

Overall: That’s a big (and we mean big!) statement from GP. Our only criticism would be that it borders on a cloying sweetness but in summary it’s a dangerously drinkable beast that’s sure to put hairs on your chest.

Resin ‘Refraction’ NEPA

Rating:

No Commercial Description.

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Sandy golden yellow with a thumb of loosely packed head on top. It holds up surprisingly well and works a patchy lace was we go.

Aroma: Chock-full of tangy citrus, stonefruit, passion fruit, peach skins, mild juice concentrate, oats and a doughy/breast malt at the base. Something a little weedy and resinous (pun intended!) In here too. Mango and rock melon certainly intensifies as it warms. Pretty solid stuff.

Flavour: She’s unbelievably smooth that’s for sure. Mixed orange citrus, passion fruit and subtle brekky juice characters upfront. A flutter of weedy herbs and resin coming through. Those dry and bready oats act as a backdrop and an excellent counter balance for the fruity hops to drive in to the lengthy finish.

Mouthfeel: Ultra smooth, creamy, very finely carbonated. Mild-medium body. The 5% ABV is nicely positioned in the beer.

Overall: Another extremely tidy offering from Resin. Not a great deal of contrast between this and Olfaction but take nothing away from this (or Olfaction) they’re both really good beers.

Cervecera Peninsula ‘Bloo Pie’ Blueberry Pie Sour

Rating:

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: It has that beautiful maroon hue like every blueberry-infused beer should. The head swells to two fingers before it quickly retreats. Scarce lacing as we go.

Aroma: There’s a lot to unpack here. Right off the bat we get a clear scent of buttered popcorn. Then the blueberries come in to play…at first offering strong notes of blueberry yoghurt and then compote. The intensity of the crumbly and buttery pastry is nuts! It’s also crammed full of butterscotch, whipped cream and vanilla/lactose. Oopht! That’s freakin amazing!

Flavour: And it certainly doesn’t take a backward step. It comes on with a punchy yet short cameo of sourness with sweet and sour notes of blueberry yoghurt, vanilla, buttery popcorn, oats and spicy wheat grains. Mixed berry sherbet comes to the party late then punctuates with vanilla ice cream, yoghurt and buttery pastry.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, fatty, oily. Medium body, mild-moderate Co2. 8% ABV is ridiculously well hidden. Pucker rating sits at a doable 2.5/5.

Overall: Wow what a beer! We definitely weren’t expecting this level of complexity and sheer intensity. Gotta hand it to this Spanish brewery…this is an impressive drop.

BrewHeart ‘Haze Jones’ DDH IPA

Rating:

“This one is for all slaves to the hops. Loaded with insane amounts of HBC-692 (Talus?), Citra and Mosaic. Crack one open and listen to Grace Jones.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Light golden amber with a faint haze. It forms a humongous four finger head which takes an eternity to reduce. Once it does it leaves a smattering of lace on the glass.

Aroma: Interesting to say the least. We keep picking up a subtle hint of smoky bacon but it fades away as it settles. Bizarre. That’s not before the initial wafts of soft tropical fruits, weedy herbals, candied lemon, ginger, citronella and yellow grapefruit. Hardly a hint of malt in sight! Maybe a flutter of wheat grains/hay but that’s it.

Flavour: It’s mostly centred around this slightly artificial candied lemon character which gets a little cloying we must admit. It’s flanked by yellow grapefruit, sticky pine resin and weed/herbals. A touch of wheat grains coming through before an oily finish with herbals and warming booze in the tail.

Mouthfeel: A little sharp and prickly, oily, mild-medium body. Spritzy Co2. The 8.2% ABV shows a little but it’s fairly well behaved.

Overall: Not liking this emphasis on the candied lemon quality, it gets a bit much by the end. It’s also a little unbalanced and puckering as well. This was our first crack at this German brewery and it’s most likely our last.

5 Barrel ‘Freefall’ Pale Ale

Rating:

“Our Pale Ale is an Australian twist on a classic American style. This beer typifies the type of session beer we love to drink at Five Barrels. It is light and easy drinking with a good smack of hop flavours and aromas, chased by a light biscuity body. We think that a good Pale Ale has to strike the right balance between the malt and the hops; it can’t be too sweet, but it can’t be too bitter either. It’s all about balance, and we think ours is pretty bloody good.”

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Mildly hazy light amber with a finger of white foam perched on top. The head gradually peels off but it’s able to weave a fine lace down the glass.

Aroma: Nicely balanced. There’s a good fruit profile alongside hints of herbals, resin, pine needles and fruit sugars/candy. The malt structure is fairly heady…certainly some caramel sweetness but also quite biscuity with a flutter of honey also coming through. It’s not going to win any prizes but it does the job.

Flavour: Once again the balance is key here. The semi sweet and kinda biscuity malts really take the edge off that classic hop bitterness. Mostly citrus and stone fruit with a pinch of herbals and pine carry through mid and land on a slightly dry and pithy finish which endures.

Mouthfeel: Keeping with the tradition of the beer it’s well rounded with a vibrant CO2. Medium body. 4.9% ABV.

Overall: Some might see this Pale Ale as being a little insipid but we can appreciate the pin point balance that’s struck here. If we were looking for a full flavoured yet light and sessional beer this would be one we’re reaching for. Solid drop.

5 Barrel ‘Night Cap’ Milk Stout

Rating:

“Milk Stouts contain the non-fermentable lactose sugar to add a velvety smooth body to a rich roasty beer. These are the original dessert beers, and are a perfect way to cap off a meal or just enjoy whenever you please. Enjoy a little warmer and observe how the flavours develop.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black with a short cappuccino head which quickly retreats to the rim. Minimal lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Classic notes of coffee, chocolate, porter-esque dark fruits, vanilla/lactose, cocoa, lightly toasted malts and toffee. Caramel and candy-ish scents also coming through…not going to go as far as saying they’re candi sugars but it certainly has a crystallised sugary sweetness which works in well. A little nutty and a little earthy as well. Diggin it.

Flavour: Very nicely layered with good progression. It kicks off with the classic four-to-the-floor stout characters; coffee, chocolate, dark fruits and a hint of creamy vanilla and or lactose. Hits a lightly charred note through the mid and carries the aforementioned, along with added licorice and ash, in to a dry and nicely drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: A tad too light on for our liking. Medium body, mild-moderate carbonation. 6% ABV is well placed for the style.

Overall: A pretty decent drop. The one thing we usually find with Aussie milk stouts is this weak and almost watery texture. For us, any stout whether it be imperial, BA, milk or even session it needs to have a dense and almost chewy body. Still, not a bad offering.

Resin ‘Olfaction’ NEIPA

Rating:

“Hazy,Juicy NEIPA. Nothing, but malt, water, yeast and hops!!”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Hazy sandy golden pour with a thumb of loosely packed foam atop. The head gradually peels off and forms a halo with patchy lace as we go.

Aroma: It’s certainly not short of the brekky juicy character but what we’re loving the most is the dry and kinda spicy oats which give it this almost chalky quality. Delicate hints of frosty fruits, mixed berries, unripened pineapple, rockmelon and guava. The fruit salad is really emphasised as it settles. Liking the subtle touch of vanilla and or lactose too. Really solid nose.

Flavour: Good transition. It opens with a nice dose of brekky juice with that oaty/chalky dryness on the flank. Slightly dank resin and pine, herbals, fleshy stone fruit, mixed citrus, vanilla and frosty fruits also getting a good look in. Really dries out late in the piece and finishes chalky and spicy with good length.

Mouthfeel: Dry, chalky, a little creamy. Mild-moderate body. Finely carbonated. 6% ABV is nicely positioned.

Overall: A pretty damn fine NEIPA for this relatively new brewery. Somewhat of a local for one of us hopheads! Solid way to kick off proceedings… we’ll be very keen to try the rest of the range.