Beer Zombies ‘Axe Brews. Vengeance’ Double Hazy IPA

Rating:

“Prepare to have your taste buds axed, we have taken this hazy double ipa to the next level with enormous mounds of Galaxy & El Dorado hops. Hitting you with juicy peach, pineapple whip, over ripe mango and a hint of dank resin to round out the backend. There is no hiding from the Axe that Brews Vengeance!”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Pours a slightly muddy dark orange to sandy golden colour with a loosely packed thumb of white foam atop. The head breaks up but manages to weave a thick, sudsy lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Seems a tad muted on first meet. It is quite juicy, quite nectary and sweet though. Canned peach, ripe orchard fruits, juice concentrate and slightly dank herbs make up the bulk of the aroma. Fleshy tropical fruits like mango, rockmelon and paw paw mingle with caramel and a gentle touch of toffee but luckily a hint of pepper takes the edge off the intense sweetness.

Flavour: Much more of the same here – lots of stewy, fruity sweetness but thankfully a hearty bitterness pulls it all into line. A soft jab of peppery spice is crucial to the fine balance it has on offer. The resinous/dank and piney aspect is also dialled up a bit more too and it actually finishes quite pithy and bitter which is great.

Mouthfeel: Fluffy and well aerated. Medium body and the Co2 is spot on. The 8% ABV is noticeable but fairly well behaved.

Overall: Our first entry for Beer Zombies. Weird name, weird artwork but in the end not half bad beer. It’s no Treehouse or Monkish but it’s respectable.

Aslin ‘Windjammer’ IPA

Rating:

“Dry-Hopped with Citra, Mosaic, Chinook, and Centennial” 

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Slightly hazy pale golden complexion with a tonne of very fine suspended sediment. It forms a healthy two and a bit finger head which holds its shape. Excellent lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: First thing we notice is a real weedy, resinous character but it’s quickly morphed into a heady onion-like scent which we haven’t smelt in an IPA for yonks! Lots of unripened peach and nectarine, woody and slightly earthy tones, white florals, hints of spice, pine and subtle orange also coming through. The vibe is sorta old-school but it isn’t. More of a No Coaster if we had to pick.

Flavour: Similar to the nose. Upfront it’s a tad resinous, piney, weedy…almost a bit dank. Tasting green onion/shallot, unripened peach, pineapple and mango. Peppery herbs like rocket and basil feed into the earthy/woody cedar. It develops a subtle pithy-ness late in the piece which helps set up the dry, bitter and citrusy finish that draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light on, drying up post swallow. Mild-medium body with good Co2. The 6% ABV slots in neatly.

Overall: Our first crack at this Virginian brewery. We’re getting splinters in our bum coz we’re fence-sitting. Can’t decide whether we like it or not. It ain’t bad.

White Bay ‘Right On’ Coffee & Vanilla Porter

Rating:

“HOLEY MOLEY OOLEY DOOLEY! This friggin beer slaps! Brewed on a complex base consisting of of ale malt, heaps of crystal and specialty malts, wheat and oats. We let this baby take it’s time, fermented cool and conditioned for ages. Post conditioning we conditioned this beauty on Indonesian vanilla beans and an absolutely magnificent Brazilian coffee blend from our neighbours at Little Marionette. An absolutely joy to drink.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: As black as the ace of spades with a fizzy dark brown head which disappears almost instantly. Absolutely zero head is left which means zero lacing.

Aroma: Oh my my my this smells the goods. The coffee aspect is utterly divine…it gives off a fresh cold drip quality which is eyes-rolling-in-the-back-of-the-head kinda stuff. Nice and neat little addition of sweet milk sugar/lactose to take the edge off the bitterness as well. Sensual notes of raw vanilla bean, dates/prunes and chocolate ganache adding more appeal to this already impressive aroma.

Flavour: Excellent transition to the palate. It delivers a strong punch of sweet espresso on entry followed by a balancing act of vanilla bean and creamy lactose. Delicious notes of lightly charred malt, dark chocolate and cocoa cross the mid palate and shift into a well balanced finish of espresso bitterness, ash, vanilla and creamy lactose.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky and nicely weighted. Medium-full body and finely carbed. The 6.8% ABV is incredibly well concealed.

Overall: Magnificent stuff here from White Bay. Very finely detailed and stylish. Pretty sharp pricing on it too. Only good things!

Tumut River Brewing ‘Tea Innit’ English Brown Ale

Rating:

“A brown ale with tea in it.. We love the occasional cuppa so we decided to combine some fine English tea with the finest artisanal dark malts from our good mates at Voyager Craft Malt and tin it. The result is a smooth and very drinkable brown ale that showcases the stunning flavours of the malted barley with a subtle hint of tea for the perfect arv refreshment . Smashing innit!”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Light mahogany with a deep ruby red tint when held to the light. It forms a finely beaded two finger head which slowly peels off. Lace rings mark each sip on the glass on its way down.

Aroma: We must give credit to TRBC, they’re always pushing the boundaries when it comes to edgy beers. Sometimes they pull it off and sometimes they fail miserably. We’re not going to call this too early but this may potentially fall into the ‘failed miserably’ category. Classic Brown Ale nuttiness though, delicate milk chocolate and toast on one hand and then the spicy, grassy and earthy tea on the other. Interesting.

Flavour: Oh wow okay. The characters that were already sorta clashing on the nose are now in all out warfare. We absolutely love Brown Ale and we both don’t mind a cuppa every now and then but you’d have to be a true die-hard Englishman to dig this. There’s simply no cohesion between the mildly roasted malts, nuts and spicy tea and unfortunately it maintains this position through to the finish.

Mouthfeel: Slightly rigid and a bit chewy. Mild-moderate body, low-ish Co2. The 5.3% ABV is neither here nor there.

Overall: Well…not much more can be said at this point. It’s a sink pour. Which we hate to do coz we do actually like what TRBC put out (most of the time). This though….this was an exception.

Fontaine ‘Harvest’ Farmhouse IPA

Rating:

“New world meets old world. At Beer Fontaine we love Saisons. We love Hops. We’ve dry hopped this farmhouse ale with piles of Saaz Lupomax & NZ Motueka Hops to create A fresh & funky IPA. This beer was Crafted with Australian & Belgian barley malt, Australian Triticale, Saaz, Moteuka & Nelson Sauvin Hops, Farmhouse Yeast.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Nice bright golden pour with a sturdy three finger head perched on top. Excellent retention and lacing as we imbibe.

Aroma: Man there’s no getting away from that Farmhouse yeast profile! We’re getting strong wafts of bubblegum, banana runts, barnyard and musty funk. Also big wafts of straw/hay and wheat grains on offer too. Candied orange, tangerine, white grape juice, freshly sliced pineapple, quince paste and aniseed just to add some further depth and complexity. It certainly isn’t short on character.

Flavour: Hhhmmm. Dead set this is bloody intricate. We’re getting everything from sweet tropical fruits, candied orange/citrus and spicy rye to wheat grains, dank herbs and musty funk. Then there’s the barnyard qualities, quince paste and a strange earthy-ness all rolled up into one. It has a very unappealing finish to it and unfortunately that lingers on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Light on and somewhat fluffy but it has a flat carbonation to it. The 6.7% ABV is pretty well hidden though.

Overall: We must admit the M.O of this brewery is very left-field so it’s no surprise this was an eccentric beer. Our issue is it’s untidy and it doesn’t really gel. It’s a shame it didn’t really come off in the end coz we do like this brewery.

Reub Goldberg ‘Reub’s Gold’ DH Pilsner

Rating:

“A crisp, easy drinking Pilsner with Zappa & Sabro Cryo hops adding bright notes of candied orange peel & lemon zest.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Quite dark for a Pilsner – deep golden amber pour (possibly oxidised) with a billowing three and a bit finger head. Good retention and healthy lacing following it down.

Aroma: We don’t believe it’s diacetyl-infected but the malt profile displays a tonne of honey, light caramel and buttery biscuits…all of which can be attributed to light IPA’s and Pale Ale’s on any given day. Throw in the additions of Zappa and Sabro Cryo hops and you couldn’t be blamed for thinking this was a Pale Ale. We get it’s a new world Pilsner but sheesh!

Flavour: Right now the only aspect that makes this a Pilsner is the Lager yeast. Light sulfur/vegetal notes and a hint of DMS manifest but they’re rather easily drowned out by an overarching malt sweetness and candied citrus, nectary fruits, coconut and mint. It does at least have a dry, fruity finish but it’s cut a bit short.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, chewy and a little tired. Mild-medium body with flattish carbonation. The 4.8% ABV is on par for the style.

Overall: In our opinion it’s landing somewhere between a new world Pilsner and a summery Pale Ale. We’re sure some will dig that about it but for us it was just confusing and mediocre.

Banks ‘Pecan Can’ BA Imperial Pastry Stout

Rating:

“Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Pastry Stout. Conditioned on toasted pecans, marshmallow fluff, toasted coconut, and vanilla bean after being aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. We advise sharing and enjoying this luxurious, intricate, and utterly excellent barrel-aged stout slowly, like a great wine, to allow the beer to open and highlight the lovely components on exhibited by this special brew Contains lactose.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black pour with a short and finely beaded brown cap. It gradually reduces and settles at the rim. Nice legs on the glass as we hook in.

Aroma: Smells good. Exceptional balance between the sweet and spicy Bourbon/oak and the rich, roasted malt structure. The toasted pecans are pretty subtle…picking up their nutty and mildly woody profile which is impressive considering everything else happening within the beer already. Definitely getting the coconut and vanilla too. The marshmallow opening up later on. Wow, it’s all here.

Flavour: Pow! Is this The Bruery or Banks?! They’ve hit this one outta the park. Seriously complex upfront – super roasty, nutty but also a tad sweet from the vanilla, marshmallow, Bourbon/oak etc. Actually the latter really doesn’t show through a whole lot but it’s not that big of a deal as it’s so incredibly well layered with everything else. A nice big roasty bitterness to finish too.

Mouthfeel: Dense AF. Full bodied, low-ish Co2. The 10% ABV is well integrated.

Overall: Just pure Pastry Stout goodness. Absolutely jam packed with flavour and character. Tell ya what if they could’ve pulled more out of the Bourbon barrels it’d be an easy 10. Still, a very impressive offering.

The Garden Brewery Double Imperial Affogato Stout

Rating:

“Huge pastry stout inspired by the Italian classic. Laden with cold-brew Espresso, Cacao Nibs, Tonka Beans, Milk Sugar and Madagascan Vanilla pods.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black complexion with a rapidly vanishing head. No head = no lacing.

Aroma: Our quest to find an Affogato Stout that even remotely tastes like Affogato now brings us to the Garden Brewery. And on first acquaintance we’re not overly impressed. We get this weird and unnecessarily sweet confectionary character that doesn’t resemble Affogato at all. Once we break it down we do pick up the Tonka beans, vanilla and coffee but it just doesn’t vibe.

Flavour: OK it’s gelling a bit more here. The Stout base has turned up and is now offering a bit of bottom end – raw cacao, espresso coffee and chocolate. Still, this weird artificial sweetness we got on the nose is spoiling it. Kinda reminds us of a nutty syrup (probably their way of promoting the liqueur aspect). Then it all drops into a weak and molasses-like finish which ain’t working.

Mouthfeel: Nice and slick, medium-full body. Co2 is spot on. The 10.7% ABV is well concealed. This is probably the best part of the beer.

Overall: Well the quest continues. Seriously, why is it so effin hard to find a Stout that can portray the basic flavours of an Affogato?! We think this is our 5th attempt with no joy. Good thing we’re committed!

La Sirene X Starward ‘Dark Star 2.0’ BA Chocolate Stout

Rating:

“Part 2 of our long standing collaboration with one of the pioneers of Australian Whisky. DARK STAR is our well-known Praline that has been thoughtfully aged in freshly disgorged premium STARWARD whisky barrels for 12 months.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Matte black with an extremely fizzy brown head which disappears rather quickly. Only the finest of rings is left and there’s no surprises that it doesn’t lace one bit.

Aroma: We remember all those years ago when the OG Praline Stout was released. Way back before the explosion of Pastry Stouts. We recall being blown away so it’s really cool to see this barrel aged expression. Big wafts of Belgian chocolate, hazelnut, nougat and toffee upfront (just as the original did). The Starward whiskey is nicely woven through…adding a touch of Port/Red Wine, Apera/Sherry, orchard fruits oak and spice.

Flavour: Hhhmmm we had an inkling it was going to display a bit of tartness and it does. Thankfully it’s only a short cameo and the nutty, chocolatey and caramel-filled middle washes over. There’s a slight bitterness and a robust roasted malt which sets up for a nutty, mildly roasty and vinous finish which lingers on the back palate nicely.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light and effervescent. A little pucker on the lips too. Medium body. The 6.3% ABV is uncommonly low for a BA Stout. We don’t mind it though.

Overall: Not as thrilled by it as we had hoped. Starward are yet to produce a whiskey we like though so that could have something to do with it. The Praline Stout base was the best part in our opinion.

De Molen ‘Mout & Mocca’ Imperial Coffee Stout

Rating:

“Bourbon infused coffee imperial stout-ish, released at Borefts Beer Festival 2019.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black with a thin tan head that quickly fades. It forms a wafer thin ring and unsurprisingly lacks in the lacing department.

Aroma: Smells good but quite muted. We get subtle soy sauce/Vegemite which usually indicates age and funnily enough this bad boy was bottled in November ’18. Normally we’re not averse to buying already aged Stouts (actually, we actively seek them out) but buying one expecting it be fresh-ish then receiving this reflects poorly on the bottlo. Anywho…we press on.

Flavour: We’re not totally sure if the beer has turned or not. The big roasty base, dark chocolate and coffee is certainly detectable but they’re tired and as it progresses the subtle Vegemite and soy sauce creeps in and somewhat spoils it. The finish is still nice and roasty, chocolatey and the coffee features rather well.

Mouthfeel: Pretty full, chewy, a tad oily. Low-ish Co2. The 10% ABV is very neatly tucked away.

Overall: Our guess is this Stout is right on its turning point. 4 years isn’t too bad for a non-barrel aged Impy Stout so no ill feelings toward the brewery. We do feel a little ripped off by the bottlo though, at the very least they should make buyers aware of its age. Especially when paying full price!

Jervis Bay ‘Bayswell’ Red IPA

Rating:

“Named after the very rare, but oh so amazing swell on the shore of our enclosed bay beaches. This one’s a bit of a chameleon: starting out with hints of passionfruit, pineapple and stonefruit, mango comes through as it warms a little.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Very attractive copper red to deep amber complexion with a nicely held two and a bit finger head. Good retention and healthy lacing down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Dead set we only had to lift the glass off the table before we could smell the goods. Each time we swirl and take a whiff it changes slightly… initially it was all sweet and chewy malts then it was fruity, piney and a tad resinous/oily. Now it all seems to have merged and is displaying this extremely intense amalgamation of the two. Magnificent.

Flavour: We probably bang on about this every time we review a Red IPA but the balance is so crucial with this style and we’re glad to say they’ve nailed it here. The sweet and fairly robust malts lay down the perfect platform for the fruity, resinous/piney and slightly fleshy hops to work off. There’s a really pleasant tussle all the way through to a well drawn out finish.

Mouthfeel: Slick, chewy and gelatinous. Medium body. Nice vibrant Co2 and a well behaved 6.1% ABV.

Overall: Not surprised by the quality of this one bit. Jervis Bay is a seriously underrated brewery and deserves a lot more attention. Solid stuff.

Sunday Road ‘Summer Samba’ Fruited Sour

Rating:

It’s the time you have all been waiting for – a Sunday Road sour! What better time to drink this refreshing brew then under the hot Australian sun! Let the sounds of Summer Samba dance around your ears, while waves of raspberry, bursts of boysenberry and hints of vanilla take your taste-buds on a waltz of their own.

Glassware: Teku.

Appearance: Pouring a slightly rusty strawberry red with a short and fizzy white cap which quickly retreats to the rim. Not a whole lot of lacing to speak of.

Aroma: Smells like a bunch of fresh berries that just got thrown into a blender. Super aromatic and very summery vibes. Obviously the raspberry dominates but the blackberries do punch through with their delicate, musky and floral character. Nice and basic Sour base in support – light, citrusy and mildly funky – letting the feature ingredients do all the talking as it should. Solid start.

Flavour: Bursting with it. All sorts of mixed berry notes swirling around…mostly raspberry, strawberry and blackberry with very tenuous hints of blueberry and tart green grapes/gooseberry as well. Some wheat grains, hay and straw add a slight earthy-ness while tart green apple/pear roll into a crisp and fruity finish which lingers nicely.

Mouthfeel: Light, clean and mineraly with just the right amount of effervescence. Mild-moderate body. Liking the 5% ABV too, it’s a tad higher than your standard Kettle Sour but it hides it well.

Overall: This is the 2nd instalment of SR’s summer samba. In our opinion it was probably released a little too early but that aside it’s a cracking sour.

Boatrocker ‘Hello Stranger’ Red IPA

Rating:

“Hello Stranger is our take on a red IPA that brings the hop complexity of an IPA together with the malty goodness of something a little darker. We’re really excited to be back in the swing of working with bolder malt driven beers, and you better believe this is only the first of many to come.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Very deep amber colour with a reddish-bronze glow. It only manages a short tan cap which settles at the rim. Spotty lace sticks to the glass as we go.

Aroma: The malt bill has a seriously chewy sweetness to it. Big and moreish burnt toffee overtones are backed up by rich caramel, maple syrup, butterscotch and honeysuckle. The hops (which balance out the malts brilliantly, mind you) offer more of a floral character with additions of sweet nectary fruits like passionfruit, mango and peach. Some boiled candy notes thrown on top for good measure.

Flavour: Interesting. This distinct earthy quality shows up here and we feel it creates this third wheel kind of vibe. It didn’t need it to be honest. The malts were sticky and sweet and the hops were doing a decent job at counteracting them. Still, the bones of the beer are pretty good and the balance is reasonable. The finish progresses nicely too…chopping from sweet and sticky to dry and fruity a few times.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy, chewy and gelatinous. Medium body, well carbed. The 6% ABV adds no more warmth than it needs to.

Overall: Look, it’s not Boatrocker’s best beer but it’s still somewhat decent. One of those try and fly sorts that aren’t all that memorable.

Range ‘Cash Rules Everything Around Me’ Hazy Pale Ale

Rating:

“Cash Rules Everything Around Me is a brand new DDH Pale that features a Cashmere heavy dry hop, accompanied by our homie Citra. We were aiming for a soft and tropical pale that packed a juicy punch for its ABV and that is exactly what we’ve delivered. Orange citrus zest with hints of lemon and lime on the nose quickly transform to soft peach and melon on the palate. Citra brings a distinctly creamy orange finish with a light lychee hint. Low on bitterness and high on the crush factor.”

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Super hazy light pastel orange and a thumb of loosely packed off white head perched on top. Reasonable retention and shows good legs as it ebbs.

Aroma: Dialling up the dank here! Shit loads of pine and resin too. Aahh Citra…you never get old. Like a fine wine, the older they get the better they become. And the fact that it’s the Cryo version is what notches it up another level or two. Picking up some brekky juice here and there, ripe fleshy stone fruits and spicy herbs i.e basil, aniseed, rocket etc. Hints of lime zest, dough and frosty fruits also getting a look in.

Flavour: It screams IPA so it’s bloody impressive that it’s merely a 5.5% Pale Ale. A lot of that can be attributed to the magnificent hop bill though. Citra especially…it’s the wonder hop! Dank, piney, resinous, pithy and fruity. They were made for American Pale Ale! A good dose of herbal spice, guava, honeydew, tangy lime zest and a dry, chalky and musty malt bill encapsulating it all.

Mouthfeel: Really smooth, aerated and fluffy. Mild-moderate body, Co2 is fine and the 5.5% ABV is right where we like it to be for the style.

Overall: Superb stuff here from Range. And what makes them even more desirable is the sharp price point on almost all of their beers. The products are that good they could easily charge more but they don’t, and we respect that. They’re easily in our top 5 best breweries in Australia.

Bayreuther Brauhaus Helles

Rating:

“The Bayreuther Brauhaus has a tradition of 150 years in brewing Bavarian specialties the artisan and honest way. The Bayreuth brewery turns the original Bavarian way of life into a real treat with genuine and honest beers that are brewed with passion and a lot of love. The Bayreuther Hell is a typical Bavarian Helle, at home in the beer garden – tasty and mild, fresh and spicy.”

Glassware: Half Stein.

Appearance: Bright pale golden pour with 100% clarity. A light and fluffy three finger head takes shape before gradually receding. A magnificent lace is left in its wake.

Aroma: About as conventional as a German Lager could possibly get. The first thing we notice is the way the grains display themselves…semi sweet, biscuity, bready and ultimately smooth. Super grassy and spicy hop profile which offers subtle hints of hay/straw and mild earthy tones as well. Very delicate vegetal/sulfuric qualities and just the right amount of DMS and or creamed corn.

Flavour: Absolute neck oil this stuff. It kicks off with semi sweet malts and soft bready, toasty and earthy accents hinged off it. Somewhat grainy hay/straw and white florals making their entrance around the mid. The hops finally kick into gear and throw out grassy, spicy and herbal notes before it finishes kinda dry, grainy and grassy.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, uber clean and light on. Slightly under-carbed but it’s got a fuller body than expected. The 4.9% ABV is right on the money.

Overall: October is a great month. Not only is the weather starting to warm up but it’s an excellent excuse to get stuck into some top quality German beer! And that is precisely what this Lager was.

Working Title ‘Seduction’ BBA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“An Imperial Stout boasting 12 different malts and hopped with Simcoe and Columbus. It was aged for 16 weeks in Makers Mark bourbon barrels and then split three ways to create three different, yet complementary brews. Coffee and cacao add complexity to this iteration, highlighting the pine and woody notes, while silky smooth vanilla rounds things out.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black with a finger of tan foam resting atop. Reasonably good retention and a fine lace in its wake.

Aroma: This already smells 100x better than Temptation, although we must take in to account the addition of the trifecta (coffee, chocolate and vanilla). These 3 adjuncts – even by themselves – are game changers so we won’t get too carried away. Anywho, those 3 magnificent aromas are backed up by a healthy dose of Bourbon/oak and the base Stout is bloody brilliant.

Flavour: It’s coming unstuck a little bit here. Granted, the trifecta of adjuncts, the Bourbon/oak and the rich, roasty Stout base make for a big and hearty beer but the lack of cohesion throws cold water on it all. Still even with said lack of cohesion the intensity of the ingredients refuse to take a backward step and march right into a rich, robust and roasty finish which draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Slightly rigid but full bodied, oily and dense. Low-ish Co2 and an intermittent warmth from the 10% ABV.

Overall: So as one would expect it’s far better than the un-flavoured base version (Temptation). Not bad but not great.

Shapeshifter ‘Greener Pastures’ Hazy IPA

Rating:

“This hazy IPA pours a beautiful pale straw colour, with a bright white head and light body for an enjoyable drinking experience. Leading the way on flavour is the Australian favourite, Galaxy, backed up by Zamba and Ekuanot. You’ll find flavours and aromas of passionfruit, pineapple, melon and lime from start to finish.”

Glassware: IPA.

Appearance: Deep sandy golden pour with a medium haze. It forms a rocky two finger head which maintains its shape. Excellent lacing is strewn down the glass.

Aroma: There’s some really unique and striking features coming off it. Most notably the passionfruit, mango, pineapple, lime and bay leaf. A proper smorgasbord of other aromas such as peach, tang and or candied orange, paw paw, dried leaves, green apple and rosemary/thyme. There’s this certain scent we just can’t put our fingers on though…kind of reminds us of a scented candle but we can not think of it!

Flavour: Maaaaaybe not as much cut through as it had on the nose but it still comes together very nicely. Still trying to isolate a distinct flavour on entry. It’s very much a fruit salad, but a very unique one at that. One that is filed with pinewood herbs, stone fruits, lime, passionfruit, guava and unripened pineapple. The finish carries through the herbs and fruit sweetness but tapers off a bit.

Mouthfeel: Light and aerated. A touch creamy. Finely carbed with the 6.7% ABV tucked away neatly.

Overall: It showed a bit more promise than what it actually delivered. Points for difference and eccentricity even though the execution wasn’t quite there. Not bad.

Fox Friday ‘Whip It Good’ Pilsner

Rating:

NO COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Bright and clear golden pour with a thumb of fizzy white head which slowly peels off. Not much of it sticks to the glass as it subsides though.

Aroma: Really liking the rendezvous between the old world and new world styles here. The base Pilsner malt displays that age old sweet, biscuity and straw-like note whilst hints of honey, light caramel and bread fills it out. It’s the Nelson Sauvin hops which brings this edgy new world character to the beer with ripe green fruits (kiwifruit, honeydew, white grapes), vine leaves and pine forest. Diggin it thus far.

Flavour: Follows through nicely. Tasting the sweet and bready malt on the front palate with a nice crisp hop bitterness cutting through. Somewhat fruity, a little tart, herbaceous and piney in its delivery. Delicate hints of caramel and hay/straw through the mid which lay down for a nicely drawn out leafy/herbaceous finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, lean and light on. Very clean as well. Mild-moderate body and just the right amount of effervescence. The 5.5% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: Quite a good Pilsner. Nicely balanced, crisp, refreshing and full flavoured. They can certainly add this style to their already impressive repertoire now.

Working Title ‘Temptation’ BBA Imperial Stout

Rating:

“An Imperial Stout boasting 12 different malts and hopped with Simcoe and Columbus. It was aged for 16 weeks in Makers Mark bourbon barrels and then split three ways to create three different, yet complementary brews. This batch is just straight-up delicious Imperial Stout with no extra additions, allowing the barrel influence to shine through.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Glossy black with two fingers of light brown foam emerging on top. Good retention and healthy lace work as it ebbs.

Aroma: We honestly don’t know what to expect from this little BA Imperial Stout series. We recall a few years ago having an awful Stout from these guys but then they go and brew one of the best Stouts for GABS ’21 (or 2022. Forgive us our memories of those nights are a bit hazy…as you could imagine ?). The first few whiffs are unfortunately uninspiring. Lackluster Stout base and shy Bourbon/oak notes. Hhmm.

Flavour: Thankfully it picks up a bit here. We’re getting some much-loved ferocity from the charred malts and dark chocolate along with hints of sweet and spicy honey and nutty/toasty oak from the Maker’s Mark barrels. On that, Maker’s Mark are very impressive barrels to acquire and were not 100% sold that they’re getting the full potential out of them. Whether they’re first use or not hasn’t been disclosed so our guess is that they’re not.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full, muscly and oily. Co2 is right on the money and the 10% ABV is intermittent.

Overall: Look, it’s nowhere near Deeds or Boatrocker level but it’s OK. We’d say more on par with the Hawkers stuff – decent but with some flaws. A real positive with this is its price point (around $12 a tinny) which is very affordable. Unlike uh hum…Hawkers.

Shapeshifter X Bodriggy ‘Fading Light’ DDH Red Ale

Rating:

“Brewed for our friends at Bodriggy Brewing for their Lunaverse festival, this is an easy drinking red ale which has been double dry hopped with some of our faves. The combination of Gladfield malts create the perfect red hue, and then you’re hit by the hop trio of Strata, Amarillo and El Dorado. You’ll find notes of punchy pine, ripe citrus and light passionfruit.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: It hits the glass with an attractive copper red hue and a frothy three finger head which slowly deconstructs. It leaves an absolute mess on the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Teeming with caramelised malts but brilliantly reeled in by the piney and fruity hops. Impressive balance they’ve struck here…just as the nostrils fill up with sweet sugary caramel and maple the fresh pine needle, grapefruit, passionfruit and orange citrus are equal to the task. More obscure but equivalently delicious notes of toffee apple, honeydew and thyme also coming through.

Flavour: Once again the robust malt structure dominates but only for a fleeting second or two before the hops make their grand entrance. Not only is the hop bitterness absolutely crucial at countering the malts but they also add pine, herbals, fruit and dank notes. It displays this magnificent marriage as it finishes semi-sweet and citrusy with a lingering dryness.

Mouthfeel: Slick, inoffensive and super palate friendly. Co2 is spot on and the 5% ABV was surprisingly low but it certainly fits nicely into the beer as a whole.

Overall: Another finely executed beer from Shapeshifter. We’re really digging what they’re putting out lately. On the other hand we haven’t had much experience with Bodriggy but after this we may have to change that.