Category Archives: Amber Ale

Small Gods ‘Janus’ American Amber Ale


“As the pains of the world fade away your eyes flicker back open on an empty hall. A doorway stands at one end, its complex and ornate filigree surrounds chipped and worn with the gentle wear of passing aeons. The yawning portal stands open and within you glimpse a featureless void offering the inviting darkness of a peaceful oblivion. Hesitant, you turn 180 degrees. Behind you stands a starkly different door, trimmed in knife-sharp lines of shining steel. The antiseptic white glow from beyond calls out with a disquieting offer of eternal bliss. Here beside you, Janus appears, both faces implacable and stern. His single word breaks the echoing silence. “Choose.”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber with strong candy red highlights. Very active Co2 streaming upward to help retain the rocky two finger head. Steady reduction and healthy lacing on the glass.

Aroma: The humble old Amber Ale. Such an unappreciated and underrated style which can be so satisfying when brewed properly. As this one has. It’s all malts initially – particularly toffee and caramalt which is throwing out oodles of toffee and caramel (shock horror), some earthy dark fruits and honeysuckle. No surprise that there’s a clear hop profile to it as well – kinda spicy, citrusy, slightly herbaceous in its delivery. Very nice.

Flavour: Excellent progression. Quite nicely poised upfront. The malts and hops are balanced like a beer on a barrel. It’s not until around the mid palate when the earthy yet sweet/caramelised malts edge in front. But just as quickly as they came, the hop bitterness, spiciness and herbals even it all back out. It takes on a mild toastiness late in the piece which finishes more roasty, a tad peaty, sweet and dry.

Mouthfeel: Rather chewy, gelatinous texture. Dries up in the swallow. Medium body and a nicely positioned 6.5% ABV.

Overall: A fine offering from this new-ish Auckland brewery. We’re certain those Aucklandians(?) are enjoying another craft brewery option in the city. By God, they needed it.

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.

Baron’s Black Wattleseed Ale


“The resulting beer delivers a wealth of flavour that you can’t deny. This multi-award winning wattle seed ale has a rich flavour base of caramel with a hint of chocolate. The smooth malt flavours are lightly hopped and then infused with roasted wattle seed, bringing a unique and authentic Australian flavour. The result is an outstanding ale that boasts a smooth taste profile balancing its robust character, an ultimately rewarding yet distinctive beer.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Pours a lovely burnished amber colour with a wispy tan overlay. The head reduces quickly and forms a collar with scarce spotty lacing on the glass.

Aroma: This is a re-post as we first reviewed this beer way back in early 2013. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw that it had been re-released in a can. Not much seems to have changed either which is excellent. It still provides a conventional Amber Ale base – nutty malts, caramel/toffee, butterscotch and fleeting hints of maple. The wattleseed is very delicate but does yield a bit of roast and mild smoky notes.

Flavour: Man, that’s as good as we remember it being when we first tried it about 20 years ago. Delicious caramel and nutty malts flowing through then that soft roasty element from the wattleseed adding a bit of smoke and char on the edges. The hops do a magnificent job of drying it out and countering the malt sweetness as well. Nice and nutty finish with the hops providing the balance.

Mouthfeel: Slick, chewy and gelatinous. Medium body and the 5.2% ABV is bang on for the style.

Overall: Wow what a blast from the past! Was not expecting to walk into the bottlo and see this on the shelves. The best thing is that it’s practically unchanged from the recipe decades ago. Nostalgia at its finest.

Stoic Amber Ale


“A malt focused, heavy-bodied Amber Ale with a hint of sweet caramel and notes of toffee.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Deep rusted amber pour with a short tan head which settles at the rim. Rather scarce lacing as we go.

Aroma: Distinctly sweet but in an excessively artificial way…its dominant scents are toffee and dark fruits like raisin, plum and dates with hints of earthy caramel, floral and mildly fruity hops, sweet spices and jam on toast. We must admit as it settles the confectionary side tapers off and it all begins to come together quite well.

Flavour: Much to our surprise it’s a lot hoppier than we’d anticipated. The usual suspects are here – toffee, caramel, nutty syrup and dark fruits – but the floral and slightly citrusy hop profile enjoys some of the attention. The mid-palate totally drops away but fortunately it finishes with a dry hop bitterness, spicy caramel and toffee. The length ain’t too bad either.

Mouthfeel: A little watery but it’s ultimately smooth and palate friendly. Co2 is on the lower end and the 5.3% ABV is a little lost in the ether.

Overall: Certainly some weak points but some positives at the same time. Regrettably, it seems they still haven’t shaken off the homebrew vibe we got when we first visited the brewery a few years ago ????

Pizza Port ‘Chronic’ Amber Ale


ChronicAle is a long time house favorite at our brewpubs. Brewed with house yeast strain La Cruda and English specialty malts, this mellow amber ale is lighter in flavor with a smooth bitterness. Sip, sip… Cheers!

Glassware: American Pint.

Appearance: Nice bold amber hue and a healthy two finger head perched on top. 100% clarity. Wavy lace is clinging to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: The humble old American Amber Ale. It’s a seriously underrated style which gets nowhere near the amount of attention it deserves. In our opinion when it’s brewed right they present as Amber IPA’s which ticks a lot of boxes for us. This is doing exactly that; sweet, nutty and honey malt structure with a good helping of herbal spice, sappy resins, fennel seed and candied lemon.

Flavour: Kiiind of feels like they’ve toned the intensity down a bit here. The malt, although still present, tastes a little watered down and the hops have lost their serration. It comes off as more earthy, more grainy perhaps, yet carried through by the pronounced hop bitterness and finished with the sweet toasty malts and herbal spice.

Mouthfeel: A little thin for our liking but at 4.9% ABV they can be forgiven. Moderately bodied, flattish Co2. Very palate friendly.

Overall: Even though it didn’t really impress on the intensity front this would easily fit the bill for a full-flavoured session beer. At 4.9% and with its slightly mellow flavour profile it’s right in that range.

Akasha ‘Triple Fire’ Triple Amber Ale


“We’ve blown open the Akashic vaults and dusted off a much loved classic for this limited release anniversary remix, the Triple Fire. Caramel and biscuit licks meet hoppy citrus riffs for a ripping beer that takes thing (almost) all the way to eleven. Hells yeah.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Deep bold amber pour with a thumb of lightly tanned foam perched on top. The head gradually peels off and leaves healthy lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Definitely brewed in the American style, in true Akasha fashion. Those sweet and nutty caramel malts fill up the nostrils initially and the citrus and pine-driven hops pull it all back into line nicely. The usual suspects dominate: caramel, toffee, butterscotch and honeysuckle with more delicate hints of toffee apple, blood orange, buttery biscuits and toasted brioche also coming through.

Flavour: It’s actually quite sharp and punchy for the style. Then again it’s probably more American than most American amber ales! Personally the booze burn is too overpowering and the bitterness could have been dialled back a little bit. Slightly syrupy caramel, toffee and honeysuckle with the sharp citrus and pine not really effective enough at cutting through it. A bit of a harsh finish on it too.

Mouthfeel: Big, boozy, astringent, slightly chewy. Medium body, flat-ish Co2. The 10.5 % ABV is too much in our opinion.

Overall: It’s a shame coz it started off really strong. The second it hit the palate it went downhill – too boozy, too bitter and unbalanced. Iron those issues out and they could be on to something.

Tumut River Brewing ‘Tex Mex’ Texas BBQ Amber Ale


“What’s with the name? Well I promised my 6 year old nephew that I would name a beer after him and he prefers Max Power to Mad Max (who am I to argue) and this beer is pretty powerful, in the flavour stakes, so it seems fitting. This beer is a collaboration with our friends at Garlicious Black Garlic, yep you heard right – garlic! Black garlic! So what goes with garlic? I reckon one of my slow smoked beef brisket rubs. This baby has Black Garlic, Cumin, Cayenne Pepper and Chilli. It’s a beef rub in an amber ale! Smells like a bbq, tastes like a brisket and has a subtle burn on the finish leaving you looking for another one.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Deep amber pour with a soft red tint when held to the light. It only managed a short tan head which collapsed pretty quickly. Scarce lacing as it subsides.

Aroma: Holy moly! This is literally for all of you low and slow meat smokers out there…you need to get on this. Let’s just say the next time you have your brisket ready to go forget your spice rub and use this beer! When we first read that black garlic, cayenne, cumin and chilli was used in this beer we knew we had to have it. Maybe it’s the love for southern BBQ in us but they all smell fantastic!

Flavour: It’s fair to say that the cayenne and chilli pepper adds some serious heat to this bad boy and when we say a shitload we mean a shitload of pepper, garlic, cumin, onion powder and even a touch of mustard for good measure. Loving the soft smoky notes as well…really rams home what they’re trying to do here.

Mouthfeel: Pretty nondescript – smooth, sticky, medium bodied with mild-moderate Co2. Lots of warmth from the chilli instead of the 5.9% ABV.

Overall: Not sure if this will come off as rude or not but this beer is better off being a marinade. Don’t get us wrong, it was really fun and quite tasty but my God this is the perfect marinade for a pulled pork or a brisket. Digging the creativity.

Tumut River Brewing ‘Voodoo Child’ Amber Ale


“Our new American Amber was made with a single malt, Voodoo, from our mates at Voyager Craft Malt. If someone makes a fantastic malt in your region with an awesome name why not just run with it?”

Glassware: American Pint.

Appearance: Now this pours like a real Amber Ale! It’s deep with a ruby red tint which really is a sight for sore eyes. It forms a two finger head which gradually recedes and weaves a healthy lace down the glass.

Aroma: This is all class so far. Super rich and sweet caramel, toffee apple, butterscotch and maple-coated cashews greet the olfactories. Really well supported by a distinct juicy orange citrus character which adds not only another angle of sweetness but also a bit of tartness as well. There’s a hint of tang, some florals and boiled candy to tie it all off.

Flavour: This was the big one. Could it keep on the trajectory it was on…hell yes it can! It all transitions from the nose; burnt caramel, toffee, subtle butterscotch, orange peel, blood orange and paw paw. There’s an evident bitterness that kicks up around the mid palate which adds a crucial counter balance to the sweetness as well. Nice and sweet, nutty and bitter finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, gelatinous and very well rounded. Medium body and Co2. The 5% is on par for the style.

Overall: This was a very pleasant surprise. TRBC can be inconsistent at the best of times but on this occasion they’ve absolutely nailed it. By far their best beer we’ve tried. It reminds us of the really hearty Amber Ales of the late 90’s and early Noughties. Very impressive.

Smog City ‘Sabre-Toothed Squirrel’ Hoppy Amber Ale


“This medium bodied hoppy American amber ale balances a solid hop profile with a rich caramel and toasty malt character. Expect notes of sweet citrus, pine resin and a touch of peach on the nose with complex maltiness and a firm bitterness in the finish.”

Glassware: American Pint.

Appearance: Deep amber pour with shades of pink and candy red. Full transparency. It forms a thumb of light khaki foam which maintains its shape. Healthy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Pow! The dank and resinous hops lift out of the glass immediately. It’s straight up grapefruit and blood orange with truck loads of pine resin, dank herbals, rotting leaves, strong floral perfumes and rind. And that’s just the hop profile! The malt bill also offers a hefty marriage of toffee and caramel, toast and blood plum and then there’s nuanced hints of earthy apricot, sage and stewed fruits filling it out further. Very well layered aroma.

Flavour: We’re really impressed at how they’ve managed to draw out this aggressive West Coast quality but still keep it mostly sweet and malty. Pine resins, florals, pithy citrus and dank herbals are rife and the rich malts with its toffee, earthy caramel and toast tack on and balance everything out. It all surges into a rather sharp and bitter finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Kind of a sticky and chewy texture with a dry bitterness in the swallow. Medium body and Co2. The 7% ABV does have a slight burn to it.

Overall: We’re a little undecided to be honest. We like that it crosses over a few styles plus it’s really well layered and intense but it gets a little hard to finish off. Definitely enjoyable but in small doses.

Bonehead ‘Bonafide Series – Ember’ Spiced Winter Ale


“Our first Bona Fide release for winter – Ember, an Amber Ale spiced with Maple Syrup, Cinnamon and Vanilla to warm your spirit on these cold winter nights.  Time to get just a little serious.
The Bona fide limited release series is our chance to focus on quality limited release beers without the need for a story, pun or pop culture reference. They’re just good beer for beers sake.
These brews are more frequent than our other series and once they are sold out they are gone.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Reasonably clear mild amber with soft red hues. It forms a thumb of khaki head which quickly peels off and settles at the rim. A wet lace is dragged down as we imbibe.

Aroma: She’s certainly sweet. The vanilla and maple syrup components rush the olfactories but as we say that the cinnamon and nutmeg counteract it. The hallmark nutty malts, honeysuckle and subtle cola then marry up with this somewhat fruity apple pie quality which is an absolute pleasure to take in. Lightly toasted malts on the flank. It literally smells like a baby version of some of The Bruery’s pastry beers.

Flavour: It’s a lot more carbonated than we were expecting. Being a “spiced winter ale” as they’ve named it doesn’t really suit the narrative so far. The other downside to it is that it really takes the edge off the lovely sweet and spicy maple, vanilla and cinnamon. What we’re left with is a watered down version which slips through too quickly but at least manages to hold on for a little while on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Too over carbonated, watery and thin. This part of the beer has totally ruined what could have been something pretty decent.

Overall: It was all shaping up to be a stunner but the mouthfeel and flavour profile (or lack thereof) let them down in our opinion. This was our first crack at Bonehead too so it’s a shame it couldn’t follow through.

Bad Shepherd ‘Break Yo Fast’ Maple Bacon Amber Ale


“Wakey, wakey, sleepy head! It’s time to Break Yo’ Fast with this smoky sweet amber ale and a side of sticky maple bacon pancakes. We don’t always have beer for brekkie but this is a special occasion. It’s our 5th Birthday Limited Edition brew so go on, treat yo’ self!”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Pours an attractive deep amber with a thumb of off white head. It gradually peels off and settles at the rim. Reasonable lace as we go.

Aroma: Holy moly it actually smells like it’s been barrel aged so you could imagine our surprise to find out it hasn’t. We’re getting a dank and musty sauna room quality but as we keep taking it in we realise it’s the smoky bacon that’s providing it. The maple and buttery caramel sweetness is a master stroke…not only for balance but also for outright decadence. Yummo!

Flavour: The smoky bacon is a tad more restrained here. Definitely getting more of the traditional Amber characters like honeysuckle, burnt toffee, nutty malts and floral hops. They marry up beautifully with the subtle maple as well. There’s also a slight dryness to it which provides a good balance. Nice and sweet nutty and slightly smoky finish with good length.

Mouthfeel: Balance is the key here…there’s a nice chewy density but the light fizz and hop bitterness counteracts well. Only 5% too so it’s all about that equilibrium.

Overall: Solid stuff. We’ve been super impressed with what Bad Shepherd have been putting out lately. What are we saying we’ve been super impressed with this brewery for a long time now!! Keep em coming!

Resin ‘Flame Tree’ Amber Ale


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!

Zierholz Amber Ale


“Düsseldorf Altbier style. ‘Alt’ means ‘old’ in German but in this case does not refer to an aged beer, it simply reflects that in Germany, ale brewing is considered the old way of fermenting as opposed to lager beers which are (relatively) newer. Big on flavour yet retaining the drinkability of a session ale as it the way of the brewpubs and beer taverns in Duesseldorf.Like it’s ‘hybrid’ cousin the Koelschbier (German Ale), the extra fruitiness created by the use of warmer temperatures during primary fermentation customary for an ale is smoothed out an extended cold conditioning similar to a lager.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Deep amber with candy red highlights. Only manages a short head which quickly peels back to the rim. Laced reasonably well considering the lack of retention.

Aroma: Very traditional Amber Ale here – kinda earthy, gritty and a little yeasty but still dominated by the gorgeous toffee, burnt caramel, fig, mixed nuts, toasty malt and baker’s chocolate. Some tart dark berries and fruits i.e cherry and plum also coming through. Subtle straw and wheat grains as well. Good depth and complexity.

Flavour: Nice transition from the nose. That same gritty earthy-ness offsets all the sweet malt characters perfectly. Some classic German yeast esters peeking through with the doughy/toasty malts coming out the other side and delivering a slightly dry and earthy finish with delicate dark fruits on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and a little creamy. Nice frothy Co2, medium body. 4.7% ABV spot on for the style.

Overall: It’s always good to break the cycle of edgy new world beers with a traditional old favourite. If there’s any Aussie brewery (apart from Jindy Brewing) that can brew a German beer as good as the Germans it’s Zierholz. Solid.

Woolshed Brewery ‘AAAmber Ale’ Australian Amber Ale


“Woolshed Brewery AAAMber Ale has been named after the AAAM brand which is given only to the finest Merino wool once a sheep is shorn. So, having selected what Woodshed believe to be the best Australian hops, and combine this with the rain water collected from a sheep shearing shed roof, the brewers at Woolshed figured that it’d be an appropriate name for their Australian amber ale.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Deep amber with faint strawberry highlights. It constructs a big and rocky three finger head and takes an age to reduce. Not a great deal sticking to the glass though.

Aroma: Not your typical Amber Ale aroma’s for one. It has this weird earthy-ness which we can’t get past. Also picking up old floral hops and a slight chemical-like note. Yikes! Bad start. Tried to find a bottling date but to no avail. This is why cans are so much better!

Flavour: Slightly over carbonated. Very little in the way of flavour initially but some semi sweet malts bring out hints of nutty toffee, honey and very subtle maple. The hops don’t do it any justice…they have this earthy and floral character that kind of clashes with the malt sweetness. The finish is just dirty and earthy.

Mouthfeel: As touched on before it’s slightly over carbonated. Somewhat thin with little body. The 5.4% ABV is well hidden but then again it is only 5.4%.

Overall: We’re thinking this is either really old or it’s infected. It just doesn’t smell or taste right. The over carbonation points to age and poor storage. We won’t name the bottle shop but we’re certainly a little peeved.

All Inn Brewing ‘Blind Axeman’ Amber Ale


“A sturdy but sprightly malt base provides a firm foundation for fresh fruit and spice notes to show off a little.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: deep amber with two fingers of fluffy foam atop. Good retention and healthy lace clinging to the glass as we go.

Aroma: Tantalisingly sweet and caramelised…yet well balanced we must add. Tonnes of nutty malt, caramel, toffee, butterscotch and honey with hints of lemon, pine needle, dark fruits i.e raisin, fig, dates and earthy spice. Some mild herbaceous notes coming through as well. All Inn all (pun intended) a very pleasant aroma.

Flavour: Very similar to the nose but with a slightly more lifted hop profile and bitterness. Delicious waves of caramelised malt suggests toffee, caramel and butterscotch which meet with a slightly piney and citrusy middle. Delightfully nutty and toasty malts pick up and move in to well balanced finish of caramelised malt, piney hops and moderate dryness.

Mouthfeel: So well balanced…like a beer on a barrel. Mild stickiness, medium body and Co2. 4.7% ABV. Absolutely in session territory here.

Overall: We haven’t graced our palates with an All Inn beer since we visited the brewery all those years ago. This is quite a good amber ale – sweet, nutty, well balanced. Definitely doing all the right things. Solid drop.

Bacchus Brewing Co ‘Fighting Falcon’ American Amber Ale

image“This American style amber ale is crammed full of a propriety blend of American hops called Falconers Flight. The aroma and flavour is an explosion of tropical fruit and citrus. The rich malt backbone balances the hop intensity perfectly.”

Served in an English pint. Pouring a relatively clear crimson hue that dons a thumb of loosely packed bubble over the top. The head is retained quite well as it works a webbed lace pattern down the walls of the glass.
That nose is oh so sweet! Don’t know how he does it but Ross (head brewer) somehow brews beer that we just want to indulge in. This moreish sweetness that is leaping out of the glass is a blend of butterscotch, caramelized malt, toffee and golden syrup. Yep, you could literally pour this over your pancakes! We like how the feature hop (Falconers Flight) is used wisely with its subtle tropical fruit characters peeking through to balance out the malts.
The American character represents with its moderate hop bitterness. The texture is creamy with medium body. Slightly lifted Co2.
Definitely a much more balanced flavour profile. We get that caramelized malty sweetness coming though with this fruity and somewhat dry line of bitterness from the hops. It’s a little obscure but there is a faint hint of grapefruit that reveals itself midway. There’s a bit of a tussle between the hops and malts as it eventually finishes on a dry bitterness with a hint of nutty malt in the tail.
Definitely hitting its mark as it displays this kind of amber IPA character to it. We hate to admit this but as we’ve grown accustomed to such a high level of quality from Bacchus that when we come across a beer that doesn’t completely blow us away we get a bit complacent. It’s actually not a bad beer, it’s just no snickers ale, barosski or PBJT. Not bad.

5 Barrel Brewing Hoppy Amber

17757206_674349339415881_200787210755425434_n“Darker doesn’t always mean stronger. Amber beers usually carry a maltiness that you don’t find with paler styles. The malt character can range from a light caramel to full on rich toffee and toast. Our Hoppy Amber is verging on an IPA, but there is punchy malty body that pushed us to call it an Amber. It has a wonderful fruit, pine and spice balance that develops on the palate. It has a firm bitterness, but the caramel sweetness rounds it out to ensure your senses aren’t overwhelmed.”

Served in an English pint. Rusted amber complexion that reveals a candy red hue when held to the light. A thumb of loosely packed bubble forms the crown before it reduces to a film with some patchy lace working its way down.
We remember this beer as the pick of the range when we visited the brewery last year and it’s great to see it hasn’t changed. It still has all of those superb red IPA qualities with its gorgeous caramel malt base providing the formwork for the fruity hops to work off of. Everything from sticky toffee, caramel and butterscotch to pine, grassy hops and passion fruit. Picking up a subtle hint of toasty malt in here too. Excellent aroma.
Lovely balance of smooth malts and bitter hops on the tongue. Just the right amount of carbonation with a little tickle from the 6.5% ABV around the edges. Medium body. 50 IBU.
Again, balance is the key in flavour. Sweet and somewhat chewy caramels wash over the front palate. All the while that subtle bitterness plays 2nd fiddle until it comes alive in the mid bringing with it fruity and piney notes that reach well in to the long and dry finish. Good length as this tussle between the pine/herbal hops and the sweet toasty malts duke it out on the back end.
It’s actually really hard to fault this beer. The balance is spot on, the ABV gives it a boost and the delicate toasty note adds that extra complexity. Really classy drop from this brewery.

Bcchus Brewing Co. ‘Peanut Butter Jelly Time’

16807520_648906535293495_8039335137728791205_n“This beer was originally created for the Bacchus B20 beer fest. 20 “one off” unique beers, each brewed to represent a country/leader at the G20. USA – peanut butter jelly time popularized by the Family Guy. This is a peanut butter and jelly Amber Ale.”

Served in an English pint. She pours an attractive amber hue with excellent clarity. The short head slowly reduces to a film that struggles to leave a foot print on the glass as it ebbs.
Once again the willy wonka of the beer world has produced an absolutely stunning aroma that oozes decadent and moreish sweetness. This is the most impressive part though, of all the dessert beers we’ve reviewed from Bacchus (and there’s been quite a few) not one has been cloying or unbalanced. They all hit their mark perfectly as this one does with jelly, peanut butter, coconut flakes, raspberries, milk chocolate and vanilla. God, take us now!
The mouth feel is spot on. Just enough weight from the body with a smooth and sleek texture. Nice vibrant Co2 provides that vital uplift in the mouth. Brilliant.
We’ve never eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but if this is what they taste like then damn! We can see why they’re so popular. Big hit of sugary jelly upfront followed by a soft peanut butter creaminess. What could best be described as a very subtle salinity gets washed over by super sweet malts, crystallized sugars and marshmallow in the finish.
Phenomenal stuff. It’s that kind of beer you wish would never end. The aromas and flavors are so delicious that words almost don’t do it justice. You’ve just got to try it to understa

Akasha Brewing Co. ‘Fire Within’ Amber Ale

15965386_628251784025637_6330191948108763642_n“Fire Within is characterised by a rich copper colour and caramel sweetness, balanced with the floral and citrus flavours from a healthy dose of classic American hops. The result is a rich smooth brew that will ignite the taste buds. ”

Served in an English pint. The attractive copper appearance is topped off with a finger of off white foam that actually holds together pretty well. A healthy lace is strewn down the glass as we imbibe.
The nose is one of the best we’ve smelt from an amber ale in a long time. Akasha are known for their hop-forward and American inspired beers, which this also is, but for us it’s the big, sweet and toasty malts the are winning us over. Caramel, toffee, earthy figs, maple syrup and nuts come through with a piney and slightly resinous hop profile in support. The two together actually have a black IPA-like complexity to it. Excellent stuff.
The texture of the beer is much more willing to reveal the hops than the nose. The 45 IBU provides an assertive hop bite while the moderate Co2 adds the active bubbles. Nicely centred body. Drinks well.
Good continuation from the nose. Toasty malts dominate upfront with toffee, earthy notes and eventually a dank sweetness that bridges on to a piney and resinous mid palate. Another tussle between the two plays out as it finishes with a bitter dryness and a toasty, almost nutty character on the back end.
This amber ale is a good example of why Akasha just keep going from strength to strength. It has everything here! The robust malt base, the dank and resinous hops, a lifted ABV (5.8% ABV) and an overall balance that makes this one solid quaffer. A classy drop.

Bacchus Brewing Company ‘Ferrari Rocher’ Amber Ale

15541121_616150058569143_9186274643250555795_n“Brewed initially to represent Italy at our B20 beer fest this racy little amber beer is a luxurious flavour mix of milk chocolate and hazelnuts.”

Served in a beer tulip. This addition to Bacchus’s stellar range pours a light burgundy hue with a short, frothy cap forming on top. It eventually collapses to a collar with minimal lace left in its wake.
We once saw a reviewer sum Bacchus up as the “willy wonka of the craft beer world”. We thought this was absolutely spot on because if you, like us, have tried many of their beers you’d know that they have turned the most delicious sweets into beer….with delicious perfection! This one is no different, with its subtle similarity to the peanut brittle gose this moreish and devilishly sweet concoction of milk chocolate, nuts, nougat, caramel, nutella and kit kats is enough to send our sweet tooth in to overdrive! Amazing.
She offers a vibrant texture with an active Co2 level along with a silky smooth mouth feel. The 7% ABV is extremely well buried. Roughly medium in body. A real pleasure to drink.
The palate is treated to a big impression of melted caramel, nutella, milk chocolate and chocolate wafers. Not so much the flavour of a Ferrero Rocher (although it is here) more the blissful, eye-closing indulgence this beer is providing is enough to make us want to buy 12 more!
Man that is dangerously addictive. What’s even better is that for all of its decadence it’s not at all cloying. The extreme sweetness is so brilliantly balanced that we just want to eat it. Forget dessert, from now on just buy one of these. Outstanding stuff.