Brilliant brewery this one, high in the order of our top 10 favourite Aussie breweries. Let’s see how the guys fare with this traditional English style.
Served in a pint glass the gorgeous copper pour arouses a creamy two finger head that slowly simmers down to a fine covering on top. Good head retention which allows for thick, blotchy lace trails to be omitted. Good looking beer so far. A vigorous swirl of the glass uplifts lovely initial aromas of nuts, caramel malt, toffee and cocoa. Sitting quietly underneath is the hop profile offering subdued whiffs of stone fruits and pine. Maybe a hint of dough in there too. Not bad, essentially a pretty well balanced aroma. In the mouth it’s a little slippery with a thinnish feel. Carbonation is mild with medium body. Kicking off the flavour profile is a hint of mild sour cherry, toffee, nuts and a suggestion of tangy marmalade. The mid-palate drops off slightly but it’s saved by a late hop bitterness that carries forward into the finish. A slight downside is a lingering taste of metal but masking it is a delicious nutty back end. 5% ABV is spot on, nowhere to be tasted but enough to create a good platform for the flavours to work off of. To be honest we have had better Holgate brews but in saying that this ESB would be a damn fine session beer all year round. Not bad but nothing overly memorable.