Archive for December, 2009

Barons Lager 4.9% Alcohol

Monday, December 21st, 2009

I have been a big fan of the Baron’s beers since they first came out, although the Black Wattle Ale and Lemon Myrtle Witbier seem to be the only ones I see on a regular basis. So it came as a pleasant surprise to track down a bottle of their Lager in Vintage Cellars, I had an earlier look in Dan Murphy’s but was unable to locate it.

The Barons lager poured clear with a bright golden colour, minimal level of carbonation and a smallish white head around 1cm. On the nose, grassy and floral notes predominate straight after pouring with honey and clove notes coming through later after being allowed to stand awhile.

On the palate a light mouth feel is accompanied by grassy herbal notes, clove, pepper the beer then goes on to finish crisp with minimal after-taste. A few times I swore I tasted some slight “musty” flavors toward the back of the palate that one would expect from a Belgian but it didn’t seem constant so was very hard to pin down.

Verdict: It did strike me as a tad watery in places although this may have just been too excessive chilling, as it did grow on me the further down i got. All in all a very smooth session lager for lazy summer days.

Score: 7.2 / 10

Link: Barons Brewing

Related Beers: Barons Black Wattle Ale

My Wifes Bitter – Burleigh Brewing Co 4.8% Alcohol

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

My Wifes Bitter - Burleigh Brewing Co

My Wifes Bitter from Burleigh Brewing Co is a limited edition release of their take on the traditional English bitter. Only 400 cases have been made, and in my honest opinion if you find it for sale the bottle alone makes it worthwhile buying!

In a glass My Wife’s Bitter is a clear copper colour, with a low level of carbonation and a very small tan head which didn’t hang around long before disappearing completely. The aroma was fairly complex boasting brown sugar, ripe apple, toffee and chocolate notes.

On the palate this brew boasts a creamy mouth-feel, toffee and caramel notes lead the way on the flavour front with the odd fruity element being thrown into the mix by the hops.

Verdict: My Wife’s Bitter comes in a large 650mL bottle with retro looking label which was awesome. The beer itself came off a bit watery in taste and could probably have done with a tad more carbonation as it was almost lifeless near the end of the bottle. Still even with its faults it was still a pleasant enough beer to drink, and I will still buy another if I see it again.

Score: 7.1

Link: Burleigh Brewing Co

Where to buy: Being a limited release it is not easy to find, I brought mine from the Vintage Cellars at Balgowlah so that or another Vintage Cellars store is probably your best place to start the search.

Little Creatures Bright Ale 4.5%

Friday, December 18th, 2009

little_creatures_bright_ale

The Little Creatures Bright Ale is starting to make inroads on tap around Sydney’s bars of late and the addition is most welcome.

In a glass the Little Creatures Bright Ale is a bright clear golden colour with a small loosely pack white head riding atop. On the nose this brew is very tropical with passionfruit and citrus notes dominating although some sweet malt notes can be detected lurking in the background.

On the palate the Bright Ale starts light with a subdued hop bitterness, midway the hops seem to kick in fully with passionfruit and lemon notes accompanied by a metallic type bitterness. The finish is pleasantly sweet and clean with a fruity honey type of after taste and a clinging foamy mouth feel.

Verdict: A crowd pleaser this beer has enough flavour to keep you interested but is so refreshing and clean tasting one never seems enough.

Score: 7.7 / 10

Link: Little Creatures Brewing Pty Ltd

Where to buy: Any bottle shop with a half decent selection of beers around Sydney should stock the Little Creatures Bright Ale.

Murrays Pilsner 4.8% Alcohol

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

murrays_pilsner

New South Wales may lag behind Victoria in the number of craft breweries we have, in my opinion though it doesn’t matter as we are lucky enough to have my favourite brewery in Australia, Murrays Craft Brewing Co. Located at Port Stephens north of Newcastle, Murray’s head brewer Shawn Sherlock is constantly pushing the boundaries with beers that taste great but never seem to fit exactly within a style.

That said when I saw a bottle of Murrays Pilsner sitting unloved in the fridge at Vintage Cellars I had to buy it! Pouring the bottle into a glass gave a cloudy straw coloured brew with a medium sized head around 2- 3 cm high which slowly subsided over the space of 10 minutes. The aroma was very full on, packed with pine, clove, herbal and floral notes straight after pouring. With bread notes coming through later after the majority of volatiles wafted away.

On the palate this beer has a somewhat oily mouth feel and leads with a big hops hit that just seems to keep building right to the back of the palate, with a slight malt sweetness that shines though around mid way. The flavours that come across are very similar to the aroma with big grapefruit, passion fruit and pine flavours, whilst finishing dry and crisp.

Verdict: This beer is very heavy hitting on the flavour front, after the first sip i thought this beer was not for me due to the intensity. But it did seem to mellow as it warmed and had one me over only a few sips later.

Score: 7.8 /10

Link: Murrays Brewing Company

Where to buy: I have seen this Pilsner for sale at Dan Murphys and Vintage Cellars on occasion, both seem to stock bits and pieces of the Murrays range but it seems to be luck of the draw as to what is on sale during any given day.

Related Beers:

Red Duck Overland Bright Ale 4.5% Alcohol

Monday, December 14th, 2009

red_duck_overland_bright_ale

Decanted into a glass this beer is clear, bright gold in colour with a with a good sized white fluffy head around 3cm high. On the nose this brew is packed with character, consisting of citrus, apple, melon notes accompanied by a hint of vanilla.

Caramel, toffee and honey flavours dominate the palate along with a medium mouth feel. Citrus notes also make their presence known toward the back of the palate before the beer ends with a dry finish.

Verdict: One of the most enjoyable beers i have had for awhile, would definitely love to have one of these again in the future.

Score: 8.3 / 10

Link: http://www.redduckbeer.com.au/

Where to buy: Not sure that any Sydney retailers stock this number, and strangely the Red Duck website makes no mention of the Overland Ale at all. Although it can however be purchased on-line from this site.

Matsos Mango Beer – 4.5% Alcohol

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

matsos_mango_beer

Even without tasting this beer the retro style label tells you it is going to be a winner, after all who isn’t turned on by a chick that has a full fruit basket in her hair?
Pouring the bottle into a glass shows a beer pale gold in colour, on the nose this brew also lives up to its name with tropical mango aromas dominating.

On the palate it starts with a nice pleasant mango sweetness accompanied by a slight hop bitterness, follow by a brief flash of malt then back to mango flavours. Finishing dry with a slightly fruity after taste

Verdict: When drank super cold this numbers tastes closer to mango juice than a beer, warmed up the mango flavours blend well with the malt flavours. Very drinkable in hot weather I could see this being the perfect refreshment for a summer barbecue near the beach.

Score: 8.0 / 10

Link: Matsos Broome Brewery

Where to buy: Online at their site, Red Rum Restaurant & Cafe at North Richmond or Restaurant Atilier at Glebe.

Mountain Goat – Organic Steam Ale 4.5% Alcohol

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

mountain_goat

Hailing from the Mountain Goat brewery in Melbourne this Organic certified Steam Ale is brewed with a hint of wheat in the name of brewing an easy drinking beer. In a glass this number has a hazy pale straw colour, the head is smaller than average upon pouring and very quickly subsides to nothing but a thin lace covering. On the nose apple and citrus notes stand out accompanied by the odd mint note.

On the palate the drinker is initially greeted by grassy hop notes, although the bitterness seems to be very restrained. Further on grainy bread, yeast and apple flavours predominate eventually ending with a slightly sweet nutty character.

Verdict: Not bad from a bottle, very easy drinking and not at all unpleasant, i have previously tasted this on tap at The Local Tap House and remembered it having more depth though.

Score: 7.4 / 10

Link: Mountain Goat Beer

Where to buy: You should be able to find Mountain Goat Steam Ale for sale at any of the large Sydney bottle shops such as Dan Murphy’s.

Two Metre Tall – Cleansing Ale 4.9% Alcohol

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Two_metre_Cleansing_ale

Its hard not to like the thinking behind Two Metres Tall company, they grow beer ingredients on their farm and turn them into beer. Sounds pretty simple, is there a better way to taste a micro climate than through a beer? Although i don’t think many brewers have done it this way since the early 20th century so i have to give these guys full kudos for bringing it back into style.

Decanting a bottle of their Cleansing Ale into a glass is an experience in itself, it pours golden amber in colour, with a large creamy tightly packed white head riding atop. Aroma wise tropical fruit, toffee and pine notes predominated although the odd hint of citrus was easily noticed.

On the palate malt notes lead then build to a variety of “fruity” flavours ( mango, apple, orange, lemon and lime were the main offenders) along with pine, toward the back of the palate malt notes seem to take over again with caramel and toffee flavours. The malt notes then died down in the finish leaving a gentle tang and a slight sudsy mouth feel.

Verdict: Very drinkable, the fruitiness and pine makes it a great starter for a hot day even with so much going on taste wise.

Rating: 7.9 /10

Link: The Two Metre Tall Company

Where to buy:

Porters Liquor at Northwood stocks it, or you can contact the Two Metre guys and organise delivery via mail.