Archive for March, 2010

RIP Thomas Angrove – Inventor Of The Wine Cask

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

The ABC has reported that Thomas Angrove a South Australian winemaker and the inventor of the Wine Cask has unfortunately passed away aged 92.

The wine cask has a rich history being first patented back in 1965 by Thomas Angrove, although the early models required the consumer to cut a corner of the bladder first to access the wine inside. All this ended though in 1967 when Penfolds Wines patented a plastic air tight tap which provided the missing piece of technology to achieve boxed wine perfection.

Ever since the humble wine cask has grown in popularity. Large wineries loved the cask from its inception as it is inexpensive, easier to transport, handle and more environmentally friendly when compared with glass bottles. Whilst consumers loved the convenience, value for money, the awesome effect up to 40 standard drinks can have on a person and the fact the bladder could be blown up and used as a pillow for a little lay down after a long day of merry making.

For years wowsers and do-gooders have decried the ever affordable wine cask as the downfall of society. Legions of young people on the other hand have always appreciated its low low price and its ability to be carried easily to any far away house party.

This notoriety has elevated the wine cask to a special place in the hearts of generations leading to its own nicknames such as goon bag, the Redfern briefcase, chateau cardboard, and the Penrith handbag. The wine cask has even allowed Australians to advance in the arena of backyard sporting with the great time (and people) wasters Goon of Fortune otherwise known as Wheel of Goon and slap the bag.

R.I.P Thomas Angrove people across the world salute your contribution to the alcoholic arts.

Gulf Brewery – Humpback Pale Ale – 4.2% Alcohol

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

In a glass the Humpback Ale appears an orange / amber colour with an above average level of carbonation, and a head around 1cm in height which didn’t hang around for long before subsiding down to nothingness. On the nose this brew is fairly restrained with some slight citrus, caramel and straw aromas coming through.

On the palate malt driven caramel and toffee notes take the lead with the mild english hops kicking in around the halfway mark adding marmalade, tobacco and some citrus notes. Further toward the back a lot of smoke flavours seem to appear before ending slightly sweet with a heavy citrus twang.

Verdict: I wasn’t expecting the smokiness at all and for the first few sips found it a little too aggressive. Further along though my palate seemed to adjust and it added a nice bit of complexity to the flavour. Overall a great English style Pale Ale, which I look forward to enjoying again!

Score: 8.0 / 10


Where to buy: This beer is available from the Australian Hotel located in the Rocks.

Murrays Dark Knight – 4.5% Alcohol

Friday, March 19th, 2010

This brew poured into a glass dark almost black in colour with an off white coloured head around 1cm in height on top, which settled down to a generous lacing over the space of 1-2 minutes. On the nose coffee, roasted nuts, chocolate predominate with the odd mild hint of aniseed.

On the palate the Dark Knight has a very creamy mouth feel, and a low level of carbonation. Cherry, chocolate and burnt caramel flavours are plentiful ending slightly sweet with a a hint of dark chocolate.

Verdict: This is the third time I have had the Murrays Dark Knight Porter and it doesn’t seem to get old! Its balance is perfect and is and all round ultra smooth drop.

Rating: 8.3 / 10

Link: Murrays Brewing Co

Related Beers:

Zen and the art of the perfect Martini

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

There are few cocktails in the world that invoke the image of style and refinement as the traditional Gin Martini. This is with out a doubt mainly due to the legendary figures of the 20th century that enjoyed this drink such as Winston Churchill, Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Franklin Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.

Making the perfect Martini
Ask five different Martini connoisseurs on how you should make the perfect Martini and you are likely to get five differing opinions on the exact ingredient ratios and the technique making it that should be used.

Fictional secret service agent James Bond always requested his Martini to be “shaken, not stirred”. Believe it or not though many people believe the shaking of Gin is a faux pas as the shaking action bruises the gin. One purpose behind shaking is to make a colder drink though as the spirits spend more time in contact with the ice.

One golden rule you should always use when it comes to making a great Martini is paying attention to the quality of the ingredients used. There is only three ingredients involved in this cocktail so there is no point trying to make a good Martini with below average Gin, every one of the three ingredients needs to be of the highest quality you can possibly find.


Mildura – Storm Cloudy Ale – 4.5% Alcohol

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

After pouring into a glass the Mildura Storm Cloudy Ale is a hazy golden amber colour with a medium level of carbonation and a good sized white loosely packed head up top. On the nose citrus notes from the hops predominate although cloves, spice, bread and honey are not too hard to detect.

On the palate citrus orange and caramel notes lead the way with more citrus (lemon and lime) coming through in the taste as the beer progresses. This brew ends fairly clean with just a slight residual sweetness and a mild tart sensation.

Verdict: This is the third time I have tried the Mildura Storm Cloudy Ale and every time it has left me disappointed, the taste just seems a bit off balance. Love the rest of the Mildura Breweries range, the Storm Cloudy Ale is definitely not my cup of tea though.

Score: 6.7 / 10


Lobethal Bierhaus India Pale Ale – 5.2% Alcohol

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

The label on this bottle reminds me of one of the imported German lagers you find in the imported section of the bottle shop but the contents couldn’t be farther away from one if it tried. In a glass the IPA poured a bright copper colour covered with a medium sized rocky off white coloured head, which quickly died down to an above average lace covered around 3-4 mm in height. The aroma straight out of the bottle gave away the hop load in this brew with pronounced pine, grass and floral notes predominating but after being allowed to sit a minute or two these blew to reveal the malt driven caramel and bread notes from the base.

On the palate dried fruit, apricot, caramel and biscuit notes led the way with the hops kicking in around midway across the palate. With earthy pine, citrus, floral and citrus flavours taking the spotlight. The beer itself also had a slightly foamy mouth feel which was very pleasant although in my opinion the hops seemed a little restrained for an IPA.

Score: 7.6 / 10

Verdict: The overall balance of this brew seemed a little out of whack to me, although I loved the rich malt base that shines though. Overall I thought it was an enjoyable change of pace.

Link: Lobethal Bierhaus