Slow Beer

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Beer Travel - Bells Hotel (South Melbourne)

Had an hour to kill before dinner in South Melbourne so a refresher at Bells seemed appropriate enough. I should really have done my homework before penning this note but I would think Bells is the pioneering brew pub in Melbourne. The Ratebeer database indicates that 16 beers have been produced over the years but my visits over the past 2 indicate the core range probably doesn't exceed 5 or 6. Tonight the Hells Bells and the Summer Belle were on tap.

I've never been overly enamoured with the house brews but nevertheless they provide a viable alternative to CUB and Lion Nathan products. For a relatively mainstream pub there's a decent range of beers on tap (say 12), albeit, CUB specialty brands and affiliated imports. This pub puts particular emphasis on meals with much of the floor space devoted to dining. The tucker, generally speaking, is quite good.

The beers?

The Hells Bells (10/20) is a simple, inoffensive brew that is almost Vienna in style (sweetish caramel malts and low hop input). Consistent if not spectacular.

Whilst perhaps an object of interest for the beer geek in the past Bells now comes across as a bit of a relic from a by-gone era. For most punters I think Mountain Goat and Emerald Hill will hold more interest, albeit in less orthodox surroundings.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Recent Tasting Notes

Redoak Holly Porter (16/20)
Excellent pouring, I was so moved by the barman’s efforts that I am compelled to note his efforts (er...efforts noted!). Very dark brown with a fantastically formed 1.5cm head; thick with a rich mocha colour - awesome. Striking aromas of rich chocolate fudge, almost painfully sweet. Underpinned with the slightest hint of burnt roast. Such is the intensity of sweetness on the nose that it would be silly to hope it transfers to the palate - don’t worry - it doesn’t. Milky chocolates early, followed by firming bitterness and mild roast stout notes. A little kick of sweetness to finish. Again it would be great to taste at a warmer temp but make no mistake this is one pretty beer.

Redoak Zest (11/20)
Pristine light amber with a perfectly formed whiter-than-white head. Ginger and spice on the nose, well defined, although not much else gets a look in. More very obvious ginger to taste, reminds me of whole pan-fried fish with a ginger and garlic garnish that you’d find in a decent Thai restaurant. Not a heap of substance behind the original ginger kick however, and it finishes dry and a bit thin. Good enough, but I don’t think the underlying beer is that great.

Redoak American IPA (15/20)
Tough to pick the difference between this beer and the IPA. Beautiful white creamy head and thick lacing. Dark orange in colour with an attractive dark amber glow. Big nose of fruity hops and malt sweetness. Very soft and appealing. Seems to step back a gear to taste although the beer was served too cold (is there a common theme here?). More floral hops poke through later and the beer gets progressively firmer and bitter. Much more balanced than the somewhat abrasive IPA.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Beer News - AIBA Results


Most of you would have seen various press / press releases on the just released results from the Australian International Beer Awards (AIBA). Full results can be found at this link at

As per usual reaction to the various awards was mixed. Weihenstephan was a strange choice as Grand Champion in our very humble opinion; a good enough beer (I guess) but hardly deserving of greatness. Then again, a better beer than some of the absolute crap that has won trophies in years gone by. Perhaps its time to get Foster's and Lion Nathan staffers off the senior judging panel?

What really gave us this shits was the farce surrounding the Premier's Trophy for Best Victorian Beer - hard to believe that the 'local' version of Stella was actually even seriously considered, let alone deemed worthy of winning. This is boring, flavourless pale lager rubbish at best and is appropriately known as 'wife beater' in the UK. It is also the brew of choice for the down and out in Amsterdam and Belgium. We wonder if CUB will publicise the win, the irony being that full disclosure of the brewing location may well damage the laughable 'premium' image of this beer.

Emerald Hills Carl Jacobson was good enough to include the emails of Steve Bracks ( and John Brumby ( in an email yesterday annoucing his achievements plus the Stella win. We sent a rocket to Brumby.........

"Hi Mr Bracks and Mr Brumby,

I just received notification that Stella Artois (brewed under license by CUB) won the Premiers Award for the best Victorian Beer at the AIBA. The Belgians will be pleased that their beer has gone on to receive such a prestigious award, as back in Belgium it is the beer of choice of the homeless and others down on their luck....a far cry from the fancy brand it is marketed as in Australia!

Given the great many beers developed in Victoria by locals, with quality ingredients that are often grown locally; it is a shame that recognition goes to the mass-produced boring brands owned my multi-nationals being pumped out of beer factories.

Meanwhile we have some absolutely fantastic beer being produced in Victoria, such as Red Hill Brewery who grow their own hops on the Mornington Peninsula, or Hargreaves Hill brewed with Yarra Valley rainwater (yes stocks are limited) using no artificial ingredients or preservatives. These are just two examples of great Victorian beer, both of which outsell Stella Artois in my wine and beer outlets - and rightly so.

I think you should get busy drinking some quality Victorian beer over the next twelve months so at least you may be able to select a beer developed in Victoria by Victorians. Oh, and I believe CUB want people to think that Stella is a posh European I am not sure they will be sending out press releases declaring it won best Victorian beer!"

and suprisingly recieved a very prompt reply....

"The award was determined by the RAS judging panel. The Government does not determine the award. Last night i also launched the 3rd edition of our guide to microbreweries which was very well received."

Whilst we are all for the Government doing its bit to support the industry awarding this award to a beer with very little local linkage, made by a global industrial beer company, is a complete f$%$# joke.

On-line discussions on the AIBA awards can be found at Rate Beer, Beer Advocate and Australian Home Brewer.

Predictably the beer factories had a whinge (see article here) at the results given in recent years offshore micro brewers with no Australian retail presence have cleaned up. Whilst there might be a sliver of logic in this arguement these clowns need to realise 2 obvious truths - (1) AIBA is an international competition so it will attract offshore attention, and (2) cease churning out shit beer and you may improve your chances.


Friday, April 20, 2007

New Releases

More crazy Germans just in plus a couple of new micros from Tassie........

Altenmunster Premium Bavarian Beer $6.90
Weltenburger Asam Bock $7.20
Weltenburger Pilsner $5.50

2m Tall Huon Dark Ale $3.90 (in store now)
2m Tall Forester Pale Ale $3.90 (instore now)


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Recent Tasting Notes

Holgate Double Trouble Belgian Ale (11/20)
Very flat out of the bottle, no head at all and the colour is hardly inspiring; rusty light brown with a tinge of red, copper perhaps. Dull nose, faintly cooked malt notes and a little touch of milk chocolate sweetness. Palate seems disjointed, at least to my tastes. Dilutive early when compared to European peers, but soon picks up pace with a milky textured mix of candied malts. Problem is, flavours dip away again quickly leaving a hollow back palate with some alcohol heat. I guess the beer is a touch better than what I have described but the construction just doesn’t work for me.

Moa Blanc (12/20)
Supermodel looks in the glass - beautiful fully head and bright pale gold hue with the faintest cloudy tinge. Aromas are true to type with plenty of citrus and bubblegum but no banana. A pongy note lurks, acetaldehyde perhaps? Palate is quite understated with plenty of fizz, faint wheat beer notes and mildy bitter drying notes on the finish. The bitter clove-like note becomes more pronouced as the beer warms up; not sure if this is a good thing or not.

White Cliffs Mikes Mild Ale (12/20)
Another solid-enough example of organic beer from Kiwi land. For all intents and purposes looks like a porter or a brown ale (to me) but I guess it’s not too far off the Rate Beer descriptor. Chocolate brown in colour with the thinnest of heads. Mild roast and chocolate nose, hints of malty sweetness. Thinner and firm in the mouth as the roast provides some astringency. Roast and chocolate all but disappears, leaving the beer with standard ale flavours.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Web Bytes - Weltenburger


Again not really news but it'll be 'beer news' until I figure out a better classification!

Nice run down of the Weltenburger beers by Tom Cannavan at We first came across Tom years ago when researching champagne, a field where he is considered a world leading writer. Not too shabby on the beer scene either.

Readers may know (I assume at least 2 people read this blog?) that pumps out decent articles from time to time. I'll post a few over the next week or so. Try this one for starters.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Beer News - Red Oak Dinner at the Royston

Thanks to Anton for the heads-up on this gig. Looks like decent value for $50 knowing that the pub meals are quite appealing (in my humble opinion).

Full details here and map to the Royston here.


New Releases Late March


New & fresh beers......
On the way...Two Metre Tall from Tassie!!
Forester Pale Ale $3.90
Huon Dark Ale $3.90

Bridge Road Bling IPA (Australia) $3.90
Duncan's Founders Organic Tall Blonde 500ml $5.70 (New Zealand)
Mike's Mild Ale $3.90 (New Zealand)
Tappeto Volante Pale Lager $3.20 (Italy)
Murray's Sassy Blond and Nirvana Pale Ale $3.70 each (Australia)
Murray's Anniversay Ale $32.00

Just a fresh batch of pommy stuff......all $6.50 & 500ml bottles unless noted:
Worthington White Shield
Ruddles Country Ale
Newcastle Brown Ale
Fullers ESB
Fullers London Pride
Old Speckled Hen
Young's St George
Young's Special London Ale
Tim Taylor Landlord
Adnams Explorer
Adnams Broadside Ale
Bishops Finger
Fiddler's Elbow
Marston's Pedigree
Bateman's XXX B


Monday, April 09, 2007

Beer News - 'Pale Shadow'

Willie Simpson, 'Pale Shadow', Sydney Morning Herald Good Living, 3rd April 2007

(Ed – I don’t know where Willie’s been drinking but I’m not sure we are in the midst of a deluge of over-hopped pale ales. Bloody hell, we should be happy that these styles are even being released given we have endured decades of drinking some of the world’s most bland, stale, boring pale lagers. As noted elsewhere on this blog 3 of the best local beers I have tasted in the past 12 months have been high hop / generous malt styles from Jamiesons, Beech Road and Mountain Goat. These are wonderful beers with a truckload of flavour, and the brewing of these styles should be encouraged.

Maybe it’s cool to be over the 'extreme' beer scene if you are based in a decent market like the US (boring – reminds me of the ‘I’ve got no idea about wine but I’m SOOOO over chardonnay crowd’) but frankly I’m just happy to drink a locally brewed beer that pushes the boundries of traditional thinking just a fraction.)

"I'm a bit over the whole in-yer-face, sackful of grapefruit-laced hop aromas of the growing number of American-style pale ales being released around the country.

Perhaps I've just had too much intense exposure lately, what with judging the pale ale section at the Royal Agricultural Society NSW Beer Show and tasting a plethora of local craft beers for a coming publication.

This boldly hopped, attention-grabbing pale ale style has suddenly became the darling of Australia's new-wave brewers. But after a sudden rise to ultra-trendy status, as with so many other drinks, it may just as suddenly become passe.

Think about all those over-oaked chardonnays of years gone by or the gooseberry-lashed Kiwi sauvignon blancs of more recent times. Fickle punters embraced them for one moment, then moved on, searching for the Next Big Thing.

The tell-tale citrus or grapefruit flavour notes come from US-grown hop varieties, such as cascade (not to be confused with the Tasmanian brewery). American craft brewers are in love with these varieties and tip them into their pale ales by the bucketload.

Among fans of this style, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is whispered in hushed tones as the trailblazer that pushed the cascade hop component to the limit and beyond. It has been widely imitated ever since.

In Australia, Little Creatures Pale Ale set the benchmark when it burst onto the scene in 2000, its brewers having thrown liberal quantities of imported hop flowers into a huge straining vessel, known as a hop-back.

The big citrus hop character drenched the aroma and mid-palate and rolled on through to a bristling after-bitterness that made some mainstream brews taste like brown water. Even in blind tastings, the beer stood out.

I had first-hand experience with the Little Creatures hop-back at the Fremantle brewery, where I was working as an unpaid grunt looking after a single batch as part of the "adopt-a-brew" program for staff members and beer enthusiasts.

It was my job to weigh out the hop cones, shovel them in and plunge them into the brew while hot wort flowed through the vessel. The smell that arose from this hot, hoppy mixture was seductively herbaceous and caused everyone in the brewery and adjacent bar to turn their heads towards the source.

But over the past 12 months or so the hop presence seems to have been toned down and the beer is now barely recognisable in a masked line-up, despite Little Creatures chief executive Jason Marinko maintaining the recipe is unchanged.

So either the brewery's accountants got nervous about all that cash leaking in the direction of American hop brokers or the hops have lost their intensity between seasons or during storage. Either way, the bubble may have burst on this distinctive style of beer.

Tasting notes
Matilda Bay Alpha Pale Ale (5.2 per cent)
Burnished gold in colour, this flavoursome ale has bags of rich malt and citrus hop notes in aroma. The opulent palate stars chewy malt, an explosion of resinous hop flavour, building to a crescendo of herbaceous bitterness which lingers deliciously.

Murray's Nirvana Pale Ale (4.5)
Reddish-gold with a thick, creamy head, this bottle-conditioned pale ale uses American and English hops and the complex palate has citrus (grapefruit), spice, biscuity malt initially and a lively hop flavour (zingy, citrus-tinged) and generously bittered finish.

Little Creatures Pale Ale (5.2)
With a slight citrus aroma and minty overtones, this deep golden ale is a pallid shadow of its former muscular self. Its chewy malt palate has some citrus hop flavours and a rather restrained bitterness. "


Beer News - Macs Beer & The Great Australian Duopoly

f$%$#% it!

Upon reflection I don't know why I even bothered.

We pride ourselves down at Cloudwine on always making an effort to get beers in by request from customers. We've had a number of people wanting to get Mac's in and we were very happy to oblige. Only problem is you have to negate the Goliath that is Lion Nathan's sales team, a particularly non-customer focused bunch. Made us jump through hoops and set up new trade accounts just to get a few bloody slabs.

Anyway - after 3 months of stuffing around we are finally given the green light to order. But guess what??? A deals been done such that only supermaket chain stores Dan Murphy and First Choice have the right to stock them. Nice touch...lessens the price competition nicely. I go to these barns now and again and the with the exception of the odd specials promo you WILL pay more for craft beer, sometimes lots more. But don't take my heavily conflict of interest word for it, check it out for youself.

Over and out.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Recent Tasting Notes

Altenmunster Premium Bavarian Beer (9/20)
Fairly uninspiring beer from my angle. Mega lager deep golden amber with a very small head. More pale lager than pilsner on the nose with stale malt notes and a hint of spice. Assessed blind the nose would have fooled my into thinking this was a CUB offering. Bland palate, some ok bitterness at the back but I can’t get my heap around the stale / soapy notes that don’t offer the drinker much appeal.

Murrays Anniversary Ale (16/20)
My most eagerly anticipated taste of an Oz brew for the past 6 months. Throws down a very serious gauntlet to Bridge Road’s Chevalier range as this nation’s best packaged beer. Beautiful deadnaught 750ml with a cork seal. Biggish fizzy head early but settles nicely to leave a thin creamy residue. High quality nose of brandied fruits and pristine sweet malts. Elegant yet incredibly attractive bouquet. Interesting the fizz level is the character that first registered with me upon tasting. A touch on the high side for the style but acceptable nevertheless. Palate flavours get hard very quickly; very very brandy-like with a wall of dark chocolate and spirity notes. Flavours settle down quickly on the back palate, almost to the point that one could accuse the beer of being a touch dilutive or rather the flavours may be schackled in the firm structure. I get the very strong impression that this beer wants to get out of first (or second) gear but it take, seriously, at least 2 years for this baby to start singing. In wine parlance this beer is a lot like a young tannic cabernet or a steely riesling. Heaps of potential for graceful aging.

Holgate Brewhouse Woodend Pilsner (14/20)
Clean, crisp well maded style. Classic golden yellow with a thin head. Dull lager nose, fairly uneventful. Medium weight palate shows light malts right through but firms up with a hoppy finish, together with faint floral notes.


Cellar Notes - Red Oak Wee Heavy

Best Before March 2007 / Tasted April 2007 (8/20)
Not a beer I would normally 'cellar' in the true sense of the word but its been interesting to watch this beer evolve. My first sample was of the best before June 2006 bottling in September 2005 - a competent beer if not mindblowing, kinda like a lightweight barley wine (13/20). A more recent tasting of this bottling was in mid 2006 and the beer was much more impressive with a thick and silky smooth palate driven by beautiful sweet malts.

Unfortunately the BB March 2007 I'm tasting now doesn't look so good - metallic pings, relatively thin, somewhat unpleasant stewed fruits on the nose. I really hope this is a bad bottle!


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Recent Tasting Notes

Weltenburger Kloster Pils (13/20)
Bog standard appearance in every way. Firm tight nose with text book aromas of woody malts and biscuity old hoppy notes. Tight and firm again to drink, some sweetness from the malts early but quickly moves to a bitter hop driven finish. Very straight forward, not exciting, but it works. Quite Czech-like.

Cantillon Kriek (14/20)
(2005 Bottling). Fully loaded hard core lambic style. Very kriek in appearance but nose and palate suggests, strongly, unsweetened lambic. High on acid and tart fruits, right through the nose and palate. Very unyielding right now. One of those rare beers that seems far too young to consume.

Moa Noir (11/20)
Geez, I might know buggar all here (in fact probably do) but I thought this beer drank a little bit better that all the previous ratings on would suggest. Medium chocolate brown, a touch murky, and a faint lightening at the rim. Mild milk chocolate and roast aromas are well balanced. Flavours are quite understated, perhaps due to the high fizz which dumbs the beer down somewhat. Some chocolate lurks in the back palate but the roast really dries out, almost to the point of being a bit astrigent and tinny. Ok but not great, and not really in the class of the other beers from the house.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Beer News - Red Hill Easter Newsletter

Latest news letter can be found via the link below. Good the see the harvest ale will be on the go shortly...excellent beer.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Beer News - 'Beer War Comes to a Head'

'Beer War Comes to a Head', Peter Michael, Herald Sun, 31 March 2007

"When Slim Dusty first crooned the hit 50 years ago, he could never have imagined the war of words that would foment.

In a nation that loves a drink: "There's nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear; Than to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer."

Today, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the April 1, 1957 recording of Australia's first hit single, there are two claimants to being the original Pub with No Beer.

One is the Lees Hotel -- on the site of the former Day Dawn Hotel -- in Ingham, far north Queensland; the other is Taylors Arm on the mid-north coast of NSW.

The southern claim to fame makes Ingham Mayor Pino Giandomenicio mad.

"Those bloody New South Welshmen. You can't trust them," growled the stoutly built cane cocky yesterday.

"There should be a bounty on them when they cross the border. It makes me mad when people try to steal glory that belongs to Ingham.

"The truth is this is the Pub with no Beer. Nobody is ever going to take it from us."

But they have. The Taylors Arm, near Kempsey, runs a Pub With No Beer festival, boasts the website and even sells a boutique beer branded Pub with No Beer.
Nobody disputes the facts. When bush poet and Ingham cane farmer Dan Sheahan trudged 32km into town in 1943 only to find visiting US soldiers had drunk the Day Dawn dry of its wartime quota, he sat down and penned what was to be later adapted by songwriter Gordon Parsons.

Parsons, who drank at the Taylors Arm, which ran out of beer in the '40s, rewrote old Dan's poem using familiar characters from his own bar and gave it to Dusty in 1957.

In his memoirs, Walk a Country Mile, Dusty said: "Dan wrote a very fine poem, Gordon built a great ballad."

Barry "Bloody" Fuller, 75, spokesman for the Pub with No Beer in NSW, said he did not begrudge Ingham's claim.

"It's a song, there is some similarity to Dan's poem, but how many songs have `I love you' in the title?

"Contrary to rumours, the enigma started with old Dan but somewhere along the line, when this pub ran out of beer, away went Gordon and wrote the now-famous song."


Beer News - Beer & Chocolate

Willie Simpson, The Age Epicure, 3 April 2007

"FISH and chips, strawberries and cream, tea and scones, beer and chocolate. Did you spot the odd one out?

Well, sure - if we were talking about VB and a family block of dairy milk, then it would be a rather odd coupling, but how about Belgian truffles and Chimay Grand Reserve or a slice of chocolate mud cake with a foaming mug of James Squire Porter or Coopers Stout? Uh-huh - do
I have your attention now?

Because I reckon certain beers - darker, stronger brews, in particular - are a better match with chocolate than just about any wine you care to mention.

The bittersweet flavours of dark chocolate blend effectively with similar notes present in darker brews, especially those with enough richness and alcoholic strength to carry it off. There is even an ingredient called chocolate malt - it has nothing to do with Happy Days-era milkshakes - which brewers use in certain dusky beers. It's basically malted grain that has been roasted to a chocolate-brown colour, without reaching the burnt stage of roasted malt. Such "coloured malts" add darker colours and roasty flavour notes to beers (in fact, there is something enticingly named "chocolate chit" malt - an even sweeter, more chocolate-like variety - that Epicure readers might recall I used last year when I was let loose in the Mildura Brewery to create my Old Willie Warmer guest brew).

But the proof of the pudding, as always, is in the eating, and the suitability of the match is proven beyond reasonable doubt by a brew that complements the dessert, without being overwhelmed by sweet flavours. At a memorable hop-harvest celebration dinner held last month at Cascade Brewery's museum in Hobart, I enjoyed a dark chocolate and almond fudge cake, washed down with Cascade Stout. The latter is what I'd call a medium dry stout, without the robust hop bitterness of some other stouts but with enough potency (5.8 per cent alcohol) to cope with the rich pudding.

Another Tasmanian brew crying out for a heavenly chocolate marriage was the limited-edition Boag's Leatherwood Honey Porter, which neatly juggled intense roasty and sweet flavours with the perfumed muskiness of the sublime leatherwood honey. At a different beer dinner, it was stylishly matched with an Ibara chocolate and chestnut pudding, featuring panna cotta flavoured with honey and porter treacle.

Anyone who has visited Belgium would have to be a complete gastronomic philistine not to appreciate that beer and chocolate are two of this tiny country's outstanding attractions. The Belgians specialise in dark chocolate with a relatively high cocoa content, while their beers come in a staggering array of styles and potent strengths. Strong, complex ales such as Piraat and Gouden Carolus - to name a couple - even taste a bit like a dessert-in-a-bottle but can just as readily partner some chocolate-laced confection.

And it is great to see other people are thinking along similar lines, with one city bottleshop (Vintage Cellars in King Street) recently running a Valentine's Day-themed Belgian beer and chocolate tasting. The chocolates were provided by Koko Black and the brews included Chimay, Orval, Grimbergen, Leffe, Rochford, Hoegaarden Forbidden Fruit and Grand Cru, Duvel, Bellevue Kriek and Bellevue Framboise.

Speaking of the latter pair, if dark beer really isn't your thing, try matching a chocolate and berry dessert with a Belgian fruit lambic beer. At the Belgian Beer Cafe Bluestone in St Kilda Road, I once drank the raspberry-infused Bellevue Framboise, paired with a chocolate mousse served with double cream and berry coulis. Fruity and tart, the beer cleansed the palate while complementing the coulis and the understated chocolate flavours of the fluffy mousse.

Given that most blokes would probably choose beer over chocolate (and women would go in the opposite direction), a basketful of high-class chocolates and equally wicked Belgian ales might be just the ticket for couples to indulge in this Easter. "


Recent Tasting Notes

Maisels Weisse Kristall (11/20)

I reckon it’s tough to get much love from kristalls - just a bit too clean and safe for my liking. This Maisels is a good example that supports my bias. Clear amber yellow with no head, unexciting and macro-like. Pale lager notes on the nose marry with some fruity wheat beer sweetness, that latter done nicely. Ultra clean to taste, more sweet wheat beer notes early followed by a crips and quite cutting, dry palate structure. Flavours tail off noticeably. Almost Asahi-esque in that respect. In fact, probably a very good summer’s day / light dry palate weight alternative.

Aspall Draught Suffolk Cider (12/20)

The most interesting thing about this beer, at least for the Australian contingent, is that Little World Beverages, the owner of Little Creatures, will be importing this cider to distribute on a national basis. To my mind speaks this volumes about where a reasonably influential brewer thinks cider consumption may be heading in Australia. Anyway - onto the beer. Ultra clear pale gold yellow. Nose sends some poor signals; sweet commercial style aromas although to be fair there’s a decent layer of apple fruits underneath. Very sweet early but the bubble help keep the drink from clogging up the palate. Dries out reasonably quickly and the acid and musty, slightly sour apple fruits come into play. Some slight bitterness and drying apple fruits on the finish is a nice touch (and provides some redemption). Not a serious cider by any stretch but will appeal to the broader market.

De Dolle Oerbier (14/20)

Purchased at Regional Wine & Spirits in Wellington (NZ) of all places. (& on a side note they had more Cantillon than I’ve ever seen in Australia). Massive, massive fizzy head, actually so energetic that it was tough to control the poor. Dark amber / chocolate in colour. Sour, salty nose, not unlike a recently consumed Rodenbach Classic. Not at all unpleasant but not typical of the genre. Not disimilar to taste although the textbook comes more into play as the flavours are quite clearly underpinned with a heavy candied and dirty malt component. The salt (& olive) flavours drive a long finish. ABV heat kicks in late and makes a lasting impression.


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