Slow Beer

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Recent Tasting Notes

Florisgaarden Fraise (13/20)
I quite liked this one. Strawberry nose was quickly evident from 3 feet away; quite intense. Had a funky, slightly sticky edge as well. As expected very sweet and soft in the palate but strangely enough very hard not to like. Heaps of soft creamy strawberry fruits and perhaps a vanilla undertone (or that just be getting mixed up with the taste of those strawberry cream sweets?). Sure, very artifical, but good fun nevertheless.

Buffalo Dark Ale (10/20)
Big head, fizzy, not dense. Leaves a ’floater’ formation. Light brown with a touch of ruby red in colour. Spice / lemongrass and citrus from the nose is quite striking, and as per my tasting of the lager would appear better placed on a wheat beer style. Not all good however as there’s a definate soapy touch coming through as well. Early flavours back the aroma observations; piercing citrus and spice (and soap). Sorta ok but nil traces of chocolate, roast etc that one may expect to see in a dark ale. Prefer others.

Youngs St Georges Ale (13/20)
Interestingly this beer is still in plentiful supply from the Australian supplier although fresh stocks haven’t been seen for a while (this bottle’s BB is July 2007). Fairly straight forward style that was pleasant enough for a Sunday evening. Slightly weird nose, some text book fruitiness, good malt lift, but a note of ginger and doughand kicks in. Not bad, just unexpected. The spice fades away in the palate and the beer firms up into a typical Pommy bitter. Nice well rounded finish with touches of malt sweetness.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Beer News - More Drug Smoking in the West


Maybe I'm being a little harsh but these promotor driven 'businesses' will end in tears me thinks........fair dinkum, this guy hasn't even brewed a beer yet!

WA Entrepreneurs Raise Brewers' Spirits, Simon Evans, 22 May 2007, Australian Financial Review

"Way back in the 1980s, Fremantle's Sail & Anchor pub started to produce Matilda Bay beers, the first beer from an independent microbrewery to impact the national stage before being bought out by Foster's Group in the 1990s. That influence has spurred the WA boutique beer market to the point where small brewers are now pursuing public floats.

Five have listed in the last 18 months and the latest, Big Island Brewing, hasn't even brewed any beer yet. Managing director Shane O'Hart used to be in charge of 600 Liquorland and Vintage Cellars outlets for Coles Group. Now he's hoping to raise $10 million to convert a former cider factory in Perth into a brewery.

He says the success of the resources sector has fostered a can-do approach to other business ventures, 'WA has an entrepreneurial spirit.' He is inspired by the share-price performance of Little World Beverages, producer of the Little Creatures brand which went public in 2005.
Toohey's brewer Lion Nathan is now a 34 percent shareholder and is expected to make a takeover bid at some point. Other WA microbreweries to list on the Australian Stock Exchange include: Gage Roads Brewing, Empire Beer Group and Oz Brewing."


Beer News - Hopping Over From Flanders

Not a bad piece on Bridge Road from Willie article here


Beer News - Red Hill Newsletter

View at this link


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Web Bytes - Cloudwine stuff

Want to know what we reckon about all things wine?

Check out the Cloudwine blog here


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cellar Notes - Du Pont Saison

2005 Vintage / Tasted June 2007 (16/20)
Really impressed with this. Huge sparkling whiter-than-white head contrasts nicely with glowing orange body. Small traces of sediment. Lively nose of fruit (banana), citrus, hops and warming spices. Palate weight is quite strong and probably plays above the 6.5%. Cloves, aniseed, liquered notes, quite thick and resiny. Definately traces of a Belgian blonde in flavour. Finishes strongly with some bitter hops and a whack of aniseed. Most enjoyable.

(Best Before March 2008)


Recent Tasting Notes

Lindemands Apple (13/20)
Lager-like in appearance. Big fluffy head early but it breaks up quickly. Nose is much better than expected, I was of course anticipating masses of sweet confectionary apple juice however whilst the obvious juicy apple note is apparent there’s an underlying sour / lambic me hope. Palate is similar is that flavours are all about sweet concentrated juice early but these fade in favour of a mild stinky and sour lambic note. Don’t get me wrong, this is no hardcore Cantillon lookalike but it gives the beer a note of credibility.

2m Tall Huon Dark Ale (10/12)
Massive fizzy head, coffee coloured, not bad density as it settles down. Can’t get my head around the bouquet; very mild roast, a touch musty (apple juice impact?) and stale, the latter note I can’t quite work out as the beer is fresh. Quite mildly flavoured; the dark ale / porter roast and chocolate is more prominant and the citrus tang from the apple kicks in late, but does lift the palate somewhat. Notwithstanding, I may not have picked this as apple juice had I not known its presence was in the mix. Apple makes a stronger impact as the beer warms up.

2m Tall Cleansing Ale (11/20)
Big fluffy white head early but settles quickly to leave a slightly creamy thin residue. Aromas comprise faint notes of citrus and apple, underpinned with a spicy note. Palate takes a while to get going and is certainly a bit too low key for my liking early, but the nettles, hops and bitterness progressively grows. Never really hits the level to get one excited but the medium strengh finish is persistent and qutie classy.


Friday, June 22, 2007

New Releases & Fresh Stocks - Mid June

Bellevue Kriek $6.50
De Block Special 6 $4.50
Delirium Tremens $6.00
Satan Gold 330ml $5.30
Satan Gold 750ml $15.00
Satan Red 330ml $5.30
St. Sebastian Dark Crock $12.50
St Sebastian Grand Cru Crock $12.50

De Schelde Strandgaper $5.50
De Schelde Witbier $4.50

Belhaven Fruit Beer $7.00
Belhaven Wee Heavy $7.00
Black Wych Stout $6.50
Circle Master Ale $6.50
Green King Triumph $6.50
Old Rogue Ale $6.50
Tanners Jack Ale $3.50
Wadworths 6X $6.50


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Recent Tasting Notes

Emerald Hill Pale Ale (10/20)
This crowd is bit all over the shop with some beers looking quite decent yet others look faulty. This one is somewhere in the middle. Nice attractive glowing orange, thin head and thick lacing. Nose is sweet early but is soon balanced out with citrus and pine notes, and a funky edge I can’t quite place. Tough to get a clear read on the flavours; resiny hops is the most obvious, with a bitter finish. Strange liquered notes in the back palate, not entirely pleasant.

Red Hill Golden Ale (14/20)
Very clean tasting and competently made beer. Orange / lemon in colour; ever so slightly cloudy. Big licks of citrus and sour spices on the nose - good definition. Backs up vry well to taste with more citrus, mild sour notes and a growing bitterness on the back palate. Unremarkable at first but very complete and balanced.

Buffalo Lager (14/20)
What a surprise packet! Masses of spice and citrus acorss the nose and palate; far more Belgian wit in style the the generic ’lager’ label gives credit for. Quality orange rinf, spice and ginger as well. Flavours finish a touch hard but this beer is quite good. Maybe they screwed up the labeling?


Monday, June 18, 2007

How CUB Rips You Off.....(again)

So I guess we have made our thoughts previously known around that great Victorian beer Stella Artois winning the Premier's award for top local beer at the recent AIBA.....

Anyway, recently we were given the opportunity to acquire Stella and other crap CUB / Lion Nathan affiliates through a direct import channel and guess what.....they are f%$^&%$ heaps cheaper than what we pay through the duopoly. In the case of Stella the wholesale price is over 25% lower.

I must be can CUB charge me a wholesale price for a locally brewed version for Stella yet I can buy the real deal from Europe and lower my retail price by 25%???

Nice work CUB - another con job successfully applied to the punters!!!

New Prices
Stella now $14.90 per 6-pack (down from $19.00)
Corona now $16.90 per 6 pack (down from $17.90)
Becks $14.90 per 6 pack
Cintra $11.00 per 6 pack (Brazil)
Salitos $11.00 per 6 pack (Germany - huh?)

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

New Releases - Early June

New and fresh stuff...................

Australia & New Zealand
Brewer's Fine Ale Pure Malt Ale $3.50
Bright Hellfire $3.90
Bright Staircase Porter $4.70
Emerson's Oatmeal Stout $8.00

Leffe Brune $4.50
Gavroche $5.50
Karmeliet Triple $7.00
Palm $4.50
Brugge Blond $5.00
Boucanier Golden $7.50

Bass Premium Ale $6.50
Bateman's Combined Harvest Ale $6.50
Black Sheep Ale $6.50
Greene King Abbot Ale $6.50
Marston's Single Malt $6.50
Masterbrew $7.00
Old Speckled Hen 375ml $4.00
Scrumpy Jack Cider $7.00
Tim Taylor Landlord $6.50


Recent Tasting Notes

Thanks to Lachlan Strong for providing Red Oak's Melbourne-based apologist with the opportunity to try a handful of AIBA-only show bottle releases (ie outside of the brewery cafe)..............

Framboise Reserve (12/20)
Thin caramel head with a blood tinge. Darkish brown in colour with a cherry hue. Sweet nose, intense early, but settles quickly. Sweet fruits to taste with a weird hard, bitter edge. Can't quite place my finger on it. Stinky fruit notes on the finish have some appeal. I hope this ain't the $75 beer...oh dear!

Eisbock (14/20)
Cola appearance with a very thin head. Massive, yeasty dirty nose, vegemite, complex...good. Alcohol laden palate with heat and licorice. Quite smooth and carries th 14% with incredible ease. Good fun.

Old Baltic (13/20)
Cola-like again in appearance (a house trait it seems). Yeasty, vegemite nose (again) although quite balanced and settled, perhaps the result of the aging? Very similar to taste, although somewhat underwhelming in terms of intensity. Not a patch on a sample of the 'current vintage' I tried a couple of years ago (which, admitedly, seduced me in a big way). At face value pricing looks greedy and opportunistic at $35, and I'm note sure what the aging delivers?


Friday, June 15, 2007

Recent Tasting Notes

Gulf Brewery Humpback Pale Ale (6/20)
Very boring appearance; dead flat head (not really any head at all), and a light copper / caramel colour. Nose is quite a turn-off with dodgy cooked fruits and a hard rusty metallic edge. More of the same to taste in a very fizzy palate. Some faint spice and pepper on the finish provides a mildly redeming feature. Quite disappointing.

Bridge Road Bling IPA (14/20)
My quaffing midweeker of the past month or so. Pours a big yellow - light brown head with good rocky texture. Colour is textbook maroon - brown. Nose is typical as well with hard hoppy, bitter, metallic notes; quite forceful. More expansive in the mouth; cutting hard hops, iron fillings (not a bad thing), the faintest of softening touches through a late showing of malt. Well rounded, "all-corners-of-the-mouth" finish. I’ve had better samples but this is still a very solid beer.

Temple Special Bitter (12/20)
Pours quite well; creamy thing head, almost Kilkenny-like. Hazy light chocolate brown in colour, quite unexpected. Faintly sweet caramel malts on the nose with just a tiny sliver of a bitter note. Firmer taste, some sweeter malt action that tightens progressively through the palate. Flavours thin out a touch in the back palate. Pretty close, and I have to admit the structure does have a certain modest creamy note, but not a beer that will leap out and grab you.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

In-Store Tasting - 2m Tall Brewing Company

Ashley Huntington is making the trip across the ditch to pour his Huon Dark Ale and Forester Pale for the punters on Friday June 15th (5.00pm - 7.30pm) at the Camberwell Store (766 Burke Rd).

We'd love to see you at the shop for a sip or 2! And we might open a few other new beers to make it worth you while.

About the Brewery......

Jane & Ashley Huntington grow cereal crops and beef cattle on 600Ha on the banks of the Derwent River. Ashley is a qualified winemaker and was Manager-Senior Winemaker of Hardy's La Baume winery in the south of France for 7 vintages until 2004.

The 2m Tall Brewing Company is developing its brewing and winemaking facility at Valleyfield in the Derwent Valley- just a 10 minute drive from their farm. Established in 1813 by an emancipated 'first fleeter', Valleyfield is the property where hops were first successfully grown in Australia on a commercial basis.

Brewer Tasting Notes - Forester Pale Ale
Featuring Pride of Ringwood hops procured directly from the kilns of the last two hop farms in the Forester region of North East Tasmania. This is a refreshing and versatile, fully flavoured, bitter pale ale.

Brewer Tasting Notes - Huon Dark Ale
Taking a classic dark ale base, a winemaker's touch has provided a soft, rich fruit palate via the use of fresh, unfiltered apple juice procured directly from an on-farm apple grower and processor in the Huon Valley. A blend of five different barley malts, this is a complex and satisfying drinking experience.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Web Bytes - Pete Brown has a Blog


Hardly ground breaking news and all that but this guy has written a couple of excellent books in 'Three Sheets To The Wine' and 'Man Walks Into a Pub'. Check 'em out and check out his blog.


Web Bytes - Amsterdam Pub Guide

I reckon Amsterdam is somewhat under-rated when it comes to beer and quality beer bars. We were fortunate to spend a couple of nights there in October and we visted 5 - 6 bars that compared very favourably to those visited in neighbouring Belgium.

This site proved extremely handy as an in-depth guide. Well worth checking out.


Friday, June 01, 2007

Recent Tasting Notes

Brewer's Fine Ale Pure Malt Ale (9/20)
These dudes are so new I couldn't even add them the the dbase due to lack of company web site and email address. Not a mind-blowing debut but no shocker either. Sweet candied nose of crystal malts and rusty orange appearance is very much like the Bintara house style, not a great start. Palate shows the crystal malts early, a dumb sweetness perhaps, but this disappears as the flavours get leaner and dry, almost to the point of being a little dilutive. A touch of of spice on the finish.

Outback Black Opal (7/20)
I didn’t think this beer was a total disaster. Very dark brown, murky, not head. Soft-drink like to pour and look at. Sweet aromas, dare I say Belgian-like with cooked fruitcake, vegemite; I’m not joking when I say it’s not miles away from Rochefort! Definately good hints of complexity. No great to drink however as the flavours fall completely flat and dilutive. Hints of chocolate at best but just too one-diminsional with a soft-drink like palate. Sweet cocoa on the finish.

Outback Pale Ale (5/20)
Weak poorly formed head with holes you could drive a truck through. Appearance is uninspiring; rusty orange / amber, a bit creamy soda-like with the poor head retention. Fainty sweet dumb toffee caramel notes in the aroma, lacks drive and presence. Very, very poor flavour profile; sweet cheap malts mated to a soft drink like palate structure. I needed this beer around when I was 16!


Recent Tasting Notes

Früh Kölsch (11/20)
Unremarkable light gold in colour and zero head. Very clean looking. Nose is a mix of slight mushy, stale malts and talcum powder / mineral-like notes. Quite sharp early in the mouth with cutting, more powdery notes and a slightly burning acid character (wine-like in this respect). The stodgy malts evident on the nose kick in late. Ok beer I guess.

Thwaites Dark Mild (11/20)
Served via can. Pours nicely with a very well formed 1 inch thick creamy coffee coloured head. Very dark brown in colour. Tough to pick much on the nose. Soft milky chocolates to taste, albeit mild, and just the faintest rusty note. Quite soft carbonation but I’m not sure if this is the effect of the can? The best thing about this beer, for mine, is that it is quite an acceptable flavoursome beer that weighs in at only 3.2%. This is a good result for the drink and drive brigade.

3 Ravens White (15/20)
Appearance as per other tasting notes on; hazy lemon / orange with poor head retention. Striking aromas of big spices - cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg - these characters are very obvious. Perhaps a fraction contrieved. A touch more pedestrian to taste with the spice making way for lemon and faint honey notes before a whack of pepper and 5 spice kicks in on the finish. Quite unique flavours but you do see traces of this in the blond. Love the 640ml bottles - you’d look very cool sipping on one of these at St Jerome and its ilk (if of course they had the vision to stock it).


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