Slow Beer

Sunday, March 23, 2008

New Releases & Fresh Stocks March

Red Hill Belgian Blonde $5.00

Brakspere Organic Ale $7.00
Meantime India Pale Ale 750ml $19.00
Meantime London Porter 750ml $18.00
Meantime Pale Ale $6.00
Meantime Union $5.50
Meantime Raspberry Grand Cru $6.00
Meantime Wheat Grand Cru $6.50
Meantime Organic Pilsner $6.50
Meantime Chocolate Porter $6.50
Meantime Coffee Porter $6.50

Unibroue 16 $19.00

Schlenkerla Marzen $5.50

Chilli Beer $3.50 / $20.00

Baltika No.4 $4.50

Belhaven Scottish Ale $6.50
Belhaven St Andrews Ale $3.80


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cellar Notes - Coopers Best Extra Stout

Bottling Date: Best After June 2006
Consumed: March 2008 (11/20)
Clearly starting to dry out as a 2yr old but this beer is still in good nick. Some lightening at the rim as dark brown fades towards a tokay-like burnt orange brown. Nose is driven by dry roasted malts that are quite mild although a hint of milk chocolate remains. Palate is lean and dry with mild roast and some milder astringency. Certainly fading when I compare to the previous tasting. Notwithstanding hard to be critical given the age.

Botting Date: Best After June 2006
Consumed: July 2007 (12/20)
Poured well again with a big thick coffee coloured head. Didn't last long but looks good. Soft friendly nose of milk chocolates and just the faintest hint of grainy roasted malts. Once again perhaps the palate doesn't stack up to the nose. Some fizz, only a fraction on the high side; this may subdue the chocolate and malt. Medium length and strength finish. Not going anywhere but won't blow your socks off. In good nick for its age (probably 18 months since brewed).

Bottling Date: Best After June 2006
Consumed: August 2006 (12/20)
Pours very nicely with a thick, light tan head. Breaks up very quickly. Attractive chocolate brown in colour. Aromas are a touch underwhelming; mild chocolate and dry roasted malts. Good length. Fairly fizzy palate for the style and probably subdues the flavours from really hitting their straps. Again what should be obvious stout characters of chocolate and roast is mild. Not really deserved of its top 5 Oz status (as per on this tasting. Given this beer was drank relatively young I can only assume in needs a little time to show its best.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Beer Travel - The Local Taphouse

Er...sorry Steve. I've been meaning to get your joint a crank for weeks now!!

Have been a few times and have say this is at least the most significant addition to the Melbourne quality beer bar scene since The Royston in Richmond. Popped in for a beer at the soft opening tonight and I was impressed. Classy fitout uncluttered, non-pretentious, not pool table / big screen TV bullshit. 21 taps with some really good kit (Beast IPA, Red Hill Blonde, Coopers Yellow, Redoak?, Dogbolter etc). Priced up a touch at about $4.5 - $5.0 for a glass but bugger it well worth the effort. Steve (owner) gives a shit about good beer and is committed to showcasing it properly. Could be the best place in Melb to have a beer.

I've been few times since including a session upstairs in the awesome outdoor deck bar.

This place is good for geeks but, as noted, on the pricey side. Then again, paying $5.80 for a pot of Jamieson 'Beast' IPA is, in relative terms, a bargain when Stella might be $4. Early noise is that taps will rotate on a regular basis. And it's the only pub in Melbourne I would go to a couple of times every month.

Update March 2008
The Local Tahouse has just launched The Local Taphouse’s Beer Bulletins which are sent by SMS to your mobile phone with the latest BEER news – events, latest taps beers (as soon as they’re tapped) etc. All you need to receive these occasional bulletins is to text the word ‘beer’ to 0447-LOCALS (0447 562 257). You can unsubscribe at any time.

Showcase taps coming up over the next few weeks include Jamieson’s Son of a Beast dIPA, Little Brewing Company’s Wicked Elf APA (winner Gold @ Sydney Show), Murray’s Grand Cru and Colonial’s Porter and Kölsch.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Web Bytes - Good Beer Blogs

Like most geek / enthusiast scenes the on-line beer world is awash with beer blogs. And, mind you, most are much better than this one. Below I've listed a bunch that I like to visit regularly.

Good all-rounder site with professional writing and insight. Wide-ranging global coverage.

Pete is a most excellent writer having penned, amongst others, 'Three Sheets to the Wind' and 'Man Walks Into a Pub'.

UK beer and brewing focussed. The guide / reviews of the London pub scene is particularly strong.

Czech specialist. Awesome pics too.

Canadian dude. One of the world's leading real deal beer writers.

Another blog from a professional beer writer, this time UK-based Roger Protz.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Cellar Notes - La Trappe Tripel

Bottled: April 2006
Tasted: Febuary 2008 (15/20)

I've only tried this beer at one other time and then as a 6 month old (17/20). This sample suggests there's not a lot to be gained through medium term cellaring. Looks good; thin creamy head, nicely textured, and the colour is a tasty toffee orange. Classic nose of sugary sweet malts and a funky, 'cooked fruit' character. Very Belgian. Flavour weight is quite light for the style and not even close to what you might expect in a fresher example. Light and almost dry early (Asahi anyone?) with a layer of spice, but the weight picks up progressively. Apricot fruits thicken together with heavier sugary malts and a hint of spice. Good balance throughout.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Recent Tasting Notes

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout (14/20)
Dark brown with a very think yellow head. Nose is a tale of 2 halves; chocolate and roast early, but a certain cardboard, musty, cork taint-like character takes the edge off. Flavours are intense early - sweet chocolate, roast, but one dimensional. And that dimension is just loaded with sugar. 18% ABV by the way.

Kastaar (12/20)
Nice looking beer; hazy orange, a touch of glow, and a medium sized fizzy head. Nose shows good (and balanced) fruits and some underlying malts. Maybe some fruity hops as well. Fizzy palate kills any chance of the flavours being able to shine. Some of the fruity character tries to poke through but the fizz drives a dry and slightly bitter / extracted flavour profile. Kinda like a Asahi with a fruity edge.

Barons Lemon Myrtle Witbier (11/20)
Not bad. Golden amber in colour although hardly exciting. Nice thin persistent head. Lots of aromas lifting off the nose; lemon, spice, almost confectionary-like. Palate nearly as good, and very similar, bit quite there. The lemon and citrus loses its intensity and the beer mellows out into a mild lager. Still, won’t be a bad summer drink.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Recent Tasting Notes

Redoak Belgium Choc-Cherry Stout (14/20)
Took me a while to get to this one. Good nose; furry, dustry, musty chocolate. Pongy whiff from the cherry. Good looking beer; very very dark brown and a thin coffee-coloured head. Palate shows a lot of restraint but is quite classy. Chocolate and mint, albeit mild, with a very clear cherry impact - sour and tangy - before a dry and slighty roasty finish. Better than expected.

Redoak Berry Weisse (6/20)
Brand new beer as at mid November (well, it had been on tap for a week or so). Served in a short champagne flute. Bright cherry / red / pink in colour; looks friendly but quite artificial. Red berries on the nose with an underway of fresh vomit (not a bad thing). Soft fruit flavours pop up very early in the palate but come across as dilutive. Tangy berry flavour kicks in but the impact is very modest. Bar guy called it a ’controlled lambic style’, presumably a reference to the low / nil use of wild yeasts. Whatever the approach was it sure didn’t work. Flavours are very mundane, weak, fizzy. Kinda like an underpowered Florisgaarden.

3 Monts (16/20)
Massive, massive pure white head. Dense, powerful, impressive. Aromas are surprisingly restrained; some medicinal notes and a light smokey, flinty character. Quite varietal. Firm flavours right through the palate. Aniseed, some bitterness from the alcohol; quite layered and complex. Fruity edge on the finish is nice, as is the flintly, chalky overlay that runs right through the palate that thickens on the finish.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Recent Tasting Notes - Meantime Brewing

Very excited to get these beers in. Very progressive modern brewer based in London that is punching out contemporary versions of very traditional English styles. Our views on the beers below............

Organic Pilsner (15/20)
Full bodied style with no shortage of drive from the malts. Good levels of bitterness, herbal spice and drive from very well handled hops. Balance is near perfect, making this extremely quaffable. Well made and well worth a look. Not unlike a top flight Kiwi pilsner.

Coffee Porter (16/20)
This is good kit and shows great leverage off the base porter, which in itself is a very good beer. massively expressive nose of cork / wood, wet hessian, bitter coffee roast and chocolate. Flavours are so friendly, thickening chocolate, sweet coffee, faint astringency, but perhaps a touch too cloying on the finish. Easily the best coffee based beer I’ve drunk.

India Pale Ale (14/20)
Soft, fruity nose, very aromatic with confectionery characters. Soft flavours to taste, fruity early before a rapid sharpening-up from a bitter and hoppy finish. Some thickening on the finish with aniseed, possibly from the ABV. Amazingly well packaged.

London Porter (16/20)
I like this. Porter on a mild dose of steroids perhaps? Although the recipe purports to be very authentic (and I have absolutely no reason to doubt this) this porter is certainly a stronger, bigger souped up style. Chocolate and dry roast / metal shavings on the nose. Palate weight is high for the style and shows plenty of chocolate and malts, although there’s a clear dry kick late that serves as a reminder that this beer is a porter. Awesome packaging too.

Wheat Grand Cru (13/20)
Simple style that does the job. Plenty of aromatic banana lolly to smell and a faint hint of sweet spices. Soft palate structure with banana and cloves early before moving a fizzy and slightly spicier finish. A touch one dimension but I guess that’s the style.


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