Slow Beer

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


As you’re no doubt aware our grand opening tasting a few months back was a huge success. However bringing out the big guns did leave our cellar stocks somewhat depleted & obviously this is never a good thing! So over the past few months after being back at square one, we’ve been hiding some crakers away & now have some pretty special beers, ready to do it all again.

Next FRIDAY the 18th DECEMBER 5-7pm, Slowbeer will be hosting a seasonally appropriate tasting, with the theme being Christmas Beers!

Red Hill Christmas Ale
Certainly one of the first local craft breweries to go out on a limb & brew a limited release Belgian-style Christmas ale. A bold move then, that has certainly paid great dividends for them. This is hands down their most popular seasonal release often, selling out before its actual release! Even retailers such as ourselves are powerless as to how much we are allocated (which is never enough!), such is its following.

Rogue Santa’s Private Reserve
Another eagerly anticipated brew, however last year Australia wasn't quite lucky enough to see it arrive on our shores. This is essentially a supped-up version of the much loved St Rogue Dry Hopped Red Ale. With toasty caramel/toffee malt & a nice big citrus kick this would almost be better suited to a warm Southern Hemisphere Christmas than a cold Northern one!

St Bernardus Kerst
In essence this is a spiced version of the St Bernardus Abt 12. Interestingly, many don’t realize that St Bernardus is in fact quite similar to the highly coveted Westvelteren, having for some 30 years produced its commercial equivalent under license. Inside the walls of the trappist monastery Westvleteren would only be brewed as sustenance for the monks, while St Bernardus would use the original recipes & knowledge of the Westvleteren master brewer to produce a commercial version. In 1992 the agreement ceased, however strong parallels can still be made between their beers.

St Feuillien Cuvee de Noel
While this beer doesn’t have quite as interesting a story, its certainly does tick all the right boxes as far as style goes & is an excellent beer. An interesting array of herbs & spices are employed as well as different malts to give it a complex, multilayered palate. Rich caramel malt balanced by raisin esters & with possible additions being cinnamon & nutmeg. A really well rounded xmas ale!

Schloss Eggenberg Samichlaus
Apparently the world’s strongest beer...maybe at some point but perhaps not anymore. Weighing in at 14%, this is billed as the cognac of beers. Though I will give some credit to the claim as many of the more modern, higher abv beers employ a wine yeast or simply freeze the beer to make it more concentrated. So it may well still be the worlds strongest beer, at least in the strictest sense. Semantics aside, this is a huge beer & one would definitely liken it to a cognac. Exceptionally rich & malty, borderline sweet palate with very little discernable hop bitterness. Interestingly this is a bock, meaning it is both bottom fermented with a lager yeast & filtered.

Baladin Noel
A slight change of pace from the other Baladin beers. Being considerably darker & richer, obviously with the purpose of being a Christmas beer. While certainly taking a lead from the many of the Belgian beers of the style, this is still quite different. Dried fruit notes are present but also masses of dark chocolate, coffee & licorice. An overall dry palate is actually a good point of difference, given that many Christmas beers can be quite sweet.

AND if we’re lucky we may have De Molen Rasputin Imperial Stout & Murray’s Anniversary Ale 4 on as well! (Yes we know they aren't xmas beers!)

While at first glance the list may not look all that impressive. “Sure” you say, “How hard can it be to round up a heap of Christmas beers when it is in fact Christmas?” Well bear in mind that many of the European Christmas beers don’t arrive on our shores until 6 months after the event & that’s if we are lucky enough to even get them in the first place! So you see, we did need some degree of forethought in order to get an impressive line-up such as this.

500ml, 6.2% abv
Luke has produced this beer for a number of years as a small batch release, however this is the first time we’ve been able to get it across the Tasman. Having billed this as a strong pale ale, is certainly quite appropriate. With this one falling somewhere between a pale ale & ipa, it makes perfect sense. Though quite a change of pace from the Armageddon, the mayhem is very much in the US mould. A rather strong crystal malt-like backbone of caramel & toffee provides great support for the very robust citrus & pine notes of the hops. This beer is bursting with hop charcter & you can really tell its a super fresh batch!

500ml, 6.66% abv
Great to see this back on our shelves, after it disappeared very quickly last time. I’d hazard a guess & say that this is probably Luke’s favorite brew, having seen how disappointed he was that we had no more left in stock when he dropped by to conduct our Epic tasting a month or so ago. Sure, he was pleased with how well it had sold but was keen for more, much like the rest of us!
As noted above the mayhem & Armageddon are more than just different styles, almost like coming from completely different brewers/breweries altogether. Which do I prefer? Its hard to say as I really love them both! I’d say the Armageddon IPA is more unique, in that it has a heap of tropical fruit bringing lycee & passionfruit as well as green grass from the hops with just a touch of malt for support. It really seems to epitomize hoppy Kiwi beers, which are a nice change of pace from the sometimes overdone US styles.

ROGUE (US) Wet Hop Ale 650ml $15.00
Mogul Madness 650ml $15.00
Santa’s Private Reserve 650ml & 355ml $15.00 & $7.50
Tracktown Triple Jump Pale Ale 650ml $15.00
Yellow Snow IPA 650ml $15.00
St Rogue Dry Hopped Red 355ml $7.50
Brutal Bitter 355ml $7.50
Chipotle 355ml $7.50
Shakespear Stout 650ml $15.00
Chocolate Stout 650ml $15.00
Smoke Ale 650ml $15.00
XS IPA 750ml $38.00
XS Old Crustacean Barleywine 750ml $38.00
FLYING DOG (US) Gonzo Imperial Porter 355ml $10.00
Snake Dog IPA 355ml $7.00
Doggie Style Pale Ale 355ml $6.50


If you wish to order any of the above beers, hop online or alternatively email: For the locals, swing by over the weekend to pick some up & have a chat.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Web Counters
Free Counter