Wednesday, 23 May 2012

REVIEW: ARROGANT BASTARD ALE

Et Ceterbeer


STATS
  • Country: United States
  • Style: American Strong Ale 
  • ABV: 7.2%
  • Serving Type: 650ml Bottle
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
It's fair to say over the years that Richo and I have both been referred to as the name of this beer many many times. So it seemed fitting that we shared this one before he goes on a 3 month odyssey around Europe.


Stone Brewing in California is brewery whose beers I have been trying to get my hands on for ages. I made a trip down to a beer store I pop into sporadically and saw a huge number of their beers, almost all of them are now waiting for me to drink them! Check out the arrogant bastard website, some of the quotes are just gold! Neither of us can wait to get into this!


The beer pours alot darker than I had anticipated, it's a dark amber or red colour with a cream coloured head on top. The carbonation seems reasonably high as the head lasts for a very long time, not ever really completely dissipating. I've never had an American Strong Ale before but a quick check on the criteria says that the beer can basically look like anything as long as it's an ale over 7%. It looks good to me.


I think I was expecting slightly more from the nose, don't get me wrong it smells amazing, I just thought it would be more intense. There is a strong sweet smelling aroma of caramel malts with brown sugar also present. Dark fruits are present on the nose, sultanas I think, before a lovely hop bitterness overtakes the palate. These hops are both piney and woody, and are remarkable bitter!


Arrogant Bastard Ale tastes much more intense than the nose suggests. Straight away you are hit by a big bitterness which subsides into the background as a caramel malt base takes over. The taste of sultanas is there but is hard to notice as a pine hop flavour takes over, they are surprisingly bitter but have a strange minty spicyness towards the back of the palate. This bitterness lasts all the way through to a finish, which just leaves you wanting more and more! (possibly to your detriment...)


This beer packs a punch much greater than the 7.2% ABV would suggest. It's a really nice ale, full of character that is very different from anything else available in Australia. This beer is really going to make a big impression on the Australian market if the distributor wants it to. To make this happen everyone needs to go and buy this beer, it's a lovely ale, the names fantastic and I can guarantee you won't de disappointed!


Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

REVIEW: MACGUAVA

Summer Fruit Beers #10


STATS

  • Country: Australia
  • Style: Berliner Weissbier
  • ABV: 5.6%
  • Serving Type: 330ml Bottle
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
Here's the first beer in the Magnificent Mullet Series from Moon Dog. These guys make some awesome beers so this range of fruit infused wheat beers should be interesting. If you've got nothing to do check out the label guide on their website here, it's pretty cool.

The concept of this fruit beer really excites me, it's basically a wheat beer which has had heaps of guava added. It's something a bit different, which is what Moon Dog aim to be. The brewery is about 2 minutes away from where I work and is located all of 100 metres away from CUB in Abbotsford. You have to admire the wittiness of the name...

When you pour the Macguava you see this big white head that emerges forth from the bottle. The colour of the beer is a very pale straw colour, it's quite similar to pineapple juice actually. Unusually for a Berliner Weissbier the head has excellent retention, almost a whole finger is left for most of drinking. The head also leaves a thick wall of lacing down the entire glass. It's a very impressive start!

I'm quite intrigued as I smell this beer, you can just tell this isn't your average sweet fruit beer. The tartness of this beer really comes across on the nose. There is some guava on the nose but not as much as I expected, there is also a slight citrus zest. The real bitterness comes from the lactobacillus yeast, which is typical of a Berliner Weissbier. As the beer warms up you can begin to taste a grape like flavour, it's definitely a different take on a fruit beer.

The Macguava is a really different take on a fruit beer and I think it's going to make it appeal to a wider variety of drinkers. This beer is very much a nice bitter Berliner Weissbier with relatively sour guava added after. I can taste other muted tropical fruit flavours as well. But the real star of this be is the lactobacillus yeast which provides a very nice base for this fruit beer.

Moon Dog have produced a really interesting beer here. This is one you are really going to have to taste for yourself to know if you will like it. However if you are a fan of Berliner Weissbiers I don't think you will be disappointed. I'm really looking forward to the Melon Gibson now, it'll probably follow later in the week. This is one I'd buy again, it's very interesting having a fruit beer with close to no sweetness. Absolutely worth a shot.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

REVIEW: LITTLE CREATURES PALE ALE

Fridge Regular




STATS
  • Country: Australia
  • Style: American Pale Ale 
  • ABV: 5.2%
  • Serving Type: 330ml Bottle
  • Price: Inexpensive 
I've been receiving a few emails lately about how I don't review enough Australian craft beers. So here is beer that shaped the Australian craft beer scene, Little Creatures Pale Ale. This pale ale is a heavily hopped pale ale, inspired by beers such as Sierra Nevada's pale ale.

I do actually drink alot of Australian beers, the reason many of them aren't reviewed is simply because many of them just don't stand out. For examply another West Australian brewery, Gage Roads, makes an English style IPA called Sleeping Giant which I intended to review last week, it wasn't terrible but was a bit bland. I have got a few Australian beers lined up to review though, so if you love Aussie craft beer stay tuned over the next couple of weeks.

Little Creatures Pale Ale pours a cloudy orange colour with a relatively small off-white head. The head has lots of medium sized bubbles throughout it, it also has quite poor retention and settles to a ring quite quickly. The little head there is does provide minimal lacing but more would have been nice. There is some sediment that can put some inexperienced craft beer drinkers off, don't worry about it! It's a really nice looking pale ale.

The nose is simply superb, very few beers (let alone Australian beers) smell as good as this Little Creatures Pale Ale. It has a sweet malt base which is clearly of some quality, but where this beer is a real star is the fruity hop aroma. Not only does there appear to be good bitterness there is also tropical fruits galore on the nose. Bananas, peaches, apricots and green apples are all present. There is also a honey like smell which draws the whole aroma together. It's simply stunning!

What a fantastic beer! It's technically a brilliant American Pale Ale. The taste starts off with the fruitiness that was present on the nose. The hops come next and are a slightly spicy floral hop variety, they provide excellent bitterness and help with the excellent dry finish. This makes a fantastic session beer as the mouthfeel is relatively light and leaves the drinker refreshed. It's a seriously good American Pale Ale, it's very hard to find faults with it.

In my opinion the best way to enjoy this beer is with food, and what better place to do that than the Little Creatures Brewhouse in Brunswick. The food has massive serving sizes and is delicious, the garlic aioli is amazing! There are American craft breweries who would kill to be able to make a pale ale that is this good. It's a simply world class pale ale, which is starting to gain a reputation overseas. If you haven't had this beer, you must have been living under a rock! Go out and buy some, you won't be disappointed!

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

REVIEW: STEINLAGER PURE

Macro Lager


STATS
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Style: Euro Pale Lager
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • Serving Type: 330ml Bottle
  • Price: Inexpensive
Steinlager Pure is the premium macro lager produced by Steinlager in New Zealand. I have chosen to review this beer instead of the normal Steinlager for two reasons. 1. Normal Steinlager is crap, and 2. Much less of the normal Steinlager is imported to Australia now, you can still get it but the Pure is much more readily available.

Having said that normal Steinlager is terrible, hopefully this one isn't, I've never actually had the Steinlager Pure. Apparently though this is a nice easy drinking lager, hopefully all the things I've heard about it are right as basically all I want is a simple lager now. Let's do this.

The pour is average to say the least. The colour is a yellow/golden colour which is much less appealing than what it appears in the photo. There doesn't seem to be much carbonation at all and this should explain why the head is so small and airy. It's a very underwhelming looking beer, but as we learnt from the Castle Lager earlier looks aren't everything!

I'm pleasantly surprised by the nose of this beer. It's has almost no adjunct aroma, maybe just a little upon first opening but definitely none after it's been poured. I can smell some sweetish malts which are balanced by some mildly bitter grassy hops. Steinlager Pure is the definition of nice clean smelling lager, nothing special but very nice.

New Zealand's highest selling premium lager (I assume) is a well balanced beer. There is a body of sweet malts, which are balanced out by some mildly bitter spicy grass hops, I assume these are an unusual New Zealand variety. There are some citrus notes and also something which might be a sour grapefruit taste, but I only get that taste very fleetingly. There is moderately high carbonation combined with a thin body, which would make this a very high quality session beer.

Steinlager Pure is a well put together premium lager. The brewers clearly understand the limitations of the style and haven't tried to do anything outrageous or special. It's a nice clean lager, which could maybe do with a tiny bit more bitterness but I really am nitpicking in saying that. If you are after a nice easy drinking premium lager this is a pretty good option, it's easy to drink and has a nice flavour.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world! 

REVIEW: CASTLE LAGER

Macro Lager


STATS
  • Country: South Africa
  • Style: American Adjunct Lager
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • Serving Type: 330ml Bottle
  • Price: CHEAP!!!
The national beer of South Africa is Castle Lager. When you think of beer drinking countries South Africa isn't high up on the list. The climate is hot though so you would imagine that this would be a nice refreshing lager. We can only hope so!

Castle Lager is known to me as the official sponsor of the South African cricket team. And if we are being honest that is pretty much all I know about it. I was told by a friend that it's pretty decent on tap in South Africa when it's 40 degrees outside, not exactly a ringing endorsement...

What a fantastic pour, this beer looks sensational! The beer is a lovely golden colour with thousands of tiny bubbles rising to a dense 2 finger head of foam. These bubbles continue to rise throughout the duration of drinking this beer and makes sure a finger of head lasts right until the very end. There's a good ammount of lacing left as well. It's close to the perfect looking lager!

The brilliant appearance of Castle Lager is let down hugely by how it smells. It smells like a cheap adjunct lager, which in fairness is what it is. It has a nasty corn syrup nose which masks some light sweet grains. There is no hops on the nose, which is somewhat disappointing. For me it just smells a little cheap, hopefully it tastes better than it smells...

South Africa's national beer tastes better than how it smells, but not a lot. There is maybe too much malt but the flavour is dominated by sweet adjuncts, like the corn syrup which was so evident on the nose. I can't discern any hops at all, and as such the beer really suffers from the lack of any real bitterness. The carbonation is fine though and the body is quite light, it would certainly be drinkable if it was ice cold and boiling hot outside but if it's not I'd steer well clear.

It's a real shame that this beer can't deliver more than it does. The bottle looks great and the beer pours brilliantly and really builds up your hopes that this will be one of the better macro lagers. The excessive use of corn adjuncts has destroyed this beer for me. It would be wrong for me to recommend this beer, it's really not that good. If your in South Africa give it a try, but if your not you can find better beers.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

REVIEW: PILSEN STOUT

The Dark Side


STATS
  • Country: Uruguay
  • Style: Export Stout 
  • ABV: 5.8%
  • Serving Type: 330ml Bottle
  • Price: Slightly Pricey 
My second ever Uruguayan beer is the Pilsen Stout again provided by Sergio. It's quite cold here and this was one of the very few stouts I had in the fridge. If this is half as good as the Pilsen I had a couple of weeks ago, I'll be happy.

Export (or Foreign) Stouts are most popular in warmer tropical parts of the world, where they are often the most popular beer in the country. Basically they are slightly thinner in body with a larger malt content and higher ABV than traditional stouts.

Pilsen Stout pours a dark brown colour with a light brown airy head. The beer has hints of red that dance around as you hold this beer up to the light. There appears to be a lot of carbonation present for a stout, however the head retention is almost non-existent, fading very quickly to nothing. It actually has a very similar appearance to Coca-Cola, with a bit less carbonation. This one doesn't really look like an export stout.

When you smell Pilsen Stout you can already tell that this beer isn't complex at all. The nose is very weak with only hints of roasted malts. I can't detect anything else... There are no balancing hops on the nose, there's no caramel or molasses flavours that a complex stout would have, there's just nothing else going on. At least it doesn't smell bad.

As you start drinking this beer you begin to get an understanding of why this beer looks and smells like it does; it's not an export stout. It's a dark lager or some description, it has a thin body and not as much carbonation as it appeared, but a more than adequate ammount. The roasted malts are done really well and are incredibly tasty and there is some (very mild) hops that balance this beer quite nicely. This is one of the easiest drinking dark beers you are likely to come across, and it taste good as well!

Pilsen Stout doesn't have a complex flavour and if we are being honest it probably isn't a stout but what this beer is, is very tasty! I think it's more of a Munich Dunkel Lager stylistically and tastewise as well, it's actually very similar to Negra Modelo from Mexico. Judging by the two mass produced beers I've had from Uruguay, they are a lucky country in terms of their beers and I really should try the other ones I have. If you ever come across this beer it's worth a go, and if you find it tell me where! I want some more.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

REVIEW: SIERRA NEVADA BIGFOOT

Great Beer Styles #6

STATS
  • Country: United States
  • Style: American Barleywine 
  • ABV: 9.6%
  • Serving Type: 355ml Bottle
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
This is only my second ever Barleywine, it's a style I've heard alot about but never got around to buying some to try. I actually got given this one to try so I still haven't actually bought one. As regular readers will know, I'm a big Sierra Nevada fan so it seems fitting that the first American Barleywine I review comes from their extensive stable of beers.
So about the style, American Barleywines are known for their high alcohol content and being hugely hopped. If you don't like hops you can still try the English style Barleywines, which are much more rounded and balanced out with malts. This one at 9.6% is at the low end for the style with many reaching upwards of 15% alcohol! Knowing Sierra Nevada's beers as well as I do I would be very surprised if this isn't amazingly bitter, let's find out now!
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot pours a deep amber colour with a cream coloured head. The head appears to have quite a number of small bubbles in it and the retention isn't great, quite quickly it dissipates to a thick rim with a small layer across the beer. Considering I haven't had many beers of this style it's hard for me to say the appearance is right for the style, but it's a pretty good looking beer!
The nose of this beer is pretty intense. There is heaps of sweet caramel malts present up front followed by a slight citrus tang. Lots of pine hops take over and these smell relatively bitter, I can also smell smoke and a touch of alcohol. The key element to this nose however is the hops, which smell seriously intense, this could be a great beer if the nose is anything to go by.
It's a hop bomb! This surprised me to be honest I would have thought that the malts would have been more prevalent than they are. This may happen with cellaring (I have put the other one I received away for a couple of years and I will report back.). The Bigfoot ale tastes alot like it smells except for the very distinct piney hops, which are delicious and much stronger than anticipated. There is a tiny hint of alcohol as the beer warms but it's by no means unpleasant.
American Barleywines are a style I'm going to have to try more of, they are a really good winter warming beer. This one is relatively easy to get hold of here in Australia and is a good alternative for those still not sold on the benefits of drinking dark beers in winter. It's also much easier to drink than many dark beers, even considering the 9.6% ABV. I really like the flavour of this beer and if I can clear some of my backlog of beers to drink, some more of this will find it's way into the fridge, and I might even pay for my next one!
Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

Friday, 18 May 2012

REVIEW: FLORIS PASSION

Summer Fruit Beers #9


STATS
  • Country: Belgium
  • Style: Fruit Beer
  • ABV: 3.6%
  • Serving Type: 330ml Bottle
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
I thought I was done with fruit beers until next summer, and then Moon Dog, a local Melbourne brewery, released their Magnificent Mullet range of fruit beers (reviews to follow shortly), which have once more piqued my interest in fruit beers.

The Floris range of fruit beers is made by Brouwerij Huyghe, a name that will not be familiar to most beer drinkers. The best beer produced by this brewery, Delirium Tremens, is known worldwide as being one of the very best! It won the worlds best beer in 2008! Delirium Tremens is named after a severe alcohol withdrawal syndrome, somewhat ironically. The Floris beers are fruit beers with a wheat beer base, it's an idea that's intrigued me so lets drink this!

Floris Passion looks like a normal beer to the average beer drinker. It pours a nice golden colour with some impressive bubble streams rising to a small brilliant white head. There is some sediment, I imagine from the wheat in the beer, that has settled at the bottom. The beer looks more like a lager than a fruit beer, so if you are somewhat put off by appearances this may be the introductory fruit beer you've been looking for, hopefully it tastes good too...

As you first pop the cap on this beer you are instantly assaulted by a strong passionfruit aroma. The passionfruit seems to be natural, not artificial smelling, and this is a good thing as passionfruit is pretty much the only thing this nose has to offer. It does however showcase both sweet and sour elements of the fruit, which hopefully means this is a well balanced fruit beer.

If you are reading this review as you are just about to start this beer all I can say is I hope you like passionfruit! Initially when you taste this beer there is a brilliant sweet passionfruit flavour, which is balanced by a tartness which comes from not only the passionfruit but also some apple flavour. The sourness provides the perfect balance to the sweet refreshing flavour of the passionfruit, when combined with a healthy carbonation it's pretty close to the perfect summer fruit beer!

Brouwerij Huyghe don't do things by half measures! This beer is fantastic at showcasing the passionfruit. It blends the natural sweetness of the fruit with a tart element, which makes this one of the easiest drinking fruit beers out there! This is probably my favourite of the fruit beers reviewed so far and is one that I will be buying again. You should too!

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

REVIEW: HALIDA

Macro Lager


STATS

  • Country: Vietnam
  • Style: American Adjunct Lager
  • ABV: 4.5%
  • Serving Type: 330ml Bottle
  • Price: Inexpensive
The climate in Vietnam makes it an ideal country to drink beer in; it's hot and humid. All you need in a climate like that is something wet, having sampled Halida before I can tell you that this beer is not only wet, it's actually pretty decent.

My boss is Vietnamese and so it seems odd to me that I don't have a Halida glass lying around. He doesn't drink but if we ever go out to lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant I have to have one of these beers. It's quite rare I review a beer I drink regularly, other than in the fridge regular section, so this will be an experience.

As American Adjunct Lagers go the pour really is excellent. The colour is a pale straw colour with a nice tight white head on top. There is adequate looking carbonation but this does help with the head retention as it disipates quickly back to just a ring. The ring actually leaves a bit of lacing, which is always nice. It's a pretty stereotypical looking "beer".

Vietnam's national beer smells of slightly sweet malts with some grassy hops thrown in for good measure. There's a little bit of a yeasty smell but really there is not a huge nose here to report on. I think I say this with almost every tropical lager, the lack of nose really doesn't matter as long as it's not unpleasant! Nothing is fine for this style of beer.

This beer is exactly what I look for in a beer from a tropical climate. It has a reasonably sweet malt base with a citrus touch that is somewhat unexpected. Halida has a surprisingly crisp bite from some grassy hops, which help to balance this beer very nicely. It feels clean and crisp when you're drinking it and if served ice cold, it's absolutely delicious!

This is a very drinkable lager, it's highly highly sessionable and would be a sensational beer anytime it's hot and/or humid. If you are after a highly technical lager this is definitely not the one for you. Halida is a cheap beer that is also surprisingly good when served with spicy Vietnamese food, this also extends to curry so if you are after a cheap beer for curry nights this wouldn't be a bad option. It's a very serviceable beer, which has a variety of uses, if you haven't had it yet grab some if you see it at the price it can't hurt!

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world! 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

REVIEW: LINDEMAN'S CASSIS

Summer Fruit Beers #8


STATS
  • Country: Belgium
  • Style: Fruit Lambic
  • ABV: 3.5%
  • Serving Type: 375ml Bottle
  • Price: Slightly Pricey

I know I said it would be a while before I would jump back into the fruit beers but I found a couple of these in the back of the cupboard so I thought it might be time to drink them. Cassis is apparently blackcurrant, I thought it was grape.

So this is another Lambic from Lindeman's, joining the Kriek and the Apple already reviewed by Beer O'Clock Australia. When I think of blackcurrant flavoured beverages, all I can think of is Ribena so I going in with the idea that this will basically be alcoholic Ribena and I think I'm OK with that...

The beer has a deep red body with loads of bubbles when poured from a bottle which has both a cap and a cork (presumably to control this carbonation). There is a 2 finger airy pink head topping this beer which has good retention for a fruit beer. The lacing is quite impressive, it was already sticking to the glass with beer around it (the glass was actually clean!). It's a good colour which I always look for in a fruit beer, reasonably impressed.

On the nose strong fruit flavours can be observed with ease, even with a blocked nose! It smells very sweet while still retaining some tartness from the blackcurrants. I can smell some lambic bitterness and something that smells strangely like vinegar... If I've missed any of the finer points I'm sorry, but the fact I can smell this beer at all says alot about how strong the aroma is!

Ribena! Lindeman's Cassis really does taste like it, and it's alcoholic meaning it's better! The flavour is dominated by a sugary sweetness that doesn't quite sit right with me. The natural bitterness from the blackcurrants comes out towards the backend of tasting. It's a bit strange, probably better suited to summer time, when it's too hot to function.

Overall this is quite a tasty fruit beer, if I'm being honest though I don't think it's my favourite. It's slightly too sweet for my liking, however the flavour is nice and the mouthfeel is excellent. Lindeman's Cassis have made a really nice beer for warmer weather. Having it on a cold winters day in Melbourne may have hurt the rating of this beer, but if you like Ribena (blackcurrant juice) I think it's worth a try!

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

REVIEW: COLLABORATOR

Et Cetebeer


STATS

  • Country: Australia 
  • Style: American Brown Ale 
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • Serving Type: 330ml Bottle
  • Price: Not to be released 
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to an exclusive sneak peek of the AIBA dinner menu. The PR company who invited me to that sneak peek have now sent me a bottle of the limited edition beer to go with that meal. This is that beer!

The Collaborator is the work of 2 Brothers brewery and Feral brewery, I'm a big fan of both so this is pretty exciting! The idea behind this beer was to incorporate as much as possible from the Australian brewing industry including using 100% Australian ingredients. Only 20 cases of this beer have been produced and almost all are going to be drunk on the night so to get one is a pretty incredible opportunity.

From the pour this looks like a pretty standard looking brown ale. The beer is a dark brown colour (obviously!) with a reddish tinge. Actually as you hold it up to the light it looks quite red, almost a mahogany colour. The head is a cream colour with some nice small air bubbles in it, there is exxcellent retention and it even provides some lacing. It's an impressive looking beer, good start!

My first impressions of the nose on the Collaborator is that it has an unusual ammount of hops for an American Brown Ale. There are some nice caramel malts as to be expected and also some nutty aroma, which I can't quite place. The hop aroma is fantastic and reminds me of a mildly bitter IPA, which would be fine if this was an IPA... It's a brown ale and the nose and colour seem to be contradictory. In saying that I really like the aroma and if you close your eyes it's lovely!

2 Brothers and Feral have done a lovely job with this beer. This beer will have something for non-beer drinkers and connoiseurs alike, it's simple yet complex at the same time. Collaborator manages to balance a caramel malt body and a strong hop flavour without either ever dominating the palate. I don't really know what to say, the flavours are awesome as is the drinkability. In my mind it's a mix of the 2 Brothers Growler and Feral's Hop Hog, which have somehow been interwoven to make a delicious beer! This is a real piece of brewing artistry!

The people present on Thursday night at the Awards Presentation Dinner will get to sample a pretty incredible beer. It's quite different to any other Australian beer that I've come across but has elements of both breweries styles that are quite clear to see. It's a very distinctive beer, which is going to go fantastically with food! I'm a huge fan of this beer, such a shame it's not getting a public release as it would sell really well! If you want something similar I would suggest the Mornington Brown Ale, a slightly less complex beer but equally drinkable.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

Friday, 11 May 2012

REVIEW: SINK THE BISMARCK

   The World's best beer contender?



STATS
  • Country: Scotland
  • Style:  American Imperial IPA
  • ABV:  41.0%
  • Serving Type: 330ml Bottle
  • Price:  ASTRONOMICAL!!!
Brewdog have long been famous for pushing the boundaries of the beer world. Sink the Bismarck is the world's highest percentage readily available beer at a staggering 41%! This beer was one I'd heard about for a long time but had always been put off by the price. My lovely girlfriend Lizzie bought it for my birthday last year and I've been trying to find when to drink it ever since...

That leads us to this evening, Richo and I have been trying to find a time for almost 6 months to try and drink this. In case any of you were wondering this was the Brewdog beer that was intended for post #100. Sink the Bismarck was produced as a quadruple IPA, which is frozen four times to create the staggering 41%! Brewdog claim it has 4 times the hops (I assume of a normal IPA), which is good as it's the only way I can see the alcohol not being a huge taste killer. I'm pretty excited so we should probably get started!

One of the most surprising things for me about this beer is that it almost pours normally! The colour is a relatively dark amber hue with a small cream head. The head retention is very short lived, however there is some (very minor) lacing that can be observed. There does appear to be some carbonation, but not alot. I had no idea what this beer was going to look like so I have to say I'm quite impressed with what Brewdog have produced here.

The aroma's that gush forth when you open this beer are simply mind boggling, it's one of the strongest aroma's I've ever smelt! The hops and alcohol are both present from the second you open the bottle. The hops are mostly of a piney nature and there is also a sugary malt underlay which is hard to smell because of the hops and the eye-watering alcohol. You wouldn't want to breathe in too much of this as you are just about to drink from it.

Well what do I say about this beer? I can certainly say that this is probably the most intense beer I've ever had the pleasure of sampling. There are just hops everywhere and the only thing that breaks up the hops flavour is a bubbly alcohol taste. The beer is incredibly thin and has more carbonation than I expected. You really have to sip this beer, it's just too strong to gulp down (and too expensive as well!) As a hop head I loved the amount of hops and bitterness in the Sink the Bismarck, is it a great beer though?

The bottle screams the "IPA for the dedicated" and it sure is that! This beer is an absolute monster, not just by ABV but also by the total sensory bombardment that drinking this beer puts on your body. This may not be the world's best beer, but it certainly is one of the best beer experiences out there. I'm very glad I got to try this and would highly recommend it to any beer lover. The price is a little much but as a present it was pretty awesome!

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

REVIEW: GREEN FLASH DOUBLE STOUT

The Dark Side


STATS
  • Country: United States 
  • Style: American Imperial Stout
  • ABV: 8.8%
  • Serving Type: 355ml Bottle
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
Green Flash is steadily becoming my favourite brewery. The Double Stout has recently been brought out to Australia and naturally with winter beginning to take hold in Melbourne I had to get myself some.

The brewery was established in 2002 by husband and wife team Mike and Lisa Hankey. This claims to be a 'big, bold and complex stout, everything I could hope for from an American West Coast Imperial Stout. If this beer can live up to the tag that the brewery has given it, I will be a happy drinker tonight!

Not that the photo shows it but this stout has a very dark tan head on top of an almost opaque black body. The head is very large for a stout and also has surprisingly good retention, this may be due to what seemed like a large amount of bubbles rising up the side of the glass. It's one of the more impressive looking stouts you will see, and the logo on the glass really helps make the stout look even darker!

Green Flash's Double Stout has a very intense nose. There is huge amounts of roasted malts that bombard the nose from the off, before a more mellow coffee aroma takes over. Dark chocolate is easily recogniseable as the beer warms. A touch of smoke adds to the complexity of the nose, but this smell drifted was quite weak and isn't present the entire time. I smell a slight caramel sweetness towards the back end of the nose, judging by the smell this is going to be fantastic!

As with the smell the roasted malts are really strong flavoured. The malts are quite bitter and there are some nice earthy hops mixed in. There are lots of strong coffee flavours and chocolate flavours in the middle of the palate as well as this slightly off putting licorice taste, which doesn't quite seem to fit in the make-up of this beer, just seems a little out of place. There is a mild sweetness towards the end of tasting the beer but on the whole it's one of the more bitter stouts.

I'm a big fan of this stout, it's delicious! The body isn't too thick, which I know is a concern of many of our readers so if you are one of those guys this is one for you. It's full of flavour despite the mild body and the carbonation doesn't seem to come through, despite looking like there was heaps. The ABV is pretty high and I was starting to feel it by the end of drinking this, however it didn't stop me having a couple more. If your going to try this, grab as 6-pack as you'll need more than one!

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

UEFA EURO 2012 CONCEPT

When you think of things that go hand in hand; salt and pepper, cheese and crackers etc. having beers and watching sport is pretty high up most guys lists! So here's my idea, why not combine the two activities into some sort of game for my amusement?

THE IDEA

I will use the countries that have qualified for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine and literally play a beer off against a beer from the opposing country. Each beer will get a mark out of 10 which will be transposed as a more realistic soccer scoreline, in a system that is still under construction. After the group stage the tournament will follow whatever path the beers take us. It should be a fun journey!

THE GROUPS
These are the competing countries, hence I need to find at least 3 beers from each of these countries. This may prove difficult as I still haven't found a Ukrainian beer for my European Challenge (Anton is currently working on this.) Some of these countries, Croatia for example, have only one or two beers imported to Australia, so for a point of difference I will buy them from different stores.

Basically thats all you need to know for now (mostly because this is about as far as the idea has come in my head!) Suggestions would be more than welcome if you would like a particular beer to represent your country, if I can get my hands on some in the next month.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!