Friday, 31 January 2014

REVIEW: BEER HERE WICKED WHEAT

Et Cetebeer


STATS

  • Country: Denmark
  • Style: American Pale Wheat Ale
  • ABV: 4.7%
  • Serving Type: 500ml Bottle
  • Price: Expensive
Here in Melbourne it's still 43 degrees as I'm getting home from work. The last couple of hours of work have been spent working out what beer I'm going to have first! And here it is Beer Here's Wicked Wheat.

This is actually the first time I've review an American Pale Wheat Ale. It's a style that I'm quite familiar with, Temple's Bicycle Beer is probably the best known Australian example. Basically it's an Americanized Hefeweizen. Normally they have all the characteristics you'd expect from a Hefeweizen and then there's a fair amount of hopping. Hopefully Wicked Wheat is the perfect thirst quencher!

I was pleased to see that the pour was nice and cloudy. The colour was unusually light for a Hefeweizen, which is basically what this beer should look like, but did have the characteristic big white head. The head did dissipate quite quickly down to nothing and there was no lacing left behind to show that there had ever been beer in the glass.

On to the nose and it's a doozie! Initially Wicket Wheat smells like a typical Hefeweizen. As the beer warms a little you begin to notice a lot more elements to the nose that you would not expect in your typical Hefeweizen. There's plenty of tropical fruit flavours coming through from the hops, which appear to be quite bitter, and there is also a strong yeast aroma. I'm even more intrigued to try this after smelling it!

Beer Here's Wicked Wheat tastes absolutely sensational! In the simplest of terms it's a heavily hopped Hefeweizen, but it's much more than that. There's wheat and some spiciness at first before the hops kick in. The hops provide a mix of citrus and tropical fruit flavours and really help make this beer something special. I will be going to buy more of these!

Maybe it's the heat talking but Beer Here's Wicked Wheat is a bloody brilliant beer! It's absolutely achieved what I wanted it to; quench my thirst. The combination of the strong citrus flavour combine beautifully with the wheat. It's just so easy to drink! I'm raving a little at the moment but I think it's justified. Go out and try this beer if you're interested in trying a hoppy wheat beer.

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

P.S. This was supposed to post a week ago while I was away on a road trip... Clearly it didn't. 

Monday, 13 January 2014

REVIEW: SIXPOINT RESIN

Et Cetebeer


STATS
  • Country: United States
  • Style: American Imperial IPA
  • ABV: 9.1%
  • Serving Type: 355ml Can
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
Here is the first huge hop bomb of 2014 to get reviewed on Beer O'Clock Australia! Sixpoint's beers have long been known about to me through Beer Drinkers United on Facebook and when they got brought out here in December last year I was VERY excited.

The beer I was most excited about was of course the Resin. With it's distinctive lime green can, it's a beer that I always noticed whenever someone posted a photo of it. It's a big Imperial IPA and it's reputation precedes it! I can't wait to try it, I'm really looking forward to a piney IPA.

Once again the lighting in the bar is letting me down and so the photo is not ideal, apologies. The beer pours a relatively clear deep orange colour with a huge head of foam on top. The head has a number of large bubbles quite quickly after pouring and it dissipates to a ring quickly. There is some lacing left behind, but not a noteworthy amount. Not a bad looking beer, but not a good looking beer either.

The nose is where I always thought this beer would start to win me over, and it certainly didn't disappoint! Huge aroma's of grapefruit and (not surprisingly!) resinous pine are the most obvious coming from the hops, while there is also clearly some caramel malt towards the back. There's a touch of alcohol as the beer warms as well. Sixpoint's Resin smells like a really well balanced Imperial IPA, god I hope it tastes like that!

And thankfully it does! As expected the flavour is very hop driven, with grapefruit, pine and other tropical fruits all to the fore. There is more than enough sweet malt to provide balance. The hops are extremely bitter yet at times seem almost subtle such is the malt billing. The mouthfeel is the real winner for this beer, it's got a resinous almost oily quality to it that just feels wonderful as the beer is going down. It's dangerously high in alcohol (9.1%) to be this drinkable!

This beer was absolutely sensational! It had everything I wanted in an IPA! This is my canned beer of the year so far, early days I know. Sixpoint Resin is a brilliantly crafted IPA that is bitingly bitter at times, yet still restrained and balanced. That last sentence will only make sense if you try it! Seriously go and get some; it's amazing! If you have even a passing interest in IPA's this is a beer you must try!

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

Thursday, 9 January 2014

REVIEW: HOP DROPPER

Untappd: Crisp as Day (Level 3) Badge


STATS
  • Country: Australia
  • Style: German Pilsner
  • ABV: 4.5%
  • Serving Type: 330ml Bottle
  • Price: Inexpensive
Steamrail Brewing is certainly making waves in the Australian beer scene, most would say for the wrong reasons. This "micro brewery" is operated by Coles exclusively for their Liquorland stores. Whatever you think of this I still feel the beers deserve a chance to prove if they're drinkable or not on their merits.

Crisp as Day was one of the badges released in that mass load of new badges a while back. To earn a new level on this badge, and like most other badges, you have to sample 5 new Pilsners. Be they German or Czech, as long as they're classified as Pilsners on Untappd they'll count. This is level 3, so I've had 15 unique Pilsners since those badges were released.

Hop Dropper Pilsner pours a dark golden colour, which is quite unusual for the style. Sorry for the photo, I should have the lighting in the bar fixed soon. The head on top of the beer is a light cream colour and is initially quite voluminous. Several large bubbles do appear quite quickly, as seen above, and the head retention is quite poor. It does however leave a nice web of lacing behind on the glass.

The nose is pretty standard for a Pilsner. It starts out with some nondescript, light malt aromas before some hops kick in. While not particularly bitter there is enough there to suggest that this will be a nicely balanced beer. The hops have a grassy feel to them, but their is also something that smells like soap which is a little odd...

Onto how the beer tastes and it's surprisingly good. Much like the aroma the beer starts out with some light pale malt flavours which is gradually complemented by some quite bitter grassy hops. There is no sign of the soapy aroma when it comes to taste. It's a crisp refreshing beer with a nice dry finish.

For all those who question Coles' morals/refuse to drink this on the basis that it's not a "craft beer" I urge you to give this beer ago. It's actual not a bad drop at all. By no means is this beer a world beater, but for a relatively small scale operation in Australia producing a Pilsner it's not bad at all. For the price it's worth a go. I'd love to hear from anyone who's tried this or any other of the Steamrail beers.

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

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

D IS FOR DAB

D is for DAB


STATS
  • Country: Germany
  • Style: Dortmunder
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • Serving Type: 330ml Bottle
  • Price: Inexpensive
Here's the first Alphabet Challenge Revisited post of 2014. Today we up to D; DAB - short for Dortmund Actien Brauerei (Dortmund Joint Stock Brewery). The brewery is nearing it's 150th birthday and has been producing a Dortmunder similar to this for most of it's history.

So last time I said: "The German's have outdone themselves once again! This is a spectacular lager. It has very little aroma but a crisp almost biting flavour. This beer is slowly making it and Dan Murphy's are starting to stock it, if you see it get it! Especially at $14 a six pack." I also reviewed it here on Beer O'Clock Australia in September 2011 for the European Beer Challenge, hopefully this one is a bit better than my last effort...

This thin pilsner glass shows off DAB much better than the willybecher (German pint glass) that I used in my last review. The colour is deep golden and has a relatively small head of thick white foam. There are plenty of small carbonation bubbles rising to the aforementioned head, which help give it excellent retention and provides nice lacing. It's a stereotypical looking Dortmunder.

DAB Original has a nose that most people would associate with a Pilsner (which is basically what a Dortmunder is...). The overall aroma is quite light, but light biscuity malt and grain are detectable, and there is a good amount of grassy hops present. Is there the tiniest hint of skunk on the back end? I've never noticed it before so maybe this is getting close to the end of it's life...

Harking back to what I said in the original Alphabet Challenge, this is hardly a spectacular lager, but it certainly is crisp. There's plenty of malt initially which is slowly replaced by grassy and lightly citrussy hop flavours. It's well balanced for the style and has enough carbonation for the beer to feel spritzy without being over carbonated. The finish is lovely and dry which really improves the drinkability in my opinion.

In the three years since I drank this initially for the original Alphabet Challenge, not only has my palate evolved but so has the price; I think Dan's had this at $20 a 6-pack! So it's still a good drinking beer but it is in no way a world beater. Thankfully it's regularly available and it's still a beer that I pick up semi-regularly to drink with lager drinkers. It's one of those beers that all beer drinkers should try at least once.

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

REVIEW: XINGU

The Dark Side


STATS
  • Country: Brazil
  • Style: Schwarzbier
  • ABV: 4.4%
  • Serving Type: 355ml Bottle
  • Price: Inexpensive
Tonight we have a beer that I have been looking for in Australia ever since my initial Alphabet Challenge that eventually spawned this blog. The letter "X" was always going to be one of the most difficult letters to get hold of and Xingu Black Beer was one I thought I might be able to find.

Back then I was unable to find it, but now I have and so I'm going to share it with you. Interestingly it's the first Brazilian beer that's been reviewed on Beer O'Clock Australia. This will be the second time I will have tried it, having first had it last year in Estonia of all places! Xingu is also the first Schwarzbier I've reviewed in almost 2 and a half years! Anyway enough blog stats, it's time to drink this!

Not surprisingly for a Schwarzbier (German for Black Beer), Xingu pours a very dark colour. It has a deep red, almost mahoghany, colour to it when held up to the light. The head is quite a dark colour for the style with head being a unusual khaki colour. The head last for quite a long time and laces the glass very well. In the Xingu "X" shaped glass it's an impressive looking sight.

Xingu Black Beer has a really unusual nose for the style. Initially it's got quite a light feel to it, with grassy hops surprisingly prevalent. As it warms though there are darker aroma's that come through with roast, dark chocolate and dark fruits (maybe plums) all noticeable. The end of the nose actually reminds me quite a bit of Black Forest Cake, which could imply the dark fruits are cherries... Anyway nice enough nose.

This Brazilian beer has a flavour that I didn't expect after smelling it. Initially it was mostly sweet caramel malts with very little of anything else. As it warmed there was a nuttiness that I had not detected on the nose, before the dark fruit flavours kicked in. The roast aroma was nowhere near as strong in the flavour department and overall I thought the mouthfeel was a little thin and didn't match the flavour.

Having been looking out for this beer for so long it was always going to be anti-climatic when it came to tasting it. I think saying that I've also judged this beer a little harshly. The beer was not what I expected but it is not as disjointed as my review might make it out to seem. I'd recommend giving it a go if you come across it. it's not particularly expensive and there aren't that many Brazilian beers available in Australia.

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

Friday, 3 January 2014

REVIEW: OAKHAM CITRA

Untappd:Happy Brew Year (2014) Badge


STATS
  • Country: England
  • Style: American Pale Ale
  • ABV: 4.6%
  • Serving Type: 500ml Bottle
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
Welcome to another year on Beer O'Clock Australia! I hope everyone had a safe New Years Break, filled with many delicious brews. The beer I'm reviewing today is one of my favourite go to beers and one I've been meaning to review for a long time; Oakham Citra.

This was badge was never going to be an issue, to get Happy Brew Year (2014) all you had to do was have 1 beer on New Years Eve or New Years Day (it's safe to say I had more than that!). I actually had this beer on the walk to Parny's for our New Years Party so this photo came from searching my Untappd backlog.

It's fair to say that the appearance of this beer isn't typical. The body of the beer is very light and slightly murky. There is a small white head of relatively large bubbles which is gone before you know it, making taking pictures quite hard according to my Untappd attempts... As such there is no lacing of note. But despite all of these things that I would usually consider to be negative to a beers appearance, I actually think this works.

Oakham Citra has one of the most delightful noses of any beer I can think of! The bottle claims "pungent grapefruit, lychee and gooseberry aromas", I've certainly noticed the grapefruit and lychee in my time but never gooseberry. Trust me guys, this beer is worth buying almost for the nose alone.

The flavour is very refreshing. Very light malts are balanced nicely by bitter citrus flavours from the Citra hops. The mouthfeel is light, without being too light, and there is moderate spritzy carbonation. For a low(ish) ABV beer there is alot of hop presence! This would be the best session beer!

I could sum up Oakham Citra in one word; Delicious! I love this beer! It's a single hop beer using one of my favourite hops and it showcases it brilliantly! It's one of the most sessionable beers I can think of at the moment. This beer is popping up sporadically at Dan's now, so availability is becoming better. If you see it do yourself a favour and pick it up, it won't disappoint!

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