Pepperjack Hand Crafted Ale - bottlePepperjack
Hand Crafted Ale

Saltram of Barossa
Australian flag - small 

Company info:
Saltram Wine Estate

Bottle size sampled: 355 mL

Alcohol: 4.7%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Twisty

Label info:
‘Pepperjack Ale brings together the best in craft brewing and contemporary Barossa winemaking. This rouge coloured ale has been created using the finest malted barley grains, intensely aromatic hops and Pepperjack’s very own Barossa Valley Shiraz.

Exhibiting profound fruit driven aromatics that add to the complexity of the unique selection of barley and hops. Pepperjack Ale can be enjoyed on any occasion… but is best suited to your fridge rather than your cellar!’ 

What the label really means: 
‘Although we’re a winery, we’ve made ourselves a beer. Aren’t we clever? We use some pretty ace ingredients in this beer. It’s got a bit of a red tinge to it and that’s due to the fact we’ve thrown in a bit of Shiraz (It sounds bad in theory but hang in there). 
It’s got a bit of a fruity smell and can be enjoyed any time of the day. We recommend it’s chilled before serving.’ 

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: In an attempt to brand this beer similar to their extensive wine collection, the people at Saltram of Barossa have created a very simple, angled label simply reading the beer name and a large signature from W. Salter (whoever he/she is when they’re at home). A warmly lit photo of some wheat (barley) stalks appears on the left of the label.

To be honest, when I saw this beer on the shelf the label made it look so much like a wine that I immediately felt it was aiming at the wine drinking, occasional beer, type of person. I feel it is pretentious, hoity toity, and definitely lacking in imagination. I believe the label was made to look like this so that restaurants and ‘classy’ bars can easily charge $8 – $9 a bottle and not feel bad.

I give it a label rating of 3 out of 10. 

AROMA: Immediately upon opening the bottle I am hit by a wonderfully fruity smell. I am distinctly reminded of one of my all time favourite beers, Little Creatures. It gave me great hope for the beer I was about to embark on.

Pepperjack Hand Crafted Ale

Taste: GLASS – Amazing! My initial sip of this really blew me away. Being that the aroma is very fruity I expected the same in taste however I was hit with something a little more like James Squire’s Amber Ale. The difference is that it’s not as bitter, and it’s a little fruitier without going overboard.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Still good but not as impressive as the glass tasting. Drinking this beer from the glass makes a beer experience even better by surrounding your nose with its impressive fruity aroma, mashing all senses into one. The wide open glass lets oxygen flow down and release those aromas, opening the beer up to its environment. Drinking from the bottle, I can’t help but feel I am missing out on something.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 6 out of 10.

A word from the wife: ‘A pleasant, fruity aroma and taste. Enjoyable to drink, especially in front of a warm fire-place’.

She gave it a taste rating of 8 out of 10. 

Accompanying food: This beer would sit really nicely alongside steak, or any roast dinner. 

Best season to appreciate: I feel this beer is better suited to the cooler seasons. Despite the fruity undertones, I  just don’t see it as a Summer thirst quencher. 

Time taken to finish bottle: 5 minutes. Very easy to drink.

All-nighter beer? Yes, I think so. It’s not overly carbonated and goes down super easy. As soon as I had finished my first I was ready for my second.

  1. BargeDave says:

    I may be narrow-minded but I believe fruit (shiraz grape juice in this case but there are plenty of other offenders out there) has no place in beer. I’ve tried this one and my view on fruit-in-beer did not change. I used to believe that pineapple had no place on pizza until I tried a particlularly good BBQ chicken and pineapple effort, so I have learnt that not all of my prejudices are always right, and thus try a fruity beer from time to time. Still haven’t found a decent one.


  2. faystar says:

    My new favourite blog!

    I’ll be watching these pages with interest. Forget those pesky wine-lovers, us beer connoisseurs need your expert opinion Mr Hell-Cat.

    Bless you son.


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