Barons Black Wattle Original Ale - BOTTLEBarons Black Wattle Original Ale
Australian flag - small



Company info:
Barons Brewing

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 5.8%
Standard drinks: 1.5

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for AU$3.60

Label info: ‘Barons Black Wattle Original Ale is the first in a new class of beer – flavoured by native Australian roasted wattle seed. This multi award-winning ale has a rich amber colour and a base malt flavour of toffee and caramel. The wattle seed rounds out the offering with a unique taste that hints of hazelnut, chocolate and mocha. It is a full bodied, full flavoured beer that is surprisingly smooth with an amazingly-silky finish. Best enjoyed with beef, lamb or game meats’.

What the label really means: With a label description that detailed, there’s not much else to learn. Please note, I didn’t read this description until after today’s review (you’ll note the overlooked flavours).

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: This is what I am talking about folks. This is the kind of label you design if you want a label that is tough, steeped in tradition, and simply looks awesome in your hand. Check out the sketch of a flying ace, a baron, with his flying helmet and scarf blowing in the wind. Look at the light being emitted from his heroic, fly into enemy territory, profile. This is a man prepared to take on a swarm of messerschmitts, bravely facing death in the eye. Look at the ring of wattle that surrounds the figure, as if presenting itself as an angelic halo, raising this baron to even greater heights. I love the use of the yellow, emphasising the wattle, and the strong contrast of the black and greys. If I was allowed one last beer before a kamikaze air attack, this label has me convinced that I should make it a Barons Black Wattle Original Ale.

Barons Black Wattle - GLASS

I give it a label rating of 9 out of 10. 

AROMA: A rich and malty aroma that is extremely tantalising.


Taste: GLASS – Ok, I have a big confession to make with this beer. Before opening it up, I assumed that wattle would be in this beer in some way. All good thus far, however I assumed that this would mean it would be a light, honey tasting beer. I must have blanked out the word ‘black’ in the title and expected a light, pale ale. This was not the case as an amber ale emerged from the bottle. I take one sip of this and the first word that comes to mind is “smooth”. It is going back really well, and this is assured thanks to tiny bubbles of carbonation. It’s a gentle, malty ale similar in taste to James Squires Amber Ale but not as heavy. 

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

Taste: BOTTLE – While still ticking the ‘smooth’ box, and remaining a great tasting beer, the lack of aroma wafting around the nostril region is distinctly lacking and it sort of diminishes the tasting experience.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 6.5 out of 10.

A word from the wife: “Robust with a subtle, lingering, sweetness”

She gave it a taste rating of 7 out of 10.

Accompanying food: I’d would love to sample this with a good ol lamb roast with plenty of gravy, mint sauce, and baked vegies. This would make Black Wattle explode in the mouth.

Best season to appreciate: This be a Winter warmer (and possibly one that makes me speak in pirate talk by the looks of things). Slap me down a jug of this brew while sitting around a fire place (discussing my exploits on the high seas) and I’m an old sea dog yearning to bark.

All-nighter beer? As mentioned previously, I’m not really able to drink amber (or darker) beers all night without it hitting me hard so I am probably unqualified to answer this. But, I will say that the Black Wattle is such a smooth beer that I cannot imagine anything bad coming from it. Bring it on, and roll out the keg!

NEXT WEEK: Monteiths Summer Ale (by request)

  1. kgmadman says:

    I think I just found my new favorite blog.


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      And with comments like that, I think I’ve just found my new favourite reader!
      Welcome aboard, kgmadman! Feel free to contribute your thoughts wherever and whenever.

      Mason Hell-Cat.


  2. McLean not MacLean says:

    Hey Baron Hell Cat, a word to the wise: next time you are about to launch into deadly aerial combat with a swarm of messerschmitts, you might want to rethink the ‘I think I’ll just have a beer first’ strategy. Over and out, Flight Leftenant McLean.


    • BargeDave says:

      Hey McLean, have you ever seen the poster campaign which advertisers created for Spitfire Kentish Ale, heaps of slightly racist but very funny anti-German gags about WWII. My favourite line was the rather incorrect “Spitfire Ale – not for Schlossers, Wankels or Kuntz”. Not a bad beer either, is available at Dan Murphy’s.


      • McLean not MacLean says:

        I used to live in Kent as a matter of fact, and yeah, I do remember the Spitfire adverts. That one you quoted was classic.

        I don’t have a Dan Murphy’s near me but this store is taking on mythic status in this blog – I am going to make the pilgrimage soon and, by golly, I’m not leaving that store until I’m laiden with ales suggested by the good folk on this blog.


      • BargeDave says:

        McLean, it’s not that Dan Murphy’s is the best beer store out there, it’s that it carries the same range of beers Australia-wide, and thus is a good starting point if you’re setting up an Australian beer blog. I love beer stores where the owner or checkout-dude loves their beer and loves a chat, and you never get this at DM’s, but DM’s does at least carry a wide range of interesting Aussie and imported ales and lagers.


      • Mason Hell-Cat says:

        This blog is not intended as an advertisement for any liquour store. While it is true that the store in question stocks the majority of beers reviewed on this site, they are also available in many other stores right across Australia and abroad.


      • McLean not MacLean says:

        Thanks for the explanations re Dan Murphy’s guys. It does sound like they have a decent selection, better than the stuff I can get at my local places. A little bird has told me about two particularly good bottle shops – if you’re in Sydney that is: Platinum Liquor, 169 Concord Road, North Strathfield and also Northmead Cellars, 30 Kleins Road, Northmead. I can’t vouch for these but apparently they are excellent beer destinations. Have any of you guys been to these?


      • Mason Hell-Cat says:

        Not me, but keen to hear how they are once you’ve been!


  3. Sniv Whettuce says:

    Wow! What a beer. It’s like there’s a party in my mouth and only enormously titted women with low self-esteem are invited. Nine out of ten.


  4. BargeDave says:

    I’m a big fan of this distinctive ale. I’ve poured it for non-beer-drinkers who have concluded it’s one of few beers they could enjoy. Although I’m sometimes sceptical about the use of some adjuncts in beer (my rants about fruit beers are spread across this blog) wattle seed seems to work really well, and create a very genuinely Australian ale. I’ve made sure I’ve introduced it to as many foreign guests as possible.

    The other Barons number I regularly enjoy is their Extra Special Bitter, an ESB very much in the English style, which is often available at around $14 per six-pack at Dan Murphy’s and is thus great value.


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