43. Fat Yak Pale Ale

Posted: January 20, 2010 in Australian ales, Tough label
Tags: , , , , ,

Fat Yak Pale Ale

Company info:
Matilda Bay Brewing Company


Bottle size sampled: 345 mL

Alcohol: 4.7%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for AU$3.70

Label info: ‘This garage engineered beer is golden in colour and has sizable floral aroma. We added hops to the kettle early and late in the boil to balance the bitterness, while dry hopping late in the fermentation delivers some big citrus and fruity hop character. Drink it any time of the year
‘A blend of premium pale malted barley and a truckload of hops!’

What the label really means: Despite struggling to understand if this label is even remotely grammatically correct (it may have rubbed off on me too), I appreciate the fact this beer is given a very home-brew suggested origin. By saying it was ‘engineered’ in a garage it makes me believe that the fine folk at Matilda Bay are spending their weekends working on secret concoctions, perfecting new brews.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label for Fat Yak Pale Ale shows a silhouette of a yak’s head, stencilled onto wooden planks. The wood is old and faded, splintered. Underneath, ‘Fat Yak’ sticks out in a strong, bold font. This label makes me think of the wild west. A saloon door, emblazoned with the mark of the vicious, ball-tearing yak. The yak that aint afraid to order a sarsparilla and drool a foam of froth at the suddenly quiet saloon. With blood shot, booze riddled eyes he stares at the astonished piano player, frozen mid tune and snarls, prompting him to return to a banged up version of ‘My darlin Clementine’. Sorry, where was I…..yeah it’s a great label, and the theme is carried through onto the neck label. Great stuff.

I give it a label rating of 8 out of 10.

AROMA: Ok, I don’t get where this is coming from, but I smell a delicious waft of wheat-baked cookies. I smell warmth and I smell honey. Smells great.

Taste: GLASS – A full-bodied pale ale with a strong taste and softly bitter aftertaste. If you aren’t normally a pale ale fan, I suggest you give this sucker a shot as it’s pleasantly surprising with a lot more complexity than you could imagine. It’s very tasty.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Still a very tasty beer when consumed from the glass, with noticeably fruity, big flavours. I’m giving it a slightly lower rating than from the glass because although small, I can spot something missing that I can’t quite put my finger on.

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

A word from the wife: “Goes down smooth with a subtle, mellow aftertaste of…caramel”

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

Accompanying food: Ribs! Give me hearty meats with delicious full flavoured marinades. Pork ribs, lamb ribs, yak ribs. Bring it on. With a side order of chipotle buffalo wings.

Best season to appreciate: I agree with the label when suggesting a season for the Fat Yak Pale Ale. It’s definitely an all-season brew. It’s full bodied enough to be a Winter warmer, while still maintaining hints of fruit to be a Summer quencher.

All-nighter beer? Yes! And the fact that I have seen Fat Yak Pale on tap in many places, makes this a genuine possibility.

NEXT WEEK: Lucky Beer

  1. Sniv Whettuce says:

    I did a spot of exile in the home of yak ale, Mongolia, in the late-nineties and I developed a lifelong friendship with the stuff. They’re a thrift-conscious mob those Mongols, they don’t waste anything, least of all the blood from their staple food, the Yak, wich they use instead of hops in their brewing.

    The only similarity between Fat Yak and a true yak-style ale is that they’re both bottled. No, I’m not a fan. Still, 4.7% alc/vol is nothing to be sniffed at. Nine out of ten.


  2. BargeDave says:

    Another great review. This beer is a tasty pale ale with a name as interesting as its flavour.


    • BargeDave says:

      Further to previous, caught up with my dad at a pub tonight which had Fat Yak on tap and although my old man is strictly a light beer dude these days he did actually get a pot of Fat Yak after he’d had a sip of mine. Unlike my bargearse physique, my old man is a healthy slim bloke who hasn’t got the slightest hint of a beer gut but he certainly enjoyed a tasty ale while swapping views about the universe.


      • Mason Hell-Cat says:

        What is it about Dads hitting a certain age and then turning to the dark side (light beer)? I hope I never reach that stage of life.


  3. Ben says:

    Good one Mas – nice review! I can’t wait for next weeks review! That little budda on the label of lucky beer has been grinning at me of late. Of years past it was always priced way out of my budget so I never felt the urge to take him home and give his tummy a rub. However, I have noticed a price drop of late and perhaps after you give his tummy a rub I might feel abliged to as well?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s