70. Vale/Ale

Posted: September 15, 2010 in Australian ales
Tags: , , , , ,


Company info:
McLaren Vale Beer Company
McLaren Vale, S.A


Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.5%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for AU$4.49

Label info: Vale/Ale; Be/Silly; Be/Honest; Be/Kind

What the label really means: I’m not sure I understand it completely, but I like it. I like the simplicity, I like a hidden message of peace, love and mung beans.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: This is a very cool label. It’s mostly matte black with little raised shiny black circles all over it. Six white circles stand in an inverted triangle, paying homage to the wine region of McLaren Vale in South Australia. Underneath the beer name ‘Vale/Ale’ stands in very simply text. What I appreciate about this label is that it’s not over top, it’s very minimalist in its approach, and would look damn cool being held, particularly if you have a pencil thin moustache and an off-centre black beret. Actually no, I really hope the pretentious weekend art critics steer clear of this. I fear Vale/Ale is walking a very thin line that could easily see it turning snobby but I hope this day doesn’t come. If you’re a pencil thin moustached, beret wearing, weekend art critic, RACK OFF. Black is most definitely back. Baby.

I give it a label rating of 7.5 out of 10.

AROMA: The aroma from this little sucker is tantalising to the max. Probably the best smelling beer I have sniffed in a long time. I smell passionfruit and, perhaps predictably (or am I just imagining it?), a hint of grape juice.

Taste: GLASS – Very tasty indeed! A slight twinkle of fruitiness accompanies a strong wheat enhanced ale. It’s crisp, it’s clean, it tastes non-chemically (ie, natural) and immediately I see it as a good beer to take home and savour in style. Very impressed!
NB: During my tasting, I noticed that the beer got even better as I progressed down the bottle. It became cloudy with yeasty goodness and it packed more of a wheaty punch.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – From the bottle, Vale/Ale unfortunately loses a little of the fun. The fruitiness disperses all took quickly like a bowl of punch at a house party, and it become a little bitter (like me when the bowl of punch at a house party dries up). Still great, but suggest this as a glass beer.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: I’m going to hark back to the beer’s place of origin for this week’s food suggestion. I suggest Vale/Ale is consumed with a fine selection of cheese, crackers, salty nuts (oh Vicar!), and some fig jam. Saltiness would make this beer pop.

Best season to appreciate: A nice warmer weather brew that would give your thirst a good run for its money.

All-nighter beer? Yes! It slides back with the sweetest of ease and a case of this would make for one hell of a party. Rock on.

NEXT WEEK: Miller Genuine Draft

  1. […] of McLaren Vale Beer Company’s labels. I refer to my previously reviewed label review for the Vale/Ale: ‘This is a very cool label. It’s mostly matte [Red] with little raised shiny [Red] […]


  2. BargeDave says:

    Great choice for a review once again Mase. I live within cycling distance of McLaren Vale (I know this from having once been a fit cyclist rather than the fat balding bastard I am now) and as a parochial Southerner, I love this beer. I had also noticed it was particularly tasty, but mostly I love it because it’s local and I fear the unknown.


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