Boston’s Mill Pale Ale

Company info:
John Boston Premium Beverages
Ultimo, N.S.W


Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.9%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $3.60AU

Label info: ‘Having already slaked the thirst of the first settlers, John Boston then produced different beer styles using grains crushed at his mill. One of these beers was Pale Ale, which was gaining popularity throughout the Empire in the early 1800’s. Our modern Australian interpretation of this beer style is a brilliant copper coloured ale, brewed using a combination of traditional pale and crystal malts. As well as the distinctive colour, the crystal malt imparts some caramel flavours and a lingering malt sweetness. A traditional ale yeast strain produces fruity esters, whilst three distinct hop gifts impart soft bitterness as well as a dominant floral hop character’

What the label really means: So! There was a rival to James Squire was there? John Boston and James Squire out there slaking the thirst of beer drinkers nation-wide! Ahh but if only this label provided us with more info. Who was this John Boston bloke? Was he as cheeky with the ladies as Squire apparently was? Did the two of them ever meet and discuss brewing techniques? Given that Boston isn’t as well known, surely the folk at Boston Beverages could provide us with a bit more history. Instead he is whittled down to a mere sentence. I hope at least their re-interpretation has done you proud ol boy and that my thirst is indeed well and truly slaked.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Look carefully and there is a very small sketch of a very quaint stone mill. It’s very English in its representation and style. In fact the whole label is very quaint English-cottage in look and feel. It’s the kind of beer that would look quite at home on the shelf at your Nan’s house next to a bottle of Mylanta and in between a dish depicting a pack of hunting dogs and red coats.

When I look for good beer labels, I don’t want quaint. I’d prefer a sketch of John Boston in all his (presumed) beardy goodness. Or I want him shadow boxing in preparation for a showdown with Squire. I just need more. We’ve been let down on a history lesson, give us substance in imagery!

I give it a label rating of 5 out of 10.

AROMA: Oh wow! Sniff this and cop an enjoyable Summery fruit delight. I get passionfruit, peach and melons. Delicious!

Taste: GLASS – It’s a very smooth ale and super refreshing. I’m tasting very subtle hints of passionfruit flavours but the overall flavour is very light-on. I really expected more of a punch of Summery goodness and instead got a little pinch of Spring. I can see strong potential for this brew and really suspect this would taste awesome on tap. But for now, from the glass, I find it very lacking.

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

Taste: BOTTLE –
Drinking this from the bottle I get more of a delicious bite…it’s a little more bitter and this makes for a nice taste. Definitely one for the bottle.

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

Song of choice: Try this along side Lars Frederiksen and the Bastard’s ‘To Have and Have Not’

Accompanying food: Perfect for a big juicy steak and salad, I will definitely be revisiting this brew.

Best season to appreciate: Definitely a Summer thirst quencher. I am really pleased with how slaked my thirst is. Slaked.

All-nighter beer? Absolutely! I am heading back to pick up more of this and will definitely keep my eye out for specials.

NEXT WEEK: Old Ruby Ale 1905

  1. […] is now the second reference I have come across for the term ‘slaking’ (see the first here). [Given the early years competition between Squire and Boston, are these two brews now competing […]


  2. BargeDave says:

    Tried my first one, definitely won’t be my last. Great flavour, well brewed. Nothing more to say.


  3. Gordon says:

    Had this on tap at ‘The Honeysuckle Hotel’ in Newcastle – you are spot on Hell Cat, a great drop on tap. I thought I would never say this but….leaves Little Creatures PA in its shadow. Fat Yak, Coopers et al have no chance. Without a doubt this beer makes me want to go back to that pub


  4. Luke says:

    One of your best.
    And all my senses are slaked.


Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s