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


Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 5.5%
Standard drinks: 1.4

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for AU$3.99

Label info: ‘Vale/IPA is our interpretation of an American India Pale Ale, using a combination of hops from three countries. This beer is designed with a balance of malt and hops giving a firm bitterness showing passionfruit, citrus and stone fruit characters derived from the hops’.

What the label really means: The label description provides a very enticing description of the goodness that lies within each bottle.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I like this label as much as I love all 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] circles all over it. Six white circles stand in an inverted triangle, paying homage to the wine region of McLaren Vale in South Australia. 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’.
I like this one better than Vale/Ale though as I believe the red looks fantastic. Not only does it stand as a clear differentiator, it just looks good – vibrant, fun, bold. I tip my hat once again to the fine folk at McLaren Vale Beer Company.

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

AROMA: If there is one thing that cannot be denied of the Vale range of beers, it is that they create damn fine smelling drops. Vale/IPA smells amazing. It reminds me a little of Stone and Wood’s Pacific Ale. This is beer aroma beauty at its finest. Summer fruits of melon and passionfruit waft up and you can’t help but smile and be transported to a Summer beach party.

Taste: GLASS – Wow! Contained within are the typical IPA spiced earthy flavours you’d expect but what sets them apart is the subtle traces of fresh fruit. They’re subtle enough to ensure the beer does not become too fruity, or too sweet, and all elements seems to fit the perfect balance. A genuine palate cleansing refreshment characterises this drop. I am once again blown away by the beauty of a McLaren Vale brew.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Drink Vale/IPA from the bottle and it becomes a little more fizzy, while the depth of flavour seems to get a little lost. It’s still very drinkable, it’s just not as great.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 7 out of 10.

Accompanying food: I’m thinking this brew would sit well best beside pork.

Best season to appreciate: The flavours hint predominantly at this being a Summer brew…the fact that the beer is a little dark in colour makes me think it would also work well in Winter. Perhaps it’s the perfect all rounder?

All-nighter beer? Definitely! This beer was so delicious that upon completing my tasting I actually tried sticking my tongue inside the bottle to get every last drop.


  1. radiosnivins says:

    Once again, I’m in 100%, unequivocal, complete cahoots with ‘Kazoo. This is a terrific sniffing beer. I’m not poz what the sniff reminds me of, but it’s sweet, and it’s fruity, and if my tastebuds wore women’s underwear, it would cause them to stretch their gussets. My only cahoot deviation is that its aftertaste tastes like expensive carpet. Still, with an alc/vol of 5.5, such minor minorances are quickly forgot. Nine out of ten…hic


  2. radiosnivins says:

    Kudos on the Chevalier publish, ‘Kazoo.


  3. BargeDave says:

    Great stuff as always, both Mase and Sniv. I certainly like this beer, and not just because it is my most local brewery (as a resident of Adelaide’s southern vales). More adventurous than the Vale Ale, I found it to be a very dry beer (which I like) as well as interestingly hoppy. Haven’t found it on tap yet, but will keep an eye out.


  4. radiosnivins says:

    Ooh, a Sunday night ‘Kazoo review. How market penetrative. It will surely prove to be an onion in the ointment for Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and CSI Miami.


    • radiosnivins says:

      Last night’s ratings have just been released. Both shows were down on last week. ‘Kazoo strikes again.


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Yeah I’ve started to trend more toward Sunday night reviews for no real reason…but it does have a certain appeal being market penetrative.


      • radiosnivins says:

        Good buzzword strategem, ‘Kazoo. My only concern is that Murphett’s are non-open from six+ on a Sunday – seven+ if you live in the poofy states – which may cause purchase frustation in your target market.


      • BargeDave says:

        So if my local DM’s is only open until 5pm on a Sunday, does that plus Sniv’s logic make me extra-hetero? I’ll need to drop my voice an octave.


      • radiosnivins says:

        Ah, but it’s not though, is it, Bargé? Hmm? Correct me if I’m incorrect, which I’m not, because everyone knows that Noarlunga Murph shuts at 6 on Sundays.


      • BargeDave says:

        I always thought the Noarlunga DM’s closed at 5 like all other SA shops on Sundays Sniv. Damn, I’ve missed some quality drinking time.


      • Radio Snivins says:

        Yes, well, it’s a functional hobby of mine to know the closing times of every packaged fooze seller within a 750 km radius of Upper Ferntree Gully. Which reminds me. If you’re on a whiffle hunt on Kangaroo Island on Sunday night, Bargé, give Dauncey Steet Cellarbrations the swerve. They’re shutting at midday for some reason. Pop ’round the corner to Ozone Cellars. They’re open ’til eleven. They’ll fix what ails ya. Or, rather, fix ya up with some ales. Gnuk! Gnuk! Gnuk!


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