166. Puffing Billy

Posted: January 16, 2013 in Australian lager
Tags: , , , , , ,

Puffing Billy - BOTTLEPuffing Billy

Brewery info:
Little Creatures Brewing
Fremantle, W.A.


Bottle size sampled: 568ml

Alcohol: 6.5%
Standard drinks: 2.9

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $6.99 AU

Label info: ‘Brewers’ Scribble
Puffing Billy – Bock

In writing the scribble for this Single Batch, we decided to put all our effort into a little home video of its creation.

When you scan the fancy code below you’ll get to spend some time with us in the Freo brewhouse and watch us go through the process of brewing Puffing Billy, a lavishly hopped dark lager spiked with a gentle hint of beech wood smoked malt…’.

What the label really means: While it’s been some 10 or so years since a QR code has been considered fancy, I applaud the efforts of Little Creatures to create a video to go into more detail of the brew. I like the sound of this brew and I look forward to tasting.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: For Little Creature’s single batch brews, they use a slight variation of the same design. I previously reviewed the label for ‘Day of the Long Shadow’ and I can reuse some of my review here for this bock-style brew:
‘The label consists of what looks on first glance to be a well-constructed oil painting depicting an old tin shed basking in the afternoon sunlight,
standing amidst a field of snow (something I’m unsure the Western Australian based brewers see much of). The doors to the old tin shed are flung wide open, inviting the weary traveller inside. In place of any human, a dog peers into the darkness with a red scarf hanging around its neck. It seems intrigued and cautious but desperate to get out of the cold .
I do like the label as it conjures up feelings of warmth, inclusion, and friendship. The oil painting style makes it seem a little quaint, traditional, and authentic’.

Confused by the curious addition of a goat on the roof of the shed? It’s an animal often displayed on bock brews. The guys at Little Creatures explain it thusly:
‘Through the heavy accents of beer loving Bavarians, who took a great liking of the dark malty beer being brewed in the German town of Einbeck, the name of the town was mistaken as the German word for a Billy Goat – “ein bock”. With our addition of smoked malt, we couldn’t resist an ode to all those occasions where true meanings are lost in translation….’
Puffing Billy - GLASS

I give it a label rating of 6.5 out of 10.

AROMA:  A delicious malt-caramel aroma.

Taste: GLASS – Puffing Billy is dominated by strong malty flavours flowing forth in every drop. It’s hearty, warming, and chewy. While a dry brew, there is a sense of soft fragility that perhaps lies in the subtleties that resonate throughout. I am enjoying the beer but feel I need a little more – it seems to be lacking something that I can’t put my finger on. Am I asking too much? Should I be content with this brew as is?

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

Taste: BOTTLE – While I am getting much the same flavours as from the glass, this sure is one head-strong meaty brew. It’s very punchy with strong wallops of malt and coffee-like flavours.  

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

Accompanying food: I feel lamb would suit this beer well.

Best season to appreciate: This is more of a Winter warmer – which perhaps has influenced my review as I am tasting this in 30°C temps.

All-nighter beer? Unfortunately for me it’s probably a bit too heavy to last all night on. I don’t know that I would last very well.

NEXT WEEK: Minimum Chips

  1. Radio Snivins says:

    Top-notch, spot-on, bullseye review, ‘Kazoo. I test chugged this stuff a couple of weeks ago, and scribbled these thoughts in my foozling diary: Puffing Billy is great sniffing, but mediocre whiffling. It’s the fooze equiv of John Wayne Bobbitt dousing himself in Rexona – all pong, and no dong. Stil, it is 6.5%, and that’s not to sniffed at. Nine out of ten.


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