182. Cat’s Shank Kölsch

Posted: May 22, 2013 in Australian lager
Tags: , , , , , ,

Cats Shank Kolsch - BOTTLECat’s Shank Kölsch
Australian flag - small

Company info:
Beer brewed and bottled in Australia for or under license from ALH Group Limited trading as
the Sail & Anchor Brewing
Alphington, V.I.C

[No website listed]

Bottle size sampled: 345 mL

Alcohol: 4.6%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for AU$3.89

Label info: ‘Cat’s Shank – The one with a high-flying heritage!
You needed more than nine lives to hoist beer crates off the drayman’s cart at Fremantle Port. In fact, loading ships was lethal but the  wildest lifts were tamed with a Cat’s Shank knot. Unlike the original, our Cat Shank slips down all too easily. But here’s the twist. Thanks to the quality pilsner and Vienna style malts we use, our Cologne-inspired ale tastes light and refreshing like a lager. So it’s the ideal drink to get your claws around on a sunny day ‘

What the label really means: Something about ships, docks, knots, and cats in there. Let’s hope the taste of this beer gets to the point quicker than the label description. While I am always one to appreciate history lessons on beer labels, I feel this one misses the point a tad.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label is predominantly yellow and I feel this really kills the look. Yellow is a bit like gold on beer labels, it’s very difficult to make work. Then look at the label itself, placed on an angle. It gives the beer a quirky, crazy feel, emphasised by a sailor with a pencil thin moustache who hangs upside down, tied by his feet (with a cat’s shank knot presumably), with a crate in his hand. Is this really how crates were unloaded off ships back in the day? And with such suave finesse? Look at the cheeky little sailor man, a slight look of pain on his face, his belt hanging half off his pants. It’s a cute attempt but just seems too try-hard wannabee quirky. And don’t get me started on the logo on the neck label – it’s so simplistic that it reeks of clipart.
If I was rating bottle shapes, this would get a tick from me as it’s a unique shape that works. Unfortunately I don’t.

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

AROMA: Hoppy, wheaty aromas with a soft citrus hit. Cats Shank Kolsch - GLASS

Taste: GLASS – Surprisingly tasty, this a refreshing brew with a dry finish. It’s well-rounded and flavoursome. I am enjoying this brew.
This is only the second kolsch-style brew I have reviewed so I’m still not sure if this brew qualifies for the style.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Almost as good from the bottle, but not quite there. It becomes a tad more bitey and I suggest you stick to the glass to sample this.

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

Accompanying food: Spicy chorizo sausage would sit well beside this – perhaps I am longing for deeper, sharper flavours. Or perhaps I am still seeking a breakfast beer. Spanish eggs anyone?

Best season to appreciate: Definitely geared more towards a Summer brew.

All-nighter beer? I easily think I could drink this all night.

Note: It’s worth noting, as has been done previously, that Sail & Anchor is majority owned and operated by Woolworths. Is it fair for this big supermarket chain to be clearly cashing in on the craft-beer scene? I’d love to hear reader’s thoughts on this.

NEXT WEEK: Pintail Pale Ale

  1. radiosnivins says:

    The only craft beer thing about Cat’s Shank is it’s price – 1 @ $3.89, 4 @ $14, 16 @ $44 – and that it requires a bottle opener. It’s tasty enough fare, although rather entry level, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I predict it will have gone the way of the Polly Waffle by June 2014. Nine out of ten…hic


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