194. Balmain Brewing Company: Original Pale Ale

Posted: October 18, 2013 in Australian ales
Tags: , , , , ,

BBC Pale Ale - BOTTLEOriginal Pale Ale

Company info:
Balmain Brewing Company
Balmain, N.S.W


Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.9%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $4.50

Label info: ‘A full bodied English style ale, with a rich malt and subtle caramel character, derived from two base and three speciality malts.
Three complimentary hop varieties provide hints of citrus hue, mild spice, and a clean bitter finish.
All natural and unfiltered, drink from a glass to allow for full appreciation of the golden-copper colour, the aroma and flavour’

What the label really means: A well developed ale with a great deal of thought given to some of the finer areas.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The use of orange was always going to be essential for any Balmain-based brewery in salute to the local rugby league team. And in this case, the band of orange across a grey background works remarkably well. I love the bold font of ‘Balmain’ and the striking rays behind it.
Every time I look at this bottle I am reminded of early Barons Brewing labels…why it is I’m not sure. Perhaps it was the same graphic designer? There’s just a deja vu like feeling and I can’t place my finger on what it is.
I think the label works as a whole, but I’m not sold as this being one of the greats.

I give it a label rating of 6 out of 10.BBC PaleAle - GLASS

AROMA:  Really enticing…I am getting fresh, fruity, caramel notes…

Taste: GLASS – A deliciously well-drawn brew that is super-smooth and rolls along the tongue with ease. There’s a slight citrus note accompanied by a hint of caramelisation – I feel like this Pale Ale was heading in a strong caramel malt direction and then held back a bit from going over the edge. And this is a little disappointing as I feel more caramelisation would have really given it a push. I am, however, enjoying the dry bitter finish.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – From the bottle it becomes a bit less smooth with the carbonation taking hold over the flavours. This makes it difficult to appreciate from the bottle, despite the enjoyable bitterness that is now arising by the truckload.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 6 out of 10.

Accompanying food: A fatty bratwurst sausage with salty sauerkraut would really rock this beer’s world

Best season to appreciate: I’m inclined to point this beer in the direction of our cooler months due to the malty notes.

All-nighter beer? Yes I could easily drink this all night!


  1. Farouk Jones says:

    I’ve got nothin’ against malt, except that it should keep its backbone out of pale ales. Pale ales are best when they’re malt invertebrates, and fruity ‘n’ fragrant, like Country Scented Glen 20. This stuff should totter off to the local deed poll office and change its style name to nut brown ale,


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