Archive for the ‘traditional looking label’ Category

Inedit - BOTTLEInedit Damm
Spanish flag - SMALL

Company info:
Brassee Par: C.C Damm
Barcelona, SPAIN

[No website listed]

Bottle size sampled: 330ml

Alcohol: 4.8%
Standard drinks: 1.5

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $TBC AU

Label info: ‘Wheat and barley beer with spices’

What the label really means: Straight to the point.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Just like the previously reviewed Estrella Damm I love this label. A single gold star shines out from a matte black label. It’s simple and sophisticated, classy and elegant. As you would know, dear readers, I am generally against gold on beer labels but in this case, it’s just the right amount. It’s beautiful. Once again it ‘reeks of revolution. It reeks of liberation. It reeks of freedom. It also reeks of tradition, quality, and a beer not to be messed with. The label is tough, staunch, unblinking in the face of a pudgy, angry dictator with a penchant for tight trousers. It stares down authority and gives the finger to establishment.’ Who wouldn’t want to be seen holding this?

I give it a label rating of 8.5 out of 10.

AROMA:  Deliciously hoppy, floral aromas.

Taste: GLASS – Oh wow. This is one superbly crafted brew. All the elements are there for a smooth wheat beer with an undercurrent of citrus, but somehow it rises above this to pure brilliance in every drop. It’s clean, crisp and delicious. I am very impressed with this beer and finding it hard to stop drinking.Inedit - GLASS

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

Taste: BOTTLE – From the bottle, Inedit loses a good deal of that clean, refreshing mouth feel and becomes a little watery. Flavours are definitely diminished here, and while it still gives a fine glimpse into this heavenly brew it most certainly is better from the glass.

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

Accompanying food: Drunken garlic prawns.

Best season to appreciate: Definitely a summer brew.

All-nighter beer? For sure! This is very easy to drink and it’s refreshing nature keeps you wanting more.

Other: This is my first review in a while and the reason for that is revealed over at my official Facebook page – come join me why don’t you? In the mean time I’ll get back to bringing weekly reviews your way.

NEXT WEEK: Pistonhead

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Thomas Hardy Ale - BOTTLEThomas Hardy’s Ale
Great Britain Flag - SMALL

Company info:
O’Hanlon’s Brewing Co Ltd
Devon, ENGLAND

[www.ohanlons.co.uk]

Bottle size sampled: 250ml

Alcohol: 11.7%
Standard drinks: 2.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: Gifted

Label info:
‘In “The Trumpet-Major” Hardy wrote: “It was one of the most beautiful colour that the eye of an artist in beer could desire; full in body, yet brisk as a volcano; piquant, yet without a twang; luminous as an autumn sunset”‘.
AND
‘Britain’s strongest ale is a piece of brewing history.
Bottles of this rare, bottle conditioned classic have kept for at least 25 years, maturing in flavour like fine wine.
‘Bottle Conditioning’ is a secondary fermentation in the bottle during which Thomas Hardy’s Ale develops its uniquely rich and complex character. The process produces a sediment which is laid down over time as part of the natural fermentation process
Store upright in a cool, dark place, at about 13c.
If disturbed before serving, stand the bottle for 48 hours to allow settling. Open carefully and pour slowly to avoid agitating the sediment.’

What the label really means: I’ve always loved a good bottle conditioned brew and to think that this brew can enhance even after 25 years has my taste buds tingling with nervous energy. I’m also keen to check out that luminous autumn sunset.
48 hours is one hell of a wait if you should accidentally disturb this beer. I think I disturbed the bottle when I walked out in fishnets and suspenders, but I consumed immediately.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: There is so much going on with this bottle. The gold foil around the neck can’t be overlooked, nor can the gold medal hanging there attached by red string. The coffee-stained yellow label brings the final level of cool to this bottle. The label displays a profile shot of presumably ol Tom himself sporting a mighty fine moutang. The text is a bit old worldy, and the stand-out is the batch/vintage info that displays ‘No. T 19530’ on this bottle. It also reads that this is a 2008 Edition – so I am very keen to try this 6 year old brew. Over all, I appreciate the old, distinguished look and feel of this label that is very fitting.ThomasHardyAle_GLASS

I give it a label rating of 7.5 out of 10.

AROMA:  Rich, malt toffee aromas.

Taste: GLASS – Very rich, very toffee-like, this is big in caramelised brown sugar and molasses territory. And it’s a fun place to be – it’s like a finely matured, finely tuned port. Slightly nutty, this a brew designed for the slow sip. There’s very little carbonation here which makes this super smooth and easy to drink. It’s well crafted, complex and beautiful. A highly enjoyable drop.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – With a beer this good, it’s hard for it to drop too low below the line. Sure, drinking this classy brew  from the bottle seems a little cheap but the experience is only dulled ever so slightly. Those awesome toffee malt flavours continue to punch their way through with the sweetest of ease. This is a beer worth hunting for.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8 out of 10.

Accompanying food: This makes an awesome dessert beer. I’d like to suggest a butterscotch pudding or similar.

Best season to appreciate: An awesome Winter brew. This is THE definitive fire side supping beer.

All-nighter beer? Due to the lack of carbonation, imma say yes this is definitely an all nighter. It’s just so damn easy to drink, and you could deceptively go all night.

NEXT WEEK: Granite Pils

Rudeboy - BOTTLERudeboy

Company info:
Murray’s Craft Brewing Co
Bobs Farm, N.S.W

[www.murraysbrewingco.com.au]

Alcohol: 4.8%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $TBC AU

Label info: ‘Murray’s Rudeboy Pilsner’s distinctive crisp and refreshing taste has seen it become a favourite among the country’s top chefs and foodie community. Murray’s Pilsner pours a pale straw colour with an intense citrusy aroma and flavour. This is delivered by the New Zealand motueka hop, which is balanced by sweet biscuity malt, and finishes with a refreshing bitterness’
AND
’cause most other pilsners are mod-cons’

What the label really means: With only the front tagline, ’cause most other pilsners are mod-cons,’ as the only reference to the rudeboy name (and subculture) I’m a little concerned this is an off-target marketing stunt.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Murray’s, you have done it again. These guys cannot put a foot wrong in the labelling department. This label has the mod-inspired target symbol with a soft blue on the outside and a pinky red on the inside. ‘rudeboy’ is emblazoned across the middle with the ‘b’ pointing up to the top of the label. It’s simple, it’s fun, it’s a well-received nod to rudeboy and mod subcultures. Once again for Murray’s, this is very close to label perfection.

I give it a label rating of 9 out of 10.

AROMA:  A tad disappointing, there’s distinctive wheaty citrus flavours emerging but little else.Rudeboy - GLASS

Taste: GLASS – Rudeboy is a typical pilsner with good crisp, mouth punching flavours that make this brew a real smack to the chops. A smooth dry beer with tinges of raw sugar caramelisation. It’s not the edgy, rule-breaking, throw caution to the wind brew I had hoped for but it’s still a good drop.

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

Taste: BOTTLE  From the bottle Rudeboy becomes a tad watered down in flavour – while all the key ingredients are still able to be tasted. It remains big and beefy and a tinge of bitterness creeps through in the after taste.

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

Accompanying food: Lamb…pinkish pepper-crusted lamb.

Best season to appreciate: The dryness leads me to suggest this as more of a Winter brew as it’s not refreshing in the least.

All-nighter beer? It’s a bit too dry for me to stick to all night, so no.

NEXT WEEK: TBC

Liberty Ale - BOTTLELiberty Ale

Brewery info:
Anchor Brewing Co.

California, U.S.A

[www.anchorbrewing.com]

Alcohol: 5.9%
Standard drinks: 1.7

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $4.99 AU

Label info: ‘San Francisco’s famous Liberty Ale was first brewed on the 18th of April, 1975, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s historic ride. It is virtually handmade by the brewers of Anchor Steam Beer in one of the smalles and most traditional breweries in the world. Liberty Ale is made with the finest barley malt; fresh, whole hops; top-fermenting yeast; pure water; and the simple, natural methods that reflect our exceptional respect for the ancient art of brewing. It is ‘dry hopped’, a classic ale tradition, and slowly completes its fermentation in sealed vats in our cellars. This unique process creates Liberty Ale’s distinctive bouquet and uncommonly delicate, entirely natural carbonation’. 

What the label really means: I repeat what I said previously RE Anchor Steam’s label: Looking at this beer you’d be forgiven for not believing all this text fits on the bottle. Look carefully at the neck label and there it all is. Great detail, great history.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: This is a label that reeks of national pride, strength, and integrity. It’s traditional in appearing to be a label that hasn’t changed for 200 years. A massive eagle has its wings spread out behind the Anchor Brewing anchor. The anchor sits atop a US-flag shield while hops and barley flay out around the sides. Yes it’s over the top in its symbolism, yes it’s in your face, but I love it. I love it for the over all design and for the staunch literal portrayal of liberty. Don’t go changin’, Anchor.

I give it a label rating of 8 out of 10.Liberty Ale - GLASS

AROMA:  Hoppy, florally fun.

Taste: GLASS – A heavy meaty brew that delivers a fine smack of hoppy bitterness and a lasting dry finish. While this is not as great as Anchor Steam (and comparisons will always be drawn against their flag-ship brew), this is still one hell of a finely crafted brew whose excellence in creation is evident in every sip. 

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Some other mellow banana-esque flavours are now popping up that only serve to enhance the tasting experience. Even from the bottle this remains one very fine brew.

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

Accompanying food: Something salty…olives, haloumi…

Best season to appreciate: More of a cooler weather brew due to the darker tones.

All-nighter beer? For me, it’s just not a session beer.

NEXT WEEK: Haymaker (as promised in my last review)

Mango Beer - BOTTLEMango Beer

Company info:
Matso’s Broome Brewery

Broome, W.A.

[www.matsos.com.au]

Alcohol: 4.5%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Twist

Cost: I picked this up for $3.99AU

Label info: ‘Matso’s Mango Beer is based on a classic Belgium Blonde recipe using a 100% natural mango fruit blend. An easy drinking beer with excellent fruit aroma and balancing dry sweetness‘.

What the label really means: They better not be lying to me about that classic Belgium Blonde recipe…still, by writing it, it gives the beer an instant bit of credence I suppose.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I really like the look of this label. It has a classic art deco or nouveau inspired design of a woman holding a glass of beer up to her forehead as a fruit platter topples from atop her head. Bold use of orange reinforces the mango novelty that they are obviously stressing to push. The Matso’s logo of a bold, white, Japanese character on red sticks out like a wax seal on the bottle. It’s a good fun label.

I give it a label rating of 7 out of 10.

AROMA:  A very distinct mango aroma that is clean and refreshing.
Everything about this brew is warning me to steer clear. 

Taste: GLASS – Firstly, here are the good points…it’s clean, refreshing, crisp, with a drifting undercurrent of dryness.
Now for the not so great points…this is like a watered down Corona combined with a front of mouth mango sweetness that is almost so sweet it’s sickening. I can see this beer appealing to lighter flavoured beer fans, or the alco-pop crowd. But for me, this is horrid.Mango Beer - GLASS

I give it a beer from glass rating of 4.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Much the same from the bottle…although perhaps a tad sweeter (which I would have thought impossible). This is a very difficult beer for me to warm to.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 4.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: I suggest a BBQ or roast chicken may actually work alongside this brew.

Best season to appreciate: Definitely Summer bound.

All-nighter beer? No, not for me…far too sweet, far too mild.

NEXT WEEK: In two weeks time, as a closer for 2013, I have timed this to bring you my 200th review. A milestone that is impressing no one, bar myself, I present to you the intriguing, limited edition, and highly alcoholic, Tripel, from Black Heart Brewery. 

Viking - BOTTLEViking
Flag of Iceland - SMALL

Company info:
Vifilfell
Akureyri, ICELAND

[No website listed]

Alcohol: 4.4%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-Twist

Cost: I picked this up for $3.99AU

Label info: ‘Pilsner Bjor from the pure waters of Iceland‘.

What the label really means: Hopefully a clean, crisp beer that truly showcases the pure Icelandic waters.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: This is one very cool label. Depicted is Odin, a Norse god, and father of Thor. He is flanked by two dragons, while a faithful dog sits at his side. Odin sits with his head held high, his helmet wings pointing to the heavens, while a heavy robe is draped on his noble shoulders. It’s all in monochrome and this is the absolute key to the success of the label – it could easily have gone down a gaudy or comical route and instantly made the beer a joke. Instead it hints that the beer inside is traditional, strong, full of character and depth, and one to be held above all others. It’s strong and bold and I love it.

I give it a label rating of 8.5 out of 10.

AROMA:  There’s a very typical lager aroma arising from this brew…citrus and hoppy fresh. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, as it’s definitely a pleasant aroma. I’m just saying that it’s not boding well for originality. 

Taste: GLASS – Not bad…this pilsner style beer is typically citrus-infused with a tinge of bitterness, nut it’s also a tad bland. It’s very easy to drink by being overly watery, and under-carbonated. Sadly, this is a very middle-of-the-road brew that I suggest you do not go out of your way for. Viking - GLASS

I give it a beer from glass rating of 6 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Unfortunately for Viking, drinking it from the bottle ensures the brew becomes even more bland and dull. It becomes a little more watery and even the citrus flavours are dulled. I am disappointed. 

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 5.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: A spicy Asian pork dish would suit this brew.

Best season to appreciate: A Summer brew.

All-nighter beer? I really could drink this brew all night but I’d feel a little empty and unsatisfied by the end.

Over-all impression: This beer has been imported into Australia and I’m not too sure why they’ve even bothered. A cool label, and exotic country of origin can only carry a beer so far. There are a tonne of great pilsners out there that are comparable if not better than this. Sadly, flavour is really lacking in this brew – perhaps it didn’t survive the journey from Iceland.

NEXT WEEK: TBC

Anchor Steam Beer - BOTTLEAnchor Steam Beer

Brewery info:
Anchor Brewing Co.

California, U.S.A

[www.anchorbrewing.com]

Alcohol: 4.9%
Standard drinks: 1.4

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $3.99 AU

Label info: ‘Anchor Steam brand beer is virtually hand made with an exceptional respect for the ancient art of brewing. The deep amber color, the thick creamy head, and the rich flavor all testify to our traditional brewing methods.
Anchor Steam brand beer derives its unusual name from the 19th century when ‘steam’ seems to have been a nickname for beer brewed on the West Coast of America under primitive conditions and without ice. The word ‘steam’ may have referred to the pressure of natural carbonation developing in the beers. Today the brewing methods of those days are a mystery, and for many decades Anchor alone has used the quaint name ‘steam’ for its unique beer.
Today Anchor is one of the smallest and most traditional breweries in the world. San Francisco’s famous Anchor Steam brand beer is unique, for our brewing process has evolved over many decades and is like no other in the world’. 

What the label really means: Looking at this beer you’d be forgiven for not believing all this text fits on the bottle. Look carefully at the neck label and there it all is. Great detail, great history.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label is a mottled water-colour-esque style, predominantly a yellow-orange colour with a bold blue anchor and red banner with bold white lettering (reading ‘Anchor Steam Beer’). The anchor has a piece of rope hanging about its shaft and is flanked by barley and hops on either side. At the bottom of the label the clear black lettering ‘Made in San Francisco since 1896’ is bold and heavy. I like the label because it has a sense of tradition about it, a sense of strength, and a sense of uniqueness that is emphasised with having a matte finish.

I give it a label rating of 8 out of 10.Anchor Steam Beer - GLASS

AROMA:  A dark, malty aroma. Very hoppy, very intriguing.

Taste: GLASS – Anchor Steam Beer is a strong malty brew that is smooth, refined, and exquisitely crafted. It is hearty and strong, flavoursome and full bodied. This brew truly exemplifies the pinnacle of brewing beauty.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 9 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Still good, but drinking this from the bottle does make the beer lose a little of its edge and it becomes a little one dimensional. The bitterness increases while the refined finish decreases. Stick to the glass.

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

Accompanying food: Turkey with cranberry sauce. The beer lends itself to rich flavours. 

Best season to appreciate: More of a cold weather brew due to the dark malty flavours. One to savour.

All-nighter beer? It’s very easy to drink and a beer I could easily see myself drinking all night.

Other: This beer was my introduction to craft brewing, sampled during my first tour of the US back in 1999. I encountered a whole new world back then. A world that opened my eyes to the beauty of beer and craft brewing. It was as delicious way back then as it is today and I heartily endorse this beer as an all time classic.

NEXT WEEK: TBC