Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Mt Macedon Ale - HolgateMt Macedon Ale
Australian flag - small 

Company info:
Holgate Brewhouse

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.5%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-twist

Label info:
TBC (I lost the bottle since my tasting): ‘Easy on the taste buds but offering great hop character, this beer matches well with Mediterranean style dishes.’

What the label really means:
No messing around on this label. What you get is what they say.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Excellent! This is how beer labels should be designed! 
The label depicts an angry bull peering out from amidst some wheat. It almost looks like an American college football’s mascot – except this bull is way cooler and would probably eat the head off one of those pansy creatures.

The word Holgate also reinforces the toughness of this label. Not only does it sound tough, it’s printed in an almost stencil-like font. This is exactly the sort of label I want to see on my beer – toughness personified! 

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

AROMA: A beautiful honey aroma except it’s a friendlier than other honey type beers.

Taste: GLASS – Like no beer I have tasted before! It has a strong taste that wouldn’t be to everyone’s liking. The hops are the predominant taste – almost herby in their delivery. I really like it.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – No discernible taste between bottle and glass but it does seem to go back easier in a bottle. The more of this I

Mt Macedon Ale - glass

 drank, the more I fell in love with a real beaut Aussie ale.

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

A word from the wife: ‘Tastes like a dark ale without being dark. Almost like a 50/50’.

She gave it a taste rating of 6 out of 10.

Accompanying food: I’m thinking something spicy like Mexican or chorizo. It would go great with a mezze platter of olives, prosciutto, and that sort of stuff.

Best season to appreciate: I feel this beer would really suit the warmer months. I can really picture myself sitting out in a beer garden on a warm summer evening drinking a few of these. I’m sure a sombrero would be involved at some point too (for sheer comedic value).

Time taken to finish bottle: 5 minutes. Went back way too easy!

All-nighter beer? For sure! I’d grab a case of this in a heart-beat.

NEXT WEEK: O’Brien Pale Ale (gluten free beer)


Outback Chilli BeerOutback Chilli Beer
Outback Brewery
Australian flag - small 

Company info:
Outback Brewery

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.8%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Label info: No label info

What the label really means: N/A

 The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label on this beer is very ordinary. It’s plain, it’s unexciting. They’ve gone for a cartoon image of a frilled neck lizard in a supposedly threatening pose.
Now, I love a good, tough looking label and if a scary animal is in a threatening pose, the label designers get extra points. The Outback Chilli Beer’s design however leaves me yawning and not frightened in the least. The text around the lizard, and on the rest of the bottle, looks like it’s come direct from MS Word and is definitely not appealing. I wouldn’t be surprised if this label has been designed by kids at a sheltered workshop – or at least someone with a very rudimentary knowledge of Indesign. Lame font, lame colours, lame non-scary lizard. It makes me wonder if this label is designed specifically for tourists. Blind tourists.

I give it a label rating of 3 out of 10.

AROMA: The smell of this beer is really quite nice. It’s very soft, and very wheaty. In a way, it reminds me in smell of a beer such as Hoegaarden. 

Taste: GLASS – Upon first sip of this ale I was hit with a stinging pang of nothingness. There was a slight hint of chilli but hardly noticeable. This alone, is a good thing (a couple of years back I tried Black Mountain’s Chili Beer and was almost blown sideways by the heat. It made it difficult to drink). Outback Chilli Beer at least has subtlety on its side. And that’s about the best thing I can say for this nothing kind of beer.

Outback Chilli Beer - glass

I give it a beer from glass rating of 5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Surprisingly (though it wasn’t too hard), this beer tastes better from the bottle. It seemed to go down easier and smoother – though I put this down to the beer being a bit of a nothing kind of beer that just needs to be thrown back quickly.
The other thing I noticed from drinking out of the bottle was that the chilli taste was a bit more noticeable. And in giving this beer a bit of taste, it was a good thing.

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

A word from the wife: ‘A subtle chilli flavour that would go nice with Thai or Vietnamese’.

She gave it a generous taste rating of 7 out of 10.

Accompanying food: I would suggest having this beer (if you insist) as a pre-dinner drink. It would go well with nuts or chips. Drink it from the bottle for the extra hit of chilli and the beer will serve to open up your palette, get the saliva glands working and prepare you for dinner.

Best season to appreciate: I think this beer would be best suited to the warmer months.

Time taken to finish bottle: 5 minutes – I sort of threw it back once my tasting was complete as I knew no other taste sensation would emerge.

All-nighter beer? Definitely not. 2-3 of this would be my limit for a very long time. After finishing this beer I didn’t feel like another beer of any description for about 24 hours.

Other notes: After typing up this week’s entry I decided to head to the Outback Brewery website. I was somewhat amused to see that Outback Chilli Beer has three medals to its name. A gold, and two bronzes. There is no year listed for these or further information.

NEXT WEEK: Holgate’s Mt Macedon Ale  

Pepperjack Hand Crafted Ale - bottlePepperjack
Hand Crafted Ale

Saltram of Barossa
Australian flag - small 

Company info:
Saltram Wine Estate

Bottle size sampled: 355 mL

Alcohol: 4.7%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Twisty

Label info:
‘Pepperjack Ale brings together the best in craft brewing and contemporary Barossa winemaking. This rouge coloured ale has been created using the finest malted barley grains, intensely aromatic hops and Pepperjack’s very own Barossa Valley Shiraz.

Exhibiting profound fruit driven aromatics that add to the complexity of the unique selection of barley and hops. Pepperjack Ale can be enjoyed on any occasion… but is best suited to your fridge rather than your cellar!’ 

What the label really means: 
‘Although we’re a winery, we’ve made ourselves a beer. Aren’t we clever? We use some pretty ace ingredients in this beer. It’s got a bit of a red tinge to it and that’s due to the fact we’ve thrown in a bit of Shiraz (It sounds bad in theory but hang in there). 
It’s got a bit of a fruity smell and can be enjoyed any time of the day. We recommend it’s chilled before serving.’ 

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: In an attempt to brand this beer similar to their extensive wine collection, the people at Saltram of Barossa have created a very simple, angled label simply reading the beer name and a large signature from W. Salter (whoever he/she is when they’re at home). A warmly lit photo of some wheat (barley) stalks appears on the left of the label.

To be honest, when I saw this beer on the shelf the label made it look so much like a wine that I immediately felt it was aiming at the wine drinking, occasional beer, type of person. I feel it is pretentious, hoity toity, and definitely lacking in imagination. I believe the label was made to look like this so that restaurants and ‘classy’ bars can easily charge $8 – $9 a bottle and not feel bad.

I give it a label rating of 3 out of 10. 

AROMA: Immediately upon opening the bottle I am hit by a wonderfully fruity smell. I am distinctly reminded of one of my all time favourite beers, Little Creatures. It gave me great hope for the beer I was about to embark on.

Pepperjack Hand Crafted Ale

Taste: GLASS – Amazing! My initial sip of this really blew me away. Being that the aroma is very fruity I expected the same in taste however I was hit with something a little more like James Squire’s Amber Ale. The difference is that it’s not as bitter, and it’s a little fruitier without going overboard.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Still good but not as impressive as the glass tasting. Drinking this beer from the glass makes a beer experience even better by surrounding your nose with its impressive fruity aroma, mashing all senses into one. The wide open glass lets oxygen flow down and release those aromas, opening the beer up to its environment. Drinking from the bottle, I can’t help but feel I am missing out on something.

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

A word from the wife: ‘A pleasant, fruity aroma and taste. Enjoyable to drink, especially in front of a warm fire-place’.

She gave it a taste rating of 8 out of 10. 

Accompanying food: This beer would sit really nicely alongside steak, or any roast dinner. 

Best season to appreciate: I feel this beer is better suited to the cooler seasons. Despite the fruity undertones, I  just don’t see it as a Summer thirst quencher. 

Time taken to finish bottle: 5 minutes. Very easy to drink.

All-nighter beer? Yes, I think so. It’s not overly carbonated and goes down super easy. As soon as I had finished my first I was ready for my second.