Posts Tagged ‘new south wales’

Fred IPA - BOTTLEFred IPA

Company info: Murray’s Craft Brewing Co
Bobs Farm, N.S.W
[www.murraysbrewingco.com.au]

Bottle size sampled: 330ml
Alcohol: 5.6%
Standard drinks: 1.5
Cap type: Non-twist
Cost: I picked this up for $TBC AU

Label info: ‘At first glance you might think only his mum could him, but once you taste our new Fred IPA, we reckon you’ll fall under his spell. Sweet but bitter, Fred is aggressively late hopped with a house blend from the US Pacific Northwest. A beautiful hopped up brew to be enjoyed with smoky and spicy southern US style Mexican food’

What the label really means: Oh hell yes. This sounds like my kind of brew. Just be wary of using the term ‘new’ though label writers of the world – it’s only ‘new’ for so long. There’s a local business near me called ‘The New Cafe’ – it’s been around for fours years, surely people will tweak that it’s no longer new. I’ve already heard rumours that it’s referred to as ‘The Slightly Old and Not Really New Anymore Cafe’ by the social snobs.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: How much longer can I bang on about the sheer perfection of Murray’s labels? What can I say, they are sheer bloody geniuses at this. This once again is an example of their brilliance splashed across a bottle. It’s a red label with a caricature of a dude with tightly cropped hair and a three day growth. He has soulless eyes that stare out to beyond, his teeth gritted in concentration or frustration. A stripe of orange splashed paint is sprayed across his eyes, face, and out on to the label, dripping down the sides. On the left of his head is FRED while on the right is IPA. Just like last week’s review, it’s a fine mix of stencil art and graffiti and it’s brilliant. This is far and away Murray’s best label to date.Fred IPA - GLASS

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

AROMA:  This truly is hopperific. Delicious passionfruit and melon aromas pounce like a mermaid beckoning weary travellers to their untimely ruin. 

Taste: GLASS – This is one hell of a fine IPA. It’s very, very dry, full flavoured and meaty with an intensely citric bitterness on the finish. Swirl it round in the mouth and you’ll detect those fine passionfruit offerings that are just hanging back in the chorus line, refusing to take the solo. This is so much gutsier that I expected and is prompting me to use the expression ‘hat lifter’. 

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE  This is damned fine from the bottle. The dryness is now reduced, which was totally unexpected and a pleasant touch as it helps present those other flavours more wholesomely. A little of the fruitiness takes a touch of centre stage and it is certainly welcomed. What a drop.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: My local pub serves a fine burger called ‘The Austen Midnight’ – smoked brisket, onion rings, bacon, cheese, and a jalapeno infused mayo. I’ll take one of them and a Fred thanks bar tender.

Best season to appreciate: A good Summer brew.

All-nighter beer? I’ve never been much of an all night drinker of IPAs or dryer brews so for me, no, this is not a session brew.

NEXT WEEK: Love Tap Double Lager

New England Dark Farmhouse - BOTTLENew Englander Dark Farmhouse

Company info:
New England Brewing Co
Uralla, NSW

[newenglandbrewing.com.au]

Bottle size sampled: 640ml

Alcohol: 5.5%
Standard drinks: 2.8

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $6.50 AU

Label info: ‘Openly fermented winter saison. Australian grown Malts. Australian Hops’.

What the label really means: I am always keen to sample open fermented brews as there’s something mystical about the process, less controlled. I’d use the term ‘random’ if I didn’t want to sound like a thirteen year old.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label is similar to the previously reviewed brew from these guys, but with a more brown tinge. Here’s what I said earlier: ‘…the brewery’s mascot, a winged merino sheep taking centre stage. The text is all very serious and proper, but the brown inked sheep is really quite fun. What could have been a horribly boring sheep is transformed into a thing of beauty with those magnificent wings. It is for the sheep that any points are awarded. The rest of the label is a bit of a let down’.

I give it a label rating of 6 out of 10.

AROMA:  Breathe in the strong malty, coffee, merlot notes. Not as amazing as the Brown Ale but still great.

Taste: GLASS – A smoky dark chocolate ale that is smooth, light on its feet and very easy to drink. It’s really quite enjoyable and one to sit back and sup the night away with.New England Dark Farmhouse - GLASS

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

Taste: BOTTLE  From the bottle, Dark Farmhouse becomes a bit too carbonated and detracts from some of those awesome flavours that are now softened. As expected, stick to the glass.

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

Accompanying food: A hearty beef dish would suit this sucker. Bourginon anyone?

Best season to appreciate: The definition of Winter warmer.

All-nighter beer? It’s one to sit back and sample slowly over the course of an evening.

NEXT WEEK: Celt Golden Ale

New Englander Brown Ale - BOTTLENew Englander Brown Ale

Company info:
New England Brewing Co
Uralla, NSW

[newenglandbrewing.com.au]

Bottle size sampled: 640ml

Alcohol: 4.5%
Standard drinks: 2.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $6.50 AU

Label info: ‘Traditional style brown ale. Five Australian grown malts. Australian hops’.

What the label really means: Sounds great. I’m keen to sample these five malts.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label is a very plain beige glossed label with the brewery’s mascot, a winged merino sheep taking centre stage. The text is all very serious and proper, but the brown inked sheep is really quite fun. What could have been a horribly boring sheep is transformed into a thing of beauty with those magnificent wings. It is for the sheep that any points are awarded. The rest of the label is a bit of a let down.

I give it a label rating of 6 out of 10.

AROMA:  Amazing! This is quite possibly the most amazing smelling beer I have come across all year. There is a port wine aroma with a tinge of caramel. Simply breathtaking. 

Taste: GLASS – Good, strong upfront flavours of malty caramel goodness. It’s smooth and very easy to drink. However, and it pains for me to have a clause with this brew, the finish is a little unresolved. It dissipates all too quickly and I’m left with a soft watery flavour in my mouth. It feels like it needs a good smack of bitterness to round off the beer and finish on a high. 

I give it a beer from glass rating of 6 out of 10.New Englander Brown Ale - GLASS

Taste: BOTTLE  Stick to the glass. From the bottle this brown ale is very very watery, and all those great upfront malty flavours have now diminished greatly. You get but a mere glimpse of how good this beer is supposed to be. 

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

Accompanying food: Slow roasted lamb would be great with this.

Best season to appreciate: It’s destined to be a Winter warmer.

All-nighter beer? This is a very easy to drink brew. Deceptively easy. I could see myself drinking this all night quite easily.

Other: Why not check out my self-indulgent instagram page @masonhellcat or Hell-Cat’s Beer Blog on Facebook?
Or don’t. It’s up to you. Really.

NEXT WEEK: I celebrate Christmas in July with Mad Abbot Christmas Ale

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

Moon Boy

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

[www.murraysbrewingco.com.au]

Alcohol: 4.5%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $TBC AU

Label info: ‘Murray’s Moon Boy is a very drinkable session strength all natural Golden Ale. Moon Boy has a very light German Pilsner malt backbone with a crisp, dry, very moreish finish. Extensive dry hopping with the NZ grown Pacifica hop gives a late tropical fruit aroma to spice things up but without too much residual hop bitterness. Light, dry, naturally cloudy and unfiltered, the Moon Boy is great warm weather drinking. Pair with fish and chips or natural oysters’

What the label really means: One finely crafted brew.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: While this may, on first glance, appear to be a very familiar hipster type, complete with slicked back it’s hip to be square pompadour, thick rimmed glasses and even thicker beard, it’s the pointed canine teeth that elevate the guy to a new level of cool. While the current trend of beardos continues to sweep the nation, we’re subtly reminded by Murray’s that werewolf’s were the originators of cool. How many bearded men serving you beer, or behind a coffee machine  secretly wish they were a lycanthrope? It’s that primal rage inside all of us that longs to howl at the moon. And this label captures that longing with aplomb.

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

AROMA:  A deliciously intoxicating aroma of grapefruit.Moon Boy - GLASS

Taste: GLASS – One sip and this brew far exceeded my wildest expectations. It’s softly presented with subtle fruit tones masked by big smatterings of meaty hops. It’s refreshing, smooth, very easy to drink and highly sessionable. Loving it. 

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

Taste: BOTTLE  Sadly, from the bottle, Moon Boy loses much of its subtle flavours and becomes very plain, a little more bitter, and a tad boring. Stick to the glass.

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

Accompanying food: Seafood…particularly BBQ blazed prawns.

Best season to appreciate: More of a warm weather brew.

All-nighter beer? Absolutely – a beer I could see myself drinking well into the night.

NEXT WEEK: TBC

BBC Pale Ale - BOTTLEOriginal Pale Ale

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

[www.balmainbrewing.com.au]

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!

NEXT WEEK: TBC

The Pilsner - CANThe Pilsner

Company info:
The Australian Brewery

Rouse Hill, N.S.W

[www.australianbrewery.com]

Alcohol: 4.8%
Standard drinks: 1.4

Cap type: Twist

Cost: I picked this up for $4.49AU 

Label info: ‘Inspired by the classic crisp and bitter pilsners of Germany. Our Pilsner takes the palest Australian malts and interweaves the bite and aroma of New World hops
AND
‘Tasting notes: Spicy NZ hops and citrus American hops generate an enticing aroma and a crisp, peppery bitterness that balances the rounded malt profile’.

What the label really means: Sounds like a well researched pilsner. 

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label is a fairly simple green and gold designed label with a lot of information blasted across it. ‘Australian Brewery’ stands out in big letters, highlighting the Australian-ness of the brew but the surrounding text is confusing and unnecessary. It almost looks like a manual for a 1986 personal computer…dated, text heavy, hard to read.

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

AROMA:  Wheaty citrus aromas. This is a very familiar pilsner smell.

Taste: GLASS – Wow what a disappointing brew. I am shocked. This is incredibly mild in flavour. It’s water-like at best with a very subtle twist of citrus. The after taste is horribly sour (not bitter) and very off-putting. Lacks substance, lacks body, lacks any redeeming qualities.The Pilsner - GLASS

I give it a beer from glass rating of 3 out of 10.

Taste: CAN – A little better from the can. While it’s still hard to ignore the dirty dishwater after-taste, the upfront flavours are a bit more citrus infused and that at least adds a teensy bit of flavour. Still, this is by no means a good beer. What were they thinking?

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 3.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Something super, super spicy to mask the horrible flavour of the beer and to burn the taste buds out of your face. Maybe a szechuan beef with extra chilli. 

Best season to appreciate: Probably Summer I guess. I dunno. I’m reluctant to say any time of year.

All-nighter beer? No, no, no. Horrible stuff.

NEXT WEEK: Australian IPA (Hawthorn Brewing Company)