Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

Cuba 59 - BottleCuba ’59 Extra Dry
Australian flag - small


Company info:
Independent Breweries


Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.6%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Twist

Cost: I picked this up for AU$2.50

Label info: ‘The essence of Cuba ’59 is inspired by the events of the 1959 revolution and the people’s joie de vivre.

It’s clean, crisp and extra dry taste will bring out your ‘Revolutionary Joy of Life’’.

What the label really means: I like the fact they have attempted to create a legend here. A beer that has been consumed in Cuba for 50+ years. Drink this and you too will want to stand up for your rights and stop working for ‘the man’.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I knew when buying this beer that it wasn’t from Cuba (as it says on the label: ‘Product of Ausrtalia. Inspired by Cuba’). I knew that I don’t normally like dry or extra dry labelled beers. I also knew I was being a sap to marketing schmucks as it was the label and the mythology that attracted me to sampling it.

I gotta say, for a beer label this is really up there with the best. It has a real art deco feel to it, and certainly looks like it is a beer that did its formative years during the late 1950’s. I like the traditional looking beer cap, and neck label with Cuban script all round it. I like the little postage stamp picture of a man in a panama hat down the bottom. They easily could have extended the concept a little further by having raised fists on the label, but I actually like the understated-ness of this. It’s the sort of beer I’d be proud to hold as I stomp the face of authority into submission.

I give it a label rating of 8 out of 10.

AROMA: This beer has a pleasant musk-like aroma with a real hint of fun.

Taste: GLASS -I like this beer but I feel that it’s really missing something. It’s trying to find its feet like a newly born gazelle but falls short. It’s a bit like a Peroni but even then doesn’t quite get there. I am a little disappointed with this as I had really wanted to like it.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – It’s actually a little better from the bottle. It was smoother, and the carbonation was less noticeable.

Cuba 59 - Glass

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

A word from the wife: “So fizzy…the bubbles got sucked all through the mouth. Delightful”

She gave it a taste rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: This would go well with a great pizza – plenty of olives, spicy meats, and a tasty cheese.

Best season to appreciate: A beer for the warmer months.

All-nighter beer? Well, I’m not so sure about this one. I think I could have 5 or 6 and then be ready to move onto something a bit less dry. I don’t know that I will be going back to this. 

Other information: As listed, this beer is produced by Independent Breweries (Aust). As I have discovered, this is a company that can mass produce any beer and beer label you suggest, and then help you sell it. I like the concept. Anyone for a Mason Hell-Cat branded ‘Death Row Ale’?

NEXT WEEK: Coopers Vintage (a long overdue by request beer)


O'Brien Pale Ale - bottleO’Brien Pale Ale
Australian flag - small 

Company info:
O’Brien Brewing Pty Ltd
Ascot Vale, VIC

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.5%

Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Label info:

There’s no descriptive information written on the label – which is fine by me. I think they are hoping that the words ‘naturally brewed’ and ‘gluten free beer’ is all we need to know – and particularly for the gluten intolerant, this is what they need to know.

What the label really means:


The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: One word – LAME! It looks like a no-frills, home-brand type label. They’ve gone to no effort aside from using the same fonted ‘B’ as appears in the ‘Victoria Bitter’ brand (perhaps this is explained below in my tasting notes). It is definitely not attractive to the eye and I wouldn’t have been drawn to it if it weren’t for the ‘gluten free’ factor. You see, I realise there are gluten intolerant people in the world that probably love beer, so this tasting is for you guys. Sorry you get such a horrible label.

I give it a label rating of 1 out of 10.

AROMA: Wow! I certainly was not prepared for the amazing aroma that comes from this beer. There is a distinct honey smell that immediately makes me think of Crackenback’s Pale Ale. My expectations were set very high.

Taste: GLASS – For me this was very disappointing. There is an overpowering bitterness (perhaps this is O’Brien’s nod to Victoria Bitter) that is completely unexpected from a pale ale. My nostrils were being tantalised by smells of honey and sweetness while my tastebuds were bombarded with bitterness.
The other thing that really hit me was that this tasted extremely over-carbonated. One sip and I needed to burp. Not pretty.
I think the over-carbonation is evident in the photo of the beer in the glass. 

O'Brien Pale Ale - glass

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Drinking this from the bottle meant there was no aroma to difuse the bitterness and I found it just a little too sharp to drink. 

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

A word from the wife: ‘Soft, melodic, fruity flavours… the merlot of beers…..not too heavy’.

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

Accompanying food: I could imagine this beer accompanying a good pizza or pasta dish. Definitely tomato or cheese based dishes.

Best season to appreciate: Definitely a warmer season beer.

Time taken to finish bottle: 7 minutes. I really struggled over this beer to determine what was so wrong. Was I missing something? Why did the wife think melodic sweetness while I was being knocked in the teeth by bitterness. I agonised over every mouthful desperately wanting to showcase something good for the gluten intolerant. Sadly, I don’t feel this is it.

All-nighter beer? Not for me I’m afraid. I’d maybe be able to stomach 4 or so before wanting something a bit less harsh.

Other notes: I’d really like to hear responses from you guys, the readers. Have I missed something here? Is this beer worthwhile? Please let me know your thoughts.

After every beer tasting I do for this site, I visit the beer’s website to see how they market it and to get some background information. For the O’Brien Pale Ale they say  “It is a traditional 19th century Australian pale ale, brewed with the finest malted gluten-free grains”. Perhaps I haven’t tried enough 19th century recipes to know a good one when I taste one. Please, enlightened reader, convince me this is a beer worthy of another tasting.

NEXT WEEK: Cobra Premium Beer (our first international beer)