Posts Tagged ‘Queensland’

ANZUS_IPA_BOTTLEANZUS IPA

Company info:
Fortitude Brewing Company
Mount Tamborine, QLD

[No website listed]

Bottle size sampled: 330ml

Alcohol: 6%
Standard drinks: 1.6

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $TBC AU

Label info: ‘Codenamed #14901 in early trials in 2010, our flagship IPA honours the ANZUS treaty between the great (hop growing) nations of Australia, New Zealand and USA. The first and only time the ANZUS treaty was invoked was on 14 September, 2001, after the 9/11 attacks on the USA.
An IPA made for the Australian climate, it eschews the cloying effects of big crystal additions in favour of a very clean, almost light malt backbone, allowing the hops to take the centre stage. Galaxy from Australia, Nelson Sauvin from New Zealand and Simcoe from USA. give the beer a huge hop aroma and flavour, running the full gamut of earthy, resiny, piney and fruity notes.’

Label thoughts: I’m always up for a strong collaborative effort and this sounds like the finest example.  

The Hell-Cat review starts hereANZUS IPA - GLASS

Label: The label is all yellow/gold with black text. Look carefully and there are waves of gold very faintly in the background. The main piece to stand out is a minor bird, casually lying back, viewed in profile – one leg holds a megaphone to its beak, the other grasps pathetically at thin air. From the megaphone shoots the text ‘ANZUS IPA’. Up at the top of the label is the same bird, only smaller and with different text reading ‘Noisy Minor Brewing Co’ – there is nothing to explain this alternate brewing company and I’m still intrigued by this. The label is simple in design and colour construct. I’ve never really been a fan of too much yellow or gold on a label but because there isn’t too much going on, it works. I like the two-tone arrangement.  

I give it a label rating of 6.5 out of 10.

AROMA:  Wow! Prominent Galaxy hops give a delicious earthy aroma, slightly herbal, grass-like.

Taste: GLASS – A deliciously clean, smooth mouthfeel makes way for an earthy, dry, bitter after-taste. This is outstandingly good. I can’t seem to comprehend the beauty of the mouthfeel’s crispness it’s simply breath-taking.

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

Taste: BOTTLE  From the bottle ANZUS IPA becomes very bitter on the mouthfeel and one-dimensional as a result. Hints of the flavours are there, but they’re held back and can’t blossom. Stick to the glass for this.

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

Accompanying food: Roast chicken is my pick. Or roast minor bird. Whatevs.

Best season to appreciate: A Summer brew if ever I knew.

All-nighter beer? Probably not an all-nighter for me. The dryness is really starting to take hold by the end of one bottle and I’m seeking more refreshment.

NEXT WEEK: Stone and Wood Jasper Ale

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Dream Date - BOTTLEDream Date

Company info:
Burleigh Brewing Co
Burleigh Heads, Q.L.D

[www.burleighbrewing.com]

Bottle size sampled: 650 mL

Alcohol: 5.7%
Standard drinks: 3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $8.99 AU

Label info: ‘Fancy a drink? We did. And oddly for us, it wasn’t a beer that had our heads in a spin and hearts in a flutter. Instead, it was a chance encounter with a seriously smooth, sticky date liqueur.
But being brewers, not distillers, our minds soon wandered to howe we might have some fruity  fun of our own with this enchanting ingredient.
So began a labour of love to perfect a process of blending hundreds of kilos of fresh dates with three specially selected, medium and dark malts – and a generous serving of aromatic hops.
The result is a deliciously dark ale with subtle notes of caramel, toffee and sundried fruit.
It’s a match made in heaven – and brewed in Burleigh’
AND
‘What’s in it? Hundred of kilos of dates, brewed with a blend of specially selected medium-dark malts and a generous serving of aromatic hops.
What’s not in it? Anything nasty or artificial like preservatives, additives, pre-isomerised hop products, foam enhancers, animal or fish products, high gravity brewing processes…or anything else that has no place in beer!’
AND
‘IBU – 50
EBC – 48
Food match – Best enjoyed over a shared tapas plate.
Drinking temperature – 4 to 6°C’

What the label really means: Wow – could they fit in any more information? Nuff said, go home. Nothing to see here.

The Hell-Cat review starts hereDream Date - GLASS

Label: This is the second bottle printed label I’ve come across from Burleigh Brewing – this one I love. Created in a pop art nod to Lichtenstein it depicts a mono-chromatic hetero couple in a passionate embrace, lip locked and loving it. The comic book style of dotted print circles fill in the spaces of colour and ‘Dream Date’ flashes up above them like a dirty b-grade horror film title. Green, red and blue are the colours used here, right around the bottle and it looks brilliant. My only problem is that, as much as I love the detail Burleigh goes to on their labels, it’s once again a bit too crowded. There’s a little too much going on here. The main image and brew name is sufficient to propel this label into a breathless, sweaty, sleeping in the wet-spot beauty.

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

AROMA: Freakin’ amazing. A Summer fruits aroma wafts up that simply blows my mind. With subtle hints of toffee, this truly blows my mind like Divine Brown inside my cranium.

Taste: GLASS – If this was a water slide it’d be called the Super Smooth Slider. It slides back with the sweetest of ease. There’s the ever so slight taste of raisins or dates pushed along with an aftertaste of dark malt and a very subtle bitterness. This is an exceptionally crafted brew that continues to strengthen after numerous tastings. And it’s all courtesy of a brewery that always produces quality in every drop.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Sucked back from the bottle you’ll get all those awesome dry fruit flavours still and much of the enjoyment. Unfortunately you no longer get engulfed in that panty dropping aroma. Stick to the glass.

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

Accompanying food: Im thinking a spicy meat such as chorizo with a good slab of haloumi. Why? Well why the hell not?

Best season to appreciate: A good winter brew to curl up with beside a fire place.

All-nighter beer? It’s a bit too malt heavy for me to drink all night. But I’d be ready to have another crack with it after a very short recovery period.

NEXT WEEK: TBC 

Hef - BOTTLEHef

Company info:
Burleigh Brewing Co
Burleigh Heads, Q.L.D

[www.burleighbrewing.com]
AND
[hefbeer.com.au]

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 5%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $3.99 AU

Label info: ‘See why those in the know insist on the ‘mo’ at hefbeer.com.au’

What the label really means: From going to the website, I think I understand what this obscure label text means. I think Burleigh Brewing are suggesting that German men that know a good beer (particularly a hefeweizen), have mustaches and will enjoy this beer. Or people that know good beer will insist on the Hef, and call it the ‘mo’. It’s a catchy bit of text, it’s a clever bit of marketing to suggest the Hef will be enjoyed by the style’s creators. Yes it’s obscure but it got me to look a their website. So perhaps it is successful. But I’m still a little confused.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The old style text of ‘Hef’ makes this beer an instant hit. It looks classical, and steeped in history, like a brew from the 1920s. Above the text a massive mustache (alluded to in the text) sits there like that from a 1920s barber. Predominantly orange in colour, the label has a matte finish and feels warm and inviting. I like the fact that the label is uncluttered, simple, and bold.

I give it a label rating of 7 out of 10.Hef - GLASS

AROMA: A good wheaty aroma with a hint of fruitiness

Taste: GLASS – This is one delicious hefeweizen. It has traces of it being a little like Hoegaarden, and then kicks it into over-drive as only Burleigh Brewing can. There’s a delightful fruity flavour of what I detect is rockmelon that bursts its way through the wheaty flavours. I am really enjoying this sucker.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Much the same from the bottle but perhaps a little less complex. This really is a beer worth trying, though I recommend sticking to the glass.

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

Accompanying food: I feel pork would compliment this brew well – mostly for the saltiness. Salty baked pumpkin or sweet potato is my recommendation for the vegos among us.

Best season to appreciate: A good Summer brew, dig.

All-nighter beer? Yes please. I finished this bottle and needed another immediately.

NEXT WEEK: TBC 

Sapporo - BOTTLESapporo
Japanese_flag - SMALL

Company info:
Brewed under supervision of Sapporo Breweries LTD
Tokyo, JAPAN
by Coopers Brewery Ltd

[www.sapporobeer.com.au]

Bottle size sampled: 355 mL

Alcohol: 5%
Standard drinks: 1.4

Cap type: Twist

Cost: I picked this up for $3.99 AU

Label info: ‘A masterpiece of the brewer’s art
Sapporo Premium Beer was originally brewed in 1876 by Japanese brewmaster Seibei Nakagawa. Trained in Germany, Seibei had a true passion for his craft. With authentic brewing techniques and quality local ingredients, he developed a perfectly balanced golden lager”

What the label really means: Brilliant work Seibei. I look forward to sampling your work even if this one has been made in Australia.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I’ve always been a fan of the big metallic golden star on the front of Sapporo labels. It’s bold and gutsy. It’s surrounded by a border of matte silver and this serves to make the label really pop off the bottle. There’s not much to the label but it’s really quite effective.

I give it a label rating of 6.5 out of 10.

AROMA: Zesty, citrussy fresh. Smells good.

Sapporo - GLASS

Taste: GLASS – It’s refreshingly zesty, light on the palate yet fulfillingly all-mouthed gutsy. It’s a tad dry and this is becoming more evident with each sip. There’s nothing amazing with this brew that will elevate it out of generic lager territory, and for that reason it’s a tad disappointing  but it’s still a fine drop to drink.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Pretty much the same flavours emerge from the bottle as they did from the glass, only now they seem to be condensed a tad. It’s still drinkable and quite refreshing but I suggest you stick to the glass.

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

Accompanying food: Beef – this would sit well with a nice chunky steak.

Best season to appreciate: Yep another Summer brew.

All-nighter beer? I feel the dryness is really starting to take over with each step. I don’t know that I could handle the dryness all night.

NEXT WEEK: Red Bitter (yes that beer at the back of the fridge that you’ve always been too afraid to try)

Fig Jam IPA

Company info:
Burleigh Brewing Co
Burleigh Heads, Q.L.D

[www.burleighbrewing.com]

Bottle size sampled: 650 mL

Alcohol: 7%
Standard drinks: 3.6

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $11.99 AU

Label info: ‘A couple of centuries back, IPA was made strong and hoppy to protect it on the voyages from England to India. These days we just make it that way because it tastes great.

An intense five-stage hopping process delivers a rich, robust character, smooth flavour and an inviting aroma. So, while it has all the mighty ‘BAM’ of the original, it’s surprisingly well balanced. A bit like our skateboarding elephant.

What’s in it? Five malted barley varieties, five natural hop varieties added in five separate stages, all fermented with our well-primed, fruity ale yeast.

What’s not in it? Anything nasty of artificial, like preservatives, additives, pre-isomerised hop products, foam enhancers, animal or fish products… or anything else that’s not meant to be in beer!’

What the label really means: Wow – could they fit in any more information? Nuff said, go home. Nothing to see here.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Firstly it needs to be commented that this is a bottle printed label. This is a practice I’ve not traditionally been too warm to. But, I like this. Not only does it show a commitment to the brew (hell, you’re only going to print a label on a bottle if you are very confident the beer will work. If you have the least bit of uncertainty you’d dodgily print up some labels on the home dot matrix printer and whack them on with some UHU glue), it also feels good to hold. It’s a simple two-colour print of green and white and I love the bold font of ‘FIG JAM IPA’ but then there is so much text and images (including an unexplained elephant on a skateboard) that this ends up being one overloaded, busy and confused label. It’s hard to like a label that seems to be trying too hard.

I give it a label rating of 5 out of 10.

AROMA: Zesty, fruity and fresh. This is one good smelling beer. Sniff carefully and inhale the delicious passionfruit aroma.

Taste: GLASS – There’s a pervasive nuttiness that flows through every sip. It’s a bitter brew without being overloaded and is quite light with a huge wallop of hoppy goodness. I’m also tasting zesty fruits with every sip, and for the sheer complexity of this brew alone, I am impressed.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Drink this sucker from the bottle and you’ll quickly discover it’s just as delicious, cuts through the bitterness and presents itself as one very well-balanced ale. There’s a lovely earthiness that now emerges that is also a welcome development. A great drop.

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

Accompanying food: Chicken….I’m thinking a delicious chicken and cashews dish would suit this brew well.

Best season to appreciate: This is a Summer brew, yo.

All-nighter beer? Yes! It’s delicious all the way to the end, and at 7.0% alcohol it’s bound to be one hell of a night.

NEXT WEEK: TBC 

My Wife’s Bitter

Company info:
Burleigh Brewing Co
Burleigh Heads, Q.L.D

[mywifesbitter.com.au]
[www.burleighbrewing.com]

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.8%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: $3.99

Label info: ‘English Bitter, Burleigh Style’
‘Some marriages drive people to drink. Some drinks drive people to marriage.
Find out why our coastal version of a classic English bitter is a brew worth committing to at mywifesbitter.com.au’

What the label really means: I love the whole play on words here. I love the humour, I love the tongue-in-cheek cheekiness and the sense of fun this label gives. Even if the beer isn’t great, Burleigh Brewing are presenting this brew as something light-hearted, a beer not to be taken too seriously.

Building on their brilliant pun use, I am longing for the release of the following suggestions I have for Burleigh Brewing: ‘My Wife’s Pale’ and ‘My Wife’s Dry’.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Look, I love the addition of the bikini glad dame on the front of this label. It plays beautifully on the whole wife bitterness thing, without going overboard into pornography. She sits there on a beach holding the English flag in one hand and a good sprig of wheat in the other, glancing at us with a coy look on her face. All well and good. But I guess I have a bit of a design issue in that it looks very cheaply made/printed. Is this another play on the whole scenario? I’m not sure but it looks like it’s been photocopied, with certain elements drawn a bit darker, as though an after thought to the whole project (check out the broad’s head, and wheat). But how can I be harsh on a label that brings a smile to the dial of even the staunchest drinker?

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

AROMA: A strong wheaty, caramelised aroma. It smells just grand.

Taste: GLASS – Upon initial sup I am hit with a very malty taste. As I swirl it round the mouth, I notice it’s particularly smooth with a sweet, chocolate infused flavour. It has a real toffee tang to it, is not overly bitter, and is actually quite refreshing. But, all these flavours aren’t really creating something mind-blowing. It’s a bit middle of the road for my liking and I had hoped for a stronger sense of bitterness. Don’t put this sucker out to pasture without sampling it, but do remember this one’s with you for life.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Drink this from the bottle and you’ll see it’s just as smooth without losing any of the genuine undertones of malt, toffee, chocolatey goodness. Plus you get the added bonus of holding the cheeky li’l dame on the bottle. Not bad.

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

Accompanying food: I’d like to take this one out for a nice ante-pasta platter of roast vegies, chorizo and olives. I feel salt would maybe open old wounds of bitterness.

Best season to appreciate: A good drop to snuggle up with by a fire place on a faux-bear skin rug during the throws of Winter.

All-nighter beer? Like a Best and Less catalogue model, I just don’t think it has the substance to keep me interested for too long.

Other: To all my readers both near and far, thanks for sticking with this site throughout 2011. I have appreciated all your input and feedback and look forward to another round of drinks in 2012. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Cheers, Mason Hell-Cat.

NEXT WEEK: TBC – Next review due the first week of January 2012

Duke Premium Lager

Company info:
Burleigh Brewing Company
Burleigh Heads, Q.L.D

[www.burleighbrewing.com.au]

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.8%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: $TBC

Label info: ‘Ever loved a place so much you wish you could bottle it? That’s how we feel about Burleigh Heads. And it’s the reason we created Duke beer. Why Duke? Find out at dukebeer.com.au’

What the label really means: I do admire the guy’s from Burleigh Brewing and their love for Burleigh Heads. They seem to prattle on about the damn place on every label – and it works.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I’ve said time and time again that I cannot stand the colour blue on a beer label. When I say that, I am particularly referring to this shade of blue. It’s a blue that is put to use on so many different beers (eg. Quilmes) and to detrimental effect, as opposed to the sweetly subtle and nostalgic blue of Burleigh’s ’28 Pale Ale’. It just doesn’t work. What’s also wrong with this label for me is look behind Duke and you can make out a faint star image. It conjures up images of bogans with Southern Cross tattoos. Sorry guys, you’ve lost me with this one.

I give it a label rating of 4.5 out of 10.

AROMA: A heavy citrus, earthy aroma. Unfortunately it’s already making me think of those same old, generic lagers that every brewery seems to trot out.

Taste: GLASS – Following the sniff, I totally expected this would taste just like many other generic lagers on the market. But, thankfully, and surprisingly, this one has a bit more heart, a bit more depth. It has earthy pilsner hints that swirl through an undercurrent of enjoyable citrusness. It’s finely carbonated making the brew quite smooth. It rolls off the tongue with the sweetest of ease. It won’t win any awards for complexity of flavour but it is enjoyable none the less.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Sample this baby from the bottle and it becomes a tad bland, lacks the all-mouth feel and becomes a little carbonation heavy and boring. Stick to the glass I say!

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 5 out of 10.

Song of choice: Try this alongside The Lyrical Madmen’s track ‘Hungover‘

Accompanying food: Spicy Asian dishes may just make this beer come out of its shell.

Best season to appreciate: More of a Summer brew.

All-nighter beer? Look, the brew is so easy to drink I have to say yes it is an all-nighter, session beer. Perhaps my only issue would be that it’s a little dry and sticking to this all night may in fact be a challenge.

NEXT WEEK: One Fifty Lashes Pale Ale