Posts Tagged ‘Victoria’

Love Tap - BOTTLELove Tap Double Lager

Company info:
Moon Dog Brewing
Abbotsford, VIC

[www.moondogbrewing.com.au]

Bottle size sampled: 330ml

Alcohol: 5.9%
Standard drinks: 1.6

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $4.95 AU

Label info: “Love Tap, Baby, Love Tap Babeeee! ….something and a something…as big as a whale…huggin’ and a dancin’ and a lovin’ and wearin’ next to nothing…and it’s about to set sail to the love tap”.
‘Pretty sure (almost certain) they weren’t the exact words but we reckon if they were they’d be a bang on way to describe this new world craft lager. It’s got a big schmack of citrusy, tropical hops and a clean, crisp finish. Enjoy!
AND
‘Really ridiculously fun beer’
AND
‘Vitals:
Malt: Pilsner, carared, carapils, Munich; Hops: Galaxy, Motueka, Tettenang; Yeast: Lager’

What the label really means: What I love about this label is the sense of humour. These guys clearly aren’t stuck up snooty craft brewers, they’re regular folks having a bit of fun with a very fun label description. They make fun of the classically horrid B52 track ‘Love Shack’ with their own spin. But then this is all juxtaposed with some very serious ‘Vitals’ for all the interested beery nerds. Love it. Love Tap - GLASS

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Just like the label text, here is a label that is clearly not taking itself too seriously, is having a bit of a laugh and succeeds in being very cool. The label is a funny greeny yellow colour with a black and white photo of a pig to the side. The pig wears a top hat and a bow tie – again showing that these guys don’t take themselves so seriously that they can’t have a bit of fun. ‘Love Tap’ is scrawled in thick texta-type while ‘Double Lager’ comes in its own little speech bubble straight from the pig’s mouth. All of the above mentioned text appears hand written on the bottle. The whole thing reminds me a bit of what Brew Dogs do – sticking it to the establishment, rebellious, tough, and fun. 

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

AROMA:  Sadly the aroma is a bit lacking….there’s nothing outstanding and it smells like a regular run of the mill citrus lager.

Taste: GLASS – What I love most about this full-bodied, smack in the chops lager is the pervasive bitterness. They have taken a typical inoffensive citrus lager and turned it on its head. They have redefined the power of the lager and presented a very inspiring beauty. Very dry, very enjoyable.

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

Taste: BOTTLE  The bitterness here, that I found such a highlight from the glass, surprises me once more by now becoming a little more refined. It’s a lot smoother now and I think I enjoy it a tad more from the bottle.

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

Accompanying food: Some kind of tomato-based food would sit well beside this. I feel the acidity would cut through the dryness and soften it even more.

Best season to appreciate: A warmer weather brew.

All-nighter beer? For my money this is more of a pre-dinner beer to open the salivary glands. For me it’s a little too dry to drink all night.

NEXT WEEK: Stone and Wood Jasper Ale

Coldstream Crisp Pale Ale - BOTTLEColdstream Crisp Pale Ale

Australia flag - SMALL


 

Company info:
Coldstream Brewery
Coldstream, VIC

[No website listed]

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.8%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for AU$3.09

Label info: ‘Brewed in the Yarra Valley for a crisp hop finish’

What the label really means: ‘We ran out of room to include anything else’

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The bold yellow lettering of ‘Crisp Pale Ale’ stands out on the clear label against the dark bottle. The yellow at the top is also very bold. But does it work? For me, overuse of yellow can be a bit like gold on a beer label – it just doesn’t work. Perhaps it’s the suggestion of XXXX beer? Thankfully the white on this label just barely brings it back from the brink of disaster, accompanied by a picture of a bloke standing in knee-high water wearing a pair of budgie smugglers, washing himself, or perhaps shivering.  He is the saviour of this label – why is he there? What is he doing? The mysterious Coldstream creep. 

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

AROMA: Deliciously hoppy, malty, alcoholicy aromas.Coldstream Crisp Pale Ale - GLASS

Taste: GLASS: A citrus upfront welcome quickly moves aside to present darker toffee, malt flavours that sweep this brew through to a dry, bitter finish. It’s very tasty, very hearty, and chockers with flavour. Delicious.

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

Taste: BOTTLE: Much the same from the bottle, with all flavour profiles still clearly discernible. The finish becomes softened a tad, and not as bitter which is nice.

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

Accompanying food: Ok this sounds weird – but bare with me. I’d like to suggest this alongside a warm pecan pie with a huge dollop of cream. I think it’s the darker, malty flavours that prompt it.

Best season to appreciate: The darker notes of this brew make me suggest this as more of a Winter-warmer.

All-nighter beer? I’m not too sure if this is too heavy for an all-nighter….but to hell with it – I want it all night long.

NEXT WEEK: TBC

Tripel - BOTTLETripel

Company info:
Black Heart Brewery
Brighton, VIC

[www.blackheartbrewery.com.au]

Bottle size sampled: 500 mL

Alcohol: 9.2%
Standard drinks: 3.6

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: TBC

Label info: ‘This complex strong Belgian Ale is a marriage of spicy, fruity and alcohol flavours mixed with orange and peppery notes along with a low but distinctive floral hop character’

What the label really means: Sounds very interesting. Bring it on.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Again with this Black Heart Brewery label, the hand-drawn lettering has instant awesome appeal. A black heart sits atop the company name while a small blue band at the bottom reads ‘Tripel’. At the top right of the label is a ‘Limited Edition’ stamp that tells me this is bottle 82 of 1100 and I am damned excited by this. Over all the label is not as powerful as the previously reviewed Bohemian Pilsner (I’m longing for that red, bloody heart), but it’s a damn fine design. Tripel - Limited Edition

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

AROMA:  Strong, rich, alcoholic, malty.

Taste: GLASS – There’s a definite spiced flavour flowing through every rich mouthful. It’s softly malted, chest-warming, and carried by a dry lingering finish. It’s superbly crafted, refined and noticeably alcoholic. This is one very tasty drop.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Still very, very tasty. I was sure this brew would badly diminish in flavour when supped from the bottle – but it’s still great. While the glass may make the beer feel more at home, and maintain the sophistication of this elegant drop, this is one fine bottle to hold. Or perhaps the alcohol is kicking in and anything would be good to hold. No. Stop it. I will not kill the dwarfian finger puppets at midnight. What? Who are you and what are you doing in my head?Tripel - GLASS

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

Accompanying food: This is one mighty fine poultry destined beer. Bring on the chicken, turkey, duck, or quail and I would match it like a boss. A boss of Steggles who was given the thumbs up by head-office to match beer and poultry at my desk. With one of those green banker lamps and a leather organiser thing that sits under my keyboard – possibly with an inbuilt solar-powered calculator. And one of those pens that has four colours at the slide of a button.

Best season to appreciate: More of a Winter brew with its darker notes.

All-nighter beer? This is a quiet, supping brew best enjoyed over a long period of time. I couldn’t drink it all night though.

Other: Thank you to you guys, the readers and contributors for following my antics through 200 beers. I am very thankful for your support that pushes me to source new beers week in, week out.
If you haven’t already, why not sign up for updates to this site by entering your email address at the top right of the screen. Have a great New Years, and I’ll see you bright and early in 2014 – here’s cheers to another 200 beers!

NEXT WEEK: Rising Sun Pale Ale

Bling IPA - BOTTLEBridge Road Brewers Hefeweizen

Company info:
Bridge Road Brewers

Beechworth, V.I.C

[www.bridgeroadbrewers.com.au]

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 5.8%
Standard drinks: 1.5

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: $TBC

Label info: ‘India Pale Ale is a beer style originally developed in England for shipment to its men in India. Traditionally more hops were used and alcohol percentage was increased to ensure the beer went the distance on the high seas. At Bridge Road we’ve gone all out to make an IPA that screams hops and malt but still keeps the balance in mind. A big bold beer with plenty of hop character & bitterness’

What the label really means: They have a long tradition of great IPAs to follow in the footsteps of. Bring it on.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I’ve reviewed a few beers from Bridge Road now, and most of their labels are similar to each other with only the colour and the name being different. I like this label (as I like most of theirs), and the ‘Bling India Pale Ale’ is written in cool cartoon-like font. Once again I’ll comment on the fact that I love holding the matte-finished label in my hand.

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

AROMA: A caramel-infused, hop-packed aroma.Bling IPA - GLASS

 

Taste: GLASS – Good, strong, familiar IPA flavours of bitterness and spices with a more than decent hit of espresso in the finish. A good IPA that is worth sampling, and one that can hold its head among its brothers.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – A little sharper in flavour from the bottle but equally as good. For a strong enjoyable finish, stick to the glass.

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

Accompanying food: Lamb with rosemary and baked potatoes. 

Best season to appreciate: More of a Winter-warmer I’d suggest.

All-nighter beer? It’s definitely smooth enough, and more-ish enough to drink all night.

NEXT WEEK: TBC

Doss Blockos - BOTTLEDoss Blockos

Company info:
East 9th Brewing Co.
Prahran, VIC

[No website listed]

Bottle size sampled: 330 mL

Alcohol: 4.6%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: TBC

Label info: “The story of Doss Blockos
‘…the mole people then join the search, but they were real. There is no actual manifesto that evolved from the underground New York movement in the late 1990s, which is when we first brewed beneath the city’s discarded railway systems. Our beer surfaced when squats started surfacing all around the Lower East Side, before those people came…’

Doss Blockos has been stripped bare of anything but the essential taste we could ream from the specialty pale malt and cascade hops that we have always used”

What the label really means: I’m a little lost by this label. Something about mole people, underground breweries and stripped bare. I love the sound of an underground brewery and perhaps alluding to the origins of this brew. Is the quote from something I am ignorant to? A Wikipedia search of Doss Blockos reveals a much more fascinating tale that is sadly lacking on this label.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I love this brown kraft label that tells a sad tale of homelessness and depression with a genuine air of hope about it.
The bottle comes wrapped in a brown paper bag which is cool in itself. Peel it back and there’s a drawing of a rosey cheeked girl smacking the bottom of a kid bent over in remorse, his hands raised to his face in shame. It’s almost child-like in design but with perfectly orchestrated precision. Perhaps South American in origin? I’m not sure. It is a very cool looking label that instantly won me over as a fan. My only gripe is that the label on this bottle (and others with it) had an issue where the glue hadn’t adhered properly and there was a big crease down the side. Still, it added to the backyard, poor man feel.

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

AROMA:  Strong citrus aromas arise. I’m a little disappointed actually…it’s nothing especially unique.Doss Blockos - GLASS

Taste: GLASS – Sadly, this is a very typical pale lager with citrus notes dominating an all-mouth dryness. It’s an easy beer to drink, I am enjoying the tasting, but there is nothing ground breaking here. It’s a little generic and I feel really bad about saying that because I desperately wanted to like this beer. It just needs a little more work in the lab. A little more refinement. 

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Almost as good from the bottle but it becomes a teensy bit drier. Over all it’s comparable though, so if you want to drink this and show off the label at the same time, go the bottle.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Salty pork or chilli szechuan beef would work a treat alongside this.

Best season to appreciate: A Summer brew fo sho.

All-nighter beer? Despite my review I do feel this would work well as a session brew.

NEXT WEEK: Anchor Steam Beer

Bohemian Pilsner - BOTTLEBohemian Pilsner

Company info:
Black Heart Brewery
Brighton, VIC

[www.blackheartbrewery.com.au]

Bottle size sampled: 500 mL

Alcohol: 5.9%
Standard drinks: 2.4

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: TBC

Label info: ‘The best things take time, like the rich malty concoction from the city of Plzn. Originally cool ferment with Czech yeast, it is then lagered for several months, at a freezing temperature, to create a clear crisp bitter’

What the label really means: I am already getting a strong impression that this brew has been made with heart.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Very classy, very cool. The label is predominantly beige matte finished with a blood coloured heart at the top that has a beautiful gloss that helps it jump out at you. From behind the heart rays of light shine out in all directions across the label, while underneath the heart the words ‘Black Heart Brewery’ are inscribed in a hand-drawn postbill font. It works, and it works damn well. It has an edginess to it, a roughness emphasised by the hand-drawn qualities. Take a closer look and down the bottom of the label is a water mark of a very very subtle rising brown stain. It harks back to perhaps home-brew roots, but definitely craft brew creation. Excellent.

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

AROMA:  Hoppy, citrussy fresh. Smells great.Bohemian Pilsner - GLASS

Taste: GLASS – This is one exquisitely refined brew. It’s full-bodied with well crafted bitterness that lingers like a lover at an airport awaiting departure. The bitterness hits at the back of the mouth propelled by zesty citrus flavours that define the over all mouth feel and push it into clearly refreshing territory. It’s complex and beautiful.

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Surprisingly, this is almost as good from the bottle as it is from the glass. The depth of flavour is still very evident but doesn’t quite have the same refined finish. Stick to the glass is my recommendation.

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

Accompanying food: A finely salt and peppered squid dish would set this brew ablaze.

Best season to appreciate: A great outdoor Summer brew.

All-nighter beer? Yes please! Delicious!

NEXT WEEK: Doss Blockos

Australian IPA - BOTTLEAustralian IPA

Company info:
Hawthorn Brewing Company Pty Ltd

Hawthorn, V.I.C 

[hawthornbrewing.com.au]

Alcohol: 5.8%
Standard drinks: 1.5

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: TBC

Label info: ‘In the tradition of the travelling merchants of old, the Flavour Merchants criss-cross the globe to bring home the secrets of the world’s best brewers. It is only by trialling and refining these techniques that we are able to create beers of such distinction.
Like this Australian IPA, rich in bold flavours from crystal malts and a prodigious addition of unique Aussie hops.’

and

‘An Indian Pale Ale bursting with bitterness and hop flavour, derived from a lavish dose of Australian hops’

What the label really means:
 This is what I said when I last reviewed a Hawthorn Brewing Co. beer and my response still stands: ‘I love the harking back to days of yore tradition that this description exudes. I love the fact that they are drawing on the work done of beer pioneers, reading, sampling, reviewing their produce and then report to be bringing this knowledge to us in the form of an ideal brew. Very well crafted description that has me intrigued, excited, and almost teary. Thank you bygone flavour merchants, thank you’.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The only variation between this label and the previously reviewed Pale Ale is that the IPA uses purple as its identifier. This is what I said last time, and my response still stands: ‘Excellent stuff, this label becomes instantly legend-ridden simply by its design. It’s traditional, it’s strong, it’s bold, it’s inspiring. It’s a label that is accurately supported in the label description as a beer of character and class and I’d be proud to hold a bottle of this in my hand. It has a washed out, old magazine/bulletin style feel to it and it just works. Nicely done, people!’Australian IPA - GLASS

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

AROMA:  There is a refreshing, clean, peachy aroma wafting up. Smells great.

Taste: GLASS – Take a fruity pale ale and load it up with a decent helping of malts, and a good, strong bitterness emerges. I am really enjoying what I perceive as a very innovative take on an IPA. It is both refreshing and clean, and dark-inspired. I am enjoying it immensely. 

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

Taste: BOTTLE – Good, but cuts straight to the bitterness-chase and feels like it skips the fruity hop profile. Stick to the glass for a much more fulfilling experience.

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

Accompanying food: A chunky beef casserole with thick sourdough bread.

Best season to appreciate: Drinking this in Winter, by a fireplace, would be my idea of heaven.

All-nighter beer? Yes please! Delicious!

NEXT WEEK: Bohemian PIlsner (Black Heart Brewery)