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Archive for April, 2010

Tasted Wednesday 14 April. 330ml bottle, 5.9% Alc/Vol

Australia

The excitement grew when pouring this beer, its enticing blackness rivaled only by the depths of night. A foamy espresso coloured head sat proud and dense like the cream on a Vienna coffee. The dark roasted aromas suggested charred nuts, sweet blackberry, crushed rock minerality and a strangely attractive dirty character like the old oil smell of a car workshop floor. The palate is bittersweet, not too much in the either direction of dry or sweet, combining roasted/charcoal flavours perfectly integrated with a very creamy body, soft blackberry fruitiness, coffee bean, dark chocolate then finishing with a dryish, gentle and lingering bitterness. This stout is not a huge face slapping hit of flavour, rather it is well balanced, rich and complete, and is easy to enjoy and sturdy enough to be a true strong stout. Quite sensational.

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Tasted Wednesday 1 April 2010. 330 ml bottle. 7.2% Alc/Vol

California, USA

Ahh, now this is a beer for serious hop heads; no-holds barred assertively hopped American IPA. What makes this fantastic is that it is well balanced and easily enjoyable. You have to like the style though. It is bright traffic-light amber in colour with a thin off-white head. The aromas are powerful and aggressive giving huge fresh pine scents, fruity notes of passionfruit, orange rind, biscuit, backed by a faint herbal/peppery character.

The palate is well balanced and the beer surprisingly easy to drink. It is medium in body and big on flavour, like a fat man on a moped. There is a lovely malty middle palate with fruity tones of ripe peach, pine resin, pepper, biscuit and caramel. The malt carries the extreme bittering hops, driving front to back, incredibly well for a while before unleashing them on the back palate leaving a mouth-watering yet cleansing bitter hop finish that lasts for ages. Whole hop cones are used in this beer as well as a revolutionary Hop Torpedo system that is a unique way of dry hopping the beer to capture essential oils and resin. The result is a beer big on flavour and extreme in hop character, just way a true hop addict likes it.

Bitterness Units – 65

Malts – Two-row Pale, & Crystal

Bittering Hops – Magnum

Finishing Hops – Magnum & Crystal

Dry Hopping – Magnum, Crystal & Citra

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