Red Duck The Ox Imperial Stout

Tasted Thursday 18 February 2010. 330ml bottle, 9.4% Alc/Vol


Red Duck are making a statement, intentionally or unintentionally. This beer is pushing the boundaries. We need more like it. The colour is black with an espresso crema coloured head, not huge or thick, just a nice coating, which fades quickly. It is hard to extract the complexities from it, but a little air and warmth (it was at about 4 degrees initially) reveals dark toffee, coffee and floral hops. Built like an Ox the flavours are masses of molasses/toffee (almost muscat or port like) with charcoal and roasted nut. It has plenty of body yet it slips down remarkably easily being soft, rich and warming. The beer is well balanced, the alcohol is obvious yet kept in check, complimenting rather than dominating, the beer finishing bittersweet with some nice lingering hoppiness. An excellent Australian interpretation

Purchase from Purvis Cellars website

Tasted Thursday 18 February 2010. 330ml bottle, 7.8% Alc/Vol


Always a favourite of mine, this beer, and it exhibits a positive direction in Australia brewing. It is golden brown with a thin, nearly non-existent head. The aromas were strong with toffee, dried citrus fruits, spice and a yeasty/biscuity and nutty note. The palate is quite full on with masses of sweet malt, molasses flavours, thick creamy body, soft carbonation, nutty, dehydrated fruits, charcoal, and subtle hops. The alcohol is extremely well integrated, the beer well balanced, it is powerful and horribly enjoyable. Long finish.

Purchase from Purvis Cellars website

Tasted Thursday 18 February 2010. 330ml bottle, 4.8% Alc/Vol


The Galaxy hop is a nouveau hop variety being grown in Australia. It imparts beautiful citrus and passionfruit aromas and intense bitterness. This hop is showcased well in this beer. The beer itself sort of sits in the background letting the hop take centre stage. As an IPA style it fell a bit short, lacking palate weight and alcohol. However as a beer overall it is very nice and could be described as a session-style hoppy ale.

It pours a murky orange/yellow with a thin short lasting head. Fragrant blossom, bright citrus zest and passionfruit bounce out of the glass. This beer has a light body showing caramel maltiness, fruit hints and some initial sharpness. It then softens out and is overhauled by big lasting hop bitterness. There is an attractive freshness and summery feel to the beer that makes it perfect for warm afternoons with intelligent company.

Purchase from Purvis Cellars website

Tasted Wednesday 10 February 2010. 640ml bottle, 5.0% Alc/Vol


An interesting beer. In fact it is a beer that you must try, but it won’t suit everybody. It is enjoyable with mixed feelings though. This Saison represents the direction we should be going here in Australia and the boundaries we must push. Why?………Why not.

It pours a orange brown hue and very clear. The head was thin and weak with loosely distributed bubbles. Sounds ordinary but really it doesn’t matter. The aroma had a sharp note with old apples, peppery/grassy hops, yeast and malt.

The flavours were soft and creamy with a dominating (over ripe) apple character. It hits front and mid palate where the creamy mouthfeel shows and plenty of malty sweetness, plus faint pepper, mild hops and a distinct sweet/sour cidery finish. It is quite an easy drink, reasonably refreshing but I would prefer it to be dryer with less malty sweetness and more freshness and bite.

Tasted Saturday 30 January 2010. 640ml bottle, 5.7% Alc/Vol


Ahh, splendid. A much anticipated small batch release from the boys acting the goat. This beer does not disappoint. Being a hop head (yes i’ve said it again)  it put a smile on my face and a frown on my liver.

It pours a murky orange brown colour with a smallish head that doesn’t hang around too long. Big hop aromas greet the nose, showing fragrant and intense stone fruit, nettles, tomato leaf, pepper spice, and toffee. The flavours are full, and soft with low – medium carbonation. It hits the palate bang on  middle filling the sides and back with rich and sweetish toffee, some tingly acidity, tropical fruit, ginger, and apricot then seemingly dying off before a wave of pleasing fresh hoppy bitterness that attacks and loiters with intent. I’m  saddened that this beer is only a limited release. However support our local craft brewers by purchasing, enjoying, and fondly remembering beers like this, wherever you may get it. Well done Cam and Dave.

Right, January is over. Time to get serious about re-stocking beer again. Here is a list of what has arrived over the last week or so. And see further down for the first beer tasting of the year.

These beers may not be added to our website immediately so please drop by our store or phone 03 9888 6644.

The Purvis Team

Just in:

Southern Tier Brewery. Lakewood, New York

  • Choklat
  • Old Man Winter
  • 422 Pale Wheat
  • Raspberry Porter
  • Pack of Pales (inlc Pale Ale, IPA, Phinn% Matts Extraordinary Ale, 422 Pale Wheat)
  • Unearthly
  • Iniquity

New Mikkellers

  • Beer Geek Breakfast – Speyside – Stout
  • Beer Geek Brunch Weasel Highland Edition – Imperial Stout
  • Beer Geek Brunch Weasel Islay Edition – Imperial Stout
  • Drink’in the Sun – Wheat
  • Drink Your Sorrows Away – Belgian Strong Ale
  • Green Gold – IPA
  • Santa’s Little Helper – Belgian Strong Ale
  • The American Dream – Very Hoppy Pilsner

New Nogne O

  • Julesnadder – Porter
  • Underlig – Spiced Beer
  • Tyttebaer – Sour Ale
  • Andhriminer Barleywine
  • Imperial Stout


Meantime Limited Edition Saison

Flying Dog Canis Major Variety Pack – 8 x 207ml bottles. (2 x Gonzo Imperial Porter, 2 x Horn Dog Barley Wine, 2 x Double Dog Double Pale Ale, 2 x Kerberos Triple)


Mountain Goat Limited Release IPA

Major Tasting – Focus on Unibroue

Uniboure is no longer exporting to Australia. We have just received our last shipment. Join us instore to taste and farewell this amazing brewery.

Plus we are also providing you with the chance to taste selected beers from these amazing North American breweries:

Sierra Nevada

Southern Tier Brewing

Flying Dog

St Ambroise

COST: $10 for 10 tasting tickets

WHEN: Wednesday 24 February

WHERE: Purvis Cellars Store

TIME: 6pm – 8pm

BOOKINGS: In store or by phone. Payment must be supplied upon booking to confirm your place. Limit – 100 people.

Tasted Tuesday 12 January. 500ml Bottle, 7.5% Alc/Vol


Strangely low in alcohol for this type of beer from Mikkeller! However I have nothing negative to say about it. It was quite simply a wonderful stout. It is made with 7 different malts plus flaked oats, cascade and centennial hops and “gourmet” coffee.

It was black. Very black. The kind of black that light is scared of, impenetrable and dangerous looking. It’s also the kind of beer that feels heavier in the glass than a standard brew. The head was espresso in colour and soft serve ice-cream like in texture to taste. Aromas of boot polish, beef stock, roasted/toasty characters, fruitcake, charred nuts and tar.

The flavours were profoundly deep, very complex and very rich. Smooth in texture with some sweet/dry malt and slightly grainy charred nuttiness. Molasses, dark bitter chocolate, concentrated espresso (like a ristretto), and an oily creaminess. Hops were there and if this was a lighter bodied beer they would be quite strong. In this case they played a bit part and were knitted in tightly giving some bite at the end. Not as extreme as one would expect from Mikkeller but it is a beautiful well balanced stout that calls for another examination sometime soon.

If this is a breakfast it would very nearly be the only meal necessary for the day.

Tasted Tuesday 10 December 2009. 355ml botlle, 7.2% Alc/Vol.


This beer is about as subtle as its title. In fact the back label is as interesting to read as the beer is to drink and it certainly makes no secret of the brewers opinion of commercial beers. This is the “regular” Arrogant Bastard made with American Oak wood chips and it is designed to challenge and excite.

This pours a deep red colour with orange edges and a thick fluffy head. There is big malty aromas, pine scented hops and distinct spicy wood smoke. The flavour packs a punch. It has a solid body and massive flavour. As I chewed my way through this beer it began with lots of sweet malt, molasses like, character carried upon a wave of powerful hops. Aggressive and brawny, dark and toasty, vanilla bean and subtle chariness, there was also a smoothness allowing a measure of approachability. Hops and malt combine perfectly like the meanest biker on a Harley. This beer has a dry and seriously bitter finish that lingers long after.

Red Hill Brewery Christmas Ale

Tasted Thursday 10 December 2009. 330ml bottle, 8.3% Alc/Vol


Well the Christmas ales are a little thin on the ground this year. Oh well I’ll just stock up on this one. A Belgian style strong ale, it pours a murky orange colour with a dense fluffy white head. If memory serves me well, which it often doesn’t, the colour isn’t as dark as the 2008 version.

Aromas are floral, grassy and spicy with citrus rind and toffee. This beer has  a nice mouthfeel and good crisp and balanced carbonation. It is  sweetly malted, candy-like initially, followed by some clove/anise hints, spice, spirity warmth and beautifully fresh spicy, chewing on an orange rind, hop finish that spreads to the side and back palate, loitering with intent. Dave, Karen and the crew are unstoppable right now, with each release showing great balance, structure and flavour.

Mikkeller Festival Special Edition 2009 – Stella 0 – Bottle Number 720/1300.

Review by Barney Matthews and Wilson Hede of Beer de Luxe, Federation Square, Melbourne

10.0% Alc/Vol, 1500ml bottle.

Colour – Deep amber, almost rosy

Nose – brandy-soaked currents, dried orange peel

Mouthfeel – Silky & chewy

Carbonation – moderate –medium, higher than that usually found in a barley wine.

Flavours – Big hop flavours, hop resin, cedar, big malt sweetness

Overall – A rich & complex beer with notes of dried fruit, brandy and huge hop resins.  Good mid pallet bitterness (like that of chewing on an elastic band), big malt sweetness which embraces the high alcohol content (10%).   Mouth-watering finish.  Excellent!