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Brewboys Ace of Spades Stout

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.

Purchase

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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

Thanks to all those who attended this annual event. We got a lot of positive feedback from customers and brewers/representatives alike, so we thank you all. It was a cracking night with plenty of fantastic Australian craft beers including some special new ones that had their first official public showings. Included were the Little Creatures Small Batch IPA, the amazing Holgate Beelzebub’s Jewels Barley Wine, Red Duck’s Golden Dragon Strong Celtic Ale and The Ox Imperial Stout, Stone & Woods new Draught Ale made with Australia’s home-grown Galaxy hop, and plenty more.

Best selling beers on the night (in no particular order):

  • Brewers Pure Malt Ale
  • Bridge Rd Brewers Galaxy IPA
  • Kooinda Pale Ale
  • Effen Lager
  • Lord Nelson Three Sheets
  • Flying Horse Whale Ale
  • Epic Armageddon – Yes, a ring-in but it was part of the tasting…..
  • Hawthorn Pale Ale
  • James Squire Golden Ale
  • Mad Brewers Orchard Ale – Saison
  • Mountain Goat Small Batch IPA
  • Prickly Moses Stout
  • Stone & Wood Draught Ale
  • Sweetwater Weissbier
  • Temple Brewery Saison
  • White Rabbit Dark Ale
  • Wicked Elf Mad Abbot Triple
  • Red Duck Porter
  • Matsos Ginger Beer
  • Boatrocker Alpha Queen

Photos

And one of the big guns of the night, Holgate Beelzebub's Jewels. Not even labelled yet!

Another newie. Stone & Wood Draught Ale, yum!

Bill, (Brewers Fine Ales) and Eric, (Grand Ridge) explain the finer points of their beers...

3 Ravens, another popular choice for the night.

Hands off!

Adam doing a jig....

Best selling beer of the night!

Another happy customer!

Big turn out.

Ditto...

Duck......!

Getting a taste for the Devil! The Beelzebub Jewels.

John and the awesome Epic beers from New Zealand

Little Creatures Small Batch IPA gets its first outing.

More Beelzebub anybody....?

Red Duck The Ox Imperial Stout

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

Australia

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

Australia

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

Australia

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

Australia

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.