Posts Tagged ‘Strong Beers’

Another fantastic and exclusive beer was held on Wednesday May 19 after hours. Thanks to all those members who attended and sorry to those who missed out. We couldn’t have possible squeezed any more in. We were fortunate enough to acquire the services of Peter Van Osta, Marketing guru of small boutique Belgian breweries in the Asia region and we thank him for his time.

Peter went through a selection of Belgian beers for us which will be in-store soon but are extremely limited. Also we had Rick from ATP distributors assisting and showing off a few of his other lines including the lovely Tenute Collesi beers from Italy.

A great night was had by all and some bloody good beers were tried. Some pics of the evening below:

Just some of the line-up

The line-up from another angle......

Getting to the nitty gritty of the tasting. Some great beers were had.

Another good crowd for a 'small' tasting., and this is just half of them!

Intense Note Taking

Peter van Osta indicates the size of Gnomes in Belgium.

Rick of ATP and Purvis store manager Adam.

A few ringins from Italy, Tenute Collesi. Very good beers!

Beer Tasting in Wine Glasses - Classy...

More extensive note taking

Adam decides enough is enough, time for a drink.

Craig Purvis and Peter van Osta deciding on their knock-off beers.

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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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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Tasted Wednesday 18 November 2009.


Two new releases from The Little Brewery in Port Macquarie NSW.
These Mad Abbot versions of Belgian styles are solid rather that outstanding. In saying that, the time is right for Australian breweries to be pushing the boundaries and these beers are heading in the right direction.

The Dubbel (right) is a burnished copper colour with a nice thick head (with a vigorous pour mind you), with plenty of roasted malty aroma. The flavour is full and rich with hints of dried fruit and roasted malt again and the finish is dry but mildly sour which will appeal to some. 6.9% Alc/Vol. 330ml bottle.



The Triple (left) is golden in colour with a similar head thickness to the Dubbel. It is sweet smelling with yeasty, clove and citrus rind notes and an aromatic spicy hop aroma.

Rich and smooth to drink, light to medium bodied with tropical and citrus fruit, sweet malt and alcohol warmth. It finishes dry and a little astringent (as if someone put a tea bag in it) and quite bitter. 9.5% Alc/Vol. 330ml bottle.

Overall these are nice beers and easy to drink despite their alcohol content but a little way off many of the real Belgians.

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Tasted Wednesday 28 October 2009. 355ml bottle, 9.1% Alc.Vol


“An extreme style with flavour that is hell-bent on palate destruction….

Great Divide - Hercules - Double IPAI’m a hophead. Thought I’d make that clear, although many of you would have figured that out by now.

Hearing that this beer was available again got me salivating – quite disgustingly so…….

And yes it has lived up to my expectations and it’s been a number of years since trying it last. Quite simply this is full on – malt and hops jostling for attention but I feel that the malt dominates the most. Big sinus clearing, pine scented hops bounce out of the glass with toffee apple and malt extract.
The palate offers a big malt character again, rich and full. Molasses/golden syrup-like, oily alcohol that tries to rear its head but is battered back down with the said malt and building hops. While the hops build and extract themselves and crash on the rocky shores of my tongue leaving a pleasant wake of bitterness, I feel the malt needs to be toned down some.

Nevertheless it is an extreme and challenging beer that is strangely addictive. A big thumbs up from me.

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Tasted Wednesday 28 October 2009. 355ml bottle, 7.2% Alc/Vol


Great Divide - Belgica - IPA“Rated as one of the world’s best breweries, Great Divide Brewery is not afraid to push the boundaries. These beers are a must for hop heads…..”

This beer will divide (no pun intended) beer folk. What is a Belgian-Style IPA anyway?
To me this tastes like a massively hopped Duvel. A strong golden ale on steriods this pours a suspicious bright yellow colour. Big fruity notes leap out of the glass – lemon and peach with pine needles, fresh hay and malt.

Lively, light bodied yet full flavoured with a glycerol/oily texture giving a fuller impression. Citrus flavour generously spreads itself throughout with some sweet malt, spicy hops that build in intensity and leave a wake of bitterness on the finish. An oddly refreshing beer, with bite.

While I do believe that this is a good beer, my overall impression is that the flavours are not harmonious, they work a little against each other rather than flowing seamlessly.

Some will like this, some won’t.

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