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Posts Tagged ‘Strong Beers’

Tasted Wednesday 18 November 2009.

Australia

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

USA

“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

USA

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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Tasted Tuesday 24 September 2009. 8% Alc/Vol, 330ml bottle

Australia

Red Hill Brewery - TemptationFrom memory this is fairly consistent in flavour to last year’s release, although my memory can be dubious at the best of times. However this is a fine beer. Light golden in colour with flowery, yeasty aromatics combined with some subtle citrus and banana.

Light yet full flavoured on the palate with just the right amount of soft malty sweetness initially then finishing dry with lingering hop bitterness that seems to slowly build. In between is some lovely delicate citrus and spice flavours and a warm alcohol bite that is neatly wrapped up and kept in check. Overall this beer is very refreshing, well balanced and dangerously drinkable.

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Tasted Tuesday 3 September 2009. 500ml bottle, 5.4% Alc/Vol

England

Fullers - London - PorterThis is a very good, serious porter. I would put this in the “session” class (for dark beers) as it slips down rather too easily. The colour is suggestive of a rich full bodied beer, dark brown with copper edges and a fairly dense head.

The aromas are complex and pleasing. There is a pleasant malty, roasted nuttiness (that reminds me of walking past those mobile chestnut roasting carts you often see on Elizabeth St) with chocolate, smokey and meaty (bacon) characters.

Rich, medium to full bodied and velvety on the palate with chocolate, charry woodiness, walnut, meaty/vegemite yeastiness and a dry hoppy bitterness that builds at the end leaving a pleasant lingering flavour. The good thing about this beer is that it has rich sweet malt character but not too much. Highly recommended.

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Tasted Tuesday 25 August 2009. 750ml bottle, 8% Alc/Vol

Australia

Bridge Rd Brewers - Imperial Porter - 750mlBrewer Ben Kraus has turned up the temperature and laid down the gauntlet to all Australian micro-breweries with this beer.
Mean dark and angry looking like a Doberman guard dog behind a flimsy fence daring you to come near it.
The espresso crema coloured head is the flimsy fence between you and the beast within.

Aged in old red wine barrels from the famous Giaconda winery this beer has big aromas that are, strangely, peach and apricot (which Ben explains is most likely from dry hopping the beer with Nelson Sauvin hops). Undertones of cedery, smoky and floral notes come through too.
While there is a big hit of flavour the beer isn’t as heavy as one might expect.

That aside there is plenty to think about. It has charry, woody characters, bitter chocolate, coffee/cocoa, that fruitiness again and roasted nuts. Yet it is still smooth with a good level of sweetness and the finish is a big whack of extreme bitter hops that I could taste for minutes after. Alcohol is 8% and almost undetectable. Outstanding.

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Tasted 19 August 2009. 330ml bottle 6.6% Alc/Vol

Scotland

Innis & Gunn - Oak Aged BeerTHE biggest selling specialist beer at Purvis Cellars…bar none. Malty nutty and toffee aromas with hints of vanilla and whisky. Divinely smooth on the palate which is at once light and refreshing and rich and malty. Definite nutty, vanilla oak and honey combined with citrus and toffee. Mild hops provide a delightful finish that goes on forever.

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