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Posts Tagged ‘The Dark Side’

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

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Tasted Wednesday 30 September 2009. 6.2% Alc/Vol, 500ml bottle

New Zealand

Three Boys - Oyster StoutQuite possibly this is the best Three Boys beer.

This is a very smooth and complex beer. It pours black with a brown, tightly packed, head. There are coffee bean/dark cocoa, mocha-like aromas, dark dried fig/plum and seaspray.

Rich and deep and velvety smooth on the palate with carbonation that is perhaps a little too obvious. It has bitter/sweet roasted malt flavours, dark cooking cocoa, charred nuts, crushed seashell minerality and sweet creaminess. There is a lovely bitterness that slowly builds on the finish and lingers.

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Tasted Tuesday 8  September 2009. 500ml Bottle, 4.2% Alc/Vol

England

Well this was just plain disappointing. It had a dark brown nearly completely black colour and a fast fading off white head.

It certainly smelt like coffee but the kind of wet used coffee grinds from the percolator. Some charry notes and a hint of chocolate and nutty almond character were evident.

Here is where the beer really falls down though. Instead of a rich, full palate (and it doesn’t need to be a whopping malt driven beer to be any good) it was thin, watery, dry and bitter with stale coffee, weak malt and no length of palate.

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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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Wigram - Muncher - DunkelTasted 29 July 2009. 500ml bottle, 5.0% Alc/Vol.

New Zealand

The Aviator picture on the front refers to the now deactivated Wigram RNZAF Base.

The beer is really good and true to style. Dark amber in colour with a big, dense off white head.

Aromas of grilled nuts, chocolate malt and yeast. The palate is smooth and medium bodied with a soft maltiness, subtle coffee, toasty and nutty. Nice mild bitterness on the finish. This is a very good session beer that is uncomplicated and pleasantly flavoured.

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Tasted 22 July 2009. 330ml bottle, 7.9% Alc/Vol.

Australia

Red Hill Brewery - WeizenbockRed Hill brewery describes this as “our tall, dark and strong German”. This is very true to style and a little lighter than last year’s edition…..and very complex.

A blend of Vienna, Chocolate and Wheat malts and the breweries own Tettnanger and Halletauer hops.
The colour is caramel with a light brown head with nutty, burnt toffee and chocolate aromas.

Richly flavoured, softly textured and fairly light in body, there is plenty of chocolate malt character, banana, burnt toffee, wheat and subtle clove like spice. Subtle hops are deftly used and spread evenly from front to back palate and linger nicely well after.
Red Hill Brewery continues to do good things. This is a really nice beer.

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