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24

Jun

Palate Wrecking Tasting at the International Beer Shop

Yesterday, YM, RS and myself headed down to the International Beer Shop to partake in our last IBS tasting before we head of to Europe, and from the facebook invite, we knew we were in for a real treat. At first, when I was invited to the event, I thought the beers would most likely be hop forward, double IPA’s, or something along those lines.

What amazed me was the fact that Luke (the manager) chose significantly different beers, but still managed to relate them to the theme of the tasting. We started off by being presented with tasting notes, which is a great accompaniment to the beers, and allows you to digest the background information as well as the beer at the same time. Don’t you find it’s great to have the tasting notes all written up, so that it’s much easier to reminisce about all the awesome beers and flavours? I throughly enjoy reflecting on a good beer with even more of it.

So onto the beers. In order of tasting they were:

  1. Cantillon Gueuze
  2. Moylan’s Moylander Double IPA
  3. North Coast Old Stock Ale 2012
  4. Mikkeller 1000IBU
  5. Mikkeller Black Hole

After tasting these beers (we’ve tried the Moylander DIPA but are yet to review it), we decided our two three favourite beers of the afternoon were the Black Hole Stout, the Gueuze and the Old Stock Ale. For both YM and myself, that was the first time we’ve tried a gueuze, and found it to be awesome, it was a lovely balance between sour and tart and really easy to drink. We can’t wait to head to Cantillon when we get to Brussels and sample the rest of their amazing beers (yumm!!).

The Old Stock Ale was full of caramel, sweetness (even a bit of hazelnut) and it surprisingly masked its massive ABV really well. I was a bit worried to be honest about the Old Stock Ale, because my last barleywine, the Bigfoot was really quite overwhelming and overpowering, but I found the Old Stock Ale to be really quite mellow and subdued in comparison.

Lastly, the Black Hole Stout. Wow. Just wow. I can’t remember ever trying a beer that is just so well balanced, and keeps you coming back for more after every sip. There was a point I actually had to stop myself from having any more, because of the monstrous ABV of 13.1%. It had amazingly creamy flavours, with loads of coffee, cocoa, and an amazingly sweet almost liqueur like finish. This is a beer to go out of your way for and I urge anyone who is yet to try it to go out and save a bottle for a cold winter’s night. It really is on another level in terms of awesomeness.

Thanks once again to the IBS for putting on a sweet tasting, and if you’re in Perth and are yet to head along, be sure to mark the next one in your diary!

JG

22

Jun

Maui Brewing CoCoNut PorTer
It’s safe to say that this is the first Hawaiian beer that I’ve ever tried. It was the label that got my attention, and then my curiosity got the better of me when I saw it was a coconut porter. I have to say I wasn’t really expecting too much, but I was expecting a heavy influence of the coconut in the flavour. To spoil the anticipation… There was an unfortunate lack of coconut.
The beer poured a deep browny-black, with a thick head of similar colour to the can itself. The nose gave way to a roasty malt, with a hint of something richer in the background. Coconut would be the obvious answer here, but no. It was more of a chocolate than coconut at this stage.
The flavour was much the same. The roasty porter taste was there, along with a chocolate base that sifted away to leave a skerrick (quick fact: learned how to spell this today… Just thought you might like to know?) of coconut. The coconut is so hidden that it makes you disappointed. Why is it disappointing you might ask? Well for the simple reason that when you go out to buy a coconut porter, you’re probably buying it because of the coconut that your expecting to taste - well that’s what I did. So when you come to the realisation that the beer’s flavour is so far from that of a coconut, it’s a bit hard not to be at least a bit disappointed.
Back to the flavour… Unfortunately the finish leaves a lot to be desired too. It’s a bitter finish, but not one that draws you back in for another gulp. And the carbonation of the beer took over a bit too much for my liking.
So, would I buy this again? No. Would I recommend it to those who like something different? No - unless you like hunting. Because you’re going to be doing a lot of hunting for that coconut flavour that you’d been hoping for. And when you find that coconut, it’s going to be the smallest one from the tree. The runt of the litter. It’s by no means the worst beer I’ve had, far from it. My bitterness comes from the broken promises that was the coconut flavour. And it is this bitterness that overshadows my opinion of the beer. 
So there you have it. One coconut lacking coconut porter.
RS

Maui Brewing CoCoNut PorTer

It’s safe to say that this is the first Hawaiian beer that I’ve ever tried. It was the label that got my attention, and then my curiosity got the better of me when I saw it was a coconut porter. I have to say I wasn’t really expecting too much, but I was expecting a heavy influence of the coconut in the flavour. To spoil the anticipation… There was an unfortunate lack of coconut.

The beer poured a deep browny-black, with a thick head of similar colour to the can itself. The nose gave way to a roasty malt, with a hint of something richer in the background. Coconut would be the obvious answer here, but no. It was more of a chocolate than coconut at this stage.

The flavour was much the same. The roasty porter taste was there, along with a chocolate base that sifted away to leave a skerrick (quick fact: learned how to spell this today… Just thought you might like to know?) of coconut. The coconut is so hidden that it makes you disappointed. Why is it disappointing you might ask? Well for the simple reason that when you go out to buy a coconut porter, you’re probably buying it because of the coconut that your expecting to taste - well that’s what I did. So when you come to the realisation that the beer’s flavour is so far from that of a coconut, it’s a bit hard not to be at least a bit disappointed.

Back to the flavour… Unfortunately the finish leaves a lot to be desired too. It’s a bitter finish, but not one that draws you back in for another gulp. And the carbonation of the beer took over a bit too much for my liking.

So, would I buy this again? No. Would I recommend it to those who like something different? No - unless you like hunting. Because you’re going to be doing a lot of hunting for that coconut flavour that you’d been hoping for. And when you find that coconut, it’s going to be the smallest one from the tree. The runt of the litter. It’s by no means the worst beer I’ve had, far from it. My bitterness comes from the broken promises that was the coconut flavour. And it is this bitterness that overshadows my opinion of the beer. 

So there you have it. One coconut lacking coconut porter.

RS


21

Jun

Innis and Gunn Rum Cask 
I first tried this beer when YM bought it on a cold winters’s night last year at our beloved Five Bar, and boy was it awesome. I loved the marriage of rum flavours with the Scottish ale, and how velvety smooth and sweet the beer was. I was in love.
A few times after this, before we started our blog, I returned to this beer as both a comfort beer and for dessert pairing and I was amazed at how every time, I fell more and more in love with it. Last Friday night however, I returned once again to the Innis and Gunn Rum Cask, expecting much of the same, but I was somewhat disappointed.
Maybe my tastebuds have grown up and moved on, maybe the beer had been sitting in my fridge for a little too long, who knows… All I know is that the sugary/rum sweetness that I loved so dearly was a little subdued. The beer felt lost in terms of flavour. The X-factor was no more. I will however explain my memories of this beer, and describe why it has such a special place in my heart.
The Rum Cask is an interesting conception, as the ale is aged in rum casks for 57 days, before being bottled. These rum casks mellow the ale, and then obviously impart the majority of the sweet and spicy characteristics that are so commonly found with oak aged beers.
Upon pouring, you know you’re in for a treat, as the rum and sweetness can be smelt straight away. You definitely don’t need to stick your nose into this one for confirmation. The ale has a lovely biscuit malt spine, and with it, a few floral hints as well as some spicy undertones.
Tasting brings much of the same, with the rum dominating, followed by a smoothness that just makes the 7.4% go down way too easily. My grandpa upon tasting thought that this was more like his type of beer, and my dad especially, who has an almost hatred for anything hoppy loved the sweetness and likened it even to his beloved sticky dessert wine.
I think the time has therefore arrived, to put the Innis and Gunn on the shelf, move onto something new and cherish all the good memories I’ve had with this lovely beer.
Bought from the International Beer Shop for $7.80
JG

Innis and Gunn Rum Cask 

I first tried this beer when YM bought it on a cold winters’s night last year at our beloved Five Bar, and boy was it awesome. I loved the marriage of rum flavours with the Scottish ale, and how velvety smooth and sweet the beer was. I was in love.

A few times after this, before we started our blog, I returned to this beer as both a comfort beer and for dessert pairing and I was amazed at how every time, I fell more and more in love with it. Last Friday night however, I returned once again to the Innis and Gunn Rum Cask, expecting much of the same, but I was somewhat disappointed.

Maybe my tastebuds have grown up and moved on, maybe the beer had been sitting in my fridge for a little too long, who knows… All I know is that the sugary/rum sweetness that I loved so dearly was a little subdued. The beer felt lost in terms of flavour. The X-factor was no more. I will however explain my memories of this beer, and describe why it has such a special place in my heart.

The Rum Cask is an interesting conception, as the ale is aged in rum casks for 57 days, before being bottled. These rum casks mellow the ale, and then obviously impart the majority of the sweet and spicy characteristics that are so commonly found with oak aged beers.

Upon pouring, you know you’re in for a treat, as the rum and sweetness can be smelt straight away. You definitely don’t need to stick your nose into this one for confirmation. The ale has a lovely biscuit malt spine, and with it, a few floral hints as well as some spicy undertones.

Tasting brings much of the same, with the rum dominating, followed by a smoothness that just makes the 7.4% go down way too easily. My grandpa upon tasting thought that this was more like his type of beer, and my dad especially, who has an almost hatred for anything hoppy loved the sweetness and likened it even to his beloved sticky dessert wine.

I think the time has therefore arrived, to put the Innis and Gunn on the shelf, move onto something new and cherish all the good memories I’ve had with this lovely beer.

Bought from the International Beer Shop for $7.80

JG

14

Jun

MoonDog MacGuava (Magnificent Mullet Series)
Hefeweisse beers are essentially what got me interested in craft beer in the first place. At first, it was Hoegaarden, then I moved onto Blanche De Namur, which I believe to be the pinnacle of wheat beers. It is both fruity, wheaty and has powerful aromas of coriander, orange peel and spices.
Now MoonDog is probably one of the most inventive Australian Breweries at the moment. They seem to have caught the crazy brewing bug from Mikkeller, and seem to be smashing out interesting brews all the time, to a much smaller extent. This has not deterred us Tre Amigos from buying their crazy concoctions and giving them a shot. This is one of a trilogy of beers from their Magnificent Mullet Series, which focuses on mashing two totally different flavours and seeing the results that occur.
The MacGuava certainly smelt and looked like a typical Hefeweizen. It poured a cloudy peachy-white colour, and gave off gorgeous aromas of lemon zest, orange rind, and a pinch of coriander. YM and I tasted the beer at the same time, and both however noted an absence of guava related aromas, which we though was very strange considering the beer was primarily based around these flavours.
It was disappointing upon tasting that the beer had almost no guava taste, and if it did, it was certainly masked by the other fruity flavours infused into the brew. This was a real let down for me because the Black Lung which YM had reviewed a while ago was perfectly balanced and tasted absolutely delicious.
While I won’t recommend you go and buy this, I will definitely keep buying MoonDog in the future, because I’m really excited about everything they do. I have no doubt that they will learn from their mistakes and come up with who knows what in the future. All I can say is, watch this space for more exciting things to come from these boys!
About $6 from the International Beer Shop
JG

MoonDog MacGuava (Magnificent Mullet Series)

Hefeweisse beers are essentially what got me interested in craft beer in the first place. At first, it was Hoegaarden, then I moved onto Blanche De Namur, which I believe to be the pinnacle of wheat beers. It is both fruity, wheaty and has powerful aromas of coriander, orange peel and spices.

Now MoonDog is probably one of the most inventive Australian Breweries at the moment. They seem to have caught the crazy brewing bug from Mikkeller, and seem to be smashing out interesting brews all the time, to a much smaller extent. This has not deterred us Tre Amigos from buying their crazy concoctions and giving them a shot. This is one of a trilogy of beers from their Magnificent Mullet Series, which focuses on mashing two totally different flavours and seeing the results that occur.

The MacGuava certainly smelt and looked like a typical Hefeweizen. It poured a cloudy peachy-white colour, and gave off gorgeous aromas of lemon zest, orange rind, and a pinch of coriander. YM and I tasted the beer at the same time, and both however noted an absence of guava related aromas, which we though was very strange considering the beer was primarily based around these flavours.

It was disappointing upon tasting that the beer had almost no guava taste, and if it did, it was certainly masked by the other fruity flavours infused into the brew. This was a real let down for me because the Black Lung which YM had reviewed a while ago was perfectly balanced and tasted absolutely delicious.

While I won’t recommend you go and buy this, I will definitely keep buying MoonDog in the future, because I’m really excited about everything they do. I have no doubt that they will learn from their mistakes and come up with who knows what in the future. All I can say is, watch this space for more exciting things to come from these boys!

About $6 from the International Beer Shop

JG

22

May

Meet the Brewer: Kjetil Jikiun (Nogne-O)

On a balmy Monday evening, we met outside the International Beer Shop to meet Kjetil, the head brewer from Nogne-O in Norway. We arrived a little early, and as we were perusing the shelves to finalise our purchases for the night, we noticed the man himself, Kjetil just wandering around, and thought that this would be a great time to get some solid one-on-one question time in before the rest of the public turned up to hear him talk about his brewery and the beers to be tasted tonight.

Kjetil is the loveliest, most down to earth kind of bloke, super enthusiastic about beer in general, and will gladly share any hints or tips he has gained over his many years as a brewer. If you ever get a chance to listen to him talk, I highly recommend it, and you wont regret it.

We asked him about homebrew and his thoughts on Australian craft breweries, which he responded with “they all seem to be very reserved, except for a few, including Feral and Moondog. Overall, I am a bit disappointed with the beers and I wish they would be more experimental and creative in their offerings.” We seem to agree on this one, and hopefully it wont be long before Australian breweries seem to realise that the consumer want more bold and experimental flavours.

We did however have the pleasure of trying four of Nogne-O’s brews, which were as follows:

  1. India Saison (A collaboration brew with Bridge Road Brewers)
  2. Brown Ale
  3. Kollaborator
  4. # 500

All in all, I think my 2 favourites were the India Saison and the #500. Both had big bold flavours true to their style, that seemed to laugh at the standard offerings, and then push the boundaries one step further.

It was a great evening, and thanks once again to the IBS team for bringing out Kjetil to have a chat with us.

JG RS YM

08

May

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA

Sitting in the tranquil forest of Dwellingup - about an hour and half South of Perth - I basked in the glory of a true gem of an IPA. The two went hand in hand: serene forest joined by the spectacular Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA. What topped it off was not having to worry about anything, besides enjoying a peaceful beer in the countryside.

Pouring the beer gave way to a floral hop aroma, coming from a hazy golden hue and white fluffy head. The taste was a marriage between the floral hop bitterness which was well balanced with the smooth malt caramel that just shone through in the mix.

If you’re an IPA fan, or just love a truly solid beer, give this one a crack. Your taste buds will rejoice with you for it.

Bought from the International Beer Shop for $13. Thought I’d sneak in a few shots of the camp site we stayed at too for shits n gigs.

RS