Mark recently returned from an extended vacation in New Zealand and Australia where he picked up samples of 7 beers.What follows is a decidedly unprofessional review of these beers, but hey! - we had fun! We decided to taste them from lowest to highest ABV, except for a light thrown in the middle.
So here they are:
- Cooper's Original Pale Ale, South Australia, 4.5% - This beer had a nice head, clean and pleasant with a clean finish. Not one of my favourites in tastings of previous years, but seems to have improved.
- Cascade Premium Lager, Tasmania, 5.0% - An immediate skunky nose on opening the bottle, reminiscent of Steinlager and even Heineken! No head in the glass and an unexceptional taste.
- Hahn Premium Light Lager, Sydney, Australia, 2.7% - This light beer had good head retention in the glass with a smooth finish. Just a hint of skunkiness at the end. I imagined drinking this on a hot afternoon after mowing the lawn!
- Moo Brew Hefeweizen, Tasmania, 5.1% - Came in a unique bottle. On opening, the nose was sweet with hints of banana and clove. Very tight bubbles and golden colour.
- James Squire Porter, Malt Shovel Brewery, NSW, Australia, 5% - Malty molasses taste with a long-lasting effervescence. Light creamy finish.
- Green Man Whisky Bock Limited Edition, Green Man Brewery, Dunedin, NZ, 9% - This was bottle 200 of 1400. No head to this brew. It had a malted whisky nose and a light whisky taste. In fact, it looked like whisky in your glass! Good to share, since you couldn't drink more than one!
- Enrico's Cure for Saints and Sinners, Green Man Brewery, Dunedin, NZ, 14.5% - Labelled as the world's strongest organic beer. This bottle sold for CDN $22.00! Again, no head with a caramel colour. Very rich taste and smooth drinking with that warming feeling, no doubt from the high alcohol content.
Just for giggles, we decided to sample a couple more brews for comparison. Yes, we were still capable!
- KB Double Chocolate Ale, Kamloops Brewery, BC, 5% - This beer was all show and no go. Impressive packaging didn't follow through to the beer. It had a subtle cocoa nose and felt very thin in the mouth. There was a slight chocolate after taste as well.
- Old Engine Oil, Harviestoun Brewery, Scotland, 6% - This beer was dark and viscous as expected. Also surprisingly dry and well balanced taste.
All in all, it was an interesting evening with a bit of label and coaster trading thrown in!
Thanks to Mark for the beers and Terry for driving (I know it was a sacrifice to limit yourself to one mouthful!) - I'll drive next time.