Total Score: 7.85/10
Noisy Minor Admiral Ackbar Anti-Imperial Red Ale – Now that’s a mouthful (so is the beer) *punchline drum roll* So turns out Noisy Minor are from my former hood of Brisbane, possibly the best city in Australia… after maybe Melbourne… forget about Sydney (not even close). Anyway I’m always big on supporting my local craft brewers so when I spied this in the hallowed grounds of The Durham Arms I must admit I was quietly chuffed that a small Brisbane brewer had got a keg on tap in Canberra. The beer itself is described as “not an IPA, just a big hoppy red ale”, hence the Anti-Imperial part – although the “I” in IPA stands for “India” not “Imperial”, minor quibble Noisy Minor.
Poured from tap into a Schooner.
A: Hazy deep amber almost red body with a thin beige head. I’m impressed it managed a head at 8.5% ABV – that’s a challenge and a half with a big beer (being a homebrewer I know this from personal experience) and it looks damn tasty. 9/10.
S: Melon, tangerine notes with peach and a grainy but sweet malt. Well the hops are an interesting blend, they used Nelson Sauvin and Citra hops, which accounts for the fruitiness of the aroma, honestly those are two of my favourite hop breeds so they chose well. 8/10.
T: Again melon, tangerine notes and peach jump out, followed by sweet caramel malt, some grain notes and an oddly placed white wine spirit aftertaste in the finish, which is well balanced from bitter to sweet. So it’s a Red Ale with IPA hops thrown in, which is a little bit chaotic in the flavour profile but nonetheless reasonably nice. Pretty well done too considering it’s up there ABV-wise with greats like Duvel. 8/10.
M: Medium bodied with a carbonation that is a tad bit too light, a few more bubbles would have livened this up… still I like the body. 6/10.
D: Overall it’s got some nice big flavours. It tastes more like an IPA than a red Ale so not to style but otherwise it’s decent and enjoyable. Plus I occasionally like it when a beer “weirds” me out a little, not too much, but this is a perfect example of being “weirded out a little” by a beer. If I saw this on tap again I would certainly get a glass and down it quicker than Admiral Ackbar could say his immortal line “It’s a trap!”. 8/10.
Food match: Borderline between sweet and savoury and I’m not used to recommending dessert with an IPA hopped beer, you can play it safe with a cheese platter, go for spicy Thai fare or tackle a chargrilled steak – an all-rounder then.