HopDog Massive Otter ESB

Total Score: 7.45/10 Nut1 Earth1 Orange1 Nonicpint1

I assume this beer contains ‘Maris Otter barley’, otherwise I’m not sure I get the pun. Anyway HopDog (one of Doc’s favourite Australian breweries as you well know by now) has the occasional brew on tap at The Durham Arms, and I never pass up the opportunity to buy a pint of the good stuff – today’s pint is Massive Otter ESB (Extra Special Bitter) and I am looking forward to it if I do say so myself [I just did].

Poured from tap into a nonic pint.

A: Hazy copper body with a half centimetre white head that holds well. So this is what a massive otter looks like, huh. 8/10.

S: Prominent earthy/nutty notes with a strong toffee/caramel base. Some light citric hops linger on in the background but overall the aroma is big and malty, as a decent ESB should be. Top marks HopDog! 8/10.

T: Intriguing, the earthy, nutty, toffee and caramel characters set the scene for a damn tasty brew. But there’s a twist in the tail – with a tangy sour/bitter orange note towards the finish and a touch of pepper as well. My eyebrows are suitably raised… well at least one of them is… by this tasty/tangy/sour/bitter/peppery sensation. One small caveat – it could be a bit more amped up. Right now with this beer the volume is set to 6, which makes for a good session brew, but 11 is where this beer would really kill it for me [kill in a good way of course]. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a creamy carbonation, très très bien the third, the king of beer carbonation. 9/10.

D: The reason I love HopDog so much is they don’t play by the rules, in fact they threw the rule-book out the window. Then they went outside, picked up the dust covered rule-book, then dusted it off only to pour accelerant all over it and set it on fire. You would think that would be the end of it, but oh no HopDog had to put out the rule-book that was on fire (you see there was a fire ban in place and ironically they follow rules on fire bans, as we all should) so HopDog pissed all over the rule-book promptly putting out the fire – that is why I love HopDog. This brew, whilst not their best is still up there with its interesting earthy/nutty/sour/peppery flavours, not sure if I’ve tried that combination in a brew before, thanks HopDog! “That’s OK Davey” *HopDog winks back at me* 7/10.

Food match: Hmmm, let me thi… lamb stew! Yep, still got it.

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