Total Score: 6.85/10
Looks like I’ve finally made my way round to reviewing a Nail brew. Why has it taken me this to get around to reviewing a Nail you ask? Simple answer – the label is a massive turn-off for me, looks like a first year graphic design students assignment, plus the quote on the label, whilst being a bad pun (which FYI is craft brewer par for the course) “hammer down a nail” promotes sculling of the beer, which is something I never do with a decent craft brew – I like to take my time dammit, don’t rush me! However I have been told that their beers, despite my judging the book by its cover, are quite good. I’ll be the judge of that… technically I’ll be the pre AND post judge of that.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Obsidian-black-hole black body with a thin tan lace ring where the head should be, oh well, better than a kick in the teeth (or even a nail in the teeth). 6/10.
S: Ripe unroasted coffee beans upfront with a flourish of roasted barley, hint of vegemite and old engine oil – Valvoline 10W-40 to be precise. This certainly has aroma boldness in spades – though I suspect it may be a heavy-handed Oatmeal Stout. 8/10.
T: Nope, not heavy-handed at all, quite a reasonable chap this Nail actually. Drinks like a Coopers Best Extra Stout with less smoke and a touch more sweetness. In that sense it is an Aussie take on the style all the way, which could benefit from a bit more nuance as the American Stouts generally do. Flavours of: Ripe unroasted coffee bean, roasted barley, dark chocolate and oil at the back. Finish is of light bitterness and a touch of metal. 7/10.
M: Medium bodied with an overly aggressive (medium) carbonation given the style, there’s another Aussie beer trait for you – over-carbonation. 6/10.
D: I can see where they were going, Nail, and it’s not bad but truth be told I’ve had better homebrew Stouts than this [not my own homebrew obviously] and at this level of competition given the market saturation of craft beers you really need to be at the top of your game with a product that (pardon the pun) nails the opposition, and Nail doesn’t do that. This is an average Oatmeal Stout that I will not be getting again – I have enough tasty Stouts to whet my aleppetite with, e.g. Samuel Smith’s [INSERT ANY OF THEIR STOUTS HERE] or Exit #003 or Founders Breakfast Stout or Rogue Chocolate Stout… you get the picture. 6/10.
Food match: Chargrilled BBQ meats with chargrilled vegetables.