Rusty Water Dark Malt Burnt Toffee Ale

Total Score: 6.3/10 Caramel1Nut1BrownSugar1Nonicpint1

Rusty Water Brewery, you’ve probably never ‘eard of ‘em, neither ‘ad I until my lovely folks bought back a mixed 4-pack of their brews from their trip to Phillip Island (aka “the place where motorcycles go round and round”). In any case I’m always up for reviewing any beers anybody sends/gives me (saves me from buying them) so I thank Ma & Pa and dedicate this review to them… not that they’ll ever read it… cheers anyway!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Clear caramel brown body with a foamy beige head on top that soon disappears. Dark malts ahoy me mateys! [I haven’t done the pirate jokes for a while – they’re next on my crap humour rotation, apologies to all]. 6/10.

S: Burnt toffee they say? It might be splitting hairs but the aroma is more unsinged caramel with a hint of peanut… you could say this is the peanut brittle of beers – I do enjoy a good brittle! Touch of brown sugar in there as well. Expecting some decent malt complexity *fingers crossed*. 7/10.

T: Light smokiness comes to the fore, followed by mixed nuts, caramel, brown sugar and an earthy toasty hop finish. The sweet/bitter balance is good, you might even say excellent, however the flavour is too muted – when one wants the bombast of an American brew one is left wanting for more with this Rusty Water. 6/10.

M: Mid to light, a touch on the watery side, with a light carbonation. More body and flavour = yes please. 7/10.

D: The label says “a BIG BOLD beer” – I wouldn’t call it big or bold but it is drinkable, especially as a heady caramel take on the English Brown Ale style. Unfortunately the understated flavours prevent this delightful peanut brittle beer from taking off. Just as well as I will never likely see this brew again unless my MotoGP career takes off [hey it could happen – if I was 20yrs younger and 30kgs lighter :P]. If you do get a chance to find it while you’re down Phillip Island way I say give it a go, but obviously don’t go out of your way to find it (it’s not trade-worthy). 6/10.

Food match: Cheese platter with the creamier cheeses, or roast beef/lamb, stews and hearty soups are also a winner.

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