Total Score: 8.5/10
FML! So many great limited release beers coming out this winter (I live in the southern, aka: correct hemisphere readers) that my liver is having a hard time keeping up. Well anyway, screw my liver, let’s crack open Mornington Peninsula’s latest #tinnage005 the previously tap-only Russel Brown. This brew is listed as a “Belgian-style Brown Ale” and lately I’ve had so many Brown Ales my world is beginning to take on a chocolate hue. Nonetheless “More Brown Ales” I say! Hopefully Russel Brown will be as tasty as Dog’s Bollocks… err, their last #tinnage brew FYI.
Poured from a 330ml (non-nitro’d sadly) can into a Duvel tulip.
A: The contents of my glass are a cloudy and hearty chocolate body with a reasonable khaki blanket for a head. Appears quite dark and moreish. Very little more to say as I really want to tuck into this brew. 9/10.
S: Dark fruits (plum/fig/date) prominent nose with a whisper of vanilla and a touch of sour bread yeast… and banana!? Yes, my old friend banana makes a Phenolic appearance in this brew – suggesting that maybe wheat made it in to malt bill (or that I need to get my nose checked!). The overall aroma has a banana bread whiff about it, mmmmm. 8/10.
T: Shit yeah, this is tasty! Begins with sweetness from the above mentioned characters: Dark fruits, banana, vanilla – then it throws in a bready centre, follows through with a touch of smoke, and finishes with a slight medicinal herb bitterness. Balance here is up there with some classic Belgian brews, top marks. Aftertaste is a touch persistent with medicinal herb bitterness, but that can’t be helped always… perhaps more sweetness is needed. Also has a nutty note when it warms up. 9/10.
M: Medium bodied with a nice creamy carbonation. 8/10.
D: Clearly I have a thing for Belgian ales and Russel Brown tickles my Belgian taste bone [which is so a thing]. This is my favourite Mornington brew and I see little reason why they shouldn’t add this to their regular beer list – for an Australian brewery to pull off a Belgian beer style at this level is superlative, and other than La Sirène I can’t think of another Aussie brewer emulating the Belgians this well. The only downside is that this is sold out at my local stopping ground: Black Sheep Bottle Shop in Stafford City. Where will I get my Russel Brown fix now? 8/10.
Food match: Beers like this deserve a complex cheese platter or filet mignon.