Total Score: 7.55/10
This one has been on my to do list for a while now – someone ages ago, I forget who it was, raved about this being the best Aussie Brown Ale… admittedly there isn’t a great deal of competition in that sector… Balter Alt Brown is the only other one I can think of off the top of my head, so little competition there. Also I think Mornington Peninsula are more in their element with darker beers (at least Russel Brown and Dog’s Bollocks have been 2 favourites of mine), so I think this mystery person from yonder past may have been on to something with their “best Aussie Brown Ale”. There is however only one way for me to truly know if this is the “best Aussie Brown Ale” and, as always, it involves my pie hole.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Slightly hazed deep mahogany body with a thin, and it must be said: overly active carbonated head, with a tan hue. Not looking forward to that amount of carbonation at all, but the colour is alright. 7/10.
S: Sweet milk chocolate character mingles with brown sugar and toffee notes, very prominent malt aromas at play here with an ever so slight earthy hop hint lingering in the background. Touch of nutty character as well – there you are nutty, I wouldn’t accept a Brown Ale without you. The whole thing could be a touch more amped up though. 7/10.
T: Milk chocolate upfront, brown sugar/toffee comes in towards mid palate… so far so sweet… earthy/nutty notes towards the finish, which has a nice easy-going dryness that balances out the sweet malt flavours. Rather well balanced this Brown Ale, I was expecting it to be sweeter – which would have been a bit too much IMO – but yet again Mornington have shown that they know how to brew a decent dark beer… shame about their paler brethren. Hint of tobacco in there too – nice! 8/10.
M: Body needs work: Mid to light, touch thinner than other (better bodied) Browns, with a slightly over-gassed carbonation (but we expected that from the crazy carbonation action above). 6/10.
D: Overall this was a treat of a brew – Mornington’s own Russel Brown still beats it, however that was more of an Imperial version of a Brown, and Imperial versions almost invariably beat non-Imperial versions of beers for me. If Mornington upped the 5% ABV of this to 6% it would all-round be a better brew in all the areas it was lacking… although it would probs be sweeter too. 8/10.
Food match: Starts with “S” and ends with “W”: Swallow, an African one, roasted.