Omnipollo Noa Pecan Mud Cake

Total Score: 8.7/10 Chocolate1Nut1Smoke1Tulipglass1

OMFG!!! I got my hands on another Omnipollo! It’s like angels kissing leprechauns and throwing them at me for good luck – that’s how excited I am right now. This is going to be the MOFO (look it up Millennials) experience of a lifetime! Well, maybe that was a touch of hyperbole there – this is going to be the MOFO experience of a beer-time! Yes, better. So what do we know about Noa Pecan Mud Cake? It’s going to be a rich pecan liquid fudge no doubt. It’s brewed with artificial and natural flavours. You know what I reckon it will be like? My beer review #700: Mikkeller Beer Geek Vanilla Shake… and we all remember how well that went (TL;DR It was rather tasty). Anyway, ado’s? We don’t need ‘em.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours absolutely black – like a dying star, even light cannot escape it! No head, save for a thin tan line – like the ring of Saturn, or as Greeks knew him: Kronos – God of time – for within this murky glass of blackness no time passes. I am in awe. 10/10.

S: Rich chocolate mud cake, pecan fudge, and praline. The aroma of this brew is indeed powerful and confected – this is one sweet ride I’ve signed up to. This is one of the more heady aromas I’ve encountered in a long while, my compulsion here is to whiff it unending, but of course it is a beer – I must eventually drink it… but damn, this is outstanding. 10/10.

T: Thick as syrup, but gladly the sugar content is contained surprisingly well. In fact everything is rather contained, leading to a flavour profile that is less exciting than expected. Flavours of: chocolate mud cake, pecan fudge, and praline, mingle with a dark roasted char, a bit of smoke, and a finish adds a hint of bitterness. Compared to Beer Geek Vanilla Shake, and granted I had over a year ago, this isn’t quite as delicious. Plus there’s an odd fake marshmallow flavour in there as well. 8/10.

M: Thick, highly viscous, up there with Founders body in its viscosity, with an almost tack flat carbonation, but it works… a bit of carbonation would have given this a head and ruined the portentous view anyway. 8/10.

D: I think Selassie was my Omnipollo meal ticket. This is just a teensy bit… and I hate myself for saying it: too much syrupy goodness. HOWEVER – if you’ve ever read my reviews and thought “that Doc, he’s a bit of a wuss” this will probably be right up your alley. Me? I’m probably going lie down now… I’m feeling a bit dizzy, damn all of these Omnipollo theatrics! 9/10.

Food match: Chocolate pecan mud cake for comparisons sake.

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Wild Beer Breakfast of Champignons

Total Score: 6/10 Peppercorns1Coriander1Earth1Tulipglass1

These just landed at Black Sheep Newmarket and I was a bit curious as I’ve not tried many beers that have mushrooms in them (Garage Project VPA springs to mind). So colour me intrigued Wild Beer Co, which I imagine is sort of a purpley-gold colour, their labelling and style is reminiscent of BrewDog, which is hardly a negative thing in my eyes. If this brew goes down well I’ve been eyeing off that bottle of Gazillionaire too – which is based on the theme of a Swedish bun (who doesn’t like a good Swedish bun every once in a while, I go out of my way to IKEA for that shit). Back to Breakfast of Champignons, which is described as a Sour Ale on Untappd, I take it that Wild Beer Co only brew spontaneously fermented beers – I can dig that.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy amber/orange body with not much of any head, the little of which is white. Experience has taught me to expect no head from most wild fermented beers so this is neither here nor some other place (there). 7/10.

S: Great nose on this beer – quite unique, very earthy/spicy and herbal, notes of barnyard, pepper, musty yeast and literal damp dirt fill the olfactory senses. If you’re not a fan of wild yeast beers then: a) WTF did you buy this in the first place? And b) this isn’t going to be a great time for you… for me: I love this style of beer and I’m whiffing non-stop hey. 8/10.

T: Smacks you in the face with upfront tartness, like random spontaneous yeast beers generally do, was kinda hoping for a little less sourness and more of that earthy mushroom character as that was what drew me to buying this in the first place. Behind the veil of tartness there are not a great deal many flavours going on, it’s slightly peppery, musty and earthy. Finishes dry without any bitterness or sweetness, yep that’s wild yeast for you: All take, take, take, when it comes to sugar. Burps are not fun either… it’s one of my favourite hobbies too. 5/10.

M: Mid to light, a bit thin and watery, bodied with a flat carbonation… nope. 6/10.

D: This one goes into the “too weird for its own good” box for me. If they used a better yeast and maxed the mushroom and sweetness it might have been a winner, however the end result here is a beer that if you home-brewed it you would probably have tipped out, or struggled through (because you know – you calculate the exact amount of cents each bottle costs and you’re too poor to waste a batch of beer). Sorry Wild Beer, I’m now hesitant to try their Gazillionaire. 6/10.

Food match: Fish and chips to go with this vinegar brew.

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Moon Dog Ogden Nashs Pash Rash

Total Score: 7.8/10 Raspberry1DarkFruits1Coffee1Tulipglass1

Moon Dog, those crazy SOB’s, have previously brewed this Redskins (lolly, candy to Yanks – not talking about my favourite NFL team here) infused Russian Imperial Stout. It must have been good, because they’ve bought it back for another round. I like Redskins (the lolly and the NFL team), so really this was an instabuy brew which showcases Moon Dog at their best: Making crazy experimental beers. Not like the wishy-washy version of Moon Dog that created the forgettable Mack Daddy – that was a bit of a fail. Moon Dog – please remain the crazy purveyors of experimental fermented alcoholic beverages that you are, don’t become yet another faceless entry-level craft brewer. PS: I miss Jumping the Shark (not a metaphor).

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Darkness in a glass – darker’n a black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night. With a thin khaki ring where a head might reside had this beer not been rocking 8.8% ABV. Looks formidable, that’s how like my Stouts too. 8/10.

S: Raspberry notes from the Redskins mingles well with red coffee cherries, espresso and plum – along with hints of other dark fruits. Looking forward to this one – it’s got a bit of a forest fruits vibe going on. I guess that’s the way the whole durned human comedy keeps perpetuatin’ itself down through the generations. Westward the wagons, across the sands of time until we – ah, look at me. I’m ramblin’ again*. 8/10.

T: The Redskins come through milder than expected – it’s a raspberry note throughout the palate, however I was expecting this to be overly sweet, which it isn’t. Pleasant surprise really – as some of the last big ABV beers I’ve encountered have been too sweet. Rounding out the flavours are: Plum, coffee, dark chocolate and yep – you guessed it: Plenty of Raspberries. Finish is long and dry. Aftertaste lingers with that Redskins flavour, good stuff. 8/10.

M: Mid to light, very watery given the ABV, thin carbonation, needs work here. 6/10.

D: Moon Dog at their best – doing crazy shit… who else would have imagined Redskins would actually work in a beer? They actually give off a Raspberry flavour that tastes less artificial than other brews that use real fruit flavouring… I don’t want to name names but I could if pressed. In any case this was a surprisingly enjoyable, if watery, RIS that I would try again. 8/10.

Food match: Venison and other game meats – I can almost taste the combination!

*Yeah I watched Big Lebowski again for the 18th time, what of it?!

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Bacchus Brewing Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!!

Total Score: 7.95/10 Nut1Raspberry1Bread1Tulipglass1

If this beer doesn’t conjure up the crazy image of Brian the dog (of Family Guy) dancing with maracas in a banana outfit I don’t know what will. It’s “Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!!”, and another Bacchus brew for me to review – yes I’ve taken a shine to the mad science of Mr. Ross Kenrick and Co. Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!! (or PBJT!!! for brevity) is an American Amber Ale brewed with: Peanuts, raspberry, oats, lactose, and the usual suspects. I’m envisioning a cross between a PB&J sandwich and a jelly (jam in Oz) donut… oh yeah, and beer of course. Will it be as great as Snickers (and Barosski) my Bacchus favourites? Or will it be one of those Island of Dr. Moreau types that they sometimes release? My money is on the former.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hazed caramel-tinged amber body with a thin beige head that retains OK. Looks right for an amber ale, the body colour is rather appealing, so without much ado I’m going to tuck in now. 7/10.

S: Raspberry jelly (jam) straight up makes it come across as the stuff you spread on toast if you’re into that sort of thing (aint no toast in my life anymore). Nutty peanut hints remind me of Bacchus’s own Peanut Brittle Gose, it’s got that toffee note as well. Bit of bread in there as well. Aroma sits on the sweeter side of the fence and I wonder how Bacchus is going to balance it all out. 8/10.

T: First let’s get it out of the way: This is a sweet dessert beer. Now that we’ve addressed the sugar-coated elephant candy in the room, this beer is almost exactly as you would expect – it’s got: Peanuts, raspberry jam, baked bread, toffee, and a slight herbal bitterness in the finish to balance it all with that classic sweet/bitter dichotomy. On that point – it really is the bitterness that feels out of place, whilst at the same time being fairly essential to the balance overall. I mean it is a beer after all, we expect bitterness, but there’s something about the way it stands out here… a little too harsh methinks. But what a tasty (sweet!) brew otherwise. 8/10.

M: Mid to light, almost medium bodied, with a light but dense carbonation – one of the better mouthfeels in a Bacchus brew here. 8/10.

D: I liked PBJT!!! quite a bit, and if they get the hops sorted out – maybe use a different hop entirely(?) I think Bacchus will be on to a winner [winner, chicken dinner] here. Case in point: I managed to finish this beer (and the review itself) much quicker than normal – the sign of a great beer to me. 8/10.

Food match: Apart from PB&J sandys I would suggest tarts or caked goods.

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Bacchus Brewing Barosski

Total Score: 8.4/10 RedWine1Coffee1DarkFruits1Tulipglass1

Gave this one a miss the first time I saw it, because you know: I can’t spend all my pennies on Bacchus beers (as much as I would like to), however I bumped into an fellow beerethren who rated this Shiraz Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout as their favourite Bacchus brew so far. Gauntlet down, red note ponied to the cashier, I left the bottle shop with bottle and change in hand, certain I would be the beer-drinking litmus test to some random and possibly spurious claims [Snickers is clearly the GOAT Bacchus]. Btw if you’re yet to get your hands on a Bacchus: Black Sheep in Brisbane stock them (i.e. get off your ass and get some Bacchus now).

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Despairingly black cola body with an appropriate (given the hefty 10.2% ABV) thin mocha lace ring inside the glass. The blackness within has all the hallmarks of a beer black hole – ready to suck me in with gravity more powerful than a thousand suns… it’s breathtaking – I highly suggest you try it. 9/10.

S: Deep plum, dark fruits, and shiraz characters slap you in the face like a giant facey-slappy thing. BIG stuff here, big, bold and unyielding. Hints of 80% dark chocolate and red coffee cherries add to the omnipotence of this brew. A touch of pepper in the background too… I’ll admit I’m not a fan of Shiraz wines (I find them too tannic) however this aroma is close to a masterstroke. 9/10.

T: Thankfully the flavour takes a step and a half back from that intimidating aroma and allows you to relax somewhat – I was worried for a second this would be too much even for me to handle. As above: deep plum/dark fruits/Shiraz/80% dark chocolate and red coffee cherries make for delightful RIS, which actually reminds me of the fruitiness a Baltic Porter – perhaps Ross should name the style as a Baltic Imperial Stout – it’s certainly where the BIS is at. Almost grapey note comes through as well. Finish is a slight choco/coffee bitterness. 9/10.

M: Mouthfeel is thinner and gassier than expected – medium bodied, could definitely benefit from more body – maybe oats in the next batch? 5/10.

D: A face-punch of a brew that displays Bacchus as a brewer that can rumble with the best of them. The Shiraz notes are defined and most importantly: they work well. Given that there are plenty barrel-aged beers out there now it is good to see a Australian wine barrels introduced in to the craft beer scene. Ross you are a legend, cheers to your inventive brain! 8/10.

Food match: I couldn’t imagine anything less than a chargrilled banquet here.

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Bacchus Brewing Strawberry IPA

Total Score: 7.35/10 Strawberry1Flowers1Earth1Nonicpint1

Back to the Bacchus then, much like Doc Brown [huh, my nickname is Doc too, coincidence? Maybe, but can you really take that chance?] I must find 1.21 jigowatts to power my flux capacitor so I can return back to the past: October 21, 2015… and no I can’t afford a Mr. Fusion to power the time circuits, so yeah, I’m going to need a lightning bolt or some Plutonium. Aside from that niggle I’ve decided to partake in a future beverage by a mad scientist who goes by the name of Ross Kenrick… “Strawberry IPA” it says… sounds like it might become as popular as my Nike power-up lace shoes if it catches on… well here’s to the future!

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Hazed rust/copper body with a boisterous 1 centimetre beige head that slowly drops back to a lace blanket. Not a great deal of noticeable carbonation action going on, I guess that’s how these 2017 types like their beers. Still, looks tasty. 7/10.

S: Strawberry fruit upfront on the nose, more fresh and slightly acidic than overripe or jammy strawberries. Floral notes too… something slightly earthy… malts not really standing out, but a very fruity aroma nonetheless, it’s got a bit of funk to it as well, nice. 7/10.

T: Ross does it again! Yet another bizarre brew to tickle and shock the senses. Strawberry IPA begins with a slightly tart strawberry note, an odd flat sugar sweetness mid-palate, floral/earthy finish. Mild bitterness, and a fruity aftertaste. It really is another one-of-a-kind brew from Ross… not one of his best it must be said (I still love Snickers) but for the novelty this is right up there – I haven’t had a brew with unusual flavours like this since… probably Mikkeller’s Cucumber Witbier… which is apt because I consider Ross to be Australia’s own Mikkeller. 8/10.

M: Mid to light, almost medium bodied, with a thin but excitable carbonation. 6/10.

D: When it warmed up the strawberry flavour became more… normal… like what you would have expected from the label, it was like the strawberries somehow ripened in the glass. Overall though this is one of those “will it work?” brews from Bacchus, and on some levels it works (it’s still a tasty IPA regardless of how foreign the flavours are) but on another it doesn’t (the flavours are a bit too outside the box)… just noticed on the label this has Hibiscus flowers in it… there’s that floral note. All said and done I will keep buying Bacchus because: Damn it I want to see where this roller-coaster ends! 7/10.

Food match: Fruit salad???

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Stone SCRÜ WIT

Total Score: 7.8/10 Coriander1Clove1Bananas1Tulipglass1

As you all well know – my modus operandi when choosing which brew to review generally goes like this: “What is the craziest beer that I can get my hands on?”. The answer once again lies in a Stone beer (these guys can’t seem to hold themselves back now can they?), in this case SCRÜ WIT, which is a delightful sounding mixture of 3 of the most random and my favouritest styles: Sahti, Gruit and Belgio Imperial Witbier. Yes, it sounds like a party in my mouth that SCRÜ WIT is invited to. Now if you are yet to try the styles of Sahti or Gruit (both of which date back to the middle ages before hops were used in brewing) my suggestion is to seek them out as they are the bomb.

Poured from a 650ml “bomber” bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy amber body with a few suspended particles of what is probably yeast, and a thin off-white lace ring (which is pretty acceptable for an 8.% ABV brew). Looks pretty tasty, interestingly very amber for a Wit though. 8/10.

S: Aroma of pickles (I kid you not!) comes through on first whiff. Second whiff is definitely more in Wit territory with clove and cardamom spice, a touch of banana bread as well. Dry cracker and pepper notes come through with further whiffs. That pickle note is one of the oddest aromas I’ve ever detected in a beer, and I’m guessing it must be from the wormwood. 7/10.

T: Juniper and wormwood come across with a green herbal flavour that carries throughout this intriguing palate. However a bulk of the flavours are typical Wit flavours: Clove, cardamom, banana bread, dry cracker and pepper. The finish has a light but sharp bitter herbal character that balances out all that Wit sweetness. There’s some nice fruity esters coming through too. Damn there are almost too many flavours vying for my taste buds here, enjoyable though it be. 8/10.

M: Medium bodied with a nice creamy carbonation – excellent body that works well but also makes the sugars in this brew cloy a little too much. 8/10.

D: Bizarre and herbal with a strong Wit base, this is indeed quite an idiosyncratic brew from Stone that manages to showcase why they are up there with the best of craft brewers – because they take risks. They could easily rest on their laurels and churn out the same stuff again and again, but no: They throw three disparate styles together and say “drink this!”. Granted, the Wit flavours dominated the other styles, however this is still a beer I would try again. 8/10.

Food match: Pickles! Or hamburgers with pickles (not Maccas you heathen!).

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