Total Score: 6.45/10
Mt. Barker? I have relos from near there, small town too… Anyway their Amber came highly recommended from Plonk, though they only had the one free taster bottle – so Black Ale it is – if Prancing Pony can’t brew a good Stout, especially as a South Australian brewer (the home state for Australian Stouts – don’t ask why, just accept what I say as gospel) then what are they good for apart from prancing… with ponies… doesn’t sound like the worst idea ever… cleaning the old nonic pint now.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.
A: Presents a cloudy deep brown, almost cola coloured body with a MASSIVE 1.5 inch tan head – guess I shouldn’t have agitated it before the pour… this head is German beer proportions… so yeah *checks watch* should be drinkable without a Belgian dip soon… actually it’s dropped down to a nice tight 1 cm head now. 8/10.
S: Dark fruits, unroasted coffee cherry and a hint of tobacco leaf round out a well-balanced “black ale” aroma. Hints of a sweet malt driven experience throughout. Overall aroma could use a bit more intensity (I suspect some wateriness in the texture) but it is otherwise on solid ground. 7/10.
T: Roasted coffee, chicory, a touch of smoke, lingering dark fruit notes and an earthy tobacco leaf hop note to finish. After taste is a touch on the bitter side for a Stout. Flavour is mid-range in the Stout/Old Ale profile. Lacking in intensity here, again, but it is an otherwise tasty Stout. An addition of oats would probably raise this to another level, however it certainly doesn’t disappoint either. A run of the mill Aussie craft Stout then. 7/10.
M: Medium bodied, slight watery consistency, with a near flat carbonation. Nothing to write home about [which is why I’m writing to you about it – I’m saving you the time of thinking of writing home about it you see? Yes…]. 5/10.
D: I’ve had worse Stouts for sure… I’ve had numerous better too… it’s right there in that meaty part of the Stout bell-curve… hard to get that excited about a Stout like this after so many good Stouts before it – Panhead kills this… even 4 Pines Dry Stout is around this level – this has a touch more flavour happening. What 4 Pines dominates this brew on is price: $9.99 for a 500ml bottle? GTFOH! This is way overpriced for what you get [I think I’ve upset the ponies now, but screw them]. 5/10.
Food match: Shepherd’s pie or kangaroo steaks, braised in some sort of wine jus, with stuff on the side.