Garage Project Cherry Bomb

Total Score: 7.75/10 Chocolate1Cherry1Coffee1Tulipglass1

I’m looking forward to this one: Garage Project Cherry Bomb. I love cherries. I love Imperial Porters (aka Imperial Stouts). Seems like a match made in a really pleasant, well-lit and very clean place [I don’t believe in heaven so this is the closest analogy I could find]. I do quite like the old Garage Project boys, however I often wonder if they have a rampant cocaine addiction given the price of their beers – this 650ml bottle retails at around $24 here – I mean come-on guys: I know you need to get money for blow somehow but this is getting ridiculous. If it wasn’t for their beers being so good I wouldn’t keep finding myself funding their next expedition to Colombia, but I guess they do know how to brew.

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Presents an indeterminably deep black/brown body with a nice gooey tan half centimetre head that I’m surprised sticks around so well given the 9% ABV of this brew [the higher the ABV past 6% the less chance you’ll get a head]. 9/10.

S: Not really detecting cherry in the aroma – unless we’re talking coffee cherries (i.e. coffee in its unroasted ripe fruit form) there’s plenty of that going on. Along with hints of cacao nibs and dark bakers chocolate. A few swirls later and a sour cherry note comes to the fore, mmmm… It’s difficult to tell how sweet this is from the aroma, which is predominantly sour. 7/10.

T: Quite good… interesting, not quite what I was expecting. Begins with a sweet/sour cacao nib character before hitting a dirty/earthy coffee bitterness, (oddly!) some cinnamon spice, hints of sour cherry with a slight coffee cherry bitterness in the finish. Aftertaste lingers on with an earthy note and some warming alcohol. The cherry characters do disappear somewhat due to the overpowering cacao nibs. Still it is quite tasty. I like it. I like it a lot. 8/10.

M: Medium bodied with near zero carbonation (although the carbonation that exists is really dense) which is surprising given the head formation noted above. 7/10.

D: Tasty? Check! Expensive? Check! That seems to be the Garage Project way I guess. I hope by now those guys have a gold-plated Learjet that they fly around in “making it rain” with $50 bills because a) They charge a lot for their brews, and b) They deserve it – they taste [from their beers] like a cool set of chaps (and/or dames). TL;DR Should taste like a cherry-ripe but doesn’t, but it’s still good nonetheless. 8/10.

Food match: Cherry pie with chocolate sauce.

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Yeastie Boys The Last Dictator

Total Score: 8.5/10 RedWine1 Smoke1 Vegemite1 Tulipglass1

Yeastie Boys have fast become my favourite brewery with a pun name based on a musical act… OK that isn’t really a huge list, but regardless Yeastie Boys are at the top, and The Last Dictator caught my eye due to the inclusion of Botrytised Viognier Candi-sugar, as you well know dear reader nothing catches my attention more than Botrytised Viognier Candi-sugar… or brightly-coloured box kites. Either way I was in for a penny with this brew… and it’s 10% ABV! This is going to be a big beer, better put on my big beer trousers… there we are, BBT (Big Beer Time).

Poured from 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Brown-tinged obsidian black body with a nice mocha lace ring… oh boy, here we again, BBT FTW! 9/10.

S: The Botrytised Viognier Candi-sugar really comes through in the nose with a heady sweet red wine character, followed by hints of smoky bacon, Vegemite [or Marmite for our NZ readers 😉 ] and a dark fruit prune finish. I’m getting that tingling sensation that I usually get before I take a sip that tells me I am in for a treat [it’s sort of like my beer geek version of Spiderman’s “spider-sense”]. 8/10.

T: BBT indeed! The Last Dictator starts out with a rich prune and red wine note, flows through to burnt sugar, a hint of smoky bacon, Vegemite brings a touch of salinity as it finishes with a slight fusel burn and mild medicinal bitterness. It’s all very evenly distributed between sweet/salty/bitter/umami – this is a damn good Imperial Porter that brings something unique to the tasting table with the vinous characters. 9/10.

M: Mid to heavy bodied with a tight carbonation… again no complaints here. 8/10.

D: This is one of those brews that needs small sips lest you finish it too quickly and end up with a debilitating condition known as “Sadface” or in medical terminology “:-(“, this is a condition that can affect beer drinkers worldwide – the only treatment for Sadface is to buy more excellent beers like Yeastie Boys The Last Dictator and to drink these beers slowly, savouring every drop and appreciating the beauty and craftsmanship that has gone into creating said mystic libation. God may save the Queen but for God’s sake savour the beer. 8/10. [oh yeah, this beer was a bit on the pricey-side, hence the score relative to my praise]

Food match: Chateaubriand steak served with grilled asparagus, roasted jacket potatoes, and béarnaise sauce.

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