Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout

Total Score: 7.95/10 Nut1Chocolate1Malt1Nonicpint1

This has got to be the weirdest beer name I’ve encountered in a while… and that’s saying something (I generally buy the first weird beer I cross paths with at the bottle shop). Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout sounds like a dreadful accident, but to me it’s like the accident you slow down to look at (or in this case: Drink). So it was without hesitation that I made a purchase-plunge, no regrets now, time to rip into a belching beaver – here’s hoping this isn’t a disaster like that Rogue Voodoo Lemon Crueller that tasted like fake lemon cleaning products: One always runs that risk with these ultra-weird flavoured beers.

Poured from a 375ml can (weird size for a US made beer!) into a nonic pint.

A: Presents a jet black body with a thin caramel-coloured head that sticks around pretty well. Judging by the creaminess of the head this belching beaver will have a nice chewy mouthfeel… we’ll see hey. 9/10.

S: Something odd registers in the nose from the outset – it’s like a solvent/disinfectant smell… not sure what it is, but it’s distracting. Other than that: Peanuts (obvs!), milk and dark chocolate, a hint of roasted malt and powdered cocoa. Overall, apart from that solvent/disinfectant smell, it’s right on the “Peanut Butter Milk Stout/Reece’s Pieces” money. 7/10.

T: Again a hint of oddness in the flavour, as described above, from the first sip… then ever so strangely it fades as you take more sips. Copy/paste my above aroma descriptions for the taste: Peanuts, milk and dark chocolate, a hint of roasted malt and powdered cocoa for a “Reece’s Pieces in a glass” experience. Finish is a slight dark chocolate bitterness that balances out the peanut/chocolate sweetness which precedes it. 8/10.

M: Rich and creamy, mid to heavy bodied, almost Founders body (but not quite) with a thin but dense carbonation – top shelf Milk Stout body right here! 9/10.

D: The solvent/disinfectant distraction is the only fly in the ointment of this otherwise solid peanut/chocolate beer journey… WTF is giving it that aroma/flavour?! Who knows, but once you get past it this is an enjoyable Milk Stout that rewards a sweet tooth, without becoming a sugar-bomb, tasty stuff Mr. Beaver! [oh please, call me by my first name] Ok, no problem, cheers Belching! 8/10.

Food Match: Roasted beaver tail… seriously though: Reece’s Pieces.

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Bacchus Brewing Timmy Ho’s Double Double

Total Score: 6.85/10 Coffee1BrownSugar1Chocolate1Tulipglass1

Been looking forward to this one since… well, since last week when it came in to my local Black Sheep Bottle Shop (at Stafford, QLD). Still feels like a long time to be waiting to crack open a Bacchus brew as they have so much creativity poured into them – as I mentioned last time round they’re like the Australian Mikkeller, and I love Mikkeller (any craft beer aficionado worth their salt loves Mikkeller!). So this is one that I’m really looking forward to as an out-and-out coffee snob: Timmy Ho’s Double Double, i.e. double cream, double sugar – if it turns out to be both of those then it is game/set/match Bacchus.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Deep dark brown with a smattering of black body and a wafer thin tan to mocha head on top. Hard not to be drawn in by such an ominous appearance – I do love Stouts for that reason – so dark: Like the heart of Africa it beats and stirs up primal urges before releasing its intoxicating fragrances. 8/10.

S: Double “Yes! Please and thank you!” bold espresso coffee with red coffee bean characters smacks one across the face with a challenge that one can only reply to with “Moi?”. There are also impressions of brown sugar, demerara sweetness and hints of molasses finishing off this heady Coffee/Milk Stout scent. If there’s one complaint, and it is positive to note that this very same complaint was registered in my review of FBS (a beer that needs no de-abbreviation): It’s a little one-dimensional in the aroma… prepare thyself Doc. 7/10.

T: Unfortunately it’s no Australian FBS… shame because you could really go somewhere with that cachet. Flavours turned out to be a mix between espresso and filter coffee, brown sugar, 70% chocolate and a hint of vanilla. It’s tasty, yes, certainly and indeed, but it needs a bit of something something… actually the flavour is pretty decent – the mouthfeel is distracting though. 7/10.

M: Overtly thin body (mid to light) given the style, with a fizzy carbonation and less density than is needed here. 5/10.

D: This is one beer that really fell on its sword re: Mouthfeel – it really makes a difference with a beer that is heavy/sticky/chewy like FBS and this offering to the beer gods from Bacchus (aka the wine god). Of course flavour isn’t as great as FBS, so it’s not perfect there either. However with a woefully thin and gassy mouthfeel this brew was headed nowhere for me. #mouthfeelmatters 7/10.

Food match: Oats, lots of oats… wait that’s what the beer needed, oh well. Stew!

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Mornington Peninsula #tinnage006 Sacchariferous Stout

Total Score: 7.4/10 Chocolate1DarkFruits1Coffee1Nonicpint1

Suffering-Sacchariferous Stout! *my best Daffy Duck voice* The latest Mornington Peninsula #tinnage release – which according to the 3 digit number could theoretically reach #999, which at the rate they’re pumping them out is entirely possible – is number 006 and Australia’s 2nd ever nitro beer after the #tinnage004 Dog’s Bollocks. Keep ‘em coming Mornington, I enjoyed Dog’s Bollocks, even had Dog’s Bollocks in my mouth the other day [that is the last Dog’s Bollocks joke I will ever write I swear!] so I’m looking forward to this nitro Milk Stout.

Poured (vigorously) from a 330ml nitro-charged can into a nonic pint.

A: Looks a real treat! Deep dark cola brown with a perfect 1 centimetre tan head that stands tall – I love nitro beers. Give it a minute though and the head falls slowly back onto itself like a dying star – what a shame hey. 8/10.

S: Sweet milk chocolate and roasted chicory notes abound. Hints of dark fruit and mocha latte linger on in the background. The aroma is decent enough, not too muted, borderline great as far as Milk Stouts go (which can tend towards blandness – they’re the Al Gore of Stouts). 8/10.

T: Sweet milk chocolate and roasted chicory mingle with hints of dark fruit and mocha latte. Finishes dry, like an Irish Dry Stout, with a hint of coffee bitterness. Flavour is solid with a toasty/roasty Milk Stout goodness then. 8/10.

M: Not good – loses its nitro carbonation really quickly, so drink up fast if you want to experience it best – for this review mine ended up with mid to light body and flat as a tack carbonation. 4/10.

D: The biggest problem came because my reviews generally take 5-10 mins to type up and in this time Sacchariferous Stout went totally flat! Weird because I didn’t get that experience with the Dog’s Bollocks (that was lumpy and slightly salty to taste… face!). I think I would have enjoyed this more if I was just drinking it (quickly!) rather than reviewing it, so take my point inasmuch as you would for your own drinking pace – mine is quite fast, I can down a 6-pack of beer at a rate that would leave me poor (and yellow-skinned) if I didn’t put a pre-set limit on myself. So yeah I’m going to down the next remaining cans in the 4-pack as quickly as possible so that the nitro doesn’t have a chance to escape forever into our atmosphere before my glass is empty, Prost peeps! 7/10.

Food match: I was going to end with the usual witty remark like “drinking quickly” but as an actual suggestion beef and Guinness pie is kinda useful.

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Bacchus Brewing Snickers Chocolate Ale

Total Score: 8.4/10 Chocolate1Nut1Caramel1Nonicpint1

Whilst this is the first beer I’m reviewing from Capalaba based Bacchus, it’s not the first beer of theirs I’ve tried, I’ve happily gorged myself on: Maple Coffee Stout, Lamington Dark Ale, a Scotch Ale I forget the name of, and their award winning White Chocolate Raspberry Pilsner – however most of those were consumed before I begin reviewing beers you see (and I didn’t keep any notes dagnabbit!). If I did I would have praised their beers for being “wildly inventive – an Aussie version of Mikkeller if you will”. This is about to change as I’m finally going review Bacchus Snickers Chocolate Ale, and Snickers being my 2nd favourite chocolate bar of all time (after Twix, duh!) I think this Bacchus and I will get along just fine.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into nonic pint.

A: Ruddy brown, slightly hazed complexion with a fulsome 1 centimetre Ecru head that slowly recedes to a thin layer of goodness. Looks alright hey, not spectacular but moreish… and the smell wafting off it is incredible, but I’m jumping the gun [again!]. 7/10.

S: Chocolate: Shedloads of it. I can’t get over how chocolatey this beer is, I want to lie in a bath tub full of this goodness. Hints of peanut and salted caramel make a pop in but damn, DAMN that chocolate! 9/10.

T: Bacchus just nails it. Nails. It. This is exactly what a Snickers would taste like if you could melt it down and ferment it in a vat for 3 weeks. It’s got chocolate (in spades), caramel, a hint of salt, peanuts and the finish is a slight earthy bitterness to keep the almost rampant sweetness in check. Oh yeah – it’s pretty sweet too, but it’s a beer done in the style of a chocolate bar, FFS what did you expect?! 9/10.

M: Mouthfeel once again is the weakest link in the experience: Medium with a slightly sharp carbonation – I’m splitting hairs here but if it had the body of a Founders brew I would be in some sort of gooey Snickers heaven. 6/10.

D: This beer is due to the fervently unchecked imagination of one Mr. Ross Kendrick, and this flight of fancy into a world where a popular candy bar becomes a delicious alcoholic beverage has paid off in my books. It’s not all roses though – although perfect as a dessert beer it’s a bit on the sweet side meaning a night of hard Snickers beer devouring is off the cards for a pre-pre-diabetic like me. Also: MOAR body! Those niggles aside this brew is one Snickery delight. 8/10.

Food match: Need I mention Snickers? OK, yeah we got that already. How about a chargrilled beef steak with a mole negro sauce and grilled vegies? Sweet!

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Modus Operandi Caribbean Queen

Total Score: 8.7/10 Chocolate1Coconut1Vanilla1Tulipglass1

Modus Operandi is 2 years old, hooray! I remember when Modus was a little tyke – I rolled in that first keg of Former Tenant Red IPA at The Durham thinking “Huh, Red IPA, that sounds tasty” – now look where we are 2 years later with Caribbean Queen staring back at me. The label really it sells it though: “A sumptuous Dark Ale brewed with coconut, lactose and milk chocolate. This decadent lady tastes like a lamington and brings the fat child out in all of us”. Damn, there’s about 10 words in that description that excite me as a beer drinker.

Poured from a 500ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Rich dark mahogany body with a 1 centimetre beige head that sticks around quite well and leaves some lacing on the side of the glass. Well… this is going to be quite good to say the least. 9/10.

S: Coconut and milk chocolate come to the fore, as advertised. Hints of vanilla and brown sugar, the subtlety of which (you think/know) belies a great big bear-hug of a brew. Other than that not much else… again this gives the impression of a sleeper beer – one that has a muted aroma followed by a sucker punch of flavour. 7/10.

T: This is a chocolate beer for the ages! The greatest impact of this brew being in the mouthfeel due to an obviously large quantity of lactose [we’ll get to that next] but overall it hits home with an exceptional milk chocolate flavour that provides IMO just the right amount of sweetness. Following this with some light vanilla, cacao nibs and brown sugar. Finishes with coconut and a light bitter espresso coffee note which doesn’t distract from the flavour. I want more. 9/10.

M: Mid to heavy bodied with an opulent lactose driven silkiness to the body/carbonation which really puts this brew up there with Founders on mouthfeel – and that is high praise indeed! 10/10.

D: It’s pretty close competition between Russel Brown and Caribbean Queen for my beer of the night but I must say I am a sucker for a decadent chocolate beer and this is pretty close to La Sirène’s Praline for my favourite chocolate beer OAT [work it out for yourselves] so Modus gets that award. Again the same biggest criticism between the 2 beers I just reviewed: They are limited release beers when really they should be brewed… well not year round as they’re winter beers, but at least seasonally and in the very least: Again! Modus has excelled here. 9/10.

Food match: Chateaubriand steak in demi-glace with shallots, sweet potato and Brussels sprouts.

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8 Wired Flat White Coffee Milk Stout

Total Score: 8.1/10 Coffee1 Smoke1 Earth1 Nonicpint1

Did you know that the flat white (my favourite espresso style – similar to a caffè latte but with more espresso/less milk) was invented in New Zealand (disputed). As such 8 Wired, perhaps my favouritest of all NZ brewers [don’t forget Tuatara or Yeastie Boys Doc] have brewed their homage to the humble flat white (not like those showboating cappuccinos): 8 Wired Flat White Coffee Milk Stout. I love Milk Stouts. Yes, I love many beer styles, however Milk Stouts are something I always try to have at the ready in my fridge (current fridge Milk Stout being: McAuslan’s Oatmeal Stout).

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Deep black cola opaque body with a thin tan (crema comparisons will now commence) crema-like lace on top (crema comparisons have ended, resume your regularly scheduled program). 8/10.

S: Aroma is of course awesome because I love coffee and everything related to that dark bean, my dark mistress, she beckons me – “I see that you’re getting tired, drink me… NOW!”. Espresso coffee, both strong and floral, hit the senses along with hints of vanilla bean and earth. The coffee in this aroma dominates like the coffee in FBS, which is impressive to say the least. 9/10.

T: Smoky roasted coffee beans precede an earthy and rich coffee bean character throughout. The flavour is balanced lightly by teaspoon of sugar, represented aptly here by lactose, and finishes borderline Irish Dry Stout dry. The vanilla bean noted in the aroma is less noticeable here, but a presence is felt nonetheless. Balance is razor-edge fine with this excellent Milk Stout. 8/10.

M: Biggest area lacking with this brew: The body which is medium but could use the heft normally afforded in an Oatmeal Stout. Carbonation is dense and light. 7/10.

D: This is a damn near perfect representation of the flat white style in a beer – the only problem with trying to make a ‘flat white’ beer is that you will always be missing the creamy element from the milk. Lactose is the closest thing to milk that you can add to a beer without risk of curdling or infection and I wonder if more lactose would make this brew creamier or if there is a sugar limit involved. In any case 8 Wired have crafted another superlative beer *in my best Kiwi accent* chairs bra! 8/10.

Food match: I feel like drinking this brew with an Eggs Benedict in front of me (my favourite breakfast with my favourite espresso) take from this what you will.

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Garage Project Cereal Milk Stout

Total Score: 7.1/10 Barley1 Chocolate1 Biscuit1 Nonicpint1

Garage Project Cereal Milk Stout is a beer after my own heart. I love breakfast cereal… too much, and I had to cut back on my sugar intake as a result, now I drink coffee for breakfast… anyway I digress, this Milk Stout has been brewed with real cornflakes, among many things, and my favourite breakfast cereal is: You guessed it [no really, what is it?] OK fine: Frosties – those golden flakes drenched in what appears to be a dry coagulated Cocaine but is actually 100% pure sugar, but it may as well be Cocaine for all the good it does. In any case a big factor in my purchase of this brew is the cool 1950’s breakfast cereal style label, you should Google it brah.

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Nice opaque cola black/brown body with a dense packed 2cm tan head that slowly reduces to a thin lace. The bottle label promised a milky white head but it could just be a clever satiric commentary on the overhyped and under delivered promises of 1950’s packaging (x-ray glasses my ass). 7/10.

S: ‘There’s something askew with this brew’ Shakespeare once said [he didn’t, I’m falsely attributing one of my quotes to him, he’s dead what does he care?]. Garage Project’s Cereal Milk Stout has an odd and slightly sour funk on the nose, probably from the cornflakes, with a the classic notes of milk chocolate and roasted barley. Lactose takes the edge off the roast characters to provide a characteristic sweetness overall, however it’s tough to get past that overriding funk. 6/10.

T: As a cereal connoisseur I must say that this brew tastes more like Weeties (wholegrain wheat cereal flakes) than corn flakes, but hey it’s definitely got the breakfast cereal in beer vibe down. There are notes of roasted barley, hints of milk chocolate as well, but a big slice of the flavour – as with any true Milk Stout – rests in the hands of Lactose, or milk sugar, which lends a bigger body and sweeter palate. The finish is sweet and almost devoid of bitterness. 7/10.

M: Medium bodied with a borderline flat but dense carbonation. 8/10.

D: As far as experiments go this is not the worst one I’ve come across but it is certainly lacking in promise from the label, and GP are renowned for their project brews [it’s in the name brah] perhaps my expectations were a little high going into this review as it isn’t that bad. A textbook Milk Stout with the flavour of Weeties that succeeds in a sense the cereal brief it set forth upon. 8/10.

Food match: Getting the Frosties shakes right now… is the FDA sure they don’t have Cocaine in them?

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