Total Score: 7.05/10
First Doc bruview for a New England brew. I’ll be honest: I’ve tried most of their beers and I haven’t reviewed any of them yet because I’m just not a fan of their house style. Their yeast is all wrong, it’s not a good strain that they’re using, and consequentially all their beers are too dry and musty for me. However when I saw Puska Australian Sahti I was too intrigued not to buy n’ try it. The idea of an Aussie version of the Finnish, non-hopped style of Sahti proved impossible to resist. Credit where credit is due: this is a great idea for a beer. Utilising eucalyptus branches (instead of juniper) as the mash filter, wattle seed, pepperberry (and hops it seems), this beer from New England will hopefully not be as dry as the Simpson desert and musty as my bedroom book shelf.
Poured from a 500ml can into a Duvel tulip.
A: Hazy deep amber body with a 2 centimetre cream-coloured head that dissolves leisurely leaving a sticky lace inside the glass. The amber colour of this beer, and the slight haze, is spot on for looking like something that might trap an ancient mosquito – quite mesmerising. 8/10.
S: Aroma smells dry, with a eucalyptus thumbprint all over it, but not much else. There’s some earthy dry notes with hints of pepper as well as woody/nutty tone. Sweetness is hard to detect, this is definitely following the New England pattern for brewing desert dry beers, however in this instance and given the style I’m not so bothered about it, i.e. 7/10.
T: Certainly an interesting beer to say the least! Profile comes across vinous in flavour (and mouthfeel) with the above notes of: eucalyptus, earthy, dry, hints of pepper, woody/nutty. There’s a touch of dark fruit malt sweetness, though just a touch – the other flavours bully it into submission. Hints of cardamom come into play on a third sip. The finish is of course: bone dry [saw that one coming]. At least there’s no heavy-handed yeast jumping around saying “look at me!”. 7/10.
M: Medium bodied, fairly viscous, with a light carbonation giving this more of a wine mouthfeel than a beer one, works though. 7/10.
D: Apart from the eucalyptus (which actually detracts IMO) there’s note much to suggest anything uniquely Australian, but hey it works regardless. My usual complaint about NEB’s beers being too dry still applies, but overall this Australian Sahti experience has been OK. Decent even. 7/10.
Food match: Game meats, make it the Oz coat of arms and have roo/emu steaks 😉