strings (377) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - OCT 14, 2006
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Pleasant ale with porter-like qualities. Not sure what wattle seed tastes like, but since there was something distinctive but unidentifiable in there, I suppose that must have been it. Also quite malty with a bit of licorice. Good and roasty, with a swish around in your mouth and slide down your throat type feel. Got better as I drank, so maybe a bit too much carbonation.
johninmelb (1123) - Bristol, Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - JUL 25, 2006
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Nose is sharp herby malt. Pours a very nice amber with a quickly disappearing beige head. The flavour is pleasant enough, with light hops overpowered by sweet malt giving notes of iced coffee and nuttiness. I think the nuttiness may be the only contribution provided by the wattle seeds btw. All is let down by a watery palate with ill-fitting carbonation and a somewhat cloying finish. Not a dud, but nothing special.
bridge (659) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JUL 8, 2006
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: JAN 2, 2007 Clear brown with a frothy beige head that persisted for a short while, like an English batsman at the crease before succumbing to the pressure. Definite seedy aroma, with some sweet caramel malt nuttiness. Seems sweet on first taste but it’s generally well balanced. Tastes a bit like a nutty dukkah with bread.
mutant (854) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - JUN 28, 2006
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Clear ruby colour with a small but persistent white head, looks really inviting. Fruity and hoppy aroma. Flavour contrasts because it is mostly just a strong and enduring yet vague caramel sweetness. Couldn’t find much hoppiness at all but maybe that’s just me.
Wattle seeds are used in some Australian restaurants to make a coffee like beverage. I couldn’t detect any coffee or other distinct flavour which could be attributed to wattle seeds. Perhaps they are just a marketing gimmick which don’t add anything to the beer. Therefore I’ve marked the Flavour and the beer and the overall score down.
Sully (1377) - Potts Point, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA - JUN 23, 2006
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 20, 2006 I have had this a couple of times but never seemed to have been in a position to take notes. So with try number 3 I can now rate this. My sample must have been a bit of an exception to some as it presented beautifully in the glass with a good creamy head. Like a number of others I wasn’t sure what the wattleseed would impart but upon sampling both the nose and taste, I immediately thought that there must be some wattleseed in the UK, especially lurking around the Theakston brewery. This is a Peculier beer indeed, with a definite note of molasses and toffee balanced well by a good hoppy background. Little nose is imparted by the hops but the malty aroma and good solid mouthfeel marks this as an experiment that has done well. I think this is a solid performer that is better than a great number of Aussie beers.
Stew41 (1722) - Woodend, AUSTRALIA - JUN 2, 2006
2.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Quite novel in that it includes wattle seed in the mix. Thin poorly formed head. Pours darker than I might have expected, a nice reddish, maroon brown. Sweetish nose, tough to pick a defining flavour, just generic style malts. Pleasant enough to taste; more non-descript malts coming through, a hint of sweetness and just a faint herbal, slightly hoppy edge. Unmemorable, even a fraction bland, but totally inoffensive. As it warmed up the beer developed a distinctly English dark ale / porter note…done well. Worth sampling.
highlandlad (1412) - Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA - MAY 26, 2006
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: MAY 16, 2007 Rerate: There’s more to this than I originally thought. It’s more complex than James Squire Strong Ale and certainly more distinctive. Raising the overall score by three points. Original rate: Love the concept behind this beer: use a native ingredient to create something distinctively Australian. Wish I liked the end result a bit more. A quick Google search revealed that wattle seed is a nutty, coffee-flavoured berry. Can’t say I picked coffee but this certainly had a rooty licorice-like finish that could be the wattle seed. Overall, I agree with Dredd that it seemed much like a James Squire Strong Ale clone, quite sticky and chewy in character. Dark copper colour with a short head. Lots of molasses, licorice and toffee in the aroma. Quite toffee-like and chewy on the tongue with that herbal rooty finish. A worthwhile experiment, if not entirely satisfying. (330ml bottle at the Australian Heritage Hotel, Sydney)
Dredd (686) - Bentleigh, AUSTRALIA - MAY 14, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
interesting take on the string ale style of beer. The style is reminiscent of the James Squire Strong ale with lots of caramel and roasted malt aroma’s and flavours. I am reluctant to state that i can distinguish what the wattle seed adds apart from some herbacious character perhaps.
The head retention is quite good and it is higher than average in alcohol without being what I wouldd call spirit-y.
voota (765) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - APR 17, 2006
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2008 Stunning dark amber in the glass, with a off white head. Aroma is a little caramel, and some english hops. Great malt character, unique (not sure if its the wattle), the chocolate malt is balanced in there well. Moderate hop bitterness, and the flavour of perhaps some fuggles.
The finish is a touch metallic and bitter. Overall, a very good beer. Hope to try some more from this brewer.
Re-rate - on tap at the royston. A different beer to what I remember, bucketloads of bush honey and heaps fuller. Unique and delicious.
mullet (849) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - MAR 5, 2006
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Filtered copper, nice thin head. Not entirely dissimilar to Anchor Steam in terms of malt character; toasty, bread crust, Vienna-style stuff, with a touch of chocolate Big M, eggs and artificial raspberry. Quite a nice, soft mouthfeel but there’s some kind of a weird twang at the end which I can’t really explain. Slightly sugary sweetness, toasty malts with a touch of something roasted. No real hop character until a slightly bitter finish. Enjoyable, but simple. I dunno what wattle seeds taste like but I couldn’t detect anything all that different.