hawthorne00 (1854) - Melbourne, - AUG 22, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle, 11C. Rose gold with an off-white head that settles to a good coat. High bead. Aroma of light caramel, grapes, oranges, spices. Sweet with sugary dough, apricots, grapes, pepper, hints of spices. Dries out quite nicely at the end with spices and firmish bitterness. Hides the alcohol pretty well. Good balance.
ALLOVATE (2098) - Butler, AUSTRALIA - JAN 11, 2013
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A 2011 bottling I snuck in early before the festive season of 2012. At just on cool it couldn’t wait to get out the bottle. After a riotous pour it settles with two inches of exploded marshmallow atop a hazy, amber chestnut body with a fine bead. Aroma bursts with sticky toffee praline, sherry and caramelised stonefruit, gingerbread dough and eye-watering, olfactory tickling spice. In the mouth it has all the elements of a doughy Belgian ale with plenty of candy, spice, caramel and warmth from that alcohol. Yeast driven without a doubt showing hints of funk here and there. The body treacly and yet oily laying down teasers of toasted coconut, roast almond and dark rock candi with plenty of fruit sherry and X-mas spice in the depths. A little burnt fruit bitterness to boot. Not overly complex, yet it just worked for me. A real winter warmer of an ale; given that the mercury is currently peaking here in Oz. Delicious stuff!! (33cL, Bottled Nov’ 2011, Freo Doctor, Fremantle)
Davros (1473) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - SEP 3, 2012
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Impossible pours, ridiculously heady.
Weird aroma of apple cider, spicy phenols, doughy yeast notes, orange peel and ginger/nutmeg.
The cider note is not as pronounced as a flavour thankfully. However the alcohol is very prominent and the orange peel and spices seem disjointed rather than well-integrated.
Trying HopDog’s range is like a rollercoaster...
Maris (746) - Canberra, AUSTRALIA - AUG 18, 2012
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
From a 330ml bottle on 19/8/2012. Pours a slightly cloudy dark golden with a medium, quite fluffy head. Has a slightly sharp fruity, yeast aroma typical of Belgian ales. Taste wise, it very flavoursome and quite intense with lots of sweet fruit (particularly orange and apricot, and a little peach) and some distinct spice notes, and bittering fruit peel, and a nice dash of hops at the end. This is a lovely festive ale, slightly let down by HopDog’s continued propensity to over-carbonate their brews. That said, it’s great to see an Aussie brewer who is clearly focused on making unusual, challenging and complex stuff.
gav12c (116) - Wollongong, AUSTRALIA - JUN 22, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
pours a hazy amber with a thick white head, spicy ginger and toffee aroma follows through into the flavour with biscuity malt and lots of citrus zest. finish’s bitter but a little over carbonated. great beer.
jdpeebs (636) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - MAY 8, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
330ml bottle- good spice and malt flavours. A well balanced beer all round. Looking forward too trying this beer every christmas.
downender (5187) - Bristol, Gloucestershire, ENGLAND - APR 22, 2012
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle in Perth, WA. Amber with a decent, off-white head. Hints of ginger and nutmeg spice, orange fruit, some Belgian yeast character and a full-bodied, moderately bitter finish. A great interpretation!
gam (2662) - brisbane, AUSTRALIA - MAR 2, 2012
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Neat block head strong carbonation deep amber pour aromas citrus spice vanilla coconut mamalade sugary flavours coriander sugary clove nutmeg some orange fine festive ale dried currants raisin coconut the finish smooth good mix of tastes dried fruit and spices sweet taste is decent nice ale
sinkas (247) - Perth/Fremantle, AUSTRALIA - FEB 4, 2012
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle From Freo Doctor store,
NIce belg adn spice notes, in aroma and flavour, good restraint, where others often fail
mkel07 (2340) - Brisbane, AUSTRALIA - JAN 14, 2012
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
330ml bottle. I certainly wouldn’t mind if Santa left a few of these under my tree next year. Red to copper in colour with lots of spice and herbs in the nose and plenty of peppery aromas coming from the glass. Strong flavour that leaves you wanting more.