StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 20, 2006
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle courtesy of Milwaukee White Elephant.
Opulent and transparent bronze in color with an icy white head and some sporadic lacing. Aroma discourages, drawing out wet dog, steel, hazelnut extract, and mince meat pie with backing soda substituting for sugar. Semi-flavorful force is highlighted by chestnuts and almonds. Nutty potpourri and a touch of caramel over cherries. Some Christmas blend pipe tobacco as well. Medium-to-fuller bodied, a touch fizzy, but generally bodes well upon the palate. Malt shovel takes its namesake seriously, and that’s a good thing, for the sake of balance. Finish is much the same, with hazelnuts, cherry cordials and caramel chews along with an underlying trait that reminisces of sodden autumn leaves.
DavidP (1746) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 2, 2005
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle shared by Blake. Cloudy reddish amber bod, not much head. Raspberry and buttery malt in the aroma, reminds me of the raspberry pie at Baker’s Square. The flavor contains green raisins, sweet caramel malt with light roast and stemmy, spicy hops. I was expecting a heavier barley wine flavor but it’s interesting enough to make the lack of strengh OK.
Stew41 (1663) - Woodend, AUSTRALIA - SEP 12, 2004
2.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: JUL 31, 2005 Nice dark amber, tan in the glass. Pous a small, fizzy head with caramel notes. Malt depth is evident on the nose although a bit tame when compared to its English cousins. Palate was quite ordinary on opening but settled nicely as the beer warmed up. Ok malts and some bitterness at the back but doesn’t really get going. Not bad for an Oz effort.
mrkimchee (1414) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 19, 2004
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
clear copper, off white head. huge malty aroma with dried cherries and raisins, toffee, mil chocolate and roast. flavour starts sweet with notes of buckwheat honey. toffee-ish malt flavour with roasty bitterness. nice.
highlandlad (1402) - Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA - FEB 15, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Probably the best beer in the James Squire range. Strong ales are few and far between in Australia, so the brewer is to be commended. However, this doesn’t have enough character to stand comparison with the best of the Belgians. It poured a toffee colour with a fine tan head. The rich nose has dark raisiny fruit and peppery alcohol. Medium body, with lots of fruit in the middle and sweet toffee notes. Some toasted malt. Good strong winter drinking. (Bottle, 2003 release)
TChrome (1400) - Bedford, Texas, USA - JAN 4, 2004
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Beer pours light cooper brown with off white head that is retained. Aromas is decent, malty but the ABV is a bit too apparant. Flavor is a bit better than the aroma. Flavor is lightly malty with a little bitterness and the brew warms the tummy when it hits. Pretty nice beer.
haddon90 (1385) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 29, 2005
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Purchased at a wine cellar outside of Katoomba, Sydney, NSW. Pours a deep, clear, mahagony with a quick lacing head. Malty aroma. Some sort of grassy presence. Not a strong taste at all!! Somewhat watered down. Definitely does not pass for a strong ale.
Sully (1377) - Potts Point, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA - JUN 12, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: AUG 9, 2004 The nose is initially a little lacking, but as soon as it settles in the glass the aroma comes through as a pleasant toffee note. The flavour is quite malty like an Anzac biscuit, and is as gutsy as an Anzac as well. Great mouthfeel and body with the power of the ABV being obvious, even to the extent that it could be even more powerful than the stated 6.8%. The finish is dry and bitter which complements the initial sensation. Great coffee colour, mmmmm. This needs cold weather, a log fire and some aged cheddar. RE-RATE: The brewers told me this shouldn't age well. It has and is a great beer.
RE-RATE Number 2: The first anniversary beer has now been released with the effect that Chuck and his lads have improved this beer. OK, fir us drinkers downunder there may be a bias when great beers emerge from the macro morass, but I beleive this is an improvement on last year's. It has the same coppery hue and lightly creme caramel coloured head. The nose is a fine toffee roasting and sticky date pudding but it is the smoothness of the mouthfeel and intensity of flavour that pushes this one up a few points. I demand that this be brewed all year 'round instead of only seasonally.
eczematic (1307) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - JUN 24, 2003
1.3 AROMA 2/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 5/20
UPDATED: JUN 6, 2004 just had some of the latest 2004 batch. it was a tough job to make it any worse than last year but they have. i don't know where to start. these "rare hops" they use for aroma (apparently australian grown millelfrüh) smell foul. rough, dirty, piney, and green. also accompanied by a weird sulfuric stench that ive never smelt in an ale. odd. mouthfeel is thin, fizzy and watery. shortlived and rough flavours of thin, nutty malt and tangy, rough PORlike bitterness. no fatness to the flavour at all. tastes like theyve toned down the caramel from last year and strangely enough that was probably the only thing that saved it. in the end this is more like reschs dinner ale than anything. last year's: ugly beer. sweet, cloying caramel/roasted nut icky palate, with rough bitterness coming very shortly after initial toffee attack, followed by watery, chloriney nothing finish. [2.6]
OlJuntan64 (1265) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - JUL 11, 2003
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: JUL 12, 2003 I had 3 of these from the same 6 pack before I decided to rate this beer and they have all been slightly different. One was quite phenolic and the other two kinda watery - have I got a dud batch? Look is good! Pleasant honeycomb and big biscuity malt aroma. The rest is disappointing, lacks the complexity or interest in the flavour of the traditional Pommy strongs. Alcohol poorly masked and stale to boring finish. I encourage Malty's to keep trying as we really need a decent local brewed pommy strong ale.