highlandlad (1418) - Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA - OCT 31, 2007
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: FEB 10, 2008 Rerate: 2nd batch was much more balanced. Raising rating by a few points. Original rate: Well, first off, donít try to drink one of these by yourself unless youíve just been dumped or your dog died or Howard wins the election. 750mls of this Abbey tripel goes a long way, and the after-effects are lingering. Itís a big mother, and best shared with like-minded souls. For mine, itís a qualified success, superior to most recent Australian experiments with Belgian styles, but not in the same class as their IPAs. As the Melbournians observe, the champagne-style corks can be a challenge with these caged 750ml bottles. I resorted to sawing the bulb off with a bread knife and prying the remainder out with a cork-screw. The beer poured with the noisy splutter that sometimes indicates a carbonation issue. It raised 2cms of loose suds that quickly fizzled away. Clear bronze colour with a peachy tint. Strong aroma of over-ripe fruit, quite thin and piercing. Plums, Cherry Cola, fresh mint leaves and Werthers Originals. Very fruity, with lots going on. Medium bodied and oily. Perhaps marginally under-carbonated? I found the flavour mix a real cocktail and a bit of a head-scratcher. Definite diacetyl, pureed dates, quince, chewy malts and a Victory V-like heat and minty medicinal astringency in the finish. Sweet but not OTT. Licorice-root intensity. Very "hot" to my palate - I prefer the alcohol to wear more camouflage than this. Overall, a very worthwhile addition to the local scene, but a bit confused. I donít think it would take much tweaking to lift this into the top flight. (750ml bottle from Liquor on Parade)
Stew41 (1754) - Woodend, AUSTRALIA - OCT 31, 2007
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: APR 7, 2012 Vintage: 2007
Consumed: October 2008
A minor cellaring experiment with a now 14 month old. Glowing oranage in colour and a large fizzy white head. Aromas are really something else: rich apricot, sauturnes, spice and aniseed. Very deep. Palate shows the apricot early beofre some fizz and alcohol-driven aniseed / licorice kicks in. The latter characters are quite pro-nounced. Finishes a little rough and bitter. Cellaring hasnít hurt this wine at all but the alcohol is a little abrasive.
Consumed: October 2007 (3.4)
The cork removal process was an absolute bugger just like the Anniversay Ale!! Appearance as per Lachís observations although the head on my bottle was very thin. Very expressive and perfumed nose; fruity esters, sweet grapefruit, soft floral characters, and perhaps a faint sugary note. The flavours are a bit more straight forward and the palate, in the early stages, is driven by a sweet malt that transforms into fruity flavours that progressively thicken. Finishes with a touch of heat and bitterness that appears alcohol driven, but that said the near 9% weight is well managed. To my tastes has more in common with the recent double IPA style releases from fellow Oz micros, rather than a abbey tripel. Whatever, I think this beer is interesting and well worth a try.
mullet (849) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - OCT 27, 2007
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: MAY 27, 2008 The cork on this one was a lot more compliant than the one for the Icon, which was a relief. Barely any pop on opening though. Clear deep gold-amber, with a solid head but itís pretty thin because thereís not much carbonation to hold it up. Crazily intense perfumey esters dominate - tropical fruit, mango Weis bars, apricot nectar, lime rind, violets, hand soap - with some subtle Xmas cake batter like Brasserie des Rocs and noticeable diacetyl which becomes more apparent with time. Similarly cartoon-like flavour - intensely perfumey and fruity, with thick, sweet malt mostly balanced by perfume and fruit and soft alcohol. Considerable diacetyl flavour. Soapy too, which probably isnít helped by the hand soap esters. Unusually low carbonation really lets the mouthfeel down. The alcohol is handled very well though - noticeable but soft, a bit like Duvel only not as intense. The diacetyl and lack of carbonation really point to a bottle-conditioning issue. I had kept the bottle in ambient (warm) temperatures for about three weeks after buying it though, so thereís really no excuses. Itís still a rather nice beer though - fascinatingly weird in an almost monstrous, cartoon-like way with all those crazy flavours. Intruiging stuff. Guess Iíll be holding onto my other bottle for a while to see if it gets better. Just losing the diacetyl would improve it greatly.
RR: Small bottle. Good on em for making this more available in a better format. Cheap too! No diacetyl here, but just so estery! Just a complete mess of fruit salad - way too much to be enjoyable. Otherwise itís a well-constructed beer.
SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - NOV 25, 2006
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap at the Pub With No Beer. Pours a pale yellow with a big thick dense white head. Enormous bubble gum sweetness to the aroma. In addition, straw and banana emerge from the heavy esters. The flavor mimics these aromas as well. This is served in a traditional Belgian tulip glass and is completely satisfying after spending a week drinking mass-produced Australian pale lagers. The people at this famous bar were some of the nicest that we met in a country full of incredibly nice people. You must visit this place.
bridge (659) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - AUG 6, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clear golden yellow with large bubbles supporting a small head that left scattered lace. Plenty of caramel bananas in the aroma. On tasting it was initially the same, then a Brondecon hit, then back to bananas on the aftertaste. Quite bitter and tangy, with the bitterness lingering. It was a little bit on the gassy side, and a little bit cloying, but a good beer.