bendybenbeer (39) - AUSTRALIA - MAY 7, 2010
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle. Pours a dark mahogany, with small off white head. Aroma is of malt, alcohol, and maybe a little hops... I was expecting more hops, but only because of the name... Flavour is nicely layered, with a little alcohol kick at the end, maybe a tad too much for an ESB? Bitterness is nice. Carbonation in this bottle was way too high. Overall, a little confusing for me... but still good.
hawthorne00 (2878) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - APR 6, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: APR 23, 2014 [4/10] Tap at brewery. Dirtyish copper with a thick cream head. Aroma of flowers, grass and a little citrus with deep malts behind. Taste is layered dark malty sweetness with firm bitterness. Finish has volatile aromatic bitterness and some alcohol. I would have thought this an English Strong Ale without the benefit of the list at the bar - it’s full of robust flavours and feels boozier than 6%. This is a hoppy beer, but as ever with Red Hill they don’t get silly with the hops: the malt side is plenty big enough to handle the aromatics and the bitterness.
[rerate: leaving score unchanged, just a bottle note] Bottle. Clear copper, nicely-lacing light beige head. Aroma of grass and caramel. Nice complex malt sweetness with decent balancing bitterness. Good, but a lot less vibrant than on tap.
Cask at Red Hill. Swan neck and sparkler. Certainly looked great and had a creamy mouthfeel, but the hops popped rather less.
jimmythechippy (90) - , AUSTRALIA - JAN 13, 2010
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
drunk fresh at the brewery, every year. always good and amazing hop profile. lacks same depth in bottle....
BeerChaser0078 (909) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - NOV 1, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Pours clear, dark amber with a large, creamy white head that lasts ages. Aroma has notes of malt, toffee, pine and some tropical fruit. Flavour mirrors the aroma and has a nice balance between the malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Smooth mouthfeel and a longish dry finish. A very nice beer overall but the name led me to expect a hoppier brew. Not that the hops are lacking, but this isn’t exactly the hop bomb that it sounds like.
jonno (2345) - JAPAN - OCT 31, 2009
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
This has that malty taste that I have noticed in quite a few aussie beers that just doesn’t really agree with me. Crystal malt maybe? Anyway this is quite a full heavy beer. Big biscuit and caramel mouth full. Hops are not upfront and serve more as a balance to the body. Not really what I was expecting. Solid ESB, but not a particularly good showcase for the hops.
nate2g (1548) - Boomtown!, AUSTRALIA - OCT 31, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Pours hazy amber with a creamy white head. Instantly upon pour the sweet malty tones hits the nose, plenty of caramel malt, toffee and fruit. The flavour follows the same, with a smooth bitter mouthfeel balancing this one out nicely. Good carbonation in the bottle and finishes sweet malty. A tasty ESB.
TheGrandMaster (2335) - Auckland, NEW ZEALAND - OCT 24, 2009
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: OCT 25, 2009 Bottle (in NZ). Pours a hazy mahogony brown with a frothy head. Rich toffee malt nose, with stewed fruits. The toffee malt also has biscuity characteristics, but is dominated by woody and burnished qualities and a staleness. Hop notes are fruity and vanilla. Something makes me like this more than I think I should.
yalnikim (800) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - SEP 17, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Tasted 15/09/2009. 330ml bottle. Interesting ale. Oxidised and thinning out with high carbonation is has lost most, if not all, of it’s "hop harvest" vitality - assuming it once had some - but it still stands up well as a very drinkable and interesting ale. Deep rose gold with a slightly musky perfume in the aroma. Muted tropical fruit and oxidised caramel malt to the fore, with some peppery hop flavour left, carbonic edge and subtle bitterness cleaning out the finish. Certainly more English than most new world hoppy ales tend to be. Worth further investigation, to be sure.
kearnsy (68) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - JUN 22, 2009
3.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
From the bottle, dark copper with off white head that lasts really well. Sweet fruity aromas, with hop residue or pine needles. Flavour is fruit and sweet malt blending together nicely. Well carbonated. medium bodied. Slight astringent sour aftertaste the only let down.
Davros (2408) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - JUN 19, 2009
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAY 31, 2013 Pour quite a dark amber/earthy copper, with a big, long-lasting head.
Aroma contain lots of fruity hops (classic citrus notes with some tropical hints) and a fair bit of resin and pine. Lots of clean sweet malt underneath and a hint of diacetyl brings you back to English territory.
Flavours are a mix of sweet caramel malt, earthy and spicy hops and a mild hoppy bitterness that lingers all around the mouth.
Slightly too much carbonation.
Great aroma, but there’s some off-putting characteristic in the lingering bitterness that detracts from the overall experience.