Aarleks (409) - Sydney, AUSTRALIA - SEP 8, 2005
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: OCT 21, 2006 On tap at Redoak: I would say that this is as black as the inside of a black dragon (my notes actually say rabbit... but dragon sounds cooler) in a deep dark cave on a moonless night, rather than the inside of a tapir. So, really black in other words, with a huge brown head that sticks. I had let this warm a bit so the aromas were there waiting for me, and they were complex; a tangy sourness I couldn’t put my finger on, some chalkiness and some caramel, some wet blanket, stewed prunes, white pepper, and cardomom all with a roasty background, a touch of fish sauce and some faint liqorice. However, exact aromas remained elusive. In the mouth this was simply sensational. Peppery alcohol harmonics blended with rich caramels and dark spicy beats. Again the liqorice was present along with a deep but restrained roastiness. In the mouth there is a sublime silkiness but with a mild carbonation that cuts through and a beautiful resetting bitterness. There are no doubts here, no searching for flavours. It is right there, right in your face - full, powerfull, and uncomprimising. I could not leave this alone. World class.
Sampled with highlandlad.
davidm (1772) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - DEC 6, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. Exceptional beer. Aromas of chocolate and port. Flavour is sweet and long-lasting. The palate is oily, and it has an alcoholic finish. Dark brown in colour, with a frothy head.
highlandlad (1375) - Blue Mountains, AUSTRALIA - SEP 1, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 8, 2005 Wow. This looks like a contender for ’Australia’s best beer’. Who’d have guessed it would be a Baltic Porter? I can’t pretend to have any experience of the style but I know a bloody good beer when I taste one. This is so good that we went back twice the same night to confirm our first impression. Looks fabulous: jet black with a tall beige head that sagged as it warmed. The aroma is inhibited by the serving temperature but still comes through remarkably strongly. It’s rich and raisiny, with some molasses, Dundee cake, Vegemite and port-like alcohol. The palate is faultless, thick and creamy, fairly lactic at the back of the throat. It’s well integrated and carries its 8.7% abv easily. On the tongue, it shows some sweet blackcurrant initially before the dominant molasses and bitter coffee kick in. The finish has a spicy quality, plus Vegemite and dark chocolate. This is a seasonal brew and it will be a minor tragedy if it doesn’t gain enough ratings to be recognised on the site before it disappears. (On tap at the brewpub)
Re-rate 9/9/05: This is even better than I first thought. At the moment this is my Desert Island Beer. Raising the flavour and overall score by a point each.
bozoNZ (715) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - JUL 18, 2011
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
250ml bottle aging in the cellar. Some chocolate, prunes and sweet currants both on the nose and across the palate. Very soft carbonation. delightful beer - only fault is it’s a touch sticky sweet rather than allowing some of the rawness from the dark malts shining through.
Sully (1378) - Potts Point, New South Wales, AUSTRALIA - AUG 18, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
I have never seen the inside of a tapir, with or without a reasonable head, so I can’t comment on this analogy to the colour. Some might look at this and say that it is as black as a very black thing. I, on the other hand, consider this to be as dark as the inside of a black bowling ball that has been cast into a deep ravine perpendicularly at night during a lunar eclipse. I hope you get my drift. This is topped by an initially dense and creamy caramel head that eventually dissipates upon warming. That, in fact, is a constant bone of contention at this pub. The beers are always served at very low temperatures that mask the qualities of the aroma quite effectively. The bar staff, to their credit however, are aware of this and correctly state that the typical Aussie palate demands this serving temperature. Fair enough, it is a lot easier to cradle this in your hands to warm it up than asking them to cool the beer for you. In fact this is a very positive aspect of the beer as you can experience the blossoming aroma as it warms. And what a fine aroma it is. The currant and date character of the nose is warming and subtle with a hint of honey. The real enjoyment is in the mouthfeel however. It is quite intense as expected from the ABV with intense flavours of cocoa and roasted malt. There is a well balanced grassy hop flavour in the backgound which smooths well and distinguishes it from a harsher stout flavour. This is reminiscent of a Zywiec porter which is praise in itself. Damn fine job Redoak, I didn’t even mind paying the $7 for a 250ml glass, even though the staff do err on the generous side
yalnikim (800) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - SEP 26, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
26/09/2009. 250ml bottle. Marked as 9% abv. Has all the classic currant and dark chocolate that you’d expect from such a beer. Clean and well lagered, it has a shade more caramel and a slightly lower carbonation than I’d like but it is a moreishly dangerous drinker and a great way to end a lovely but cool spring day (listening to The Sun Came Out).
motelpogo (5530) - Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC - AUG 22, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
on tap at redoak. the bar dude claimed that this had been lagered for a year so i was expecting something pretty good. it looked alright in its wine glass - a pretty deep shade of black with a semi-whipped cream head. quite a sweet aroma of licorice, treacle, nutmeg and powdered milk. not much sign of alcohol in the palate; actually quite a velvetty and sophisticated texture. surprising lack of sweetness given the aroma, some salty vegemite flavour, more nutmeg and then some moderate grssy bitterness. good stuff. looking forward to seeing what they try their hand at next
omhper (17431) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - DEC 26, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottled. Dark black, brown head. Rich aroma of salty licorice. Coffee and syrupy toffee dominates. The body is full, it’s very roasty with notes of plums. Themouthfeel is filling, but fairly clean. Very rich and true to style, event hough perhaps slightly more hoppy than it’s cousins around the Baltic.
TimE (2584) - Tokyo, JAPAN - JUN 8, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pitch black color. Intense nose of dark fruit, berries, bittering chocolate and toffee. Starts much more sour than expected with some berries, caramel and bitteriing chocolate. Sourness works quit well. Warming alcoholic finish with plums and dark chocolate. Intense stuff.
Ungstrup (26193) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - JUN 12, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled at RBESG 2006 - thanks to Motelpogo. A pitch black beer with a disappearing brown head. The aroma is sweet with strong notes of caramel and roasted malt as well as light notes of alcohol. The flavor is very sweet with medium notes of roasted malt and chocolate, as well as light notes of whiskey, leading to a dry roasted finish. The alcohol leaves a slight burn in the cheeks.