Oakes (17653) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 2, 2005
Bright golden-brown colour. Aroma is earthy, slighlty molassesy. The body is a little light. There’s some mild brown sugary malt notes and slight alcohol in the finish. Doesn’t drink like a strong ale - Australians are even more timid than Canadians with their micros. haddon90 (1634) - Newport Beach, California, USA - AUG 29, 2005
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. jgb9348 (6250) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - JAN 21, 2009
Copper coloured body with a ruby tint and a thin off-white head. Aroma of caramel, malt, toffee, raisins and odd must. Medium-bodied; Sharp pungent maltiness with no sugars at all, fading fast to a musty & earthy finish. Aftertaste bitter, but remarkably clean! Overall, odd - hardly any character for what I’d normally expect, but great to try! Thanks so much to Phil (haddon90) for this one on his return trip down under. I sampled this 33 cL bottle purchased from a bottle shop in Leura (Sydney), New South Wales, Australia on 02-August-2005. Bathbeer (1) - Auckland, NEW ZEALAND - FEB 9, 2004 does not count
Pours a deep copper, dense white head with a touch of burnt toffy on the nose. Caramal flavour from the crystal, no hops, strongly malt dominated, sweet almost cloying but rich and complex with lovely mouth feel. Finish is clean with a hint of alcohol waming and slightly spicy. would go great with a sticky date pudding. ALLOVATE (3014) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - JUL 25, 2005
Tasted from the bottle, it is the first Squire Strong ale I have tried, and I am yet to find a Malt shovel beer that lives up to its product description. Poured a teak-copper colour, clear, with a short lather of off-white foam that lasted and left a little lace. Dry, earthy and gritty malt aroma from the bottle, lightly roasted grain, raisins and a light solvent-like note. Generous nose to begin with, but it seemed to lapse on the pour and lost it’s lustre quickly in the glass. A little too watery on the tongue, toasted malt and burnt sugars come through more in the dry swallow than in the mouth. Light bodied and soft in carbonation, it has a little alcohol warmth, a lightly bitter back and nothing really showing upfront. Became a little plastic as it warmed and was generally unbalanced towards husky malt tones than any floral or fruity balance. This one just didn’t work and to taste this alongside some of the other ’bigger’ Aussie brews, including its macro-counterpart Cooper’s Vintage, this one didn’t even compete. Lack of flavour and body spells bastard pasteurisation, and sadly for this one, it was just another disappointing brew from Malt Shovel.
fiulijn (20491) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 15, 2006
Cloudy amber color. For me, it’s a poor brew, just boosted by the alcohol, but below average (alcohol, caramel…). Winchester (75) - Struggle Town NSW, AUSTRALIA - OCT 15, 2003
UPDATED: OCT 16, 2003 As I explore my way through the James Squire range the taste and quality of beer keeps dropping. The worst that Ive had so far. The afteratste was like posion acid burning my tongue! mullet (849) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - JUL 5, 2003
UPDATED: AUG 14, 2005 A great looking beer, beautiful red colour with good head and strong lacing on glass. Aroma is very alcoholic with sweet caramel malt, flavour is more of the same. It has a lot of toffee sweetness but is not very malty (if that is possible). Has a reasonable bitterness which is good for a chronically under-bittered style. Overall another disappointing beer from Malt Shovel. Also - this beer is obviously NOT the product of a "wild" fermentation as claimed on the label!eczematic (1325) - Adelaide, AUSTRALIA - JUN 24, 2003
RR: 2005 version. Whoa, has this one gone downhill! Massive vegetably aroma, barely any malt character to speak of and a rusty bitterness. Seems to have lost a bit of colour too. The way it’s going this should be re-classified into the Euro Strong Lager section. Makes me think they’re brewing this at Tooheys now too. Prev. rating 3.0.
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]