Cconners (11) - Tauranga, NEW ZEALAND - FEB 29, 2008
I found this beer at Hillsdene Wine Cellars in Tauranga. As a woman I was immediately drawn to the attractive packaging, I bought one of the breweries 4 pack samplers.The beer poured a dark brown ,with a creamy tan head and when held up to the light a beautiful ruby colour shown through. The scent was a slightly smoky ,caramel ,and almost raisny, surprisingly not strongly alcholic for a big beer. The taste was very malty and complex sweet toffee, and raisins,creamy and slightly smoky at the finish,with a pleasant lingering hoppiness. The body of this beer is fat and almost chewy with low carbonation and again so well balanced that the 7% is virtualy undetectable. I will be back for more of this delicious beer,glad it’s available locally! TheGrandMaster (2335) - Auckland, NEW ZEALAND - DEC 30, 2007
Draught at the Malthouse in Wellington, probably the wrong beer after a few already and a great curry at The Great India. My fuddled memory brings back a big brown beer, very resiny and alcoholic, with the flavour of sweet toffee. I found it a tough drink, and this style is not one my my favourites, though I can sense others appreciation. austinpowers (2831) - San Francisco, California, USA - DEC 18, 2007
Found this bottle at a bottle shop in Dunedin (Meenan’s), which also brews its own beers! But that’s another story. A massive scotch ale! It bills itself as comparable to a "big-bodied cabernet" and it delivers. Can’t taste the 7% abv at all. A whopper of a malt body with lots of sweetness and some hop roast late. A winner. OJB (40) - Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND - SEP 25, 2007
There was a quite deep reddish brown colour, and a moderate creamy head. The aroma had strong malt and crisp hops. The taste had caramel malt, chocolate, intense roasted flavours and a long hoppy finish. This beer had quite complex strong flavours, and had medium body. kempicus (343) - Bakewell, Derbyshire, ENGLAND - SEP 15, 2007
UPDATED: FEB 29, 2008 Just had this on tap and it seems that the recipe has changed slightly, the peppery hoppiness has been slightly dialed down and juicey malt is even more prominent, it’s now dark fruit sweet and it tastes GOOD! Malt Malt Malt! I’m a big fan of hoppy beers but i love this beer, it’s enormous on the palate and in flavour and i can’t get enough of it!
beerledgend (1196) - Waterloo, Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - MAR 21, 2007
Dark brown in colour with nice red hughes around side of glass. Thin white head, caramel toffee flavours, mild rasin bitterness, roasted malt body, bit thin. bozoNZ (784) - Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND - JAN 16, 2007
Batch 10 bottle from Beer Emporium 16/01 Reddish bronze but still very dark. Fair creamy head. Faint sherry like nose Malty, char & toffee. Big warmth to it kinda rosey. Mild carbonation but shorter finish than I expected. Definately a dark winter brew - not for the middle of summer like I have just done...!! markas101 (2563) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - APR 28, 2006
Tasted 1.25L flagon, Regional Wines and Spirits,Wellington. Dark brown with reddish tint. Colour carries into the head that quickly dissipates. Malty caramel aroma. Sweet and strong flavor that stays with you. Pleasing finish, would suit strong blue cheeses. Quite enjoyable for a fan of strong ale. yalnikim (802) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - APR 6, 2006
UPDATED: JAN 22, 2008 Retasted 08/10/2008. 500ml bottle from BrewNZ. Lovely mix of caramel, wood, smoke, dark fruit and toast. A beer that is well and truly headed in the right direction. 4.0/5.0. Retasted 31/05/2006. Neil Miller’s May Cellar-Vate tasting. I was even more impressed this time. Seemed more balanced with less of that phenolic note. Upped flavour and aroma a point each, plus two for the overall. 3.6/5.0.
Tasted 06/04/2006. 1.25L flagon from Regional Wines and Spirits, Wellington.
Very dark brown, inky, near black, with murky red hues in the light. Thickish tan head, with a slight greenish tinge, that collapses but lingers. Big malt nose, with some phenolics: mollasses and caramel dominate with a fairly prominent herbal/smoky undertone (not sure if this is from roasted grain, or perhaps even peated malt. It doesn’t seem yeast based). Some sweet malts up front, in the lowly carbonated med-heavy mouthfeel, are quickly followed by an astringent and medicinal, slightly smoky, middle. Extremely long finish is woody, and suggests liquorice. Warming.
A well-made beer, quite complex and different for NZ, but a little too much of that over-roasted specialty malt doesn’t allow the base malt to show through. 3.2/5.0. omhper (26213) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - FEB 9, 2006
Draught at the brewpub. Clear dark nut brown. Gently malty with full body and soft mouthfeel. Besides the caramelly malt there is notes of oranges, and the finish holds salty licorice and nice bitterness. Well structured and warming.