Christmas Beer Stash in review. Part 4…


January 21, 2013 by 250 Beers

Bloody hell. It’s fast approaching February and I’m still waffling on about Christmas. It was a heck of a list so all the beers deserve a mention.

Here’s part 4 of my write-up on my Christmas 2012 Beer Stash

Friday 28th Dec 2012

ACME California Pale Ale – North Coast Brewing Co. (USA) 5.0%

north coast brewing acme california pale ale3Star

As mentioned in Part 2 of my festive reviews, I indulged in four of North Coast’s beers. This being their Pale Ale which, if you live in South-East Queensland, is probably the most accessible.

There was a slight problem with the bottle that I’d put aside for Christmas. I’d polished off 5 some weeks prior and the solitary bottle left as part of my stash was off. Of course, I didn’t realise this until I’d taken a swig. It tasted bad. It was flat and just rubbish. Therefore, I’ll be basing my comments on the previously swigged version.

This is a very addictive pale ale. Extremely flavoursome with hints of caramel and citrus. Very light on the hops and extremely drinkable. I’d definitely buy again. A jolly decent 5 percenter.

Estrella Damm Inedit – S.A. Damm/Chef Ferran Adria (Spain) 4.8%

estrella damm inedit3StarBefore I say anything else, I’ve got to state that elsewhere I’d published a comment about this beer that went something like this “The name of this beer must translate from Spanish into English as piss water“. I made that comment after one mouthful – first impressions you know?

The thing is, this beer grew in stature after every sip. It’s presented in a fancy shmancy box and inside the fancy shmancy box is a fancy shmancy bottle with a fashionable ‘less-is-more’ label stating that a fancy shmancy chef helped with the brew. Whatever. A bit of a gimmick in my opinion. As I said, I did start to enjoy the fact that this is a slightly special beer.

It’s actually a wheat beer/lager with an extremely pleasant aftertaste of coriander which is nowhere near as overwhelming as some wheat beers. It’s light creamy texture grew on me too. My one gripe is the cost. I’d happily pay top dollar for a top beer but I reckon a decent slice of the cost in this instance is down to the over-the-top packaging.

Saturday 29th Dec 2012

Pale Ale – Monteith’s Brewing Co. (NZ) 4.6%


Pilsner – Monteith’s Brewing Co. (NZ) 5.0%

2.5StarIt’s a shame but Saturday 29th December wasn’t a happy day where beer is concerned. Out of the three beers consumed only one was kind of OK. The first two were mediocre. Neither here nor there really. It’s a shame because the two that I’m referring to are both made by the same brewery – Monteith’s. Both were only worthy of a 2.5 star rating.

Not only were they both very average, but the photo’s turned out poor too!

Both beers were very lacklustre in taste and appearance in my opinion. Sadly, I can’t see myself buying either of these in the future.

If you’d read my recent review of Monteith’s Summer Ale you may have noticed that it, too, only hit a 2.5 star rating. What on earth are they doing over there at the moment in New Zealand?

Extra Strong Vintage Ale – Coopers (Australia) 7.5%

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale 20123.5StarI was hoping to hang onto this one for a while longer – to let it age a bit more than just a few months but after the two Monteith’s efforts, I needed cheering up with a strong beer.

The 2012 Vintage from Coopers did indeed put a smile on my face. Upon pouring, the rich deep amber colour is enough to brighten any occasion. It’s a very smooth brew. The light carbonation compliments the alcohol content perfectly. There is ‘slight’ everything here. Slight hops, slight maltiness and slight fruit. Very enjoyable.

Sunday 30th Dec 2012

Skull Splitter – Orkney Brewery (Scotland) 8.5%

orkney brewery skull splitter4StarI loved everything about the Skull Splitter! From the solidness of it through to its strength and even the artwork on the label. An awesome beer from the Orkney Brewery.

It pours a very burnt, deep orange/brown with a light but retainable head. This is quite a complex beer with undertones of sweet malts and roasted fruits with a decent hop bitterness that compliments the complexity perfectly. Get yourself some if you can find it!

Double Trouble Abbey Ale – Holgate Brewhouse (Australia) 8.0%

Holgate Double Trouble Abbey Ale4.5StarOn reflection, Sunday 30th December was shaping up to be a much better day than the 24 hours prior.

In my opinion, Holgate’s Double Trouble Abbey Ale is just brilliant.

As soon as I opened the bottle, the aromas of caramel caressed my nostrils. Quite astonishing actually as I’m sure that I’ve ever been so enticed by the whiff of a beer before. There’s a first time for everything I guess.

Hints of raisin and subtle nutty tones on the palate prevent the sweetness from being too over the top. It’s quite malty too which isn’t a bad thing. I wish I’d picked up more of these. I intend to rectify that mishap very soon.

Milk Porter – Kooinda Boutique Brewery (Australia) 4.7%

Kooinda Milk Porter3.5StarNow here is a nice porter. For those that haven’t been acquainted with a porter before then a Kooinda is a good place to start.

This is a very solid porter with subtle vanilla and roast malts which keeps the bitterness in check. It boasts a faint liquorice after taste – only very faint mind you. The gentle milk chocolate edge is what I most enjoyed about this porter followed by the perfect amount of carbonation. I’d recommend it to anybody. Top effort Kooinda!

Smoked Porter – Feral Brewing Co. (Australia) 4.9%

Feral Smoked Porter3Star

This offering from Feral was my first insight into the brews made by the guys over in WA.

No doubt about it, I am a porter fan and I like smoked beers. However, this was just a bit too smokey for me. I love the burnt tastes that come with a smoked beer but this was just marginally over the top. It was a nice porter but surprisingly thin – not very robust at all. All other characteristics of a porter were there – roasted malts, coffee etc but were overpowered by the smoke.

I was with my colleague, Nick, during my first ever visit to Tippler’s Tap in Brisbane last October. Nick had a Feral Smoked Porter off tap and it was nowhere near as smokey as the bottled version.

Part 5 of this Christmassy saga to follow!

One thought on “Christmas Beer Stash in review. Part 4…

  1. […] yes, after a few of these you’ll be in trouble. I loved this beer. It featured as part of my Christmas beer stash. It was the first time that a beer had bowled me over by smell alone. There are amazing tastes in […]

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