Tuesday night, fancy a beer? Beer reviews below....

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Monteiths Black (New Zealand)

Monteiths Black Beer
Monteiths Brewing Company
5.2% ABV

Monteiths have been producing beer since 1868 when it was established.  It is infact New Zealand's longest running brewery. 

The Black Beer uses 5 different malts in the brew.

Not much more information available at this time.


The malts offer a little chocolate and a little hit of coffee aromas and accompany a dark almost black liquid with a frothy tan head.  The beer has some sweetness along with light bitterness.  Unexpectedly the beer is very light and creamy.

Not as much flavour as I would have liked and too light on the palate, quite surprisingly for the dark colour.  It does however allow for very easy consumption.

Scores: -

Aroma 5/10
Appearance 4/5
Taste 5/10
Palate 3.5/5
Overall 14.5/20

Total 64%

Little Creatures Single Batch - The Big Dipper (Australia)

Little Creatures Single Batch - The Big Dipper
Little Creatures Brewing Company
7.8% ABV

A single batch of The Big Dipper was released in March 2011.  The ale features 7 different hops all combining for a huge flavour and an increased alcohol content.  The 7 hops represent the 7 stars in the constellation of the same name.  Colombus, Cascade, Chinook, Stella, Citra, Centennial and Simcoe hops are all used.


On first pour a flood of fragrance sweeps up the nostrils.  Caramel aromas and the signature Little Creatures aroma is there.  I was expecting more though.  A dark golden hazy liquid is present with a small white head.  You get some of the alcohol on the tongue with some citrus almost Semillon characters there.  There is some good weight behind this beer and a strong bitter finish. 

Maybe a little too much alcohol for a midweek beer but certainly worth buying and trying.

Scores: -

Aroma 7/10
Appearance 3.5/5
Taste 6.5/10
Palate 3.5/5
Overall 15/20

Total 70%

Chang (Thailand)

Chang Beer
Chang Brewery
5% ABV

Within 4 years Chang beer has acheived 50% market share in Thailand and is now distributed throughout the world.  Winning awards in America and more recently in Australia in 2009, gaining a bronze medal as best international beer.
I tasted this for the first time in Bangkok and throughout Thailand in 2004.  I can remember at the time a Dutch backpacker told me that Change beer was unregulated and that the ABV could range anywhere from 4% to 13%.  I am not sure how reliable that information was but now the brewery have strong control over their product.  This is seen as Thailand's budget lager containing malt, rice hops, natural water and selected yeasts.


There are some cereal like malty aromas once poured.  The beer is a very light, pale, clear liquid with a minimal head.  There is no bitterness and not really much flavour at all.  The beer has a light body with some carbonation.

Not enough flavour, maybe good in the Siam heat to quench your thirst but it really doesn't stand up against the majority of serious beers.

Scores: -

Aroma 4/10
Appearance 2.5/5
Taste 3/10
Palate 2.5/5
Overall 11/20

Total 46%

Innis and Gunn Oak Aged Beer (Scotland)

Innis and Gunn Oak Aged Beer
6.6% ABV

Born from an idea from William Grant in 2002, a whiskey producer from Scotland.  William had the idea to infuse the flavour of beer into whiskey.  He approached Dougal Sharpe who was brewing a strong ale to see if they could work together.  The plan was to keep the beer in the oak barrels for 30 days before discarding and then filling the oak with whiskey.  These days the beer then continues for 47 days in a marrying tun to continue the brew.  The beer that was brewed then was drank by the distillery workers and it had taken on a smokey flavour.  This kick started the idea to release it commercially.  The Innis and Gunn brewery was born.  As well as this beer the brewery has experimented with various aged beers including a triple matured beer aged 147 days before being bottled. 


A slight vanilla fragrance is present with woody and toffee characteristics.  The beer is a clear golden effervescent liquid with a very white head.  On tasting you can really get the oaky, slightly smokey flavour coming through.  Sweetness comes through once the beer gets on the tongue and there is a level of alcohol present that is quite high that can certainly be tasted.
On the palate the beer has a light body with light carbonation.
Overall, there is a quite a lot to like about this beer, I would prefer to not get as much alcohol flavour and a little more hop and malt flavours but with quite a light palate so it is easy to knock a few back which at 6.6% ABV could be a good thing or a bad thing?!!!

Scores: -

Aroma 5.5/10
Appearance 4/5
Taste 4/5
Palate 3/5
Overall 14/20

Total 63%