28 May 2010

abstrakt AB:01 Vanilla Bean Infused Belgian Quad!

Now after all the hop monsters and the Penguin.. I've been having lately its great to settle down with a good Belgian style of beer to settle me palate (and me guts-owww  :)....
Here we have BREWDOG'S abstrakt AB:01 from their new abstrakt "limited concept" line of beers which I think is a great way of experimenting with other styles of beer and also adding their own signature BREWDOG touch.
Pours a lovely dark honey amber colour with a beaut head of foamy Belgian goodness!!

On the nose floral notes and abit of fruit... can't smell the vanilla yet but here comes the first swig...

Very smooth and slightly chardonnay wine like--like most Belgian beers I've had.... The vanilla beans really come into play about mid palate  (when it's just about on its way down to ya throat).
As it warms up it becomes even more smoother! Can't seem to find any hops here (yes I still crave the bastards!) but I'm sure the ever most slightest addition is there with the end palate having the slightest of bitter twang.
This is probably the one of the more balanced beers I've had from these guys where the vanilla beans and Belgian malts take centre stage rather than the hops.

It is a strong brew at 10.2%ABV but you can hardly tell the alcohol is there with the sweetness of the brew overriding any alcoholic taste. My missis really enjoyed this one and she doesn't really take to beer that much at all!

I think this would make a great dessert beer paired with Cream caramel and ice cream!

If you can track this one down it is certainly worth the trouble (3200 were only released!)...but if not check out their next release from the abstrakt line is a Triple dry hopped imperial red ale which sounds very inviting!

22 May 2010

Tactical Nuclear Penguin!

So here it is my PROPER BEER MATE review of BREWDOG's masterpiece of brewmanship: TACTICAL NUCLEAR PENGUIN!-A beer for the dedicated -just like me : )
As you would have seen from my other posts the Penguin comes in a brown paper bag with a hand drawn penguin on the front. It also comes with a beaut stopper so you can store it away for future indulgences.

For those who don't know this PROPER BEER started life as a imperial stout which already has a high alcohol percentage at usually around 8% - 12%. Then it was aged for a total of 16 months in Isle of Arran whisky casks and in Islay whisky casks.Then the BREWDOG crew stuck the brew in a ice-cream factory cool room to ferment and implement the increase of the ABV content.

At 32% ABV It is no ordinary beer at all. The kind I like!!
Pours a flat cola like colour and with no head at all...
On the nose its got alot of smokey malty whiskey goodness and a slight dark soy sauce aroma.

It has a big bitterness and a whisky (not "whiskey"as it's a Scottish beer-get it right MATE!)  burn on the palate. I was a bit keen to swish this round my mouth like a wine wanker and as I result the slightest fizzyness came through, Which definitely confirmed this amazing drop as a beer and not a spirit. 
It had the consistency of a sherry or port wine which is also reflected in the taste too along with big smokiness taste from the Isle of Arran whisky and Islay whisky casks that it was fermented in.

Of course this beast is not a skuller/chugger beer at all. I found It would be great as a night cap in small amounts along with your favorite rich dessert such as Black Sesame Ice Cream- also to honor the beers heritage.
Also I'd like to see it served as a shot too, To accompany a pint of robust stout or porter style beer. I think that would be great especially with a group of mates at the PROPER pub.

Before I fall over from taking a few siuppps... I might put this back in the fridge next to its punk of a mate.

All in all I congratulate BREWDOG on making this unique beer and making a it good one too.They really did do their best on this one. I spouse anyone could make a high alcohol beer just for the sake of it but these guys really put in the immense effort and came out with a ripper whisky infused late night stout!

Tactical Nuclear Penguin from BrewDog on Vimeo.

As this was a one of 500 beer I really have to thank Emperor Penguin James and all the crew at BREWDOG for making this available to me.

Weekend off!

I couldn't make it to this years Beer Expo in Melbourne this weekend so it looks like I'll be having my own beer expo at home along with a Scottish Penguin.

This is my PROPER BEER fridge in the garage at home. It used to be our kitchen fridge but we got a new bigger fridge last year and moved this beer cooler to its new home in garage. Hopefully one day it will have some taps on the outside of it and a keg of tasty homebrew/craft brew connected to them.
One can only dream....

17 May 2010

Monday Morning....

This morn'in was great as I do shift work I got to sleep in this morning thinking about all the people going to back to work after the weekend (hee hah hah). 
But this morning at the corner of my eye through the window I saw some courier dude running towards my place with a big box in hand.
Expecting a knock at the door there was none---thanks mate! All I saw was the fella running back to his van and hearing it piss(drive) off...
Anyways the missis (god luv her) got up to check out what was dropped off -I followed shortly after....
It was a big box sent all the way from Scotland by the the good crew at BREWDOG! 
Inside the beaut box I found this amongst other fantastic looking BREWDOG beers  ....

The Penguin has landed!! _Tactical Nuclear Penguin = PROPER BEER!!!

Look forward for the review/s! And CHEERS BREWDOG!

16 May 2010


This review is based on my tasting notes I made while I was on Holiday visiting my in-laws and second home Japan. So I will try to be as actuate as I can based on my notes...

Suruga Bay Imperial IPA comes from Baird Brewing a brewery who hail from the seaside town of Numazu-Shi in Shizuoka Prefecture Japan.  The brewery has won three gold medals at the recent Beer World Cup 2010 which was held in Chicago IL USA back in April. Congratulations Guys!
I must note that I came aware of this great brewery from another fantastic Japan/USA Beer reviewer DH over at his site here.
This bottle came as a recommendation from my good mate Yoshitsugu-san at Tanakaya when I was loading up on other PROPER brews at his excellent beer shop in downtown Tokyo.

Hop aroma on the nose (not massive) and crispy pine and orangy grapefruit coming through there.
Mouth feel was quite smooth but with a great bittery taste caused by the hops , not overly carbonated making great drinkability. Be careful though the ABV at 7.5% is very sneaky-I almost fell off my bar stool at the Naka-Meguro Taproom on my way to the loo after enjoying a pint or two of this brew on another occasion! A very balanced IPA-- Highly recommended.  A good food pairing would be Yakitori with spicy Miso paste or awesome Pepperoncino Pasta. Thanks heaps Yoshitsugu-san and of course DH!
Quite a short review I know... but I will be reviewing more Baird beers when they come available this month here in Aussieland.  I'd rather review beers when I have them in front of me, Mainly to to somewhat preserve the integrity of beer reviews as a whole. But in saying that I will have a couple of short reviews of a couple more beers I had in Japan and Asia that aren't available here based on my notes for diversity in the near future too!

15 May 2010


Welcome to my first International/Non-Aussie Beer review!!
Now what we have here is a definite palette destroying beer! Brew Dog's PUNK IPA is one of my favorite IPAs that I have enjoyed many times before..The beer comes from the most innovative craft breweries around at the moment-- Brew Dog from sunny Scotland have proved time and time again beer can be as out there and boundary pushing yet have a very coolness factor at the same time.  
PUNK IPA at 6%ABV pours a quite inviting colour of hazy yellow nectar and a creamy white head (I would really like to try this from a traditional pump tap one day) and has a perfect light carbonation for this style of aggressive IPA..   On the nose the piney grapefruit tones really shine through and after the first full sip from the pint it's like getting kicked in the mouth by the awesome NZ hops! It is quite a bitter IPA- but quite drinkable and smooth by the sip-- It isn't a quaffable chugging/skulling competition beer by any means. It is something to be appreciated and savored.


As the pint warms up I find it tends to get a bit more bittery and the hops flavors come through even more than which is a good thing for me as I am a big hoppy PROPER beer lover!
I reckon it goes great with some spicy Thai food such as Pad Krapow .
After your mouth get's pounded by the big chilli spicy goodness wash it down with a cold PUNK IPA and your'e in beer foodmatch heaven.

It won't appeal to all beer drinkers and thats the beauty of it! The Brew Dog guys as they say on the bottle don't care if you don't like this beer--it's not meant for every one... but if you're a insane hop lover or just plain curious go for it!

I found this beer can be found at most decent PROPER BEER shops/craft beer stores in Australia/NZ and from what I have read in most North American stores of the like too .
If you are in the beaut country of Japan, In particular Tokyo and surrounds-and your'e keen to hunt down this fantastic IPA and Brew Dog's other choice brews check out Tanakaya in Mejiro. My favorite bottle shop in all Japan!-(Bottle shop Reviews coming soon)

Heres another one of their vids below: "We hate bad beer!"
Great stuff Brew Dog!
Expect to see more beer reviews from this fantastic brewery soon!

We hate bad beer! from BrewDog on Vimeo.

08 May 2010

Time for a stout...

After the last couple of reviews have been about Pale Ales and an IPA thought is was time for a good PROPER stout review! This dark beauty comes from Coopers in South Australia and has been my favorite stout for many years mainly due to its great availability throughout Australia and abroad. It also sparked my interest in seeking out heavier beer styles with floatie bits and as a result more unique craft beers.

Coopers Best Extra Stout at 6.3%ABV is a heavy beer and you'll know it straight after your first sip! It pours a thick dark cola/coffee consistency with a creamy espresso like head.  The colour of the actual beer body is pitch black and when you closely at the pint you'll see (if you have poured it right) the wonderful bits of sediment getting swirled around by the light carbonation. The flavour of this beer has a nutty slightly burnt coffee taste to it and has a slight-very mellow fruity hop bitterness which rounds it off. Goes great with smoked cheese which my mother-in-law introduced to me as a fantastic "Otsumami" (Japanese for beer snack/tapas/antipasto) to have with this beer-- as she is a big stout fan too .
It is not a session beer by any means. One 750ml long neck is usually enough for me, I have tried having two longies in a row of this stuff during my slightly younger days and ended up feeling quite happy but extremely bloated.

All in all it is a great stout to savor I believe at any time of the year, not just in the colder months when stouts are traditionally consumed.  

On a side note, if you find yourself ordering  a bottled coopers beer at a pub/bar in Australia which serves coopers traditional beers ,  The bar staff might start rolling the bottle from side to side along the bar to get the sediment distributed throughout the beer before serving.

My Scottish mate Andy during his stay in Aussieland thought this was a bit of a wank - he said when he was working at a backpacker pub in the northern Queensland city of Cairns he used to "turn the bloody thing upside down" for a bit just before serving to achieve the same affect.
Personally with heavier beer styles such as this beaut stout , I pour about a third of the beer into me pint to start off then give the bottle a bit of a swirl and pour the rest in slowly on an angle then straighting up. The result a perfect, full bodied PROPER beer!