Just like you, but different
Our first four beers began life as humble numbers. The locals tasted and debated the characteristics of our NZ craft beer and created potential names. Some names were unprintable, and some just plain embarrassing, but the vote was cast and now the beers have real names as is the tradition with craft beer. Nevertheless, the numbers have stuck around. Today, whether you know them by name or number, you can still enjoy our first four beers in their original order.
#1 – Luxe: Kölsch: Golden, top-fermented style native to Köln, Germany. The style has a very narrow profile and many beers that consider themselves to be kölschbiers are not. Generally they have a moderate bitterness, but fairly prominent hop flavour (typically Spalt, Tettnang or Hallertau). They have high effervescence, medium esters, but a rounded, stylish character derived from lagering.
It says then “Tropical fruits and luscious blueberries will saunter up your nose at first. Then in slinks the soft rounded palate and crisp delicate dryness, to satisfy your thirst.”
Is what it says. The aroma is “earthy” , the carbonation mild, the head there was none. IT’s pale pale yellow, very pale. The taste matches the aroma. This then is probably an unusual hopping, which they’ve been upfront on. But I don’t get a length of taste or a depth. So I would then describe this as “thin” all over. Lacks body, lacks a defining taste. I for sure don’t get fruits, other than a passing passionfruit.
I’m not enjoying this.It’s not a beer I’m comfortable with, and the pdubyah-o-meter makes this an average 7.
#2 – Statesman. “Hops galore!” you’ll say upon supping this American Pale Ale. With a hop aroma bursting full of floral and zesty citrus, this one churtles down your slide with a clean honey malt flavour balancing wonderfully with that sensational hop tang. Overall, this fresh Kiwi take on the American pale is both zesty and tangy, indeed, we reckon you’ll find it uniquely ‘zangy’ and asking you back for more.
“Zesty and Tangy”
Deeper colour, more beer-like, no head, of course, no aroma except wait, that same earthy one that was with the #1, the earthy….. I could be getting somewhere. This seeming missing-in-action aroma though is camouflage for a mouthful of taste. But the heck! I know there is a hop in there, I can also image a malt, but it’s not carried very well at all. As it warms in the glass though the hop taste begins to work harder, with moderate success. So, sadly, again, I would then describe this as “thin” all over. Lacks body, lacks a defining taste, one that has depth, and carry.
This might be a fine pint for a quick few with the mates, but it’s not something that you could long haul into a night. <cut and paste> I’m not enjoying this.It’s not a beer I’m comfortable with, and the pdubyah-o-meter makes this an average 7. That’s not a bad thing, it means there is room for an improve, and there is a consistency between 1 and 2 that is comforting.
The most comforting so far is that neither of these have that “home brew” feel.
#3 The Copper Tart – Hearty chocolate smells waft up from this traditional Irish Red as a surprisingly spicy hop bouquet brings its richness alive. It’s a subtle complexity. A mouth swill will anoint your palate with caramel and chocolate malts and a hint of Mocha. The malt is really given the lead role here – supported by the hops performing a delightful tingle in the mid-palate. The silky smooth flavour then slips off nicely to leave a very refined and long dry hop finish.
Chocolate from an Irish red? Now I thing Beamish Red , particularly from the Dog’s Bolix in Ponsonby that one time, and lately from a bar in Browns Bay, is the Ducks Nuts, but I’ve never thought of it as chocolate, perhaps I should stop and think about it one day and not just enjoy it as a drinking beer.
Darker again, headless like a chicken, the same earthy aroma. Nothing else. And then the disappointment. sigh This is like getting a gift voucher from your wife. Bereft. This has all the body of a soap sud, There’s no length, and nothing that you could actually enjoy on the taste buds. How can you produce a beer that promises so much and delivers just “meh”.
<cut and paste> I’m not enjoying this.It’s not a beer I’m comfortable with, and the pdubyah-o-meter makes this an less than average 6. Shameful waste, looks the part, presents itself as a debutant and then slides into a Coronation Street guise.
#4 Deception : Historically from Germany, this Schwarzbier (or Black Beer) is a real act of balance. On the one hand the chocolate aromas are sweet, yet they’re also a bit bitter with a sniff of roasted coffee and a sneaky spicy noble hop. The colour is dark yet ruby red under the light. The roasted malts surprise with their smoothness in your mouth and the bittersweet chocolate is right there until it dries out slowly at the end. In the equilibrium, this dark beer is deceptively light.
Anyway to the now. Which is in the garden in the late evening sun, where I should have been earlier. Spotify keeping me company, this time Of Monsters and Men, which I think is Mumford and Sons without Banjos. But there you go.
This is a dark beer, so that’s progressive, and the aroma isn’t earthy. But there is chocolate there. and that carries somewhat into the taste. but it isn’t strong, but it is dominant. This is an altogether better beer than 1,2 or 3. Much more enjoyable. However and but….
This is still pretty thin and without body, the pdubyah-o-meter rates this a 7.5 on it’s scale of things as being head and shoulders above the previous contestants, and whilst I can’t be sure the lack of the earthyness might be an indication that this is a different hop. So there is hope. Not for these 4 though I think they’re beyond redemption.
I’ve been enjoying these with an “Over the Moon Dairy Company” O.M.G Triple Cream Brie (Cow), some hungarian hot salami, and variously on Vinyl – David Bowie, the Police, Ultravox, and Pink Floyd. It’s been an interesting evening. I should do it again.