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Beer – #418 – Stoke (McCashin) – Great Oak Red Ale

A take-away litre of this from the people at Liquorland in Newmarket – for starter for Saturday then – The Stoke -McCashin – Great Oak Red Ale

Brewed by McCashin Family Brewery in the style that is a  Smoked
and they do that in good old Nelson, New Zealand

“A bold, malty ale that’s both rich & dry. Notes of sweet spice and vanilla with a balanced bitterness & broad hop aroma. Moderately roasted and toffee malts, with a little smoked character, matured in American oak barrels”

I have then a Litre of a beer that is 4.6%, 4.8%, or even 5.6% ABV, seems a bit of a lottery,  So I’m going with 4.6% which would mean that this 3.63 standard drink units,  so this bottle is only around 360 calories all up. No idea how many IBU things this is on the scale of things though.




It’s a bold, malty ale, rich and dry, with notes of sweet spice and vanilla, matured on American Oak for that distinctive smoky aftertaste. Originally crafted by Head Brewer Sam Wilson for Melbourne’s GABs 2013, the popularity of our Great Oak Red Ale has led to its return as part of our ‘limited release’ seasonal offerings, just in time to warm you up when the cooler weather kicks in.

And let me say that today is colder than a cold thing, for Auckland, where the most we get is heavy frost, and the occasional sleet \ graupel  but not so much.

This would then be a “session” beer, one that you can drink some of without making you topple over too quickly, or being bored of drinking, just a quiet and well behaved beer.

It’s an incredible amber red in the bottle. Aroma seems ok, slightly sweet caramel and a hint of sour. Not a bad thing.  Nice pour, nothing really shows adequately the redness of this beer with light passing though.

For sure this is a winter warmer beer. Needs fireplace with fire. In my case wearing a hoodie. But, this is a lovely winter ale, subtle spiciness in it, looks great, nice aroma that isn’t overpowering.

Stoke Great OakThe spiciness is the dominating thing, the vanilla is a back seat and I’m struggling, perhaps as it gets warmer in the glass (in this temperature ha!) it might make an effort.

Not much in the middle of this though, it’s all about the front taste, and it finishes towards bitter, and has a nice length and lingering taste at the back.

So I’m not disappointed at all with this, and although It’s been cold and I was contemplating hot chocolate before this I’m glad I started.

I stopped writing and drinking and spent some time looking up things on google maps, just proving you shouldn’t look back with high hopes. Anyways.

This is a pretty comfortable beer for a session, seeing as I’ve managed to drink the most of it already. It carries the spiciness really really well, and this is fantastic in that it doesn’t fade or is a one hit wonder. I still didn’t get the vanilla, but then it could be it was all part of the spice mix.

What it isn’t is over spiced, over bitter, or overly loud in the mouth. This is a nice enjoyable beer that I’ve managed to quaff a bit of and not stop to wonder what it was that I was drinking, so well behaved in that sense.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 a of its always random things from the thing that it made up ages ago 8 would be Very Good. This really is getting interesting, and has lots of good things, a beer that I’d buy again over many others.

The double dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? Yes I am, despite the winter chill that wouldn’t normally mean you’re thinking of beer
  2. Would I have another? I did! and I’d have another as well.
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? If there was a bonfire or something to keep it warm I really would.

It’s pretty cold for Auckland, in a mild winter (it could get to 30 on the f scale or -1 on c scale)  it has come as a bit of a shock. For no reason though I’ve been playing MUSE this from their “The 2nd Law” Album the track: Unsustainable


The classic smoked beers hail from Bamberg in Franconia, Germany. These are made using malt that has been smoked over beechwood. The insistent smokiness may be applied to any lager style. In North America, the same technique has been used to make smoked porter. Whiskey malt beers are made using peat-smoked malt.


2 comments on “Beer – #418 – Stoke (McCashin) – Great Oak Red Ale

  1. beernotwar
    July 19, 2014

    Reblogged this on Make Beer not War.


  2. Pingback: Here we go | The Souti Blog

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