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Beer – #699 – Epic – The Observer

This is a numbered limited edition beer, this one #4404,  has been in the fridge for a few weeks observing, or just waiting for its chance. Tonight is that night.

..balanced, smokey/peaty characters on the aroma with subtle toasted nuts and caramel..

This is a 500ml bottle that has beer of 9.7% ABV and around 290 calories a serve size, in total 3.8 standard drink units.

For Epic Brewing Company (NZ)  and brewed at Steam Brewing Company this is in the style that is of Old Ale  and that all happened in Auckland, New Zealand

Epic’s The Observer Timeless Ale was inspired by the Old Ale style. As a great NZ craft beer it stands on the shoulders of giants. It is the great tree in a forest of great trees. Taste The Observer and you are transported to a timeless and peaceful place.

Watch and learn...

Watch and learn…

The initial aroma and taste has an obvious peaty smokey character. Not overwhelming at all, and quickly becomes integrated in the whole flavour experience. Once your palate has acclimatised to this big flavour, it quickly notices how complex the rest of the beer is, with all the specialty malts working together in harmony. The malt richness, full body, warming alcohol deliver a very special beer worth sipping and contemplation.

The ingredients are a marriage of the best quality English pale ale and special crystal and roasted malts, with the magic coming from the heavily heated distilling malt from Scotland.

This timeless ale has . The palate is very full, rich and creamy with great long length.

So, what could possibly go wrong?

Certainly a rich aroma on opening, fruity, deep.

Pour is a dark almost ruby red brown, with a generous head that took a while to appear then just riches forth, poor pouring technique there, but it all stayed on board. The aroma in the glass is almost burnt toffee like.

This is rally nice, somewhat like perhaps a barleywine in come of the character, but I’m not an expert. It really is rich and full to taste though, a real banger.

Epic The ObserverThere is a backbone of bitterness, but a lovely cushion of sweet sticky sugar caramel that carries this to quite a sharp dry finish.

There is a hint that this is higher in the ABV numbers, but that rich caramel masks the most of it and provides a lovely balance.

This is absurdly quaffable, and I’ve had to stand and take a lap to prevent me giving it another nudge and then sitting here and being a bit sad because it’s gone.

I think, possibly, the best overall and all-round nicest beer I’ve had in a while in an unusual style

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 10 of its things from the thing. A real big beer with big amounts of flavours and tastes going on, let down only by that really abrupt and sharp dryness that seems a little out of place. But this was Epic and excellent and just a bit good.

The double dip review

  • Am I enjoying it? Yes this is a bit good.
  • Would I have another? I would, but I doubt that you could find one now.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Yes, this is brilliant beer done brilliant.

Music for this : ” Mike Edel ”  ” India, Seattle” on Spotify Mike Edel is an indie/folk musician from Victoria, Canada. This is ” Blue Above the Green”.


Old Ale is a simple enough style to figure out. At least, once you understand that there are three or four beer styles called Old Ale. The first is the best known – the strong dark Old Peculier style. The second type of Old Ale is a blended dark ale. At least one of the beers comprising the blend will be aged for a couple of years in wood casks. The third version of Old Ale is a form of mild – a low-gravity dark ale. Another version of Old Ale is closely related to the first. For me, these are robustly malty beers, akin to a top-fermented version of a doppelbock.


5 comments on “Beer – #699 – Epic – The Observer

  1. The Vanbrewverite
    November 8, 2015

    I like your reviews man! You have a seriously huge number of brews under your belt… Can’t lie I’m envious lol. I’m young though, I’ll catch up 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Philip Walter
      November 8, 2015

      Thank you, it just seems to have grown, it’s not a deliberate thing, it really is all about not having the same beer twice because there is so much choice, like with music or books. Not that I don’t have the same beer twice, but given the choice I tend to go for the new, which sometimes works out, other times not so much.

      And I love the way you blog, the effort of finding the pictures alone is worth a gold star

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Roger
    November 11, 2015

    Just sampled #4002 and after a bit of a search found your site. Totally agree with the the observations and sense a danger in the easy drinking nature of this at 9.7%. Another epic from Epic. Cheers, Roger.


    • Philip Walter
      November 11, 2015

      It was just a bit good as a beer, and really memorable. I’m happy that you enjoyed it, almost as much as I did


  3. Pingback: The one with the end of year story. | A life just as ordinary

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