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Beer – #791 – Garage Project – Smoke and Mirrors

Either I’ve not been paying attention or this one hasn’t been on the shelf before, probably the former. Garage Project make unusual beer often very well.  This beer has been around a while, and it seems to have a few fans.

Now you see it, now you don’t.

6.3% ABV and 189 calories a serve size, and this is 3.2 standard drinks,

Garage Project  in the unusual style that is Smoked and they are in Wellington, New Zealand

Now you see the hair now you don't!

Now you see the hair now you don’t!

Originally conjured up from the Dark Arts as a pretty piece of prestidigitation for Wellington on a Plate, Smoke & Mirrors is a bock beer of clean, rich malt complexity with caramel notes, just a touch of beech wood smoke and a little slight of hand.

A tricky balance of savoury smoke and malt sweetness make it a magical match with food.

Levitate a glass and practice your own vanishing act.

Now you see it, now you don’t.

So, what could possibly go wrong?

Not nearly as smoked up on the aroma on opening, but I sensed more dark malt sugariness. Not unpleasant either way.

Dark woody colour in pouring but the head is a lovely counterpoint, not stark white but slightly tinged.

Aroma in the glass is of sharp grass thing, or wet burn wood, again not pleasant or weird as I make it out to be.

Have a sup….    It’s really nice!

Garage Project Smoke and MirrorsBig Bold strong flavours from the rich malts, and a nice bitter nibble from the hops. The merest hint of an understated smokiness.

Such richness though, and it’s really the same, doesn’t die away, or falter, consistent is the word I’m looking for.

Not to sweet either.

Best thing though, without a doubt, is that I have the big bottle and not the little cam, because a can would not be enough, takes you a couple of sups to get the hang of it, and a couple to make you smile, and I hope a couple more to make me wish I had another bottle.

I’ve always seemed to enjoy the various version of the ‘Bocks’, they are an unusual beer, probably not fashionable, but they are underrated and they are worthy of more attention and tastings.

Unusual beer, unusual take and unusually good.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 9 of its things from the thing. This is Unusual beer, with an unusual take and t’s unusually good. Really nice not hard work drinking that is very rewarding on the palate, and a beer that looks nice in the glass too.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? Liquorland in Forrest Hill, but it could be everywhere.
  • Am I enjoying it? Bock, a strong lager, is brilliant in many forms, this is rather nice.
  • Would I have another? Yes!, chuffed I had the big bottle too.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Without a doubt a lovely drinking beer that would be enjoyed by lots of people and satisfy most people with taste, mouthfeel and enjoyableness.

Music for this: Richard Ashcroft ”  and  ” These People ” on Spotify 

Richard Paul Ashcroft is an English musician, singer and songwriter. He was the lead singer and occasional guitarist of the alternative rock band


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.



4 comments on “Beer – #791 – Garage Project – Smoke and Mirrors

  1. Michael
    June 1, 2016

    A good review, as always. I’m trying to recall what I thought. ‘Toasty, smokey, tea-like flavours’ (on tap at Lakehouse, but only a taster size).


    • Philip Walter
      June 1, 2016

      Thank you for stopping by, its’ a lovely beer, haven’t seen it on tap, I think I’ve been under a rock.


  2. kingmidget
    June 2, 2016

    That’s a really good looking glass o’ beer.


    • Philip Walter
      June 2, 2016

      The picture doesn’t really do it a justice, it was gorgeous and stayed as tasty from the top to the bottom.

      Liked by 1 person

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