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Beer – #977 – Hallertau – Little Beast

Hallertau Little Beast – a Barley Wine. The grail of brews if you ask me, mysterious, rich deep fruity I hope.

will soften with time

This is a 500ml bottle of a 10% ABV beer with 80 IBU things, which comes with 300 calories a serve size, and is 3.94 standard drinks in NZ.

Brewed by Hallertau Brewbar & Restaurant  in the style that is a Barley Wine and they do that in Auckland, New Zealand.

Little hairless beast

Aromas of spicy peach and barbequed Grapefruit with a touch of booze.

Flavour is warmish and rich; wood fired apricot crumble with an intense grassy fresh bitterness that will soften with time in the long alcohol finish.

So, What could possibly go wrong?

Well apart from not cellaring it for years I hope not much. But you never get enough BarleyWine beers and I can’t be having the patience to keep it and knowing that it’s in the fridge.

A much better label art than the hideous  picture on the Flemish Giant I had recently, these are almost dark and maudlin representations, although I think they are from actual ceramic arts that have been produced.

On opening there is that familiar dark aroma, steeped fruits, malty dark with a subtle spice note that catches.


Unexpectedly pours a orange colour/ I thought it’d be darker, but it looks lovely the head creamy smooth and inviting bright and white.

Aroma settles into something that is softer and muted.

Taste is rich and decadent, with a bitter undertaste that washes out  with a sweetness and then to a lovely towards dry finish.

I really am surprised by the colour in this, but not the taste which is all the things you look for in a BarleyWine. Boozy note tang that underlies quite a sweet beer that ends in a slightly dry finish with a lovely long sweet linger.

I think that this will get better with age and being left to develop, it’s nice now but I think will get deeper and sweeter, but I’m not an expert and unless I get another and keep it for a year or two will never know.  Beer is not a treasure and needs to be enjoyed. Eventually.

Beer is not a treasure

Not disappointed though, this is nice drinking, I was surprised by how pale it was, which might be a reflection of how few of these are around, or how rarely I come by one.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 8 of its things from the thing. I like this, it’s nice and warming and sits lovely in the glass, the creamy white head made it look very inviting, and the initial aromas brought familiarity and exception. The boozy tang note was nice, not too sharp or distracting and the sweetness made this a very pleasing drink.

The double dip review

  • Where did I get it? Liquorland had them available.
  • Am I enjoying it? Yes, no regrets here.
  • Would I have another? Yes, I might invest in one for the future.
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? I would, this is an unusual beer to see in NZ,  Unpopular or out of fashion or hard to make I have no idea, but I do look for them and jump at the chance when I see one, currently a little under-done this should get better give a little more time in a dark place, which I don’t, sadly, have the patience for.

Music for this:  Sleep Well Beast by The National on Spotify

Sleep Well Beast is the seventh studio album by The National

I though it was a mixed bag of things, either it is goign to grow on me or it’s a placeholder contrcural obligation album, and I hope it’s not that, Some of the tracks seem to be off brand with their timbre and tone, and then they’re back on the things you like. I’ll have a couple of listens, becuase on balance it is worth another go.


A Barley Wine is a strong, top-fermenting ale, with an alcohol contents of at least 9% and up to 13% (or more) by volume. Hops may be hardly noticeable at all or very noticeable. Sip them out of the special glass, that will concentrate the aroma. They are excellent with cigars or with dessert.


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