So things have been a little messy of late, you know, blog-wise, and you may have noticed that I have been running an average of a week behind on posts for quite some time.
It’s not cool, and rest assured I am punishing myself with the appropriate dose of self-flaggelation, but things like work deadlines and going to the Grampians and this really addictive iPhone game I got called Fly Guy have been getting in the way.
Blah blah blah, the point is I made the executive decision to lump these beers that I drank in The Grampians together, so that I might have some semblance of a chance of catching up before I head off to Melbourne in the morning.
Am I wasting my time explaining all this? Does anyone even give two marble-sized shits? I thought not. And on we go.
#265 Good Bastards Dark Ale , 4%
This is not an Australian beer – it hails from our own dear Westport. This was the emergency beer I bought with me in case I ever got stuck in a drought or needed to put out a bush fire, but I ended up cracking it open as soon as I got into my hotel room. (Flying is thirsty business, especially when they only have VB.)
It was nice enough but fairly forgettable – a sweetish, chocolatey dark ale that tasted predominantly of roasted malt. The mouthfeel was dissapointing – light and watery – lacking the velvety smooth body that I like in dark beers.
#266 Mountain Goat Hightail Ale, Pale Ale, 4.5%
This one is an Australian beer! I wish I’d been able to pay more attention to it, but I was already the stranger in town and didn’t want to stand out at the restaurant by taking notes. It was crisp and clean, with delicate floral and citrus hop flavours and tofeeish malt that provided a good balance. Nice but didn’t knock by socks off.
#267 Three Troupers Pale Ale, 4.5%
Three Troupers are a husband and wife team local to the Grampians, although I think they contract the brewing somewhere else. Like the Mountain Goat, this was a clean, easy-drinking and not terribly exciting beer. The Pale Ale had nice APA aromas of grapefruit and pine, but they were quite faint and the bitterness from the hops was a bit weak.
#268 White Rabbit Dark Ale, 5.2%
I’ve been hearing good things about this brewery for a while, but this was the first chance I’d had to taste their beer. The Dark Ale tasted of bitter chocolate, coffee, and caramel, with a slightly hoppy bitter finish and a light mouthfeel. To be honest I don’t think Dark Ales really do it for me (they’re often too light and bubbly), but this seemed about as good as they get.
#269 Red Duck – Golden Dragon, Celtic Ale, 7.8%
Of all the beers that I tried in the Grampians, local brewery Red Duck’s were the ones that really stood out. I met the brewer and he is clearly mad – he had 9 beers in bottles at the time and had plans for many more – but he also had great taste in beer. Something about the range of styles really reminded me of the Yeastie Boys.
I thought this Celtic Dragon was heavenly. I only had three sips of it at the food festival, but I remember brown sugar, Mackintosh toffee malt, complex fruitiness, and a rounded creamy mouthfeel. You can’t buy them here (or even outside of VIC) so if you’re going to GABS this weekend, I seriously suggest you check them out. If you’re not – I have a mixed six-pack of Red Duck beers that I bought back, and I would be willing to share them with you for a handsome fee.
PS – If you’ve been reading through this post and thinking “This is all well and good but what the fuck is the Grampians?”, it’s a lovely National Park a few hours west of Melbourne. Their beer is good – their shiraz is better.