#311 & #312 Dunc Blair – Golden Fleece & Fresh Hop APA

Name: Golden Fleece
Brewery: Dunc Blair (homebrew)
Style: Golden Smoked Ale
ABV: 4.8%
Source: Dunc Blair

I keep telling myself I won’t be putting any more homebrew on the blog, but then someone goes and utters the word “smoked” and “fresh-hopped” and suddenly all bets are off.

As you can see from the awkwardly jumbled title of this post, I’m putting Dunc’s two homebrews (which I drank on consecutive days) together. It’s definitely not the case that Dunc’s beers weren’t worthy of a full post each, I just really need to catch up.

Dunc is what I’m going to call a super-homebrewer (a term I don’t use lightly, I can tell you!), because he grows his own hops for making beer. I don’t think I’ve ever tried beer with homegrown hops before, although I hope that in a few years, once the hop plant I bought dad has taken over the garden, I’ll be doing the same.

I had the pohutakawa-smoked beer first, which I’m happy to report was the closest thing I’ve ever encountered to liquid bacon. The aroma was of bacon, bacon and more bacon, with perhaps a hint of Rashuns. It was so good!

In the mouth it was crisp, dry, and still singing with those campfire-cooked bacon flavours.   I thought there was a little hole in the middle of the palate where perhaps it needed more bitterness or sweetness, but I still enjoyed it immensely.

Dunc’s other beer (a 5% fresh-hopped APA) was made with the hops he grew himself. The aroma was great – definetely more ‘Aotearoa Pale Ale’ than American I thought, with notes of sticky ripe pineapple, orange marmalade and sweet biscuity malt. In the mouth it was well balanced, with those sweet fruity notes leading to a dry pithy grapefruit finish, bitter but not too bitter, just right for me.

Thanks for the beers Dunc! And as a side note – when I was little we used to call my Dad (also a Duncan) Dunc the Funk. If you ever brew a funky Belgian ale you can have that name for free.

Published in: on July 5, 2012 at 11:21 am  Leave a Comment  

#180 Galbraith’s & 8 Wired – The Big Smoke

8 Wired Galbraith's The Big SmokeName: The Big Smoke
Brewery: Galbraith’s & 8 Wired
Style: Porter
ABV: 6.8%
Source: Galbraith Ales

Finally, back at my beloved Galbraith’s after about two months off. It really has been way too long.

I’ve posted a couple of times before about the Galbraith’s Great Brewer Cask series, where every few months Galbraith’s teams up with a New Zealand brewery to make a cask conditioned version of one of their beers. It’s a genius idea, and the results are always delicious.

There was never any question that this one would be great – it’s a collaboration between Galbraith’s and 8 Wired for Christ’s sake – but I still had to get along to the pub to try it. Just to make sure. 

Happily I can report that it is is excellent. I won’t bang on too much because it’s probably all gone now and you’d only get jealous (also I didn’t take any notes), but I will just say that I found it to be a softer, smoother, smokier version of the original, which you can read my thoughts on here.

It’s interesting that Galbraith’s and Soren chose to brew a porter in the middle of summer when usually people want crisper, lighter beers when it’s hot. Actually though, I think it worked perfectly.  The smoky bonfire taste is summery in a way, and the roasty bitterness made it quite refreshing. And the end of the day, I guess there are  no rules about what we should drink and when… We’ve just gotta do what feels right, man.

Published in: on February 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm  Comments (3)  
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#131 McCashin’s – Stoke Bomber Smoky Ale

Stoke Bomber Smoky AleName: Stoke Bomber Smokey Ale
Brewery: McCashins (Stoke, New Zealand)
Style: Smoked Ale
ABV: 5.7%
Source: Beers, Wines & Spirits (K Rd, Auckland)

I have about 20 minutes to write this, prepare a pot luck meal and find a peice of junk from my room to pass off as a Secret Santa present, so excuse the rushed post!

This is the second I’ve tried of the Stoke Bomber series, and I much prefer it to the last. That’s probably because I’m a massive fan of smoked beer – with my favorite two so far being the Invercargill Brewery Smokin’ Bishop and the Heller Aecht Schlenkelra Rauchbier

This is what I would consider to be a gateway smoked ale – not nearly as smoky or rich as the two I just mentioned, but probably more accessible and definitely more sessionable. It’s crisp and refreshing with a dry finish like a Pale Ale, but there’s a lovely smoky bacon flavour and caramel sweetness that makes it special. I could honestly drink this all night and pass out before I got sick of it.

I guess you could say I was stoked with this beer. I guess you could say I thought it was smmmmmmmmmmokin!!

But I won’t, obviously. Because then I’d have to punch myself in the face!

Published in: on December 18, 2011 at 7:10 pm  Comments (1)