#330 Pink Elephant – Mammothn

Pink Elephant MammothName: Mammoth
Brewery: Pink Elephant
Style: Strong Ale
ABV: 7%
Source: Vic Park NW

Ahh Pink Elephant, you crazy, lovable, mysterious beast.

As I was saying the other day: this brewery is something that I know nothing about yet find myself oddly drawn to – like the country Finland or the word ‘discombobulate’.

And it doesn’t matter that I don’t know anything about them, because after drinking this Mammoth I’ve decided I definitely like the beer.

The Mammoth  had aromas of toffee, ripe stonefruit and warm spices. In the mouth it was hoppier than I was expecting, with lots of fruit coming through as well as sweet raisins and toffee in the malt. The finish was crisp and bitter, gently encouraging the next sip. I can’t currently recall all the New Zealand strong ales I’ve tried – but I’d say this has a good shot at being the best.

As a side note, I see the commercial description of this beer reads “acclaimed by Michael Jackson” and it does not say in brackets “the beer guy, not the pop sensation”. Now to beer nerds the distinction may be ob-vi-ous, but regular punters (i.e me this time last year) must think it’s the latter. I wonder if that would be a selling point or a turn-off?

Published in: on July 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

#64 Epic – Mayhem

Epic MayhemName: Mayhem
Brewery: Epic Brewing Co.(Auckland, New Zealand
Style: American Strong Ale
ABV: 6.2%
Source: Epic Brewing Co.

Hey look! Remember these?

Maybe it’s just me, but I had more or less forgotten about the Epic Mayhem until I was given this one to try. I’m not entirely sure why… it’s just never really jumped off the shelf and said buy me.  

I think it’s because Epic’s other beers have more obvious identities – a pale ale, a lager, a hop bomb or a stout. But Mayhem to me was just always the ‘other’ one. The one with the orange label. The one that I’d never tried…

Until now. (dun dunnnnnnn)

You can see it pours a lovely deep reddish orange, crystal clear and with a decent off-white head.

The smell is fantastic, a bit like an APA I reckon… There’s orange peel, peaches, and pine and as well as a rich honey-like maltiness. It’s got real character and depth, and I love how it’s completely different from the fruity hop smell that I associate with other Epic beers.

It tastes similar, but the flavours aren’t as obvious on the palate. There’s citrus and caramelly malt, but it’s dominated by an intense hop bitterness  that lasts until well after I’ve swallowed. It’s clean and refreshing and pretty damn easy to quaff.

Overall I think it’s interesting and enjoyable – definetely undeserving of my years of neglect – although I think I would have liked it even more had there been a bit more malt to cushion the hops and bring out the flavours. I’m turning into quite the little fuss-pot, aren’t I?

In other beery news, it’s less than two weeks until the Hashigo Zake Pacific Beer Expo in Wellington! I managed to miraculously nab some cheap flights and will be at the Saturday session, probably getting over-excited and drunk on loads of great beers that I can’t remember and won’t be able to write about. Should be heaps of fun. Come!

Published in: on October 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm  Comments (4)  

#62 Waiheke Island Brewery – Matiatia Malt Beer

Waiheke Island Brewery Matiatia Malt BeerName: Matiatia Malt Beer
Brewery: Waiheke Island Brewery
Style: English Strong Ale
ABV: 7.5%
Source: Waiheke Island Brewery

On Sunday I woke up feeling fresh, miraculously hangover-free, and ready to seize the day. And what better way to seize it, I thought, than to visit a brewery?

By noon I was at Wild on Waiheke, which is a ‘multi-activity venue’ encompassing the Waiheke Island Brewery, a vineyard, a cafe, and (why not), laser clay bird shooting.

While shooting lasers was obviously tempting, I maintained my focus and went straight for the beer. For $8 I got to try the four different brews on offer, which together looked like this:

Waiheke Island Brewery beers

And because I’ve realised beer without food is my downfall (also because I really like cheese) we got this as well.

Mmmmm cheeeeeese....

First in line was a wheat beer, which was extremely bananarish (yes, it’s my blog and I can make up words), with a tart finish. The second was the pale ale, which I wrote about on Saturday but actually it tasted much better at the brewery. The fourth (I’ll get to the third in a minute) was a ‘dark ale’ – a porter I suppose, with the most fantastic aroma of caramel and dark chocolate. I didn’t think the taste quite lived up to it’s decadent smell, but I’d still order this again just to stick my nose in the glass.

I think the most interesting and my favourite was the third – the Matiatia Malt Beer. It smelled of toffee, fruit salad (especially banana) and chocolate, and tasted similar but with more espresso and bitter roasty malt at the finish.

After the tastings I got my Nosy Parker on and asked the owner Rob to show me the brewery, which was housed in a garage out the back. He cheerfully obliged, and I took a crappy picture on my phone:

And then I got my obligatory cheesy shot behind the taps:

Apologies to the man in this picture for posting a photo of you with your eyes closed. It was the only one I had.

And after that I decided my day had officially been seized, and went home to have a nap.


Published in: on October 10, 2011 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment