#308 Red Duck – Queen Bee

Name: Queen Bee
Brewery: Red Duck (Camperdown, VIC, Australia)
Style: Honey Porter
ABV: 6.6%
Source: Grampians Grape Escape

It might have been down to a few bad experiences, but I used to think honey beers were a bit naff. It seemed like the kind of thing you’d add to a bad beer to make it more palatable, in the same way you need to add honey to those godawful fruit teas. (Never ever as good as they smell – amirite?)

But then, I did really did quite like this honey porter from Red Duck. I liked the way the rich manuka-like honey complimented the chocolate nose, and then balanced the bitter roasty malts on the palate. It didn’t overwhelm the other flavours either – coffee, raisins, and stewed plums all came through – and together they supported the alcohol quite well. The finish was a little ho-hum – I would have liked more of a dry bite – but still I enjoyed it right through to the last drop. 

Now, since I’ve finished describing the beer and still have lots of white space to fill, I’d like to ramble on about a couple of other beer-related things:

1. End of Blog – August 7th
This is a very, very exciting day – not only because it marks the beginning of the end of the beginning of my life as a beer geek, but because I’m going to have a party and get loose, y’all! (But not that loose, ya’ll, because it’s on a Tuesday night!). Even better, you personally – yes you! – are invited to the party. Even better, it’s at Galbraiths, and even more better still, Jo Wood of Liberty Brewing is brewing a mystery beer called 365 which will presumably encompass everything that I’ve learned and loved about beer over the year so far (right Jo?), and will be on tap for us all to drink. If you just uttered the words “Best Night Ever” then congratulations, you are probably psychic.

2. Beervana – August 17th & 18th
This is coming up, and if you haven’t got your tickets yet (OK, admittedly I haven’t either), then do so now or forever be really really sad. I’m even more excited about this year than usual because a) this will be my first time at the even where I will have other beer geeks to talk to and b) I’m entering the Media Brew challenge! This is where brewers are paired up with media people (yes, I managed to convince someone I was media people) and we each brew a beer to be judged at the Saturday session. I’m not going to get cocky and say I’m going to win, but I am brewing with Epic and they did win last year with their Fig and Coffee Stout. So….

PS – I got progressively more drunk as I  was writing this post thanks to the bottle of 7% homebrew I’m swilling. Was it obvious?

Published in: on June 26, 2012 at 9:17 pm  Comments (2)  

#303 Red Duck – Burton

Name: Burton
Brewery: Red Duck (Camperdown, VIC, Australia)
Style: Premium Bitter/ESB
Source: Grampians Grape Escape
ABV: 5.4%

Always on the lookout for ways to write posts in under five minutes make the blog more interesting, I took inspiration from The Thirsty Boys and decided to compound the entire post into a traditional Japanese Haiku:

Murky amber pour,
Like fossilized tree resin
That needs a clean.

Shite. I’ve used up all the syllables and I haven’t even got to the nose yet. This is worse than Tweeting! OK so I’m going to spread the post out over three haikus instead.

What is that weird smell?
I think it might be band-aid

But also flowers

Slightly unfair decription of the nose actually. There was a hint of the band-aid (I think people usually describe this as “minerally” – something to do with the water), floral notes, and also other fruits that didn’t fit into the haiku. I can’t be specific, but they were the kind of fruits that  have juice which drips down your arm and goes sticky.

Sweet, oh wait bitter
Caramel malt and dry chalk
Crisper than Kettles

“Kettles” in this instance refers of course to Kettle Chips, which is a compliment because they are my favourite.

OK guys, sorry for making you read three of the shittiest haikus ever to grace the internet in a failed attempt to cut corners. I should have just posted this instead:

Thumbs up!

Published in: on June 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm  Comments (1)  

#279 Red Duck – White Garden

I can’t find the photo I took! But I pinky swear I drank one.

Name: White Garden
Brewery: Red Duck
Style: Fruit Beer/Wheat Beer
ABV: 4.1%
Source: Grampians Grape Escape Festival

Just a very quick post as I’ve been writing all day and my fingers are going to fall off. No anecdotes or bad jokes, straight into it!

This is one of the beers that I bought from the Red Duck stand at the Grampians a couple of weeks ago. It’s a white beer made with raspberry and rhubarb jam which (like the watermelon wheat) I wasn’t super enthusiastic about drinking.

Actually though, I thought it was quite a charming, interesting little beer. The aroma was the best part – raspberries, with a little rhubarb, vanilla and turkish delight. In the mouth those flavours didn’t translate quite so strongly, but there was a pleasing dry tartness which sort of made up for it. Yes, I decided, this beer is my jam.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I think the Red Duck brewery is one to watch. Unfortunately they are one of the smallest microbreweries in Australia so I don’t expect to see their beer here any time soon, but if you ever find yourself in a place called Camberdown, VIC – hell, if you’re ever in Melbourne and you fancy a drive – I’d go to the brewery and check them out.

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm  Comments (1)