I had intended to get this second review out sooner, but traveling has just been keeping me too busy (seems like it should be the opposite, but there's just soooo much to see and do!).
However, now that I have a few minutes and access to a computer, I want to share another beer review with you all, and my first Australian beer review!
As I've stated before, I am a huge fan of craft beers and many foreign beers, but I have not had much access to Australian varieties, unless you count Foster's (which I have been told by the locals no longer counts as an Australian beer).
That being said, I really have no idea which regions make the best beers, provide the most variety, or create the most unique beverages. If it is similar to the United States, where there has been an ongoing craft beer revolution, then I'm sure there are hidden gems everywhere, but given my limited time, and even more limited knowledge, I have been somewhat at the mercy of what's around me, aka what the hotel serves.
Fortunately, there have been a couple good options available (and a number of not as good ones). The beer I would like to share with you all today is Hightail Ale brewed by Mountain Goat.
The second leg of our trip brought us to Melbourne for a little more than 3 days. I have been a tennis player/fan for most of my life, so we decided to go see the Australian Open (actually one of the main reasons we went to Australia at this time of the year).
While my wife is a bit of a hotel snob, which often irritates me as it can hit pretty hard in the wallet, I was pretty exited to be staying at the Park Hyatt Melbourne, especially when I realized there were a number of players staying there as well, such as this guy:
For those of you who are unfamiliar with professional tennis, the guy on the left is Grigor Dimitrov, the current number 3 ranked men's player in the world. We happened to run into him eating breakfast and he graciously signed a ball and took a photo with me (The photo is a bit blurry because my hands were shaking with excitement, heh).
At any rate, it was a great day full of tennis and fun, which ended with a nice beer in the hotel club. They did not have many options (only 3), but they were free, so I wasn't going to complain. Out of those 3, the Hightail Ale was a pleasant surprise.
I already posted a photo of the beer after the pour. Unfortunately there were a lot of windows and glare in the room, so the photo was not as clear as I would have liked. However, here is a picture of the bottle by itself.
Here is the beer very shortly after the pour, probably less than a minute, or 2 minutes tops. As with the first picture of the beer, you can see that it has a nice, dark amber color, almost bordering on a red. Notice how quickly the head dissipated as well. While it is still there, it had already disappeared by half or so when I took this photo, and only continued to do so.
|Hightail Ale||Brewed by Mountain Goat Beer, at 80 North St, Richmond, Victoria 3121|
|Style||English Style Amber Ale|
|Appearance||Dark Amber, almost red. Medium, slightly off-white head that dissipates quickly.|
|Aroma||Malt, caramel, touch of toffee, hint of floral aroma from hops. Nothing too fancy, but well balanced and pleasant to the nose.|
|Taste||Malty sweetness up front, quickly separates into flavors of caramel and toffee, with a slight nuttiness. Finishes with a light hop bitterness and what almost seems to be a hint of citrus, that balances the beer nicely.|
|Mouthfeel||Light-bodied, with medium carbonation. It has a nice amount of carbonation bite, but not too much. Very smooth finish.|
|Tasting Notes||Overall, this beer is enjoyable. The malt is present throughout. After its grand entrance, it quickly separates into the flavors mentioned above, due to the various malts used in brewing this beer. Hightail Ale has a well rounded flavor and is well balanced between maltiness and bitterness. As a fairly light beer, the flavors tend to fade quickly, making you want another sip. The finish is longer than expected, but not particularly noteworthy. At 4.5% ABV, this goes down easy and is light enough to have more than one. It is a bit disappointing as a stand-alone beer, but an excellent choice if you want something easy to drink with a meal while still having some flavor. Or if you just want to throw back a few with friends without getting blitzed, but still want to enjoy the taste of your beer, this is a great choice for that as well. I would not recommend drinking it with rich, flavorful foods (steak, lamb, etc.), as they would overpower the flavor of the beer.|
|Score||7/10 (this is my subjective score)|