September 2008

Monthly Archive

Schell’s Dark

Posted by on 18 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: Beer Reviews

This promising looking beer hails from New Ulm, Minnesota. I like the look of the bottle, and the brew inside is a gorgeous light mahogany. I pop the top with a happy sense of anticipation.

Raising it up, I take a sniff. There’s a weak scent of barley, and the ghost of hops. Not much else. I take it as a bad omen, but shrug it off — I’ve been pleasantly fooled before.

Raising it to my lips, I take that first sip. I am rewarded with a very weak taste. Watery. Slightly bitter.

No body.

Let’s not waste any more time on this one. It’s not repulsive but there is really nothing there. The expression that comes firmly to mind is, “Bleh.”

This beer is not groovy. Not in the least.

Barons Black Wattle Superior

Posted by on 14 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: Beer Reviews

I have before me a bottle of Barons “Black Wattle Seed Superior” Wattle Seed Ale imported from — where else? — Australia.

I know nothing about wattle seeds save this little bit from a Monty Python sketch:

This is a wattle
The emblem of our land
You can stick it in a bottle
You can hold it in your hand

Apparently Aussie’s think it belongs in beer. We’ll see…

I pop the top and immediately note a distinctive bouquet.  It makes my nose itch, and smells less like beer and more like bread baked with weeds in it.

The first sip is delicious.  It’s a very complex flavor riding atop a solid foundation of toasted malt.  Maple notes mingle with molasses and biscuit.  The hops remain subdued until halfway through the bottle, where they suddenly emerge tasting a bit green.  Still, the hops never overpower the toasted malt, and I find this a pleasurable drinking experience even down to the very last drop in the bottle.

Would I drink it again?  Yes.

Would I want to drink one after another?  No.

It’s very good but it doesn’t leave me craving more.  And while I have no problem proclaiming it to be a groovy brew, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a contender for the Holy Beer.