I do a bit of a bier tasting each Thursday night with my friend Brad. We each bring a bottle of something interesting, pour a measure and then spend a considerable amount of time (much to my wife’s exasperation) in quiet contemplation of the bier’s appearance, aroma and taste.
The first bier was my contribution, Murrays Punk Monk from Murrays Craft Brewing in Australia. According to the bottle, it is “a hybrid of a few Belgian styles: influenced by Saisons, Belgian Blonde Ales, with a nod to Belgian Tripels”. ABV is 7.5%
This bier pours a hazy yellow with a small pale head. The aroma is citrus, coriander, fresh cut grass, cilantro, jasmine. Light and flowery on the palate, on the sweet side with a bit of hop bite in the aftertaste. Taste is apricot, orange marmalade, heather honey, hint of grapefruit.
Although it wasn’t bad, and it did manage to have capture a lot of Belgian characteristics, this bier is trying to be too many Belgian styles all at once – is has an identity crisis that confused my taste buds.
The second bier of the evening was Avery New World Porter, from Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado. The label describes it as “a traditional black porter, with a surprise twist – it’s dry hopped!”
I somehow forgot to take a picture of this one, sorry.
It pours a good solid black with a small beige head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is the first hint that something unusual is happening – noticeably hoppy, cut grass, wet hair. Taste is smoky, with pine, no particular other distinguishing flavours. The palate is bitter hops which linger in the aftertaste.
To me this seems a lot more like a Black IPA than a Porter. There was no distinctive chocolate or malt character and not a hint of sweetness. It suffers from usual tendency of the “New World” to over-hop biers of every style.