A rare dark entry into Parrotdog’s range of namesake seasonals.  Big porters like this (8 per cent ABV) typically fall somewhere on a spectrum with chocolate on one end and coffee on the other, and going by the aroma, this one lands squarely in the chocolate zone.  Dark chocolate block with roasty malt undertones and just a little black forest fruit.  That fruit really comes alive on the palate with black cherry and turkish delight mixed in with more of that smooth dark chocolate.  Considering this is a straight porter (i.e malt/hops/yeast) with no cocoa or fruit added, the striking intensity with which those very flavours come through is incredible.  An unabashedly sweet porter that absolutely nails the style.

Orval Trappist Ale

Trappist beers are typically sweet and gentle, but not this one.  Orval (named for the abbey where it’s produced) is from the wilder side of Belgian brewing, undergoing a conventional primary fermentation before being re-fermented with wild yeast.  There’s still...

Moa Sultana Single Hop IPA

This is part of Moa’s ongoing series of single hopped IPAs.  The hop this time around is a recent American variety that started life as the experimental X06277 before being commercially released as Sultana towards the end of 2019.  As hops go it’s a new one for me, so...

Baylands The Hops Awaken IPA

I was lucky enough to join the judging panel for the 2019 edition of The Malthouse WCIPA challenge so I know first-hand how revered a win is at one of New Zealand’s most prestigious beer events.  Epic and Parrotdog have dominated top spot for many years so I was...

Bach All Day Non-alcoholic IPA

Bach Brewing have just released a non-alcoholic IPA in six-pack format and it’s one of the best zero ABV beers I’ve tasted

Bread to Brew: the rise and rise of Derelict Brewing

Derelict Brewing has recently opened an online store, giving national reach to their hugely popular beers. Michael Donaldson talks to the No 1-rated brewery in New Zealand.

Urbanaut Juno Lite Hazy IPA

This wee new release from Urbanaut is a true lite beer at only 2.5% ABV; well past the dubiously broad ‘session’ bracket.  As such, it has the incredibly hard task of bringing the absolute minimum amount of malt to bear without the flavour falling into an insipid...