Jensens Bermondsey Dry Gin

London Dry Style, with theu usual bevy of aromatics.  Of those,  its juniper, coriander, rosemary to the fore, just lightly rubbed in the earthiness of licorice root and friends.

The palate also shows citrus, and its rounded and smooth, yet light and clean on the finish, quite a pure lift to the spirit.

$99.  43% ABV.

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2011 Schaefer Frohlich Felsenberg Grosses Gewachs Riesling

Grosses Gewachs Riesling – the wine that sets out why Australian Riesling makers aren’t all as good as they think they are.   Usually picked at least spatlese ripe and fermented through to dry or very close, as this one is.

Picking up some colour now, golden straw.  Vanilla smells.  Lemons and limes in an intense, spiced, nicely worked bottle of wine. Not quite bone dry to balance out some robust acids.  Plenty of power here, reflecting the vintage and fruit ripeness, and it is starting to uncoil and show itself.  Shows some slightly custardy neutral oak character to add layers to the fruit and winemaking.  All up delightful, and shows what riesling can do when made into a powerful yet thoughtful package.  Nice.  About $90 on release, 13% ABV.

91 BCP.

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2014 Yeringberg Chardonnay

A wine that somehow feels like it has breathed out and relaxed.  Its loose knit and languid,  relaxed and approachable.

Cashew, nougat, some struck match over peachy fruit. Milkshake lolly lactic taste, talcum powder hints which I think are oak influences.  Traces of peanut, with a wisp of soft lemony acid to finish.  More orange citrus shows through over 24 and 48 hours as well.  Made to drink now, and tasty for it.  $45.  89 BCP

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2015 Symphony Hill Barrel Ferment Gewurztraminer

Its a rare day that gewurtraminer gets ab outing at book club.  So rare there isn’t even a category for it.  We’re similarly lacking in categories for Fiano, Vermentino.  And of course the revered Trebbiano and Garganega varieties 😉 .  But that isn’t going to stop me on a warm night with a spicy pork and wombok salad dish.

Pale straw with a pinkish tinge. Ginger spiced  redcurrant nose. Musk and rosewater palate, glace apricot, some lychee.  Mouthfeel is full of interest, its big and round and fat, kept trim by phenolics more than acids, juicy and full of flavour.  The barrel ferment is a positive here, adding just a little texture.  A touch warm on the finish.

Symphony Hill seem to be quite excited about this wine.  Its good, but you have to like gewurz to even get out of the blocks. If you do, then give this a spin.  $45 if you arent in their wine club is  bit steep though.

88 BCP.

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2011 Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp Fass 9 Riesling

From the Saar valley – a little way upstream and off to the side from the Mosel itself.  Brought into Aus by Andrew Guard – nice little portfolio he has, Mr Guard.  And this is a star.

And its just delicious.  Ripe fruit made in a kabinett style, with the density of spatlese ripeness on the vine.  Lime rind and honeycomb, languid and slippery, green herbs to spice thing up a little. Modest acids, and some grip, maybe some time in an old barrel?  Might not age as long as the great Mosel wines, but who cares – this is flat out delicious now.  I have this down as $90, but I suspect that’s wrong.

Front label says 10% back label says 12.5%  ABV.  Believe the front.

90 BCP.

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Colonial Brewing India Pale Ale

A light gold in colour. Hoppy and very fruity on the nose. A punchy palate, hops with pine characters, biscuits and resin, quite full-on and mouth filling, hops with grapefruit, tropical fruits and a drying bitter pine needle/grassy character. This seems to have divided the online community, but sits okay with me – it is what it is, but it is certainly at the hop-driven/drying end of the spectrum. About $70 by the case. 375ml tin. 6.5% abv

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Newstead Brewing Wastelands Red Rye Ale

A small batch release. Apparently it was “Gypsy Brewed, Bottled & Packaged with love by Newstead Brewing and South East Brewing Co”. The latter seems to be based in Victoria. There are some alliances Newstead Brewing have that I don’t quite understand. Nevermind though, because it is the beer that matters.

Copper, rust, brown in colour. A big malty nose, with spices, nuts and old dried fruits. A full bodied palate, malts and spices, caramels, dry earth and pine needles, a touch of hops. Great length and a drying bitter finish. A super beer. Not sure about the price exactly, but online it seems to be around $100 for a case. 6.5% abv, and it does show it a little bit. 330ml bottle

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Vonu Pure Lager

Fijian Lager.  4.6% ABV.

DNPIM.  That is all.

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James Squire “The Hop Father” Celebration Ale

Apparently “Limited Release”. Sigh. Whenever I see this, which is typically with a wine, I think to myself, rather cynically, that it is only “limited” to how much they can sell. As it turns out, it is quite a nice ale.

Dark golden brown in colour. A rich malty and fruity nose that follows through to the palate, medium bodied with malts, fruits, pine needles and some hops. A drying bitter finish. A refreshing ale with some good weight and punch. 5.0% abv. 345ml bottle. $61 or thereabouts for a case.

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Young Henry’s Real Ale

From their website:

The Real Ale is our take on a traditional Best Bitter. In other words, where British style meets Australian tastes. We start with a 50/50 blend of English and Australian malts then add three of our favourite varieties of Aussie hops; Topaz, Galaxy and Ella. This gives a New World kick to an Old World classic.

Golden brown in colour, with a lovely stillness. A malty nose and a very English Ale palate, reminiscent of an Old Speckled Hen: malt, hints of caramel and wheaty hops, a certain steeliness and dry stones through the mid-palate, finishing with some bitterness and a touch of old dried fruits. Good length; its flavours linger. 4% abv, 375ml tins, $77 for a case from Hawthorne Super Cellars.

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