Fri. May 20th, 2022
Image courtesy of The Responsible Drunk
Image courtesy of The Responsible Drunk

Reviewed by Millie and Ken Carman

We judged Black Wattle Ale as a Specialty. Neither of us found any evidence of a base style.

This is the second time I have tasted this ale with the Australian black wattle seed, and the first time for Millie. I really wanted to make sure my assessment of this beer was accurate. Unfortunately, it was.

In the process of this review I was surprised how many people like this beer on other review sites. My response was the same the first time I tasted it…

“Why the hell would anyone drink this?”

The abv was a bit all over the place when I looked at the various sites. About 5.6-5.6 seems about right.

Millie started out with a malty aroma that I sensed too. It seemed darker malt based, though the wattle seed addition seemed to add some characteristics with dark malts. To my taste it was akin to a mild form of Black Patent, and not the best aspects of that very roasted grain. Almost a slight sense of ash tray.

Is everyone else tasting a different beer?

It pours very light brown/amber. Millie thought it was a bit more towards copper. Effervescent, but fair head retention. OK carbonation to the mouthfeel and taste. Just a little light on the carbonation.

Neither of us could sense any hops whatsoever. Perhaps some slight citrus/floral hop might balance out the wattle?

She found it “interesting,” but she wouldn’t want to drink a lot of it. I wasn’t that positive. I thought it was thin and one-dimensional, and I really wouldn’t bother drinking it if there were other more palatable options. If my only other options Miller or Bud Lite, well, yes, I would do it to be sociable.

We both got astringency to the point of just a little too much pucker.

Other very slight defects I noticed in descending “sense of” order: diacetyl, vinegar and just a smidgen of vegetable. Not sure how much or many of any of these defects might be wattle, but I suspect all. What others in different reviews claim was malt I think was mostly wattle. Its taste seemed distinctive.

This time didn’t seem as bothersome as the last time. The last bottle came from a store where I know turn over is slow, so it may have been a bit aged. Wattle, apparently, doesn’t take kindly to aging.

I just wish I could be more positive. I’m a big fan of the darker grains. I like all the darker grains, I love Black Patent, even when it’s over used to the taste of most quaffers. So nothing about the grains would qualify as a problem here. It doesn’t seem like the brewing process created any actual defects like I mentioned, it seemed a natural part of the base. So the only difference I can find here is the wattle.

Brewed by Baron’s Brewing
1 Moncur Street
Woollahra, Sidney, NSW, Australia

By Professor Good Ales

Mythical poster at The LTS Good for What Ales You Beer Journal. Loves good beer. Hates same old, same old. Muses that Bud and Miller might as well be brewed in urinals. Drinks lagers too, if they are complex and interesting.

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