Today’s review is a little different. My girlfriend makes a wonderful ale pie so I took the ale shopping opportunity to pick a small bottle up for myself. So I’m reviewing both how the beer holds up in a rich pie and how it tastes to drink.
It came in a 330ml bottle which we picked up individually from Swords Wine in the Vic Market. It’s an English Dark Ale. It’s brewed in Lobethal South Australia.
For the pie, she used this recipe.
How does it look?
In the glass it’s a very deep, cola coloured, maroon.
In the pie it also turned the gravy a nice deep maroon. The most memorable pies in the past have been made with either Guinness Extra Stout or Noire De Chambly and both produced a much darker looking sauce.
How does it taste?
Initially I tried it chilled (leftover from the ones that went into the pie). The taste was thin and fairly uninteresting. However the one I had at room temperature was much more interesting. I know that ale should typically be drunk under room temp, but I don’t have that capacity to do that. In my house it’s fridge or nothing.
It has a lovely toasty slightly burnt smell that carries through to the tasting. However I did think it’s was a little weak in the aftertaste. The flavour weasels away and it kind of left me a little unsatisfied. I was expecting a big bold finish and kind of got not much at all.
Pie wise, it also didn’t quite match up to the rich deep flavours we wanted and didn’t carry though the way that the Noire de Chambly did.
When should I drink (and eat) it?
Seeing as the weather here was having a (hopefully) final hissyfit before Summer rolls around, we took the chance to enjoy an ale and a pie. Both are definitely a winter time treat and in my mind, one of the highlights of winter. You don’t get much better than sitting round sharing a rich beer and pie with a loved one (particularly if she’s cooking).
I wasn’t a huge fan of this beer but I would definitely like to try some of the others from the brewery. It’s also worth noting they have won awards for this and other beers so don’t take my word. If you like an ale then give it a try.
As I also noted, it didn’t hold up as well in the pie. Maybe their Oatmeal Stout might be better (or maybe I just want an excuse to eat more pie and drink some stout).
As a whole, it’s a decent beer, but not one of my favourites.
I rate it: 2 and a half weasels
Website and details of their awards: http://www.ahcb.com.au/