Beer critic

It’s Endeavour vintage time

Just for the hell of it, here’s an Illawarra Mercury beer column I wrote a few weeks ago about the release of the 2012 Endeavour beers.

This is my favourite time of the year because it’s when the Endeavour vintages come out.
Every year for the past three years, Endeavour Beer’s Andy Stewart, a former winemaker, has released an amber and a pale ale. And that’s all he releases. (well, since I wrote that bit he’s gone and released a new beer – Grower’s Ale) I’m not at all sure what he does with the rest of his time.
Both beers are made with ingredients grown and sourced that year, creating a ‘‘vintage’’ component in much the same way as wine.
Also like wine, the beers are made to be aged – you can drink ’em now or hang on to them for a while.
Why I like them is because Stewart sends out samples each year accompanied with the previous year’s vintage so you can do a vertical tasting and compare the two. It adds another level of enjoyment to beer tasting.
So I’d soundly recommend you pick up a bottle of both vintages – the 2011 should still be around – and do your own vertical tasting.
The 2012 amber ale comes with a slight toffee/caramel aroma and the flavour reflects that. This differs from the 2011 amber, which had a prominent toffee/caramel flavour that I found alluring.
So in the battle of the ambers 2011 wins for me, though it would be interesting to see if the 2012’s caramel flavours get stronger over time.
It was an interesting comparison with the pales. Straight out of the fridge I preferred 2011’s more noticeable fruitiness over the 2012 version. But when the glass warmed up, the tropical fruit flavours of the 2012 came through, making it a dead heat for me.

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