After the Local Taphouse’s Hottest 100 beers of 2012 was announced on Australia Day last month, I heard there were some disgruntled people in beer geek circles. Seems the reason for their disgruntledness was the high placings for beers for the McLaren Vale Beer Company. Their Vale Ale came in at No14 and the Vale IPA made it all the way to No. Their Vale Dark ended up at No97, which means all their bottled output made it into the top 100 – an impressive achievement.
But some seemed to think they didn’t belong up there in fourth spot. Maybe it’s because they’re somehow not a “real craft beer”, maybe it’s because they used to contract out their brewing for bottles. (and maybe still do, I don’t care in the slightest). These are only guesses because I don’t know the reason for the animosity. It surely can’t be down to the taste, because the IPA and Pale Ale simply taste good.
This bottle of Vale Ale had only been sitting in the fridge a few weeks as it came with some people who had lunch at our place. I was glad to see the four-pack in his ha nd and equally glad it was still in the fridge when they left (it wasn’t broken open because I was running them through my homebrew range instead).
I hadn’t had the Vale Ale for a fair while. Perhaps because of my obsession with buying new beers rather that those I’ve had before. Which is a mistake on my part because, as I mentioned earlier, this beer is quite tasty. Upfront is that very, very nice fruitiness that I remembered from last time. But this time I also noticed an underlying toffee character from the hops. That was quite a pleasant surprise.
Another thing I like about the Vale beers is they’re very more-ish. It’s really hard to just have one of them.
About the only thing I don’t like about the Vale beers is that they come in a four-pack, when a six-pack would work better. Because you’d get six beers and not four.
Would I drink it again?:Yep, in fact I feel like one right now.
Categories: What's in the fridge?