In 2013 a publicist sent me not one, but two bottles of the 2013 Crown Ambassador. That excited me, largely because I’m a cheapskate who could never come to paying $90-something for a beer. Even a 10.2 per cent number in a 750ml bottle. So I figured I’d never try it.
But here were two bottles on my desk at work – one for now and one to cellar for later.
I remember liking the beer quite a lot, though the review I wrote doesn’t really give that impression.
Here are some highlights.
‘‘Fortunately it is better than a Crownie. Way, way, way better.’’
‘‘As far as the aroma goes, I didn’t get any of the fruity notes promised by the Galaxy hops. Rather it was toffee notes that dominated for me. Drinking it was a joy. It offers a rich, malty flavour at first before some toffee touches start to come through.’’
I had wondered why I never got another bottle of Crown Ambassador – or anything else – from that publicist. Looking at that review, I think I can understand why. It didn’t really capture how I felt about the beer; aside from the ‘‘drinking it was a joy’’ bit. I remember being genuinely impressed and also very happy to have tried it.
Trying it a year and a half later, joy is not the word I’d use. Given the whole thing around this beer is that it’s supposed to be aged, I was expecting something better than what I got.
What did I get? A taste of bitter sultanas and a cheap whiskey note at the end. It’s a flavour that makes me wonder about the quality of all those bottles of Crown Ambassador on the shelves at Dan Murphys that spend day after day under lights. My Crown Ambassador was kept in the dark inside the display box and inside a cupboard and the flavour still didn’t stay together.
Look, it’s entirely possible that I caught this beer during its awkward puberty years, where it’s developing into something else. But I kinda doubt it.
Categories: Drink It You Idiot