God, what a fucking disappointment. No, not the beers in Dundee's craft pack. I'll be getting to that shortly.
I don't get it. At its core, beer is the quintessential man-drink. It's specifically engineered to slake the thirst of salt-of-the-earth, hard-plowing, manly men. It's what the body craves after a day filled with croc-wrasslin' and dingo-eatin'. And there's exactly one man with the name of Dundee who understands that:
Just one look at this squinty-eyed Adonis is enough to realize he has a thirst for life. It is a thirst so profound that his body actually converted his skin to jerky. This 170 lbs. of rugged leather and gleaming teeth (some of them his own, most of them from various fauna) is a walking billboard for "Beer me", yet Dundee Brewery has no affiliation with him whatsoever. It borders on criminal.
The mature thing to do here would be to simply fail all their beers outright, call them a bunch of filthy malt-fuckers and move on to a different set of beers, but I can't allow myself to rise to the occasion. Instead, I'm going to unnecessarily pepper the review with obscure Australian slang (italicized for your convenience) so every reader will be forever unable to dissociate these beers from Paul Hogan's namesake. Every review will be an agonizing reminder to the budgie-brains in Dundee's marketing team of their colossal oversight. However, since I don't wish to alienate innocent readers in the process, I am going to dial it back and exclude the new rating system I likewise designed for this review:
Dundee's Pale Bock Lager
(I wasn't really familiar with the "pale bock lager" family of beers when I tasted this. That either means its creator was far better schooled in beer than I or some dick invented the title when they slurped it out of the fermenter and found it didn't actually taste like a double bock. sensed treachery, but I proceeded anyway because I was sober.)
It pours to a thin head that holds its consistency pretty well. The darker amber tone of the beer looks somewhere between a lager and a darker ale, so for now their bullshit name holds up. The label promises it will be "Big and Malty", but I'm not really getting any grain in the smell.
Malt is unquestionably the flavor profile they were going for. It has a nice sweet start with a medium mouthfeel. It's not particularly robust or complex, but the crisp finish makes for a good balance. It drinks so smooth it goes down like shit off a shiny shovel. Crikey!
It's highly drinkable and approachable, but simply not a thinking-man's craft brew. This would go great with greasy bar food. I could MURDER some curly fries with this. Still, it's a few chops short of a barbie, mate!
Dundee's Wheat Beer
The Dundee wheat beer pours to a minuscule head that settles briskly on the straw-colored, clear brew. I notice some grassy notes in the aro...
..wait a second. Did I just say this wheat beer is clear? Did I miss yeast at the bottom? No, I most certainly did not. This beer is just clear. If I may invoke the verbage of fellow internet denizens, wtf?!
Even their website claims it is an unfiltered wheat beer, but I'll be fucked sideways by this craft pack if there is any cloudiness to this. I don't see "kristallweizen" (German for a clear wheat beer, or a beer brewed with meth) on this label, so obviously I'm part of a candid camera prank. Good job, Ashton, you punk'd my tasting. Now can I have my REAL unfiltered wheat beer for God's sake?
Upon detailed review, I am sad to report there is no foul play afoot. It's just a shitty, shitty wheat beer so I'll stop bumpin my gums and finish up.
It has the smoothness of a wheat beer, but with a void where the fullness in taste or feel should be. It finishes tangy, somewhere in the continuum between metallic and lemon. You can probably simulate this beer at home by spraying some pennies with Lemon Pledge and dropping them into seltzer water (Note: please don't, you frivolous lawsuit-monkies). It's not like it will have any less wheat in it.
Grade: D. You'd have to be a stubbie short of a six pack to buy this.
The color scheme of the label is a good indicator of what's within. It has a deep reddish-brown tint that still allows some passage of light. Given the last two didn't really hold a head very well, I brusquely dumped this one into my pint glass to see how it would fare. The head actually did capture some real estate this time, demonstrating what I quietly suspected - this beer likes the abuse. Hopefully the porter won't back-sass me like the wheat beer did or poppa's gonna have to put on his slappin' gauntlets.
It has a nice malty chocolate tone to the smell, but it's subtle. The coffee profile immediately announces itself as it enters the mouth, but I notice it tastes more like burnt coffee in the finish. I think the warmth of the alcohol contributes to that conversation as it passes through. Whatever chocolate I got in the nose is as scarce as rocking-horse shit, but it may just be more of a dark chocolate bitterness getting clobbered by the coffee.
Overall the impression this porter leaves is analogous to that of the pale bock. It lacks complexity but is pretty drinkable. I could totally see this with a peppered steak or blackened fish, where it would compliment the char and cut the spice a bit.
The Dundee Craft Pack (12-pack containing three bottles of each beer) retails for about $15 at Specs Wine Spirits and Fine Foods.
Next up: Part Two Of The Dundee's Craft Pack Review. Bonzer!