30 June 2008

Nostalgia: not what it used to be

It's almost five years since I was in Australia. In the week or so I was there I worked through as many of their beers as I could get my hands on, which meant a lot of pale lagers. I haven't retained much memory of most of them -- though Toohey's Extra Dry sticks in my mind as my go-to lager. Had I been blogging at the time, I'm certain I'd have given an honourable mention to Boag's Premium, from Tasmania.

Declan from the Bull & Castle gifted me a bottle, only slightly out of date, following a root through through the pub's backroom store. Never one to refuse free beer from a pub manager I took it home to give it a proper write-up.

Grassiness is the dominant characteristic here, on the nose and in the foretaste. Oddly -- and maybe this is the bottle showing its age -- the aroma had a kind of sharp, sugary tartness to it, almost like a lambic. The flavour is very definitely bitter, however. Green and slightly vegetal, though not straying far from the clean refreshing lines of hot-country lawnmower lager.

Perhaps not as good as I remember it, but better than the brewery's Strongarm lager, and not bad at all for free.

Anything else back there, Declan?

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