A few weeks back, one of my locals was having a pint night featuring an Australian brewery who’s products had just started to appear stateside, one Mountain Goat Beer out of Melbourne, who have been making ales since 1997 yet had just started appearing in the states. I was very intrigued, as I my experience in Australian beers had been limited to only Cooper’s (Australians don’t like to acknowledge Fosters and if you want to piss one off, ask if they really drink it, as I have done numerous times), which was nothing to write home about. I was curious as to how “British” the beer produced by the Aussies would be, or how they would make traditional Redcoat styles something of their own, much like we have done in the US of A, but when I showed up to said bar a few days later, pints of their pale were a whopping $9 a pop! I do understand that this beer has quite the journey to make, but $9 was a little steep for me that night (charging $9 for a beer is a bootable offense), so I opted for some more reasonably priced pints of Unita Black Lager and Strand Amber ale. Well imagine my surprise the other day when I was in the local Albertsons and saw bombers of Mountain Goat’s flagship Hightail Ale for $3.99 a pop. I grabbed one for later that night and here is how it turned out.
MOUNTAIN GOAT HIGHTAIL ALE
NOTES: 22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass
ABV: 6.8% Amber Ale
APPEARANCE: Pours think and cloudy with a creamy head. Rich copper color.
AROMA: Apricots/ Peaches, maybe a touch of roses. Faint maltiness.
TASTE: Very floral upfront with a tiny touch of citrus, which gives way to a nice toffee/ toasty character. Not too hoppy at all. Finishes clean with a abrupt touch of carbonation. Very fresh tasting (they have “drink by” dates on the bottle). They use the Pride of Ringwood hops in this one, which I am curious to taste in other beers now.
MOUTHFEEL: Deceptively light for a 6.8%. Very creamy (All their beers are unpasteurized).
DRINKABILITY: I could easily have a few of these in one sitting and would have, save for the job/ responsibilities waiting for me the next morning. Not overly malty as some ambers tend to be but had plenty of other flavors and character that were very unique for the category. This would go well with a hamburger and I intend on exploring this further.
OVERALL: This was one tasty beer. A relative steal at $3.99 and a standout among both the price point and the Amber category (which I am usually not too crazy about). This makes me very eager to try the other offerings that Mountain Goat is bringing stateside as well as the other craft brews that are being produced in the Oceania region. Does anyone out there have any recommendations? I give it, 3 hops.
Unrelated Shameless Plug: Our friends over at Beer in Japan, whom you first read about here, have released their Craft Beer Japan App. If you are headed to Japan anytime soon and want to explore the beer scene, this app is going to be your best friend and trusty guide. Kanpai!