Speaking of greatness, how good is Mountain Goat Steam Ale? Fantastic, I hear you say? Well good because we’re not reviewing that (yet). Today, we’re taking a look at the other one: the Hightail Ale. Ha, misdirection.
Moving on, label time:
You are holding a quality, small-batch brewed amber ale. Its rich toffee tones and floral aromas come from an all-natural process using only malt, hops, yeast and water.
That’s the first time in a long time that a beer has addressed me personally. My internal monologue read it out in a softly spoken, mildly English accent. How delightfully posh.
The beer has a nice head to it. It’s an off-white shade, perhaps with a brownish tinge. The Hightail Ale is actually a pretty similar colour to the bottle. The carbonation is excellent and it leaves behind a mottled web on the glass so that you know you’ve drunk some real beer.
Just as the label promised, the smell has toffee tones and floral aromas. It promises Little Creatures Pale Ale + malt?
(That can’t be good for the review. It’s just going to degenerate into a series of unrealistic expectations)
Putting some down the hatch and it’s an amber ale, it’s got a bit more malt to it than #1 (it’s shorter than writing the whole name). There are underlying floral notes but nothing too exciting. There’s a bitter finish in there as well. It’s malty but lacking. Oh so much lacking.
(I was right)
In a few words, it’s kind of disappointing. But this is not due to it being a poor beer. The expectations that I could heap upon this beer due to the Steam Ale’s rep plus the promise of an amber ale plus the aroma of #1, it was never going to deliver. How could it? In fact, it’s for the best that it doesn’t because that beer would suck a big one.
(Every freaking time…)
If I could put my expectations to one side, I’d say that it’s not particularly flavourful for an amber ale. Comparing to the Hawthorn or the James Squire, it’s on the weaker side and doesn’t compare favourably. I might just stick to the Steam Ale but if I was offered this, I wouldn’t turn it down.
- Genre: Dark ale
- Regionality: Richmond, VIC
- Strength: 4.5%
- Rating: 2 / 3 taste + 1.5 / 2 ancillaries = 3.5 / 5
- Plus: Pleasing fragrance.
- Minus: It’s not rich enough.