It’s long overdue and it’s perhaps something I’ve built up too much fuss about in my posts but hey, I’ve not been disappointed by this little craft brewery in Nowra, NSW yet.
You might’ve guessed it by now but if not it’s none other than HopDog BeerWorks. On today’s menu is their Sticky Figgy Brown Ale. Described on the bottle as “a Belgian styled brown ale brewed with figs,” the website commits the beer to providing “plenty of jaminess from the figs, caramel and chocolate from the malts.”
The aroma is strong and nutty, and the roasted malts immediately discernible. On the pour, there’s very little head and it dwindles away all too quickly to form a white rim around the glass. Dark, brown and slightly cloudy in colour it still appears relatively light-bodied with little carbonation to speak of.
On the palate there’s an understated sweetness which is very gradually overtaken by the intense roasted malt flavours. It’s nutty, malty and somewhere in between caramel and chocolate but neither flavour dominates the tastebuds. Medium hop bitterness lingers on the back with the malts. Sadly, I’m not getting any fig although their addition probably lends to the sweetness I was talking about.
As for its sessionability, you could quite easily knock a few of these back if your preference is for drier ale styles. I could imagine, however, that after a couple, the intensity of the roasted malts might have you craving something a bit lighter flavoured. Then again, it’s a beer for the cooler months – it even says so on the label – and drinking it (as I am) in a hot, humid 25 degree plus Brisvegas is probably less than ideal.
Overall it’s on the dry end of the spectrum and to me it almost drinks like a wine when it’s warmed up a bit albeit for the decent amount of hopping that prevails on the back palate. Again, probably not one for the summer months but if you’re in the lower climbs of the continent get yourself some now – Canberrans you can check out Plonk, that’s where I got mine; Brisbanites – you may be able to score some at an impending (but not yet confirmed) tap takeover at The Archive.
- Genre: Dark ale
- Regionality: Nowra, NSW
- Strength: 5.6%
- Rating: 2 / 3 taste + 1.5 / 2 ancillaries = 3.5 / 5
- Plus: Intense nuttiness and roasted malts
- Minus: No discernible figginess