I first had this one at GABS earlier this year and thought it was so good I even voted for it as my favourite beer of the festival (above a mere 88 others mind you). So naturally I was over the moon when I found it in bottles at Plonk in Canberra* (slowbeer also sell it so you can get it anywhere in Australia) and obviously it’d be wrong not to review it.
I implore you to check out the 2 brothers website if you haven’t already. They’ve got an interesting and extensive range of beers and you’ll find out all about their brewery (it has its own beer hall if you needed any more selling). They have this to say about The Magic Pudding:
If you like pudding, and you like beer, we reckon you’ll like this sticky dessert beer. 9.1% ABV and patiently steeped with cinnamon, nutmeg and french oak, this barley wine is definitely a sipper.
Sounds fairly spot on to what I can recall from my Magic Pudding GABS experience, but best crack a bottle of two just to be on the safe side…
Its aroma is filled with the sticky sweetness of mixed dried fruit being soaked in alcohol – the rum variety – ready to make a Christmas pudding. There are also some fairly robust spice notes – think cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice. It’s pungent and I’m already addicted for the second time round. I could be holding my nose over my mum’s christmas cake batter if I didn’t know any better.
In colour it’s a translucent dark amber hue and really quite appealing to the eye; better than I remember it being at GABS, but then again I only had a taster sippy cup of the stuff. There’s not much of a head to speak of but it’s a barley wine after all.
On the palate, it’s very much like you’d expect from its full-bodied, festive aroma: like you’re drinking a Christmas cake. There’s mixed fruit, nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice, all smothered in delicious rumminess. While it is on the sweet side (it’s a dessert beer after all), it’s not as sweet as you’d likely suspect from the smell and despite it’s indulgent namesake, it’s still a fairly well-balanced beer. I’d even say that I could quite easily drink two of these in a row, enjoy them, and not feel sick afterwards like a lot of other sweet/dessert beers.
Going down the gullet it’s thick, it’s rounded and smooth. There’s almost a syrupy characteristic to it until the spices give it a little bit of a bite at the end which also serve to break up the sweetness.
While it’s not exactly a summer-y kind of beer, I’ve purchased a number of these which will make nifty festive season gifts for all the extended relos and randoms that inevitably show up who you don’t have gifts for. Christmas gift safety net = sorted!
All in all, it not only stacks up to its tasting notes but it’s a delicious, well-measured approach to a dessert beer and I anticipate I’ll be having many more of these over the festive season. So long as I can get my hands on them.
*Plonk also now have an online store, however at the time of writing Magic Pudding was not available.
- Genre: Dark ale
- Regionality: Moorabbin, VIC
- Strength: 9.1%
- Rating: 3 / 3 taste + 2 / 2 ancillaries = 5 / 5
- Plus: It’s bloody delicious – the term “mother’s milk” has been thrown around
- Minus: You probably can’t have more than two in one sitting.