Among Australia's craft beer cognoscenti, Murray's annual anniversary releases are one of the year's most anticipated releases. The beers have generally followed a few common traits: big and barrel-aged for a start, with each vintage usually an evolution on the previous year. Last year's was a 15 per cent Belgian style barleywine featuring a handful of different yeasts and made from a blend of French and American oak-aged versions. This one follows a similar line but with the addition of cherry wood smoked malt. Head Brewer Shawn Sherlock says: 'Along with the use of Kiwi hops, we've made wood aging one of our signature styles ' and Anniversary Ale is a key offering in this program. We don't do ciders or sour beers, but a lot of time is now spent on developing a barrel aging program with plans for future releases of these beers.â? As with previous year's Anniversary Ales, this year's beer has been treated to extensive oak barrel aging, and is packaged under cork in 750ml Champagne bottles. According to the brewery: "The blend of two different Belgian yeast strains makes for an incredibly complex ester profile. The high alcohol content makes its presence felt with warmth right across the palate, but even at this early stage of the beer's life is not 'hot' or spirit like. The American oak barrels contribute further complex layers of flavour and aroma to the beer. Initially full and rich on the palate, Murray's Anniversary Ale 7 finishes remarkably dry for a beer of this size." Salivating much?
Published December 7, 2012 2012-12-07 00:00:00