Ever since they rode to the rescue of 3 Ravens like a knight in shining stainless steel, WA's Mash has been brewing some of its specialty releases at Ravens' Thornbury base for the East Coast market. Among them have been the Illustrated Ales series for which they've invited Melbourne artists to create the label designs. Following in the footsteps of the likes of the Challenger comes Russell. He's an American Amber Ale and also a rather demonic looking dog in what appears to be the torso of a skeleton in a vase. Or something. The artwork's by Mike Maka, AKA Makatron - part of the Everfresh collective; the beer is by the 3 Ravens / Mash brewers. First whiff brings to mind Jaffa Cakes (or whatever the Aussie equivalent of a chocolate orange cakey biscuit is), with those chocolate, orange and citrus characteristics carrying through to the flavour too. At 4.5 per cent ABV it's not chewy like some American ambers can be, instead pretty light on its feet, but still hides a pretty solid punch behind its sweetness and light. Like the sabre-toothed Russell on its label, it has bite.