Clearly Will Tatchell is something of a glutton for punishment - or has a team of eager beavers on hand come packaging day. Because having been inspired to follow the Belgian lead and painstakingly wrap the 2,500 bottles of his Hedgerow Sour in pretty paper, he's done the same with this year's release of his Giblin Imperial Stout. Given many of the imperial stouts coming out from Australian brewers these days tip the scales above 10 percent, this one is a pretty restrained affair; at 7.7 percent ABV Will joked with one commenter on Twitter that it was a "light beer" in comparison. While it certainly isn't light, it does have a softer, silkier body than some of the viscous behemoths that come your way each winter, containing within it much in the way of soft roasted and dark cocoa flavours and aromas, with a touch of something a little woody too. As with the Hedgerow, there are just 2,500 bottles in existence.
Look out if you can too, for any remaining kegs of Van Dieman's Enigma IPA. Most has probably gone, but if you see any lingering around Tassie jump in. Enigma is the latest hop variety from Hop Products Australia and the one they rushed from trials to commercial reality faster than any other. You can see why as it offers up all manner of berry, melon and tropical fruit characteristics over the course of the beer, yet does so with a subtlety not always found in New World hop varieties; there's a broad, caressing feel to the aroma rather than something coming at you all guns blazing.