Tooborac Brewery Woodcutters – Beer Review
Name: Tooborac Brewery Woodcutters
Style: Amber Ale
Beer description: Tooborac Hotel and Brewery comes out of Heathcote wine region in Australia. The brewery is actually an historic pub in the area and they’ve decided to maintain brewing just like they would have done in the old days. This is always a good choice as it usually offers a great local brew with intentionally limited distribution which makes beer lovers excited to come back time and time again.
The beer presents a beautiful amber and copper colour, there’s a bit of a red to this beer. Before pouring,just from the label and the general vibe of this beer, the drink is thinking that this is going to be a very traditional brew. However, the appearance is pushing away from a more traditional amber all.
The aroma of this beer is fantastic and everything an amber should be. It’s a sweet smell with a dry, earthy hoppiness behind it. This beer is hopped with Amarillo and Cascade, but it’s not an obviously American smelling beer; it doesn’t smell like every other beer hopped with the typical Pacific-Northwestern hop varieties. There’s a tiny bit of pine in there, but it’s not prominent at all. However, there’s some great stone fruit and general stewed fruit aromas that are obviously hop driven.
There’s another little something in there that’s hard to pinpoint. The best guess is the water source or the fermenters for the brewery. Something like calcium. It’s an interesting secondary smell that sets this beer apart from other beers.
On the taste, this beer takes a completely different turn. The hops really come out and where the drinker originally only got subtle characteristics of the American hops, this come forward with the typical pine and citrus flavours we all know so well. The bitterest sits all over the tongue and, while it’s a light bitterness, it still can’t be avoided. This sits with the pine right at the front of the tongue.
Throughout this is a general sweetness that makes an amber ale an amber ale. The sweetness is the dominant flavour when the beer goes down fast. When savoured, the pine starts to build up and the bitterness is accentuated.
All these flavours come together at once and, for good or bad, there’s no distinct story/progression through the flavours: they all come at once. This make the beer both full of interesting flavours but easy drinking at the same time.
Drink when: This is an autumn beer, pure and simple.
Drink with: This beer was made to be served at the Tooborac Hotel and Brewery and would go well with their food.
Rating to style/intention – 8.5/10: This beer mixes tradition and modern styles very well without getting confused. The bitterness builds up a little bit too much for an amber though.
Rating on sessionability – 8/10: This is a nice smooth beer that goes down pretty easily. It would be very easy to do quite a few of these!
Rating on complexity – 6/10: While there’s some good flavours, the lack of separation makes them hard to discern.
General rating – 8.5/10: A lovely beer that’s has a couple curve balls, but that’s what keeps it interesting.
Overall rating and summary – 7.75/10: This is a great beer and, if you’re near the brewery, make a point to get there to try it.
Tooborac Brewery Woodcutters:
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4 Responses to “Tooborac Brewery Woodcutters – Beer Review”
I find the Tooby beers a little tricky. As someone who gets into the pub a fair bit, I struggle to really enjoy their beer on a regular basis. A bit inconsistent for me.
Hmmm, this was a first over here. There’s another bottle in the fridge as well as a couple of their pale ales, so we’ll see!
Wine country beers brings to mind a proud Aussie tradition – the pairing of beer and wine through the custom of the “cleansing ale”. Heathcote, in my state of Victoria, boasts some of the best cold-climate shirazes available – they’re big, chewy, peppery wines that go particularly well with game (duck, venison, ‘roo) and beef dishes. After a meal like this, we like nothing more than a cleansing ale – a beer or two to cleanse the palate and ease the mind. While the Tooborac amber would do the trick, I prefer the hoppy bitterness and savoury flavours of an IPA as a “cleanser”. Y’all come on down and I’ll show you what I mean!
Sounds like a poem is coming on! “Ode to the cleansing ale”