We go together like a horse and carriage - Boilermaker Special
Thursday, 14 December 2017 08:33

In this world there are many mergers of basic elements that just simply work wonderfully well together. For example, bacon and eggs, Bert and Ernie, law and order, or motherhood and apple pie. This blog is about one of my more favourite alcohol based elemental combinations. Yes, we are talking Boilermakers.

On the other hand, some elements should never be mixed including pineapple on pizza, Quade Cooper playing rugby, Dai Henwood and alleged comedy, or me and technology. For proof, in the last fortnight alone my phone completely died and my computer completely died. The printer that I feud with so regularly much to the amusement of social media just jumped up a couple of notches on the personal technology totem pole solely because it does (at least theoretically) still operate.

Back to the topic, Malthouse is launching a new range of Boilermakers - basically a beer and spirit cocktail. The beer is served with a hard liquor and patrons can choose to have them separately, interspersed sips or mix both directly in the glass. [1] I was initially hugely sceptical of this concept but became a huge fan after drinking an Epic Armageddon IPA and Hidden World Guardian Gin combination which is also known as a Pipewrench.

Here is the Malthouse Boilermaker list:

8 Wired Hippy Berliner Hoppy Sour (4.7%): Brewer Soren Erikson described this Berliner Weisse as “not very traditional because it is dry hopped with Amarillo, Simcoe, Citra and Riwaka hops. However, I wanted to keep the bitterness low so the beer is obviously tart but not super sour. To me, it tastes a lot like grapefruit juice, but not as sour or as sweet.”


Hidden World Guardian Gin (44%): This is the creation of the Impish Brewer himself - Luke Nicholas. It is a new world gin with a blend of intense spicy native pepper trees Kawakawa and Horopito with a classic juicy juniper base and burst of New Zealand grown limes and lemons.

Lindemans Kriek Cherry Sour (3.5%): This is, frankly, my idea of beer hell as it is a fruit beer and a sour beer. To offer a different and perhaps more balanced perspective I refer to RateBeer reviewer Nikokaoja from Slovenia who wrote:

"Full on nice, ripe cherry aroma. Dark red/brown colour with decent pink head with mild retention. Some nice lacing during drinking. Taste is superbly balanced between sweet and sour. Cherry, cherry, cherry. If you love cherries, you will love this beer. Aftertaste is nice lasting remembrance of the splendid mix. Light bodied with sparkly, lively med carb. Drinkable as hell. Really, really good."


Lindemans Kriek Clear Gin (46%): This is a premium distilled gin made with Lindemans Old Kriek (cherry beer) distillate. This is literally a boilermaker by itself so it can only be imagined what it will be like with the beer that originally made it happen.

Garage Project Hapi Daze Pacific Ale (4.6%): This is a golden hoppy ale but not a hop bomb by any stretch.  The emphasis is on balance and drinkability. It was the eighth beer in the 24/24 project and built on the work of Hazy Daze A and Hazy Daze B – the fourth and fifth beers respectively. There is a story and/or in-joke behind the name with Hapi being the Maori word for hops. This beer has a floral hop nose, firm malt backbone, citrus and grapefruit and a clean finish.


Paul John Brilliance Single Malt Indian Whisky (46%): I was born in Scotland and to praise whisky made outside of Scotland may seem unexpected and unpatriotic. Actually, some of the best whiskies are now made in Japan. India also drinks a lot of whisky and, unsurprisingly, makes a lot of it too. I first tried one at my local Indian restaurant and all the chefs came out to see my reaction. Apparently, no one had ever ordered it before. Bottom line - nicely blended scotch even if the label was bright yellow and looked like it been written in crayon by a toddler.

This whisky is much better - a complex amalgam of nougat, cocoa, vanilla, spice and bourbon.

8 Wired Tall Poppy Red IPA (7.2%): This is an India Red Ale – a potentially made up style that I generally have little time for. [2] However, I love this beer and rate it the most food match friendly brew in the entire land. It is the balance of this beer which makes it so memorable and versatile – caramel, oranges, earthy, creamy, bitterness, pine and maybe a suggestion of peach.


Cask Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (46%): Disclaimer - I love Islay whisky. The combination of salt, smoke and sweet is just amazing. It can be a polarising brew - the haters liken it to a band-aid on fire - but the rest of us know better. It is like kissing an angel who just had a bacon sandwich.

BrewDog Rye Hammer IPA (7.2%): This quite terrifying (but sexy) drop is described by the brewers as a “ruthless IPA” with a theoretical bitterness rating of over 200 IBUs. I am not sure about that science but it is bitter – really, really, really bitter. beyond that there are notes of citrus, grapefruit, peppery rye, tropical fruits, caramel, honey, grass and pine tar.


Writers Tears Copper Pot Single Malt Irish Whiskey (40%): You had me at "Writers Tears". [3] The makers do note that "no writers were harmed in the making of this whiskey" which pleases me immensely.  It is soft and sweet with notes of honey, vanilla, toast, citrus peel. caramel and oak.

Also, there is a new beer on the scene! It’s Epic Solar Flare (4.8%), a new XPA which i still consider a slightly made up style. The Impish Brewer Luke Nicholas argues that "Solar Flare acknowledges the sun and the energy that it sends us (to grow hops and barley) as well as this fantastic time of the year when it is warm and we are celebrating outside."

There is plenty of Amarillo, Simcoe and Mosaic hops so it has lashings of floral and citrus notes though Epic is adamant that this is not "a big hop angry IPA," [4]

Next time, we drink to the flower of Scotland. When will see its like again?

[1] My preferred option.

[2] I am beginning to concede it may be a real style but it is a long road ahead...

[3] This is a totally legitimate medical condition.

[4] For the record, I like the angry IPA.


Neil Miller

Beer Writer

Cuisine Magazine

TheShout Magazine

DrinksBiz Magazine


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