BEER: Cascade First Harvest 2010
$26 6 pack, 5.5% alc
I loved the 2009 version of this. It was just a joyous celebration of glorious Tasmanian hops, crammed into a bottle. In fact, I scouted all over Sydney snaffling up stray six packs of it, such was my love affair.
But this year, this vintage, things have changed. The 2010 iteration, of which I’m sipping (or not) right now, seems to lack the aromatic goodness of last year, lacking that addictive freshness and vitality that made it so good last year. In the name of scientific research – or perhaps just blunt persistence – I’ve actually worked through a six pack of the 2010 Cascade First Harvest (and cross checked with a friends 6 pack) over the last 8 weeks in the hope that I’ll come around, or it will come around, or something will happen. But it didn’t. In fact the beers have only got worse.
So now, 5 bottles down and I’m sad to say that this beer, this conceptually brilliant beer, is a struggle for me to finish. And I’m devastated.
What’s it like then you ask? Sweaty. The nose has the trademark VB hops character that seems to infest far too many Fosters beers (or at least I think so) of late and the hop characters seem a bit stale too. Where is the big hit of herbal, sappy fresh hops I say? MIA that’s what. The palate too seems broad, caramelised and sweetish, almost as if it’s getting old, even though the 10′ First Harvest was only launched in May (so its had roughly 3 months max in the bottle).
So the question is – what happened? Where has the promise gone? Was it a rough year for Tasmanian hops?
Regardless, I’m going to be skipping this and sticking to Little Creature Pale Ale for my hop fix this Winter.
And trying again next year….