Cascade First Harvest 2011 (Hobart Tasmania)
5.5%, $15 a 4 pack at my local Vintage Cellars
|Cascade First Harvest 11. It’s hoppy.|
I’m opening this with a sense of trepidation. A nervousness that comes on the back of last years disappointment, which itself came after the glory of the ’09 vintage. That bizarre mix of hopeful positivity and dreadful anticipation, backed by a voice that pleads ‘let it be so’. It’s like that.
But enough of that junk, what’s the beer like then?
For starters it really needs to be drunk out of a glass. I’ve lined up one bottle and one bottle poured into a glass and the glass is definitely winning.
As for the beer, well it’s hoppy. (of course it is Andrew you idiot). Seriously though, the story here is all about the freshest of handpicked Tassie hops, and that’s what this smells and tastes like. Hops. Lots of hoppy goodness in here, lovely sweet sappy hops finished off with proper hoppy bitterness. Big shiny tick on that front.
But you know what, once you get over the hop wet dream this is just a little hollow. It’s fresh, sure, but it also lacks heart. It has that over polished, squeaky clean, corporate flavour that comes from cost centres and PR companies and the like. It tastes clever, but cold. Of talented brewers who would love to be making something cloudy and weird and stinky but need to make sure it still comes in a twist top bottle. And underneath it all, if you stripped away this sort of interference, this would probably be just that beast (though it will never be such a creature, and I really should keep that in mind).
The net result? A sessionable beer that has plenty of lovely hoppy flavours and some good bits. An improvement on the ’10 (in my humble, poorly informed opinion) and a drinkable beer (I happily drunk both bottles). But it just doesn’t seduce like it really could/should.