Category Archives: Garage Project

Garage Project Touch Wood

Brewery: Garage Project
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 9%
Style: Belgian Tripel
Other Notes: Elderflower & honey Tripel

Brewer Description: (from inner paper wrap) According to folklore, the Elder (Sambucus nigra) is a tree imbued with a deep magic. It was said to ward off evil and even that couples who drank an ale infused with the Elderflower would marry within the year. In Denmark a female wood spirit called Hylde-Moer was said to inhabit the tree – woe betide anyone who took from the elder without its permission. The origins of the term ‘touch wood’ come from this desire to placate these woodland spirits. Here, malted barley and wheat infused with Elderflower sugar syrup, fresh Elferflowers and honey create a beer alive with the verdant joy of Spring. You need a bit of good luck to pull off a beer like this – so ‘touch wood’ (and be very careful who you drink it with)!

My rating: 2
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.26
My ratebeer.com rating: 3

Intro: A 650ml paper wrapped, stickered and string tied bottle. Bottle 1131/8500. Only when you unwrap the bottle do you see a best before date, which was 15th December 2016. It is very annoying when BB or bottled on dates are hidden like this, and I am perfectly fine with reviewing this beer even though its past BB date, because of this. Poured into a Chimay goblet glass.
Appearance: A lightly hazy golden orange colour with a half finger white head that dissipates fairly quickly while leaving some lacing.
Aroma: Honey, pear, flowers (which I will assume is elderflower since I do not know what that smells like), apple skin and light pepper.
Taste: Lightly sweet, honey, light caramel, pear, apple skin and flowery with some alcohol on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation.
Overall: This was ok, but not close to being among my favourite Tripels. I prefer fruity over flowery, and all good Tripels can hide their alcohol well, which was not the case here.

Garage Project Day of the Dead

Brewery: Garage Project
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 6.7%
Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer
Other Notes: Brewed with smoked chipotle chili, raw cocoa nibs, vanilla and agave.

Brewer Description: (from can) Lager, but not as we know it. Garage Project’s Day of the Dead – a strong black lager inspired by the Aztec beverage xocolatl. “A bitter, frothy, spicy drink” combining cocoa and chili. Brewed with chipotle chili, refermented with organic blue agave syrup and conditioned over raw cocoa nibs with vanilla – rich and dark, Day of the Dead is smooth and drinkable with a complex mix of smoke, chocolate and restrained chili heat. A true celebration of the dark side.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.32
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.2

Intro: A 330ml can with a best before date of 24th September 2016 and poured into a Mikkeller pint glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark dark brown colour with a just over one finger tanned head that dissipated fairly quickly but settles to an extremely thin layer and left only sparse lacing.
Aroma: Chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, corn and a touch of chili.
Taste: Chocolate, roasted malts, cocoa, a touch of vanilla and light chili heat.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and moderate carbonation with light tingly spice.
Overall: Day of the Dead was sold as a pack with La Calavera Catrina which was also a spicy beer. However, while I did not enjoy La Calavera Catrina much, Day of the Dead was much better. The spice in Day of the Dead was there, but more restrained such that it did not take over the beer. Not great, but not bad either.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

garage-project-day-of-the-dead-3

Garage Project Baltic Porter

Brewery: Garage Project
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 8%
Style: Baltic Porter
Other Notes: Brewed with a touch of smoked malt

Brewer Description: (from bottle) A beer needs to be dressed in the best. Poor Baltic Porter, favourite tipple of the Czars and one of our most popular dark beers, never had a stitch to wear. But now the face of Baltic is bear not bare, naked no longer thanks to the irreverent creative mischief of local gone global art collective & clothing brand ALC. With new threads and a quirky take on the traditional, Baltic is stepping out in fine style. Huge ups to ALC.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.75
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.5

Intro: A 650ml bottle with a best before date of 2nd November 2016. Poured into a Moonzen teku glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark brown colour with a reddish hue and a big three finger beige head that dissipated fairly quickly and left only sparse lacing.
Aroma: Caramel, roasted malts, molasses, coke sweetness and a hint of smoke.
Taste: Caramel, dark fruit sweetness of plum and prunes, chocolate, molasses and some light char and smoke on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied with moderate to high prickly carbonation.
Overall: A pretty good Baltic Porter taste wise, but I felt that the body was too light and the carbonation slightly on the high side. Having said that, as it is, it does go down easy.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

garage project baltic porter 3

Garage Project La Calavera Catrina

Brewery: Garage Project
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 6.9%
Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer
Other Notes: Brewed with maize, habanero chili, watermelon and rose water.

Brewer Description: (from can) The elegant skull, may be a blonde lager, but don’t be fooled, she’s no lightweight. Brewed with maize, an ingredient you’d normally associate with much blander lager offerings, La Catrina is fired up with an assertive chili heat from a generous addition of habaneros, and spiked with rose water and yes – watermelon. The result is cheeky, complex and fiery – what more could you want in the lady of death?

My rating: 2
My beeradvocate.com rating: 2.65
My ratebeer.com rating: 2.5

Intro: A 330ml can with a best before date of 21st July 2016 and poured into a d’Achouffe tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear golden blonde colour with a one finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly but leaves some sparse lacing.
Aroma: Pale malts and corn along with some orange and lemon citrus plus a hint of rose water.
Taste: Spicy! Chili heat at the beginning and chili heat on the finish. In the middle of it all there’s some sweet honey and apple maybe. But really, it seems all about the chili which is a bit overpowering.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation and tingly chili spice.
Overall: I enjoy chili and eat a lot of spicy food, but I’m not sure this really worked. In this case, I thought that the chili really overpowered everything else, such that the other flavours you get in the middle, were pretty much negated. I feel that if putting chili in beer, then perhaps it would go better with the normally bolder flavours of an imperial stout or imperial porter, which would provide more balance.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

garage project la calavera catrina 4

Garage Project Aro Noir

Brewery: Garage Project
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 7%
Style: American Stout
Other Notes: Brewed with roasted barley. Hops – Columbus and Summit.

Brewer Description: (from can) Aro Noir is a pitch blak and full flavoured stout. At its heart is a blend of four malts, with Columbus and Summit hops, creating a citric bitterness and aroma that marries nicely with the roast malt character. Yes, it is inspired by the darkness of a Wellington winter in Aro Valley, but truly it is a stout for all seasons. Join us on the dark side.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.07
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.9

Intro: A 330ml can with a best before date of 10th August 2016 and poured into a Moonzen teku glass.
Appearance: It poured a pitch black colour with a big almost three finger dark tan head that stuck around for a while and left nice streaky lacing.
Aroma: Roasted malts, coffee, light char and bittersweet chocolate.
Taste: Starts with a light roast, coffee and light char followed by a bitter espresso and citric finish.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.
Overall: This was good with nice coffee flavours mixed in with some smoky char and a bitter fruit finish. Light enough to be a stout for all seasons.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

garage project aro noir 4