With the cold well and truly settled in – in those areas that actually get cold – there have been a slew of new release, limited edition, winter beers hitting the shelves around the country.

First cab off the rank was East Ninth Brewing (VIC) with their Doss Blockos Dark Lager. Brewed using five different malts – pilsner malt, crystal malt, crystal wheat, chocolate malt, and Caramunich type two – the beer is a seasonal approach to their regular Lager. According to the tasting notes there are “pronounced tones of roasted coffee and dark chocolate, and a little burnt caramel”. And with only 10,000 number bottles being produced, this is one to snap up early.

The EDGE Brewing Project (VIC) has released a new small batch brew, a Single Hop Wheat Beer that utilises New Zealand hop variety Rakau. Simply called Rakau, the beer is a new-world, 6.0% ABV Wheat Ale that reflects the hops’ peach and soft fruit characters.

Similarly big on the palate is The Grzly, a Big Belgian Braggot from Red Duck (VIC). Braggots are fifty-fifty mixtures of strong mead and Belgian Tripel Ales, and with this one weighing in at 12.2%, it is not to be trifled with.

And, finally, the collaboration between Anders Kissmeyer (DEN) and Moon Dog (VIC) from last year has just been released. The Nordic Saddle Buffer is a “Barrelly Wine” that weighs in at an impressive 14.6% ABV. The description is best left to the Moon Dog guys themselves: “Twas a sunny morn in mid-2012 when we first laid our eyes upon the man – nay the myth! – sweet sweet Kissmeyer. Our hearts aflutter, filled with excitement and trepidation. We embarked on the journey of a lifetime to produce this here (N.B. Find better word for “whopper) of a beer. Some people say this mighty ale is so complex that complexity is not complex enough an adjective to describe it. Those people are us. Aged in ex-shiraz and pinot barrels for a rather long time”.

For the latter three brews contact info@northdown.com.au (note that they are only doing the Moon Dog distribution for Victoria, for NSW and WA contact Phoenix Beers.

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