Japanese brewer James Squire has been a contributor to the Australian beer scene since the 1990’s. Originally and maybe still run by Chuck Hahn, it is effectively the craft-brewing division of Lion Nathan in Australia. I am always happy to see James Squires Porter (repackaged as Jack of Spades Porter) on a restaurant’s beer list and the newly named Chancer Golden Ale is my tipple of choice on Qantas domestic travel. The Mad Brewer division also throws up some interesting one-offs from time to time.
The latest addition to the James Squire range is unfortunately a disappointment. It’ll probably go alright sales wise if they price it appropriately, but it is underwhelming in most respects. The beer label hyperbole promises “A clean finishing Australian-style cloudy pale ale for cracking refreshment”. There’s also discussion about fruity aromas and it comes in at 4.2%. It’s better than a macro el blando lager, but not by much.
Firstly, the promised cloudiness is simply not present – not from the bottle I poured anyway. Clear as a bell. The aromas are subtle and the flavour is again subdued. There’s hoppiness present, but it is hardly cracking. An ice-cold bucket of these in summer in the absence of anything else would be fine, but there’s simply plenty of better options around. Not a bad starter beer for an 18yo that has been drinking VB on the sly since they were 15, but too subtle for me.