Holgate Millennium Falcon

I’ve made it clear in the past just how excited I get when I discover a new single batch beer in my part of the world. However up until now I’ve only written about the Little Creatures range, which is a tad unfair. There are plenty of other fine Australian breweries who are supplying my taste buds with unique amber awesomeness, so it’s about time that I start spreading the love. That’s an easy task to do while Holgate Brewhouse are producing beers like this…the Holgate Millennium Falcon.

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What’s in the name?

The name Millennium Falcon is stuffed full of multiple meanings. It refers to the fact that this is the 1000th beer released by Holgate, or their 1000th anniversary aka millennium (well done by the way!!) It’s also a nod to the hops used – Millennium, Falconers Flight and Galaxy. This leads to the third meaning – the Millennium Falcon, space ship used by Han Solo to cruise the Galaxy…

I’ll make it clear now that I’m a beer geek, not a Star Wars geek. But I know enough about the Star Wars universe to get most of the little puns scattered throughout this beer. From the fact that it’s an Emperial IPA to the shape of the ‘hop’ on the label

I’m not afraid to say that I picked this beer up off the shelf because of the label. Sure, once it was in my hand and I realized what it was I was extra excited. But it was the label, with its combination of black and electric blue that got my initial attention. It’s awesome. My one small grievance with the packaging is the faux-champagne bottle; it’s got the classy shape and the foil covering the neck, but under the foil is a cap instead of a cork. I know, it’s a small detail, but it just took a bit of the shine away…

What’s in the bottle?

The first thing I noticed is the surprising color – it the same yellow/golden glow that I’d expect from a lager. It looks like a beer where the hops have taken complete control and imprisoned any flavor that the malt can produce. This isn’t the case at all though; the malt kicks in a big wallop of caramel sweetness that cuts through and levels out the hops, which lean more towards the savory side of life. I guess it’s like the light side of the force winning the battle against the dark side…or something. The bitterness ramps up towards the end, but is still pleasantly subdued. The alcohol, all 10% of it, is really apparent right from the start, both in the taste and in the aroma. Thankfully there’s enough going on to keep it from overpowering everything, leaving this beer about as drinkable as a double IPA gets.

Final thoughts

Honestly, I think this was a pretty standard offering…keeping in mind that I’ve been drinking heaps of quality US IPA’s over the past few months, so my definition of ‘standard’ is pretty damn high. That places this beer with some damn fine company, and puts it in the running to make my ‘best of 2013’ list.

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