poured a 500ml bottled into a nonic pint glass. It had a best before
date of June 2014 (though it appears to have been bottled in 2012). It
cost $4.49 ($0.27 per ounce).
Appearance: Seemingly opaque black but actually a deep shade of ruby
red. Pours to a somewhat large, tan, frothy head which laces and retains
Smell: Typical pub-style stout aroma. Some roasted barley, chocolate notes, a hint of salt.
Taste: If you were to judge this beer by its name you’d probably have
some unusual expectations. Truth be told, Kelpie Seaweed Ale is
essentially just a British pub-style stout that’s brewed with seaweed in
the mash. Everything else about it normal, with the addition of some
slight salty to tangy character. In fact, it’s almost a bit
disappointing that the beer is so normal. That being said, I’ll take
normal and good to unusual and bad any day.
The palette is quite familiar, especially to that of a sessionable,
classically-brewed stout. Roasted malts are accounting for the majority
of the taste - creating for noticeable dark chocolate flavors, plus some
sweet cola-like notes, too. Not much else happening, though. No real
hop presence to speak of, though there is a combination of minor
bitterness, saltiness and tanginess on the finish. How much of this
comes from hops, seaweed, and the fact the bottle is likely old I’m not
sure. Still, it’s a satisfying brew.
Drinkability: I was nervous about drinking this bottle since the beer is
only 4.4% ABV. Beers of such light weight tend to expire quickly, but
Kelpie Seaweed Ale has held up quite well. It definitely has a lot of
flavor for an otherwise light-bodied, easy-drinking, sessionable beer.
It is noticeably thin in the mouth and finishes almost completely clean.
This would be a great session beer if the price were right.
Here's a video review of this beer from 2010 (I didn't write a text review of it at the time):