Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Endeavour Beverages Reserve Ales

I recently received another sample pack, this time from Endeavour Brewing, a newly formed beer marketing company based in Macquarie Centre, Sydney.

The beers on offer being:

2 x 2010 Endeavour Reserve Pale Ale
2 x 2010 Endeavour Reserve Amber Ale

Very attractive packaging, and fancy bottles. The media release states that these beers will develop of 2-3 years..... hmmm..... not so sure about that.

Darren dropped in for a quick taste, and we determined that these beers were, on the main, average. The claims for cellaring are dubious to say the least.

But, the gesture from the company is appreciated.

In the spirit of constructive criticism, I offered my thoughts back to them. They are as follows (no reply as yet):

Hi Ben,

Thanks for the tasting pack. I shared it with a beer loving mate, and we took down some notes.

In the spirit of providing frank and fearless advice, I wish to provide you with my feedback before I publish it on my blog.

Pale Ale
Looks good and has a wonderful fruity aroma, typical of its hop varieties. But it seems to go missing on the palate. And the mouthfeel seems quite dry and quick finish; for me it's not really that satisfying (but hey, I drink Russian Imperial Stout and Double IPAs, so maybe I'm desensitised !).

It seems to a have a foot in two camps: American pale ale fruitiness, and Dry/Blonde styles popular with Gen-Y. In this sense, it will be popular with this crowd, and maybe with the females, with the fruity perfume on the nose appealing, but the palate light, dry, crisp, and 'contemporary'.

If that's your target market, well done.

Amber Ale
Again, looks appealing. Aromas seem quite focused on chocolate & caramel. Touch resinous as you describe in your media release. I can't really pick up the distinctive Pride of Ringwood metallic/spicy profile, but the resin note is evident. Taste is again quite chocolaty, but seems a bit 2-dimensional. Perhaps you should throw in some English noble hops e.g. East Kent Goldings or Fuggles.... give it a third dimension and some interest.

I detect an attempt at appealing to the Gen-Y drinkers; give them a "different" style but not overburden their distraction-driven minds with complexity. So, give them chocolate, give them alcohol.... and give them a bottle that appears very sophisticated.

I seriously dispute your claims about aging these beers. The pale ale is too light on alcohol, and has no malt or hop structure to support change over time. The amber may take up some raisin/sherry notes as it ages.... but again at 5.2% doesn't have enough 'preservative' to see it into a second year. I'm happy to be proven wrong .......

Overall.... hats off to your packaging. Looks good, and assuming I'm correct regarding your target market, you're probably onto a winner. Price is a challenge, but not for the wanna-be-seen trainee stockbroker crowd. Just remember how fickle these guys are.... you'll be history in 3 months.

Again, thanks for the taster, and best wishes,

Michael Vanderlaan

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