Kosciuszko Botanical IPA: Review

Kosciuszko Botanical IPA is just the second Kosciuszko beer to be released in packaged format since the brand was founded by industry legend Chuck Hahn in 2009.

The flagship Kosciuszko Pale Ale has quietly grown to become a four million litre brand from its humble beginnings at the Banjo Paterson Hotel in Jindabyne.

Hahn told Drinks Adventures he has brewed a raft of other beers at Kosciuszko over the years, but all have remained pub exclusives until now.

“We’ve done a pilsner, we’ve done a golden pilsner, we’ve done quite a number of Kosciuszko Mountain wheat beers, and we’ve done a very popular German Bock that was around seven per cent alcohol,” he said.

Kosciuszko Botanical IPA

Hahn is this year celebrating 50 years of brewing and his creativity shows no sign of abating, as Kosciuszko Botanical IPA has been produced entirely at his initiative.

“We dry hopped it and whirlpool hopped it with the Wildbrumby botanicals,” said Hahn.

“We wanted something to tie it back into the Snowy Mountains, so the mountain pepperberry is the key botanical that flavours the beer.”

After a successful trial at the Kosciuszko microbrewery, Hahn got the green light to do a limited run at the Malt Shovel Brewery in Sydney.

“Chuck brought in this bucket of botanicals and we knew as soon as we smelt them it was going to be a really exciting beer,” Malt Shovel lead brewer Alli Macdonald told Drinks Adventures.

Kosciuszko Botanical IPA: Tasting notes

Golden in colour with a very slight haze, Kosciuszko Botanical IPA delicately balances the flavours of Wildbrumby Distillery alpine gin botanicals with the flavour and aroma of Saaz, Citra & Galaxy hops.

‘Delicate’ is the key word here. It would have been very easy ‘over-egg the pudding’ with these gin botanicals, which retain a surprising amount of their aromatics post-distillation.

Instead, they bring a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the aromatics; a fruity, spicy, woody, perfumed quality that melds easily with the grassy, herbal, citrus hop characters.

There’s much complexity to mull over here, but in typical Chuck Hahn fashion, it retains its balance and drinkability such that you can enjoy more than one.

Out now in kegs (wherever bars are open!), with cartons to follow starting July 26 in retailers including First Choice Liquor.

Source: Sample
ABV: 5.4%
RRP: $90 (24-pack)

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Author: James Atkinson

Journalist specialising in the food, drink, travel and hospitality arenas. Australian International Beer Awards 2017 Media Award Winner and Certified Cicerone®.

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