Murray's Anniversary Ale 1 (2006) | Murray's Craft Brewing Co.

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Brewed by:
Murray's Craft Brewing Co.
Australia | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Anniversary Ale is a very big beer (10% ABVl) that pushes the limits on hops, alcohol and flavour. It’s a very quirky and challenging beer to make – a unique wheat and barley wine that’s designed to improve with age.

Added by vancurly on 03-20-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 9
Reviews by danieelol:
Photo of danieelol
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of MrKennedy
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split 6 ways, consumed Feb 2013, from Liquor on Parade, Kingsford and into a Fantome tulip.

Pours a murky, hardly pretty brown that lightens quite a lot around the edges. Looked thinner than i recall the last bottle opened 13 months prior. Had a real carbonation hiss as the bubbles settled. Decent finger of beige foam on top that held up ok.

First bit of oxidation i've had from one of these, so starting to go over the hill. Bit of dry cardboard to go with decreasing amounts of fig and caramel compared to this at earlier tastings.

Taste has held up considerably better, still a good deal of caramel and fig and butterscotch also came through, which i don't recall from any prior bottles.

Medium bodied, the booze has died right down in this. Still decent carbonation after 7 years. More drinkable than perhaps a 10% barleywine should be.

Was fun to open first out of a 6 year vertical. Not the beer it once was. Still remarkable to think that this is one of the few bottled barleywines in Australia and how well this sets the bar. Credit to Graham Mahy for the foresight to do this back in 2006.

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Photo of spicelab
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Massive props to MrKennedy for sharing. Had another bottle a touch over a year ago, and it's perhaps fair to say this wasn't quite up to that standard, and may be just a tad past its peak. Another person at the tasting mentioned a hint of oxidation - which I then thought I might be able to detect, but not enough to be sure it wasn't simply the power of suggestion.

Heavily turbid toffee-amber with a modest and rapidly receding saffron coloured head.

Rich brandied toffee with a pungent liquorice edge. Lots of strawberry jam and dried dark fruits, particularly muscatels. Lovely bark woodiness.

Follows the nose closely. Brandied butterscotch sweetness leavened by a soily woodiness that has nice depth to it. Touch of booze in there but it belongs.

Medium, ever so slightly oily body with modest booze heat on the rear palate. It's a pretty light body for the style actually and the only obvious shortcoming for mine.

Great barleywine and really tightly held, only lacking high end depth and complexity.

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Photo of mungus
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of vancurly
3.23/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Shared this with a mate to wet his new baby's head....

a: Big persistent pale beige head, rocky & lacey. Hazy, mahogany colour, with orange-leading-to-yellow tinges near the edges of the glass. A very good look.

s: Fruit & ginger, burnt sugar. I pick a fruity-blackcurrant-like smell, which has always to me indicated some maturation. Very faint spice / curry-leaf note.

t: Spicy fruit roll, honeycomb & raisins. Complex, rummy caramel, with a firm bitterness. My friend thinks it's a bit disconnected. Perhaps age will remedy..

m: Explosive mouthfeel upon drinking, but the body is very light, with the alcohol evident. With cellaring, there is no way the body is going to gain weight, and the ongoing secondary ferment will only add to the effervescence. Not a good prospect here methinks..

d: The beer improves as it warms. Definitely needs to be served at cellar temperature.

A risky proposition.... this one cost me $32, although I can get it for $28 AU. Should I invest and go the distance ?

My experience with Coopers Vintage is that strong, cellarable ales should be good & heavy early in life to have any chance of being good later in life.

I could be wrong... but, as I have said, should I risk it ?

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.59/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a good mushroom cloud of mother-of-pearl foam, like an oyster with rabies. Slightly yellowish-tinged red colour with very impressive cloudy lacing around the glass. Very nice.

Dammit that nose is good. So much fruit and honey. Sweet, sticky and delicious. Hints of glacé cherries, apple and dates abound to create a complex bourgeoning bouquet of delicious and wonderful aromas, a real treat for the olfactory. Shit that's nice.

Wow, the taste is incredible - especially directly following the (younger) 2007 vintage. Palate is sweet, intricate and long. Lots of rich, blossoming flavours of sweet fruit with a touch of treacle. It's viscous, sweet and a wonderful blend of sticky toffee characters, alcohol power and a delicate floral hop finish. Great beer - very pleasant, lots of character and I would probably marry this beer if it were a woman but tasted exactly the same.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried the 2006 and 2007 vintage head-to-head recently with fellow BA laituegonflable. My notes on the 2006:

Light amber colour, lighter in hue than I would have thought, slightly cloudy with a fine head of yellowish off-white foam. Very dense and thick, with excellent lacing. Truly beautiful.

Nose is great - huge bouquet of dark fruits, grains and spices. Hints of raisins, cinnamon, port and candied orange-peel. Sweet flavours melt together to make an absolutely beautiful whole. Really great.

Mellow, rich palate, with hints of nuts, dried fruits and a carming alcohol finish. Not so much of the hop bitterness, but the sweet, juicy dark fruit characters provide all the complexity it needs. Mouthfeel is round and smooth, without being too heavy. A wonderful brew.

The 2006, with a year of age on it was decidedly superior to the young 2007. Hard to tell whether this is due to the cellaring, or the brew process itself (apparently the 2007 was matured in different oak barrels), but I recall being blown away by the 2006 when I tried it young as well.

By all accounts, this is a wonderful brew, and worthy of much praise. Bring on the 2008!

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Photo of Stew41
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(AA1 consumed March 2011).
Crikey this is good and has at least 2 years to go. Wonderfully balanced and dare I say restrained with cola and a zingy mineral note. Absolutely eats the alcohol with ease although some aniseed on the back palate. Drank a touch cold but worked well. The best aged Australian beer I have ever had.

 324 characters

Photo of brendan13
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok, so this beer is pretty exciting as far as Australian extreme beer goes. This is my first American Barley wine so I don't have anything to compare to but here goes.

A - Medium brown with some orange tinges. Initially a huge head that quite quickly reduces down to 1cm.
S - Dark fruitiness with some sweet malts and mild citrusy hops.
T - The dark fruit flavour tends to dominate with a pretty big sweetness. Some alcohol is there but not too much.
M - Medium carbonation with a pretty heavy mouthfeel.
D - A nice beer for sure but obvously its alcohol content limits its drinkability. Not a bad thing. Find some beer loving friends to share this with as a night cap and it'll be appreciated.

Some random thoughts...yes it is pricey but well worth it. A beer like this is a welcome addition to whats available from Australian micros. Congrats to Murrays for having the balls to brew a beer like this!

Edit 10/02/08 - Some notes on the 2007.

A - Poured into a snifter a deep orange/brown colour with a centimetre of beige head.
S - Smell initially was just like a DIPA; Piney, resin, citrus. As it warms the prune and raisin notes come out a lot more as well as some oaky notes.
T - The extra oak aging of this vintage is very evident. The dark fruit is there as well as a very, well, woody taste. Some caramel maltiness is also quite evident.
M - Medium mouthfeel, very minimal carbonation.
D - I just realised that "drinkability" is too...well it doesn't make sense. I am going to call it "Overall Impressions" from now on.
O - Another interesting beer from Murrays. The oakiness is quite strong, I guess it may mellow with age and make it a bit more balanced. Well worth trying. Not enough micros in Australia doing this sort of thing as far as I'm concerned.

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Murray's Anniversary Ale 1 (2006) from Murray's Craft Brewing Co.
4.11 out of 5 based on 9 ratings.
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