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Doss Blockos Dark Lager. It's winter time in Australia, which means we finally have an excuse to follow in Darth Vader's footsteps and embrace the dark side.

It might be too cold for a frosty schooner, but there's nothing better than sitting in front of a fire with a stout, porter, black ale, winter ale, portagaff, black'n'tan or whatever takes your fancy.

Anyone who followed Yeer in Beer knows I'm partial to a Dunkel so winter is always my favourite time to head to a bottle shop (along with summer, spring and autumn) to see what's new, which brings us to the Doss Blockos Dark Lager.

The second beer from East 9th brewing (after the Doss Blockos Pale earlier this year, and yes I know they have a couple of other offerings but we're talking beer) this is a nice all-natural lager that pours very dark, almost black ale sark, with a beautiful toffee head, has a good nose and tastes like a nice burned toffee, with a bitter chocolate undertone, very drinkable indeed.

There's loads of malt flavour here, as you'd expect given the brewers used pilsner malt, crystal malt, crystal wheat, chocolate malt, and Caramunich type-two malt, good caramel high notes to keep things from being too bitter, it comes in at 4.6 ABV so there's none of that cloying cough medicine taste some darks have when the alcohol creeps up and it all combines to make a lovely winter drop.

It's a limited release - 10,000 500ml bottles only - so track one down if you can.

Mainly because I really want some help here... I swear this tastes just like something I've had before.

Doss Blockos is a "partner brewer" which as far as I can figure out (ad im happy to be corrected) means despite all marketing guff (and there is A LOT, you wouldn't believe the hype this brewery puts out, see * below for a sample) they're using other breweries to do the grunt work from their specs.

This particular one comes from New Zealand, and I reckon it tastes a lot like one of the Monteiths offerings.

No drama if it is, it's a nice drinkable dark lager, but it's driving me mad trying to recall where I've had this, or something very similar, before.



* As Public Enemy said, don't believe the hype.

Doss Blockos beers are brewed in Australia or New Zealand so far, in big breweries from what I can understand, but the label and press releases are filled with the kind of stories designed to make you think you've stumbled on some exotic craft beer from a distant land. In this case, America, or to be precise, some dark part of New York City.

Doss Blockos itself is a name supposedly taken from some squatters who lived in NYC in the 1990s, hence the marketing idea of selling it in brown paper bags, because you know, it's cool to look like a wino(?).

Anyway, that faux SoHo fluff continues with the limited release Dark Lager.

Here's what's on the label. Keep in mind this is an Aussie company selling a beer brewed in NZ.

"They look after each other more than those from up there. Making a life together... Sleeping in the subways beyond the natural caves running through the bedrock, bleaker than ghosts cliffs that runs near the Harlem River. Repairing lines with bald steel on rusted tracks, workers came on a forest buried seven stories under the Upper West side. Burnt lager was fermenting under the double shade of trees engulfed by the tunnels...

Doss Blockos Dark Lager has been brewed with the idea of togetherness and the quality of patience, aligning the five malts for complexities we're not sure we need."

A nice enough beer, but seriously, what???

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