Barley Mowat 

Two More Seasonals From Phillips

with one comment

It seems like you can’t turn around these days without bumping into yet another one-off from Phillips Brewing, and this time there’s two of them (well, truthfully, there’s five of them but I’m only talking about two today). Leviathan is a Milk Stout brewed with charity in mind, and no, I don’t mean the well meaning stripper at the club around the corner from the brewery. I mean whales, specifically in the form of the Cetus Research and Conservation Society.

Phillips is generously donating the profits from this particular beer to said society, who concern themselves with… uh… riding around in zodiaks and… uh… measuring fish and… hunting whales, I guess? I dunno, I didn’t read the page–it was full of long words. Anyway, bravo Phillips.

The second beer is the first in their Twisted Oak Stillage Series, a Scotch Ale. Basically, Phillips wants to brand all their barrel’d releases under a single banner, and this is the first to get the new branding. As an aside, from beer bloggers everywhere: please pick less complicated names. It would make entering these into our databases easier. This beer isn’t called “Twisted Oak”; it has no actual name, and that means it doesn’t fit into my table below very easily. Oh well, screw it, I’m using Twisted Oak.

Tasting notes:


This is a pretty beer. It pours by the book with a thin tan head, light carbonation and a body black as night. Nose is rich roasted malt, with a hint of chocolate, coffee and an underlying promise of sweet creaminess. On tasting the coffee and chocolate are a bit more obvious, and the creamy mouthfeel is present, but not as massive as could be expected from the style.

The finish, though… wow… that’s where the wheels come off the cart. The finish is a harsh metallic twang that is amplified by the lactose into a nasty, off-milk undertone. It’s almost as if they threw in a few rolled up tubes of pennies in with the lactose during conditioning. As the beer warms the metallic finish becomes less pronounced, almost enough to make drinking one of these for the whales something everyone should do.

Twisted Oak:

Alright, let me say right off the bat that this is not a particularly good Scotch Ale. Great Scotch Ales are rich, creamy, malty and sometimes they don’t wear any underwear, and this isn’t really any of those things. What this beer IS, though, is a fascinating malty, oaked, ale that has lots of complexities and nuances with a distinct Scottish heritage.

The nose is sweet caramel combined with a hint of cherries and oak. The taste is slightly spicey and caramel, but the oak is blended in wonderfully, providing an astringent tannin pull to the sides of your mouth that work well with the high sugar of the body. The slight metallic finish common to all Phillips brews is here, but with a Scotch Ale, it’s on style and works.

All that and it’s only 6.8%, meaning you can have multiples before lifting your kilt over your head.

Coles notes:

Brewery Phillips
From Victoria
Name Leviathan Twisted Oak
Style Milk Stout Scotch Ale
SOA Now None Bronze
SOA Potential n/a; table beer
Drink Now
Do it To support the whales, man To support fucking around with barrels, man
Availability Most LRSs
Cost $6.50-$7.50 per 650ml bomber
Similar Beers (you can buy) Parallel 49 Ugly Sweater As a scotch: lots, including Howe Sound Wee Beastie. As a barrel beer that’s not so scotchy, none.
Chuck says Buy one. Buy several.

Mmm… pennies.

Written by chuck

January 25th, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Beers

Tagged with

One Response to 'Two More Seasonals From Phillips'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Two More Seasonals From Phillips'.

  1. I tried the milk stout today and noticed the same: it smells and tastes much nicer after I’d let it warm up a little bit.


    25 Jan 13 at 17:30

Leave a Reply