James Squire Pepperberry Winter Ale
While sounding like something a hobbit might imbibe after a hard day of yarn-spinning and pipe-smoking, Pepperberry Winter Ale is also highly palatable to humans. It's dark, rich, creamy and, according to the Malt Shovel Brewery, has notes of caramel, chocolate, nuts and Australian native pepperberries. I could only detect notes of meat pie, pea and tomato sauce, but that might have something to do with what I'd eaten for dinner. I'm willing to take their expert word for it. Limited to 10,000 cases nationally, the 5.4% alc./vol. drop is already tough to source – took me three grog shops. You'll be glad you made the effort, though, 'cos this beer will put hair on ya feet! Expect to pay $17 for a sixer of 345ml bottles.