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Oliver and Geoffby

A shadow of its former self
“Available in both bottle-conditioned and filtered draught versions. It has a highly spicey and fruity aroma and palate.” This was Roger Protz's summary of this beer in his 1995 book Ultimate Encyclopedia of Beer, when the brew was 4.8% alcohol.

And it seems that the alcohol content has been the most minor change. As Geoff said: “What Protz describes is what I remember about this beer when I first tasted it in the mid-80s. This is not the same beer. This is shit. Too much barley, not enought wheat.”

Plus, the brew is too golden, not straw-colored enough. Geoff and Oliver agreed that they'd have trouble picking this beer from a Foster's Lager in a blind tasting. Geoff: “If I had to drink six of them, I'd be sick.”

(Note: This wasn't just a bad couple of bottles. Oliver's had this on tap not long before this tasting and was thoroughly disappointed.)

FOOTNOTE: In the Melbourne Age of January 27, 2004, beer writer Willie Simpson vindicated our comments above: “Fact is, Redback got bumped to the naughty list years back when it started tasting more like VB than a Bavarian weizen beer.” But he went on: “Now it's back on track with fruity complexity and subtle banana and clove characters in a filtered version … Welcome back, Redback, all is forgiven.”

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