Australia is the source of today's intriguingly named beer, and is brewed in one of the few parts of that country that can grow their own hops. This is good, because they use a fair amount in what they call an India Red Ale.
In the glass, it presents as a cloudy reddish-orange with lots of carbonation and a boisterous head. The hops are immediately detectable in the aroma, but in addition to their pineiness, the malt characteristics are still detectable, along with notes of sweetness from the high ABV (7.5% this time).
This is all well and good, but we don't drink it with out eyes and nose, do we? A brisk, swig presents a strong hop profile that is likely to put off the casual lager fan, but this is probably one of the most balanced beers to come out of the calendar yet. The malts lose out to the hops in the end, sure, but they give it a good fight, and keep this antipodean ale from feeling too much like an IPA.
The high alcohol content makes Fat Man, Red Suit, Big Sack a poor choice as a session ale, which is a pity, because it definitely tastes like another! I will be keeping my eyes open for other brews from Bridge Road Brewers in Beechworth, Australia.