Fierce NEIPA Red Rye

April 7, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.95

My second review of a beer from Aberdeen based Fierce brewing now, this one follows on from their Black Flagship collaboration with Brewdog Aberdeen that I managed to try on-tap at the beginning of last year. I’ve had the odd beer from the brewery in the time since but haven’t managed to review any here so I thought it was about time when I spotted this one in my local bottle shop recently. Along with an imperial stout brewed in collaboration with Brew York, this is one of two Fierce beers that I picked up a couple of weeks ago and I actually tried another can of this one on the day which I quick enjoyed and I’m glad I now get to give it a proper review as well.

Appearance (5/5): An excellent looking beer, this one pours an orange tinged amber colour that is quite cloudy and thick looking. The beer is topped with a centimetre tall, foamy white head that halves in size over the opening thirty seconds but covers the surface pretty well and has a few bubbles dotted about the place too.
Aroma (7/10): Fresh with some pine hops and lighter grapefruit notes in the early going, it’s a slightly resinous smelling beer that was some floral notes coming through alongside the sweetness malts in the middle. Further on there was a biscuit nose with good bitterness and touches of rye seeing things out.
Taste (7/10): Resinous pine and grapefruit kick things off and mean the taste is similar to the nose, it’s bitter and hoppy with some citrus touches but it’s a little more subdued than with the nose without losing any of the freshness. There was some sweet malts and caramel towards the middle with a few biscuit malts in there too then some rye at the end but again it wasn’t quite as pronounced as the nose, still it was a pretty nice beer.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and quite thick, the beer was very hoppy and bitter with some sweetness towards the middle thanks to the malts and biscuit flavours that started to come through. It was resinous and dry with a medium body and moderate carbonation for the style.

Overall (15/20): This one was pretty nice stuff from Fierce and definitely up there with one of the better with a resinous pine and grapefruit opening that settled down soon after before giving way to some nice caramel malts and touches of biscuit as well as some rye towards the end. It was a bitter and dry beer but one that was balanced and easy to drink, going down well with a refreshing and smooth feel; good stuff and one that I’m glad I had a second can of to probably review here.

Brewed In: Aberdeen, Scotland
Brewery: Fierce Beer
First Brewed: 2018
Type: New England IPA/Rye Beer
Abv: 7.0%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £3.80

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Beer52 Dublin Coffee Milk Stout

April 5, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

A third Beer52 offering and another brewed at the Anders brewery in Belgium, this one’s Irish link that placed it in the March Beer52 box is the fact that the cold-brewed Brazilian and Peruvian Classic Espresso coffee used in the brewing process was brewed by Dublin’s Upside Coffee so this one ticks off five countries at the same time; Brazil, Peru, Ireland, Scotland and Belgium. The beer is a sweet or milk stout and follows on Beer52’s Irish Wild Honey Saison and their Irishman in New England IPA as the third and final offering that I’ll be trying from the brewery for now; if these one’s prove to be enjoyable enough then I may need to order another box from them again soon.

Appearance (4/5): It was a pretty aggressive pour but this one managed to form quite a large, two and a half centimetre tall head that was quite foamy looking and a light brown colour that slowly faded to just under a centimetre tall but it still covered the entire surface of the beer.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with some roasted malts and coffee notes, this one was as expected in the early going with a subtle sweetness and some milk chocolate featuring as well. It was a dark beer that had some cocoa and espresso showing but it was one that seemed balanced throughout with nothing overpowering at any point which was nice to see.
Taste (7/10): Dark and malty with some strong roasted flavours carrying through from the nose and plenty of coffee flavours in the early going too. It wasn’t the most complex offering but it was as expected with some milk chocolate in there adding to the sweetness before some darker malts showed up around the middle and towards the end.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and quite smooth with a creamy feel at point and fine carbonation levels. The beer was definitely balanced with the milk chocolate and some subtle caramel flavours helping things out in that regard along with some nice roasted touches further one.

Overall (15/20): This one is my second Beer52 offering and again it is a good one, the beer opens with plenty of darker, roasted malts and some nice coffee flavours but the balance was surprisingly good and I particularly liked the coffee and milk chocolate flavours the came through a little further on. As previously stated, the beer definitely wasn’t the most varied or complex but tasted like I thought it would and it ended up being a beer that I really enjoyed too.

Brewed In: Edinburgh, Scotland
Brewery: Beer52
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Milk/Sweet Stout
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Beer52.com
Price: £0.75 (approx.)

Beer52 Irish Wild Honey Saison

April 5, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.55

Another new offering from Beer52 that was part of their ‘Irish’ box for March, this one like the bottle of Irishman in New England IPA that I have already reviewed here is another that was contract brewed in Belgium by the Anders brewery for Beer52 so technically it is a Scottish beer. The Irish link comes from the fact that the beer uses wild honey from Ballincollig in County Cork. Of the beers contained in the March box from Beer52, this was the one that I was probably looking forward to trying the least but I’m still hopeful that it’ll turn out to be a decent offering despite the fact that it is probably a one-off from that likely won’t been released again

Appearance (3/5): A very pale looking straw colour that is slightly hazy and topped with a half centimetre tall, bubbly white head that soon fades to a thin lacing around the circumference and very little sitting in the middle.
Aroma (7/10): Quite fresh and lively on the nose with an initial burst of citrus and yeast to kick things off and give it very much a Belgian style nose. There was some light sweetness from the honey coupled with a standard fruity aroma that had some grapes and apples in there alongside a few spices and touches of tart later on.
Taste (7/10): Opening with a fruity taste that had some nice yeast and funky flavours coming through but there were a little more subdued than is normally the case with this style of beer. There was plenty of citrus and spices towards the middle with some orange and apple coming through alongside some peach. There was a hint of sourness to the end with this one as well and touches of honey sweetness did manage to sneak through but there wasn’t quite as much of it as I’d have expected.
Palate (4/5): Light-medium bodied but very fresh and well carbonated with some a slight tang and a dry feel throughout. It was a surprisingly balanced beer which also made it very easy to drink and there was some spices and a slightly tarty sourness at the end which I enjoyed.

Overall (15/20): Quite a nice offering that came through fairly refreshing and lively but definitely wasn’t as sour or tarty as most of the style, that probably why I enjoyed it as much. It was very easy to drink with a few background fruits and spices making up the majority of the taste but I’d have liked to have seen a little more of the honey if I’m honest; some was showing towards the end but just not as much as anticipated.

Brewed In: Edinburgh, Scotland
Brewery: Beer52
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Saison
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Beer52.com
Price: £0.75 (approx.)

HoppyNESS

April 5, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.5

My first beer from the Cairngorm brerwery in quite some time, I think I’d have to go back to 2013 when I tried their Wildcat offering to find the last time I had one of their beers. This particular offering is one that was launched sometime around 2012 by the Loch Ness Brewery but the recipes and names of several of their beers were then bought by Cairngorm towards the end of 2016 when the Loch Ness Brewery’s parent company went bust. Previously Cairngorm were responsible for bottling these beers but I can’t say that I’d ever seen any of them available in the Glasgow area until the end of last year but since then quite a few of these Loch Ness themed beers have started appearing on supermarket shelves in my area and I guess this won’t be the last of them that I end up trying.

Appearance (4/5): A light amber colour that has a brightness to it and is topped with a thin, foamy white head that sits a millimetre or so tall, covering the surface well at least.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a sweet nose with some earthy malts and butter coming through in the early going, there was touches of biscuit and the odd hop in there as well. It was a balanced nose with creaminess to it and so touches of honey a little further on but it was a lot sweeter than anticipated with a couple of background fruits in there at the end too.
Taste (6/10): Kicking off with some earthy hops and a few biscuit flavours, the beer was again quite sweet but not quite as sweet as with the nose. There was some butter and vanilla flavours coming through in the early going with a few bread malts as well before background fruits and grassy hops seen things out.
Palate (4/5):  Medium bodied and very sweet, the beer was moderately carbonated and seemed quite creamy at times with a wet feel that was surprisingly refreshing and easy to drink without being the most varied or interesting offering out there.

Overall (12/20): Not a bad one here from Cairngorm, it was definitely more sweet in the early going than I’d anticipated with plenty of butter and vanilla flavours kicking things off. Towards the middle there was a few earthy hops and biscuit malts alongside the odd background fruit to help keep things interesting and balanced. It’s definitely not a classic and probably not even one that I’d be likely to pick again but it was drinkable and came through better than expected which is all I can ask for really.

Brewed In: Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Brewery: The Cairngorm Brewery Company
First Brewed: 2012
Type: English IPA
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Asda (Glasgow)
Price: Gift

Beer52 Irishman in New England IPA

April 5, 2018 2 comments

Rating: 4.0

A first Beer52 brewed beer now, this is an offering that I received as part of their March box in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day; a beer with an Irish name, from a Scottish brewery that was contract brewed in Belgium at the Anders brewery. The beer was one of those in the box of eight that I was most looking forward to trying given it’s a New England IPA and a style that I’m definitely a fan of, although I should mention that was before I realised that the beer was one of Beer52’s own offerings. I’ve had a look at some of the reviews online and the beer doesn’t appear to be too bad an offering so I’m still optimistic going into it.

Appearance (4/5): A cloudy orange looking amber that is slightly darker than normal for an IPA and is topped with a thin white leaving that covers about half the surface whilst leaving slightly more build-up around the edges of the glass.
Aroma (8/10): Quite a fresh and juicy beer with a lot of bitterness in the early going and some pungent notes as well, I managed to get some mango and citrus initially with touches of pineapple and grapefruit in there too as well as some pine bitterness. It’s a lively nose that came through strong with a lot of tropical fruits before some subtle oats about bread malts seen things out; a great start.
Taste (8/10): Following on well from the nose, this one is definitely a strong and juicy beer with a lot of pungent flavours that come through with plenty of bitterness too. The beer is loaded with tropical fruits, the mango and pineapple from the nose being most notable but some peach and apricot show at times too. It’s a balanced offering with some sweet malts, faint caramel and the odd oat coming through as well but the mango and citrus hops seem to come out strongest.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and as already mentioned, this one is a very juicy offering that is also fairly bitter with a solid hop presence from the start and some sweetness from the malts towards the middle. It;s balanced and easy to drink with good variety to it which keep it interesting throughout as well.

Overall (16/20): Really nice stuff from Beer52 here and one that got off to an excellent start with plenty of fresh and juicy hops coming through, in particular a nice combination of citrus and tropical fruits with the mango and citrus coming through strongest. Further on some sweet malts and caramel helped balance things out and as a result it was a very easy and refreshing beer to drink.

Brewed In: Edinburgh, Scotland
Brewery: Beer52
First Brewed: 2018
Type: New England IPA
Abv: 6.6%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Beer52.com
Price: £0.75 (approx.)

Bran & Sceolan Irish IPA

April 5, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.6

My first ever offering from the White Hag brewery now, a can that I got my hands on thanks to Beer52’s recent offer on Irish beers whereby I only paid for delivery so the cost worked out at under £1 per beer; excellent value! This one isn’t one of the brewery’s beers that I’d been on the lookout for on my numerous trips to Ireland over the last few years but I have spotted a couple of their beers before and this one appears to get pretty good reviews so I probably should be been keeping an eye out for it. Coming in at a respectable 7.2%, this American IPA is a rare Irish craft beer in a can and it’s definitely one that I’m looking forward to trying; hopefully it’ll be a good one and I can grab some more from the brewery when I’m over in Ireland later this year.

Appearance (4/5): A pale amber colour that has a light haze to it and is topped with a half centimetre, foamy white head that is patchy in the middle but has more build-up around the edges of the glass; it’s quite a still looking beer too.
Aroma (6/10): Slightly subdued on the nose with some sweet malts coming through in the early going and some light hops following on behind, this one was definitely a disappointment initially and I struggled to get much of anything from it to begin with. There was some background tropical fruits and citrus coming through with a hint of orange and perhaps some mango and pineapple a little further on but it could have used being a lot stronger and probably more juicy too; not that it was a bad beer on the nose, just a subdued one despite it starting to open up a little more after a while.
Taste (7/10): Thankfully the taste was a little stronger than the nose and managed to open with some nice pineapple and mango flavours as well as a few other tropical fruits and touches of pine further on which helped the beer seem a bit fresh too. There was some light malts and touches of citrus towards the middle then some floral touches towards the end but the beer was at least a little more juicy and resinous this time around, definitely something that was completely lacking from the aroma.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and quite fresh, although it wasn’t as lively or resinous as I’d hoped for given the strength of the beer and the style. It was a balanced offering with some good bitterness, particularly with the taste once it was given time to open up a little but I was still looking for something slightly stronger and more pronounced in truth.

Overall (14/20): Interesting stuff from White Hag but definitely one that was a little disappointing given how subdued the nose in particular was upon cracking the can open. The beer itself was a balanced and pleasant one with some nice tropical fruits and citrus flavours coming through from the start but I’d have liked to see them a little stronger and more pungent given this one was a 7.2% American IPA. It was an easy beer to drink though and the alcohol content was masked completely by the hops and bitterness without them overpowering; I’m now more interest to see what other beers from the brewery are like the next time I’m in Ireland.

Brewed In: Ballymote, County Sligo, Ireland
Brewery: The White Hag Irish Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2014
Also Known As: The White Hay Irish IPA
Type: American IPA
Abv: 7.2%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Beer52.com
Price: £0.75 (approx.)

Boyne American Pale Ale

April 5, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.35

A beer that I got as part of a Beer52 delivery recently, this one formed part of their St. Partick’s Day offering for the month of March and is a beer hailing from County Meath. This particular offering will be the fourth that I’ve tried from the Boyne Brewhouse and follows on from three that I tried last year when visiting Ireland; it’s not to be confused with their Pale Ale offering that also goes by the Born In A Day moniker though as this one is a different beer entirely. Last year I also managed to try the brewery’s Amber Ale and Saison offering but in truth neither were anything special so I’m hopeful this newer offering will prove to be a slightly better beer; it also comes in a can which is nice to see as it’s not often I’ve come across an Irish craft beer in a can previously.

Appearance (4/5): Light and hazy amber with a decent sized head that sits about two fingers width tall and looks quite foamy. The head itself is a white one that has a few bubbles through it and slowly fades to settle as a thin lacing that breaks up slightly in the centre.
Aroma (7/10): Opening relatively fresh and hoppy, there is definitely some lemon and citrus notes coming through with a touch of pine in there as well. It’s a semi-bitter opening that has some floral touches with some orange, mango and even some pineapple showing, as well as hints of grass not far behind without anything dominating; a solid start.
Taste (6/10): Quite a bit more subdued than the nose hinted at, there was still some citrus and orange flavours coming through as expected but they weren’t as strong this time around. I got some subtle tropical flavours with a hint of pine and some lemon towards the middle but I was expecting a little more from it after the aroma. There was also some hoppy malts and grassy flavours towards the end but nothing really excited me with this one I’m afraid.
Palate (3/5): Strongly carbonated which resulted in the beer seeming quite sharp and crisp, it was definitely lively with a medium body and a subtle citrus tang. It seemed fresh, particularly with the nose but the taste was a slight disappointment in that regard with it coming through with an almost session-IPA feel to it.

Overall (13/20): After cracking the can open I started to get excited with this one given the nose that greeted me, it was fresh and lively with some nice hops and fruits showing, all of which seemed balanced in the early going but things changed come the taste sadly and the beer definitely started to fade. There was still some nice fruits and citrus showing but none of them had the initial burst of flavour that I had been expecting after the nose and the balance wasn’t quite the same either. It still turned out to be an okay beer that was on-par with the previous three Boyne beers that I tried last year but I was expecting a lot more from this one really.

Brewed In: Drogheda, Count Meath, Ireland
Brewery: Boyne Brewhouse
First Brewed: 2018
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Beer52.com
Price: £0.75 (approx.)