Archive

Archive for the ‘Imperial/Double IPA’ Category

Cloudwater DDH Ella Ekuanot Pale Ale

July 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

A seventh Cloudwater beer for me now and my first since having a can of their Motueka Pilsner back in May, a beer that was fairly average at the time. I was looking forward to trying this one last week when I ordered it in my local Brewdog beer, mainly because I’ve had some great Cloudwater beers in the past and this one was only my second keg offering from the brewery; the other being their excellent DIPA v11 that I tried towards the end of January this year. This particular offering is a spring/summer offering for 2017 from the brewery and is another of their double dry-hopped beers that I’ve been hearing so much about of late. From what I’ve been reading online, this one seems to be a keg only offering from Cloudwater so it’s one that I’m glad I managed to try while it was still available and here’s what I thought of it at the time.

Appearance (4/5): A semi-bright looking beer that was amber in colour and came with a cloudy body, topped with a somewhat disappointing head that was little more than a thin white lacing around the sides of the glass. There was a faint bit of lacing on the side wall of the glass too but beyond that there wasn’t a whole lot going on and the surface of the beer was quite patchy too sadly.
Aroma (7/10): Fresh with some pine coming through early on the nose, there was some touches of grapefruit and the odd tropical smell too, a combination of passion fruit, pineapple and orange all making an appearance at this point. A few solid floral hops followed towards the middle and the nose seemed balanced initially, I managed to get some citrus and a little sweetness coming through though before some mango and further floral touches seen things out.
Taste (7/10): The taste of this one matches the nose well and opens with some citrus and floral hops, there was a nice touch of pine showing around this point as well and the beer was definitely a fresh one. There was plenty of tropical flavours showing with mango, peach and pineapple all coming through along with some orange in there too. Following this I managed to detect a hint of further sweetness from some of the malts and there was the odd grassy flavour to see things out nicely.
Palate (4/5): Fresh and quite crisp, this one was a lively beer that came through with solid, fine carbonation and a nice tang in there from the citrus too. Throughout it was a relatively bitter beer with some dry touches nearer the end but for the most part it was a juicy, balanced beer that went down well.

Overall (16/20): Another enjoyable beer from Cloudwater, this one was a great sessionable offering that went down well and was both crisp and lively throughout. There was solid carbonation levels to the beer and the balance was good as well, a combination of tropical fruits working well with the sweeter malts and floral bitterness; excellent stuff and one that’s well worth trying if you get the chance.

Brewed In: Manchester, England
Brewery: Cloudwater Brew Co.
First Brewed: 2017
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £4.40

Advertisements

Brewdog New England IPA v2

July 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

A new release from Brewdog now and one that was only introduced by the brewery just over a week ago but it was one that I was eager to try so I made a point of visiting one of their bars and sampling it on-tap within a day of its initial release. The beer is a reworking of an early collaboration between Brewdog and Cloudwater brewing based in Manchester, their New England IPA which I consider to be the best beer that Brewdog has ever released so naturally I was looking forward to this one. The beer is an 8.5% abv. double IPA which comes in a fair bit stronger than the 6.8% of the original so I did have the fear going in that the quality would suffer like it did when the brewery increased the strength of their Born To Die beer earlier this year only to reduce it again with the next release in the series. I’ve only tried a few New England style IPA’s so far, mainly because it’s still a relatively new style of beer but it is definitely one that I’m a big fan of and I was hoping that would carry over to my first double IPA in the New England style with this offering; here’s what I thought of it when I tried it last week.

Appearance (4/5): Very hazy golden in colour with a yellow hue to it, the beer was quite bright and opaque looking but sadly there wasn’t an overly impressive head to it, all that was left by the time I placed it on the table was a thin, foamy white lacing that was turning slightly patchy but the colour was a nice one.
Aroma (7/10): Not an immediately strong beer on the nose given it was an 8.5% abv. offering but there was a good combination of citrus and pineapple to kick things off before more touches of tropical fruit appeared nearer the middle. Some subtle hops showed around this point too with a few juicy notes and touches of orange and lemon nearer the end. Overall it was a very fresh offering but one that I’d have preferred came through stronger than it did.
Taste (7/10): Starting in a similar fashion to the nose, the taste kicks off with a combination of citrus flavours that is mainly orange and lemon but with some pineapple not too far behind either. The beer was again very fresh with a subtle bitterness off the back of the hops throughout,  there was some juicy flavours and a few tropical ones sitting in the background too which all seemed slightly stronger than with the nose and as such were a welcome change.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and sitting with a medium body and a nice balance too, the beer definitely wasn’t as strong as anticipated for an 8.5% beer and for the most part the alcohol content was masked behind the subtle hops and the tropical, juicy flavours. There was quite a lively feel this one at times, likely from the citrus in the taste and there was moderate carbonation throughout but it was a little lighter than I’d have liked which stopped it from being as good as the original version in my opinion.

Overall (15/20): Very nice stuff again from Brewdog here and ordinarily this would be a beer that I would have loved but given it’s a reworking of the best beer I’ve ever tried from the brewery the bar is naturally set a little higher for this one. The beer open with a pleasant citrus taste that was backed up by some pineapple and the odd tropical flavour, the balance was good too and surprisingly little of the alcohol content was showing so the beer was easy-going and highly drinkable. The main disappointment for me was the fact that the beer was a lot lighter than expected, the nose in particular coming through weaker than expected and overall the original version of this beer was much better in my opinion.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog/Cloudwater (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Brewdog vs. Cloudwater New England IPA v2
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 8.5%
Serving: Keg (Half Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse (Glasgow)
Price: £4.28

Cloudwater DIPA v13

May 12, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.95

My third beer in this series from Cloudwater, having previously tried their DIPA v10 and DIPA v11 offerings and enjoying both a great deal; this one is however the first time I’ll be trying one of the beers in the series in from a can because the previous version were in a bottle and on-tap respectively so it should be interesting to see how this one compares. This one is also the last in the monthly series from the brewery meaning it was one of the most sought after too, I was lucky to see my local bottle shop posting that they had some in so I quickly headed round to grab a can before it was too late. At the time of drinking, the beer also had some pretty impressive reviews online and was ranked as the 8th best beer on the RateBeer website in the double IPA category as well as being fiftieth on their list of the top beers listed on the site; not a bad feat even though it has since slipped out of the top fifty overall beers since the weekend.

Appearance (4/5): A hazy orange colour that looks quite like but is very cloudy and opaque, the head is quiet a thin one though and sits about a half centimetre tall before fading to quite a small, bubbly lacing after about thirty seconds or so. The beer does look incredibly thick sitting in the glass though and it is quite still too; not a bad start.
Aroma (7/10): Not overly strong on the nose right away, the beer starts with subtle lemon/citrus notes before the hops start to come through; there was a nice combination of mango and orange followed by touches of peach but it definitely wasn’t as strong at this point as previous offerings in the series have been. Around the middle of tropical notes and faint grapefruit start to come through, overall the balance on the nose is quite good as well but nothing was truly jumping out at me and grabbing my attention up until this point. It’s a solid DIPA on the nose but I felt that previous offerings were slightly better. Things do improve some and gather some strength after the beer is given more time to open up but I’d have liked this to show earlier.
Taste (8/10): Thankfully the taste kicks off a lot stronger than the nose with some good hop bitterness in the early going before touches of citrus and pine coming through alongside the grapefruit from the nose. There was a little more sweetness at this point too with the mango and peach from the nose featuring strongly here with some malts following on behind. It’s quite a fresh tasting beer with some pleasant floral flavours coming through as well and it seemed juicy towards the end; good stuff and much better than the nose in my opinion.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied with a smooth, quite tangy feel that was also pretty dry. The beer is well-balanced with an early bitterness that is soon joined by a subtle sweetness that stays with the beer throughout. It’s very easy to drink despite the 9% abv. and the alcohol content is exceptionally well hidden too; great stuff and very enjoyable too.

Overall (17/20): Excellent stuff again from Cloudwater, they are definitely a brewery that know how to make excellent DIPA’s and this one is no exception. The beer started a little slower than I’d have liked and the nose was far from as strong as previous offering but it wasn’t quite weak either; it did eventually open up with some nice citrus notes and the odd hop but it could definitely have been stronger. Thankfully things improved substantially come the nose and plenty of hop bitterness featured alongside strong malts and various tropical fruits to give the beer an excellent taste. It’s probably not as good as some previous offering from the brewery, especially there DIPA v10 & v11 in this series but it was still a great beer and one I’d have again; if only the nose was a little better than it might have been something truly special.

Brewed In: Manchester, England
Brewery: Cloudwater Brew Co.
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 9.0%
Serving: Can (440ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £5.90

Born To Die 17.03.2017 (9.5%)

March 21, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.95

My third review of a beer in Brewdog’s Born To Die series of beers and my first since late 2015 when I tried their 27.11.2015 edition on-tap at one of Brewdog’s Glasgow bars. The reason for me trying that particular version is because there was a slight recipe tweak between that and the original 04.07.2015 version that I’d tried earlier in the year, plus it’s always nice to try a beer on-tap as well. I’ve now decided to give the latest release from the brewery a fresh look since the abv. of the beer has been dumped up from its original 8.5% to 9.5% and I’m quite excited about that. The beer is probably my favourite Brewdog beer that’s not a one-off, special release and I usually try to get my hands on each new edition of the beer when it’s released; hopefully it’s still as good this time with the updated recipe.

Appearance (4/5): Medium amber in colour and quite a clear body, the beer is topped with a thumb-sized head that is foamy white but also has a couple of bubbles sitting on its surface. There was quite good retention considering the strength of the beer, only a slight reduction in size occurred initially and there was a lot of visible carbonation thanks to the fine bubbles that were rising to the surface throughout.
Aroma (7/10): Really fresh and with a lot of citrus in the early going, there was a lot of hop bitterness that featured some pine and grapefruit notes alongside a sticky sweetness. Hints of alcohol started to feature nearer the middle of the beer but thankfully some lemon, orange and pineapple notes managed to cover them for the most part before some sweet malts and biscuit flavours came through as well. Towards the end there was some further tropical fruits with the beer seeming fairly complex but not quite as strong as I’d expected given the previous offerings in the series from Brewdog.
Taste (8/10): Following on well from the nose, this one is again quite a hoppy beer with a lot of fresh flavours coming through from the start, the pine and grapefruit from the nose being quite pronounced but there was some tropical fruits coming through earlier this time too. The beer featured a nice combination of orange, lemon and pineapple with a little mango in there as well plus it was a touch stronger than the nose which helped things too. Around the middle there was some faint hints of alcohol that came through with a bubbly citrus tang and some oily hop flavours that were quite resinous before some light spice seen things out.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and quite tangy with an oily hop bitterness, particularly nearer the end of the beer. There was a strong, resinous bitterness to proceedings with a fresh, crisp feel and some nice sweetness from the tropical fruits. The beer was a dry one that had some prominent alcohol touches from around the middle on but nothing that was likely to overpower. The balance was also a good one with it going down easier than expected but I’d have liked to have seen the nose come through slightly stronger.

Overall (17/20): Quite a strong and very hoppy offering from Brewdog, just what I’ve come to expect from those in their Born To Die series of beers. This one opened with a lot of resinous pine flavours and plenty of grapefruit too before some hints of alcohol came through nearer the middle. It was also a fairly sweet beer from the middle on thanks to the tropical fruits and the citrus gave it a bubbly feel too; nice stuff from the brewery but I’m afraid it’s not quite as good as the last in the series I tried so hopefully the tone down the alcohol a little next time.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Imperial/Double IPA
Abv: 9.5%
Serving: Bottle (660ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £6.94

Cloudwater DIPA v11

February 7, 2017 3 comments

Rating: 4.35

A third Cloudwater beer now and my second in their DIPA series of beers, this one being the eleventh from the brewery and the second in a row that I’ve sampled now, I previously picked up a bottle of their DIPA v10 around Christmas time. This one will actually be the first 2017 beer that I’ll have reviewed as well, the beer was originally released in January and I managed to try it on-tap at the very end of the month in The Hip Taproom in Glasgow just over a week ago. Probably one of the hottest beers in the UK right now, I’m slightly disappointed that I didn’t get into these beers sooner and I previously passed up the chance to grab bottles of their DIPA v5 and v6 but finding this one on-tap was a bit of a bonus that somewhat made up for it.

cloudwater-dipa-v11

Appearance (4/5): Cloudy yellow to amber coloured with a thin, foamy white head on top that manages to leave a little lacing on the sides and looks pretty good for the style and strength.
Aroma (8/10): Fresh on the nose with a lot of citrus and mango notes coming through in the early going, there was some orange and a few bitter hops in there as well. Towards the middle a lot of pine started to come through and the alcohol was pretty well hidden with this one as well. Some sweetness and a few tropical fruit followed towards the end, passionfruit and some melon being the most pronounced.
Taste (9/10): Following on well from the nose, the taste is kicked off with some orange and citrus notes that imparted a freshness on proceedings before some grapefruit and the pine from the nose started to come through towards the middle of the beer. I could detect some pleasant malts that added some sweetness as well as a little mango and apricot with a few other tropical flavours in there too; excellent stuff.
Palate (5/5): Fresh and fruity with a lot of malt sweetness and some sugars helping out too, the beer was very easy to drink and had an excellent balance that managed to hide the majority of the alcohol throughout, only a tiny bit seemed to show itself right at the end. There was a pleasant citrus tang around the middle to and the beer was quite a dry but highly enjoyable one.

Overall (17/20): Excellent stuff again from Cloudwater and although the beer was quite similar to the DIPA v10 from the brewery, there was enough about it that was unique to prevent things seeming repetitive. The beer got off to a great start with the fresh citrus flavours and some pine coming through to give it quite a bitter feel but one that was well-balanced and easy to drink. I particularly enjoyed the tropical fruits that appeared from the middle on, the mango and apricot working well with the sweeter malts and the citrus adding a nice tang further along. While it was another excellent beer from the brewery, I’m leaning more towards the DIPA v10 being the better of the two but it’s very close and I’d happily try both again given the chance.

Brewed In: Manchester, England
Brewery: Cloudwater Brew Co.
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 9.0%
Serving: Keg (1/3rd Pint)
Purchased: The Hippo Taproom, Glasgow
Price: £4.15

Cloudwater DIPA v10

January 25, 2017 3 comments

Rating: 4.35

Only my second ever Cloudwater beer, this despite the fact that the brewery seems to becoming more popular by the day of late. This offering is the tenth in a series of double IPA’s from the Manchester based brewery that continually tweaks their double IPA recipe with each release. This one follows on from the brewery’s Lapsang Lichtenhainer offering that I tried back in March and to be honest, it wasn’t one that I found enjoyable at all so I’m very hopeful that this one will prove to be a must better beer than that one. I picked this one up a couple of days before Christmas and although it isn’t exactly a winter offering, I thought it would finally give one from this series of beers a try; hopefully it’s as good as I’ve been told.

cloudwater-dipav10

Appearance (5/5): A really cloudy beer that is light amber in colour but bordering on yellow to faded orange, finished off with a foamy white head that is almost creamy in texture. Head retention is pretty good with the beer, it holds remarkably well given the strength of the beer  and there’s even some touches of lacing on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (9/10): Pine and grapefruit notes open things up here but there is also some nice touches of mango too. The beer isn’t particularly pungent given the abv. of this one but it wasn’t weak either and there was some fruity, tropical smells around the middle before the malty base starts to make itself known. Towards the end of the beer some floral touches and further bitter hops round things off nicely.
Taste (8/10): The taste opens as a continuation of the nose with plenty of pine and grapefruit alongside some floral bitterness and a combination of tropical fruits; peach, mango and apricot all featuring early on. There was some earthy malts around the middle that also imparted some nice sweetness on proceedings before a few citrus touches and further resinous pine flavours brought things to a close.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and medium bodied, this one was quite a lively and fresh beer that was a touch thicker than I’d expected. There was a slight tang around the middle from the citrus which made it an easy drink to get through. There was a nice balance to the beer that was particularly enjoyable.

Overall (17/20): Great stuff from Cloudwater here, a very enjoyable double IPA that was incredibly well-balanced and very easy to drink given how well the alcohol content was hidden. There was some great bitterness opening things up alongside plenty of resinous pine flavours that also made beer a relatively sweet offering. An excellent beer and one that I’d definitely like to try again; I’m also interested to see what the other beers in the series are like given the chance.

Brewed In: Manchester, England
Brewery: Cloudwater Brew Co.
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 9.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £4.40

#Mashtag 2016

November 10, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

The fourth beer in Brewdogs annual #Mashtag series, a beer voted on for by the public via social media and a beer that is usually quite an interesting offering. The three previous offerings in the series have been enjoyable ones, the last two in particular going down well with the 2014 edition currently sitting as the third best Scottish beer I’ve tried and the second best I’ve had from Brewdog; not bad considering how many beers of each I’ve had over the years. On trend that has continued over the last few years with this one is that the beers have become increasingly stronger, starting with the original #Mashtag 2013 which came in at 7.4% before increasing to 9% with #Mashtag 2014 and then again to 10% abv. last year with #Mashtag 2015; this year the beer is only marginally stronger than last with this one sitting at a pretty big 10.5%. Like a couple of other Brewdog beers before it, this is another that is being labelled as a triple IPA (their Anarchist/Alchemist from a few years ago springs to mind) but for the purposes of this blog I’ll count it as my 49th double IPA. Brewed with a combination of US hops, sour berries and oak chips, this one should prove to be quite an interesting offering and it’s one I’ve been holding off drinking since picking it up from the brewery’s online shop a couple of months ago but now seems like as good a time as any to crack it open and see how it rates; if it’s as good as either of the last two in the series then I’ll be very happy indeed.

mashtag-2016

Appearance (4/5): Quite a clear bodied beer, this one pours a medium amber colour and is topped with what turned out to be quite a nice, creamy head that sits about a half centimetre tall is a slightly off white colour. Head retention okay with the size slowly reducing to hint at turning patchy then eventually breaking up a touch in the centre of the beer. All things considered, a particularly given the strength of the beer, this one is a great looking double IPA and one I’m looking forward to trying all the more now.
Aroma (9/10): Very strong opening up, this is quite a hoppy beer on the nose initially with a lot of pine and grapefruit notes alongside a somewhat resinous smell. This was quickly followed by a sticky sweetness that helped mask a lot of the alcohol in the beer and there was a combination of tropical fruits in there helping out as well; in particular some peaches and mango. Around the middle a few hints of caramel and strawberries started to come though which made for a somewhat unusual but interesting aroma that was backed up by some hop oils and further bitterness. The balance on the nose was surprisingly good and there was certainly a lot going on, I was also impressed by how little of the 10.5% abv. was showing at this point; excellent stuff.
Taste (7/10): Opening in a similar fashion to the nose, this one is an incredibly strong-tasting beer with a lot of resinous pine and hop bitterness in the early going. The beer is intensely bitter but comes through with more alcohol in the taste than expected given how well this was hidden with the nose; it wasn’t quite overpowering but the sweetness didn’t do enough here to cover it for my liking. There was some strawberries and mango along with a few peaches and the odd citrus flavour coming through around the middle though and these helped balance things out slightly but I’d definitely have liked less grains and harshness showing towards the end if I’m honest. Some caramel did feature down the stretch and there was an earthy bitterness complimenting some sticky sweetness right at the end though but it didn’t quite reach the heights of the nose sadly.
Palate (3/5): The palate with this one starts quite sharp and aggressive with a lot of resinous pine hops and oils coming through, there’s plenty of bitterness off the back of this and the beer seems a touch harsh from the alcohol grains. There’s a some sweetness that does its best to cover some of the alcohol but the beer still have quite a warming feel to it and it is relatively thick on the way down too. Carbonation levels are somewhat muted with the beer, it sits around moderate and got tougher to drink the longer I sat with it; the flavours were definitely nice but it was just that touch too strong really.

Overall (16/20): Quite an interesting beer from Brewdog, it opened up quite well and the nose in particular was excellent with a lot of resinous pine and some nice fruits coming through; the combination of strawberries with the mango and peach was quite enjoyable and unexpected. The taste of the beer, as well as the palate, was a slight letdown if I’m honest though and it seemed to be a little too harsh and very slightly overpowering with a huge amount of the alcohol showing from the start. It was still an enjoyable beer but it didn’t seem as good as the last two in the series sadly; a nice beer but not quite as good as I’d hoped.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Imperial/Double IPA
Abv: 10.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £4.50