Archive

Posts Tagged ‘1001’

Drake’s IPA (354 of 1001)

July 11, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

The first beer from Drake’s Brewing that I’ll have tried here and another American beer from the 1001 beers list that I can check off as well, bring my total to 354 beers tried from the list. This one isn’t the first Drake’s beer that I’ve seen available in the UK but usually their beers are only available in bombers and priced quite high so when I spotted this one for a more reasonable price recently I decided to finally grab a bottle from them. The beer itself was originally brewed in 2002 as a reworking of an earlier beer brewed by the Lind Brewing Company, the name Drake’s went by before the original owner was bought out. An instant hit, the beer was probably considered quite bitter and hoppy when first brewed and it managed to win a gold medal at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival as well as countless other awards in the years since. I picked this bottle up from my local bottle shop in Glasgow and I’m interested to see how the beer holds up today when compared to modern American IPA’s and it’s one I’m looking forward to cracking open.

Appearance (4/5): Golden amber with a slightly orange hue to it, the beer is quite still looking and topped with a very nice, half centimetre head that is foamy and holds well in the early going.
Aroma (7/10): Definitely more malty and sweet than is the norm for an American IPA, there is a good amount of caramel and some sweet malts in the early part but some juicy notes and a few floral hops feature as well. It’s a strong nose that hits you as soon as the bottle is opened and I enjoyed the burst of pine towards the middle. It’s not as got as many hops showing as expected but I enjoyed this one and it was a nice change of pace with some pineapple and citrus at the end too.
Taste (7/10): Quite a sweet tasting beer as you’d expect given how strong the caramel and the sweet malts were with the nose, it is toned down a little by the taste though but some caramel is definitely still present along with some good floral touches and a bit of citrus too. There was a touch of oily pine around the middle with some grapefruit in there too, the pineapple from the nose then shows itself a little earlier this time along with some juicy fruits; towards the end some grassy hops and a further burst of sweetness see things out.
Palate (4/5): Definitely a sweet beer with more of that showing than there was hops for the most part, there was some subtle bitter touches coming through though and the beer had quite a nice balance throughout thanks to the variety of flavours on offer. Today I’d place this one closer to an American pale ale than an IPA but it was still as nice beer on the palate with light-medium carbonation but quite a dry feel throughout, save for some oily pine touches around the middle.It was an easy beer to drink despite the 7% abv. since the sweetness managed to mask most of the alcohol content but there was still a subtle kick to it, especially nearer the end of the beer.

Overall (16/20): Very nice stuff from Drake’s here and an unexpected taste from the beer given I was expected a tonne of hops before cracking the bottle open. The beer was definitely closer to an American pale ale of today than it was an IPA but it was first brewed 15 years ago and a lot has changed since then, still the beer was excellent with a lot of caramel flavours and a strong, malty taste in the early going. The nose in particular was a sweet one with only a few pine hops and floral notes backing them up, the balance was still maintained though and the beer went down very easily indeed; good stuff and one I wouldn’t mind cracking open again at some point.

Brewed In: San Leandro, California, United States of America
Brewery: Drake’s Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2002
Type: American IPA
Abv: 7.0%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £3.80

Montseny Lupulus (353 of 1001)

June 30, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.35

My second beer from the Montseny brewery now and another that I tried on a visit to Barcelona, this one coming a year after I tried their Malta beer in the city back in 2016 and I actually have review of another of their beers to follow this one; thankfully both of which were better than the first from the brewery I tried last year. This one is what I think will be my first ‘Iber’ beer, basically a beer that uses top fermenting yeast alongside lager malts so that’s another type check off at least. The beer is one that I had been looking for on last years trip to Barcelona but I was unable to pick up a bottle, I did however find it a couple of weeks ago in one of the shops I tried at the same time last year so I guess I was just unlucky in finding it last year. This one will be my ninth Spanish beer from the 1001 list as well and leaves me with only two more from the country to try, one of them being another Montseny beer but sadly I was unable to find it on my last trip so I’ll have to wait a little longer I guess.

Appearance (3/5): Pale golden coloured and a touch cloudy looking, this one was topped with a thin white head that sat about half a centimetre tall and left a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (7/10): Semi-fresh on the nose with some pine and citrus hops opening up proceedings, there was some orange notes and a couple of lighter, summer fruits as well but nothing overly strong. Around the middle some floral notes and a bit of zesty citrus fruit came through before the malt bitterness seen things out; not overly complex but pleasant.
Taste (6/10): Opening like the nose, this one was zesty and quite fresh with touches of lemon and citrus to kick things off before a few herbal notes started to appear around the middle. It’s quite a basic tasting beer in truth but there was slightly more malts than with the nose, I also got a few grassy hops and pine too but it wasn’t really anything special sadly.
Palate (4/5): Fresh and crisp, the beer was lively and had a bit of a bite to it as well. It was a well carbonated offering that was well-balanced too with a subtle tang nearer the end and a basic malt bitterness to round things off.

Overall (13/20): Quite a nice beer and one that was drinkable throughout without going through as overly complex and unusual, this being despite the fact that it was probably my first ‘Iber’ beer. It opened well with some nice zesty flavours and a little pine, the malt bitterness wasn’t too far behind and stayed with you until the end. It was relatively easy to drink and the balance was a good one which made it quite sessionable and miles better than the only other beer from the brewery that I’ve reviewed here so far, their Malta offering.

Brewed In: Sant Miquel De Balenyà, Catalonia, Spain
Brewery: Companyia Cervesera del Montseny
First Brewed: 2007
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.4%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Carrefour (Barcelona, Spain)
Price: €2.15 (£1.89 approx.)

Mahou Negra (352 of 1001)

June 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.1

This one is only my second review of a beer from one of Spain’s biggest brewery’s, Mahou and follows on from their Mahou Cinco Estrellas that I sampled on-tap in Glasgow back in March. This one is the brewery’s flagship dark beer and is actually one that I’ve been on the lookout for over the past year and a bit, having previously tried to pick it up last year when I first visited Barcelona but surprisingly I was unable to locate a bottle. I also attempted to have family members get me a bottle on their trips to Spain but finally I managed to find it in a Carrefour supermarket on La Rambla on my recent trip to Barcelona; better late than never I guess. The beer is another from Spain on the 1001 beers list that I’ve be able to check off and means I only have three more from the country to try and a review of Montseny Lupulus will follow in the coming days, so technically I only have two more to pick up now. As for the beer itself, this one is a dunkel style lager that was first brewed back in 1908 and it wasn’t really one that I held out much hope for before trying it, I really only wanted to check it off the list and had assumed it would be much easier to find than it proved to be. Anyway, here’s what I thought of the beer when I tried it at the start of the month.

Appearance (4/5): Copper brown and semi-opaque looking, the beer is topped with a centimetre tall head that is foamy and tan brown in colour with okay retention but it eventually turns slightly patchy after a minute or so; it’s certainly better than I had expected though.
Aroma (5/10): Dark malts and some caramel notes opening up proceedings here, there is some roasted notes as well but it wasn’t really anything that I hadn’t been expecting. I managed to detect some spice nearer the end but overall it was quite a one-dimensional beer on the nose and not overly exciting sadly.
Taste (6/10): The taste kicked off in a similar fashion to the nose with some basic malts and roasted flavours before a nutty taste started to appear nearer the middle followed by some hints of caramel along with some light spices. There was a few bread malts following on from this with hints of toffee adding to the sweetness from earlier on which meant that this was a slight improvement on the nose but still not exactly a classic.
Palate (3/5): Light medium bodied with a slight tang and quite an easy to drink feel to it, the beer was quite basic and one-dimensional but not off-putting at least. There was some sweetness from the caramel and toffee flavours but the main point to note was the roasted, nutty feel to the beer that dominated throughout.

Overall (12/20): This one was quite a basic beer on the whole and pretty much what I’ve come to expect from mass-market beers like this, although it was relatively easy to drink. The beer kicked off with some nutty flavours and a touch of caramel to impart some early sweetness to proceedings. There was a strong roasted bitterness to the beer throughout with touches of toffee nearer the middle that helped add to the earlier sweetness, a few burnt flavours managed to sneak in too though. It’s probably not a beer I’d go back to again, even if it was more readily available to me but it was at least another off the 1001 beers list and it remained drinkable throughout.

Brewed In: Alovera, Spain
Brewery: Mahou S. A.
First Brewed: 1908
Type: Dunkel
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Carrefour supermarket (Barcelona)
Price: €0.85 (£0.75 approx.)

Bock Damm (350 of 1001)

June 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.9

The second ever beer brewed by Barcelona’s Damm brewery and introduced way back in 1888, this beer is still one of the most popular dark beers brewed in a country those beer scene is almost completely dominated by pale, blond lagers. This one is a beer that features on the 1001 beers list and as a result is one that I’ve been looking to try on my last few trips to Spain but was surprisingly unable to find it one previous visits before finally stumbling across it at the tail end of last month when returning to Barcelona. The beer is actually available in a number of pubs and some supermarkets in the city which makes it all the more odd that I wasn’t able to pick it up sooner but I eventually sampled a pint of the stuff in a local bar just off the Placa Reial in Barcelona city centre just over a week ago. Despite the name of the beer, this ‘bock’ is actually much closer to a Munich style dunkel lager and due to it’s lack of bitterness was in the past aimed at female drinkers in its advertising campaigns while the bottle itself features the image of a goat which was added as a play on the fact that the word ‘bock’ translates from German as billy-goat.

Appearance (3/5): Dark mahogany coloured with an opaque body and quite a thin head on top that was a foamy texture and slightly off-white in colour; there’s was some touches of lacing on the sides of the glass and the surface was covered well too.
Aroma (6/10): Quite nutty on the nose initially with some basic roasted notes and malts coming through in the early going, there was a touch of caramel in there too. The beer turned out to be lighter than expected on the nose which was surprising given it was such a dark beer but some hints of sweetness did manage to appear alongside some grassy touches nearer the end.
Taste (6/10): The taste started off in much the same vein as the nose with a lot of nutty flavours and some lighter caramel sweetness backing it up, there was faint biscuit and some roasted malts in there too. Around the middle I managed to get some lighter grassy flavours but there was no sign of any hops or bitterness and it came across as quite a basic offering.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied and moderately carbonated, this one was a semi-sweet offering thanks to the touches of caramel coming through at times. There was a fairly basic feel to the beer and it seemed a lot lighter than expected too but the balance was a decent one and it proved easy enough to drink without being an overly enjoyable one.

Overall (10/20): Quite a basic dark beer that wasn’t quite as strong or as pronounced as I’d been expected with the majority of the taste coming through the roasted malts and faint caramel that featured throughout. There was no sign of any bitterness or hops to the beer which sadly made it seem quite bland and basic but the light sweetness off the back of the caramel was at least somewhat enjoyable. It’s definitely not a beer to go hunting for but it’s always nice to check another beer off the 1001 list even if it’s not a great one.

Brewed In: Barcelona, Spain
Brewery: Damm S. A.
First Brewed: 1888
Type: Dunkel
Abv: 5.4%
Serving: Keg (500ml)
Purchased: Cerveceria Canarias, Barcelona, Spain
Price: €4.60 (£4.01 approx.)

Rothaus Tannenzäpfle (349 of 1001)

Rating: 3.1

A new beer from the 1001 list now and the last of the relatively few on there that I tried when visiting Berlin last month, I had been hoping to check a few more off but it seemed that it was the same ten or fifteen beers in most shops I visited over the course of my weekend in the city. This one will be the 349th from the list that I’ll have reviewed here and is the second Rothaus offering from it, it follows on from their Hefeweizen that I tried back in November and quite enjoyed. My second in total from the brewery, this is a beer that I almost reviewed twice as it is sold under two different names in German with Rothaus Pils and Rothaus Tannenzäpfle seemingly used interchangeably (the 330ml bottles are Tannenzäpfle and the 500ml ones are Pils), hence the reason the photo attached to this post doesn’t use the Tannenzäpfle name. The beer itself is another that I picked up from a local shop in the Alexanderplatz area of Berlin when I visited over Easter last month, although I do believe that I’ve spotted it on occasion back in the UK so it probably shouldn’t have taken me this long to get round to finally trying it.

Appearance (3/5): This one was quite a light looking beer that sat a straw gold colour in the glass with a very clear body and a half centimetre head that was white and bubbly; not the greatest of starts but far from the worst too.
Aroma (6/10): Fairly light on the nose with some corn and a faint sweetness kicking things off before some touches of hay and the odd grassy hop started to come through. The nose was quite balanced and some freshness appeared with clean lager malts nearer the end but it was definitely edging closer to the basic side of things.
Taste (6/10): Corn and light malts again open things up here, there was some grassy hops that carried on from the nose but some touches of citrus also made an appearance here as well. I managed to detect some bread malts and a faint sweetness towards the end but again it wasn’t exact a complex pilsner.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied with quite a fresh but ultimately light feel to proceedings, there was a nice earthy bitterness to the beer with moderate carbonation and a nice balance that made it an easy one to drink for the most part but it definitely wasn’t anything special.

Overall (14/20): This one was quite an average pilsner overall, definitely nothing special but quite an easy-going and sessionable one that went down quite quickly despite not being a stand out in the style either. It was quite a fresh offering with a lively feel and a basic sweetness that kept things ticking along. It’s probably not a memorable offering and I much preferred their Hefeweizen but it was an okay lager and it’s always nice to check off another beer.

Brewed In: Grafenhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Brewery: Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus
First Brewed: 1956
Also Known As: Rothaus Pilsner
Type: German Pilsner
Abv: 5.1%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany
Price: €1.40 (£1.21 approx.)

Weihenstephaner Pils (348 of 1001)

April 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.0

Yet another beer from the 1001 beers list now, this one being my fifth review of a beer from it in a row now and this one is another that I managed to sample whilst on holiday recently. I picked this one up on keg at the Weihenstephaner Beer Hall in Berlin over Easter earlier this month, having visited the pub because I knew they’d have this beer available and because it is the last of the two beers from the brewery on the 1001 list that I still had to try, having first tried their flagship Hefe Weissbier back in May 2011. This one is actually a beer that I’ve been keeping my eyes open for since then and have found it online a few times already but every time I’ve attempted to place an order for it the beer has quickly sold out; finally I got my chance to try it in Germany though. The beer will be my 348th from the list that I’ll have reviewed here and is one of only two new beers from the list that I managed to try in German on my recent visit, a review of Rothaus’ Tannenzäpfle should follow shortly after this one.

Appearance (4/5): A light to golden amber colour that has a very clear body and quite a large, foamy head that sits about two inches tall in the glass initially. There looks to be a creamy texture to the head and it is bone white in colour as well as having good retention over the opening few minutes, with only a touch of the initial height lost and there is plenty of good lacing on the sides to make up for this anyway.
Aroma (7/10): Not an overly strong beer on the nose, not compared to the brewery’s wheat beers anyway but there was at least some good malts and lager notes in the early going alongside a few grassy hops and some citrus. There was a faint bitterness nearer the middle of the beer before some subtle sweetness showed itself but overall the beer was quite light and fresh on the nose with some spice and the faintest of coriander notes seeing things out.
Taste (7/10): Following on well from the nose, the taste is quite a fresh one but it is also quite light with some grassy hops and a touch of citrus opening things up. The coriander from the end of the nose is again present but shows itself earlier this time, there is some lemon coming through too but there wasn’t much in the way of a standout flavour really; it was still quite a nice beer though.
Palate (5/5): Smooth and very crisp, this one was exactly as a pilsner should feel with lively carbonation and a great balance that was helped by the fact that none of the flavours were particularly strong. There was some fizz and a slight hint of bitterness from the middle on which made it an incredibly easy beer to drink and one that was quite effervescent too.

Overall (16/20): Another excellent beer from Weihenstephan and up there with some of the best pilsners I’ve tried, mainly due to the fact that the beer looked good and had an excellent palate; the taste and nose weren’t bad either but nothing was really a standout from them. The beer was incredibly easy to drink with an excellent balance from the start and some nice sweetness at times that worked well with the subtle bitterness that featured throughout the beer. It’s a beer that could probably have benefited from being just a touch stronger, particular with the nose but it was very pleasant from the start and one that I’d definitely have again.

Brewed In: Freising, Germany
Brewery: Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
First Brewed: 1908
Type: German Pilsner
Abv: 5.1%
Serving: Keg (500ml)
Purchased: Weihenstephaner Beer Hall, Berlin, Germany
Price: €4.60 (£3.90 approx.)

Okocim Mocne (347 of 1001)

April 25, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.45

My second beer from the Okocim brewery now, having been founded back in 1845 it is also one of Poland’s oldest brewery’s and dominates the local market alongside the likes of Żywiec. This one follows on from their Okocim Mistrzowski Porter that I reviewed here recently as the final of two beers from the brewery that I managed to try while visiting Warsaw last month; this one is also the final review of the beers that I had on that trip. The beer also marks the fifth from Poland to feature on the 1001 beers list that I’ve managed to try now and leaves me with only three more from the country that I’m hoping to try in the near future, hopefully my trip to Kraków later this year will allow to check another couple of those off as well. The beer itself if a strong pale lager that comes in at 7% abv. and whose name translates as ‘Okocim Strong’ in English although it is listed as a malt liquor in some US states and to be honest it wasn’t one that I was particularly looking forward to when I picked this one up but it thankfully turned out to be much better than expected.

Appearance (4/5): Bright amber and clear bodied, this one had quite a few bubbles rising to the surface and settled with a nice, one centimetre tall head that was foamy and white, holding well over the open minutes too.
Aroma (5/10): There wasn’t too much in the way of a strong nose from this one in the early going which was a slight surprise given the strength of the beer but I did manage to detect some basic adjuncts and the odd grassy note. There was some vegetable notes and touches of grain nearer the middle before some malt sweetness started to sneak in together with some sticky malts; it was surprisingly light throughout on the nose but at least it wasn’t a bad-smelling offering.
Taste (6/10): Much like the nose, the beer wasn’t as strong as epxected here with some corn sweetness and basic adjuncts again opening this up nicely. There was some subtle vanilla flavours and the odd herbal touch nearer the middle with faint bread malts and butterscotch coming through nearer the end. There was an alcohol base to the beer that could perhaps have been lighter and some grassy flavours seen things out but it was quite a basic offering overall.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and quite clean on the palate with a crisp, medium body that had a nice balance and moderate carbonation levels but one that was easier to drink than expected too; nice stuff so far.

Overall (15/20): This one was quite a surprising beer and one that I found myself enjoying much more than I thought I would. There was a lot of early sweetness that was coupled with a few sticky malts and some pleasant vanilla flavours; excellent stuff for the style and one I’d have again.

Brewed In: Brzesko, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
Brewery: Browar Okocim
First Brewed: early 1900’s
Type: Strong Pale Lager/Imperial Pils
Abv: 7.0%
Serving: Can (500ml)
Purchased: 1 Minute Shop (Warsaw)
Price: 4.05PLN (appox. £0.81)