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Posts Tagged ‘1001’

Lindemanns Gueuze Cuvée René

December 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

My third Lindemans beer now, this one follows on from the Framboise and Kriek offerings that I’ve tried in the past and is my first new beer from the brewery since trying the Framboise back in 2015. This one is a beer that features on the updated version of the 1001 beers list and is quite a highly rated beer online where it sits as the 25th highest rated gueuze on the BeerAdvocate website. I managed to find a bottle of this one in one of Brewdog’s Glasgow bars recently, having previously spotted it on the menu of other bars in the past but it’s never been available when I’ve asked for a bottle until now.

Appearance (4/5): Fairly bright looking with some cloudy touches through the body and a white head on top that was more of a thin lacing around the sides but about what I’d expect from the style.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with plenty of tart and funky notes, the beer is fresh and lively with some nice lemon zest and subtle spices, citrus definitely being the strongest on the nose initially. It was quite an easy-going beer on the nose with some apples and pears coming through around the middle and some acidity rounding things off.
Taste (7/10): Following on well from the nose, the beer opens with plenty of tart and citrus flavours, some orange accompanying the lemon this time around with a few pale malts towards the middle. It wasn’t the most complex tasting beer but some grapes and pears made themselves known further on with some subtle spices and herbal touches adding to freshness of the beer.
Palate (4/5): Light-medium bodied and quite crisp with a fresh feel to it throughout thanks to the citrus tang and lively carbonation levels. It was a balanced and easy to drink beer that had plenty tart initially with some funky flavours throughout as well.

Overall (16/20): Quite a fresh and crisp beer from the start, it was lively with some nice tart and funky flavours kicking things off alongside plenty of citrus and a few subtle spices. Further on there was some lighter fruits with apples, grapes and pears all featuring at points before some acidity seen things out. It was a balanced and easy-going offering that I enjoyed and would definitely have again.

Brewed In: St Pieters Leeuw-Vlezenbeek, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij Lindemans
First Brewed: circa. 2000
Type: Lambic – Gueuze
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Bottle (375ml)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, ScotlandGueuze Cuvée René
Price: £5.00 (approx.)

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Angry Boy Brown Ale (368 of 1001)

November 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.6

Following quickly on from their Yabai Yabai Strong Scotch Ale, this one was the third beer from Baird that I managed to try from them in Japan and the second of the day; it was also my second keg offering from them after previously enjoying their Rising Sun Pale Ale in Tokyo a couple of days previously. Like the review of the Rising Sun Pale Ale, this one is another beer from the brewery that features on the 1001 beers list and is actually one I found in a bar in York a few years ago but never got round to ordering at the time so I was definitely keen to try it in Japan if I managed to find it anywhere. After reviewing this particular Japanese beer from the 1001 list, I am now left with eight more to check off and given this was the last Baird offering for me to try I decided to pay their Harajuku taproom in Tokyo a visit towards the end of my holiday in order to tick it off. Originally beginning life as a seasonal offering and a 6.2% abv. beer back in 2001, this one is now a regular in the Baird line up and the version I tried came in slightly stronger at 7% abv. as well.

Appearance (4/5): Caramel amber and quite clear with a one and a half centimetre tall, foamy head that is an off-white colour and holds with good retention over the opening minutes with some nice lacing on the sides and quite a thick look to it.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a light aroma here, there was some caramel and a slightly nutty smell with a couple of roasted malts and grains following on behind. The beer seemed fresh on the nose with a few subtle hops further on and grassy touches nearer the end without it ever really being as strong as I’d have liked.
Taste (7/10): Light, almost roasted malts and nut flavours kick things off with the taste before some subtle hops and citrus start to come through towards the middle. The beer was again fresh with a grassy hop taste further on and faint caramel that carried over from the nose featuring towards the end without it being as sweet as the nose, it was at least slightly stronger though.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and quite a clean beer on the palate, this one had some subtle hop bitterness coming through and it was moderately carbonated and easy to drink but also a little basic at times.

Overall (14/20): Quite a pleasant offering from Baird, albeit one that came through slightly lighter than expected but at least it was fresh and had some bitterness showing too. The beer was easy to drink and balanced with some subtle hops showing without being overly pronounced and overall the beer was quite a clean, sessionable offering that was well worth trying too.

Brewed In: Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan
Brewery: Baird Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2001
Type: Brown Ale
Abv: 7.0%
Serving: Keg (250ml)
Purchased: Baird Tap Room Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan
Price: ¥600 (£3.97 approx.)

Tokyo Black Porter (367 of 1001)

November 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.2

Another Japanese offering from the 1001 beers list, this one being fifth from the Yo-Ho brewery and one that follows from their Yona Yona Ale as the second of their beers from the list that I’ll have tried. This one is an American style porter that will be my first dark beer from the Nagano based brewery and it is one that I spotted in a number of stores throughout Japan but waited until nearer the end of my trip to finally pick up a can in a Bic Camera store when I was back in Tokyo. As the final of Yo-Ho’s beers to feature on the 1001 beers list, this is also the last of their beers that I’m likely to review here for some time since I’ve yet to see anything from them available in the UK sadly but at least I got to try it and check it off for myself.

Appearance (5/5): Very dark mahogany to black in colour with a larger than expected head starting about two centimetres tall ans sitting a beige colour in the glass. Retention wasn’t too bad from the beer either, there wasn’t much initial movement and it looked quite a thick head with some light residue on the sides of the glass as I worked my way down the beer.
Aroma (8/10): A pleasantly strong aroma started things here with a nice combination of roasted malts and chocolate that made the beer one of the stronger Japanese beers on the nose that I’ve reviewed here recently. There was some liquorice and touches of vanilla a little further on with a subtle malt bitterness and some lactose with the odd creamy note following on behind. Towards the end some faint caramel and a touch of spice came through to see things out; this one was enjoyable and exactly what I was after on the nose going in.
Taste (8/10):
Roasted malts and a solid sweetness that featured some vanilla and butterscotch kicked things off with the taste here, both coming through stronger and earlier than they did with the nose before some creamy flavours and touches of lactose followed them up. Around the middle some coffee flavours showed themselves alongside a faint hint of milk chocolate and an earthy malt sweetness as well as some caramel further on that made for quite an enjoyable but varied tasting beer.
Palate (4/5):
Somewhere around medium bodied, perhaps very slightly lighter than expected for the style but it was quite a sweet and creamy offering with a nice balance as well. It had light-medium carbonation levels and was very easy to drink with the vanilla, chocolate and caramel all adding to the sweetness with any of them overdoing it; it was also quite a clean beer with a subtle dryness right at the end.

Overall (16/20): Quite an enjoyable porter and definitely one of the better dark beers that I’ve tried from Japan, this one coming through with quite a sweet but balanced taste than had a great combination of caramel malts and milk chocolate flavours as well as some earthy malts and vanilla in there. The beer was exactly what I was expecting from the style and it went down smoothly too, it’s definitely one I’d have again if I could find it outside of Japan.

Brewed In: Nagano, Japan
Brewery: Yo-Ho Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2005
Type: American Porter
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Bic Camera (Akihabara, Tokyo)
Price: ¥288 (£1.91 approx.)

Minoh W-IPA (366 of 1001)

November 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.5

My first and final new Minoh beer that I managed to try in Japan now, this one being the only one of their beers to feature on the 1001 beers list and the one that I was most hoping to try from them during the course of my trip. The beer is a 9% double IPA that follows on from their Minoh Stout that I reviewed here recently. Initially released sometime around 2006, the beer became a regular from the brewery in 2008 and has been one of their most popular ever since; thankfully it is a year round offering as well which meant I was able to grab a bottle when I was in Osaka recently. Checking this beer off also means that I now only have to try another ten Japanese beers to complete those listed in the 1001 beers book, although sadly one of those appears to no longer be available now.

Appearance (4/5): This one pours quite a dark amber to caramel colour with an opaque body and some sediment floating about initially before settling at the bottom of the glass. The head was a centimetre tall one that looked frothy and was a creamy white to light tan colour that had excellent retention over the opening few minutes, holding much better than expected from a 9% abv. double IPA; there didn’t seem to be any movement or reduction in size over the opening five minutes and there was some nice lacing left on the sides of the glass as a bonus too.
Aroma (9/10): Quite strong with a lot of hops showing in the early going, there was plenty going on and this is what I’d been expecting from a strong double IPA with a nice combination of resinous pine and floral hops kicking things off. There was some citrus and a good helping of tropical fruits in the early going as well, I got some mango, apricot and grapefruit with a little pineapple not too far behind either. Further on there was some sweeter notes starting to come through with caramel and biscuit malts but it was a balanced, lively nose that I really enjoyed.
Taste (9/10): The taste matches the nose well with some strong pine and floral hops getting things going alongside some solid citrus flavours, although the beer wasn’t quite as pungent or resinous as it had been with the nose. There was some tropical fruits towards the middle with the mango and apricot from the nose being the dominant pair but the pineapple and some peach weren’t too far behind. Like the nose, there was a good amount of sweetness further on with the caramel and biscuit coming through a touch earlier this time around and some bread flavours featuring as well. It’s definitely a lively and hop-filled beer with some spices towards the end and a few further floral flavours as well; very nice stuff.
Palate (5/5): Well carbonated and almost a full-bodied beer, this one was very fresh and lively with a lot of hops coming through from the start to contribute towards a very bitter, resinous beer that went down great. There was some of the alcohol content coming through at points but for the most part it was well hidden and nothing seemed to overpower thanks to the excellent balance of the beer, the sweet malts and caramel working very well alongside the pine and floral hops not to mention the tropical fruits too.

Overall (18/20): This one was an excellent and highly enjoyable double IPA that grabbed my attention almost immediately thanks to the strong hops and resinous pine notes that greeted me opening the bottle. There was a lot going on with this one thanks to a combination of tropical fruits balancing well with sweeter malts and citrus. The beer was fuller than expected and quite varied too with good carbonation and the alcohol content was hidden well too. Excellent stuff from the start and a beer that I’m every glad I managed to find, it was definitely the best beer I managed to try on my trip to Japan and probably the best from the country that I’ve ever tried; a must try if you can find it and one well worth its place on the 1001 Beers to try before you die list as well.

Brewed In: Osaka, Japan
Brewery: Minoh Beer
First Brewed: circa. 2006
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 9.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Yamaya Nagahoribashi (Osaka)
Price: ¥410 (£2.72 approx.)

Rising Sun Pale Ale (365 of 1001)

October 31, 2017 2 comments

Rating: 3.65

My third ever beer from the Baird Brewing Company but only my first new offering from them since I sampled their Suruga Bay Imperial IPA and Teikoku IPA way back in 2012 when they were more readily available in Brewdog bars in the UK. This one is my first from the brewery to feature in the 1001 beers list making it the 365th from the list that I’ve tried but I still have a review of their Angry Boy Brown Ale to follow as well as one other beer from the brewery that I managed to try in Japan; this one is also the eleventh Japanese beer from the list that I’ve tried now and I still have a couple more from my recent trip to add here as well but there is still a long way to go. This was one of the beers that I was most looking forward to trying while in Japan recently and I was surprised to find that it wasn’t quite as readily available in convenience stores as I’d have thought but I eventually managed to find it on-tap at the Goodbeer Faucets bar in the Shibuya area of Tokyo on my first night back in the city; thankfully it did not disappoint either.

Appearance (4/5): Bright amber to orange with a slightly cloudy body that’s topped with a half centimetre, foamy head with a creamy white colour and some bubbles round the sides too. Head retention is quite good too with little reduction in size over the opening minutes and some lacing left on the sides too.
Aroma (6/10): Subdued citrus and pine hops kick things off here, there is some light sweetness and touches of lighter, almost tropical fruits with mango in particular coming through stronger than the pineapple that followed. There’s some bread malts and earthy touches further on which made for quite a pleasant smelling beer, although it wasn’t quite as strong as expected really.
Taste (7/10): Slightly more fresh than the nose with some citrus and pine hops kicking things off alongside some sweetness from the fruits. There’s a nice combination of pineapple and mango that matched the nose well, I also detected some peach coming through as well. Towards the end there was some pale malts and further sweetness alongside a couple of bread malts but thankfully it was a stronger tasting beer than the nose indicated it might be.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied with a smooth, hoppy feel that had a subtle citrus tang as well. The beer wasn’t quite as fresh or crisp as expected but there was some good sweetness coming through from the tropical fruits and the balance was quite good throughout too; I’d still have liked it to be a touch stronger at times but it was an enjoyable beer.

Overall (15/20): This one was quite an enjoyable beer from Baird and about on par with the previous two from the brewery that I’ve tried; their Suruga Bay Imperial IPA was probably marginally better but this one was still a solid effort. The nose was a lot lighter than expected but things came through stronger with the nose with some good sweetness and tropical fruits coming through in the early going alongside touches of citrus, mango and pineapple being the most pronounced of the fruits which helped make this one of the better beers I tried while in Japan.

Brewed In: Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan
Brewery: Baird Brewing Company
First Brewed: circa. 2001
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Keg (473ml)
Purchased: Goodbeer Faucets, Tokyo, Japan
Price: ¥900 (£5.96 approx.)

Fujizakura Heights Rauch (364 of 1001)

October 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.65

My second Fujizakura Heights beer in quick succession and one that follows on from their Weizen that I reviewed here last, this one being another that also features in the 1001 beers list. I’m definitely not a fan of rauchbiers in general and can’t think of one that I’ve ever liked but I had to order this one given it features on the 1001 beers list and it’s unlikely I’ll stumble across it again anytime soon. Currently listed as the 37th best rauchbier on the BeerAdvocate website, I didn’t exactly go into this one with much hopes of it being a beer that I would enjoy when I ordered it at Raku Beer in Hiroshima towards the end of last month but at least I was getting to try it.

Appearance (4/5): Caramel brown to light mahogany coloured with a semi-clear body and a two centimetre head that was a thick, creamy white colour with good retention initially too.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a smoky nose as expected with some ham and roasted malts featuring in the early going but it definitely wasn’t as strong as some of the other rauchbiers I’ve tried previously. There was some bread malts further on and the beer was generally quite a meaty one on the nose but thankfully it wasn’t quite as overpowering as expected.
Taste (7/10):
Malty with a lot of smoke in the early going and big, meaty flavours coming through but like the nose it wasn’t quite as strong as is usually the case with this style of beer. There was some ham flavours throughout with a few toasted malts sitting in the background and touches of bread too.
Palate (4/5):
A medium bodied beer with lots of darker malts and a wood-like feel to proceedings. The beer was very smoky and had lighter carbonation levels than expected but the balance was surprisingly good for a rauchbier with the ham and meat not as dominating as usual which helped make it a pleasantly smooth and drinkable beer.

Overall (15/20): This one was definitely a beer that surprised me and went down far easier than I’d expected, particularly considering how little I’ve enjoyed pretty much ever other rauchbier that I’ve tried. The nose and taste thankfully weren’t as pronounced or overpowering as I’d anticipated, there was a lot coming through but it seemed more balanced with this one and the bread malts helped things in that department too. Further on and some earthy malts made a surprising appearance which helped this one to become the only rauchbier I’ve managed to finish and it’s by far the best of the style that I’ve ever tried too.

Brewed In: Kawaguchiko, Yamanashi, Japan
Brewery: Fujikankokaihatsu Co. Ltd. / Sylvans Restaurant
First Brewed: 1998
Also Known As: Fujikankokaihatsu Rauchbier
Type: Rauchbier
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Keg (300ml)
Purchased: Raku Beer, Hiroshima, Japan
Price: ¥800 (£5.30 approx.)

Fujizakura Heights Weizen (363 of 1001)

October 20, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.75

The first of two Fujikankokaihatsu beers that I reviewed in quick succession after finding both at Raku Beer in Hiroshima on a recent visit, this one along with their Fukizakura Heights Rauch offering are two beers that feature on the 1001 beers list and that I was looking out for on my holiday. Currently listed as the eleventh best hefeweizen on the RateBeer website, this one comes highly rated and was one of the beers that I was most looking forward to trying before setting off for Japan and here’s what I thought of it when I finally managed to find it on-tap somewhere.

Appearance (4/5): A slightly lighter than expected amber colour that borders on yellow with a cloudy body. The beer had a two and a half centimetre head that was white and bubbly, holding well for the opening minute or so before turning to a thin surface lacing thereafter.
Aroma (7/10): Fresh with some lemon and orange notes to open proceedings, there was some wheat and cloves coming through in the early going too. I managed to get some touches of yeast and spice further on alongside some banana sweetness that made for a fairly pleasant smelling wheat beer.
Taste (7/10):
Quite a similar taste to the nose, the beer opened with some coriander and clove followed by some yeast and a faint funky flavour. There was some freshness around the middle with a couple of lighter malts coming through alongside the banana from the nose.
Palate (4/5):
Fresh and medium bodied throughout, the beer was balanced with a subtle sweetness from the banana and plenty of citrus too, particularly early on with the nose. Easy to drink throughout, the beer was quite a standard but pleasant wheat beer offering that had some dryness further on too.

Overall (15/20): Quite a decent wheat beer from Fukizakura Heights with a good amount of wheat showing alongside some early citrus and a banana sweetness that was present throughout. The beer was smooth and balanced, making it easy to drink with some slightly funky flavours around the middle too. It’s a nice beer and one that I’m glad I tried and it’s one of the better hefeweizen that I had in Japan too.

Brewed In: Kawaguchiko, Yamanashi, Japan
Brewery: Fujikankokaihatsu Co. Ltd. / Sylvans Restaurant
First Brewed: 1997
Also Known As: Fujikankokaihatsu Kogen Hefeweizen
Type: Hefeweizen
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Keg (300ml)
Purchased: Raku Beer, Hiroshima, Japan
Price: ¥800 (£5.30 approx.)