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Posts Tagged ‘amber beer’

Slot Machine

December 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.9

A second new Brewdog beer from 2017 in quick succession now, this one a American IPA styled rye beer from the brewery that follows on from the recent review of their Make Earth Great Again limited release. This one from the brewery is a seasonal that was introduced something around September and thankfully I was able to grab a bottle a month or so later when I spotted a few in my local Morrison’s supermarket. Opting for a 660ml bomber of the beer, this is one that I’m looking forward to since Brewdog are most definitely at home when brewery American style IPA’s and the rye twist on this one should prove interesting. As the last seasonal for 2017 from Brewdog, this one takes more of a winter feel and is more malty that their last two seasonal beers that preceded this one, their Hop Fiction and Electric India offerings and it should be interesting to see if this one makes a return or is replaced in next years lineup.

Appearance (4/5): Pour a dark copper colour that was edging towards mahogany brown and a lot darker than anticipated, sitting with a large head that was between four and five centimetres tall with a foamy texture. The head looked surprisingly thick and creamy with very good retention as well before slowly losing some of its initial height after a minute or so.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a hop-filled aroma kicks things off here with nice pine and orange hops coming through in the early going before some grapefruit and the odd tropical notes showed themselves further on, the combination of mango, citrus and peach seeming the most pronounced of the fruits. It was definitely a fresh and lively beer with a little caramel coming through as well as some toffee and subtle spices that seen things out.
Taste (8/10): Slightly darker than with the nose, the beer opens with some caramel malts and the odd earthy malt too; both of these featuring much earlier than they had with the nose. There was some hop bitterness towards the middle with the citrus and pine from the nose alongside some rye spices, mango and peach before being rounded off with some grapefruit and finally some caramel sweetness at the end.
Palate (4/5): Medium-bodied and quite well carbonated with a fresh and lively feel to the beer, this one was tangy from the start with nice hop bitterness and a few spices coming through as well. The beer had a nice balance throughout and seemed resinous at points thanks to the pine and grapefruit but despite being relatively complex for the style it was still an easy on to drink.

Overall (16/20): This one was quite a nice American IPA that was definitely darker than expected and the rye aspect of the beer was a pleasant one as well. Initially there was some nice citrus and pine hops that kept things fresh and lively before some caramel malts and earthy flavours started to sneak in with the taste. There was a nice balance to the beer and it was well-carbonated too which helped it go down easily; a nice seasonal offering from Brewdog and one that I’d like to see again next year.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2017
Type: American IPA/Rye Beer
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Bottle (660ml)
Purchased: Morrisons (Glasgow)
Price: £2.50

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Fallen Grapevine

December 6, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 4.15

M y first ever beer from Stirling based Fallen Brewing, this being despite the fact that it’s a fairly local brewery and their beers are regularly available in my area but for some reason I’ve never tried anything from them before. This one is an American pale ale that I found on-tap at the Schilling Brewing Co. bar in Glasgow recently and enjoyed the sample that I had of it so opted to give it a proper try. Launched around the same time the brewery opened back in 2012, this one is apparently one of the brewery’s core offerings and as good a beer as any for my first one from them; although a further review of an imperial stout from Fallen should follow shortly after this review.

Appearance (5/5): Bright and cloudy looking, the beer is an orange to caramel amber colour that has a centimetre tall, foamy white head with good retention sitting on top. The head holds well over the opening minutes and looks quite thick with some bubbles around the sides as well; an excellent start indeed.
Aroma (7/10): Not a huge nose to this one really, there was some nice pine and grapefruit notes kicking things off with a slight hint of perfume further on. There was a few citrus notes and some biscuit malts towards the middle alongside subtle floral hops. Towards the end I got a nice sweetness with some caramel in there too and a few background fruits rounded things off; most notably some peach and apricot.
Taste (8/10): Following on well from the nose and opening with some grapefruit alongside a pleasant caramel sweetness, the beer definitely wasn’t as bitter and didn’t have as many hops showing as the nose but it still seemed fresh with some pine and subtle fruits coming through; the peach and apricot from the nose both featuring along with some orange and lemon flavours too. Further on and some stone fruits and a floral bitterness made themselves known with touches of mango to see things out at the end.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and very fresh with a consistently bitter feel throughout, this one was lively with some solid floral hops and a nice citrus tang in there as well. The beer seemed quite balanced as well with the caramel providing a nice sweetness that worked well with the hop bitterness and tropical fruits. It wasn’t the strongest beer in the world but there was nice varied and everything seemed to work well together too.

Overall (17/20): This one was a surprisingly good first beer from Fallen for me and one that was a lot more varied and bitter than I’d anticipated when I ordered it. The beer opened with some good grapefruit and pine bitterness with a few floral hops not too far behind and some nice caramel that helped keep the balance of the beer and prevent the hops from overpowering further on. Falling somewhere between a pale ale and an IPA given the hops that featured, the beer was an easy on to drink and I’d happily have it again.

Brewed In: Kippen, Stirling, Scotland
Brewery: Fallen Brewing
First Brewed: 2012
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.4%
Serving: Keg (Pint)
Purchased: Schilling Brewing Co., Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £4.80 (approx.)

Deaf Mermaid

December 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.9

A free birthday beer from Brewdog here, although I opted only for a half pint rather than a full one since I was in a hurry. This offering from Brewdog is a re-release of a beer that previously came in at 5.2% but was made available again earlier this year as a keg-only offering available at their UK bars for a short time. My first review of a new Brewdog beer since trying their Mandarina Lager offering back in August, this one wasn’t a beer that I was holding out much hope for but thankfully it turned out to be a fairly enjoyable offering, here’s what I thought of it when I tried it at the end of October.

Appearance (5/5): Very clear golden in colour with a foamy white head that was about a centimetre tall and quite thick looking with good lacing left on the sides and excellent head retention.
Aroma (7/10): Quite fresh on the nose with some light hops and citrus kicking things off alongside a few lager-type malts. Towards the middle some earthy hops started to make an appearance with touches of pine and mango coming through as well, and there was some zesty lemon not too far behind those. It was a juicy and fresh nose with some floral hops seeing things out nicely.
Taste (7/10): Not quite as fresh or lively as the nose but there was some tropical fruits and hops kicking things off alongside some grassy flavours and pale malts which seemed more dominant but fell short of overpowering. It was almost a hybrid pale ale/lager offering that reminded me of Caesar Augustus from Williams Brothers at times. Further on and there was some nice grapefruit flavours alongside touches of pine but the nose was definitely a little stronger and better, it was still a nice tasting beer though.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied, perhaps slightly lighter but balanced and fresh with the nose in particular coming through relatively strong. There was a zesty feel to this one and it was well carbonated with a smooth body and dry finish that made it quite sessionable too.

Overall (14/20): Surprisingly good stuff from Brewdog, particularly because I wasn’t overly optimistic about this one on the way in but it was a fresh and enjoyable beer from the outset. It was almost a cross between a pale ale and a lager with some nice citrus and floral touches working well with the earthy hops and grassy flavours. It was sessionable and easy to drink too with a few subtle tropical fruits coming through further on and the head retention was excellent as well.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2017
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.2%
Serving: Keg (Half Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: Free

Trash Soda

December 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.9

My first non-Japanese beer in a while now and one that I tried a few weeks back on a return visit to the Drygate brewpub in Glasgow, opting for a new beer from the brewery that I hadn’t seen previously. This one is a rotating (or perhaps one-off) release from the brewery that appears to have been introduced in September this year and was definitely one of the better beers from the brewery that I’ve tried, coming through quite strong and with plenty hops. The beer will be my twelfth review of a Drygate beer and is my first since enjoying another of their American pale ale’s when I had their Disco Forklift Truck back in May this year. A beer that I really enjoyed, this is one that I had a couple of times at Drygate until eventually the keg was done but hopefully it is a beer that becomes a regular for them in future since it’s one I’d definitely have again.

Appearance (4/5): Quite cloudy with an amber to yellow body that was topped with a thin, quarter centimetre head that was white and foamy looking, leaving a touch of lacing on the sides and covering the surface of the beer well.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with some nice hops and plenty of citrus, the beer was fresh without being overly strong and there was some nice resinous pine sitting in the background too. It was a fresh and lively nose with some grapefruit towards the middle and a few background fruits further on which made for a good start to the beer.
Taste (8/10): Fresh tasting with some nice citrus and pine coming through, the later being slightly less pronounced than with the nose but still remaining noticeable. I managed to detect some grapefruit that carried over from the nose with some floral bitterness and orange flavours further on and some lemon rounding things off nicely too.
Palate (4/5): Medium and quite fresh, the nose in particular being a lively one with a nice tang coming through from the citrus as well. The beer was balanced well and quite easy to drink with a floral bitterness seeing things out nicely.

Overall (16/20): Very nice stuff again from Drygate and definitely one of their better beers, this one had quite a fruity feel with a lively body that was well carbonated and some nice resinous pine kicking things off. It was balanced and very easy to drink with plenty of citrus too; definitely one that I’d have again.

Brewed In: Drygate, Glasgow, Scotland
Brewery: Drygate Brewery
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Drygate FT002 – Trash Soda
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.6%
Serving: Keg (Pint)
Purchased: Drygate Brewery, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £4.70

Sapporo That’s Hop Mosaic & Citra

November 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.2

The second beer in Sapporo’s Innovative Brewer That’s Hop series now, this one a Mosaic and Citra pale ale that follows on from their Nelson Sauvin version that I reviewed here last after picking both up on the same day from a Tokyo Family Mart store while nearer the end of my time in the city. To be honest, this one wasn’t a beer that I was expecting a lot from but like its predecessor I picked it up because it was one of the few Japanese beers left in the store that I hadn’t already tried at some point over the previous two weeks so I thought I’d give it a go.

Appearance (3/5): A touch lighter than the brewery’s Nelson Sauvin offering in this series but only just, the beer is a golden amber colour that has a half centimetre, bubbly white head with some foamy areas but it holds relatively well initially and covers the majority of the surface too, with only a tiny patch missing at the side too.
Aroma (4/10): Opening with some nice citrus notes and quite a resinous, almost pungent nose that has quite a lot pine coming through in the early going as well. It’s a somewhat skunky offering that seemed slightly unbalanced in the early going, although there was some biscuit and earth notes towards the middle as well. It was lighter and more basic than anticipated and there really wasn’t a lot to the nose in truth.
Taste (4/10):
Subdued citrus flavours with the pine and resinous notes from the nose taking more of a backseat this time around, it also seemed a lighter beer than the nose indicated. Around the middle there was again some biscuit and earthy malts with some grassy hops coming through as well but not much else until some grapes and the odd tropical fruit flavour featured at the end.
Palate (2/5):
Medium bodied, perhaps a little lighter at times with some citrus showing and a floral bitterness throughout as well. The beer was basic and didn’t have the best balance with it seeming gassy at times, although it did remain drinkable for the most part but it’s not one I’d go back to.

Overall (8/20): Quite a basic beer and one that sadly wasn’t that enjoyable either, the beer was actually a lot like the Nelson Sauvin in this Sapporo series that came before it and one that was more difficult to drink than I’d have liked. It was an unbalanced offering with some citrus and pine flavours but little else coming through for the most part expect the usual grassy hops and biscuit malts; a cheap and poor offering that I’d avoid in future.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Sapporo Breweries
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Sapporo Innovative Brewer That’s Hop Zetsumyo no Mosaic & Citra
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Family Mart (Shin-Okubo, Tokyo)
Price: ¥262 (£1.74 approx.)

Sapporo That’s Hop Nelson Sauvin

November 23, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 2.35

The first of two Sapporo beers I tried in Tokyo last month that fall under their Innovative Brewer That’s Hop series, this one being a Nelson Sauvin American pale ale from the brewery that I picked up at a Family Mart store near our accommodation in the Shin-Okubo area of Tokyo towards the end of my holiday in Japan. The beer is one that I’d spotted once or twice while in Japan but had overlooked in favour of most well-known offerings but with only a day or two left in the country I opted to give it a go and see how it compared to other Japanese craft beers that I tried when in the country. The beer looked to be quite a new offering from Sapporo and the first reviews online are only dated from around the time I tried the can so I can only assume it was a new release when I picked it up and I can’t be sure if it’s a seasonal, limited release or year-round offering either but it’s definitely not one that I’m glad I picked up sadly.

Appearance (3/5): This one sits a golden amber in the glass with a large, centimetre and a half tall head that is frothy looking and white but it took quite an aggressive pour for it to reach such heights. There was okay retention that followed with the beer topped with a thin surface lacing after a minute or so with a tiny bit of break up at this point too.
Aroma (4/10): The beer opens with strong, almost pungent citrus and pine hops that seemed a little harsh and uneven but at least it wasn’t a weak offering. There was some grape and lemon with lighter grassy notes towards the middle and some fusty notes as well sadly. Towards the end I got some biscuit malts and a few more earthy hops which made for quite a strange nose overall.
Taste (5/10):
Following on in a similar vein to the nose, although thankfully a little better tasting, this one opened with some citrus and a couple of pines hops with an almost resinous taste but one that was less pungent than the nose seemed to be. There was some background fruits with touches of grapefruits, some tropical flavours and a hint of grape but none really seemed to jump out at you. The taste was rounded off with some biscuit flavours and a floral bitterness and although an improvement on the nose, it still wasn’t all that good of a beer.
Palate (2/5):
Light-medium and quite hoppy to start, the beer was fresh initially too but soon faded towards the middle and seemed slightly weaker at this point too. There wasn’t much in the way of balance with a pungent hop nose kicking things off and lots of resinous pine dominating the taste early on too, sadly it was also a little gassy with the carbonation levels almost seeming overdone which made it quite a disappointing beer overall.

Overall (9/20): An interesting change up from the usual pale lagers and dark lagers that I’ve tried from Sapporo but ultimately this one ended up being another poor offering from the brewery and one that seemed unbalanced, cheap and a little basic at times. It started with some citrus and pine but both seemed overdone and didn’t help the balance of the beer much either. There was some background fruits and basic malts adding a little sweetness towards the end but it was over-carbonated and hard to drink at times; definitely not one that I’d pick up again I’m afraid.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Sapporo Breweries
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Sapporo Innovative Brewer That’s Hop Nelson Sauvin no Shinzui
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Family Mart (Shin-Okubo, Tokyo)
Price: ¥262 (£1.74 approx.)

Grand Kirin IPA

November 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.4

The second beer in this series from the Kirin brewery now, this one is a new beer from them for 2017 that was released around the same time as their Grand Kirin White Ale that I reviewed here a short time ago. This one is actually a beer that I tried earlier on during my trip to Japan without review it but eventually I got around to it when I returned to Tokyo towards the end of my holiday and was struggling to find new beers in the local convenience stores late at night. This beer will be my sixth review of a Kirin beer here as well, with the majority of those being beers that I found in Japan so I imagine this will be my last new one from the brewery for quite some time too.

Appearance (3/5): A slightly darker than average amber colour for the style that had a clear body and a thin, foamy white head on top that was more of a surface lacing than anything else but it did at least cover the surface of the beer without any patches initially.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with some light hops and citrus, there was some grapefruit and lime in the early going with this one too and it had quite a zesty, fresh feel on the nose with some biscuit and bread malts coming through further on. Around the middle I got some pleasant grassy notes and a subtle tropical sweetness with the odd sugar in there too.
Taste (6/10):
Fresh and quite zesty tasting initially with some citrus, lime and orange flavours coming through alongside a resinous pine taste and some grapefruit. Towards the middle these flavours were backed up by a few tropical fruits; most notably some mango and apricot but neither were particularly strong. Towards the end some biscuit malts from the nose came through to see things out alongside some earthy malts too.
Palate (4/5):
Somewhere around medium bodied with a fresh feel than anticipated for a mass-market beer like this one but it was helped with the zesty touches and citrus that featured in the early going. There was a solid bitterness throughout the beer with a nice balance and a sessionable feel that had some nice sweetness from the middle on which made it a basic but easy-going IPA that I’d happily have again.

Overall (14/20): This one was definitely a better than expected IPA from Kirin , particularly when you consider they are more at home putting out cheap pale lagers but this one wasn’t too bad at all. It was quite a fresh beer with a liveliness about it that went well with a hop bitterness and citrus that featured from the start. It was definitely an easy beer to drink as well, going down nicely thanks to the balance with a subtle tropical sweetness leveling out the bitterness and some nice malts towards the end too; this is one that I’d have again.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Kirin Brewery Company
First Brewed: 2017
Type: American IPA
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Family Mart (Sin-Okubo, Tokyo)
Price: ¥297 (£1.97 approx.)