Posts Tagged ‘american ipa’

O Brother The Sinner

January 18, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.65

The second of two beers from the O Brother brewery now, this one follows quickly on from their The Chancer American pale ale that I reviewed here previously and is another I picked up over in Ireland just before Christmas at the end of last year. This particular offering from the brewery comes in slightly stronger than their last, sitting at 6.2% abv. and promising a hop-filled taste, this is another from the brewery that I was looking forward to prior to opening just after Christmas; especially since their The Chancer offering turned out to be a fairly good one.

Appearance (4/5): An almost caramel amber with a foamy head on top that was thick looking before starting to turn bubbly but retention was good at least.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a malty beer with some subtle hops and citrus coming through in the early going, there was some earthy hops showing as well. Around the middle some pine started to make itself known alongside some light caramel which also helped some with the balance of the beer on the nose.
Taste (7/10): Opening with a few biscuit malts and some background citrus, the beer was quite fresh tasting with a light grapefruit flavour towards the middle and some tropical fruits not too far behind. It was quite a bitter beer with some caramel sweetness later on and a few pale malts seeing things out.
Palate (4/5): Somewhere around medium bodied and quite a bitter offering, the beer was fresh and strongly carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel. From the middle on the beer was quite dry but definitely easy to drink with a crisp finish that was quite enjoyable.

Overall (15/20): Definitely a fresh and lively beer, this one opened with some pleasant citrus flavours that were backed up by some grapefruit and pine which gave the beer a hop-filled taste in the early going. There was some biscuit and earthy malts further on with some caramel sweetness doing well to provide a nice balance with the beer; a decent effort and one well worth trying.

Brewed In: Kilcoole, County Wicklow, Ireland
Brewery: O Brother Brewing
First Brewed: 2015
Type: American IPA
Abv: 6.2%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Winemart (Enniskillen)
Price: £2.50


71 Mandarina Sky

January 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

Seemingly a new beer from 71 Brewing that was only released at the start of December, this was a beer that I had right at the end of the year after picking it up at one of my local bottle shops just before Christmas. This one was the first time I’d seen or heard anything from Dundee based 71 Brewing and it’s a beer that I was persuaded to buy since it’s the first time I’d spotted a New England IPA from the Scotland that wasn’t brewed by Brewdog. The beer will be my fourth of the style, or my fifth if you count Brewdog’s New England IPA v2 which was closer to a double IPA given the alcohol content, I am quite a big fan of the style though and I was definitely excited going into this one.

Appearance (4/5): Pouring a medium amber colour with a hazy body, there was the odd bit of sediment coming from the bottle but it settled fast and sank to the bottom. The head was a fluffy white one with a creamy looking on top and wavy, covering the surface well and sitting about a quarter inch tall.
Aroma (7/10): Quite lively and almost pungent, the beer opens with an astringent nose that is loaded with citrus and pine hops that hinted at being slightly resinous too. There some oranges coming through with a little biscuit further on with a few background fruits in there too; I got hints of strawberry and some mango with a little apricot too.
Taste (7/10): Opening with a lot of pine and citrus hops, the beer is again slightly pungent and resinous but it has settled down slightly from the nose. There was some touches of mango and apricot showing early with a few earthy flavours further on whilst the orange from the nose was a little stronger here and worked well with some mandarins and background fruits.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied but definitely a fresh and lively beer that was semi-sweet from the fruits and definitely a bitter offering thanks to the hops and resinous touches. It was a balanced beer that was moderately carbonated and a dry but smooth one.

Overall (15/20): A decent first offering from 71 Brewing, this one was quite a fresh offering that came through with plenty orange, pine and summer fruits but stayed balanced and drinkable throughout. It was lively and easy-going with a smooth feel throughout but it almost seemed like a standard American IPA rather than a New England style offering, something that was a minor disappointment but it was still a very nice beer that was well worth trying.

Brewed In: Dundee, Scotland
Brewery: 71 Brewing
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: 71 Mandarina Sky – MS001
Type: New England IPA
Abv: 5.8%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)
Price: £2.60

Sankt Gallen Yokohama XPA (371 of 1001)

December 21, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.65

A final review of from the Japanese beers that I picked in Tokyo at the start of October, just before heading home from Japan and another that features in the 1001 beers list; likely my last review of a Japanese beer from the list for a while now that I’m back in the UK again. After reviewing this one, I’ll be left with only another six Japanese beers from the 1001 beers list to try but one of those appears to no longer be in production so I’m not sure how likely it is that I’ll ever get to try that one sadly. This particular offering is a beer from the Sankt Gallen brewery, the parent company of which used to run a bar in the Roppongi district of Tokyo before opening this brewery in 1997 near Yokohama; initially brewing a golden ale, a pale ale and a porter before expanding in the years to follow

Appearance (4/5): A nice, bright amber colour that had a slightly hazy body topped with a centimetre and a half tall head that was white and foamy with a few bubbles through it and had good initial retention as well; there was a little lacing left on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (6/10): Relatively light on the nose without being an overly weak offering, this one opened with some initial hop bitterness and a few touches of pine before some nice grassy notes started to come through along with some citrus further on. It was a fresh beer with some bread malts and a couple of floral touches towards the end but it could have been a bit stronger.
Taste (7/10): The taste follows on well from the nose with some nice pine and citrus hops coming through early on, with some grassy hops taking more of a backseat this time around. There was some floral touches towards the middle and the beer seemed more resinous tasting than the nose smelt but it was definitely a fresh offering that had some nice orange and grapefruit flavours nearer the end before some biscuit malts and an earthy bitterness seen things out nicely.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and quite fresh, the beer started a little lighter on the nose that expected but there was more of a strong, resinous feel to it come the taste and there was plenty of bitterness too. I got a slight citrus tang around the middle and it was well-carbonated, coming through as a lively, balanced beer; if only it had been a little stronger initially.

Overall (15/20): Not a bad beer to finish my run of Japanese beer reviews, this one was quite a fresh and lively offering that had some nice pine and citrus hops with plenty bitterness but my biggest complaint was definitely how light it started on the nose. Initially opening with a pine and grassy hop aroma, the beer was quite light and there wasn’t a whole lot going on until the taste with more of a floral bitterness and some bread malts a little further on. It was an interesting offering and one that I’d glad I managed to pick up in the end but I’m not sure it’s one that I’d put in the 1001 beers list given how many excellent American style IPA’s are out there.

Brewed In: Atsugi-sh, Kanagawa, Japan
Brewery: Sankt Gallen Brewery
First Brewed: 2008
Full Name: Sankt Gallen Yokohama XPA Extra Pale Ale
Type: American IPA
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Liquors Hasegawa (Tokyo Station, Tokyo)
Price: ¥518 (£3.43 approx.)

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

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.)

Coedo Regista IPA

October 31, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.7

My first Codeo beer now and another that I managed to try at the Craft Beer Works Kamikaze bar in Osaka on my last night in the city, this one being a fairly new release from the brewery for 2017 that I managed to try on keg. Sadly this was the only beer from the brewery that I managed to try while in Japan recently despite reading a little about them before travelling; I did however see a couple of their beers from time to time in various convenience stores but for one reason or another never picked any up. This particular offering is an American style IPA that comes in at 6% abv. and was first released in August or September of this year so again it’s a Japanese beer that I got to try while it was still very fresh.

Appearance (4/5): Medium amber but a little brighter than usual, the beer had a half centimetre head that was foamy with it looking thick and sitting with slightly more build up around the edges but retention was good throughout.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with a subtle hop bitterness and some pine notes, the beer was fresh and had a little citrus sowing too. Towards the middle I got some bread malts and faint caramel featuring alongside touches of sweetness but it wasn’t quite as pronounced as I’d have liked from the style. There was some spice and light floral bitterness further on with tropical fruits that included some mango and apricot seeing things out.
Taste (7/10): Opening with some pine hops and a little citrus that matched the nose well, there was some tropical fruits that came through earlier than they did with the nose; most notably some mango, peach and apricot. It wasn’t overly fruity or as hop-filled as expected but there was a solid floral bitterness throughout and some bread and caramel malts towards the end to see things out.
Palate (4/5): Light-medium bodied and slightly resinous in the early going with a touch of citrus providing a nice tang as well. There was good carbonation to the beer but it wasn’t as strong as expected, something typical of a lot of the Japanese beers I’ve reviewed here recently although there was some touches of spice seeing things out.

Overall (14/20): Definitely a beer that started out well with some pleasant pine and citrus flavours coming through alongside a few tropical fruits that were more pronounced with the taste than the nose; these consisted mainly of mango and apricot with touches of peach at times too. Around the middle some sweetness started to show as well as the odd pale malt and caramel flavour but it wasn’t quite as pronounced as expected for an American IPA which meant I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I’d have liked too.

Brewed In: Kawagoe-shi, Saitama Prefecture, Japan
Brewery: Kyodo Shoji Koedo Brewery
Type: American IPA
First Brewed: 2017
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Keg (Half Pint)
Purchased: Craft Beer Works Kamikaze, Osaka, Japan
Price:‎ ¥750 (£4.97 approx.)

Ichijoji Destroy Angel

October 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.3

Following on from the previous review of their Joshuaku Plum Ale, this one is my second beer from the Ichijoji brewery and another I had at one of their Kyoto taprooms a few weeks ago. This one was a beer that was freshly kegged when I tried it and one of the stronger beers available across the 10 or so taps in the bar, a 6.6% offering that I was hoping would be more pronounced than the last beer from the brewery that I tried on my visit.

Appearance (4/5): A bright, cloudy amber to orange with a half centimetre had that’s slightly bubbly at points but for the most part sits as a foamy white before starting to break up slightly in the middle after about forty-five seconds or so.
Aroma (6/10): Opening with a lot of lemon and a solid floral aroma, the beer is fresh with some orange and citrus notes but none are particularly strong sadly. There was some perfume like notes around the middle with a herbal backing and some touches of bread malt nearer the end; again one that could have been stronger but it was a pleasant enough nose despite this.
Taste (6/10):
 A touch weaker than the nose and almost bland at times, there was some lemon and citrus but it was definitely toned down sadly. There was some pale malts and a subtle bitterness towards the middle with touches of fruits sitting in the background; most notably some pine hops.
Palate (3/5):
Light-medium bodied and semi-fresh without ever really being strong enough for my liking; it was definitely lighter than expected from a 6.6% abv. beer. There was a hop bitterness around the middle with a dryness towards the end and the body was smooth for the most part but it needed to be stronger in my opinion.

Overall (14/20): This was a beer with a pleasant enough taste and it was definitely the better of the two beers from the brewery that I tried during my time in Japan but like the Joshuaku Plum Ale before it, this one just wasn’t strong enough at any point and almost seemed weak and bland at times too. There was some hop and pine bitterness at times and the nose wasn’t quite as bad as the taste but it never really got going sadly.

Brewed In: Kyoto, Japan
Brewery: Ichijoji Brewery
First Brewed: 2016
Type: English IPA
Abv: 6.6%
Serving: Keg (270ml)
Purchased: Ichi-Ya Bar, Kyoto, Japan
Price: ¥648 (£4.29 approx.)