Archive

Posts Tagged ‘american ipa’

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

Fugli

July 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.65

My tenth Oskar Blues beer nwo and my first new one of 2017, the last from the brewery that I reviewed here being their Mama’s Little Yella Pils that I sampled back in October of last year when I tried it on-tap at a local Brewdog bar. This one is a fairly new beer from the brewery, having been first launched in early May this year so I’m surprised that it has made it to the UK whilst still relatively fresh. The beer is a summer seasonal from Oskar Blues that uses yuzu and ugli fruits in the brewing process, both fruits that I’d never heard of before picking this one up. Yuzu is apparently a Japanese citrus fruit that is quite similar to a lemon whereas ugli is a Jamaican fruit that was created by crossing an orange, tangerine and grapefruit with the result fitting the name well. Being so new when I picked this beer up meant it wasn’t a beer that I was familiar with but I always like to pick up new beers from the brewery when I get a chance and I’ve since noticed a couple more of their beers making it the UK lately so beer number eleven from the brewery might not be too far behind this one.

Appearance (4/5): Bright amber in colour and fairly clear looking, the beer is topped with an excellent looking head that sits about three centimetres tall initially before losing a little of its height. The texture of the head is a foamy looking one with a few bubbles showing, there is some visible carbonation rising through the body of the beer too and eventually the head settles about half a centimetre tall after thirty or forty seconds.
Aroma (6/10): Fresh on the nose with some subtle pine and citrus hops coming through alongside some grassy ones in the early going but it’s definitely not as strong as I’d been expecting for an American style IPA, especially an Oskar Blues brewed one. there was some lighter malts near the middle of the nose but for the most part there citrus dominated, mainly orange and grapefruit but there was also a little mango or apricot too. Nearer the end I managed to detect some sweetness coming off the back of the malts with a few touches of bread sneaking in as well to help keep the beer balanced down the stretch.
Taste (7/10): The taste here was a strange one that opened with a combination of grassy hops and pine ones, naturally there was a lot of citrus flavours backing these up though but the malts from the nose featured a lot earlier than I’d expected and were quite strong this time around too. The beer was still a fresh one with the grapefruit and orange coming through the most pronounced but they were definitely more subdued than they were with the nose. Towards the end some faint caramel malts and a couple of bread ones featured before a further tropical burst of fruits seen things out, although these weren’t overly strong this time around; the beer was a nice one at this stage though.
Palate (4/5): Fresh and quite tangy with a lot of citrus throughout which also made the beer seem quite crisp and sharp. Carbonation levels were good with this one and it seemed lively too but remained balanced thanks to the lighter malts and touches of sweetness that followed them. An easy beer to drink and one that stayed interesting until the end without being a standout offering.

Overall (15/20): Another enjoyable Oskar Blues offering that was dominated by the tangy hops and citrus flavours, particularly in the early going and with the nose but there was some balance to the beer thanks to the lighter malts and touches of sweetness that featured from the middle on. The beer was fresh and quite lively too, thanks mainly to the good carbonation levels also the citrus touches again too. It’s an interesting beer and probably the first I’ve tried with either yuzu or ugli fruits in it and both seemed to work well and impart a little flavour on the beer along the way too; decent stuff and well worth trying too.

Brewed In: Longmont, Colorado, United States of America
Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
First Brewed: 2009
Type: American IPA
Abv: 5.8%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £3.10

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

Farmageddon Mosaic IPA

July 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

Only my third beer from the Farmageddon brewery based in the north of Ireland and a beer that follows on from their very disappointing White IPA and their Gold Pale Ale, although it should be noted that this is the first of the brewery’s beers that I’ve tried outside of Ireland. I was surprised to find bottles this one available a local Irish bar over the weekend and decided to give it a go despite the fact the other beers from the brewery that I’ve tried have both failed to impress. Coming in at 6.1% abv., this one appears to be one of several mosaic IPA’s that the brewery produces and they do appear to be produces a lot more beers than I remember from when I was last in Ireland at the start of the year; hopefully that means I’ll get to try a couple more from them on my next visit too.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a light looking beer, this one is a golden colour that sits semi-cloudy in the glass but is a relatively still looking beer. There is a thin lacing on top of the surface that manages to cover about half of it with a little more build up around the edges of the glass.
Aroma (7/10): The beer was slightly more malty than I’d expected going in and opened with a lot of caramel sweetness coupled with some bread malts in the early going. These were followed by a pleasant burst of citrus and hints of pine as well but it wasn’t an overly bitter beer thanks to the balance which held up throughout. Some floral touches featured down the stretch with some vanilla and butterscotch right at the death which was a nice surprise.
Taste (7/10): The taste was a slightly more sweet one than the nose let on and it opened with some good butterscotch and vanilla flavours before some bread and light floral touches came through nearer the centre. There was some pine around this point too and the grassy flavours make themselves more known too with a subtle burst of hops not far behind. Some citrus and pale malts showed towards the end which helped make this one taste much better than expected before some faint bitterness, a caramel sweetness and the odd herbal touch seen things out.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and quite sweet with some vanilla and caramel helping this in the early going. The beer was smooth and very easy going with a nice balance and the odd citrus burst adding a slightly floral tang. It was a well carbonated beer with subtle bitterness throughout and it was definitely easy to drink, very sessionable too despite the strength of the beer since the alcohol content was well hidden too.

Overall (15/20): This one was a surprisingly good offering from Farmaggedon and miles better than anything I have tried from them before, I almost never ordered this one based on previous beer from the brewery but this one has definitely changed my opinion of their beers and I’ll be on the look out for more of theirs the next time I’m in Ireland. There was a lot of citrus and pine but the biggest surprise with this beer was the sweetness thanks to tonnes of vanilla and butterscotch throughout. It was an easy beer to drink with a great balance and is definitely one I’d have again.

Brewed In: Comber, County Down, Northern Ireland
Brewery: Farmageddon Brewing Co-Op
First Brewed: 2015
Type: American IPA
Abv: 6.1%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Malone’s, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £4.50 (approx.)

Pump Action Poet

July 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

Another Brewdog review now and other limited release from the brewery, this one hot on the heels of their Semi-Skimmed Occultist that I recently reviewed here and quite enjoyed. This time is the turn of their Pump Action Poet stone fruit IPA that was released earlier this summer and is one that I managed to try on-tap at on of their Glasgow bars a couple of weeks ago. The beer is one that I was looking out for (like more Brewdog new releases) but since I couldn’t justify an online order for this alone I decided to stop by one of their bars and give it a go. Coming in at 7.5%, this one seemed like a good summer beer going in thanks to the stone fruit and tropical flavours so I was definitely looking forward to trying it when I finally did mid-June this year; here’s what I thought of it at the time.

Appearance (4/5): Bright amber coloured and fairly clear looking, there was a thin and foamy white head on top that was very slightly patchy looking towards the middle. There was some touches of lacing on the side of the glass and head retention was about average for the style as well.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a hop-filled offering on the nose, particularly in the early going with some pine and a huge amount of grapefruit coming through alongside a sharp alcohol aroma and of the advertised stone fruits as well. It’s definitely a fresh beer on the nose with some orange and mango nearer the centre, I got touches of citrus and pineapple in there as well before a few lighter malts rounded things off nicely.
Taste (7/10): Like the nose, this one was again quite a fruity offering with some touches of alcohol coming through in there early going but they were toned down slightly from the nose. There was a little spice from some chilies around the middle which provided plenty of heat but thankfully didn’t overpower. Towards the end there was a nice combination of mango and citrus with the odd tropical flavour pushing through which made for fairly strong but enjoyable taste.
Palate (4/5): Strong and quite fresh, this one was showing more alcohol than expected as well as being more spicy than usual for the style but neither seemed to overpower and they both worked well together. It was also quite a juicy beer with touches of tropical fruits throughout and the odd lighter malt to help with the balance which made it easier to drink than usual for a 7.5% beer.

Overall (16/20): Quite a strong beer throughout with more heat than anticipated and a subtle alcohol kick that was apparent throughout but somehow the beer seemed to work and the balance wasn’t too bad either. Opening with a nice burst of fruits to give the beer quite a fresh feel, there was some mango and pineapple alongside the usual orange and citrus flavours. The beer was fairly bitter in the early going to thanks to a pleasant combination of pine and grapefruit as well as the stone fruits, although these seemed to have disappeared come the taste. Definitely an interesting and enjoyable beer from Brewdog but I’m not sure I’d rush back to have it again were it on their permanent roster of beers.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2017
Type: American IPA
Abv: 7.5%
Serving: Keg (Schooner)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £4.56

Montseny Aniversari IPA

July 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.6

The second of two Montseny beers that I managed to try when in Barcelona recently, this one being the third I’ve tried in total from the brewery and follows on from lasts years Malta as well as their Lupulus pale ale that I tried just before this one. I originally grabbed this one over another beer from the brewery’s roster after being misled by the anniversary part of the name and incorrectly assuming that it was a one-off, limited release from the brewery but it has in fact being available since 2012. Formerly known as CCM Anniversary IPA, the beer appears to be a year round offering from Montseny and managed to win a silver medal at the Barcelona Beer Challenge last year in the American IPA category so in hindsight it is still a beer that I’d have picked up had I known more about it; here’s what I thought of it when I tried it earlier this summer.

Appearance (4/5): Pouring a medium amber colour with a fairly clear body, this one didn’t have much in the way of a head but there was at least a thin white lacing on top that just about managed to cover the surface of the beer but it could have been a little better.
Aroma (6/10): Herbal hops and a few citrus notes open things up here, there was a little malt coming through in the early going too but nothing overly strong. Towards the middle the grassy flavours started to come through and I managed to get some lemon in there but other than that it was quite a standard beer on the nose; it could definitely have been a little more varied though.
Taste (7/10): Quite a bitter offering in the early going with the taste, the beer was fresh and had a lot of citrus showing along with a few basic fruits and a very slightly tropical taste at times. Towards the middle there was some pine and the odd floral flavours, some grassy hops showing too before the malts from the nose started to come through from the middle on. It was quite a fruits and easy-going beer with some further fruits near the end that made it a slight improvement on the nose.
Palate (4/5): Fairly bitter on the palate thanks to the strong malt presence but also quite fresh at point with plenty of fruits and citrus coming through which in turn provided a nice tang in the early going. It was definitely a more malty beer than expected but it seemed easy-going and the fruits helped the balance a lot, as did the good carbonation levels.

Overall (14/20): This one was quite a nice offering from Montseny and definitely the best of the three beers from them that I’ve tried thus far, surprising given it is the only one of the three not to feature in the 1001 beers list. The beer opened up with quite a malty taste but there was enough fruits and citrus flavours backing them up to keep things balanced and interesting throughout. That being said, the balance could perhaps have been a touch better but for the most part it was a nice beer and one that I wouldn’t be against having again; it’s probably not one to go hunting for though but it is worth trying at least.

Brewed In: Sant Miquel De Balenyà, Catalonia, Spain
Brewery: Companyia Cervesera del Montseny
First Brewed: 2012
Type: American IPA
Abv: 6.4%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Carrefour (Barcelona, Spain)
Price: €1.99 (£1.75 approx.)

Marks & Spencer Citra IPA

July 10, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.55

The first of two Marks & Spencer branded beer that I’ll be reviewing in quick succession now, this is one that I picked up a couple of weeks ago from the shop when trying to use up the last few points of a gift card I received; the beer will however be my sixth of this time from the shop. The beer itself is brewed by Oakham Ales and that was part of the reason I picked a bottle up, part of me was hoping that it would be a similar offering to their excellent Oakham Citra that I’ve enjoyed on a number of occasions since first reviewing it year roughly five years ago. The last Marks & Spencer exclusive beer that I tried was a bottle of Sambrook’s Battersea Rye in September 2015 but since it is not a shop that I regularly visit then that’s not really too surprising I guess. A single hop variety beer, this one is my fourth Oakham brewed beer and follows on from their Jeffrey Hudson Bitter that I checked off the 1001 beers list early last year and I’d be happy if this one was just as good as that was.

Appearance (3/5): An orange tinged amber that is semi-cloud and topped with a somewhat disappointing, quarter centimetre head that is foamy and white in colour but it does manage to cover the surface at least.
Aroma (7/10): Starting with a nice burst of, you’ve guess it, Citra hop that give the beer quite a fresh nose in the early going, this one is surprisingly strong in the early going and had a few fruits and citrus notes backing the hops up. There is a couple of grassy hops coming through with a touch of straw before the odd tropical notes came through around the middle. There was quiet a few juices showing with this one and that was a pleasant surprise too; most notably some pineapple and grapefruit came through nearer the need of what was a good beer on the nose.
Taste (7/10): Again quite juicy and following on well from the nose, there was a good helping of citrus and tropical fruits in the early going with the mango from the nose coming through before the odd earthy hop showed itself. There was a light bitterness as you got nearer the end but these didn’t manage to drown out the fresh and juicy fruits which were here in abundance. Around the middle some pale malts made themselves known as well but it was the juicy flavours that seemed to dominate.
Palate (4/5): Sitting somewhere around light-medium to medium bodied, this one was surprisingly crisp and not as dry as I’d expected either. There was plenty of bitter hops in the early going and there’s a nice citrus tang coming through as well at times. There’s a nice balance to the beer and it’s quite easy to drink as well, although it fades ever so slightly right at the end but it’s still a good one.

Overall (15/20): Surprisingly good stuff for what is essentially a supermarket beer, albeit one that’s from Oakham Ales. The beer is quite enjoyable from the start, the strong citrus flavours and bitter hops kick things off well and the beer manages to hold its own until the end with some earthy hops and a few pale malts showing at times. It’s not quite good as Oakham Citra from the same brewery but it was an enjoyable one that went down better than I’d expected.

Brewed In: Peterborough, England
Brewery: Oakham Ales / The Brewery Tap
Full Name: Marks & Spencer Single Hop Variety Citra IPA
First Brewed: 2013
Type: American IPA
Abv: 4.9%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Marks & Spencer
Price: £2.50