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Posts Tagged ‘american pale ale’

Reel Deel Jack The Lad

January 23, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.15

My first beer from Reel Deel, a County Mayo based brewery that is responsible for this one; a beer they label as an ‘Irish pale ale’. The beer is one that I sampled over the holidays after picking the bottle up on Christmas Eve along with a few other Irish beers. Although not from a brewery that I’d heard anything about previously, the beer is one that caught my eye thanks to the label design. This was one of several from the brewery that the shop had in stock as well, so hopefully I’ll be able to try a couple more from Reel Deel when I’m back over in Ireland later in the year.

Appearance (3/5): Copper tinged amber with a slightly hazy body and quite a large, foamy white head on top that threatened to overflow the glass. The beers head was quite a thick looking one that was wavy on top and left plenty of lacing on the sides of the glass too. It was an active looking beer that had tonnes of visible carbonation and the head seemed to constantly be rising, taking an age to finally settle and allow me to start drinking.
Aroma (7/10): Quite strong on the nose with lots of citrus hops and some pine backing them up which gave the beer a fresh and lively feel on the nose. There was some grapefruit and hints of orange coming through with a little biscuit malt further on and some earthy touches towards the middle and end. It was quite a floral nose that finished things off with some spices coming through then as well.
Taste (6/10): Following on nicely from the nose, the beer was again quite fresh and lively with a solid hop bitterness and a few floral touches as well; citra hops were the most pronounced in the early going. Towards the middle there was a nice combination of orange and pine with a few pale malts and biscuit flavours following on behind and the finish seemed more herbal than the nose was but a few of the background spices still showed this time around.
Palate (3/5): Quite an active and fizzy beer that was over-carbonated and resulted in an over-sized head that took an age to settle. The beer was crisp and quite lively though but seemed to be lacking a good balance and sat pretty average on the palate as I worked my way down the beer.

Overall (13/20): Quite lively but definitely over-carbonated, this one was bordering on gassy at times but was still quite a fresh, crisp offering that started with a lot of citrus and pine hops with some grapefruit backing them up. It was definitely stronger on the nose than expected which was nice and further on the taste was a fairly standard one that was a combination of the usual biscuit and earthy malts. It was a drinkable beer that went down easily enough but I’m not sure there was enough going on for it to warrant a repeat visit.

Brewed In: Knockalegan, County Mayo, Ireland
Brewery: Reel Deel Brewery
First Brewed: 2015
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Winemart (Enniskillen)
Price: £2.50

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Lacada West Bay

January 19, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.3

My first beer from the County Antrim based Lacada Brewery in the north of Ireland and another beer that I picked up just before Christmas whilst visiting the country. I opened this one a couple of days after Christmas while it was still fresh and although it wasn’t a beer that I’d been aware of previously, I was looking forward to seeing how it turned out given it’s not one that I’m likely to see in Scotland anytime soon. Part of the Irish brewery’s Salamander Series, this one is a new citra pale ale for 2017 from a brewery that only launched back in October 2015 so hopefully I’ll see a few more of the brewery’s beer when I make return trips to Ireland later this year.

Appearance (4/5): A hazy, almost copper amber colour that had a centimetre tall, bubbly white head on top that started to turn foamy on the surface but managed to hold well initially without much break up.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a lot of hops open things up with some citrus and pine coming through strong and some touches of grapefruit not too far behind. The beer was definitely a fresh and zesty one with some lemongrass and a few pale malts towards the middle before some biscuit malts rounded things off.
Taste (6/10): Quite a zesty tasting beer with strong citrus/lemon flavours initially, there was some strong hops and grapefruit at this point too. Towards the middle I got some pale malts that seemed a touch stronger than they were with the nose and a hop bitterness started to appear towards the end alongside some lighter fruits.
Palate (3/5): Light bodied and a touch watery at points, the beer was moderately carbonated with a slight citrus tang and some hop bitterness but seemed quite basic and weak at points too sadly.

Overall (12/20): Quite an underwhelming beer that was interesting on the nose but faded come the taste with only some basic hops and citrus flavours coming through. At times it seemed closer an IPA than a pale ale but it started to fade towards the middle and end, seeming weak and bland at points; it’s not one I’d go for again.

Brewed In: Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Brewery: Lacada Brewery Co-Op
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Lacada Salamander Series #5: West Bay Citra Pale Ale
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.6%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Winemart (Enniskillen)
Price: £2.39

O Brother The Chancer

January 18, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.65

The first of two beers from the Wicklow based O Brother brewery now, both of which were beers that I picked up just before Christmas whilst over in Ireland. The brewery wasn’t one that I’d heard of previously but I was taken by the names and labels on these beers and decided to pick this America pale ale up alongside their The Sinner American IPA when visiting an off license in the Fermanagh area. This one appears to be a late 2014 release from the brewery going by online reviews and gets quite a good rating for an Irish brewed American pale ale so it was one that I was looking forward to trying when I cracked it open just after Christmas at the end of last year.

Appearance (4/5): Golden amber with a hazy body and a centimetre tall, foamy white head that was wavy on top and left some nice lacing on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (6/10): Floral with a relatively fresh nose initially, this one had some citrus and pine with a little grapefruit following on behind. Around the middle I got some tropical fruits with mango being the most dominant before a few biscuit malts and earthy touches started to come through. It wasn’t an overly pronounced offering on the nose but it was a pleasant aroma and the balance seemed good as well.
Taste (7/10): Quite bitter-tasting to start, the beer had a lot of grapefruit and pine coming through with some touches of citrus in there as well. It was a floral and tangy beer with a few background summer fruits coming through alongside some peach and mango. Towards the end the beer was quite zesty with a few pale malts to balance things out and there was an earthy bitterness right at the death.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and quite lively with a fresh feel coming through from the start. There was some dryness towards the end of the beer with a floral bitterness and some tangy touches as well but it remained balanced and drinkable throughout,

Overall (15/20): Quite a fresh and lively offering from O Brother, this one was an easy beer to drink thanks to the hop bitterness at the start and tropical flavours around the middle. There was some lighter malts and biscuit flavours at points to help with the balance too but I would have liked to see a little more sweetness to back these up; it was still a very enjoyable beer and one that I wouldn’t mind having again.

Brewed In: Kilcoole, County Wicklow, Ireland
Brewery: O Brother Brewing
First Brewed: 2014
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.4%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Winemart (Enniskillen)
Price: £2.50

Dark Revolution So.LA

January 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.75

Another beer that I picked up from the Wee Beer Shop in Glasgow just before Christmas, this one a Salisbury brewed beer from Dark Revolution that I picked up in the hopes that it would be quite a fresh and lively pale ale with plenty of hops showing. The beer was a relatively well priced one and that was part of the reason I grabbed it given I’d never heard of the brewery before but the bottle also appealed to me for some reason and reminded me of beers from the Wild Beer Co. that I’d enjoyed in the past so I decided to give it a go; here’s what I thought of the bottle I eventually tried at the start of this year.

Appearance (3/5): Pale and hazy amber looking, this one is topped with a centimetre tall head that is white and foamy but manages to hold well initially but the beer itself looked relatively thin when it was being poured.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with some citrus hops and a background sweetness, the beer had some mango and apricot notes to start and was quite light overall. There was a nice bitterness showing throughout with touches of straw and orange towards the end as well.
Taste (6/10): Lighter than expected but matching the nose well, the beer opened with citrus and pine hops alongside some tropical fruits that added some sweetness to proceedings. There wasn’t a great deal of strength to the beer but some straw and grassy hops seen things out alongside a faint bitterness.
Palate (2/5): Quite light and almost watery at times, the beer was a bland offering for the most part but some hop bitterness did show at times. It was a dry beer that seemed quite smooth but was lacking in variety and came through quite weak from the middle on.

Overall (9/20): Very disappointing stuff from Dark Revolution, I went into this one expecting quite a strong and hoppy pale ale with plenty of citrus, pine and tropical fruits with a nice caramel backing but in the end it failed to deliver; some pine and citrus did show but it was far too weak and little else came through to back them up. The beer definitely seemed quite weak and bland with only a slight sweetness further on and some basic grassy hops to see things out.

Brewed In: Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Brewery: Dark Revolution
First Brewed: 2016
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)
Price: £2.30

Wylam Nomi Sorachi

December 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.05

Another new beer from Wylam now, this one being my fifth from the brewery and one that follows on from their Club of Slaughters imperial stout that I reviewed here a week ago. This particular offering appears to have been introduced in 2016 and is a single-hop American pale ale from the brewery that again indicates they appear to be moving away from the more traditional ales that I previously associated with the brewery. I believe this one is also the penultimate of the Wylam beers that I have to review, if I remember correctly then I also have another imperial stout from the brewery that I picked up in Glasgow last month still, and try to that I definitely one that I’m looking forward to, even in spite of the fact that their Club of Slaughters offering wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped for.

Appearance (4/5): An almost peach amber colour that was topped with a surprisingly large, three centimetre tall, bubbly white head with a wavy surface. The beer also had a hazy body and head retention was good initially with some nice lacing on the sides and quite a thick look to it.
Aroma (7/10): Surprisingly sweet on the nose with some herbal notes in the early going and plenty of biscuit malts to back them up. The beer was semi-sweet with a little caramel coming through early on alongside some basic spices but it was definitely an unusual aroma with some citrus followed by touches of coconut towards the middle; something that’s more common in a porter or stout but rarely seen with an American pale ale. It was a pleasant nose with some hop bitterness further on and touches of lemongrass before toffee and a vanilla sweetness seen things out along with the odd bread malt.
Taste (6/10): Not quite as sweet as the nose but it was still a close one, there was some nice coconut carried over from the nose and showing much earlier this time around, there was a strong perfume taste to the beer too with some herbal touches and a couple of citrus hops. Further on some basic fruits and spices started to come through with a little coriander and some hop oils before a caramel and toffee combination seen things out.
Palate (2/5): Light-medium bodied and quite strongly carbonated, the beer was fresh and sweet with a nice variety as well. The addition of some coconut added to the sweetness of the beer was was quite unexpected as well but it seemed to come at the expense of the beers balance at times. There was some herbal spices and a hop bitterness that done its best to balance out the beers sweetness but it was a difficult one to drink at times sadly.

Overall (11/20): Quite a hop-filled beer but one that was overly sweet and lacking a balance which made it a difficult one to drink too. The beer started well and the nose in particular was a good one thanks to the surprising addition of some coconut to go with the vanilla and caramel notes but when these carried over to the taste then the beer seemed overdone and began to turn sickening a little further on. There was some interesting flavours and a nice variety to this one from Wylam but it was a little sweet and overpowering for me so it’s not one that I’d pick up again sadly.

Brewed In: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Brewery: Wylam Brewery
First Brewed: 2016
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.3%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Fenwick’s (Newcastle)
Price: £2.49

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