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Posts Tagged ‘american pale ale’

Trouble Graffiti

June 19, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

Only my second beer from Kildare based Trouble Brewing, this one follows on from their Kill Lager that I tried when visiting Ireland early last year and again this is one that I picked up in the country after spotting it a few times now and always meaning to try it. The beer is a pale ale brewed to a sessionable 3.6% and uses a high proportion of malts as it tries to impart a complex taste. The brewery’s last one that I tried, a Vienna style lager was an okay offering so I’m hoping for an improvement from this one given it’s one of Trouble’s most well-known beers; fingers crossed.

Appearance (4/5): Caramel amber with a fairly clear body and a half centimetre head that is creamy in both colour and texture, with a thick looking to it and excellent retention over the opening couple of minutes with it manages to cover the entire surface well; a very nice start.
Aroma (7/10): Opening quite sweet with a good combination of malts in the early going and some pleasant caramel notes too, the beer is more pronounced than anticipated for such a light beer with some good background citrus and subtle hops showing as well. The odd tropical note comes through as well with a touch of apricot and some orange too before some floral touches see things out.
Taste (7/10): Opening quite sweet, much like the nose but toned down ever so slightly with the fruits slightly less pronounced this time around. There was a lot of biscuit malts and caramel to get things started with some floral touches not too far behind. Some mango and apricot did appear around the middle with some citrus touches and a few grapefruit hops in there too.
Palate (4/5): Opening quite sweet and malty as advertised, this one has a medium body and is quite crisp with some dryness towards the end. It’s well-carbonated and fuller bodied than anticipated but it’s well-balanced too and has a pleasant citrus tang at points as well; outstanding stuff, particularly for a 3.6% abv. beer.

Overall (16/20): Really nice stuff from Trouble, this one has a lot more to it than I’d have expected for such a light, low-alcohol content offering with plenty of caramel sweetness and malts with quite a few nice hops and tropical fruits coming through as well. So much better than expected with a crisp, lively feel and a thicker, fuller body too with it sitting somewhere around medium bodied; excellent stuff and one I’ll probably pick up again at some point.

Brewed In: Kill, County Kildare, Ireland
Brewery: Trouble Brewing
First Brewed: 2014
Full Name: Trouble Graffiti Pale Ale
Type: American Pale Ale (Session Pale Ale)
Abv: 3.6%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Reilly’s (Lisnaskea)
Price: £2.59

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Pathmaker

June 8, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.25

This one is one of two relatively new beers from Black Sheep that I picked up recently when I spotted my local B&M Bargains store had them on offer and they were reasonably priced as well. This particular offering is one that I’ve spotted in a couple of supermarkets over the course of the last year but only decided to pick up when the price was a little lower, hence me grabbing a can now. The beer itself is an American pale ale and will be my first new one from the brewery since reviewing their Golden Sheep ESB here way back in January of 2013, so I guess this one is long overdue and hopefully it’s a good one.

Appearance (3/5): Pouring a light, almost watered down looking amber colour with a centimetre tall, bubbly white head on top that is quite bumpy looking on the surface and started to slowly lose some of its initial height over the opening thirty or forty seconds but still covers the surface well at this stage.
Aroma (7/10): Surprisingly fresh and quite hoppy in the early going, there was some nice citrus and pine notes to kick things off with floral touches and some light, earthy hops following on not too far behind. The beer was lively on the nose with a subtle sweetness at times too, there was a butter-like aroma that had some sweet malts in there and a touch of lemon nearer the end.
Taste (7/10): Slightly less fresh than the nose but opening with a solid floral bitterness that had some pine hops and touches of earthy malts coming through to begin with. There was some resinous flavours with a touch of citrus and orange towards the middle and some spices following that. Quite a pleasant tasting beer but one that definitely wasn’t too complex; it was easy to drink though so that’s a plus.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied but not as well carbonated as I’d expected, the beer was softly done in the department and could have been a little more crisp and sharp in my opinion. It was a semi-sweet offering but it was quite fresh thanks to the hops and floral touches, with a slight tang from the citrus and a nice balance too but it did lack that cutting edge and crisp feel that I was looking for and expecting really.

Overall (13/20): An interesting beer that definitely started off better than expected thanks to the freshness and to a lesser extent the liveliness of the nose, there was some nice citrus and pine coming through with a strong floral aroma too. Things died down slightly with the nose which was a little disappointing, I’d have liked to see more of the floral flavours coming through with the bitter hops, although some of both did show but I wanted to see more. It was a balanced beer but definitely not as crisp or sharp as some of the better American versions of the style which held it back a little and I’m not sure it’s one I’d hurry back to really.

Brewed In: Masham, England
Brewery: Black Sheep Brewery
First Brewed: 2017
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.6%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: B&M Bargains (Glasgow)
Price: £1.25

Boyne American Pale Ale

April 5, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.35

A beer that I got as part of a Beer52 delivery recently, this one formed part of their St. Partick’s Day offering for the month of March and is a beer hailing from County Meath. This particular offering will be the fourth that I’ve tried from the Boyne Brewhouse and follows on from three that I tried last year when visiting Ireland; it’s not to be confused with their Pale Ale offering that also goes by the Born In A Day moniker though as this one is a different beer entirely. Last year I also managed to try the brewery’s Amber Ale and Saison offering but in truth neither were anything special so I’m hopeful this newer offering will prove to be a slightly better beer; it also comes in a can which is nice to see as it’s not often I’ve come across an Irish craft beer in a can previously.

Appearance (4/5): Light and hazy amber with a decent sized head that sits about two fingers width tall and looks quite foamy. The head itself is a white one that has a few bubbles through it and slowly fades to settle as a thin lacing that breaks up slightly in the centre.
Aroma (7/10): Opening relatively fresh and hoppy, there is definitely some lemon and citrus notes coming through with a touch of pine in there as well. It’s a semi-bitter opening that has some floral touches with some orange, mango and even some pineapple showing, as well as hints of grass not far behind without anything dominating; a solid start.
Taste (6/10): Quite a bit more subdued than the nose hinted at, there was still some citrus and orange flavours coming through as expected but they weren’t as strong this time around. I got some subtle tropical flavours with a hint of pine and some lemon towards the middle but I was expecting a little more from it after the aroma. There was also some hoppy malts and grassy flavours towards the end but nothing really excited me with this one I’m afraid.
Palate (3/5): Strongly carbonated which resulted in the beer seeming quite sharp and crisp, it was definitely lively with a medium body and a subtle citrus tang. It seemed fresh, particularly with the nose but the taste was a slight disappointment in that regard with it coming through with an almost session-IPA feel to it.

Overall (13/20): After cracking the can open I started to get excited with this one given the nose that greeted me, it was fresh and lively with some nice hops and fruits showing, all of which seemed balanced in the early going but things changed come the taste sadly and the beer definitely started to fade. There was still some nice fruits and citrus showing but none of them had the initial burst of flavour that I had been expecting after the nose and the balance wasn’t quite the same either. It still turned out to be an okay beer that was on-par with the previous three Boyne beers that I tried last year but I was expecting a lot more from this one really.

Brewed In: Drogheda, Count Meath, Ireland
Brewery: Boyne Brewhouse
First Brewed: 2018
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Beer52.com
Price: £0.75 (approx.)

Brewdog Indie Pale Ale

March 28, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 2.7

The first of two new Brewdog beers that I managed to sample over the weekend now, this one being a free beer that I was emailed about a couple of weeks ago and only remembered about when I was at the bar ordering another beer which a review of will soon follow this one. The reason for this one being free is because when the brewery originally launched this one it got some pretty poor reviews online and wasn’t really a hit, although I never bothered trying it at the time. It was then released at the start of March with a few tweaks to help it out, and to be honest I probably wouldn’t have bothered trying it if it wasn’t free after reading some of the previous reviews online.

Appearance (4/5): Clear golden amber with a thin, foamy white head on top that just about covers the surface and leaves a touch of lacing on the sides as well.
Aroma (6/10): Very subdued, light hops kick things off with some citrus and touches of grass in the early going. There was some hints of hay and lemon before some bread malts came through but it definitely wasn’t a strong beer on the nose.
Taste (5/10): Basic with some bread malts and biscuit notes coming through, it seemed a little lighter than the nose with more of a lager taste coming through. There was some hay and the usual grassy hops but it was definitely lighter than I’d have liked.
Palate (2/5): Light and quite bland, the beer was very disappointing with a watery feel and light carbonation. It was very basic with a touch of dryness towards the end but the balance wasn’t there.

Overall (8/20): This one definitely wasn’t a great beer, it proved to be very disappointing with a basic and cheap feel that had me wondering just how bad the original version was if this was the tweaked recipe. It opened with some subtle hops on the nose but soon turned into more of a pale lager than a pale ale with very little going on really; I’m just thankful it was free and I didn’t have to waste my money on it.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2018
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.2%
Serving: Keg (Half Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: Free

Lost in Mosaic

March 8, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.0

My fifth beer from the Loch Lomond brewery now and a first since I was subjected to their Peat Smoked Ale in September of last year, a beer that was definitely one of the worst I have ever tried. This one is a beer that I found on-tap at the Shilling Brewing Company in Glasgow recently and opted to try based mainly upon the name of the beer but it’s probably not one that I’d have went for had I remember how bad the last from the brewery ended up being. Thankfully this one was a lot better and ended up being a beer that I enjoyed when I had it over the weekend; here’s what I thought of it at the time.

Appearance (5/5): Dark amber and quite a cloudy beer, this one looks murky with a thick head that sits about a centimetre tall or slightly larger. The head itself looks creamy in texture and wavy on the surface, it’s white in colour and holds very well in the early going too; an excellent start.
Aroma (7/10): Fresh with a lot of citrus in the early going, I got some lemon with the odd biscuit note not too far behind. Around the middle there was a caramel sweetness with touches of bread malts and further subtle hops before some floral touches rounded off what was a balanced but light nose.
Taste (7/10): Fruity hops and some hints of tart kick things off here, there was a fresh taste with some grapefruit and touches of biscuit coming through alongside the bread malts from the nose but they seemed a touch weaker this time around. There was hints of lemon and mango nearer the end with a touch of peach making a brief appearance too.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and fresh with a well carbonated body that was crisp and had good hop bitterness throughout. The beer was balanced and sharp with some lingering floral touches towards the end but it was quite an easy one to drink.

Overall (16/20): This one was quite a nice offering from Loch Lomond and a beer that seemed both fresh and balanced with a lively feel that was quite bitter too. There was a nice combination of fruits and citrus hops with touches of malt adding a sweetness to the beer later on, something that was enough to keep it drinkable and interesting throughout.

Brewed In: Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland
Brewery: Loch Lomond Brewery
First Brewed: 2017
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Keg (Pint)
Purchased: Shilling Brewing Co., Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £5.70

Stone Ripper

March 6, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

A beer from my third most reviewed brewery now, this one will be my 22nd beer from California’s Stone Brewing, although this one and one previous offering were actually brewed at their Berlin brewhouse but I’ll keep them all under the same brewery here to make things easier. This one is actually my first new review of a Stone beer since I tried their Little Bastard Ale back in May of last year so this one is long overdue. The beer is one that I stumbled across in an Asda supermarket over the weekend and opted to give it a try since it’s not one I’ve seen in the UK before. An American pale ale from the brewery that was first released in the second half of 2016, this one will hopefully be the first of a few new Stone beers that I’ll get to try this year given their Berlin brewery means that some of the beers are easier to find in the UK now; something that can only be a good thing.

Appearance (4/5): A light but relatively bright amber colour that is fairly clear too and topped with a nice, two centimetre tall head that’s white and foamy looking with a smooth surface. Head retention isn’t too bad with it eventually settling about a centimetre tall, leaving a touch of lace on the sides too.
Aroma (7/10): Not particularly strong on the nose but there was definitely some pine and citrus notes coming through in the early going before a light touches of grapefruit started to come through. It’s not quite as fresh or bitter as expected but it was at least a fruity offering that had some orange zest and peach towards the end but it was definitely lighter than I’d have preferred.
Taste (7/10): Quite a fresh beer with some orange and citrus in the early going, there was a little lemon and grapefruit that featured soon after and helped add to the bitterness. Some bread malts came through around the middle with some pine in there too but I’d have liked it to be slightly more resinous in truth, the mango and peach seeing things out was nice though.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied with a fresh feel and moderate carbonation levels, the beer was quite easy to drink with a wet feel until the end where is started to turn slightly drier but overall it was a crisp and enjoyable offering.

Overall (15/20): Enjoyable stuff from Stone, the beer was a nice one that opened lively but perhaps not quite as fresh as I’d have liked. Nice citrus and tropical fruits come through in the early going with peach and mango the strongest before some bread malts make an appearance towards the end. It’s not the best I’ve tried from the brewery but it was a decent enough offering that I’m glad I picked up.

Brewed In: Escondido, California, United States of America
Brewery: Stone Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2016
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.7%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Asda
Price: £2.00

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