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Posts Tagged ‘blond beer’

Spencer Trappist Ale

January 25, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.25

A first new Trappist beer in quite some time now, this one is a beer from the only Trappist brewery in the United States and is a Belgian style pale ale that I picked up from a local bottle shop just before Christmas. This one is a beer that I’ve been aware of since shortly after the brewery was founded within the Abbey, back in 2013 and it’s a beer that I’ve been looking forward to trying ever since. Brewed at the St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts and available since later 2013/early 2014, this is one of several beers that the abbey now produce and it was also the first Trappist beer to be brewed outside of Europe so it’s definitely an interesting beer and I’m glad I’ve finally been able to track a bottle down.

Spencer Trappist Ale

Appearance (5/5): Pale amber in colour with a hazy body and quite a large, foamy head that was a creamy white in colour and looked quite thick. Head retention was quite good as well with the no reduction in size over the opening couple of minutes which was nice to see.
Aroma (8/10): Quite a fresh and lively beer with some Belgian yeast and slightly funky notes kicking things off, there was some light citrus and a hint of pear in the early going too. Towards the middle I got some apple as well as a subtle sweetness thanks to some bananas before bread malts, cloves and light spices seen things out.
Taste (8/10): Opening with a nice combination of yeast and fruit esters, there was a few herbal touches and spices to get things started with the taste before some banana sweetness started to feature nearer the middle The beer was slightly fresh at points with some peaches, apples and pears coming through from the nose alongside a selection of pale malts followed by some bread malts at the end.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and quite lively, this one came through with a lot of spices and a background sweetness thanks to the fruits featured throughout; most notably the banana flavours and to a lesser extent the peaches. It was quite a well balanced and easy-going offering that was moderately carbonated and sat with a medium body that was very enjoyable.

Overall (17/20): Quite an interesting beer that definitely seemed like a Belgian offering as I worked my way down the glass, it was quite a lively and fresh beer that had a fluffy, light feel to it throughout. There was a nice balance to this one with some banana sweetness working well with the background fruits and yeast as well as some touches of funk featuring a little later on. The beer was definitely a good one that I enjoyed and wouldn’t mind picking up again or, better still trying one of the breweries other offerings.

Brewed In: Spencer, Massachusetts, United States of America
Brewery: Spencer Brewery
First Brewed: 2013
Type: Belgian Pale Ale
Abv: 6.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)
Price: £4.20

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Carlingford Tholsel Blonde

January 23, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.8

The second of the two Carlingford beers that I picked up while over in Ireland at Christmas, this one is also the penultimate beer from my trip that I’ll be reviewing here; only a review of a Glens of Antrim beer is left after this one. This one was a beer that I opened shortly after finishing a bottle of the brewery’s Taaffe’s Red and although that one turned out to be quite a disappointing beer I was still hopeful this one would prove more enjoyable; here’s what I thought of it in the end.

Appearance (3/5): A light, almost watered down looking amber that had a slightly hazy body and a half centimetre, bubbly white head on top that turned quite patchy after about thirty seconds.
Aroma (5/10): Basic lager type malts and some biscuit notes kick things off here, there was some earthy hops and touches of hay with a light citrus backing but there wasn’t a whole lot going on really. Towards the end some grassy hops and touches of lemon featured with a little pepper and spice to see things out.
Taste (6/10): Following on in a similar fashion to the nose, the beer opened with some biscuit malts and a few earthy hops with some faint grassy hops in there as well. Nearer the middle some citrus and touches of hay started to appear as well as some bread malts and straw. It was quite a basic tasting beer with a few light fruits and background malts but it wasn’t anything special really.
Palate (3/5): Quite sharp and crisp with a light-medium body and some fresh touches; it was a well carbonated offering that came through fresh initially but started to fade towards the middle before finishing poorly.

Overall (10/20): Quite a bitter and harsh beer that was earthy throughout and very basic at times too. The beer had a light-medium body with some biscuit malts and touches of bread as well as some lighter fruits and hops sitting in the background but it was quite a poor offering that I’ll be avoiding in future.

Brewed In: Riverstown, County Louth, Ireland
Brewery: Carlingford Brewing Co.
First Brewed: 2015
Type: Belgian Ale
Abv: 4.6%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Reilly’s (Lisnaskea)
Price: £2.49

Zinnebir (372 of 1001)

January 15, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.75

The first of two beers that I picked up from Brasserie de la Senne recently, both from a new bottle shop fairly close to my flat with the first of the two being a beer that features on the 1001 beers list as well. Originally brewed back in 2002 when the brewery was still known as Sint-Pieters before being renamed in 2005, this was one of the first beers that the brewery produced and still appears to be one of their most popular too with demand regularly outstripping capacity so I’m glad this is one that I’ve finally been able to track down and try.

Appearance (4/5): A pale, almost apricot amber colour that was quite hazy and topped with a half centimetre tall head that was foamy white and looked quite fluffy.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with quite a lot of Belgian yeast, the beer seemed lively with some citrus notes initially and touches of spice in there too; some coriander and cloves both featuring. The beer was fresh with some orange peel and pale malts around the middle before some bread malts, nutmeg and a slightly warming aroma seen things out.
Taste (7/10): Fruity with some nice pale malts kicking things off, there was some orange zest and lemon alongside some pale bread malts and apples. The beer had quite a lot of Belgian yeast coming through and this helped add to some spice with coriander, cloves and a little nutmeg all carrying over from the nose before a candy sweetness seen things out nicely.
Palate (4/5): Light-medium bodied and quite fluffy beer on the palate, this one was strongly carbonated and sharp with a fresh and lively feel that had a faint touch of warming alcohol towards the end and some hop bitterness in there too.

Overall (15/20): Very much a Belgian style beer that opened with a lot of yeast and some subtle spices with the odd hop showing as well. It was  afresh beer that had plenty orange zest and lemon coming through alongside some background fruits that included apples, grape and some pears, all working well together and going down nicely.

Brewed In: Brussels, Belgium
Brewery: Brasserie de la Senne
First Brewed: 2002
Type: Belgian Pale Ale
Abv: 5.8%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)
Price: £2.50

Bede’s Chalice

December 11, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.85

My first new tripel in quite some time and my first beer from the Durham Brewery as well, this one is another that I picked up from the Fenwick’s department store in Newcastle when I visited over the summer months, grabbing it alongside a couple of beers from the Newcastle based Wylam brewery and another from Durham, the next from them I’ll be review will be an imperial stout which should make for a good winter beer. Seemingly first released around ten years ago, this one isn’t a beer that I heard of before and it’s also a rarity in that it’s a fairly high alcohol content beer but it comes in a 500ml bottle which is a nice bonus; it also seems to be an offering that is highly rated online and it’s definitely one that I’m looking to cracking open now.

Appearance (4/5): Slightly bright amber but very clear looking with a thin, half centimetre head on top that was foamy and white but faded to a thin lacing on the surface after thirty seconds or so; it breaks up slightly around the edges but it’s not a bad looking beer given the strength.
Aroma (8/10): Quite a sweet nose and one that opens up with a lot of sugars and a candy-like aroma in the early going with touches of yeast and spice in there as well. This is followed up by some nice fruits that includes some orange, pear and even some pineapple with a hint of coriander and some grapes in there too. It’s a fresh beer on the nose and has a little alcohol showing at times but for the most part the 9% abv. is relatively well hidden. Further on I got some nice touches of bread malt, caramel and some herbal notes too but it was definitely a sweet one on the nose.
Taste (7/10): Not quite as sweet as the nose, the beer starts with some strong alcohol grains that were better hidden with the nose but there is still some caramel and bread malts coming through alongside a few earthy touches. Around the middle the grapes, pears and some apples start to show on the taste with a hint of citrus and orange too before some spice and Belgian yeast featured towards the end.
Palate (4/5): Opening with plenty sweetness on the nose but more of a warming alcohol feel with the taste, this one was definitely a strong beer and the balance could have been better as the alcohol content was quite apparent when it came to drinking the beer; it wasn’t as noticeable with the aroma though thanks to the abundance of sweetness coming through. It was a well carbonated offering that came through with a light-medium body and had a solid kick to it thanks to the high alcohol content but it was still a fairly easy beer to drink.

Overall (15/20): Quite an interesting beer, this one opened with a huge amount of sweetness and fruits on the nose with some caramel malts towards the end but come the taste these characteristics took more of a backseat as the alcohol content of the beer made itself known alongside, although there was still some fruits and sweetness at this point too. It was a strong beer with a light body, still easy to drink but one with a definite kick towards the end too.

Brewed In: Glasgow, Scotland
Brewery: West Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2007
Type: Tripel
Abv: 9.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Fenwick’s (Newcastle)
Price: £3.99

Lindemanns Gueuze Cuvée René

December 7, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.8

My third Lindemans beer now, this one follows on from the Framboise and Kriek offerings that I’ve tried in the past and is my first new beer from the brewery since trying the Framboise back in 2015. This one is a beer that features on the updated version of the 1001 beers list and is quite a highly rated beer online where it sits as the 25th highest rated gueuze on the BeerAdvocate website. I managed to find a bottle of this one in one of Brewdog’s Glasgow bars recently, having previously spotted it on the menu of other bars in the past but it’s never been available when I’ve asked for a bottle until now.

Appearance (4/5): Fairly bright looking with some cloudy touches through the body and a white head on top that was more of a thin lacing around the sides but about what I’d expect from the style.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with plenty of tart and funky notes, the beer is fresh and lively with some nice lemon zest and subtle spices, citrus definitely being the strongest on the nose initially. It was quite an easy-going beer on the nose with some apples and pears coming through around the middle and some acidity rounding things off.
Taste (7/10): Following on well from the nose, the beer opens with plenty of tart and citrus flavours, some orange accompanying the lemon this time around with a few pale malts towards the middle. It wasn’t the most complex tasting beer but some grapes and pears made themselves known further on with some subtle spices and herbal touches adding to freshness of the beer.
Palate (4/5): Light-medium bodied and quite crisp with a fresh feel to it throughout thanks to the citrus tang and lively carbonation levels. It was a balanced and easy to drink beer that had plenty tart initially with some funky flavours throughout as well.

Overall (16/20): Quite a fresh and crisp beer from the start, it was lively with some nice tart and funky flavours kicking things off alongside plenty of citrus and a few subtle spices. Further on there was some lighter fruits with apples, grapes and pears all featuring at points before some acidity seen things out. It was a balanced and easy-going offering that I enjoyed and would definitely have again.

Brewed In: St Pieters Leeuw-Vlezenbeek, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij Lindemans
First Brewed: circa. 2000
Type: Lambic – Gueuze
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Bottle (375ml)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, ScotlandGueuze Cuvée René
Price: £5.00 (approx.)

Make Earth Great Again

December 7, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.6

Possibly another marketing gimmick beer from Brewdog, this one is a protest against global warming and the US withdrawal from the Paris agreement, with all proceeds are donated the 10:10 Climate Action group as a result. Launched on the night I tried it in a Glasgow Brewdog bar last month, the beer adopts a popular Donald Trump campaign slogan and comes through as a 7.5% abv. farmhouse ale which I ordinarily wouldn’t have went for but it was launch night and I was in the bar so I thought I might as well give it a try. Since this one is only available as a limited release from the brewery, I can’t imagine this is one that I’ll get another chance to try but it turned out to be quite an interesting beer and one worth trying while you still can, particularly if you’re a saison fan.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a clear bodied beer,t his one was a light amber colour with a thin and foamy head on top that had a little more lacing on the sides of the glass but wasn’t too bad a start.
Aroma (6/10): Slightly funky with some lemon and faint tart coming through, the beer was fresh with a few good citrus notes towards the middle but nothing too strong really. Further on I detected some subtle coriander and spices with a few background hops as well.
Taste (7/10): Lemon and tart kick things off here, there was some fresh flavours to the beer as well as some funk and the odd pale malt nearer the middle. Again it wasn’t an overly strong offering but some nice spices and hops made an appearance towards the end to round things off.
Palate (4/5): Medium to light-medium bodied and well carbonated, the beer was relatively fresh and easy-going with some subtle funk and tart throughout. Overall it was quite lively on the palate with some sourness further on and a subtle kick from the alcohol that was enjoyable as well.

Overall (14/20): This one was a decent sour saison that was quite crisp and lively with a subtle hit of funk and tart but one that remained balanced and easy to drink. To be honest, the beer really isn’t anything special despite it being drinkable and easy-going but thankfully it’s a limited release from Brewdog and one that will probably not be around for too long.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Saison/Farmhouse Ale
Abv: 7.5%
Serving: Keg (Schooner)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £4.50

Schwaben Bräu Volksfestbier

December 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.35

My second beer from the Dinkelacker-Schwaben brewery now, this one following on from their Wulle Biere Vollbier Hell that I tried back in April when I picked up a bottle in Berlin, although it wasn’t a beer that I thought very highly of so I was hopeful that this one would be better. The beer itself is one that is available in Aldi stores in the UK on occasion and is a beer that I was given as part of a birthday present recently so hopefully it’s a good one. Despite thinking it was another pale lager or helles offering from the brewery, this one is actually Märzen (or Oktoberfest) beer so it’s probably only available part of the year so it’s a good one to check off at least.

Appearance (3/5): A very clear but bright golden colour that is topped with a two or three centimetre tall head that was white and foamy but looked quite active and slowly receded to settle about a quarter-inch tall after a minute or so.
Aroma (5/10): Quite a light beer on the nose with a sticky sweetness and some basic malts coming through in the early going alongside the usual hay and grassy notes. There’s not a great deal going on but I got some basic lager malts and touches of cereal and grain further on, thankfully no skunk was showing at least.
Taste (4/10): Like the nose, this one was again quite a light beer with some grassy hops and basic malts alongside some skunk that was absent with the nose. It’s loaded with cereal and cheap adjuncts with some hay and the faintest of citrus touches towards the end.; poor stuff really.
Palate (2/5): Light to light-medium bodied and quite strongly carbonated with some gasses showing and a slight tang. It’s a grainy offering that is a little rough on the way down and it’s quite basic and bland too sadly; there’s not much going on at all.

Overall (9/20): Quite a disappointing beer and much like the first from the brewery that I tried early this year, this is another from Dinkelacker-Schwabe that I’ll definitely be avoiding in future. There was some basic malts and grassy flavours in the early going with the odd lager malt and some citrus but it wasn’t overly strong or varied with the taste getting quite boring towards the end; one to avoid I’m afraid.

Brewed In: Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Brewery: Dinkelacker-Schwaben Bräu
First Brewed: circa. 2006
Type: Märzen/Oktoberfest
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Aldi (Scotland)
Price: Gift