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Posts Tagged ‘bottle’

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

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Heidi-Weisse

December 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

A new beer for 2017 from West, this one seemingly introduced earlier in the year to replace the since retired West Hefeweizen that I’ve tried on a number of occasions over the years and usually enjoyed. This is a rarity among West beers in that it is widely available in bottles around Scotland with their St. Mungo being the only other in that regard but it’s also a beer that I’ve tried previously on-tap at the brewery and thought it was a decent enough beer so it’ll be good to give it a proper review this time. This one will be my seventh review of a beer from the brewery and despite it being so close to me, this one will be my first new review of a West beer since trying their West Berlin for the first time back in July 2014 making this one long overdue.

Appearance (4/5): Cloudy and quite dark with the body an almost murky golden colour that is topped with a three-centimetre tall, foamy head that is white and holds well initially with a few bubbles rising to the surface as well.
Aroma (7/10): Light on the nose with some wheat and cloves in the early going, there was some nice banana notes too. Around the middle some coriander started to make itself known with a little citrus and some bread malts in there as well.
Taste (7/10): Wheat and some cloves kick things off with the taste, there was some lemon and faint spice a little further on before the bread malts from the nose made an appearance, coming through a lot earlier this time around. Towards the end the beer was a relatively sweet one with some background fruits and nice banana flavours seeing things out.
Palate (4/5): Quiet a lively beer with a sharp feel that was well carbonated and quite crisp as well. It was a fresh, easy beer to drink and the balance wasn’t too bad either with no one flavour overpowering.

Overall (15/20): Pleasant stuff from West, this one was quite a fresh and lively beer that seemed balanced and easy-going with some nice banana and wheat flavours throughout. Definitely a beer that I can see myself having again, it’s not a classic wheat beer but it was still a slight improvement on the West Hefeweizen that it seems to have replaced and that can only be a good thing.

Brewed In: Glasgow, Scotland
Brewery: West Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Hefeweizen
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Aldi (Scotland)
Price: Gift

Lindemanns Gueuze Cuvée René

December 7, 2017 Leave a 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.)

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

Asahi Super Dry Black

November 14, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.4

Not to be confused with the similarly named Asahi Black that I reviewed here a few years ago, this one is another dark beer from the brewery that I managed to try in Japan last month and one that is also my penultimate new offering from the brewery that I tried in the country. Seemingly a 2012 release, this one is a newer beer that their Asahi Black (or Asahi Kuronama as it is sometimes known) but unlike that offering, this one isn’t a beer that features in the 1001 beers list sadly. I managed to try this one in a Tokyo whale meat restaurant on my last full night in Japan and opted for it as the only non-pale lager on the menu despite it being one that I had already tried early on my trip to Japan; it is also a nice one to check off since it doesn’t appear to be an Asahi beer that is readily available in the UK either.

Appearance (4/5): Really dark mahogany to black in colour and sitting with an opaque body, this one has quite a thin head on top that sits just under a centimetre tall but fades to a thin surface lacing after about thirty seconds, with a little more build up around the edges at least.
Aroma (6/10): Darker malts and some roasted notes kick things off here, there was some earthy bitterness and light coffee in the early going too but neither overpowered thankfully. A little further on there was some grassy smells and a little sweetness but it was quite a basic, almost weak nose at times.
Taste (7/10): The beer opens with some dark and roasted malts, there was some chocolate showing too which provided an early sweetness that only showed towards the end of the taste. Around the middle some grains and subtle hops featured with a few touches of hay before coffee and earthy malts seen things out nicely.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and not overly dry despite the name, the beer was dark and bordered on fresh with a subtle hop bitterness that fades and turns almost watery further on. It was however an easy to drink beer with a nice balance without it being anything overly special on the way down.

Overall (14/20): This one was a fairly enjoyable offering from Asahi and a nice change from the usual pale lagers I was drinking with dinner most nights in Japan, this one was lively and fresh with a slightly dry feel at the end. There was plenty of roasted and dark malts throughout with some grains, hay and grassy hops working well together to help this one go down easily enough.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Asahi Breweries
First Brewed:  2012
Type: Schwarzbier/Black Lager
ABV: 5.5%
Serving: Bottle (334ml)
Purchased: Kujiraya, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Price: ¥450 (£2.98 approx.)

Yabai Yabai Strong Scotch Ale

November 14, 2017 2 comments

Rating: 4.0

My fourth ever Baird beer now and the second of four that I managed to try in Japan as well, this one is a Scotch ale from the brewery that I picked up from the Sinanoya liquor store towards the end of my trip after failing to find any new beers from the 1001 list in the store. The beer is one that I later found on-tap during my trip when I visited the brewery’s Harajuku taproom on my last full day in Japan but I opted to try something new at that point. Yabai is a Japanese slang word that can be roughly translated as ‘risky’ according to Google, or even ‘awesome’ and the former would certainly sum up this fairly strong offering if you end up having a couple. This one is a fairly strong, 8% abv. offering that I hadn’t actually heard of before but following on from the brewery’s highly enjoyable Rising Sun Pale Ale that I tried a few days previously, I decided to give this unknown offering a try to see how it compared.

Appearance (4/5): Fairly dark, sitting a mahogany brown colour in the glass with a centimetre tall, foamy head that is a light tan colour and holds well initially with little early movement and a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass to start things off well.
Aroma (8/10): Fairly strong on the nose with plenty of caramel sweetness and toffee in the early going, as well as some subtle touches of alcohol. There is some further sugars around the middle of the beer with a few darker fruits coming through as well, most notably some plum and raisins as well as a hint of apricot before some rich, dark malts and roasted notes see things out.
Taste (8/10): Quite a strong and malty beer like the nose suggested, the taste opens with a lot of caramel sweetness with the toffee from the nose not too far behind either. There was a solid sweetness to the beer from the start with a nutty taste around the middle and some rich, darker fruits featuring around this point too; a combination of plum and raisin upfront with some dates following on behind. Towards the end there was a few more sweet malts and the odd subtle spice to see things out nicely as well.
Palate (4/5): Full bodied and quite a thick beer with a smooth and strong feel to it, this one had some alcohol coming through early on but thankfully nothing overpowering, it just provided a nice kick and slightly warming, boozy feel to the beer as things went on. Carbonation levels were relatively soft here and it was surprisingly easy to drink despite the alcohol showing, the sweet malts and dark fruits partially masking it at points. The beer was quite an enjoyable one with a complex feel to it and plenty variety but it was still well-balanced throughout.

Overall (16/20): Another fine Barid offering that opened with a lot of sweet malts, caramel and toffee flavours as well as some darker fruits that helped keep things balanced and mask at least some of the alcohol content of the beer, although there was still a little showing in the early going. It’s quite a strong beer with a lot of flavour and complexity but it remained easy to drink and is definitely one of the better Scotch ale’s I’ve tried, although it’s not a style of beer I’ve drunk many of recently but this is definitely one that I’ll keep my eyes peeled for in future given how much I enjoyed this bottle.

Brewed In: Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan
Brewery: Baird Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2006
Type: Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy
Abv: 8.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Sinanoya Food & Liquor (Shinjuku, Tokyo)
Price: ¥507 (£3.36 approx.)

Minoh W-IPA (366 of 1001)

November 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.5

My first and final new Minoh beer that I managed to try in Japan now, this one being the only one of their beers to feature on the 1001 beers list and the one that I was most hoping to try from them during the course of my trip. The beer is a 9% double IPA that follows on from their Minoh Stout that I reviewed here recently. Initially released sometime around 2006, the beer became a regular from the brewery in 2008 and has been one of their most popular ever since; thankfully it is a year round offering as well which meant I was able to grab a bottle when I was in Osaka recently. Checking this beer off also means that I now only have to try another ten Japanese beers to complete those listed in the 1001 beers book, although sadly one of those appears to no longer be available now.

Appearance (4/5): This one pours quite a dark amber to caramel colour with an opaque body and some sediment floating about initially before settling at the bottom of the glass. The head was a centimetre tall one that looked frothy and was a creamy white to light tan colour that had excellent retention over the opening few minutes, holding much better than expected from a 9% abv. double IPA; there didn’t seem to be any movement or reduction in size over the opening five minutes and there was some nice lacing left on the sides of the glass as a bonus too.
Aroma (9/10): Quite strong with a lot of hops showing in the early going, there was plenty going on and this is what I’d been expecting from a strong double IPA with a nice combination of resinous pine and floral hops kicking things off. There was some citrus and a good helping of tropical fruits in the early going as well, I got some mango, apricot and grapefruit with a little pineapple not too far behind either. Further on there was some sweeter notes starting to come through with caramel and biscuit malts but it was a balanced, lively nose that I really enjoyed.
Taste (9/10): The taste matches the nose well with some strong pine and floral hops getting things going alongside some solid citrus flavours, although the beer wasn’t quite as pungent or resinous as it had been with the nose. There was some tropical fruits towards the middle with the mango and apricot from the nose being the dominant pair but the pineapple and some peach weren’t too far behind. Like the nose, there was a good amount of sweetness further on with the caramel and biscuit coming through a touch earlier this time around and some bread flavours featuring as well. It’s definitely a lively and hop-filled beer with some spices towards the end and a few further floral flavours as well; very nice stuff.
Palate (5/5): Well carbonated and almost a full-bodied beer, this one was very fresh and lively with a lot of hops coming through from the start to contribute towards a very bitter, resinous beer that went down great. There was some of the alcohol content coming through at points but for the most part it was well hidden and nothing seemed to overpower thanks to the excellent balance of the beer, the sweet malts and caramel working very well alongside the pine and floral hops not to mention the tropical fruits too.

Overall (18/20): This one was an excellent and highly enjoyable double IPA that grabbed my attention almost immediately thanks to the strong hops and resinous pine notes that greeted me opening the bottle. There was a lot going on with this one thanks to a combination of tropical fruits balancing well with sweeter malts and citrus. The beer was fuller than expected and quite varied too with good carbonation and the alcohol content was hidden well too. Excellent stuff from the start and a beer that I’m every glad I managed to find, it was definitely the best beer I managed to try on my trip to Japan and probably the best from the country that I’ve ever tried; a must try if you can find it and one well worth its place on the 1001 Beers to try before you die list as well.

Brewed In: Osaka, Japan
Brewery: Minoh Beer
First Brewed: circa. 2006
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 9.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Yamaya Nagahoribashi (Osaka)
Price: ¥410 (£2.72 approx.)