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Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

Character Assassination

July 14, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.65

Brewed in collaboration with south London based Gipsy Hill, this one is my first beer from the Electric Bear Brewery based in Bath and is on that I picked up recently alongside a couple of Trappist beers at my local bottle shop, opting for this one given it’s a one-off New England IPA and it’s the height of summer here. A new beer for 2018, this one was canned in late May and should still be relatively fresh so it’s one that I’m looking forwards to cracking open. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Gipsy Hill over the last couple of years but surprisingly haven’t tried anything from them yet but this one was the first time I’d seen or heard anything about Electric Bear so I’m interested in finding out more and perhaps picking up something else from them in future if this one is any good.

Appearance (4/5): A lot lighter and clearer than I’d expect for a New England IPA, the beer is a light amber with some golden tinges and a thin, half centimetre head that’s foamy and white but starts turning patchy towards one side more quickly than I’d have liked; not a bad looking beer but I’d place it closer to lager than a New England IPA on first looks.
Aroma (7/10): Slightly tropical on the nose initially with some subtle grapefruit and orange coming through but nothing too pungent or overpowering in the early going at least. There was some citrus notes and a little tangerine further on with a couple grassy hops followed by a moderate bitterness and hints of mango and peach further on; it’s definitely an American IPA aroma but it’s not as dank as anticipated.
Taste (7/10): Opening with some pine and grapefruit bitterness that is followed by some nice orange and tangerine flavours, the beer is again slightly tropical with touches mango, apricot and peach bringing in the middle. It’s a solid IPA taste with some grain and a hint of alcohol nearer the end but it wasn’t a anything special or out of the ordinary with a faint sweetness and further bitter flavours seeing things out.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied with some bitterness showing from the start without it being a dank one really. There was fine carbonation that gave the beer a lively feel and it was quite dry and sharp too. The balance was as you’d expect for the style with the bitter hops and tropical flavours dominating and a touch of the alcohol coming through near the end.

Overall (/20): This was a strange one in the sense that it was a pleasant and enjoyable beer but I feel like there was some false advertising involved where the label states that it’s a New England IPA but it was very much a standard American IPA with very little dank flavours coming through but instead a slightly tropical and bitter beer with the usual grapefruit and pine flavours as well as some mango and apricot further on. It was okay offering overall but one that ultimately left me disappointed given I was expecting something completely different from what I got after reading the label on the can.

Brewed In: Bath, Somerset, England
Brewery:  Electric Bear Brewing / Gipsy Hill (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2018
Full Name: Electric Bear / Gipsy Hill Character Assassination
Type: New England IPA
Abv: 7.0%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £3.30

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Very Big Moose

Rating: 4.55

Another beer from Fierce brewing, this one a collaboration with Brewdog and the staff from their Aberdeen bar as part of Brewdog’s Collab Fest 2017; this one the winner of the event in October last year. An imperial stout with touches of cocoa, vanilla and cinnamon and coming in at a strong 12% abv., this one is a beer that I was looking forward to trying but never managed to make it to a Brewdog bar during the event itself so I thought I’d missed out on trying the beer until I spotted it online over Brewdog’s AGM weekend in April this year. This one is a beer I’m very much looking forward to trying and it follows on from the can of Very Big Moose: Tonka that I reviewed here recently as well, that one being a collaboration with Brew York that used tonka beans in the brewing process so I’m interested to see how this one compares.

Appearance (4/5): Very thick looking as it pours, the beer is opaque and jet black in colour with a half centimetre tall head that is foamy and covers the surface initially before breaking up in the centre but holding around the edges of the beer; it’s better than expected for the strength of the beer anyway.
Aroma (9/10): This one gets off to a strong start with a lot of chocolate and alcohol grain kicking things off, there’s a background sweetness to though with some vanilla notes coming through in the early going. Further on I got some dark, almost roasted malts and oak coming through with more sweet alcohol that resembles rum at points. There’s the odd spice towards the end with a bit of cinnamon but the chocolate and vanilla are strongest throughout; excellent stuff on the nose.
Taste (9/10): The taste follows on in a similar fashion to the nose with some strong chocolate flavours upfront alongside the same vanilla sweetness that carried on from the nose as well. There’s some rum and alcohol grain showing towards the middle but more of this is masked than anticipated with some darker malts and cocoa covering it for the most part alongside some spices.
Palate (5/5): Full-bodied and quite thick throughout, this one was smooth and strong with a warming alcohol feel from the middle on and as a result the end of the beer was quite a boozy one. The beer had an excellent balance and a lot of the alcohol content was hidden but you knew it was a strong one with a touch of dryness towards the end and plenty of sweetness throughout thanks to the chocolate and oak but mainly the vanilla flavours that featured heavily from the start.

Overall (19/20): Outstanding stuff from Fierce and Brewdog, this one is loaded with flavours and opens with a strong sweetness that was mainly down to the vanilla but also some chocolate malts and oak too. It’s a strong one with some rum and alcohol grain towards the middle but it remained quite easy to drink thanks to the smooth body and excellent balance. I went in expecting this to be similar to the Tonka version of the beer that Fierce done with Brew York not long after this one was initially release but this version is so much better and has a lot more going on as well. There was some nice roasted flavours towards the end with background spice, in particular cinnamon coming through to round things off exceptionally well; an amazing beer that I could drink again and again (although not in one sitting) and I’m thankfully I picked up another one to try at a later date now – believe the hype.

Brewed In: Aberdeen, Scotland
Brewery: Fierce Beer/Brewdog (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Imperial Stout
Abv: 12.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £5.60

Omnipollo/Buxton Original Texas Pecan Ice Cream

Rating: 4.3

My first ever beer from Omnipollo, this one is a collaborative effort from them and England based Buxton Brewery and will be my eighth Swedish beer in total, following quickly on from the can of Backyard Brew Bee 17 that I reviewed here recently. This one is a 10% imperial porter that I picked up online back in April and like the Buxton/Stillwater Subliminal that came before it, this one is another that I had been saving for around Christmas time in the hope that it would make an excellent winter beer but never got around to trying until now. The beer is one that I’m really looking forward to after reading some online reviews, it currently sits as the 39th best imperial porter on RateBeer and part of the Omnipollo/Buxton Original Ice Cream Series that took off in 2014, this was one of several collaborative offering between the two brewery’s that Brewdog were selling earlier in the year, I opted for this one as it seemed to be the most highly rated of the selection available when I was placing my order so hopefully I won’t be disappointed. It should be noted that the beer is in fact brewed in Buxton’s facilities but I’ll still listed it primarily as a Swedish beer by Omnipollo here as I believe they were the main brewers or that it was brewed in Sweden first.

Appearance (4/5): Jet black and thick looking, the beer has an oily texture and is opaque bodied with a thin, foamy head that’s a tan brown colour but mainly sits around the sits with a few tiny touches near the centre too.
Aroma (8/10): Opening with a nice sweetness that has a lot of dark chocolate and cocoa coming through alongside touches of pecan and a solid vanilla aroma that adds to the sweetness as well. There’s something resembling a milky aroma that has you thinking of ice cream given the name, with touches of fudge and caramel with faint alcohol nearer the end too. Towards the end there was some roasted notes but it was definitely the sweetness and nutty notes that dominated with this one.
Taste (9/10): Sweet with some solid chocolate and pecan flavours with some nutty touches in the back, the beer was strong with a little alcohol grain showing. The beer had a lot of vanilla and some lactose too before the odd roasted malt sees things out; very nice stuff.
Palate (5/5): Surprisingly lively and well-carbonated for such a strong beer, there was some alcohol showing towards the middle but it didn’t quite seem like a 10% abv. offering thanks to the sweetness helping out with the balance. It’s a nice one to drink because it was so smooth and clean, going down easily with quite a full body that seemed thick, particularly at the end.

Overall (16/20): It’s been a while since my last imperial porter but I remember it delivering quite a few good beers and this one is no exception, the beer opened with a lot of sweetness from the chocolate, vanilla and some pecan before a little alcohol grain came through and gave it a thick, warming and boozy feel. It was a balanced offering that was still drinkable with some milky flavours and some roasted malts at the end. Very nice stuff from the brewery and one that I enjoyed without it truly blowing me away; I would definitely be happy to have it again but given the limited availability and the price that might not happen so I’m glad I tried it once and will look at a few others in the series going forward.

Brewed In: Stockholm, Sweden
Brewery: Omnipollo/Buxton Brewery (collaboration)
Type: Imperial Porter
First Brewed: 2016
ABV: 10.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £5.60

Pleasures In The Darkness

June 19, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.0

Beer number six from Wylam for me now, this one being a collaborative offering between the Newcastle based brewery and Kendal based Hawkshead that I picked up a couple months ago and am just getting around to trying now. This one follows on from bottles of Wylam’s Club of Slaughters imperial stout and their Nomi Sorachi pale ale, both of which I tried towards the end of last year after picking them up on a visit to Newcastle last summer. This particular offering is one that I was looking forward to and Wylam definitely appear to have upped there game given the first couple I tried from them were fairly average bitters and pilsners so an imperial stout is nice to see; that being said, there Club of Slaughters was quite a terrible take on the style so I’m hopeful this one is a major improvement on that one.

Appearance (4/5): Pouring a very thick and oily, jet black colour and forming a nice, two or three centimetre tall head that was bubbly and brown in colour but took a fairly aggressive pour to get there. Head retention isn’t great but to be expected given it’s an 11% abv. beer with it fading to quite a thin lacing around the circumference after about twenty seconds before disappearing completely soon after.
Aroma (8/10): Strong on the nose with a lot of coffee and dark chocolate notes opening things up, immediately you notice some touches of alcohol in the early going too with some grain coming through. It’s a dark and heavy beer with dates and liquorice alongside a vanilla sweetness and some sugars. There’s a lot of complexity with raisin and even the odd smoky note starting to come through with an earthy, roasted malt bitterness at the end along with some more dark fruits; excellent stuff.
Taste (8/10): Dark malts and some sweetness kick things off in the early going with a lot of alcohol showing at this stage too but not quite overpowering. The beer was a rich one with some dark fruits coming through that included the prunes and raisins from the nose with some dates too. Around the middle there was a lot of cocoa and chocolate making itself known with a vanilla backing and some caramel at this point too. It’s quite a rich and dark tasting beer with a good amount of sweetness to help the balance and some dark oats further along too.
Palate (4/5): Thick and full-bodied, this one is a very dark beer with a smooth feel that is very lightly carbonated but surprisingly well-balanced given the amount of complexity. It’s a strong one with some alcohol upfront and a warming finish that was slightly boozy and had some sweetness in there too.

Overall (16/20): Quite a strong and rich beer that opens with a lot of alcohol and as a result seems quite boozy and warming, especially nearer the end but it was well-balanced for the most part with some nice caramel malts and chocolate flavours complimenting the coffee bitterness and roasted malts. It was a beer that I had to sip away at and definitely couldn’t rush but it was a pleasant and smooth one with good complexity and nice variety too.

Brewed In: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Brewery: Wylam Brewery/Hawkshead Brewery (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Imperial Stout
Abv: 11.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £3.70

Chubbles

June 13, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 4.45

Following on from their DIPA v3 2018 and their DIPA v3.1 that I’ve tried recently,  this one is another re-brew from Cloudwater that I picked up from their online store recently, this one a replication of a beer that they brewed last year with Virginia based The Veil over in the United States but this time the beer has been brewed in Manchester, presumably by Cloudwater alone. The beer is a ‘triple’ IPA that originally came in at 10.9% abv. but is now slightly reduced at 10% but is still one that I’m quite excited about trying, I made the bold decision to pick up two cans before I’d even tried it so hopefully I won’t be disappointed. I’m definitely a fan of this latest initiative from Cloudwater and wouldn’t mind seeing them re-release a few more of their older beers since they have fast become one of my favourite brewery’s and it would be good to try some of their beers that I missed in the past.

Appearance (5/5): An pale orange colour that is almost apricot colour with some yellow and pink tinges through it and the body itself is cloudy to the point of being opaque. Initially the head is a centimetre tall, foamy one that is white in colour before settling as a thin surface lacing that starts to turn patchy after a minute or so but is excellent given the strength of the beer.
Aroma (8/10): Fresh with a lot of mango and peach opening things up, it’s a very tropical nose with some pine hops in there as well as some pineapple. It’s slightly resinous with a touch of orange showing before some sweetness starts to come through towards the middle with oily hops following. It’s not an overly complex beer but it was definitely fresh and strong with touches of alcohol right at the death but it was a good balance on the nose overall.
Taste (8/10): Oily hops and some resinous pine flavours kick off the taste with plenty of juicy fruits and tropical flavours in the early going too; mango dominated but again there was some pineapple, apricot and peach in there too. It was quite a strong tasting beer with lots of sweetness at point but for the most part the alcohol was well hidden, only a touch started to show towards the end light the nose but it definitely wasn’t overpowering.
Palate (5/5): Very juicy and naturally quite a hop-filled beer as well, this one was a resinous offering that had a medium body and light carbonation, although it was quite a sharp and dry beer from the start. The alcohol was well hidden right until the end and the balance was a good one too which in turn made it an easy one to drink; excellent stuff.

Overall (17/20): Great stuff from Cloudwater as I’ve come to expect, this one was an incredibly juicy and fruity beer that had some pleasant tropical flavours and a little resinous pine coming through but seemed to be balanced out nicely with a surprising amount of sweetness showing at points too. It was quite a dry offering with mango flavours dominating and some peaches sitting in the background with a few other light fruits and citrus flavours before some touches of warming alcohol showed nearer the end. Great stuff from the brewery and one that I’d definitely pick up from time to time if it was a regular offering; I’m just glad I’ve still got a second can to drink over the coming weeks.

Brewed In: Manchester, England
Brewery: Cloudwater Brew Co./The Veil (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 10.0%
Serving: Can (440ml)
Purchased: Cloudwaterbrew.co
Price: £6.00

Brewdog Eight-Bit

June 13, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.9

Quite the collaborative offering here, this one was brewed at Brewdog along with seven other breweries as part of their 2018 AGM; Cloudwater, DEYA, Magic Rock, Northern Monk, Stillwater, The Bruery and Seventh Son all pitching in and helping make this one hence the name. The beer is a double IPA that was released in April this year and is one that I managed to try when finally visiting the brewery’s new Edinburgh bar when I was in the city last month. Apparently each brewery selected a hop to use when making this one and it conveniently comes in at 8% abv. as well which gave it all the ingredients needed to make it a beer I wanted to try.

Appearance (4/5): A hazy yellow to golden colour with a thin, quarter centimetre head on top that was foamy and white but slightly patchy on the surface.
Aroma (7/10): Strong and hop-filled to open, the beer was loaded with tropical fruits and some nice pineapple initially, there was some peach not far behind though. It was fresh and fairly lively with some mango and a floral aroma towards the middle but it was balanced and pleasant smelling without being overpowering; a good start to this collaborative beer.
Taste (8/10): Fresh and quite fruity like the nose, the beer was loaded with mango, peach and pineapple as well as some pine and grapefruit hops. Around the middle some stone fruits and juicy flavours came through as well as some orange; fresh, strong and enjoyable stuff.
Palate (4/5):Smooth and quite fresh with a lively feel and a citrus-type tang towards the middle. The beer was bitter with pine and stone fruit hops imparting most of it without overpowering and some touches of alcohol showing towards the end of a well-carbonated beer that went down nicely despite the strength.

Overall (16/20): Quite a fresh but very bitter beer with a lot of pine, grapefruit and various other tropical flavours coming through from the start alongside some citrus and touches of alcohol a little later on. The beer managed to stay balanced and drinkable throughout without straying too far from the standard for a double IPA and is well worth trying but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get a chance before it disappears forever.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog (collaboration with multiple breweries)
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 8.0%
Serving: Keg (Half Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog Lothian Road, Edinburgh, Scotland
Price: £4.50

Very Big Moose: Tonka

May 11, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.95

The second of the two Fierce beers that I picked up recently, this one following on from their NEIPA Red Rye that I tried not too long ago as well as their Black Flagship offering that I had around the start of last year when I managed to find it on-tap in Glasgow. This particular offering is another collaborative offering from the brewery, this time they teamed up with Brew York and used their Very Big Moose as a base and some tonka beans added to change things up a little. The original version of this beer, their Very Big Moose is a beer that I’d been hoping to try for a couple of months given how well it was received upon release so in the absence of getting a hold of a can I decided to make to with this one for now; here’s hoping it’s a good one.

Appearance (4/5): Very dark mahogany to black coloured with an opaque body and some touches of sediment near the bottom of the glass. It initially formed a thin lacing on top that sat mainly around the circumference but one that fades almost instantly to leave a still looking beer in the glass; something not unexpected given the strength of the beer I guess.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a strong, boozy aroma that was surprisingly sweet as well with some milky touches in the early going and a moderate amount of alcohol too; there was some showing but not as much as expected for a 12% abv. offering. There was a nice balance to the beer with some chocolate and faint vanilla coming through together with some figs and almonds nearer the end.
Taste (7/10): Like the nose, the taste is quite a boozy one too with a warming alcohol opening that had some vanilla and roasted malts to get stuff started. There was the almonds and figs from the nose as well as some darker fruits which added to the sweetness before some chocolate and light caramel flavours made an appearance. Right at the end where was some coffee and an earthy bitterness then a few more touches of alcohol to close things out.
Palate (5/5): Quick a thick, full-bodied beer that had a slight fizz coming through with a lot of carbonation too which I hadn’t been expecting given the strength of this one. The beer itself was very smooth and oily with quite an earthy bitterness to it and touches of sweetness throughout thanks to the vanilla. It was a balanced drink that had a nice alcohol kick and was warming at the end too.

Overall (15/20): Very strong and quite an interesting beer that was unusual tasting with some pleasant almonds and figs coming through; it reminded me of amaretto at times and it was definitely quite a boozy drink with a warming finish. The balance of the beer was a good one with vanilla and caramel sweetness working well alongside the earthy bitterness which made it surprisingly easy to drink for such a strong beer; I’m already looking forward to trying the original now.

Brewed In: Aberdeen, Scotland
Brewery: Fierce Beer/Brew York (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Imperial Stout
Abv: 12.0%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £4.10