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Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

West Side Beavo

October 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.25

A recent collaboration between California-based Firestone Walker and London’s Beavertown, this one is a beer that was brewed over in California but has now made its way to the UK as well. The beer is one that I picked up in July this year and tried at the start of September but it’s one that I’m just getting around to reviewing here now. Given the two breweries responsible for this one are ones that I’m a fan of, I went into this beer expecting something special and sadly it failed to really deliver; here’s what I thought of it when I tried it last month.

Appearance (4/5): Bright and golden-yellow in colour, the beer is very clear and has a few larger bubbles rising to the surface as well. The head is a bubbly white one that starts about two centimetres tall before fading to a thin, half centimetre one that leaves touches of lacing on the sides of the glass as well as covering the surface of the beer.
Aroma (6/10): Clean on the nose with some lager malts and a few touches of corn, there is some bread and the odd background hop as well as some citrus but it’s a fairly mellow aroma and one that could definitely have been stronger.
Taste (6/10): Corn and light biscuit make up most of the taste with some lager malts and citrus not too far behind. The beer was a fresh one with some lemon and grassy hops around the middle but it was quite weak at point too. Towards the end some floral flavours and a lighter bitterness feature as well but it’s not an overly complex offering by any means.
Palate (3/5): Light and crisp with a fresh and mellow feel to it, the beer was fragrant and had a light tang from the citrus too. It was an easy-going beer with a faint bitterness and the odd bit of spice but there wasn’t a whole lot going on in truth.

Overall (13/20): Quite a light and clean beer with touches of citrus and some floral hops as well but it was definitely basic and not as full-bodied as I’d have liked either. The beer seemed thin at point but it was at least easy to drink without it impressing at any point sadly.

Brewed In: Paso Robles, California, United States of America
Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Co. / Beavertown (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2017
Type: India Pale Lager
Abv: 6.5%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £3.70

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Brewdog New England IPA v2

July 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

A new release from Brewdog now and one that was only introduced by the brewery just over a week ago but it was one that I was eager to try so I made a point of visiting one of their bars and sampling it on-tap within a day of its initial release. The beer is a reworking of an early collaboration between Brewdog and Cloudwater brewing based in Manchester, their New England IPA which I consider to be the best beer that Brewdog has ever released so naturally I was looking forward to this one. The beer is an 8.5% abv. double IPA which comes in a fair bit stronger than the 6.8% of the original so I did have the fear going in that the quality would suffer like it did when the brewery increased the strength of their Born To Die beer earlier this year only to reduce it again with the next release in the series. I’ve only tried a few New England style IPA’s so far, mainly because it’s still a relatively new style of beer but it is definitely one that I’m a big fan of and I was hoping that would carry over to my first double IPA in the New England style with this offering; here’s what I thought of it when I tried it last week.

Appearance (4/5): Very hazy golden in colour with a yellow hue to it, the beer was quite bright and opaque looking but sadly there wasn’t an overly impressive head to it, all that was left by the time I placed it on the table was a thin, foamy white lacing that was turning slightly patchy but the colour was a nice one.
Aroma (7/10): Not an immediately strong beer on the nose given it was an 8.5% abv. offering but there was a good combination of citrus and pineapple to kick things off before more touches of tropical fruit appeared nearer the middle. Some subtle hops showed around this point too with a few juicy notes and touches of orange and lemon nearer the end. Overall it was a very fresh offering but one that I’d have preferred came through stronger than it did.
Taste (7/10): Starting in a similar fashion to the nose, the taste kicks off with a combination of citrus flavours that is mainly orange and lemon but with some pineapple not too far behind either. The beer was again very fresh with a subtle bitterness off the back of the hops throughout,  there was some juicy flavours and a few tropical ones sitting in the background too which all seemed slightly stronger than with the nose and as such were a welcome change.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and sitting with a medium body and a nice balance too, the beer definitely wasn’t as strong as anticipated for an 8.5% beer and for the most part the alcohol content was masked behind the subtle hops and the tropical, juicy flavours. There was quite a lively feel this one at times, likely from the citrus in the taste and there was moderate carbonation throughout but it was a little lighter than I’d have liked which stopped it from being as good as the original version in my opinion.

Overall (15/20): Very nice stuff again from Brewdog here and ordinarily this would be a beer that I would have loved but given it’s a reworking of the best beer I’ve ever tried from the brewery the bar is naturally set a little higher for this one. The beer open with a pleasant citrus taste that was backed up by some pineapple and the odd tropical flavour, the balance was good too and surprisingly little of the alcohol content was showing so the beer was easy-going and highly drinkable. The main disappointment for me was the fact that the beer was a lot lighter than expected, the nose in particular coming through weaker than expected and overall the original version of this beer was much better in my opinion.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog/Cloudwater (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Brewdog vs. Cloudwater New England IPA v2
Type: Double IPA
Abv: 8.5%
Serving: Keg (Half Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse (Glasgow)
Price: £4.28

Beavertown Peacher Man

July 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.55

A reworking of a 2016 Beavertown collaboration here, this was originally a 6.2% abv. beer from the brewery that was made along with California based Heretic Brewing but has since been brought out as a summer seasonal solely from Beavertown and is a 5% abv. beer this time around. I spotted this one in my local bottle shop at the end of last week and was intrigued by the sound of a ‘peach and apricot witbier’ so quickly grabbed myself a can along with a couple other random beers to enjoy over the weekend. The beer will be my ninth from the brewery and follows on from their Lupuloid IPA, the last beer from the brewery that I tried when I had a can back in January of this year so hopefully this one proves to be as good as that one was.

Appearance (4/5): Pouring a very thick and cloudy looking yellow to golden colour that is topped with a centimetre tall, foamy white head that covers the surface well and holds not too bad either over the opening few minutes; very much a witbier appearance from this one.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a fresh opening with the obvious wheat notes that are backed up by some early lemon and coriander notes that work well together. It’s slightly floral with a few other citrus fruits coming through alongside some herbs and spices but nothing notable at this stage. There’s some lighter malts towards the end and a few fruits too but I’m finding it hard to detect much in the way of any peach at this stage sadly; there is perhaps a touch showing but it’s difficult to be sure.
Taste (7/10): Fairly tangy and again quite fresh, the beer opens much like the nose with some lemon and citrus flavours before a few lighter malts start to show. There’s a combination of spices and some coriander in the early going to and these are followed by a few fruits that are definitely a little stronger than they were with the nose; at this point I got some hints of sweetness too. There is some peach at this stage with touches of vanilla adding to the sweetness before a few cloves and wheat flavours make themselves known again at the end.
Palate (4/5): Sitting around medium bodied, this one is a little thicker than I’d expected but that’s definitely a good things and the beer is also quite crisp into the bargain. There’s a lot of citrus which give proceedings a nice zesty tang that helps keep it feeling lively along with the sharp, strong carbonation levels. It’s quite an easy oen to drink with an okay balance but the citrus definitely dominated along with the wheat and spices; it was still a very nice beer on the palate though.

Overall (13/20): This one got off to a shaky start with the nose not coming through quite as good as I’d expected but things were turned around slightly come the taste with the beer seeming a little more balanced at this point and the citrus flavours coming through a little stronger and fresher too. The beer was a relatively easy one to drink with some nice touches of wheat coming through from the early going but I’d have like to see more of the peaches that the beer takes its name from showing, there was a some with the taste but almost none on the nose which was a little disappointing.

Brewed In: London, UK
Brewery: Beavertown Brewery/Heretic (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Witbier
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £2.60

Bristol/Dark Star Southern Conspiracy

April 24, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.9

A collaborative offering between the Bristol Beer Factory and the Sussex based Dark Star brewery that will mark my first beer from Bristol and only my second from Dark Star, following on from their Espresso stout that I reviewed here back in late 2013 and quite enjoyed. Bristol is a brewery whose beers I’ve spotted a number of times over the years but sadly have never manged to try, although in this instance I’m not exactly sure why that is the case as I’ve heard nothing but good things about them. This offering appears to be a beer that was originally introduced as a one-off back in 2012 then promptly disappeared before being released again this year. I managed to try a half pint of this American style IPA in Glasgow’s Inn Deep bar last month and am only now getting around to adding my review here, this is what I thought of the stuff.

Appearance (4/5): Bright amber coloured and slightly hazy, the beer has a thin but foamy white head that is about a quarter of a centimetre tall and doesn’t move much in the early going; there is even some nice lacing left on the sides of the glass which remains until I’m almost finished the beer.
Aroma (8/10): Quite a fresh and hoppy beer with some citrus and floral touches in the early going too, it also featured some oak sweetness in there too. There was a good combination of tropical fruits soon after with some mango and peach making up most of the middle of the beer but some apricot and faint pineapple made an appearance as well. It was quite an enjoyable beer on the nose with a few sugars and a lingering bitterness near the end that had me looking forward to tasting the beer.
Taste (7/10): The beer opens with a lot of floral hops and pine flavours that give the beer quite a sweet feel that is coupled with a strong hop bitterness and plenty of sugars. It seemed quite fresh and lively with a lot of mango carrying through from the nose that was backed up by some peaches and apricot before some oak and vanilla sweetness came through. There was a little yeast and funk nearer the end that hinted at an almost saison like flavours too but overall it was a decent tasting IPA.
Palate (4/5): Fresh and very lively with a surprising amount of funk and tart showing, particularly nearer the end. There was a floral bitterness throughout with some hops adding to this as well and the balance seemed like a good one with a nice tang nearer the end too. The beer perhaps edges nearer to the sweeter side of things at times but it did remain a pleasant and highly drinkable beer with a medium but well carbonated body; great stuff.

Overall (16/20): Quite a nice collaborative effort here from the two English based breweries, the beer was definitely a hop-filled one with a bit more sweetness than I’d anticipated at times but the oak and vanilla flavours were nice to see in this type of beer. For the most part it was the tropical flavours and hop bitterness that dominated proceedings but I was also surprised to see some of tart and funky saison like flavours near the end which were unexpected but welcome additions to the beer. It was a fresh and lively offering that proved quite easy to drink despite its strength; good stuff and one I’d be open to having again.

Brewed In: Bristol, England
Brewery: Bristol Beer Factory/Dark Star
First Brewed: 2012
Full Name: Bristol Beer Factory/Dark Star Southern Conspiracy
Type: American IPA
Abv: 7.4%
Serving: Keg (Half Pint)
Purchased: Inn Deep, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £3.50

Brewdog New England IPA

February 27, 2017 3 comments

Rating: 4.6

A new collaborative offering from Brewdog now, this one brewed in conjunction with Manchester’s Cloudwater brewery and was released in bottles and on-tap at the beginning of February too much fanfare online at the time. The beer is actually one that I’ve already managed to try straight from the keg on two occasions, trying it at Brewdog’s DogHouse bar in Glasgow a couple of days after its release and very much enjoying both schooners I had of it. I opted not to give the beer a proper review at the time given I’d already picked up a bottle of the stuff the day before with a view of reviewing that one but I can confirm it’s an excellent beer. The beer is labelled as a ‘Vermont IPA’ that uses Mosaic and Citra hops to give a more subtly hopped flavour but shouldn’t be confused with Brewdog’s B:Side: Vermont IPA that has been released in small batches at their UK bars and is a beer I hope to try soon. Possibly one of the best Brewdog beers that I’ve ever tried and seeing that it is another limited release from the brewery, it’s one that I plan to try as much of as possible before its gone forever.

brewdog-vs-cloudwater-new-england-ipa

Appearance (5/5): Pouring an unusual coloured yellow amber, this one has a very cloudy body that is pretty much opaque. The head is a centimetre tall, foamy white one that eventually settles about a quarter of a centimetre tall but continues to cover the surface of the beer well; a great start.
Aroma (9/10): Very fruity and hoppy in the early going without being an overly pungent nose, there is some nice pineapple notes kicking things off before some touches of peach and orange make themselves know but overall it is a very juicy aroma initially. Some tropical notes that included some lemon, mango and papaya came through around the middle with some further hints of pineapple at this stage too. The beer was very fresh on the nose from the start with nice bitterness that was a little more subtle than expected but definitely still noticeable.
Taste (8/10): An excellent continuation of the nose with an early burst of tropical fruits kicking things off again, the pineapple in particular being quite noticeable. There was some peach, apricot and a little mango following on behind this and I could detect some of the orange, papaya and citrus lemon soon after. The beer was very fresh tasting with some faint pine and grassy flavours nearer the middle before a very subtle hint of sweetness made an appearance along with a touch of spice. There is a nice bitterness nearer the end that’s quite floral and juicy, helping to round the beer off very nicely indeed.
Palate (5/5): Medium bodied and quite a bitter offering without being pungent or too resinous, the hops provided more of a juicy, floral bitterness that was backed up with a nice citrus tang. The balance of the beer was near perfect, the fruits all working well together and the subtle sweetness nearer the end added a nice dimension as things drew to a close. It was a lively carbonated beer that was very fresh and surprisingly easy to drink; outstanding stuff.

Overall (18/20): Excellent stuff from Brewdog and Cloudwater here, this one is a great beer that grabs your attention straight away thanks to the abundance of fresh hops and juicy flavours that kick things off. It’s a more subtly bitter taste than I’ve come to associate Brewdog with but it is great with plenty of pineapple and a great combination of tropical fruits and citrus flavours backing it up. The balance of the beer was particularly good with the hints of sweetness nearer the end coming quite unexpectedly but they very much appreciated. This one is easily up there with the best beers Brewdog has produced and it makes me all the more excited to try a couple more from Cloudwater as well; this one is definitely a must try.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog/Cloudwater (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Brewdog vs. Cloudwater New England IPA
Type: New England IPA
Abv: 6.8%
Serving: Bottle (660ml)
Purchased: Brewdog BottleDog (Glasgow)
Price: £6.08

Black Flagship

February 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

The first and likely the only beer from Brewdog’s #CollabFest2016 that I’m likely to try now, this one is a bramble porter that was brewed at Fierce Beer in Aberdeen alongside staff from Brewdog’s Aberdeen bar for the annual event held in Brewdog bars around the UK each year. Since I never made it along to one of their pubs while the event was going on this year, I never managed to try any of the beers brewed for the event until I stumbled across this one on-tap at The Hippo Taproom in Glasgow towards the end of January. Coming highly recommended by the barman, the beer is the first from the Fierce Beer brewery that I’ve managed to try and it proved to be quite a good one to start with, hopefully I’ll see more from the brewery over the course of 2017 as well.

black-flagship

Appearance (4/5): Quite a dark looking beer, this one is somewhere between a deep, dark brown and a black colour. The body is opaque and there is a thin, foamy lacing on top that’s a light tan colour and just about covers the surface of the beer.
Aroma (7/10): Opening up with what was definitely a sweet nose, there was a lot of dark malts and a strong cherry presence in the early going before some chocolate notes came through that gave the beer a Black Forrest gateau like nose towards the middle. Some sugars and what I assume was brambles started to appear down the stretch with some background fruits and a further sweetness for additional berries in there too.
Taste (7/10): Continuing where the nose let off, this is quite a sweet beer initially with a lot of cherries and chocolate to kick things off and again give it the feel of a Black Forrest gateau with a few sugars in there too. Towards the middle a few darker malts started to come through alongside the brambles and a couple of nondescript fruits before some jam like fruit flavours seen things out.
Palate (4/5): Quite thick, bordering on being a full-bodied beer and coming through as quite a sweet offering with soft to moderate carbonation levels as well. This one was quite an easy-going beer that had an okay balance, although it definitely edged towards the sweeter side of things at times. Overall the palate was a good one and there was even some hints of bitterness amongst the roasted malts near the end of proceedings.

Overall (15/20): A nice first beer from Fierce and one that was very sweet from the start but the addition of the brambles was definitely a nice touch and one that prevented the sweetness from seeming sickening or overpowering; that being said, I doubt I’d have enjoyed a second one as much. The beer was quite dark and at times rich with a fairly smooth body that helped make it that bit easier to drink, as did the soft carbonation. There was hints of Black Forrest gateau coming through at times and in truth the balance wasn’t too bad either, it could have benefited from being a touch lighter at times though but overall it was a good beer and was well worth trying.

Brewed In: Aberdeen, Scotland
Brewery: Fierce Beer/Brewdog Aberdeen (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2016
Type: American Porter
Abv: 6.5%
Serving: Keg (Schooner)
Purchased: The Hippo Taproom, Glasgow
Price: £5.60

Brewdog Ship Wreck

October 5, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.15

A beer I’ve been in two minds about trying for a few months now, this one is the last collaboration between Brewdog and Ballast Point, brewed last year when Ballast were still an independent craft brewery and before they were bought by Mexican distributor Constellation Brands. I’m always interested in trying new Brewdog beers and this was no exception but I was initially put off by the fact that it was on sale for just £9.99 a bottle but when I was in one of the brewery’s bars over the weekend I decided to take the plunge try it while it was still on-tap. The beer was launched in late March this year as a ‘redacted collaboration beer’ with the Ballast Point wording on the label being blacked out as well. As for the beer itself, this one was aged in whisky casks, some of which had Sal de Gusano, a Mexican spice/salt, added as well and the beer also features mezcal flavours which is somewhat ironic considering Ballast Point was then bought out by a Mexican company. Despite the brewery politics, this one is a beer I was still happy to try since I’ve not had too many bad beers from Ballast Point; whether that changes going forward remains to be seen.

brewdog-ship-wreck

Appearance (4/5): This one poured a fairly bright amber colour that wasn’t too far away from orange. The body was quite clear and formed a small, foamy white head on top that was relatively good considering the strength of the beer but it was a touch patchy towards the centre of the surface; not too bad really.
Aroma (6/10): Sticky sweet on the nose initially, the beer wasn’t quite as strong as I’d expected in the early going which wasn’t a bad thing. There was some light hops and a bit of spice coming through alongside a background alcohol smell and a little grain. This was followed by some smoky notes and wood/oak from the whisky barrels that give the beers an almost rauchbier like aroma  at times.
Taste (6/10): The taste kicked off a lot stronger than the nose indicated with the alcohol and whisky flavours more pronounced here than before, there was also a tequila like aroma that I’d put down as mezcal since that’s what was promised. There was some wood and oak flavours towards the middle of the beer with a few smoky touches too and overall it was a little rough and grainy on the way down. Some background hops and a touch of sweetness came through with some spice nearer the end but it wasn’t too bad a taste, it was just a little a strong for my liking.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and coming through with very little carbonation at all, this one was quite a rough beer on the way down thanks to the alcohol and grain that featured heavily from the start and made the beer a more difficult one to drink than I’d have liked. It was an overly strong beer but at the same time, it was still drinkable but I really had to take my time with it.

Overall (11/20): This one was definitely an interesting offering and one that started a lot lighter on the nose than I’d feared it might, it certainly wasn’t a weak offering and some oak notes did feature alongside some smoky ones but it wasn’t anywhere near as strong as some other beers coming in north of 10% abv. either. Things were stepped up a gear come the taste though and it was a lot stronger by then thanks to the whisky flavours and touches of background sweetness; there was some tequila type notes as well and touches of grain that gave it quite a harsh feel but it just about remained drinkable. It’s not really one I’d be tempted to go back to but that’s really only because it was such a strong offering, it was nice though and it’s well worth trying.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog / Ballast Point (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2016
Type: American Strong Ale
Abv: 13.8%
Serving: Keg (1/3rd Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £5.28