Archive

Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

Brewdog/Beavertown Coffee and Cigarettes

January 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.65

Released at the start of summer last year, this beer is a collaborative offering from Brewdog and London based Beavertown that I picked up soon after it was released but was purposely keeping to try over the holiday season, finally getting round to it on my last day off before starting back work again. A huge imperial stout that comes in at 12.% abv. and is aged in three different types of whiskey casks before being blended together again; Islay, Bourbon and Rye whiskey casks were all used during the brewery process with this one. The beer itself was one that I wasn’t too sure about picking up but it was one of the few I hadn’t tried from Brewdog when I was visiting their bottle shop so I decided to grab myself one for winter, here’s what I thought of it when I finally got round to cracking a bottle open.

Appearance (4/5): Opaque black in colour, this one looks like oil in the glass and is topped with a half centimetre foamy head that is a light brown colour and settles as a fine surface lacing after thirty seconds or so but is still pretty good considering the strength of this one.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a strong nose kicks things off here, there was plenty of coffee initially with a touch of chocolate backing it up and adding some sweetness to the equation along with subtle liquorice notes too. Around the middle the ‘cigarette’ side of things started to make itself known with some strong smoked notes and touches of wood coming through, a hint of oak showed itself here too. It was definitely a dark beer on the nose with some peat and warming alcohol aromas at the end, as well as some subtle vanilla sweetness.
Taste (6/10): Mirroring the nose, the beer opens with strong chocolate and cocoa flavours alongside a solid coffee taste that was slightly bitter. There was some alcohol showing soon after with the beer having quite a strong kick to it which made it seem boozy and warming then from about the middle on there was some wood and smoked notes coming through with some of the vanilla (or possibly coconut) sweetness from the nose carrying through as well. At the end there was a definite whisky taste with peat malts and some darker fruits coming through as well, most notably I got some raisins and plum but it was definitely the alcohol that dominated nearer the end.
Palate (4/5): A very strong, full bodied beer that was loaded with alcohol from the start and definitely lived up to its 12.1% abv. content although at least some of the alcohol was masked by the chocolate and vanilla sweetness along with the coffee bitterness and wood flavours but I felt these could have been stronger. The beer was a softly carbonated offering that was quite warming at the end and came with quite a strong kick to it but I was hoping for a slightly better balance to make it an easier to drink offering in truth.

Overall (15/20): Very strong stuff from Brewdog and Beavertown here, this one is a huge beer that initially opened with a lot of chocolate and coffee but was quickly followed by a tonne of alcohol alongside some wood and oak flavours; there was also quite a strong whiskey taste with peat malts and further alcohol showing towards the end. It was a difficult beer to drink, particularly with the wood and smoked flavours nearer the end and the fact that the beer didn’t have the best balance, something that I felt held this one back and prevented me from enjoying it as much as I have other imperial stout I’ve tried recently. It was quite a complex offering though with some rich touches and darker fruits towards the end but I felt the alcohol dominated too much and I doubt it’s one that I’d have again.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog/Beavertown (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Imperial Stout
Abv: 12.1%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Brewdog BottleDog (Glasgow)
Price: £9.64

Advertisements

Buxton/Stillwater Subliminal

January 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

My sixth beer from Buxton now, this one a collaborative offering from them and the Baltimore based Stillwater Artisinal that I picked up from the Brewdog online shop back in April when it was heavily discounted. The beer is a one-off from the brewer that was released in late 2016 and is one that I’ve been saving for the Christmas period since it’s a relatively strong 10% abv. offering. The beer follows on from their Axe Edge as the first beer from Buxton that I’ll have reviewed here since June of this year, that one being a beer that I actually picked up alongside this one earlier in the year; the only other Stillwater offering I’ve tried was their collaboration with William Brothers for their Stravaigin Croft Saison that I tried way back in June 2013 which was an enjoyable offering so it should be interesting to see how they do with an imperial stout.

Appearance (4/5): Very thick and dark looking as it poured, the beer is pitch black and opaque with a centimetre tall head that’s medium brown in colour and foamy before it starts to break up slightly at one side after about twenty seconds or so but it’s a good start considering the strength of the beer.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with some roasted malts and a coffee aroma, the beer has touches of chocolate through it in the early going and is very dark with some alcohol notes coming through as well. It’s a semi-sweet offering that has some caramel malts and a little sugar sitting in the background with touches of smoke towards the end as well; a pleasant beer but slightly more alcohol showed than I’d have liked.
Taste (7/10): The taste was kicked off with some chocolate and roasted malts alongside a strong alcohol kick that carried on from the nose, there was some liquorice and sugars in there as well though. Towards the middle I got some of the smoke and wood flavours that were hinted at with the nose and there was a coffee bitterness further on that rounded things off nicely.
Palate (4/5): Quite a boozy, full-bodied beer that was thick and came through with a lot of alcohol showing, something that I’d have liked to have been better hidden but the beer was still a drinkable offering. It was quite a warming drink towards the end with a subtle bitterness from the roasted malts and coffee flavours as well as a caramel sweetness backed up by some sugars. It was moderately carbonated and the balance was okay, although as I’ve said there was perhaps a little too much alcohol at times.

Overall (15/20): Strong and boozy with a lot of alcohol showing but this one was also quite a complex offering that opened with some dark malts and chocolate alongside a caramel sweetness which gave it quite a rich, warming feel. I’d have liked a better balance with less alcohol showing but the beer was still a drinkable one with a few roasted malts that turned smoky with some wood flavours towards the end; definitely one worth trying, especially for the price I paid for it but there are better imperial stouts out there too.

Brewed In: Buxton, Derbyshire, England
Brewery: Buxton Brewery/Stillwater Artisinal (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Imperial Stout
Abv: 10.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £3.57

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

Brewdog New England IPA v2

July 14, 2017 1 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 / New England 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