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Mama’s Little Yella Pils

October 6, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.6

My ninth Oskar Blues beer now and my first new offering from the brewery since trying their Death By Coconut and IPA beers back in March of this year, with the IPA turning out to be quite a decent beer. This particular beer is one from the brewery that I’ve seen a number of times over the years but never got around to trying, I’m usually put off by the price since I’m never overly keen to pick up pilsners over other styles of beer. I finally got round to trying this one last night at Brewdog’s Doghouse in Glasgow after finding it freshly on-tap and decided it was finally time I gave it a go. First introduced way back in 2007, this one is a Czech style pilsner that uses both Saaz and Bavarian hops that helped it win a silver medal at the 2001 Great American Beer Festival in the bohemian pilsner category. Anyway here it is, my ninth from the brewery and I’m already looking forward to trying number ten.

mamas-little-yella-pils

Appearance (4/5): Slightly cloudy but still a fairly bright golden colour that is topped with a relatively thin, foamy white head that sits a couple of millimetres tall in the glass. There was plenty of lacing on the sides of the glass though which seemed to make up for the fairly small head.
Aroma (6/10): Subdued on the nose initially, this one was as I’d expected from a pilsner in the early going with some subtle grassy hops and a light citrus nose coming through. The beer was definitely balanced but light with some pleasant sweetness and a touch of corn before the earthy hops and faint spice came through. It was a nice beer on the nose overall but it could probably have used being a little stronger.
Taste (7/10): The taste follows on well from the nose and starts perhaps a touch sweeter too, only just though. There was some nice citrus touches and a grassy hop base with some fruits in the background and the odd hop in there too. Again not too strong going down, this one would have been better had it been slightly more pronounced.
Palate (4/5): Light medium bodied and quite a clean beer that was also fairly crisp on the palate. There was some light citrus around the middle that gave the beer a subtle tang alongside the moderate carbonation levels and overall it was quite easy to drink. As I’ve said, it wasn’t the strongest beer out there but it was fresh and pleasantly refreshing.

Overall (14/20): This one wasn’t too bad a pilsner from Oskar Blues, it was crisp and quite clean with some early sweetness alongside a light citrus and grassy hop flavour. There was some background fruits and it proved quite easy to drink, my biggest complaint being that it wasn’t quite as strong as I’d have liked but it was a decent beer despite this.

Brewed In: Longmont, Colorado, United States of America
Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
First Brewed: 2007
Type: Czech Pilsner
Abv: 5.3%
Serving: Keg (Schooner)
Purchased: Brewdog Doghouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £3.61

Oskar Blues IPA

March 21, 2016 1 comment

Rating: 3.9

Amazingly for a beer with such a generic name, this one is a relatively new beer from the Oskar Blues brewery and one that was first introduced in the summer of 2015 in the United States before making its way to the UK earlier this year. It is a beer that I’ve spotted on a number of occasions now and it’s also one that I’ve wanted to try but for one reason or another I always seem to put off buying a can and giving it a go, until now at least. It will be my second can from the brewery in relatively short succession and comes after recently reviewing a can of their Death By Coconut Irish porter, brewed in association with Shamrock Brewing Co. who are also based in Colorado. For the purpose of being accurate however, it should be noted that this particular offering was actually brewed at Oskar Blues second brewery which is located in North Carolina whilst the Death By Coconut offering originated from the Colorado brew house but both will be listed as Colorado beers here since that’s where the brewery bases most of its operations. Anyway, this one is definitely a beer that I’m looking forward to trying since it will be my first American IPA from the brewery since I was somewhat disappointed by their Pinner Throwback IPA when I sampled that last year; I’m hoping that this one will make up for it a little and prove to be the better beer, let’s find out if it is.

Oskar Blues IPA

Appearance (4/5): Quite a light, semi-clear bodied beer that is a golden amber colour and topped with a quarter centimetre tall head that is white and bubbly. Retention is okay with the head pretty much covering the surface of the beer save for the odd area that looks ever so slightly patchy.
Aroma (7/10): Strong and hoppy on the nose with lots of pine opening things up but there is quite a pungent aroma that comes through with it and makes the beer seem a little harsh in the early going. I got some tropical fruit notes and grapefruit in there along with a little orange and citrus notes but the pine definitely dominates with some juices towards the end.
Taste (8/10): The taste follows on well from the nose with the strong pine again coming through and like the nose it seems fairly pungent as well. There was a nice juicy flavour to the beer with some pleasant tropical fruits and orange coming through along with a lot of floral hops and oily touches before some biscuit malts appear towards the end. It’s a nice tasting beer with plenty of bitterness but the taste was, like the nose, almost completely dominate.
Palate (4/5): The beer is quite a dry and very bitter one, there’s tonnes of pine hops and a very faint sweetness coming through from the tropical fruits that sits on top of a medium body. There’s not much sign of any alcohol coming through and the beer is pretty well carbonated and crisp too.

Overall (16/20): This one was a pretty nice American IPA in the end, it started fairly pungent and a little harsh in the early going but there was some nice tropical fruits and plenty of pine to help things along. It was a very bitter offering that proved easier to drink that I’d initially thought with some strong floral flavours featuring as well. A solid IPA and one well worth trying but it’s probably not Oskar Blues best to be honest.

Brewed In: Longmont, Colorado, United States of America
Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
First Brewed: 2015
Type: American IPA
Abv: 6.43%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer
Price: £3.60

Death By Coconut

March 16, 2016 1 comment

Rating: 3.65

Beer number seven from the Oskar Blues brewery now and my first since trying their Old Chub Scotch Ale and Piner offerings towards the end of last summer. This one is a beer that was originally a limited release and now appears to be brewed on a rotating basis by the Colorado brewery after first being introduced back in March 2014 for the Colorado Craft Beer Week; from what I’ve read, it will be a winter seasonal going forward. The beer is one that I’d seen a few times online and had been eager to try thanks to its rave reviews, so when I spotted it available in the Glasgow area I was quick to grab myself a can. The beer was originally brewed in collaboration with Colorado’s Shamrock Brewing Co. and is the brewery’s take on an Irish porter and it managed to win a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2014 in the chocolate beer category. It’s definitely one that I’m glad to see make it over to the UK and I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s not taken too long for it to reach these shores; I just hope it’s a good one now. Anyway, the beer is definitely one that I’m looking forward to and it will be my first American IPA from the brewery since I was somewhat disappointed by their Pinner Throwback IPA last year so I’m hoping this one can make up for it a little; I’m also interested to see how it compares to Maui’s CoCoNut Porter that I reviewed here a few years ago as well.

Death By Coconut

Appearance (3/5): A very dark ruby colour that pretty much borders on black and is topped with a thin, half centimetre tall head that is a bubbly one that is a light beige colour. Retention isn’t really the best with the head subsiding to leave a thin rim of bubbles around the circumference of the beer and the odd touch of lacing in the centre of the glass as well.
Aroma (8/10): There is quite a creamy nose to this one initially with some good sweetness coming through early on as well, the beer seemed balanced with some nice coconut aromas that are backed up with some milky notes and a little chocolate. I got some pleasant vanilla and cocoa smells around the middle that added to the sweetness before a couple of roasted notes started to come through towards the end with a little grain but the coconut was definitely was dominated and the beer was a nice one on the nose as a result.
Taste (7/10): The taste follows on well from the nose with quite a lot of the coconut coming through early to opens things up, there is a huge amount of sweetness off the back of that as well though. I got some nice cocoa and chocolate flavouring around the middle with a touch of lactose and hints of vanilla before some grains and a hint of alcohol appear towards the end. Like the nose, the taste is dominated by the coconut but there is some chocolate and a few earthy malts to help balance things out a little too.
Palate (4/5): The first thing to mention about this one is that it is a really sweet beer thanks to the huge amount of coconut coming through but there is a very nice, creamy texture to it that comes through on top of a smooth, medium to full body that has a fine, well carbonated feel to it. There was a nice balance to the beer as well with further sweetness at the end of the beer; excellent stuff.

Overall (15/20): This one was another very nice beer from Oskar Blues but at the same time it’s probably one of the worst from the brewery I’ve tried thus far, surprising because on its own this one isn’t a bad beer at all. There was a nice coconut flavour running throughout this one and giving the beer quite a sweet flavour that dominated proceedings for the most part. There was a nice balance for the most part and the carbonation levels were good but in truth it’s probably not one I’d go for again as I could definitely see myself getting tired of the coconut taste after a while; nice stuff but far from the brewery’s best I’m afraid and I definitely preferred Maui’s CoCoNut Porter to this one as well.

Brewed In: Longmont, Colorado, United States of America
Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
First Brewed: 2014
Type: Irish Porter
Abv: 6.5%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £4.50

Wake Up Dead Nitro

February 10, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.1

This one is a beer that I received as a birthday gift at the end of October and opted to hold off drinking it until the very start of this year, over the holiday season. The beer is my second from the Left Hand brewery based in Colorado and will actually be my second stout from them as well, this one being an imperial stout and the last being a sweet one but they’re technically both stouts. This one follows on from the bottle of Left Hand Milk Stout that I reviewed at the start of 2015 with that one being a beer that also featured on the 1001 beers list. This one is a strong offering from the brewery that comes in at over 10% abv. and is stored in cellars by Left Hand for over 4 months before being released to the public. It should be noted that this review is of the Nitro version of the beer, a version that I believe was only introduced in 2014 but hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to try the regular version at some point and see how they compare.

Wake Up Dead Nitro

Appearance (5/5): The beer is a really dark mahogany colour with an opaque body that boarders on black and is topped with a one and a half centimetre tall head that’s creamy looking and a medium tan colour. Head retention is quite good with the beer showing very little initial movement and leaving a thick layer of lacing on the sides of the glass too; great stuff, especially given the strength of this beer.
Aroma (8/10): This one starts quite strong on the nose with a lot of dark fruits coming through initially, prunes and raisins being the most pronounced of the bunch though. There was some roasted malt flavours and a touch of barley following on behind and towards the middle I got some touches of alcohol sneaking in alongside some smoky notes and hints of vanilla sweetness. There was some faint chocolate smells and a hint of coffee towards the end of the nose with the aroma holding a nice balance throughout.
Taste (8/10): Kicking off with a smokey taste, there is some raisins and plumbs from the nose coming through early with this one and they’re backed up by some dates and figs too but the beer doesn’t seem quite as smooth this time round really. There was some creamy touches and a few dark malts before the roasted flavours started to appear around the middle along with a touch of alcohol grain. Towards the end some chocolate flavours and a little bit of sugar added to the sweetness with touches of espresso featuring as well. The beer was an enjoyable one without it seeming overly complex in truth but I won’t complain too much as it was a nice beer.
Palate (4/5): Quite a smooth and creamy beer from Left Hand here, this one was perhaps a touch thinner than I expected from such a strong beer though; it sat around medium bodied. There was some warming alcohol on the palate and soft carbonation levels with some sweetness from the vanilla and sugars as well as the chocolate that appeared towards the end but overall the beer had a nice balance.

Overall (14/20): This one was quite a strong beer with a lot of flavour coming through in its 10.2% abv., although it was a touch thinner than I’d have expected and perhaps not quite as complex tasting as some of the stronger Belgian beers I’ve sampled recently. There was some nice roasted malts coming through but the dark fruits coupled with the vanilla sweetness were what came out on top. The beer was definitely a nice one from Left Hand with a good balance but it’s probably not quite on par with some of the better imperial stouts out there if I’m honest and for that reason I’m not sure I’d pick this one up again in future; it was still a good beer though and I wonder if the regular version would be any different from this nitro one.

Brewed In: Longmont, Colorado, United States of America
Brewery: Left Hand Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2014 (Nitro version)
Type: Imperial Stout
Abv: 10.2%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: Gift

Old Chub Scotch Ale

September 1, 2015 1 comment

Rating: 4.1

Old Chub will be my fifth beer from the Oskar Blues Brewery based in Longmont, Colorado and I’m especially looking forward to this can given that I’ve enjoyed the previous four I’ve tried from the brewery. This one is a can that I ordered from the Brewdog online shop recently having spotted it on a number of occasions in the past (along with the Nitro version) but I’ve always been reluctant to pick it up as the price is usually quite high but I finally relented though and added one to my cart when ordering. Hopefully the beer will live up to the previous offerings from Oskar Blues despite the fact I’m not the biggest fan of Scotch ales in the world and it’s not a style of beer I try as often as I really should; maybe this one will change that going forward.

Old Chub Scotch Ale

Appearance (5/5): Pouring a dark, opaque brown with a few red tinges in the middle, this one has a thumb sized head that is quite creamy looking and holds particularly well given the strength of the beer. There is some good lacing left on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (8/10): Quite a creamy beer on the nose with some strong malts coming through early on alongside plenty of caramel sweetness and some sugars as well. There is a surprisingly good hop presence to this one with a few raisins and touches of vanilla in there as well before some smoky patches and a slightly nutty aroma see things out; and overall the balance is quite a good one.
Taste (7/10): Strong malts and some caramel kick things off here before some toffee starts to come through soon after and I could detect quite a lot of sweetness from the beer as a result. There was some vanilla and bread mixed in with some darker, ripe fruits such as prunes and raisins as well as some roasted flavours. The hop presence from the nose is also apparent here with some touches of floral hops and a bit of bitterness too.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and full bodied, this one is definitely a creamy beer with a nice bitterness throughout and slightly more hops that expected. There is a lot of sweetness throughout and carbonation levels are quite soft but the balance is an excellent one.

Overall (16/20): This one was another excellent beer from Oskar Blues, it was definitely a lot more hoppy than I had been expecting and there was a huge amount of sweetness in there too but the two seemed to work well together and the balance was a good one. Overall it was an easy beer to drink despite the 8% abv. and the texture was a smooth, creamy one with surprisingly little of the alcohol showing.

Brewed In: Longmont, Colorado, United States of America
Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
First Brewed: circa. 2003
Previously Known As: Oskar Blues HYA
Type: Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy
Abv: 8.0%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £4.00

Oskar Blues Pinner

July 21, 2015 1 comment

Rating: 3.7

My fifth can from Oskar Blues now, a beer that I picked up over the weekend at the Drygate bottle shop in Glasgow after finding myself in the mood for an IPA to drink later that evening. The beer in question is their Pinner Throwback IPA, a new session IPA to the market that was launched late in 2014 to an already saturated market, although I usually enjoy most Oskar Blues beers so it was still one I was looking forward to. An interesting note on this one is that the can I picked up happened to be brewed at Oskar Blues North Carolina brewery rather than their original Colorado location but for consistency I’ll still list this one as a Colorado beer despite the fact I’ve yet to try one from North Carolina; the hunt continues I guess.

Piner Throwback IPA

Appearance (4/5): Light golden to amber coloured with a clear body and a thumb sized, bubbly white head that’s quite fluffy looking. Retention isn’t too bad either, after about a minute it sits roughly half a centimetre tall but most of this sits around the circumference, there’s less towards the centre of the beer.
Aroma (7/10): This one starts with some nice citrus notes and quite a few tropical fruits, there is naturally some pine as well but not as much as you’d expect giving the name; to be honest the entire aroma wasn’t quite as strong as I was expecting either. There’s a little sweetness on the back of the pine and early hops that come through, I got some lemon and a few grassy notes as well before some subtle malts and bread notes start to come through towards the end. A nice smelling beer but definitely one that I’d have liked to see coming through slightly stronger.
Taste (7/10): Citrus hops with some pine ones as well kick things off here with a tropic fruit backing. There’s some malts coming through early on and they’re slightly more pronounced here than they were with the nose, some caramel and touches of sweetness are present here as well. Around the middle and towards the end there was some grapefruit flavours with bread malts and subtle grassy hops after that but again, like the nose, nothing is particularly strong here either.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and light-medium bodied, this one has a nice and fairly strong tang to it from the citrus hops that also provide a nice bitterness too. The beer has quite a nice balance and above average carbonation, there’s a faint sweetness there as well.

Overall (14/20): Not a bad session IPA really but the market seems to be overloaded at the minute and I’m not sure this one is up there with the better in the style, mainly down to the fact that it was a little light in taste and particularly with the nose. I’m not sure where the ‘throwback’ part of the name comes from though with it coming through as a fairly modern tasting beer with the tropical fruit and pine flavours and a little sweetness too. It was a decent offering but probably not a memorable one sadly.

Brewed In: Longmont, Colorado, United States of America
Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
First Brewed: 2014
Full Name: Oskar Blues Piner Throwback IPA
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.9%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: Drygate (Glasgow)
Price: £3.50

Rudie Session IPA

Rating: 3.75

Time now for what will be my third beer from the Colorado based SKA brewing company and my second session IPA in quick succession after reviewing DayTime from Lagunitas brewing recently; hopefully this one comes out better than that particular offering did. This beer follows on from their Modus Hoperandi & Nefarious Ten Pin Imperial Porter offerings which are the only other two from the brewery that I’ve tried to date and both just happened to be excellent so hopefully that means Rudie will be too. Introduced in late 2014, this beer is a rotating offering from the brewery that fills the gap left when they stopped making their regular Ten Pin Porter recently. Brewed with El Dorado and Galaxy Hops, Rudie is advertised as a “brew you can drink for breakfast”, I’ll not go that far just yet but it is a fairly light beer, coming in at 4.5% this has all the makings of a good session IPA so I’m looking forward to cracking this can open.

Rudie Session IPA

Appearance (4/5): Another session IPA and another one that seems quite light, the beer pours a faint golden colour with a very clear body and is topped with a large, two-inch tall head that is foamy in texture and slowly recedes in size over the course of a minute or so whilst leaving touches of lace on the sides too.
Aroma (6/10): Medium strength hops kick things off here, mainly some some pine and tropical fruits but with some citrus coming through as well early on. There’s some bread malts and biscuit around the middle too but the hops dominate here but I still felt they could have been a bit stronger.
Taste (8/10): Matching the nose well but coming through slightly stronger with some nice pineapple and tropical fruits to kick things off, there is some grapefruit and pine in there too early on. I got some nice bitter hops with strong citrus flavours and to a lesser extent some biscuit malts as well before some orange, mango and maybe even a little apricot round things off nicely.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and naturally very bitter with strong carbonation levels and a touch of grain in there with nice citrus tang on the tongue too before the dry finish comes through. This one was quite an easy session IPA to drink as it went down easily and ended quite crisp.

Overall (15/20): This one is yet another pretty good beer from SKA brewing, not quite as good as the previous two efforts from them that I’ve tried but this one was still very good and highly drinkable with plenty of hops coming through. I started to fear the worst after being somewhat disappointed by the aroma but things definitely picked up and started to come through stronger with the taste which was undoubtedly a good thing. I’m not sure it’s a beer I’d go back to often but it was an enjoyable offering and one of the better session IPA’s I’ve tried.

Brewed In: Durango, Colorado, United States of America
Brewery: SKA Brewing Co.
First Brewed: 2014
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Can (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. (Glasgow)
Price: £2.50