Archive

Posts Tagged ‘europe’

Slot Machine

December 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.9

A second new Brewdog beer from 2017 in quick succession now, this one a American IPA styled rye beer from the brewery that follows on from the recent review of their Make Earth Great Again limited release. This one from the brewery is a seasonal that was introduced something around September and thankfully I was able to grab a bottle a month or so later when I spotted a few in my local Morrison’s supermarket. Opting for a 660ml bomber of the beer, this is one that I’m looking forward to since Brewdog are most definitely at home when brewery American style IPA’s and the rye twist on this one should prove interesting. As the last seasonal for 2017 from Brewdog, this one takes more of a winter feel and is more malty that their last two seasonal beers that preceded this one, their Hop Fiction and Electric India offerings and it should be interesting to see if this one makes a return or is replaced in next years lineup.

Appearance (4/5): Pour a dark copper colour that was edging towards mahogany brown and a lot darker than anticipated, sitting with a large head that was between four and five centimetres tall with a foamy texture. The head looked surprisingly thick and creamy with very good retention as well before slowly losing some of its initial height after a minute or so.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a hop-filled aroma kicks things off here with nice pine and orange hops coming through in the early going before some grapefruit and the odd tropical notes showed themselves further on, the combination of mango, citrus and peach seeming the most pronounced of the fruits. It was definitely a fresh and lively beer with a little caramel coming through as well as some toffee and subtle spices that seen things out.
Taste (8/10): Slightly darker than with the nose, the beer opens with some caramel malts and the odd earthy malt too; both of these featuring much earlier than they had with the nose. There was some hop bitterness towards the middle with the citrus and pine from the nose alongside some rye spices, mango and peach before being rounded off with some grapefruit and finally some caramel sweetness at the end.
Palate (4/5): Medium-bodied and quite well carbonated with a fresh and lively feel to the beer, this one was tangy from the start with nice hop bitterness and a few spices coming through as well. The beer had a nice balance throughout and seemed resinous at points thanks to the pine and grapefruit but despite being relatively complex for the style it was still an easy on to drink.

Overall (16/20): This one was quite a nice American IPA that was definitely darker than expected and the rye aspect of the beer was a pleasant one as well. Initially there was some nice citrus and pine hops that kept things fresh and lively before some caramel malts and earthy flavours started to sneak in with the taste. There was a nice balance to the beer and it was well-carbonated too which helped it go down easily; a nice seasonal offering from Brewdog and one that I’d like to see again next year.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2017
Type: American IPA/Rye Beer
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Bottle (660ml)
Purchased: Morrisons (Glasgow)
Price: £2.50

Advertisements

Heidi-Weisse

December 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

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

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

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

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

Lindemanns Gueuze Cuvée René

December 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

My third Lindemans beer now, this one follows on from the Framboise and Kriek offerings that I’ve tried in the past and is my first new beer from the brewery since trying the Framboise back in 2015. This one is a beer that features on the updated version of the 1001 beers list and is quite a highly rated beer online where it sits as the 25th highest rated gueuze on the BeerAdvocate website. I managed to find a bottle of this one in one of Brewdog’s Glasgow bars recently, having previously spotted it on the menu of other bars in the past but it’s never been available when I’ve asked for a bottle until now.

Appearance (4/5): Fairly bright looking with some cloudy touches through the body and a white head on top that was more of a thin lacing around the sides but about what I’d expect from the style.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with plenty of tart and funky notes, the beer is fresh and lively with some nice lemon zest and subtle spices, citrus definitely being the strongest on the nose initially. It was quite an easy-going beer on the nose with some apples and pears coming through around the middle and some acidity rounding things off.
Taste (7/10): Following on well from the nose, the beer opens with plenty of tart and citrus flavours, some orange accompanying the lemon this time around with a few pale malts towards the middle. It wasn’t the most complex tasting beer but some grapes and pears made themselves known further on with some subtle spices and herbal touches adding to freshness of the beer.
Palate (4/5): Light-medium bodied and quite crisp with a fresh feel to it throughout thanks to the citrus tang and lively carbonation levels. It was a balanced and easy to drink beer that had plenty tart initially with some funky flavours throughout as well.

Overall (16/20): Quite a fresh and crisp beer from the start, it was lively with some nice tart and funky flavours kicking things off alongside plenty of citrus and a few subtle spices. Further on there was some lighter fruits with apples, grapes and pears all featuring at points before some acidity seen things out. It was a balanced and easy-going offering that I enjoyed and would definitely have again.

Brewed In: St Pieters Leeuw-Vlezenbeek, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij Lindemans
First Brewed: circa. 2000
Type: Lambic – Gueuze
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Bottle (375ml)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, ScotlandGueuze Cuvée René
Price: £5.00 (approx.)

Make Earth Great Again

December 7, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.6

Possibly another marketing gimmick beer from Brewdog, this one is a protest against global warming and the US withdrawal from the Paris agreement, with all proceeds are donated the 10:10 Climate Action group as a result. Launched on the night I tried it in a Glasgow Brewdog bar last month, the beer adopts a popular Donald Trump campaign slogan and comes through as a 7.5% abv. farmhouse ale which I ordinarily wouldn’t have went for but it was launch night and I was in the bar so I thought I might as well give it a try. Since this one is only available as a limited release from the brewery, I can’t imagine this is one that I’ll get another chance to try but it turned out to be quite an interesting beer and one worth trying while you still can, particularly if you’re a saison fan.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a clear bodied beer,t his one was a light amber colour with a thin and foamy head on top that had a little more lacing on the sides of the glass but wasn’t too bad a start.
Aroma (6/10): Slightly funky with some lemon and faint tart coming through, the beer was fresh with a few good citrus notes towards the middle but nothing too strong really. Further on I detected some subtle coriander and spices with a few background hops as well.
Taste (7/10): Lemon and tart kick things off here, there was some fresh flavours to the beer as well as some funk and the odd pale malt nearer the middle. Again it wasn’t an overly strong offering but some nice spices and hops made an appearance towards the end to round things off.
Palate (4/5): Medium to light-medium bodied and well carbonated, the beer was relatively fresh and easy-going with some subtle funk and tart throughout. Overall it was quite lively on the palate with some sourness further on and a subtle kick from the alcohol that was enjoyable as well.

Overall (14/20): This one was a decent sour saison that was quite crisp and lively with a subtle hit of funk and tart but one that remained balanced and easy to drink. To be honest, the beer really isn’t anything special despite it being drinkable and easy-going but thankfully it’s a limited release from Brewdog and one that will probably not be around for too long.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Saison/Farmhouse Ale
Abv: 7.5%
Serving: Keg (Schooner)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £4.50

Big Black Berry Chew Chew

December 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.6

A second Fallen beer in quick succession and one that follows on from their Grapevine pale ale that I reviewed here recently, this one however is a slightly stronger beer that comes in and 10% abv. and is labelled as a “salted caramel, blackberry and blackcurrant milk stout” which certainly isn’t a style of beer that you see very often. I spotted this one in a local bottle shop alongside the brewery’s raspberry version of the beer and was tempted to pick that one up as well but opted to see how this one goes before grabbing that one as well, so hopefully this one turns out to be as good as the last beer from the brewery that I tried.

Appearance (4/5): Dark ruby with an almost purple hue in places and topped with a quarter-inch foamy head that took a fairly aggressive pour to form and is a light brown colour with purple hues through that as well. It is patchy towards the centre but I don’t have too many complaints given the strength of the beer.
Aroma (8/10): Surprisingly fruity to begin with, there is obviously a lot of the blackcurrant and blackberries coming through in the early going with a subtle hint of cherry too. The beer seems fresher than I’m used to for an imperial stout with some good sweetness and tart notes in the early going as well. There are followed up by the salted caramel advertised on the can as well as some lighter fruits that give the beer a juicy aroma to it. There’s some milky notes further on with some darker malts and roasted notes seeing things out but it’s a lighter smell than expected from such a strong beer with the fruits dominating for the most part and it is certainly something different too.
Taste (7/10): Slightly darker than the nose with lactose and milk flavours coming more to the front alongside the berries from the nose and the blackcurrant too. It’s again sweet and fresh, very juicy too with and little caramel towards the middle that only added to the sweetness before some of the tart from the nose started to come through and eventually eclipsed what was showing on the nose. Again it was an unusual beer for an imperial stout and definitely something different to what I’m used to, it was enjoyable as well which was nice but I’m not totally convinced by it in truth.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and definitely a little lighter than you would expect from a 10% abv. beer but at least it wasn’t a thin offering. The beer was fruity with some nice sweetness and tart showing in both the nose and the taste plus there was good variety to the beer whilst the balance wasn’t too bad either; it was perhaps a little too sweet at times but it remained drinkable throughout anyway. Despite coming through at 10% abv. and being labelled as an imperial stout, the beer was surprisingly light on alcohol flavours and grain, the rest of the fruits seemingly masking the alcohol content completely.

Overall (14/20): Quite an unusual beer here, this one is labelled as an imperial stout but at times seemed closer to a sour or fruit beer with plenty of blackcurrant and berries coming through in the early going, accompanied by some caramel and milk flavours but both of these definitely seemed to take a back seat to the fruits. The alcohol content of the beer in particular was well hidden and it was surprisingly easy to drink, although the sweetness did seem a little overdone at times sadly. It was a varied beer with a lot going on and it was unlike anything I’d tried before but I’m not convinced that it would be a beer that I’d rush back to again I’m afraid since there is already a lot of better imperial stouts out there waiting to be tried.

Brewed In: Kippen, Stirling, Scotland
Brewery: Fallen Brewing
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Imperial Stout
Abv: 10.0%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £4.80

Club of Slaughters

December 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.25

A fourth Wylam beer now and one that comes after a five-year gap with the last beer from the brewery I tried being their Bohemia pilnser that I sampled back in December 2012. The other two beers from the brewery that I’ve sampled, their Angel and Rocket bitters, were both pretty standard fair but the Newcastle based brewery seems to have upped their game of late and I’ve started to see a few more adventurous offerings from them available. I picked this one up when visiting the city over the summer and also grabbed another couple from them on the same visit, a triple and another imperial stout I believe as well as a single hop pale ale. I then spotted yet another imperial stout from Wylam in a Glasgow bottle shop last weekend, a beer that I quickly picked up. This particular offering from the brewery, despite the name suggesting otherwise, is apparently a vegan friendly beer that was first introduced in late 2015 and as yet is not one that I’ve seen available in Scotland but perhaps that is something that will change going forward since last weekend was the first time that I’d spotted any Wylam beers north of the border.

Appearance (4/5): Opaque black and almost oil-like with a foamy brown head that is just under a centimetre tall but holds surprisingly well for a fairly strong beer. The head does slowly fade to leave a thin surface lacing in the middle with a little more build up around the sides but it doesn’t look too bad at all.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a strong beer on the nose with a lot of alcohol showing in the early going as well as a lot of peated malts that gave the beer a type of whiskey aroma. It was slightly sweet towards the middle with some rich and dark fruits coming through alongside some mint that was unusual but enjoyable before the beer was rounded off with some liquorice and alcohol grains.
Taste (6/10): Opening with the same peated malts that featured heavily with the nose, the beer wasn’t quite as strong this time around but there was some strong alcohol grains and smoky flavours present that threatened to overpower at points. I got some roasted flavours around the middle of the beer with touches of mint further on with some more malts seeing things out.
Palate (3/5): A very strong beer with plenty dark and roasted touches that were quite smoky too that’s to the peated malts. The beer was loaded with alcohol and seemed stronger than the 8.8% abv. on the bottle, the balance in particular being a poor one that made it a slow one to get through; not a great one of the style at all and one I’d avoid in future.

Overall (13/20): This one was a very strong beer from the outset and one that was loaded with peated malts, smoky flavours and some wood which all gave the beer a whiskey feel to it in the early going. The alcohol that came through seemed overdone and made the beer seem a lot stronger than the 8.8% advertised on the bottle, it was also a bit of a struggle to finish too, although the surprising addition of some mint to the nose and taste was quite enjoyable but other than that the beer seemed poorly balanced and was a relatively poor imperial stout sadly.

Brewed In: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Brewery: Wylam Brewery
First Brewed: 2015
Type: Imperial Stout
Abv: 8.8%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Fenwicks (Newcastle)
Price: £3.49

Schwaben Bräu Volksfestbier

December 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.35

My second beer from the Dinkelacker-Schwaben brewery now, this one following on from their Wulle Biere Vollbier Hell that I tried back in April when I picked up a bottle in Berlin, although it wasn’t a beer that I thought very highly of so I was hopeful that this one would be better. The beer itself is one that is available in Aldi stores in the UK on occasion and is a beer that I was given as part of a birthday present recently so hopefully it’s a good one. Despite thinking it was another pale lager or helles offering from the brewery, this one is actually Märzen (or Oktoberfest) beer so it’s probably only available part of the year so it’s a good one to check off at least.

Appearance (3/5): A very clear but bright golden colour that is topped with a two or three centimetre tall head that was white and foamy but looked quite active and slowly receded to settle about a quarter-inch tall after a minute or so.
Aroma (5/10): Quite a light beer on the nose with a sticky sweetness and some basic malts coming through in the early going alongside the usual hay and grassy notes. There’s not a great deal going on but I got some basic lager malts and touches of cereal and grain further on, thankfully no skunk was showing at least.
Taste (4/10): Like the nose, this one was again quite a light beer with some grassy hops and basic malts alongside some skunk that was absent with the nose. It’s loaded with cereal and cheap adjuncts with some hay and the faintest of citrus touches towards the end.; poor stuff really.
Palate (2/5): Light to light-medium bodied and quite strongly carbonated with some gasses showing and a slight tang. It’s a grainy offering that is a little rough on the way down and it’s quite basic and bland too sadly; there’s not much going on at all.

Overall (9/20): Quite a disappointing beer and much like the first from the brewery that I tried early this year, this is another from Dinkelacker-Schwabe that I’ll definitely be avoiding in future. There was some basic malts and grassy flavours in the early going with the odd lager malt and some citrus but it wasn’t overly strong or varied with the taste getting quite boring towards the end; one to avoid I’m afraid.

Brewed In: Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Brewery: Dinkelacker-Schwaben Bräu
First Brewed: circa. 2006
Type: Märzen/Oktoberfest
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Aldi (Scotland)
Price: Gift