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Posts Tagged ‘fruit beer’

Mangoes on the Run

July 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.7

An eighteenth review of an Innis & Gunn beer now and one that I stumbled across in a local supermarket recently and quickly grabbed given it is apparently a limited edition offering from the brewery and I wasn’t sure how long it would be available for. The beer is a new from that was released in early summer 2018 by the brewery and is the most fruity offering I’ve seen from the brewery given they usually stick with butterscotch tasting beers as well as their Innis & Gunn Lager Beer that was become quite popular of late. This one will be my first new offering from the brewery since trying their Gunpowder IPA and Blood Red Sky English strong ale back to back in March so it’s not been an overly long wait between beers from the brewery but this was one that definitely intrigued me and it does seem to get good reviews online so I’m quite looking forward to cracking it open now.

Appearance (4/5): A bronze looking beer with a surprisingly clear body and a very nice, two centimetre tall, foamy white head that looked quite thick and creamy at point with a white colour and very good retention with it holding for the first couple minutes with little reduction in size; a great start to the beer.
Aroma (7/10): Quite sweet with some nice sugar notes coming through in the early going, there was some mango as you’d expect but some strawberries and touches of orange and apricot too. The beer is slightly tropical but it was also a little artificial with some sweeteners coming through alongside faint malts and background grassy hops too. It’s a nice and balance nose with some grain and bread like notes at the end too, very nice stuff and on I can’t wait to taste.
Taste (7/10): Fresh with some nice mango and to a lesser extent apricot coming through, the beer was slightly artificial with a few sugars coming through alongside faint citrus and tropical fruits sitting in the background too. It’s balanced with some light malts and bread flavours coming through as well as some grain but the fruits definitely dominate. It’s slightly sweet towards the end with subtle hops seeing things out; very nice stuff.
Palate (4/5): Lively and quite fresh, the beer is well-carbonated with some sugars and a very slightly artificial feel to this one. It’s easy going with a light-medium body and a good balance with the tropical fruit sweetness going with with the light malts, although the former seemed the strongest.

Overall (14/20): Much better than anticipated, the beer was definitely a sweet and fruity one with some nice sugars and apricot but the mango dominated as expected. There was a slightly artificial feel at times but it was balanced with some background light malts and bread ones too with citrus and grassy hops featuring as well. It was a nice beer that proved easy to drink without being anything spectacular, it was slightly grainy nearer the end with some subtle hops coming through as well.

Brewed In:  Edinburgh, Scotland
Brewery: Innis & Gunn Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Fruit Beer
Abv: 5.6%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Morrison’s (Glasgow)
Price: £1.50

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Kriek De Ranke (387 of 1001)

Rating: 4.2

A review of the last beer from the 1001 beers list that I managed to try over in Belgium recently, although I do still have two more reviews of beers I tried over there to add here as well as still having to try a few bottles that I brought home with me too. This one is a third review of a De Ranke beer for me now with it following on from their Guldenberg and XX Bitter offerings that I had back in 2014 but wasn’t particularly taken by. Like this one, both those beers featured on the 1001 beers list as well but thankfully this one was a beer I definitely preferred to those. I managed to try this one when I stopped by one of the Moeder Lambic on my last full day in Brussels before heading home and was pleased to see it available after previously spotting a bottle in the UK but opting not to buy it given the rather expensive price, so I’m please I got to try it eventually.

Appearance (4/5): Sitting a pinkish red in the glass with rose tinges, the beer was opaque and topped with a pinkish white head that sat about a half centimetre tall and was a little patchy towards on side of the surface.
Aroma (8/10): Quite a fruity nose with some sour notes in the early going too, it opened with a nice combination of tart and cherry with some further sweetness from the sugars towards the middle. Around the middle and towards the end there was some raspberries with a touch of bitterness and funk coming through followed by some acidity and grapes towards the end.
Taste (8/10): Definitely more sour than the nose, the beer opened with a lot of cherries and sugar on the taste buds with some strong bitterness too. It’s a lively tasting beer with a funky middle that has some orange and raspberry flavours backing it up. There wasn’t much alcohol showing at all and it seemed lighter than it was with some funk and further fruity flavours seeing things out.
Palate (5/5): Fresh and strongly carbonated, the beer was quite lively with plenty of funk and sweetness in the early going alongside a tart sourness. It was slightly more bitter than anticipated with a nice balance that hid the alcohol content and made it an easy one to drink.

Overall (16/20): Strong and lively with a lot of tart and cherry kicking things off, the beer was fresh and well-carbonated with some nice sourness in the early going too. I found the beer to be slightly more bitter than expected with the taste but it remained balanced with a nice fruity twist soon after with raspberries, some orange and more cherries featuring alongside a sugar sweetness; excellent stuff and one I’d happily have again.

Brewed In: Dottignies, Hainaut, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij De Ranke
First Brewed: 2000
Type: Lambic – Fruit
Abv: 7.0%
Serving: Keg (250ml)
Purchased: Moeder Lambic Fontainas (Brussels)
Price: €4.90 (approx. £4.33)

Cranachan Killer

Rating: 3.4

A fifth beer from Fierce Beer for me now but only my second from the brewery that isn’t a collaboration with another brewery, the other being their NEIPA Red Rye that I enjoyed back in April when I picked up a couple cans of the stuff to try. This one is a fruit beer from the brewery that caught my eye when I spotted it in the supermarket recently and decided to give it a go, it has been a while since I last had a fruit beer with the very disappointing can of Asahi Red Eye that I had back in Japan last year probably being the last and I’m hopeful this one is a better beer than that one proved to be. I did notice that Aldi seemed to have a few Fierce beers on their shelves as well so with any luck I’ll be able to pick up a couple more the next time I’m in as well.

Appearance (4/5):A cloudy pink to orange colour with a thin, bubbly head on top that was an off-white and faded in the centre after twenty or so seconds to leave a bit of laces around the edges but not much in the middle.
Aroma (6/10): Very sweet and quite fruity too, there’s some raspberry and a little sugar in the early going with touches of strawberry and what seemed like a few more summer berries towards the middle. It’s a little artificial on the nose with some faint tart and funk further on as well as the odd pale malt but the fruits and the raspberries in particular dominate this one.
Taste (6/10): Opening with more tart than the nose and some touches of raspberry quite early on, it’s again quite fruity and fresh as well as being slightly less artificial than the nose seemed. Towards the end some pale malts and subtle grassy flavours seen things out.
Palate (4/5): Very tarty and sweet in the early going with some sugars and funky touches coming through. The beer was quite fruity with a light-medium body and fine, lively carbonation. It’s a dry beer with a sharp feel but it went down well had quite a good mouthfeel for the style.

Overall (12/20): This one was quite a nice fruit beer with good raspberry flavours and tart opening things up with plenty sugars too, it did seem a touch artificial on the nose but this settled down and seemed slightly more natural with the taste. It had some strawberries and background berries in there as well but it was the raspberries that seemed strongest; all in all a nice beer for the style but probably not one I’d pick up again.

Brewed In: Aberdeen, Scotland
Brewery: Fierce Beer
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Fruit Beer
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Aldi (Glasgow)
Price: £1.49

Timmermans Framboise Lambicus (374 of 1001)

March 26, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.45

Another beer from the 1001 list in fairly quick succession, this one is a beer from the Timmermans brewery and follows on from their Pêche Lambicus that I tried all the way back in November 2011 making this one only the second beer from the Belgian based brewery that I’ve ever reviewed here. Despite that previous Timmermans offering being a slight disappointment, this one is a beer that I’ve been looking for in the years since but didn’t think it would take me so long to find; I eventually stumbled across a bottle in Valhalla’s Goat in Glasgow recently and quickly grabbed one to try. First brewed sometime around 1980, this one is a fairly new beer from a brewery that has been brewing lambics since 1781 (or 1702 if you believe the bottle) and it’s one that I’m definitely looking forward to trying; perhaps if it’s a good one it will inspire me to re-review their Pêche Lambicus given it’s been over six years since I first tried it.

Appearance (4/5): A reddish pink colour that was surprisingly clear when poured and topped with a centimetre tall, foamy head that was also a light pink colour with hints of cream through it. The head retention was quite good in the early going too with the most of the height holding well over the opening minutes before eventually fading to a thin surface lacing.
Aroma (6/10): Naturally quite a sweet and has some tart on the nose with a strong raspberry aroma kicking things off as you would expect before some sugars and hints of blackberry started to come through. Thankfully it seems like quite a natural nose with some strawberry and funky notes a little further on. It’s relatively light on the nose with some subtle malts towards the end as well.
Taste (6/10): Following on in a similar fashion to where the nose left off, this one opens with a lot of raspberries and strawberries that are coupled together with plenty of sugars that push the beer towards an almost sickly taste before some subtle malts come through to help balance it out slightly. There was some blackberries and tart showing around the middle that gave the beer a sour feel before some funky flavours seen things out.
Palate (4/5): Light-medium bodied and very sweet on the palate, this one was sugary with some funk and tart coming through from the start and the carbonation levels were bordering on strong. It seemed like a crisp beer that was a little one-dimensional at times but was also quite easy to drink with nothing offensive coming through at any point.

Overall (13/20): This one was an interesting offering in that it was very sweet throughout but didn’t quite turning sickening, although it threatened too towards the end of the taste but stopped short of it. There was a nice combination of berries featuring with raspberries dominating and some strawberries sitting before some blackberries seen things out. It was a relatively easy beer to drink with fine carbonation and some subtle malts helping the balance slightly but I doubt I could drink more than one of this in a row.

Brewed In: Itterbeek, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij Timmermans (John Martin)
First Brewed: circa. 1980
Type: Lambic – Fruit
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Valhalla’s Goat (Glasgow)
Price: £2.99

Asahi Red Eye

November 30, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 1.65

The final beer from those that I managed to try on my recent trip to Japan now and one that I tried on my last morning in the country before heading home; I do at least have a couple more Japanese beers to review though after picking some up on my final day in the country. This beer isn’t really one that I was holding out much hope for when I first picked it up but it was a new an unusual beer so I decided to give it a go given I’d likely never see it outside of Japan. Described as part tomato juice and part beer, this one was my fifth Asahi beer and follows on from their Super Dry Black offering that I reviewed here recently but sadly this one wasn’t anywhere near as good as that one.

Appearance (2/5): A light tomato red colour that was pretty much what I’d expected, there was a small foamy lacing on top for a head but this disappeared completely after about twenty seconds though and the beer was an opaque looking one that looked pretty much like a glass of tomato juice after the head vanished.
Aroma (3/10): Opening with tonnes of tomato notes initially, there wasn’t really much to this one beyond that in the early going but further on some background malts did feature, they were very faint though.
Taste (3/10): The initial taste was a very close relation to the nose with tonnes of tomatoes opening and dominating the early going before some basic sweet malts and a tiny bit of citrus started to come through towards the end with subtle grassy flavours too.
Palate (2/5): Surprisingly this one was quite a thin bodied beer with a lot more carbonation than expected too, it was quite a lively but ultimately a basic beer on the way down. There was some touches of sweetness towards the end thanks to the malts but that was about it really.

Overall (5/20): Not a great beer at all, this one was basically an alcoholic tomato juice that was miles behind even a poor Bloody Mary. The beer did have some basic sweet malts and hints of citrus and grassy flavours further on with the taste but it was almost completely dominated by tomato juice flavours and was a struggle to drink. Definitely one that I’d avoid in future, even if you’re usually a tomato juice fan because I can’t see how anyone would enjoy this when the real stuff is probably miles better as well.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Asahi Breweries
First Brewed:  circa. 2012
Type: Fruit/Vegetable Beer
ABV: 3.5%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Don Quijote (Sihinbuya, Tokyo)
Price:¥153 (£1.01 approx.)

Joshuaku Plum Ale

October 20, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.15

The first of two beers from the Ichijoji brewery that I managed to try in their Kyoto taproom when I visited late last month on a trip to the city; this one appearing to be an autumn seasonal from the brewery. I opted for this particularly offering as my first beer in the taproom since it was a rare chance to try a Japanese fruit beer on-tap and because it was a seasonal offering; it’s also very possibly my first ever plum beer too.

Appearance (4/5): Cloudy, medium amber with a half centimetre, foamy white head that turns to a fine surface lacing after a minute or so but leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass in the process.
Aroma (5/10): Fairly light with some background fruits initially, there was some plum in there (or at least that’s what I assumed it to be) followed by some earthy hops and a touch of bread malt. The beer was semi-sweet around the middle with a little honey coming through but not too much else really which made it seem weak at times, although a tiny bit of tart did see things out.
Taste (6/10):
Slightly more pronounced than the nose, the taste kicked off with some basic malts and honey before the plum from the nose made a brief appearance. There was some citrus towards the middle with biscuit and bread malts following on behind; an improvement on the nose but still not great.
Palate (3/5):
Opening with some tart and a medium body and plenty of funk alongside a slight citrus tang, this was a medium bodied beer that was slightly fresher than expected but definitely far too weak; there was at least some sweetness at the end though. The balance seemed okay but that was partially down to the fact that nothing was particularly strong coming through which in turn made it easy on the way down but not overly enjoyable.

Overall (13/20): This one was definitely a weak offering but also one that took a while to open up so it didn’t end up being as bland or poor as I’d initially feared; it still wasn’t the strongest but some nice funk and tart flavours did feature further on. The plum advertised in the beer’s name was relatively light and difficult to detect but there was some background fruits and a light sweetness to the beer but it wasn’t great really; still it’s likely the only Japanese fruit beer I’ll try for a while.

Brewed In: Kyoto, Japan
Brewery: Ichijoji Brewery
First Brewed: circa. 2017
Also Known As: Ichijoji Sumomo Ale
Type: Fruit Beer
Abv: 5.3%
Serving: Keg (270ml)
Purchased: Ichi-Ya Bar, Kyoto, Japan
Price: ¥648 (£4.29 approx.)

Taiwan Long Chuan Beer Peach

Rating: 2.05

Following very quickly on from the lemon version of this beer from the same brewery, I’ll now be sampling the Taiwan Long Chuan Beer Peach flavours which will be my second from the Taiwan Tsing Beer Co. and my third in total from Taiwan, the other being the can of Taiwan Beer Gold Medal that I tried and hated a number of years ago. Thankfully the lemon version of this beer wasn’t quite as bad as the first Taiwan beer I tried and although it wasn’t exactly one to write home about, the beer was drinkable and I’m hopeful that this one will be too. It’s not often I get to pick up a peach flavoured beer and I’m also hoping it is more fruit beer than radler this time but given the fact that it is another 2.5% abv. beer, I’m not exactly holding my breath for it.

Appearance (2/5): Even lighter than the lemon version, this one is incredibly light straw coloured that isn’t too far away from water in appearance. There is again a lot of fine bubbles rising to the surface but this time the head is much better, it’s a white and foamy one that sits about a centimetre tall in the glass and holds a lot better than expected too, lasting the opening minute or so before slowly reducing in size.
Aroma (5/10): Plenty of peach in the early going, the nose was again quite artificial but not overly so at least. There was some sugars adding to the sweetness initially with some apricot and floral notes in there too which meant this was a little bit more to it than the lemon version. It’s overly sweet at times and there isn’t much in the way of the traditional beer notes to this one really with the nose rounded off with what was a very sweet, syrupy type aroma to see things out.
Taste (4/10): Sweet with an opening combination of peaches and apricot, there was some oranges and a syrupy type, artificial sweetness to the beer in the early going. It has no bitterness or any of the usual beer flavours coming through, I got a tonne of sugar and a couple of summer fruits and white grapes nearer the middle but that was about it really; again it’s not much like a beer at all.
Palate (2/5): Light bodied but very sweet and with a slightly syrupy feel, the beer was quite smooth for the most part though but could have been a little stronger at times. There was some summer fruits at times but it was fairly one-dimensional for the most part and not very beer like either.

Overall (7/20): This one was another fairly poor offering from the brewery overall although if pushed I would say it was a very slightly worse that the lemon version at times but it was also overly sweet throughout. There was some peach and apricot with a white grape flavour in there too but there wasn’t a whole lot beyond that and it didn’t seem quite as version as expected either which was disappointing.

Brewed In:  Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Brewery: Taiwan Tsing Beer Co.
First Brewed: 2012
Type: Fruit Beer
Abv: 2.5%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Chung Ying Supermarket (Glasgow)
Price: £1.28