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Posts Tagged ‘keg’

Kyoto Ichii Senshin

October 18, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.6

My first beer from the Kyoto Brewing Company and the first review of a beer that I managed to try in Kyoto recently, I actually thought I’d tried a couple of beers from this brewery but it turns out that several breweries use ‘Kyoto’ as a prefix to their beers in the area. The name roughly translates to ‘single-minded’ and  the beer is a fairly new one, initially released as a Belgian IPA from the brewery in late 2016 and it’s one that I managed to stumble upon in one of Kyoto’s craft bars on my first night in the city, opting for this over several other of the brewery’s beers since it’s not often I find a new Belgian style IPA on-tap.

Appearance (4/5): Medium amber with a fairly bright body and a half centimetre head that is foamy and holds quite well with good lacing on the sides as well as covering the entire surface of the beer.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a light beer on the nose with a fresh feel to it, there was some light grapefruit and touches of pine in the early going before some biscuit malts made an appearance. Further on and some yeast showed itself, coupled with pear and grapes as well as some earthy malts around the middle. It’s definitely a pleasant one on the nose but it could have been a little more pronounced at times to make it a good one.
Taste (7/10):
Definitely more Belgian tasting that it smelt, there is some yeast and subtle tart flavours to kick things off alongside a combination of pine and grapefruit hops. There are touches of citrus coming through with a subtle spice, the former being more pronounced than it was with the nose. Towards the end there was some basic malts but it was fresher than anticipated without being overly hoppy; some floral bitterness did see things out though.
Palate (4/5):
Light-medium bodied and quite fresh without being over-carbonated or gassy. There was a subtle bitterness throughout, mainly floral in style with a nice tang coming through as well. It was an easy-going beer with a dry finish but it wasn’t exactly an exciting offering.

Overall (14/20): An enjoyable enough beer without it ever really surprising, there was some pleasant pine and grapefruit flavours coming through alongside some floral touches and a hint of Belgian yeast but my biggest complaint with this one was that it wasn’t ever really strong enough sadly. There was some nondescript fruits and further malt bitterness towards the end but it wasn’t quite as pronounced as I’d have liked to make this a beer that I’d hurry back to.

Brewed In: Kyoto, Japan
Brewery: Kyoto Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Belgian IPA
Abv: 6.5%
Serving: Keg (Schooner)
Purchased: Beer Bar Miyama 162, Kyoto, Japan
Price: ¥1000 (£6.62 approx.)

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Minoh Momo Weizen

October 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.65

The first of several Minoh Beer offering that I managed to try on my recent trip to Japan, this one being a variation of the Weizen offering that I managed to try later on my trip and one that has had Japanese peach juice added during the brewing process. Minoh was a brewery that I’d read a little about before my trip and one of their beers even featured on the 1001 beers list so I was keeping my eyes peeled for anything by them, managing to find this one at a brewpub in Tokyo early into my holiday and quickly deciding to give it a try.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a cloudy looking yellow to golden colour with a body that is almost opaque, the beer has a thin and foamy white head on top that is about quarter of a centimetre tall but manages to cover the surface well. It’s a nice start from this beer although the head wasn’t exactly as large as I’d have expected from the style.
Aroma (7/10): Strong clove and wheat aromas kick things off here with some citrus and lemon coming through soon after. The beer seemed semi-sweet on the nose with some coriander and touches of Belgian yeast coming through alongside some faint tart. The beer was fresh on the nose and became a little lighter once it had settled but it was an easy-going, nice start to this one.
Taste (7/10): Fresh like the nose, the beer opens with some lemon and wheat with the clove that featured earlier making an appearance here too. There was a few lighter malts and touches of bread towards the middle but nothing was particularly strong really, there was some yeast and banana to round things off though.
Palate (4/5): Medium and smooth, the beer was fresh and fairly light which also made it an easy on to drink. There was a slight bitterness towards the end but it was fleeting, the balance also proved to be a decent one and it was well-carbonated too.

Overall (13/20): This one was an okay wheat beer despite the fact that it was definitely lighter than anticipated and the head was quite poor for the style. It opened with a nice citrus and wheat combination that was backed by some clove and touches of yeast, the malts and bread flavours nearer the centre doing well to balance things out and help it down easily. It was a pleasant enough offering though but I’m not sure it’s one that I’d go back to a second time.

Brewed In: Osaka, Japan
Brewery: Minoh Beer
First Brewed: 2009
Type: Hefeweizen
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Keg (473ml)
Purchased: Two Dogs Taproom (Roppongi, Tokyo)
Price: ¥1000 (£6.62 approx.)

Shiga Kogen IPA (359 of 1001)

October 16, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.65

The second review of a beer that I managed to try in Japan recently, this one is the first of the beers on the 1001 list from the country that I managed to find as well. I stumbled across this one at the Two Dogs Taproom in the Roppongi area of Tokyo on my second night in the city and it was the first I ordered on my visit. Brewed by Tamamura Honten (itself a well established sake brewery) in the Nagano area of the country, this was I believe the only beer from the brewery that I tried during my time in Japan but I did see a few of their other beers in a bottle shop towards the end of my trip but never picked any new ones up; instead I opted for bringing a bottle of this one home with me to the UK.

Appearance (4/5): Medium amber in colour with a still body and a quarter centimetre head that was about double that initially but had settled by the time it reached my table. The surface was well covered on the beer though, only a slight break up showed at one side and it was a decent start.
Aroma (7/10): Hoppy to start with, the beer opened with some grapefruit and a light citrus aroma that was coupled with some faint earthy notes towards the middle. There wasn’t anything overpowering on the nose but a slight malt bitterness further on was a nice touch.
Taste (6/10): The taste of this one matches the nose quite closely with some grapefruit and pine in the early going but it wasn’t quite as malty as the nose was. There was some citrus notes and a few earthy flavours as things progressed before some biscuit and bread malts started to show; a few subtle spices and fruits rounding things off nicely.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and fairly bitter with some resinous pine bitterness in the early going before turning to a more malty, earthy bitterness further on. The balance of the beer was a good one which made it quite easy to drink and it was well carbonated too.

Overall (15/20): This one was a decent first beer from the brewery for me and one that got off to a good start with a solid pine and grapefruit bitterness. Things remained balanced thanks to the earthy malts and touches of sweetness that appeared further on which made it an easy beer to drink; I looking forward to trying this one again with the bottle I brought home with me.

Brewed In: Yamanouchi, Nagano, Japan
Brewery: Tamamura Honten
First Brewed: 2004
Type: American IPA
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Keg (473ml)
Purchased: Two Dogs Taproom (Roppongi, Tokyo)
Price: ¥950 (£6.29 approx.)

Żywiec APA

September 12, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.5

The first of two Żywiec beers that I sampled over in Krakow when visiting the city last month, this one will be the fifth review of one of there beers that I’ll have added here and will also be my fourth new one from them this year thanks to two trips to Poland in the last six months. This one is actually a beer that I tried a few times in bottles when visiting Warsaw back in March but I never got the chance to give it a proper review until I found it in a Krakow bar across from my hotel and decided to give it a proper try. A fairly new beer from the brewery, this one was first introduced back in 2014 and from my understanding it is one of the most widely available beers in the country that isn’t a lager; I managed to see things one in countless shops and bars during my time in Poland but it’s still not one that I’ve spotted back here in the UK which means it’s always nice to try it.

Appearance (4/5): The beer was a light amber colour that seemed bright and sat with a clear body in the glass. There was a thin, basic looking lacing that covered the edges of the beer but not the centre; it was still a nice enough looking beer though.
Aroma (6/10): Subtly hoppy with some faint citrus and a little pine coming through in the early going alongside some biscuit malts and earthy notes. There was a nice balance and freshness to the nose that was complimented by some grassy hops and pale malts but nothing seemed to dominate. A subtle tang appeared nearer the end and whilst it was a nice beer, I’d have liked it to be a little stronger.
Taste (6/10): Floral and fresh to start, there was a nice combination of citrus and orange flavours to liven things up in the early going before some grassy hops and biscuit from the nose started to come through. There wasn’t too much special about this one sadly and like the nose it could have been stronger but there was a few nice spiced and pale malts towards the end which was enjoyable.
Palate (4/5): Fresh and lively to start thanks to the citrus tang, the beer was lighter and perhaps weaker than I’d have liked but there was a semi-bitterness from the hops throughout and the balance seemed good which made for an easy-going and crisp beer with further bitterness seeing things out.

Overall (14/20): This one was a solid, if a little uninspiring, beer that wasn’t as hoppy and bitter as I’d have expected for a beer of this style but it was a well-balanced, enjoyable offering that was edging closer to an American IPA styled offering but at least it was crisp and easy to drink. It’s one that I’d possible consider having again if I found it on-tap in Poland but it’s certainly not one to seek out I’m afraid.

Brewed In: Żywiec, Poland
Brewery: Grupa Żywiec
First Brewed: 2014
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.4%
Serving: Keg (500ml)
Purchased: Beer House Pub (Krakow, Poland)
Price: 10 PLN (approx. £2.15)

Brewdog Mandarina Lager

August 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.15

The second of two new Brewdog beers I tried in quick succession now, this one follows on from their Native Son IPA that I reviewed here last and like that offering is another that I sampled at one of their Glasgow bars earlier this month when stopping in for a mid-week beer. The beer itself is a small batch, experimental offering from the brewery that is currently only available at their UK bars on-tap which is one of the reasons I tried it when I was in. Brewdog have brewed a number of lagers over the years and most have been quite average, with the likes of their Vagabond Pilsner a rare exception to that rule. Thanks to their fairly poor record at brewing decent lagers, I wasn’t holding out a great deal of hope going into this one but I was hopeful it would at least improve upon the fairly disappointing Native Son IPA that I had just finished prior to ordering this one.

Appearance (4/5): A clear golden beer that was almost yellow looking but came topped with a nice head that was white and fluffy looking, holding well over the opening minutes before eventually settling as a nice surface lacing.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with plenty of pale malts and a couple of floral lager hops, this one seemed fresh in the early going with some hints of citrus and a few lighter fruits in the mix. There was a grassy aroma with touches of hay and a bit of lemon nearer the middle of the beer with the odd perfume note and a couple of herbs rounding things off. It’s definitely not the strongest beer on the nose but it’s not too bad for a lager and there was no skunk or off-notes either which was a plus.
Taste (5/10): Kicking off with a few floral flavours and hints of citrus, the beer was slightly more herbal than the nose hinted at and there was some nice lavender notes in there too which I hadn’t been anticipating. It had a subtle sweetness to proceedings with the fruits providing most of this but they did seem a touch weaker than they were with the nose which was a slight disappointment. Some orange flavours and a little bitterness featured down the stretch to see things out but it wasn’t a great taste in truth.
Palate (3/5): Quite a crisp lager but definitely not as fresh as expected, the beer’s name had me thinking it would be quite a lively offering but sadly this wasn’t to be. Carbonation levels were about average for the style and a slight citrus tang, along with some faint bitterness at the end featured but it was quite a boring and difficult to drink beer.

Overall (11/20): Quite a disappointing Brewdog offering if I’m honest, for whatever reason the brewery just can’t seem to brew a decent lager despite the amount of attempts they’ve made over the years. This one was quite average for the most part, it did get off to a good start appearance wise and the nose wasn’t too bad either but it was let down by the taste sadly. It was a semi-sweet offering with some basic herbal touches and a combination of lager malts but remained quite weak throughout and didn’t really have too much to keep things interesting. There was some unusual floral touches and hints of lavender at times but it wasn’t exactly what I had been looking for and it didn’t really seem very special either; it’s one to avoid in my opinion.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Brewdog Small Batch Mandarina Lager
Type: Premium Lager
Abv: 5.3%
Serving: Keg (Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £4.32

Native Son IPA

August 30, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.2

Another new Brewdog IPA here, this one a July 2017 release that I managed to try earlier this month when I spotted off for a quick beer at one of their Glasgow bars. Going in at 8% abv. and loaded with Columbus, Centennial, Citra, Chinook, Comet and Simcoe hops, the beer should be as American as an IPA can get. Following on from their The Physics and Hazy Jane offerings, this beer is my 139th from Brewdog and it was actually one that I was hoping to sample when I visited their pubs, mainly because IPA’s are definitely the brewery’s speciality and I was eager to see how this one compared to previous offerings from them; here’s what I thought at the time.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a light and surprisingly clear beer that is a light amber colour with excellent clarity. The head is a fine, white coloured one that sits about a quarter of a centimetre tall in the glass and holds on quite well considering the strength of the beer, keeping its height over the opening couple minutes and leaving some nice lacing on the sides too.
Aroma (6/10): Opening with some tropical fruits and a faint sweetness, the beer definitely wasn’t as strong on the nose or as bitter as I’d anticipated going in. There was some resinous pine towards the middle with a few touches of spice as well but it was quite light and basic with some pineapple and mango coming through further on.
Taste (6/10): Quite a similar taste to what the nose hinted at, the beer was still a lot lighter than I’d expect from an 8% abv. offering but there was some pleasant dry hops and pine to kick things off and thankfully both were at least a touch stronger than with the nose. I managed to get some mango and faint citrus around the middle of the beer with touches of spice not too far behind. Towards the end there was some floral flavours coming through but it wasn’t a typical IPA taste or one that I was a huge fan of really.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied, perhaps a touch thicker but definitely a spicy offering that was less bitter than anticipated. The beer had a nice tang at points and hints of alcohol featured throughout without ever overpowering,although it still wasn’t the easiest beer to drink and I felt that some of the flavours could have been a little stronger too.

Overall (12/20): This one proved to be a fairly average beer overall from Brewdog and one that was surprisingly unlike a typical American IPA with the bitterness a little lighter than expected but the floral flavours coming through a touch stronger. There was some alcohol showing throughout with plenty of spice nearer the middle of proceedings but it seemed a little basic at times too, pineapple and mango were about the only fruits worth mentioning and there wasn’t a whole lot beyond them to keep you interested.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2017
Type: American IPA
Abv: 8.0%
Serving: Keg (Half Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog Doghouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £4.04

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