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Posts Tagged ‘New England IPA’

Character Assassination

July 14, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.65

Brewed in collaboration with south London based Gipsy Hill, this one is my first beer from the Electric Bear Brewery based in Bath and is on that I picked up recently alongside a couple of Trappist beers at my local bottle shop, opting for this one given it’s a one-off New England IPA and it’s the height of summer here. A new beer for 2018, this one was canned in late May and should still be relatively fresh so it’s one that I’m looking forwards to cracking open. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Gipsy Hill over the last couple of years but surprisingly haven’t tried anything from them yet but this one was the first time I’d seen or heard anything about Electric Bear so I’m interested in finding out more and perhaps picking up something else from them in future if this one is any good.

Appearance (4/5): A lot lighter and clearer than I’d expect for a New England IPA, the beer is a light amber with some golden tinges and a thin, half centimetre head that’s foamy and white but starts turning patchy towards one side more quickly than I’d have liked; not a bad looking beer but I’d place it closer to lager than a New England IPA on first looks.
Aroma (7/10): Slightly tropical on the nose initially with some subtle grapefruit and orange coming through but nothing too pungent or overpowering in the early going at least. There was some citrus notes and a little tangerine further on with a couple grassy hops followed by a moderate bitterness and hints of mango and peach further on; it’s definitely an American IPA aroma but it’s not as dank as anticipated.
Taste (7/10): Opening with some pine and grapefruit bitterness that is followed by some nice orange and tangerine flavours, the beer is again slightly tropical with touches mango, apricot and peach bringing in the middle. It’s a solid IPA taste with some grain and a hint of alcohol nearer the end but it wasn’t a anything special or out of the ordinary with a faint sweetness and further bitter flavours seeing things out.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied with some bitterness showing from the start without it being a dank one really. There was fine carbonation that gave the beer a lively feel and it was quite dry and sharp too. The balance was as you’d expect for the style with the bitter hops and tropical flavours dominating and a touch of the alcohol coming through near the end.

Overall (/20): This was a strange one in the sense that it was a pleasant and enjoyable beer but I feel like there was some false advertising involved where the label states that it’s a New England IPA but it was very much a standard American IPA with very little dank flavours coming through but instead a slightly tropical and bitter beer with the usual grapefruit and pine flavours as well as some mango and apricot further on. It was okay offering overall but one that ultimately left me disappointed given I was expecting something completely different from what I got after reading the label on the can.

Brewed In: Bath, Somerset, England
Brewery:  Electric Bear Brewing / Gipsy Hill (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2018
Full Name: Electric Bear / Gipsy Hill Character Assassination
Type: New England IPA
Abv: 7.0%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £3.30

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Fierce NEIPA Red Rye

April 7, 2018 2 comments

Rating: 3.95

My second review of a beer from Aberdeen based Fierce brewing now, this one follows on from their Black Flagship collaboration with Brewdog Aberdeen that I managed to try on-tap at the beginning of last year. I’ve had the odd beer from the brewery in the time since but haven’t managed to review any here so I thought it was about time when I spotted this one in my local bottle shop recently. Along with an imperial stout brewed in collaboration with Brew York, this is one of two Fierce beers that I picked up a couple of weeks ago and I actually tried another can of this one on the day which I quick enjoyed and I’m glad I now get to give it a proper review as well.

Appearance (5/5): An excellent looking beer, this one pours an orange tinged amber colour that is quite cloudy and thick looking. The beer is topped with a centimetre tall, foamy white head that halves in size over the opening thirty seconds but covers the surface pretty well and has a few bubbles dotted about the place too.
Aroma (7/10): Fresh with some pine hops and lighter grapefruit notes in the early going, it’s a slightly resinous smelling beer that was some floral notes coming through alongside the sweetness malts in the middle. Further on there was a biscuit nose with good bitterness and touches of rye seeing things out.
Taste (7/10): Resinous pine and grapefruit kick things off and mean the taste is similar to the nose, it’s bitter and hoppy with some citrus touches but it’s a little more subdued than with the nose without losing any of the freshness. There was some sweet malts and caramel towards the middle with a few biscuit malts in there too then some rye at the end but again it wasn’t quite as pronounced as the nose, still it was a pretty nice beer.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and quite thick, the beer was very hoppy and bitter with some sweetness towards the middle thanks to the malts and biscuit flavours that started to come through. It was resinous and dry with a medium body and moderate carbonation for the style.

Overall (15/20): This one was pretty nice stuff from Fierce and definitely up there with one of the better with a resinous pine and grapefruit opening that settled down soon after before giving way to some nice caramel malts and touches of biscuit as well as some rye towards the end. It was a bitter and dry beer but one that was balanced and easy to drink, going down well with a refreshing and smooth feel; good stuff and one that I’m glad I had a second can of to probably review here.

Brewed In: Aberdeen, Scotland
Brewery: Fierce Beer
First Brewed: 2018
Type: New England IPA/Rye Beer
Abv: 7.0%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £3.80

Beer52 Irishman in New England IPA

April 5, 2018 2 comments

Rating: 4.0

A first Beer52 brewed beer now, this is an offering that I received as part of their March box in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day; a beer with an Irish name, from a Scottish brewery that was contract brewed in Belgium at the Anders brewery. The beer was one of those in the box of eight that I was most looking forward to trying given it’s a New England IPA and a style that I’m definitely a fan of, although I should mention that was before I realised that the beer was one of Beer52’s own offerings. I’ve had a look at some of the reviews online and the beer doesn’t appear to be too bad an offering so I’m still optimistic going into it.

Appearance (4/5): A cloudy orange looking amber that is slightly darker than normal for an IPA and is topped with a thin white leaving that covers about half the surface whilst leaving slightly more build-up around the edges of the glass.
Aroma (8/10): Quite a fresh and juicy beer with a lot of bitterness in the early going and some pungent notes as well, I managed to get some mango and citrus initially with touches of pineapple and grapefruit in there too as well as some pine bitterness. It’s a lively nose that came through strong with a lot of tropical fruits before some subtle oats about bread malts seen things out; a great start.
Taste (8/10): Following on well from the nose, this one is definitely a strong and juicy beer with a lot of pungent flavours that come through with plenty of bitterness too. The beer is loaded with tropical fruits, the mango and pineapple from the nose being most notable but some peach and apricot show at times too. It’s a balanced offering with some sweet malts, faint caramel and the odd oat coming through as well but the mango and citrus hops seem to come out strongest.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and as already mentioned, this one is a very juicy offering that is also fairly bitter with a solid hop presence from the start and some sweetness from the malts towards the middle. It;s balanced and easy to drink with good variety to it which keep it interesting throughout as well.

Overall (16/20): Really nice stuff from Beer52 here and one that got off to an excellent start with plenty of fresh and juicy hops coming through, in particular a nice combination of citrus and tropical fruits with the mango and citrus coming through strongest. Further on some sweet malts and caramel helped balance things out and as a result it was a very easy and refreshing beer to drink.

Brewed In: Edinburgh, Scotland
Brewery: Beer52
First Brewed: 2018
Type: New England IPA
Abv: 6.6%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Beer52.com
Price: £0.75 (approx.)

71 Mandarina Sky

January 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

Seemingly a new beer from 71 Brewing that was only released at the start of December, this was a beer that I had right at the end of the year after picking it up at one of my local bottle shops just before Christmas. This one was the first time I’d seen or heard anything from Dundee based 71 Brewing and it’s a beer that I was persuaded to buy since it’s the first time I’d spotted a New England IPA from the Scotland that wasn’t brewed by Brewdog. The beer will be my fourth of the style, or my fifth if you count Brewdog’s New England IPA v2 which was closer to a double IPA given the alcohol content, I am quite a big fan of the style though and I was definitely excited going into this one.

Appearance (4/5): Pouring a medium amber colour with a hazy body, there was the odd bit of sediment coming from the bottle but it settled fast and sank to the bottom. The head was a fluffy white one with a creamy looking on top and wavy, covering the surface well and sitting about a quarter inch tall.
Aroma (7/10): Quite lively and almost pungent, the beer opens with an astringent nose that is loaded with citrus and pine hops that hinted at being slightly resinous too. There some oranges coming through with a little biscuit further on with a few background fruits in there too; I got hints of strawberry and some mango with a little apricot too.
Taste (7/10): Opening with a lot of pine and citrus hops, the beer is again slightly pungent and resinous but it has settled down slightly from the nose. There was some touches of mango and apricot showing early with a few earthy flavours further on whilst the orange from the nose was a little stronger here and worked well with some mandarins and background fruits.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied but definitely a fresh and lively beer that was semi-sweet from the fruits and definitely a bitter offering thanks to the hops and resinous touches. It was a balanced beer that was moderately carbonated and a dry but smooth one.

Overall (15/20): A decent first offering from 71 Brewing, this one was quite a fresh offering that came through with plenty orange, pine and summer fruits but stayed balanced and drinkable throughout. It was lively and easy-going with a smooth feel throughout but it almost seemed like a standard American IPA rather than a New England style offering, something that was a minor disappointment but it was still a very nice beer that was well worth trying.

Brewed In: Dundee, Scotland
Brewery: 71 Brewing
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: 71 Mandarina Sky – MS001
Type: New England IPA
Abv: 5.8%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)
Price: £2.60

Brewdog Hazy Jane

August 22, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 4.6

Jumping on the bandwagon with the latest craft beer trend, this one is a new beer for summer 2017 from Brewdog and seems almost like a successor to their recent collaboration with Cloudwater when they released a limit edition New England IPA earlier this year. Like that offering, this one is another New England style IPA from the brewery and is actually one that I received a free six-pack as part of their Equity for Punks scheme which was a bonus consider I would have definitely picked up a few cans myself anyway. The beer is actually one that I tried a few times before getting round to giving a proper review here, I spotted it on-tap one evening and couldn’t resist seeing how it compared to the canned version as well; both are excellent in case you are still wondering. This is definitely a beer that I’d like to see become a regular from Brewdog but here’s what I thought of it when I gave it a proper review from the can recently.

Appearance (5/5): This one pours very well and sits a cloudy, light orange colour in the glass and manages to look quite still in the process. The head is a thumb-sized, foamy white one that holds better than expected for a 7.2% beer with some nice lacing left on the sides of the glass too; an excellent start.
Aroma (8/10): Really juicy and fresh on the nose with a lot of tropical notes coming through in the early going to give the beer a refreshing and lively nose without it coming across as too strong or overpowering. There was some touches of pine and grapefruit initially but the touches of pineapple and mango helped to balance things out and stop it seeming overly bitter. Toward the end there was a hint of stone fruit and lighter malts coming through as well but it’s a tropical and juicy nose for the most part, it’s also an excellent one and up there with the best from Brewdog so far.
Taste (9/10): Following on well from the nose, this is again a very fresh and lively beer with a lot of tropical fruits to kick things off; I managed to get some pine and floral hops with a little grapefruit in there before the mango, stone fruit and even some peach made an appearance. It’s got plenty of variety and a hint of sweetness as well with some pale malts in there around the middle too. It’s a more hop-filled taste than the nose hinted at but it’s great on the way down and was rounded off nicely with some further citrus and tropical bursts right at the end.
Palate (5/5): Sitting around medium bodied this one was a very fresh and crisp offering that seemed quite lively and balanced too. There was a lot of tropical flavours that when coupled with the pale malts nearer the middle provided a nice touch of sweetness to proceedings as well. It was a very easy beer to drink and for the most part the alcohol content of this one was well hidden thanks to the abundance of flavour and good variety to it. It was well carbonated and even had a subtle kick right at the death; near perfect stuff on the palate for me.

Overall (18/20): Excellent stuff from Brewdog and easily one of the best I’ve tried from the brewery, if not the very best, I’d love to see this one become a regular offering from them or at least a semi-regular offering. There was a huge amount of tropical fruits and juicy flavours to kick things off but the beer still held its balance throughout. There was some pale malts nearer the middle that provided some sweetness but the pineapple, mango and various other tropical fruits were the dominant flavours to the beer and it was definitely one that I enjoyed; I can see this one being a Brewdog beer that I pick up every chance I get if it does end up of their roster of regular releases.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2017
Type: New England IPA
Abv: 7.2%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse (Glasgow)
Price: Free

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

Brewdog B-Side Vermont IPA

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.05

Yet another new Brewdog beer now and this one is a new release from them for 2017, following hot on the heels of their New England IPA brewed in collaboration with Manchester’s Cloudwater brewery and released a few weeks ago. This one is a small batch offering from Brewdog under their B-Side label and appears to be available only at some of their UK bars on keg only. The beer, like the New England IPA, is a ‘Vermont’ style IPA that seems to be the latest craft beer trend coming out of the state but it’s one that I’m fully behind if the beers are all as good as the first of the style that I tried. I spotted that my local Brewdog bar had this one on-tap recently and was hopeful of trying it when I visited over the weekend, thankfully it was still available and managed to have it a couple of times over the course of the evening; here’s what I thought of it at the time.

brewdog-b-side-vermont

Appearance (4/5): Quite a cloudy yellow beer that is very much like the brewery’s collaboration with Cloudwater what that I reviewed here previously, their New England IPA. The beer is opaque looking and topped with a foamy white head that is about a quarter of a centimetre tall by the time I got it back to my table, about thirty seconds after that it fades to a thin surface lacing but there is at least some nice lacing sticking to the sides of the glass.
Aroma (8/10): Fresh on the nose with a lot of citrus upfront that are accompanied by a more subtle pine hop aroma. There is some floral hops coming through in the early going too but it’s the tropical fruits that take centre stage, and in particular the pineapple notes are the most noticeable. There was some sweetness and a couple of further background fruits nearer the middle of the beer though and I managed to detect some mango and apricot in there before touches of lemon and a floral bitterness see things out.
Taste (8/10): Matching the nose well, this one opens with some strong hop bitterness that is just a touch stronger than what came through with the nose and it is followed up by some touches of pine and tropical fruits; the mango and apricot again feature with the pineapple from the nose a little weaker here but still the most noticeable of the tropical fruits. Around the middle there is some sweetness off the back of some caramel flavours and other sweet malts. Towards the end some lemon and grassy hops start to come through as well and round things off nicely.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and a very fresh, lively beer that has a subtle bitterness that again reminds me of the recent New England IPA from the brewery. There was a pleasant tang to proceedings with some sweetness nearer the middle thanks to some caramel as well as the tropical fruits. The balance of the beer was a good one and it turned out to be a very easy beer to drink but I felt it could have been a touch stronger at times to make it a great palate.

Overall (17/20): Another very nice ‘Vermont IPA’ from Brewdog and as expected after seeing it pour, the beer was quite similar to their recent New England IPA brewed with help from Cloudwater but sadly this one wasn’t quite as good. This particular offering was a slightly lighter version the same beer with the pineapple flavours again coming through strongest on top of very pleasant floral and subdued pine hops to give the beer quite a fresh, balanced taste. Despite not being the better of the two Vermont IPA’s I’ve tried from the brewery, this beer is still an excellent one that is well worth trying and I’m hopeful it will turn into a regular offering from the brewery in the coming months; very enjoyable and one I’ll try to have again soon.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2017
Also Known As: Brewdog Small Batch Vermont IPA
Type: New England IPA
Abv: 7.4%
Serving: Keg (Schooner)
Purchased: Brewdog DogHouse, Glasgow, Scotland
Price: £3.47