Posts Tagged ‘pale ale’

Spencer Trappist Ale

January 25, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 4.25

A first new Trappist beer in quite some time now, this one is a beer from the only Trappist brewery in the United States and is a Belgian style pale ale that I picked up from a local bottle shop just before Christmas. This one is a beer that I’ve been aware of since shortly after the brewery was founded within the Abbey, back in 2013 and it’s a beer that I’ve been looking forward to trying ever since. Brewed at the St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts and available since later 2013/early 2014, this is one of several beers that the abbey now produce and it was also the first Trappist beer to be brewed outside of Europe so it’s definitely an interesting beer and I’m glad I’ve finally been able to track a bottle down.

Spencer Trappist Ale

Appearance (5/5): Pale amber in colour with a hazy body and quite a large, foamy head that was a creamy white in colour and looked quite thick. Head retention was quite good as well with the no reduction in size over the opening couple of minutes which was nice to see.
Aroma (8/10): Quite a fresh and lively beer with some Belgian yeast and slightly funky notes kicking things off, there was some light citrus and a hint of pear in the early going too. Towards the middle I got some apple as well as a subtle sweetness thanks to some bananas before bread malts, cloves and light spices seen things out.
Taste (8/10): Opening with a nice combination of yeast and fruit esters, there was a few herbal touches and spices to get things started with the taste before some banana sweetness started to feature nearer the middle The beer was slightly fresh at points with some peaches, apples and pears coming through from the nose alongside a selection of pale malts followed by some bread malts at the end.
Palate (4/5): Smooth and quite lively, this one came through with a lot of spices and a background sweetness thanks to the fruits featured throughout; most notably the banana flavours and to a lesser extent the peaches. It was quite a well balanced and easy-going offering that was moderately carbonated and sat with a medium body that was very enjoyable.

Overall (17/20): Quite an interesting beer that definitely seemed like a Belgian offering as I worked my way down the glass, it was quite a lively and fresh beer that had a fluffy, light feel to it throughout. There was a nice balance to this one with some banana sweetness working well with the background fruits and yeast as well as some touches of funk featuring a little later on. The beer was definitely a good one that I enjoyed and wouldn’t mind picking up again or, better still trying one of the breweries other offerings.

Brewed In: Spencer, Massachusetts, United States of America
Brewery: Spencer Brewery
First Brewed: 2013
Type: Belgian Pale Ale
Abv: 6.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)
Price: £4.20


Reel Deel Jack The Lad

January 23, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.15

My first beer from Reel Deel, a County Mayo based brewery that is responsible for this one; a beer they label as an ‘Irish pale ale’. The beer is one that I sampled over the holidays after picking the bottle up on Christmas Eve along with a few other Irish beers. Although not from a brewery that I’d heard anything about previously, the beer is one that caught my eye thanks to the label design. This was one of several from the brewery that the shop had in stock as well, so hopefully I’ll be able to try a couple more from Reel Deel when I’m back over in Ireland later in the year.

Appearance (3/5): Copper tinged amber with a slightly hazy body and quite a large, foamy white head on top that threatened to overflow the glass. The beers head was quite a thick looking one that was wavy on top and left plenty of lacing on the sides of the glass too. It was an active looking beer that had tonnes of visible carbonation and the head seemed to constantly be rising, taking an age to finally settle and allow me to start drinking.
Aroma (7/10): Quite strong on the nose with lots of citrus hops and some pine backing them up which gave the beer a fresh and lively feel on the nose. There was some grapefruit and hints of orange coming through with a little biscuit malt further on and some earthy touches towards the middle and end. It was quite a floral nose that finished things off with some spices coming through then as well.
Taste (6/10): Following on nicely from the nose, the beer was again quite fresh and lively with a solid hop bitterness and a few floral touches as well; citra hops were the most pronounced in the early going. Towards the middle there was a nice combination of orange and pine with a few pale malts and biscuit flavours following on behind and the finish seemed more herbal than the nose was but a few of the background spices still showed this time around.
Palate (3/5): Quite an active and fizzy beer that was over-carbonated and resulted in an over-sized head that took an age to settle. The beer was crisp and quite lively though but seemed to be lacking a good balance and sat pretty average on the palate as I worked my way down the beer.

Overall (13/20): Quite lively but definitely over-carbonated, this one was bordering on gassy at times but was still quite a fresh, crisp offering that started with a lot of citrus and pine hops with some grapefruit backing them up. It was definitely stronger on the nose than expected which was nice and further on the taste was a fairly standard one that was a combination of the usual biscuit and earthy malts. It was a drinkable beer that went down easily enough but I’m not sure there was enough going on for it to warrant a repeat visit.

Brewed In: Knockalegan, County Mayo, Ireland
Brewery: Reel Deel Brewery
First Brewed: 2015
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Winemart (Enniskillen)
Price: £2.50

Lacada West Bay

January 19, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.3

My first beer from the County Antrim based Lacada Brewery in the north of Ireland and another beer that I picked up just before Christmas whilst visiting the country. I opened this one a couple of days after Christmas while it was still fresh and although it wasn’t a beer that I’d been aware of previously, I was looking forward to seeing how it turned out given it’s not one that I’m likely to see in Scotland anytime soon. Part of the Irish brewery’s Salamander Series, this one is a new citra pale ale for 2017 from a brewery that only launched back in October 2015 so hopefully I’ll see a few more of the brewery’s beer when I make return trips to Ireland later this year.

Appearance (4/5): A hazy, almost copper amber colour that had a centimetre tall, bubbly white head on top that started to turn foamy on the surface but managed to hold well initially without much break up.
Aroma (7/10): Quite a lot of hops open things up with some citrus and pine coming through strong and some touches of grapefruit not too far behind. The beer was definitely a fresh and zesty one with some lemongrass and a few pale malts towards the middle before some biscuit malts rounded things off.
Taste (6/10): Quite a zesty tasting beer with strong citrus/lemon flavours initially, there was some strong hops and grapefruit at this point too. Towards the middle I got some pale malts that seemed a touch stronger than they were with the nose and a hop bitterness started to appear towards the end alongside some lighter fruits.
Palate (3/5): Light bodied and a touch watery at points, the beer was moderately carbonated with a slight citrus tang and some hop bitterness but seemed quite basic and weak at points too sadly.

Overall (12/20): Quite an underwhelming beer that was interesting on the nose but faded come the taste with only some basic hops and citrus flavours coming through. At times it seemed closer an IPA than a pale ale but it started to fade towards the middle and end, seeming weak and bland at points; it’s not one I’d go for again.

Brewed In: Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Brewery: Lacada Brewery Co-Op
First Brewed: 2017
Full Name: Lacada Salamander Series #5: West Bay Citra Pale Ale
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.6%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Winemart (Enniskillen)
Price: £2.39

O Brother The Chancer

January 18, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.65

The first of two beers from the Wicklow based O Brother brewery now, both of which were beers that I picked up just before Christmas whilst over in Ireland. The brewery wasn’t one that I’d heard of previously but I was taken by the names and labels on these beers and decided to pick this America pale ale up alongside their The Sinner American IPA when visiting an off license in the Fermanagh area. This one appears to be a late 2014 release from the brewery going by online reviews and gets quite a good rating for an Irish brewed American pale ale so it was one that I was looking forward to trying when I cracked it open just after Christmas at the end of last year.

Appearance (4/5): Golden amber with a hazy body and a centimetre tall, foamy white head that was wavy on top and left some nice lacing on the sides of the glass too.
Aroma (6/10): Floral with a relatively fresh nose initially, this one had some citrus and pine with a little grapefruit following on behind. Around the middle I got some tropical fruits with mango being the most dominant before a few biscuit malts and earthy touches started to come through. It wasn’t an overly pronounced offering on the nose but it was a pleasant aroma and the balance seemed good as well.
Taste (7/10): Quite bitter-tasting to start, the beer had a lot of grapefruit and pine coming through with some touches of citrus in there as well. It was a floral and tangy beer with a few background summer fruits coming through alongside some peach and mango. Towards the end the beer was quite zesty with a few pale malts to balance things out and there was an earthy bitterness right at the death.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and quite lively with a fresh feel coming through from the start. There was some dryness towards the end of the beer with a floral bitterness and some tangy touches as well but it remained balanced and drinkable throughout,

Overall (15/20): Quite a fresh and lively offering from O Brother, this one was an easy beer to drink thanks to the hop bitterness at the start and tropical flavours around the middle. There was some lighter malts and biscuit flavours at points to help with the balance too but I would have liked to see a little more sweetness to back these up; it was still a very enjoyable beer and one that I wouldn’t mind having again.

Brewed In: Kilcoole, County Wicklow, Ireland
Brewery: O Brother Brewing
First Brewed: 2014
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.4%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Winemart (Enniskillen)
Price: £2.50

Dark Revolution So.LA

January 15, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.75

Another beer that I picked up from the Wee Beer Shop in Glasgow just before Christmas, this one a Salisbury brewed beer from Dark Revolution that I picked up in the hopes that it would be quite a fresh and lively pale ale with plenty of hops showing. The beer was a relatively well priced one and that was part of the reason I grabbed it given I’d never heard of the brewery before but the bottle also appealed to me for some reason and reminded me of beers from the Wild Beer Co. that I’d enjoyed in the past so I decided to give it a go; here’s what I thought of the bottle I eventually tried at the start of this year.

Appearance (3/5): Pale and hazy amber looking, this one is topped with a centimetre tall head that is white and foamy but manages to hold well initially but the beer itself looked relatively thin when it was being poured.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with some citrus hops and a background sweetness, the beer had some mango and apricot notes to start and was quite light overall. There was a nice bitterness showing throughout with touches of straw and orange towards the end as well.
Taste (6/10): Lighter than expected but matching the nose well, the beer opened with citrus and pine hops alongside some tropical fruits that added some sweetness to proceedings. There wasn’t a great deal of strength to the beer but some straw and grassy hops seen things out alongside a faint bitterness.
Palate (2/5): Quite light and almost watery at times, the beer was a bland offering for the most part but some hop bitterness did show at times. It was a dry beer that seemed quite smooth but was lacking in variety and came through quite weak from the middle on.

Overall (9/20): Very disappointing stuff from Dark Revolution, I went into this one expecting quite a strong and hoppy pale ale with plenty of citrus, pine and tropical fruits with a nice caramel backing but in the end it failed to deliver; some pine and citrus did show but it was far too weak and little else came through to back them up. The beer definitely seemed quite weak and bland with only a slight sweetness further on and some basic grassy hops to see things out.

Brewed In: Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Brewery: Dark Revolution
First Brewed: 2016
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)
Price: £2.30

Zinnebir (372 of 1001)

January 15, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.75

The first of two beers that I picked up from Brasserie de la Senne recently, both from a new bottle shop fairly close to my flat with the first of the two being a beer that features on the 1001 beers list as well. Originally brewed back in 2002 when the brewery was still known as Sint-Pieters before being renamed in 2005, this was one of the first beers that the brewery produced and still appears to be one of their most popular too with demand regularly outstripping capacity so I’m glad this is one that I’ve finally been able to track down and try.

Appearance (4/5): A pale, almost apricot amber colour that was quite hazy and topped with a half centimetre tall head that was foamy white and looked quite fluffy.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with quite a lot of Belgian yeast, the beer seemed lively with some citrus notes initially and touches of spice in there too; some coriander and cloves both featuring. The beer was fresh with some orange peel and pale malts around the middle before some bread malts, nutmeg and a slightly warming aroma seen things out.
Taste (7/10): Fruity with some nice pale malts kicking things off, there was some orange zest and lemon alongside some pale bread malts and apples. The beer had quite a lot of Belgian yeast coming through and this helped add to some spice with coriander, cloves and a little nutmeg all carrying over from the nose before a candy sweetness seen things out nicely.
Palate (4/5): Light-medium bodied and quite fluffy beer on the palate, this one was strongly carbonated and sharp with a fresh and lively feel that had a faint touch of warming alcohol towards the end and some hop bitterness in there too.

Overall (15/20): Very much a Belgian style beer that opened with a lot of yeast and some subtle spices with the odd hop showing as well. It was  afresh beer that had plenty orange zest and lemon coming through alongside some background fruits that included apples, grape and some pears, all working well together and going down nicely.

Brewed In: Brussels, Belgium
Brewery: Brasserie de la Senne
First Brewed: 2002
Type: Belgian Pale Ale
Abv: 5.8%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Wee Beer Shop (Glasgow)
Price: £2.50

Wylam Nomi Sorachi

December 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.05

Another new beer from Wylam now, this one being my fifth from the brewery and one that follows on from their Club of Slaughters imperial stout that I reviewed here a week ago. This particular offering appears to have been introduced in 2016 and is a single-hop American pale ale from the brewery that again indicates they appear to be moving away from the more traditional ales that I previously associated with the brewery. I believe this one is also the penultimate of the Wylam beers that I have to review, if I remember correctly then I also have another imperial stout from the brewery that I picked up in Glasgow last month still, and try to that I definitely one that I’m looking forward to, even in spite of the fact that their Club of Slaughters offering wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped for.

Appearance (4/5): An almost peach amber colour that was topped with a surprisingly large, three centimetre tall, bubbly white head with a wavy surface. The beer also had a hazy body and head retention was good initially with some nice lacing on the sides and quite a thick look to it.
Aroma (7/10): Surprisingly sweet on the nose with some herbal notes in the early going and plenty of biscuit malts to back them up. The beer was semi-sweet with a little caramel coming through early on alongside some basic spices but it was definitely an unusual aroma with some citrus followed by touches of coconut towards the middle; something that’s more common in a porter or stout but rarely seen with an American pale ale. It was a pleasant nose with some hop bitterness further on and touches of lemongrass before toffee and a vanilla sweetness seen things out along with the odd bread malt.
Taste (6/10): Not quite as sweet as the nose but it was still a close one, there was some nice coconut carried over from the nose and showing much earlier this time around, there was a strong perfume taste to the beer too with some herbal touches and a couple of citrus hops. Further on some basic fruits and spices started to come through with a little coriander and some hop oils before a caramel and toffee combination seen things out.
Palate (2/5): Light-medium bodied and quite strongly carbonated, the beer was fresh and sweet with a nice variety as well. The addition of some coconut added to the sweetness of the beer was was quite unexpected as well but it seemed to come at the expense of the beers balance at times. There was some herbal spices and a hop bitterness that done its best to balance out the beers sweetness but it was a difficult one to drink at times sadly.

Overall (11/20): Quite a hop-filled beer but one that was overly sweet and lacking a balance which made it a difficult one to drink too. The beer started well and the nose in particular was a good one thanks to the surprising addition of some coconut to go with the vanilla and caramel notes but when these carried over to the taste then the beer seemed overdone and began to turn sickening a little further on. There was some interesting flavours and a nice variety to this one from Wylam but it was a little sweet and overpowering for me so it’s not one that I’d pick up again sadly.

Brewed In: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Brewery: Wylam Brewery
First Brewed: 2016
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.3%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Fenwick’s (Newcastle)
Price: £2.49