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Posts Tagged ‘pale ale’

Brugge Tripel

Rating: 3.7

A second beer from Palm now this one following on from their flagship Belgian pale ale that I reviewed here a few weeks ago after also trying that one in Belgium but now is the turn of the brewery’s Brugge Tripel. I picked this one up one night in Burges before saving it and trying it later on in my holiday having felt it wrong to leave Bruges without grabbing a bottle of this one. The beer was originally brewed in Bruges by De Gouden Boom up until 2004 when production switched to Palm Breweries but the beer is apparently still known as ‘The Beer of Bruges’ despite no longer being brewed there but it was still one that I wanted to try.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a bright orange colour with a bubbly white head on top that was about a centimetre tall, the beer had good head retention and it looked quite thick and fluffy too.
Aroma (7/10): Floral and spicy in the early going with some biscuit malt and pepper showing initially, there was some earthy touches alongside hints of Belgian yeast and some light alcohol notes further on. There was some oranges and cloves nearer the end with further spice and background fruits that were dominated by an apple aroma.
Taste (7/10): Biscuit malts and spice kick things off with some strong banana and apple coming through as well. I managed to get some bread malts around the middle with a little yeast and some fruity, floral flavours around the middle as well. It seemed quite fresh and herbal with a sugar sweetness and more background fruits seeing things out.
Palate (4/5): Spicy and quite light with a fresh and summer-like feel that was sharp and came with a medium body too. The beer was strongly carbonated but well-balanced with a nice sweetness at times from the banana and sugars as well as some tangy touches further on but despite not being the most complex tripel it was still a nice one to sip away at.

Overall (14/20): Not quite as strong or complex as some of the Belgian tripels I’ve reviewed here of late but this one was quite a light and fresh version of the style with some nice banana sweetness coupled with tastes of apple and some nice bread malts too. There was a nice combination of spices, yeast and some herbal touches in there too but there’s definitely a lot better tripels out there that I’d go back to over this one in future.

Brewed In: Steenhuffel, Flemish Brabant, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij Palm
First Brewed: Brewed by Palm since 2004
Type: Tripel
Abv: 8.7%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Pita Burger Snacks House (Bruges)
Price: €3.50 (approx. £3.09)

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Trouble Graffiti

June 19, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.8

Only my second beer from Kildare based Trouble Brewing, this one follows on from their Kill Lager that I tried when visiting Ireland early last year and again this is one that I picked up in the country after spotting it a few times now and always meaning to try it. The beer is a pale ale brewed to a sessionable 3.6% and uses a high proportion of malts as it tries to impart a complex taste. The brewery’s last one that I tried, a Vienna style lager was an okay offering so I’m hoping for an improvement from this one given it’s one of Trouble’s most well-known beers; fingers crossed.

Appearance (4/5): Caramel amber with a fairly clear body and a half centimetre head that is creamy in both colour and texture, with a thick looking to it and excellent retention over the opening couple of minutes with it manages to cover the entire surface well; a very nice start.
Aroma (7/10): Opening quite sweet with a good combination of malts in the early going and some pleasant caramel notes too, the beer is more pronounced than anticipated for such a light beer with some good background citrus and subtle hops showing as well. The odd tropical note comes through as well with a touch of apricot and some orange too before some floral touches see things out.
Taste (7/10): Opening quite sweet, much like the nose but toned down ever so slightly with the fruits slightly less pronounced this time around. There was a lot of biscuit malts and caramel to get things started with some floral touches not too far behind. Some mango and apricot did appear around the middle with some citrus touches and a few grapefruit hops in there too.
Palate (4/5): Opening quite sweet and malty as advertised, this one has a medium body and is quite crisp with some dryness towards the end. It’s well-carbonated and fuller bodied than anticipated but it’s well-balanced too and has a pleasant citrus tang at points as well; outstanding stuff, particularly for a 3.6% abv. beer.

Overall (16/20): Really nice stuff from Trouble, this one has a lot more to it than I’d have expected for such a light, low-alcohol content offering with plenty of caramel sweetness and malts with quite a few nice hops and tropical fruits coming through as well. So much better than expected with a crisp, lively feel and a thicker, fuller body too with it sitting somewhere around medium bodied; excellent stuff and one I’ll probably pick up again at some point.

Brewed In: Kill, County Kildare, Ireland
Brewery: Trouble Brewing
First Brewed: 2014
Full Name: Trouble Graffiti Pale Ale
Type: American Pale Ale (Session Pale Ale)
Abv: 3.6%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Reilly’s (Lisnaskea)
Price: £2.59

Palm (378 of 1001)

June 15, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.65

Now for a beer that I’ve been close to picking up on a number of occasions over the years when placing online orders for beers but one that I’ve never managed to commit to and buy in the end. I finally managed to sample this one on my first night in Brussels at the end of last month after spotting it in quite a cheap local bar and deciding to give it a go. One of the best selling ales in Belgium, Palm was first introduced in 1904 and is brewed by what is now the largest independent brewery in the country and is a beer that I spotted numerous times whilst in Belgium but I only managed to try it the once given how many other excellent beers were available.

Appearance (4/5): Bright amber in colour with some red tinges and quite a bright, clear body that was topped with a thin, quarter centimetre head sitting mainly in the centre of the surface with some lacing on the sides too but not a lot.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a sweet beer with a lot of sugar and some nice apple notes in the early going, there was touches of pear and plenty of banana too without it being overly strong on the nose compared to other Belgian beers. There was some subtle spices and floral touches towards the end but it made a nice chance to enjoy a lighter beer with some nice bread malts seeing things out.
Taste (7/10): A touch less sweet than the nose but still with some sugars showing, there was again a lot of banana upfront with some apple and pear following on behind alongside some fresh and floral flavours. I managed to detect some bread malts and spices towards the end before some citrus and orange start to round things off with hints of biscuit in there too.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and similarly carbonated with a floral feel and a freshness to proceedings. The beer was subtly spiced with a balanced flavour and a smooth, dry finish that was easy going and easy to drink too; enjoyable stuff and a good Belgian beer that you could have a few of in one sitting.

Overall (15/20): Quite a sweet and fruity beer but one that proved quite sessionable and easy to drink with a lively feel that’s to the fine carbonation levels. Obviously not as strong as most of the Belgian beers I’ve tried of late, this one was still flavoursome and had a lot going on with strong banana coming through alongside some apple and pear then some bread and biscuit malts nearer the end; enjoyable stuff and one I’d happy go back to again.

Brewed In: Steenhuffel, Flemish Brabant, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij Palm
First Brewed: 1904
Full Name: Palm Speciale Belge / Palm Belgian Amber
Type: Belgian Pale Ale
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Celtica, Brussels, Belgium
Price: €2.00 (approx. £1.76)

Pathmaker

June 8, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.25

This one is one of two relatively new beers from Black Sheep that I picked up recently when I spotted my local B&M Bargains store had them on offer and they were reasonably priced as well. This particular offering is one that I’ve spotted in a couple of supermarkets over the course of the last year but only decided to pick up when the price was a little lower, hence me grabbing a can now. The beer itself is an American pale ale and will be my first new one from the brewery since reviewing their Golden Sheep ESB here way back in January of 2013, so I guess this one is long overdue and hopefully it’s a good one.

Appearance (3/5): Pouring a light, almost watered down looking amber colour with a centimetre tall, bubbly white head on top that is quite bumpy looking on the surface and started to slowly lose some of its initial height over the opening thirty or forty seconds but still covers the surface well at this stage.
Aroma (7/10): Surprisingly fresh and quite hoppy in the early going, there was some nice citrus and pine notes to kick things off with floral touches and some light, earthy hops following on not too far behind. The beer was lively on the nose with a subtle sweetness at times too, there was a butter-like aroma that had some sweet malts in there and a touch of lemon nearer the end.
Taste (7/10): Slightly less fresh than the nose but opening with a solid floral bitterness that had some pine hops and touches of earthy malts coming through to begin with. There was some resinous flavours with a touch of citrus and orange towards the middle and some spices following that. Quite a pleasant tasting beer but one that definitely wasn’t too complex; it was easy to drink though so that’s a plus.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied but not as well carbonated as I’d expected, the beer was softly done in the department and could have been a little more crisp and sharp in my opinion. It was a semi-sweet offering but it was quite fresh thanks to the hops and floral touches, with a slight tang from the citrus and a nice balance too but it did lack that cutting edge and crisp feel that I was looking for and expecting really.

Overall (13/20): An interesting beer that definitely started off better than expected thanks to the freshness and to a lesser extent the liveliness of the nose, there was some nice citrus and pine coming through with a strong floral aroma too. Things died down slightly with the nose which was a little disappointing, I’d have liked to see more of the floral flavours coming through with the bitter hops, although some of both did show but I wanted to see more. It was a balanced beer but definitely not as crisp or sharp as some of the better American versions of the style which held it back a little and I’m not sure it’s one I’d hurry back to really.

Brewed In: Masham, England
Brewery: Black Sheep Brewery
First Brewed: 2017
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5.6%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: B&M Bargains (Glasgow)
Price: £1.25

Southern Summit

April 23, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.55

A sixth beer from the Loch Lomond brewery now, this one follows on from their Lost in Mosaic that I tried on-tap in Glasgow a few weeks ago but it actually one that I picked up a couple of months ago when I spotted it in a Lidl store during my weekly shop. Given it was one of the few offerings in the store that I hadn’t already tried, I decided to grab a bottle but haven’t manage to get round to trying it until now. The beer is an English style pale ale from the brewery and it’s not one that I’d normally pick up but it had been a while since I’d last tried anything from the brewery and I thought it was about time that changed.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a pale and cloudy looking golden colour that is topped with a half centimetre tall head with okay retention over the opening minutes and one that covers the surface of the beer well.
Aroma (7/10): Light, earthy hops and some citrus kick things off here, there is some biscuit malts and a fresh nose to the beer with some bitterness coming through towards the end. It was a fairly standard but pleasant offering for the style but I managed to get a few floral touches and hints of spice at the end as well.
Taste (6/10): Subtle hops and floral touches opening things here, there is some bitter hops and a touch of citrus as well. Around the middle some biscuit malts and sweetness start to appear but again it’s a standard tasting beer.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied and moderately carbonated, the beer was slightly tangy with a nice balanced and a fresh, easy-going feel.

Overall (13/20): Enjoyable stuff here but one that was probably a little basic and standard for the style, it was drinkable throughout though and quite easy-going without being all that complex. It was light and floral with some basic sweetness and biscuit flavours coming through but I’m not sure it’s one that I’d rush back to in future.

Brewed In: Lomond Industrial Estate, Alexandria, Scotland
Brewery: Loch Lomond Brewery
First Brewed: 2014
Type: English Pale Ale
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Lidl (Glasgow)
Price: £1.69

Boyne American Pale Ale

April 5, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.35

A beer that I got as part of a Beer52 delivery recently, this one formed part of their St. Partick’s Day offering for the month of March and is a beer hailing from County Meath. This particular offering will be the fourth that I’ve tried from the Boyne Brewhouse and follows on from three that I tried last year when visiting Ireland; it’s not to be confused with their Pale Ale offering that also goes by the Born In A Day moniker though as this one is a different beer entirely. Last year I also managed to try the brewery’s Amber Ale and Saison offering but in truth neither were anything special so I’m hopeful this newer offering will prove to be a slightly better beer; it also comes in a can which is nice to see as it’s not often I’ve come across an Irish craft beer in a can previously.

Appearance (4/5): Light and hazy amber with a decent sized head that sits about two fingers width tall and looks quite foamy. The head itself is a white one that has a few bubbles through it and slowly fades to settle as a thin lacing that breaks up slightly in the centre.
Aroma (7/10): Opening relatively fresh and hoppy, there is definitely some lemon and citrus notes coming through with a touch of pine in there as well. It’s a semi-bitter opening that has some floral touches with some orange, mango and even some pineapple showing, as well as hints of grass not far behind without anything dominating; a solid start.
Taste (6/10): Quite a bit more subdued than the nose hinted at, there was still some citrus and orange flavours coming through as expected but they weren’t as strong this time around. I got some subtle tropical flavours with a hint of pine and some lemon towards the middle but I was expecting a little more from it after the aroma. There was also some hoppy malts and grassy flavours towards the end but nothing really excited me with this one I’m afraid.
Palate (3/5): Strongly carbonated which resulted in the beer seeming quite sharp and crisp, it was definitely lively with a medium body and a subtle citrus tang. It seemed fresh, particularly with the nose but the taste was a slight disappointment in that regard with it coming through with an almost session-IPA feel to it.

Overall (13/20): After cracking the can open I started to get excited with this one given the nose that greeted me, it was fresh and lively with some nice hops and fruits showing, all of which seemed balanced in the early going but things changed come the taste sadly and the beer definitely started to fade. There was still some nice fruits and citrus showing but none of them had the initial burst of flavour that I had been expecting after the nose and the balance wasn’t quite the same either. It still turned out to be an okay beer that was on-par with the previous three Boyne beers that I tried last year but I was expecting a lot more from this one really.

Brewed In: Drogheda, Count Meath, Ireland
Brewery: Boyne Brewhouse
First Brewed: 2018
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Beer52.com
Price: £0.75 (approx.)

Gweilo Pale Ale

April 5, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.0

The second of two Gwelio Beer offerings that I was recently gifted thanks to someone returning from Hong Kong, this one follows on from the brewery’s IPA offering that I recently sampled and is the third beer I’ve reviewed from Hong Kong here after also trying a bottle of Sun Lik Beer back in 2011 and not enjoying it at all. Released back in 2015 when the brewery first opened, this one is supposedly a light beer that has some tropical Asian fruits coming through and is one that I’m interested in seeing how it comes out. The brewery is one that I’ve actually been aware of for a couple of years now, mainly because of the name which is a Cantonese term that roughly translates as ‘ghost chap’ and is used as a slang term to described foreigners in Hong Kong.

Appearance (4/5): A fairly clear amber colour that is topped with a bubbly looking head sitting just under a centimetre tall before gradually losing some of that height after a minute or so. Like the brewery’s IPA, this one looks like a well carbonated beer with plenty of fine bubbles rising to the surface as well.
Aroma (6/10): Quite strong on the nose with a sharp aroma to it that consisted of some grassy hops and a few earthy ones too. There was some citrus showing in the early going here with touches orange and grapefruit which I wasn’t expecting from a beer labelled as an English IPA. There was some floral touches in there as well before some subtle pine seen things out towards the end.
Taste (5/10): Opening with some earthy hops and a few grassy ones too, this beer seemed quite one-dimensional and basic if I’m honest with some citrus flavours showing and a couple of grassy hops as well but in truth there wasn’t a great deal to it really. It was semi-bitter with some floral touches and light pine nearer the end but nothing really stood out and it wasn’t that interesting either I’m afraid.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied and strongly carbonated, the beer had an effervescent feel to it with a slight tang showing as well. The beer was bitter throughout thanks to the earthy malts but this started to turn almost watery towards the end and the beer seemed quite one-dimensional as a result.

Overall (10/20): My second beer from Gwelio and not quite as good as the brewery’s IPA, this one was a very basic and one-dimensional beer that opened with some earthy hops and touches of citrus but nothing was forthcoming to really back these flavours up other than the odd earthy malt. It was an easy beer to drink without it ever really being enjoyable, helped by the fact that it was at least balanced and well-carbonated but I don’t think it’s one I’d pick up again if it was available in the UK; I guess I’ll try it again if I’m ever back in Hong Kong but that’s about it.

Brewed In: Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Brewery: Gweilo Beer
First Brewed: 2015
Type: English Pale Ale
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Hong Kong
Price: Gift