Posts Tagged ‘session ipa’

The White Hag Little Fawn

June 29, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.65

Only my second from The White Hag after seeing their beers a few times in Ireland now but never picking them up. This one follows on from the brewery’s Bran & Sceolan Irish IPA that I tried back in April after getting it as part of a Beer52 order and quite enjoying it, so I was glad to find this one available along with a few others from the brewery when I visited Sligo on a recent trip to Ireland, although this was the only beer from the brewery that I picked up on that occasion. The beer is another that I’d read about some time ago and decided to try if I managed to spot it in Ireland, the other of their beers I was hoping to try was their Black Boar oatmeal stout but sadly I couldn’t find that this time around so this one will have to do for now. The beer is a relatively light 4.2% abv. session IPA which as you know isn’t my favourite type of beer but I’m hopeful that the good reviews are accurate and this one goes down well; I guess there’s only one way to find out.

Appearance (4/5): Pale golden coloured with a thumb-sized, foamy white head on top that has a few bubbles through it and plenty rising to the surface too. Head retention is good for the syle with the texture changing to more of a bubbly one as a little of the height is lost but it still looks quite thick and covers the surface well.
Aroma (7/10): Very fruity and surprisingly strong initially for a session IPA, there’s some mango and pineapple coming through with some touches of apricot and peach too. Towards the middle it settles down ever so slightly with citrus and subtle grapefruit hops coming through at this point with some spice a little further on. It’s zesty and lively on the nose with a couple of juicy notes to round things off without it begin quite as pronounced as it started.
Taste (7/10): Matching the nose well, the beer is fruity with a lot of tropical flavours kicking things off and providing a nice hop bitterness at the same time thanks to the citrus and pine flavours, it even seems ever so slightly dank at this stage too without that taste coming through too strongly. There was a nice combination of mango and pineapple featuring around the middle with some peach and passion fruit too; it hinted at some resinous pine and grapefruit towards the end too but it wasn’t quite strong enough in that respect.
Palate (4/5): Fresh with a light-medium body and quite a lot of tropical fruits coming through to impart a touch of sweetness. It’s faintly dank and resinous but given it’s a session IPA it wasn’t quite strong enough there. There was moderate to fine carbonation level and it seemed quite lively and sharp towards the end, before fading right at the end.

Overall (13/20): Getting off to quite a good start, this one definitely seemed stronger than expected for a session IPA with some nice tropical fruits and citrus flavours coming through alongside a faintly resinous pine; I got some mango and peach alongside pineapple and quite a few other fruits sitting in the background too. The balance was quite good initially, although it did fade ever so slightly towards the end of the taste whilst remaining drinkable. I was surprised by this one a lot and if only it could have been a tiny bit more pronounced, or if it hadn’t faded right at the end then it would have been a must-try; it was still a nice beer though in spite of this.

Brewed In: Ballymote, County Sligo, Ireland
Brewery: The White Hag Irish Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2015
Full Name: The White Hag Little Fawn Session IPA
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.2%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Hargadon Bros (Sligo, Ireland)
Price: €3.10 (approx. £2.72)


Boyne Session IPA

June 19, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.05

My sixth beer from the Boyne Brewhouse now, a brewery that I’ve no idea why I keep picking up beers from given the five I’ve tried already have been poor to average at best. This one is a beer that I picked up alongside the brewery’s very disappointing Vienna Lager whilst in Ireland recently, mainly because I panicked in the shop and grabbed two Boyne beers without thinking but my hoping was that they’d both be a turning point for the brewery in my eyes; the Vienna Lager was terrible so it’s all down to this one now. The beer is a Session IPA, a style of beer that I’m not usually the biggest fan of but I have tried a few good ones of the style and perhaps it’s a style this County Meath brewery can brew well; let’s find out.

Appearance (4/5): Light than expected for the style, this one pours a slightly hazy golden yellow to pale amber colour and is topped with a half centimetre head that is white and bubbly with more build up around the circumference but quite thin nearer the middle.
Aroma (6/10): Fresh and quite hop-filled initially, this one is a dry beer on the nose with some citrus hops and lemon coming through alongside some faint grapefruit and peach. There’s a hind of tropical fruit initially with some orange and apricot before some background biscuit malts and grassy notes start to appear but it’s much better than the last few from the brewery so far and I’m happy with the start despite the fact it could have been a touch more pronounced.
Taste (5/10): More subdued than the nose with less hops showing but still somewhat fresh, the beer kicks off with some grassy hops and hay followed by faint citrus and floral backing. The tropical fruits seem to be missing come the taste though, something that was a little disappointing but not the end of the world; towards the end some lemon, melon and some sweet touches see things out.
Palate (3/5):Light bodied but pushing towards medium bodied and not quite getting there, this one was had some nice hops showing early with the nose but it died down a little soon after and seemed a little bland come the taste sadly. It’s was lightly carbonated but quite crisp and seemed fresh initially before fading towards the end; disappointing in the end.

Overall (11/20): I went into this one with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised in the early going when some nice hops and background tropical fruits started to come through but sadly this was short lived and the beer faded dramatically soon after. There was a freshness initially that subsided all too soon and the tropical fruits all but disappeared come the taste; a beer that could have been so much better but ended up finishing as poorly as the five other Boyne Brewhouse beers that I’ve tried before it; definitely a brewery I’ll try to avoid in future.

Brewed In: Drogheda, Count Meath, Ireland
Brewery: Boyne Brewhouse
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Can (150ml)
Purchased: Reilly’s (Lisnaskea)
Price: £1.67

Clockwork Tangerine

April 23, 2018 1 comment

Rating: 3.25

A 2017 Prototype Challenge winner from Brewdog and previously known as their ‘Tangerine Session IPA’, this one was a beer that I was quite surprised to see being stocked in a Morrison’s supermarket the very week of its release from the brewery so I quickly grabbed a large bottle of the stuff. The beer itself is labelled as a session IPA and as such I wasn’t overly enthusiast about it but it was a new beer from Brewdog and well priced in the supermarket so I thought I may as well give it a try.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a pale but clear amber colour with a couple of bubbles rising to the surface and a half centimetre head that was foamy and covered the surface well, getting slightly thinner towards the centre but holding well overall.
Aroma (6/10): Fresh and tangy to start with tonnes of tangerine coming through as promised, there was some nice citrus notes as well with a little lemon further on. I got some subdued hops and touches of fruit in the background with this one but the beer did seem a little artificial on the nose at times sadly. Towards the end there was some biscuit malts and a few earthy notes but the tangerine definitely dominated.
Taste (6/10): Opening with the tangerine and citrus flavours that the nose hinted at but with neither coming through quite as strong this time around, the beer was more malty than expected with some biscuit flavours bringing in the middle. Further on and the beer was quite zesty, featuring pleasant grassy hops and hay flavours before a moderate bitterness and the odd earthy flavour seen things out.
Palate (3/5): Fresh to start and quite zesty, the beer was juicy at points but turned a little dryer towards the end. It was a light-medium bodied offering with a smooth feel with moderate carbonation that went down easily but it did seem a little artificial at times too.

Overall (13/20): This one was quite but artificial tasting beer with tonnes of tangerine as you’d expect given the name and some nice citrus touches further on. It wasn’t quite as zesty or juicy with the taste once the initial burst had pasted but it was still quite easy to drink and although some flavours definitely dominated they never got sickening or overpowering at any point. I’d have liked to see a few more hops showing with this one to help out the balance a little but it was still an okay effort without ever hitting the usual heights of a good Brewdog IPA.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2018
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (660ml)
Purchased: Morrison’s (Glasgow)
Price: £2.87

Galway Bay Althea

January 16, 2018 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.45

My fourth Galway Bay beer now, this one following on from three that I picked up or tried when in Ireland during the summer of 2016 when I was in Galway for an overnight; the last of them, Of Foam And Fury, finally being reviewed here in October of that year. This one is a beer that I seen a couple of times during that trip but at the time it was quite a new beer and I’d not heard anything about it so decided not to try it at the time in favour of some of the brewery’s more established offerings. I again spotted the beer recently when in a Winemart store in the north of Ireland, sitting alongside a couple other beers from the brewery that I’d already tried so I finally opted to give this one a go and cracked it open on Christmas day at the end of last year. The beer is a 4.8% abv. session ale that is closest to a session IPA in style and hopefully it’ll be the first of a few new Galway Bay beers that I’ll get to review here in 2018 given their beers appear to be more widely distributed of late, I’ve started seeing them in Scotland too now which can only be a good thing.

Appearance (4/5): Quite a cloudy bodied beer, this one was a pale amber colour with quite a large head that sat about two and a half centimetres tall with a foamy texture that left some nice lacing on the sides of the glass and held well too.
Aroma (6/10): Subtly hops with some citrus and touches of hay opened things up alongside a little peach and background fruits. There was some fresh touches around the middle with grapefruit and a couple of tropical fruits but it could have been a touch stronger. Some light malts and biscuit seen things out with it having hints of a golden ale on the nose.
Taste (6/10): Light fruits and some background pine hops kick things off with the taste but there wasn’t any great strength to the beer, something I half expected given it was a session ale but I’d still have liked it to be a touch stronger. There was some orange and peach around the middle with some pale malts and biscuit flavours towards the end before a faint grapefruit bitterness seen things out but there wasn’t too much variety with the taste matching the nose closely.
Palate (4/5): Fresh and quite tangy with a strongly carbonated, hop-filled feel to a beer that was quite bitter throughout. There was a lively feel to this one with a light-medium body and a crisp, well-balanced finish without it ever really exciting.

Overall (13/20): This one was a pleasant enough session offering from Galway Bay, it was definitely lighter than I have wanted but came through with about as much strength as expected given the style. It still seemed a little underwhelming, particularly when compared to a couple of the beers from the brewery that I’ve tried previously but it remained drinkable throughout with some subtle hops and background fruits showing alongside a couple pale malts and biscuit towards the end. At times it hinted at a golden ale type offering but there was enough citrus and hops in the early going to place it as an average session IPA.

Brewed In: Galway, County Galway, Ireland
Brewery: Galway Bay Brewery
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.8%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Winemart (Enniskillen)
Price: £3.00

Brooklyn Scorcher IPA

June 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.15

Beer number twelve from Brooklyn for me now and only my first new offering from them since I was somewhat disappointed by their Blast! double IPA when I tried it back in February 2015; I’m amazed it has been so long between trying a new one of their beers for me. This one is a beer that I noticed my local Morrison’s supermarket has started stocking recently and since it was an American brewery IPA from a fairly well known brewery it was an easy decision to pick up a bottle and try it at home. The beer is not one I recognised from the brewery before grabbing it but I was pleased to see more of their beers making it to supermarkets of late and I’m hoping this turns out to be a good one from the brewery. Marketed as a session IPA since it comes in at 4.5%, I’m also hoping the beer proves a little better than some of the disappointing session IPA’s I’ve reviewed over the years and this will be my first of the style from Brooklyn so I’d like to think they’ve learnt from other brewery’s mistakes but I guess there is only one way to find out.

Appearance (3/5): Quite a light, almost watered down looking amber colour with a white, bubbly head that lasts just under a minute before fading to quite a patchy lacing dotted about the surface of the beer. The body is incredibly clear with this one and it looks quite still too.
Aroma (6/10): Slightly lighter on the nose than expected and there wasn’t as many hops either, this one opened with some subtle citrus notes and touches of floral hops. The beer came through with some oranges nearer the middle with touches of bread and faint caramel following on behind. There is a nice balance to the nose with touches of hay and grassy hops in there as well but it definitely wasn’t as strong as I’d been expecting.
Taste (7/10): Opening with quite a floral taste that comes through with quite a few hops, there is touches of citrus and hints of perfume in the early going as well. The beer was somewhat stronger than the nose without being overly so, I got touches of spice nearer the middle before some bread malts and the odd bit of sweetness too.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and quite crisp, the beer has a few floral touches with the citrus adding a subtle tang to proceedings nearer the middle. It was fairly well-balanced that made the beer relatively easy to drink with the odd touches of sweetness nearer the end. Overall it’s quite a dry and oily beer with some nice bitterness at the end but there wasn’t as much as I’d expected really.

Overall (13/20): Quite a fresh and crisp beer but one that was a little lighter than expected and with less hops too, there was some towards the end of proceedings but there wasn’t many showing before that. The taste mainly consisted of some pleasant citrus and floral flavours that were well-balanced but nothing overly special in truth; touches of bread and light sweetness featured too towards the end. It’s probably not a beer that I’d go back to given it’s quite an ordinary session IPA but it’s always worth picking up a new beer, just don’t go out of your way to pick this one up I guess.

Brewed In: Brooklyn, New York, United States of America
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
First Brewed: 2015
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Morrisons (Glasgow)
Price: £1.75

Ace Of Equinox

January 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.25

The fourth and final offering in Brewdog’s 2016 single-hop, ‘Ace of’ series that has seem them release three previous offerings over the course of the year; the first being their Ace of Simcoe offering that was launched at the end of February and has so far been the best in the series. That one was followed by their Ace of Chinook and Ace of Citra offerings, the Chinook turning out to be an okay beer and the Citra being one to forget in my opinion. I’m hoping that this one is a beer to end the year on a high with from the brewery but since the last two in the series haven’t been anything special, I’m not overly excited about this one although it was nice that they spaced the beers out over the course of the year rather than releasing them all at the same time. Like the Ace of Chinook, I will be reviewing a bottle of this one that I picked up from a local Glasgow bottle shop a couple of weeks ago and despite the fact session IPA’s don’t really scream Christmas beer, I’m hopeful this one will go down relatively well. It’ll be interesting to see if this Ace of Hops series is one that Brewdog continues into 2017 or whether they will despite to change things up slightly and give another style of beer a turn.


Appearance (4/5): Quite a clear looking amber colour but it’s also quite light looking, sitting with a quarter centimetre head that is foamy and white in colour. Head retention is okay with not much movement in the early going and there is even a touch of lacing stuck to one side of the glass but eventually it does start to turn a little patchy, breaking up around the one minute mark.
Aroma (6/10): Quite fresh and full of citrus, there is some orange and lemon opening things up here alongside touches of pine and grapefruit which give the beer a lively, exciting nose to start. There was some pineapple around the middle with the odd touch of caramel that made the beer seem more like a regular American IPA as opposed to the session IPA I was expecting. Unfortunately this doesn’t hold up quite as long as I would have liked and things started to weaken a little from the middle on wards with a weak tropical aroma and some biscuit malts rounding things off; it still came through as quite a nice beer on the nose but I’d have liked something a little stronger down the stretch.
Taste (6/10): Opening with some early pine and citrus flavours helped this one got off to a great start but like the nose things faded soon after thanks to some lager type malts coming through unexpectedly and distracting from the tropical fruits that followed. There was some mango and pineapple coming through with touches of caramel following alongside the earthy bitterness that the malts provided and that seemed a little stronger than normal for the style. There was some background hops and a few biscuit malts coming through soon after but the beer didn’t quite manage to recover sadly.
Palate (3/5): Light medium bodied and fairly fresh to begin with, this one came through with less carbonation than expected but it definitely wasn’t flat. There was a slight tang from the citrus coming through and I got faint sweetness from the caramel malts however the most noticeable thing about this one was the earthy bitterness that started around the middle and persisted from then on.

Overall (13/20): This one was a beer that started very well indeed, particularly early on with the aroma but sadly things started to fade from then on and the nose weaken somewhat thereafter. There was some pleasant tropical fruits and a little pine in there to keep things interesting but I was expecting something a bit more from this one but again a session IPA lets me down. Overall this series of beers from Brewdog was an interesting idea, albeit one that has been done multiple times before, but it was definitely an underwhelming bunch of beers; the sole exception being the Ace of Simcoe that kicked the series off.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £2.10

Ace Of Chinook

August 30, 2016 1 comment

Rating: 3.6

The third beer that I’ll have tried in Brewdog’s ‘Ace of Hops’ series now, although this one was actually the second beer they released in the series and follows on from their inaugural Ace Of Simcoe offering that I tried way back in March of this year. I ended up trying the beers in the wrong order due to the fact that I ordered this one online shortly before the Ace Of Citra offering was released and then ended up stopping by the Brewdog bar in Bristol and trying the beer there before opening this one. I opted to crack this one open over the weekend to distract from the massive disappointment that was the Ace Of Citra offering, a beer that seemed particularly bad given how much I enjoyed the first beer in the series, the Simcoe edition. Unlike the previous two, this one will be the first Ace of Hops beer that I’ll have reviewed that wasn’t a keg offering at one of the breweries bars and going in I was definitely hoping it would be more like the first in the series. This one will be the penultimate offering in the series from Brewdog, for this year at least, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see it or something very similar to it reappear again next year if this series proves to be a success; taste-wise it’s probably about on-par with the IPA is Dead series that it is replacing, although the only time I reviewed such a series was back in 2013 so maybe I’m not best placed to make such comparisons.

Ace Of Chinook

Appearance (4/5): Quite a light amber, this one is a little lighter looking than the Citra offering in the series and comes through with a couple of orange tinges throughout the body. The head was a surprisingly large one for the style, initially starting about three centimetres tall before halving in size but remaining quite foamy looking on top of the beer. There’s a touch of white lacing left on the sides of the glass as well with this one and head retention on the whole is pretty good.
Aroma (6/10): Some subtle citrus notes and a slightly more grassy smell comes through in the early going with this one, it’s a semi-fresh one on the nose that is mainly made up of some faint tropical fruits; there was a touch of grapefruit and some mango in there. Around the middle some hints of sweetness started to show but like the rest of the beer they seemed fairly weak and bordered on watery at point before some peach and apricot showed themselves soon after. This one was quite a balanced offering on the whole but it seemed far to light for me to fully enjoy the nose sadly.
Taste (7/10): Following on in a similar fashion to the nose, the taste of this one was a fresh one with some citrus and touches of pine in the early going. Thankfully things came through a bit stronger than with the nose and I could detect some oranges and mango with a few grassy flavours and hay backing them up and stopping things from getting too exciting. There was a faint touch of sweetness sneaking in somewhere around the middle before some floral flavours and a light bitterness rounded things off but again it could have been stronger.
Palate (4/5): Slightly weaker than anticipated, this one was a light-medium bodied beer that seemed quite lively and fresh with touches of citrus adding a nice tang but nothing seeming overly strong really. There was some faint sweetness and it wasn’t quite as bitter as I’d been expecting either but it was fluffy on the palate and fairly easy to drink.

Overall (14/20): This one was a so-so offering from Brewdog if I’m honest, it was miles better than their Ace Of Citra beer in the series but it never really hit the heights of the first in the series either with the Simcoe edition proving to be a far superior beer. There was some nice touches of citrus, pine and some lighter tropical fruits coming through but my biggest complaint was that everything could have been a lot more pronounced really. Definitely a drinkable offering but it’s not exactly one that you’d find yourself hurrying back to and it’s not one I’ll be looking out for to try again either sadly.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Price: £1.80