Posts Tagged ‘session ipa’

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

Ace Of Citra

August 26, 2016 2 comments

Rating: 3.25

This third Brewdog’s latest single-hop series, this is a beer that follows on from their Ace Of Simcoe offering that I reviewed back in March and much like that one, I managed to sample the Citra version a mere two days after its Thursday night release a Brewdog bars in the UK. There also happens to be an Ace Of Chinook beer in the series, one that was released at some point over the summer and I actually have a bottle of that in the house, waiting to be tried soon. As for this Citra version, given how much I liked the Simcoe edition, I was looking forward to trying this one a great deal and managed to find it on-tap at Brewdog Bristol when I was visiting the city over the weekend and decided to make it my first pint in the bar.I believe this Citra offering is the penultimate in the ‘Ace Of’ series that has replaced their ‘IPA is Dead’ series this year but I wouldn’t bet against a couple more being release next year as well, especially if this one is deemed to have been a success.

Ace Of Citra

Appearance (4/5): Medium amber in colour with a semi-clear body and quite a lively look to the beer with a few bubbles rising to the surface. The head was a foamy white one that sat about half a centimetre tall in the glass and left some touches of lacing on the glass too.
Aroma (6/10): As expected, this one opens up with some citrus hops and quite a lively nose with some fresh notes and touches of fruit but it initially doesn’t seem to be too complex sadly. There was some acidity showing and a few astringent notes with surprisingly little sweetness coming through. The citrus and orange aromas were definitely what dominated from the start here, although some further background fruits did show but I was expecting a lot more from this one and certainly more variety in the early going.
Taste (6/10): Citrus and slightly subdued pine hops open things up here before some touches of grapefruit start to some through; there was a bit more going on here than there was with the nose but again it’s not as complex a taste as I’d have liked really. I got a strong bitterness and some pleasant enough grassy hops around the middle with touches of hay before some mango and orange came through towards the end. It was an easy enough beer to drink and it didn’t seem bad at any point, it’s just that I was expecting a lot better going in.
Palate (3/5): Strongly carbonated and sitting with a light-medium body, this one was quite a gassy beer in truth but it was also fairly crisp and bitter as well. The balance wasn’t particularly great here either and I struggled to detect much variety from it thanks to the citrus hops that seemed to dominate from the start.

Overall (13/20): This one was a beer that I was quite disappointed with in truth, especially considering how much I enjoyed the brewery’s Ace Of Simcoe offering which was the first in the series. This one started okay with a nice appearance and some citrus hops opening things up but things quickly faded after that with not enough variety coming through to keep me interested sadly. I would also have liked to see some sweetness coming through at point but the hops and citrus completely masked any there might have been so I doubt very much that this one would be a beer that I’d try again; thankfully it’s only a limited release.

Brewed In: Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Brewery: Brewdog
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Draught (Pint)
Purchased: Brewdog, Bristol, England
Price: £4.35

O’Hara’s ‘OPsession

August 3, 2016 3 comments

Rating: 3.2

Another from a brewery that I frequently pick up new beers from every time I’m over in Ireland, this one being my eighth offering from the brewery and despite occasionally seeing their beers elsewhere on my travels, I believe all of them have been picked up whilst in Ireland. This particular offering is a new session IPA from the Carlow Brewing Company, having only been introduced around May this year and another that falls under their O’Hara’s banner. The beer is one of four new offerings from the brewery that I picked up on my recent trip to Ireland, the others being a wheat ale, a red IPA and a white IPA that reviews of will follow shortly. Despite not being much of a fan of session IPA’s, this one was probably the one I had highest hopes for before trying any of the new O’Hara’s beers but as it turned out, both of the other two ended up being better beers but here’s what I thought of this one anyway.

O'Hara's 'OPsession

Appearance (4/5): Quite a dark, almost caramel amber colour that had a fairly clear body and was topped with a centimetre and a half tall head that was creamy looking and white in colour. Initially the head held pretty well with not much reduction in size whilst leaving a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass before it eventually turned into a thick looking lacing after a couple of minutes. It was a nice looking beer overall and one that I didn’t expect to be quite as dark as it was either.
Aroma (6/10): Pine hops and oils kick things off here but it’s definitely a more subdued nose than I’d been expecting, even taking into consideration that it’s a session IPA. There was some nice biscuit malts and a faint caramel nose with touches of bitterness as well and all of these seeming slightly more pronounced than the hops. It seemed very English IPA in style with an earthy nose and a touch of spice nearer the end.
Taste (6/10): Thankfully the taste was a little more hoppy than the nose and came through with some pine and citrus flavours early on but in truth neither were as strong as I’d have liked. There was some herbal touches with a bit of earthy malt bitterness coming through from the nose and this again seemed the dominant characteristic of the beer. Towards the end some grassy flavours and a touch of grapefruit appears, as did some orange but it was the malts that seemed strongest sadly.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied and quite tangy thanks to the citrus that featured throughout, there was an oily feel to the beer from the hops and carbonation wise it sat somewhere around light-medium. The beer was a dry one nearer the end and it seemed earthy with a moderate bitterness throughout; quite a difference from the hop-bomb I’d hoped for.

Overall (12/20): Another O’Hara’s beer and sadly it isn’t one of their better offering really, although I might have guessed as much given it was labelled as a new session IPA from the brewery; to be honest, I’d probably describe it as an English style IPA myself. Overall the beer was quite a subdued and almost weak offering that opened with some pine and citrus but neither seemed particularly pronounced or noticeable. In fairness, I managed to finish the beer without too many problems but it just didn’t seem to be one that I particularly enjoyed; perhaps if it had been presented as an English pale ale or IPA then I might have enjoyed it more but as it stands, it was a pretty poor session IPA and one I’ll likely avoid in future.

Brewed In: Muine Bheag, County Carlow, Ireland
Brewery: Carlow Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Reilly’s (Lisnaskea)
Price: £2.29

Harbour Session IPA

July 4, 2016 1 comment

Rating: 2.9

A first beer from the Harbour Brewing Company now and one that I picked up in local supermarket a couple of weeks ago with a view of trying it on a recent train journey, only to forget I had it when packing. The beer is one that my local Morrions have recently started stocking, alongside a few of the brewery’s other beers, after they decided to increase their craft beer range considerable. This was the one from the brewery that caught my eye, mainly due to the fact the weather was starting to pick up some when I bought it and despite the fact that good session IPA’s seem to be few and far between; hopefully this one can show me something different though. Introduced back in 2014 and available on cask as well as in cans (another reason I picked this one up), the beer is one that I’m looking forward to and should hopefully be a good first beer to kick off my evening.

Harbour Session IPA

Appearance (4/5): This one pours a light and quite bright amber colour with a clear body that has plenty bubbles rising to the surface. Thea head is a very nice, centimetre and a half tall one that holds remarkably well over the opening minute with little movement at all; great stuff.
Aroma (6/10): Fairly fresh but not overly pronounced on the nose, there was some nice touches of orange and citrus in the early going before some faint pine started to come through. These notes were followed by a few bread malts and the tiniest bit of sweetness but it seemed short-lived and it was the citrus notes that seemed to dominate proceedings.Towards the end some basic grassy hops and biscuit notes start to come through as well and overall the balance on the nose was good but like a lot of session IPA’s they weren’t strong enough.
Taste (5/10): Following on well from the nose and in a similar fashion, this one kicked off with some basic citrus hops with a subtle pine backing but the grassy hops seemed to come through a lot sooner with the taste than was previously the case. There was touches of orange around the middle that ushered in the bread and biscuit malts that also seemed more pronounced when compared to the nose. The beer had quite an inoffensive taste to it but there wasn’t too much to grab your attention or keep you interested, it was just a little bland in truth.
Palate (2/5): Definitely a light bodied beer and actually thin at times, the beer had some light pine bitterness and touches of citrus that added a basic tang but it was quite a bland and boring offering that was far too weak and basic at times, even bordering on watery nearer the end. It was well-carbonated at least but this was far from enough to save the palate or help it down any better.

Overall (12/20): This one started fairly well, if a little weak, but by the end it was quite a disappointing offering and one that was a struggle to finish in truth. There was some subtle pine and citrus to kick things off with a few bread and biscuit malts featuring alongside some grassy flavours but things started to fade and the bitterness seemed a little too harsh as I started working my way down the glass. Sadly this one is another that can be classed as a poor session IPA and again I’m questioning why so many breweries persist with this style of beer when they are frequently terrible.

Brewed In: Bodmin, Cornwall, England
Brewery: Harbour Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2014
Type: Session IPA
Abv: 4.3%
Serving: Can (330ml)
Purchased: Morrisons (Glasgow)
Price: £1.50