Monday, 24 October 2016

Beer Tasting: Crate Sour


The recent canned output from Crate, which seems to include a range of new (and perhaps one-off) recipes, has really impressed me. I don't mind the Crate core range, but it is conservative. The cans that have come out recently, on the other hand, have ventured into new territory, such as a well hopped West Coast IPA, an Amarillo single hop APA, and a Hibiscus and Passionfruit sour, which sits in front of me now.

The beer pours mostly clear gold/grapefruit pink with a creamy, receding white head. Pleasant aroma, with nips of lemon, berries, tangerine. Light sweet flavour with balanced but assertive acidity, juicy passion fruit, moderate salty bite, more lemony notes. Light bodied with average, spritzy carbonation. Cleansing and quenching on the finish, with further lemony acidity, decent acetic burn, more passion fruit, berries, hibiscus tang, tangerine, notches of white grape. There is a charming jammy undertone, but it is quite subtle and the acidity slices it off before it catches. Overall, this is a great beer, and massively refreshing. One of the best from Crate that I've had.

I purchased this beer from Offie & Toffee, which is a rather excellent little off-licence right near the Bethnal Green tube station.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Beer Tasting: The Kernel Pale Ale Simcoe Centennial Amarillo


This one pours totally clear gold (Kernel? Is it really you?), lightly effervescent, with a frothy, pure white head. Floral hops circle in the aroma, along with some citrus peel, lemon, pine needles. Lightly sweet, with dry pale malts, a little perfume, more pine needles, dashes of melon, lemon peel, pithy grapefruit. Light bodied with fine to average carbonation. Pretty clean on the finish, with further pine needles, biscuits, citrus peel. 

Perhaps not quite as juicy as other Kernel APAs, but very clean and highly drinkable. 

For the record, I procured this bottle from the ever-handy Offie & Toffee.

Beer Tasting: Kew Richmond Rye


I bought this beer, appropriately, from Whole Foods Richmond. 

It pours mostly clear amber-gold, effervescent, with a foamy, off-white head. The aroma is big and grainy, with lots of bready malts, notes of ripe citrus, orange peel, a little toast. Light-medium sweet flavour with just faint minerality, touches of white grape, melon, more citrus fruits, bitter orange rind, grainy pale malts. Light bodied with lively, massaging carbonation. The beer finishes with more lightly toasted grains, drying minerals, a dash of pine resin, more rindy citrus. 

Overall, it's not bad. If you like grainy rye beers, this one is a fair example of the style.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Beer Tasting: Weird Beard Double Perle


I have been doing a lot of rummaging in my 'cellar' (spare space in flat) during the past month or so. My latest discovery is this, Weird Beard Double Pearl, which was bottled in July 2014. This beer would not reach its second birthday.

It pours oily black with a dense, creamy mocha topping. The aroma is simply gorgeous, with lots of milk chocolate, smooth coffee, some dark fruits. Big sweet flavour - a little syrupy but still rounded and smooth, with more gooey chocolate, moderate roasted malts, burnt toffee, raisins, dried cherries and coffee ice cream. 

Full bodied, creamy and chewy, with fine carbonation. Barely a suggestion of the alcohol in the finish, just a little bit of warmth, with further overarching chocolatey character, more coffee ice cream, a dash of espresso bitterness, scorched earth, more raisins, faint vanilla and toffee. 

This is spectacular stuff. The richness of the chocolate is just phenomenal. This is definitely one of the best Weird Beard beers I have had. It has aged beautifully.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Beer Tasting: Beavertown Bloody 'Ell


I hadn't had this beer for quite a while, so decided to revisit now that a fresh batch came out.

This really is a great beer. While the citrus character is not much more intense than you might find in a well constructed, juicy IPA, the citrus character is mighty. Lots of orange, tangerine, also some melon and papaya. The juicy sweetness is balanced out almost perfectly with nips of orange rind and oily pine. There's an interesting citric note in the aftertaste.

Beavertown have really been in the groove for a while now, and this beer is further evidence that they brew some of the best beer in London.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Beer Tasting: Howling Hops Farmhouse Saison (Sorachi Special)


I snared this saison at BottleDog in London. 

The beer pours mostly clear yellow-gold, highly effervescent, with a billowing, frothy and pure white head. Pleasant citrusy hops in the aroma, augmented with some dry wheat, pale bread, zesty lemon, tangerine, pithy grapefruit. Light to medium sweet flavour with mellow bitter grain husk, more citrus peel, some grass, wheat bread, and subtle saison yeast expression. Light to medium bodied with lively carbonation. Nicely balanced on the finish, with well rounded citrusy hops, more lightly dried wheat bread, some straw, tangerine, lemon meringue, mild pithy grapefruit, biscuits. 

Well, this is pretty great stuff overall. Super drinkable, with a nice amount of complexity. Great work.

Beer Tasting: Late Knights Hop O' The Morning


I inadvertently aged this one. I think it boasts two to three years of age. Thankfully, the beer is still in great shape, and shows almost no signs of wear and tear. 

It pours clear, dark brown with a frothy, light khaki head. The nose has lots of ashy roast, tobacco, burnt leaves, faint cocoa. The flavour is lightly sweet with prominent hard, ashy roast, some dry earth, torched tobacco leaves, bitter cocoa, leather. Light bodied with average carbonation. Dry and bitter on the finish, with more steady and sturdy ash, chalky bitter cocoa, old espresso. Lingering burnt pine in the aftertaste. 

Pretty OK overall, in that hard-edged ashy kind of way. There's a lot of flavour jammed into the 4.2% abv.