Tuesday 18 February 2014

Beer Tasting: Brew By Numbers 08/01 Stout - Export Strength

I got this bottle way back in the early days of Brew By Numbers' existence; the bottled-on date is 06/02/2013, so the brewery had been running for about three months or so at that point. And, as such, this bottle has had plenty of time to develop.

Since this beer's debut, BBNo have put out a few iterations at varying ABVs; this one clocks in at 7.4%. It pours deep brown-black with a huge, lasting beige foam head. The aroma is quite dynamic, with plenty of well roasted malts at the core, surrounded by baking cocoa, some dark fruits and toasted bread. It has a medium sweet flavor with rich, slightly bittersweet cocoa, restrained charred malts, some raisins, chocolate cake, light flinty minerals, some dark bread and milk chocolate. Medium to full bodied with average carbonation and an exceedingly creamy mouthfeel, the beer is a delight on the palate. The finish has just a touch of alcohol warmth, followed by lots more richly roasted malts, baking cocoa, moderate scorched earth bitterness, ash, slight tobacco and further chocolate cake. Rich and complex, this beer is also impressively well balanced and drinkable. If you happen to be sitting on a bottle of this beer that was released in early 2013, I would drink it now because I cannot envision it getting any better than this. It's really quite exceptional.
(Score: 4.3/5.0)

Monday 17 February 2014

Beer Tasting: The Kernel Pale Ale Motueka+

I had this bottle at home just a few days after picking it up at the brewery. It pours mostly clear gold with frothy, pure white head. The aroma is nice and outrageously inviting, with some bready pale malts, a bit of semi-ripe tangerine, orange and mango. Light to medium sweet is the flavor with pale, lightly dry bread, touches of pine, orange, citrus rind, hay. Light bodied with fine carbonation, the beer practically drinks itself. The beer finishes with restrained pale bready sweetness and quenching citrus fruits, grapefruit, orange rind, sticky pine, faint grassy bitterness. Lovely stuff. Stupidly drinkable. This is The Kernel on form. (Score: 4.1/5.0)

Sunday 16 February 2014

Beer Tasting: Beavertown Quelle Saison

Beavertown has taken a few swings at saisons in the past (previous efforts include Bramley Apple/ Barley Champagne, Dark Saison, Hara-Kiri and Chili Lime, to name a few) but the Quelle is their most straightforward attempt yet. And, if you ask me, it is also perhaps their most successful, although the Dark Saison was quite impressive as well. So, good effort to Beavertown for showing they've got the basics down. This beer would certainly be a nice addition to the standard roster.

The Quelle Saison pours well and cloudy yellow-gold, fairly effervescent, with a lasting, virgin white froth head. There's zesty citrus in the nose, namely lemon and orange, with hints of pine needles and grass. The flavor has light sweetness with a bit of pale wheat bread, spicy yeast, mellow grassy bitterness, juicy lemon and tangerine, light citrus rind. Light bodied with fine, massaging carbonation, it is a very approachable beer. Moderately dry on the finish with further wheat bread, cleansing minerals, melon, lemon, grapefruit, slight grassy bitterness. A delightful saison. Exceedingly drinkable with nuanced character. There could be a bit more complexity but for a first go this is nice. (Score: 3.8/5.0)