Archive for July, 2019


Bokkereyer (Aka Methode Goat): Barrique Oloroso 2017 (Belgium: Gueuze: 6% ABV)

Visual: Hazy dark gold. Loose bubbled head. Some carbonation.

Nose: Wheaty. Dry sherry and dry raisins. Tart apples. Pencil shavings.

Body: Tart apples. Tart red grapes. Sherry soaked sultanas. Fizzy mouthfeel. Lots of dry sherry. Tart white grapes.

Finish: Dry raisins and sultanas. Dry Madeira. Dry sherry. Tart apple. Very dry overall. Oats. Liquorice. Dry bitterness. Tannins. Chalk.

Conclusion: This is possibly the most sherry influence lambic I have tried. Which is quite a small sample pool admittedly , but trust me, this one is fair intense in the oak ageing influence. While this still keeps the dry apple and white wine lambic notes at the base, this is utterly dominated by the dry sherry, dark fruit and tannin notes. Very highly attenuated, very dry and almost, but not quite Cantillon level mouth puckering in feel.

It reminds me a lot of the 2018 Cantillon Zwanze beer, despite differences in the specifics of the ageing, it is really dark and dry which makes it rewarding if you take your time with it, but very heavy and can be off-putting up front if you are not used to that. It is a very acquired taste, possibly more so than even the unusual nature of a lambic, but really pays off it you can get into it.

The finish leads out into a heavy set of tannins and charring, not overdone, but again one that can take a bit of time to be open to. It feels like every element has been stripped down to its heavy core, only allowing a hint of sweetness released from below to give tarter and fresher notes.

The gueuze character, the freshness and slight fizzy mouthfeel is what takes all those heavy elements and keeps it going. It is a vital element working the freshness, the slight apple and the fizziness to keep it from being too intense.

So, very heavy and dry, full on working the sherry. Not for everyone as it keeps everything intense all the time, but very impressive in what it does.

Background: As mentioned in the Framboos notes Bokkereyer are a super hard to get hold of Belgian sour brewery with a huge reputation and there were six different bottles available to try at the Arrogant Sour Beer Festival, held at the Moor Tap Room. I had time to try one more, so decided to go with the closest thing to a standard gueuze that they had – this mix of one, two and three year old lambic that had been aged in oloroso sherry barrels. Again I say Bokkereyer, as that was how they were listed, but a quick google tells me the brewery has changed its name to Methode Goat, though I can’t find why. I’m guessing a big brewer and a trademark court case threat. Also again, was super excited to try this at the end of the festival, and had tried to pace myself so I could try to do it justice in the notes.

Advertisements


Bokkereyer (Aka Methode Goat): Framboos Vanille 2018 (Belgium: Fruit Lambic: 6% ABV)

Visual: Bright cherry red, with only a thin white rim of bubbles instead of a head.

Nose: Very fresh and very natural smelling raspberries. Toffee and vanilla notes. Soft strawberries. Cream.

Body: Soft mouthfeel. Tart apples. Creamy raspberries. Very fresh and distinctly natural raspberry. Slightly dry. Peach.

Finish: Fruity fresh raspberries. Vanilla. Cream. Tart apples. Very clean. Peach notes. Grapes. Mild tannins. Oak. Oats.

Conclusion: OK, wow, the is fruity. Now that should not be a shock, ir is a Framboos – a raspberry lambic – but I have found that while a lot of Framboos have that tart raspberry character, they often loose a lot of the fresher and sweeter elements of the fruit. None I have encountered have had quite such a full on expression of the full range of the fruit as this has.

It is fresh, mouth-filling and tart, and really expresses the flavours. I think it may be because of the vanilla beans adding a sweetness and creaminess that not just restores oft lost elements of the raspberry, but also works well against the tart apple notes of the lambic base. It makes for something very easy to drink and rich in flavour. From somewhere peach notes come out, combining with the raspberry and creamy to make this almost like a peach melba lambic, and that is just exceptional. (Note: Yes I did double check this isn’t one of the lambics they had that actually had peach in). It keeps the tart flavours, but none of the heavier horse blanket notes you see with a lot of lambics. A touch of tannins, but that is it. A very different and smooth take.

The main call to a more traditional lambic base is in the finish – here it is dry, with some oats, oak and such like. It gives a more recognisable beer and lambic character to something that is a bit away from a traditional take on the style, underlining it and emphasising everything that came before by its contrast.

Wonderfully fresh, fruity but without being fruit juice like. The tart lambic is restrained but still unmistakable – this is possible my favourite of the Framboos I have encountered. The vanilla smooths the edges but does not diminish the quality or complexity.

An exceptional beer.

Background: This is a mix of one, two an three year old lambic with a mix of three types of raspberry and made with Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla beans and bottled January 2019. Before this I had just known Bokkereyer by reputation of quality and their rarity, so reading those words gave me an idea of why this tiny brewery was making such a fuss. There were six different bottles available to try at the Arrogant Sour Beer Festival at the Moor Tap Room, and I quickly decided this one was one I wanted to try. I say Bokkereyer, as that was how they were listed, but a quick google tells me the brewery has changed its name to Methode Goat, though I can’t find why. I’m guessing a big brewer and a trademark court case threat. Anyway, was super excited to try this at the end of the festival, and had tried to pace myself so I could try to do it justice in the notes.

Stavio: Birrozzo Pinotto 2014 (Italy: Sour Ale: 7.5%)

Visual: Hazy apricot. Rim of white bubbles instead of a head.

Nose: Musty and thick. Dry sultanas. Light charred oak. Dry Madeira. Earthy Pinot Noir. Dry apricot.

Body: Smooth. Raisins and sultanas. Earthy. Plums. Earthy bitterness. Brown bread. Slight sour dough. Thick mouthfeel. Strawberry.

Finish: Plums. Earthy and mild spice. Coriander. Sour dough. Dry. Sour red wine. Tannins and tea. Strawberry. Slight acidic freshness.

Conclusion: I think this is the first beer of the festival that comes under the heading of a well made beer, but not one for me. It is very smooth, yet nicely chewable – so the mouthfeel is nicely balanced. It is dry, with lots of the earthier side of a European Pinot Noir and rumblings of darker notes below. I can appreciate it on a technical level, but something about that means that it just doesn’t grab me. I’ll have to examine more and try and work out why, please indulge me on this.

Even with that said though, it is not like I actively dislike this, I am finding a lot to examine here. There are subtle strawberry notes, dried apricot, light spices. I can 100% see how this could be someone’s favourite beer. There is so much depth, slight acidic dryness and a heavy, earthy style.

I think that it is that earthiness that, for me, does not work. I prefer the more booming, fruity, New World Pinot Noirs compared to the more earthy European versions, and so here it feels like the earthy taste gets clinging. But that is a personal thing not a problem with the beer. It is especially notable in combination with the dryness, which adds to the harsher elements. What I can say on the positive side of things is that the middle of the body gives some sweet release from that – this is where the fruit notes balance the earthiness and there I can start to get into this.

So, very well made, and feels like it should be really good, but not quite for me. As always I hope I have given enough information here for you to know if it is for you.

Background: Another beer tried at the Arrogant Sour Beer festival at the Moor Tap-Room. Was a bit unsure as the booklet description said that this was Cedar aged, however it was right next to an entry called Birrozzo Cedro that said it was Pinot Noir aged. A quick check confirmed the two entries has been mixed up. Also confusing is the abv. The label said 7.5% abv, the booklet 6.5% ABV and the Cedro was 6.8% abv so it wasn’t just those being mixed up. Anyway, a Pinot Noir aged sour. Let’s go!

Cantillon: Vigneronne (Belgium: Fruit Lambic: 6% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy lemon to peach skin.

Nose: Dried apricot. Old muggy hops. Oats. Dry white wine. Dry in general. Slightly bready and fluffy popcorn. Crusty white bread.

Body: Crusty fresh white bread. Dry, thick hop feel. Dandelion. Sour white grapes. Slight tart apricot. White wine. Oats.

Finish: Flour. Fresh crusty white bread. Dandelions. Soft lemon. Gentle hop like bitterness. White wine.

Conclusion: This is not what I expected from a Cantillon. What I expect from Cantillon is, at the very least a very dry beer, at at the most a mouth puckering sour bomb. This has comparatively restrained sourness, a fluffy, fresh and bready mouthfeel and even some taste, and a .. erm .. kind of dandelion like vegetable character. I’ll get to that last one in a minute to explain more I promise. They are layered in amongst the tart grapes which are more recognisable as traditional elements and against what feels like an old, slightly muggy hop bitterness.

It is still white wine forwards in flavour, dry but not super dry, and it is delicious, it just has a much fuller body than a lot of the super dry Cantillons so I had to take a short while to get my bearings. It is just as rewarding as harsher Cantillons and much more easy going. It feels like a super enjoyable way to introduce people to the brewery without expecting them to jump in head first to the sour dry attack that they often are.

It is a chewable yet tart, like a flour thickened lambic that is very white wine fronted. A lot of you may be put off by my referring to the flour/vegetable notes of dandelion. Please don’t be, basically it is the best way I can get an odd note across. It is like if you drank dandelion and burdock, but without the burdock. If that makes any sense at all. It is that kind of influence here and not an unpleasant one.

A mellow tartness, full on wine flavour, thicker feel take on a Cantillon, and I would say that is very much worth trying. Not as huge range as some others but makes up for it by being much more approachable and easy to get into.

Yeah, I dig it, an easygoing Cantillon that does not compromise to do that.

Background: Another one from the Arrogant Sour Beer festival over at The Moor Tap Room, and this is a rare opportunity these days – A beer I have not previously tried that is both in Michael Jackson’s 500 Great Beers, and the 100 Belgian Beers To try Before You Die book. I tried the low hanging fruit of those books years ago, so this was a nice surprise. Did a quick double check on the abv of this, as most places list it as 5% ABV, but looks like it abv got raised to 6% recently. And by recently that could be any time in the past decade. I lose track of time easily. Also, before anyone points it out, I am aware that most Dandelion and Burdock these days is made with neither of those ingredients, but the analogy is the closest thing I had for identifying a flavour, so please allow me this one.

Ritterguts: Bärentöter Sour Gose Bock (Germany: Gose: 6.6% ABV)

Visual: Reddened brown. Massive, lightly brown touched head.

Nose: Cinnamon and coriander. Wheaty. Light lemon. Sour malt chocolate. Lightly tart. Fresh sour dough. Slightly salted. Light caramel. Tart grapes.

Body: Salty. Vinous, sour red wine soaked brown bread. Tart black cherries. Coriander. Fruitcake. Tart grapes. Bread pudding.

Finish: Gummed brown paper. Salt. Watered down vinegar. Brown bread. Malt chocolate drinks. Spotted dick pudding. Peppery. Dry Madeira.

Conclusion: This is a very bready gose – it keeps the salty and wheaty gose character, but feels heavier – backed by a vinous, sour wine set of notes an a fruitcake style that makes it very different to the other gose I have encountered. I presume this is the higher abv, but who knows, my encounters with Gose over the years have been pretty varied already.

It starts out a bit underwhelming, but quickly builds. It is never too tart, in fact few gose I have tried go really heavy on that side, but it has a gentle sourness given bready weight and accentuated by the spice to give an odd bread pudding soaked in wine kind of character. I wonder if anyone has even made that, a spiced, wine soaked Bread Pudding. It sounds like the kind of thing that should exist.

Anyway, I digress, this is gentle, but gains an extraordinary amount of complexity as you take your time with it. It remains very grounded and mellow, but rewards you with such a range of vinous, fruity, sweet, and spice notes. If it wasn’t for the higher abv, it feels like it would be the perfect examine throughout a warmer day kind of beer.

As is, it feels like a rewarding after dinner drink. It is spirity enough to call to the traditional port or similar that it would replace, heavy enough to stand up to what was eaten before, and the light salt makes it dangerously drinkable, and with enough going on that you can just let it slip down and enjoy.

Very worth trying.

Background: First beer of The Arrogant Sour Festival that was on at the Moor Tap room recently. In fact it was recommended by one of the staff, and since actual Gose from Germany are still not a super common thing I thought it would be nice to give it a go. I went to the festival on the Sunday due to feeling a bit under the weather the day before, so was worried all the good beers would have gone. I should not have worried, they still had a great selection left. This one is mad with six different malts, coriander, orange peel and ceylon cinnamon. Also I presume salt, as Gose are a kind of slightly salted, spiced, wheat beer, but that was not listed.

That Boutique-y Whisky Company: Three Ships: Batch 1 (South African Single Malt Whisky: 6 Years: 53.7% ABV)

Visual: Deep, rich gold. Fast thick streaks come from the spirit.

Nose: Thick. Stewed dark fruit. Waxy leaves. Partially melted brown sugar. Slightly oily and slight smoke. Waxy in general. Banana skins. Water brings out cake sponge. Toffee and light peppercorn.

Body: Thick and oily. Kind of oily peat. Stewed apricot. Golden syrup. Shortbread. Brown bread. Charcoal touch. Water adds fudge. Charred oak. More waxy,

Finish: Stewed apricot. Milky chocolate. Slight banana. Charcoal and charred oak. American bread. Water adds noticeable alcohol. Slight apples. Treacle. Golden syrup. More milky chocolate.

Conclusion: Wow, this is thick and chewy, but despite that and a high abv this comes across far smoother than the low number of years ageing would indicate. As mentioned in the background, I’m guessing this is at least partly due to ageing in high temperatures. This has such a smooth mouthfeel, especially considering the over 50% abv, but you can really get your teeth into it.

Flavour-wise it is very different to most whiskies I have encountered out there. It feels like it hints at a waxier take on a sweet and big Highland whisky at the base, but far chewier, and even has what tastes like a decent amount of oily smoke underneath it (I have no idea if this is peated at all, but something definitely gives an oily peat like character in there – the whole thing is a bit outside my standard set of reference points, so I’m working without a net here).

It is a very gripping, kind of waxed leaves feel and even hints of flavour, and that grip means that all the other flavours stick around as well. The highland like impressions come across as a heavy, weighty sweetness – burnt brown sugar, fudge and what tastes like a relatively restrained sweetness version of golden syrup. These become especially evident with water – the alcohol is never burning, and never really obscures, but it does open up brilliantly with just a few drops, and can cope with a lot more.

Its unique character is that waxy greenery, an element I don’t recognise from any other whisky and adds a real savoury weight to this, mixing well with the oily, charred notes to make for a dark, savoury undertone.

A lovely mix – Highland meets a dash of Islay, meets elements I have only previously encountered in Indian whisky and makes for something really rewarding, multifaceted, recognisable as whisky but different. Well worth trying.

Background: This caught my eye a while back at The Hideout. I’d not tried any whisky from South Africa before, and I wondered what it would be like. So after an amazing Paul John whisky tasting held there I grabbed myself a measure. Was very impressed so went back later to do notes on it. This has been aged in American Oak and PX sherry casks (or so a quick google tells me). Six years is not old for a whisky, but I’m guessing that similar to ageing whisky in India (as the Paul Johns guide told us) the higher heat means a much higher loss to the angel share, and a much more rapid ageing. Three Ships is one of the brands of whisky from the James Sedgwick Distillery that also does the Bain’s single grain whisky. Again, so google tells me.

Moor: Agent Of Evil (England: Black IPA: 7% ABV)

Visual: Black and opaque. Two inches of brown froth mounds of a head that leaves a sud rim.

Nose: Bitter coffee and coca dust. Slight ash tray. Empty, used coffee cups. Sour dough. Wholemeal flour. Light peppermint and chives.

Body: Milky chocolate. Chocolate cake. Crushed peanuts. Charred bitterness. Brown bread. Roasted character.

Finish: Bitter chocolate cake. Dry roasted peanuts. Charred bitterness. Ash. Earthy hops. Slight choc lime. Peppery. Ground spice. Bitter coffee.

Conclusion: This is definitely taking the hopped stout like interpretation of a Black IPA. I will admit I generally prefer the the opposite take – the fruity hopped dark malt style BIPA. Even with that said, considering the dearth of new Black IPAs around here recently I welcome a new entry into the style.

So as the hopped stout like take of a BIPA, this seems to be doing a very British hop take on that – earthy and spicy in how the hops come across with solid bitterness but pretty much no bright notes. Very robust, and nothing too fancy. Earthy and peppery early on with some more prickly spice notes in the finish. So, fairly simple in the hop use – dark, charred, almost all bitterness and earthy spice. So, I guess it will be up to the malt to provide the contrast.

Actually, the malt is, well, still fairly grounded. A mix of bitter coffee and cocoa, done in a quite roasted and robust way. So, definitely feeling very stouty. There are slight milky touches, but mainly goes with bitter chocolate in a bitter chocolate cake kind of way. With very little sweet character this ends up a fairly hefty beer. The only concession to sweetness is a slightly creamier chocolate cake centre that shows up if held.

It’s not a top of the range BIPA, but for all its heavy character it is still pretty darn drinkable. It feels like an earthy British IPA meets British Stout meets Black IPA. A worthy entry and makes me wish even more that more people were turning out new Black IPAs at the moment.

Solid, not a game changer but solid.

Background: So, I want new Black IPAs. This, while not new new, is mostly new to me. I had it on tap in the Moor Tap Room a while back. They also do a standard IPA- Guardian Of Peace, which I really should do notes on at some time, as if my memory serves me right, it is a bit tasty. Anyway, yeah Moor are very reliable in turning out decent brews, and I wanted a Black IPA, so I grabbed this from Independent Spirit. I went with the ultra optimistic ( I may be lying about that bit) History Of Guns album Acedia to listen to while drinking.

Red Breast: Lustra Edition (Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey: 46% ABV)

Visual: Deep rich gold with fast, thick streaks from the spirit.

Nose: Brandy cream. Rich sherry. Pencil shavings. Warming alcohol. Brandy snaps. Honey. Spirit soaked raisins. Water makes lighter and citrus touched. Lime notes.

Body: Smooth, but warming. Honey and toffee. Sugared orange sweets. Madeira cake. Brandy cream. Custard slices. Spicy sherry. Fig rolls. Sweet chocolate liqueur. Water adds soft lime, soft orange and lot of caramel.

Finish: Fudge. Spicy sherry. Madeira cake. Slight chocolate. Slight oak. Orange jelly sweets. Choc toffee. Spirit soaked raisins. Water makes much more chocolate and choc orange and brings out honey.

Conclusion: This is smooth, but so big! So sweet, but with spicy sherry keeping it grounded. It has so much of the Irish pot still whiskey mouthfeel evident, that lovely smooth but robust character, here expressed in a richer and fuller way than I have previously seen for a Red Breast.

Neat it is full of different spirity notes – brandy cream mixed with honey, and the time in a Oloroso sherry cask has given it lots of sweet and spicy sherry notes here. It very full on for such a smooth dram. Here, taken neat, I love it. Such a rewarding spirit flavour, with (again spirit soaked) dark fruit notes that feel like they belong to a heavier whiskey but are delivered so smooth,

With a touch of water this becomes even creamier – full of caramel and fudge notes. The honey notes that existed in the neat whiskey now is accompanied by a host of sweet notes to fight against the spirity character. Like this I love it! Smooth as silk, matching big sweetness and creaminess with everything that came before, just mellowed out. So very rewarding.

More water makes it lighter, allowing some of the more traditional Irish whiskey elements to come through – most notable some light and smooth citrus notes. Now all the elements are toned down for an easy drinking citrus, but still chocolate and sherry touched thing. Gentle orange notes mix in to bring out choc orange joy late on. So, yes, like this I love it.

Such a good whiskey all the way through. I recommend it without hesitation.

Background: Ok, first up – the background of the box describes this as having an “Endless” finish. I have tested this empirically and the finish has, as you may have guessed, ended. The lying toerags. Anyway, that aside, this is a version of the single pot still whiskey that has spent time in American and European oak before being moved into Lustra’s first fill Olorosso sherry casks. Been enjoying revisiting Red Breast recently so this very much caught my attention when I saw it in Independent Spirit. Was fairly warm again when I was drinking this. I hate the heat, so had fans on all around trying to keep the air moving. Went with Getter – Visceral for music while drinking.

Dead End Brew Machine: Curtis The Destroyer (Scotland: Barley Wine: 9.6% ABV)

Visual: Clear bright cherry body, with a ruddier centre. Small browned head, some small bubbled carbonation.

Nose: Booming glacier cherries. Caramel. Vanilla. Bourbon. Shortbread. Cake sponge. Brandy cream.

Body: Honey to mead. Cherries. Raisins and sultanas. Fruitcake. Toffee. Golden syrup cake. Apple touch. Oily thickness. Cake sponge.

Finish: Clear honey. Raisins to fruitcake. Brandy snaps. Golden syrup. Slight charred wood bitterness. Oily sheen with hop oil bitterness. Dry spice. Brown sugar

Conclusion: You know, for a while I was wondering of my memories of how good barley wines could be where just my youthful years’ memories lying to me and letting me down. I was finding barley wines that were ok, and barley wines that let me down, but none that even came close to how my memories told me they could be. There were none that revitalised that energy and brought back my love for the style.

This, therefore was welcome, as this is a blood good barley wine! Smooth, yet thick with a just slightly oily feel. That mouthfeel is great – slightly rough edged in way that says this is a strong beer without all of the prickles taken out, but 90% of the time it is smoothed down by its time in the oak . However for all it is smooth, it keeps enough fight to it, and keeps all the weight and mouthfeel of a good barley wine with it. That slight extra thickness, that not smoothed out edge, helps it stand out from the super smooth takes on the beer, and gives it a robustness so that the rougher notes don’t turn it into a boozy brutal thing. It nods to both the smoothness and the harshness, taking the best from each.

There are boozy and spirity elements, but it is no more alcohol touched than you would expect from a the fairly heavy barley wine style – Lots of vanilla and bourbon notes, heavier brandy cream sweetness and sherry spiciness – all elements that seem to come from the barrels and give complexity but not too much booze.

However, we are not here for the oak – that is an extra touch, a bit of spice, we are here for the barley wine it improves. From first pour onwards cherries just burst out from the beer, just oozing through in the aroma followed by a smattering of dark fruit. However as you move past that and into your first sip of the body you get a surprising level of clear honey to mead notes that makes this stand out as not your usual barley wine.

It is sweet and sticky but with darker, oily bitter notes, mixed with fruitcake and just a dash of Christmas style dry spice. It is so full on, yet so smooth and generally just so complicated.

So, does it have any downsides? Some – it gets a bit heavy and wearing near the end of the can. There is so much going on, and it sticks around so can get sickly with all the flavours, and because of that I can’t put it as one of the all time great beers.

So, in conclusion, an awesome beer with a few minor flaws, that come in late on, but is still pretty good at the end. Only just misses out on being a top favourite beer, but definitely still worth trying anyway.

Background: Ok, this is the second time I have drunk this – first time around I was just wanting something big to sip, and was shocked by how much I enjoyed it, so endeavoured to grab a second can to do proper notes on. This is a Jamaican rum barrel aged Barley wine, that is apparently made with a custom blend of London III and Burlington yeast. Don’t know enough on the yeast to get the specifics but I am intrigued by the effort that went into getting their yeast just right for this. Anyway another one grabbed from Independent Spirit. Went with the heavy duty and both socially and politically conscious metal of Svalbard while drinking – “It’s Hard To Have Hope” to be exact. Utterly awesome album, the best the band has done in my opinion.

Brewdog: Punk AF (Scotland: Low Alcohol IPA: 0.5 ABV)

Visual: Very pale and lightly yellowed body. Thin white head. Lots of small bubbled carbonation.

Nose: Passion-fruit. Vanilla toffee. Kiwi. Flour. Lightly creamy. Honey and barley.

Body: Light chalk. Good bitterness. Slight sour cream twist. Bready. Soft grapefruit. Soft kiwi. Tart grapes.

Finish: Chalk touch. Good bitterness. Kiwi. Passion-fruit. Slight charring. Dry. Light vanilla.

Conclusion: The good thing about low alcohol beers is that it is easy to have a few of them over a couple of nights and compare how they came across. Slightly harder to do with 15% and up abv imperial stouts is what I am saying.

Anyway, this particular one, the beer I am drinking right now and am doing notes on, has so far had a less notable body that some of the earlier ones I have had. I think they are all from the same batch, so it won’t be brewing variation causing it, so I think it is probably another example of low abv beers being more vulnerable to a few degrees difference in chilling than most.

The aroma is spot on Punk IPA – a lovely mix of hoppy fruit, light sweetness and slightly musky air. The body is, well, it’s ok. It is slightly dry and chalky – kind of like an over attenuated session IPA or APA. Depending on how much you chill this it either comes across fairly empty, or a decent facsimile of punk hops and fruit, just toned way down. The finish returns to a better expressed set of notes – that slightly closed and thick hop bitterness and a mix up of well used fruit notes.

So, a good opening and close. An ok, but over attenuated middle that doesn’t have the weight of flavour it needs. On the up-side, the hop bitterness and character manage to be appropriately intense the whole way through – it just needs more intense notes backing it up.

Reasonable enough. Punk IPA in general style if not in the details. Far too dry and attenuated to pull it off overall though. Still, not bad, not great. Definitely not up there with the current highs of the low abv contest.

Background: Usual disclaimer, as an Equity For Punker from years ago, I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog, but I try. Long time readers may have noticed recently I have done notes on very few Brewdog beers – that is as I have become disillusioned with Brewdog as a business – they have said and done a lot of stuff that has narked me off, so I’ve grabbed significantly fewer of their beers. Still, when I saw this in Sainsbury‘s I decided to grab it and give it a try. Punk IPA was the beer that got me into Brewdog, and despite my disagreement with the company I still rate it as an IPA. So, this, a low abv take on Punk IPA did have me wondering, could they genuinely do it? Could they make a beer that catches the essence of Punk IPA at a low abv. We are living in a renaissance of low alcohol beers after all. So, I decided to give it a try. In keeping with Brewdog’s business ethos, I went with music with no punk spirit at all – the Rotten Citizens Vol 1 EP. A mix of dark electronic tunes by varied artists.

%d bloggers like this: