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Odyssey: The Cult (England: IPA: 6.7% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy apricot skin to brown – very dark for a New England IPA. Massive amount of darkened bubbled head.

Nose: Mashed banana. Crisp hops. Milky to creamy. Slightly bready.

Body: Good bitterness. Slight dill pickle and a prickly hop feel. Hop oils. Kiwi. Dried apricot. Muggy, thick hop centre. Slight sulphur. Slight toffee to caramel.

Finish: Dill pickle. Creamy notes. Kiwi. Good bitterness and hop character. Dry peach. Greenery. Bready. Sulphurous. Apples.

Conclusion: Whelp, this is pretty much unlike any other New England IPA I have encountered, which could explain why – in general – I quite like it. Man that sounds like I’m really hating on the NEIPA style – I’m not, I just think I haven’t quite found the one for me yet. Anyway…

From the New England side of the style we have the cloudy main body and with that an accompanying kind of milky character to the beer – generally smooth, but with a slightly rougher, wheaty styled gripping texture at times.

However unlike the generally low IBU NE beers that I have tried, this just shoves in ladles full of hop oils and thick, gripping, heavy and muggy hop bitterness. Which may be against style guidelines best I can tell – still as a bitterness fan I’m not going to complain too much.

This also tries for the big fruity character of the NEIPA style, though on the heavier and drier end of the scale; It uses kiwi, some sourness from a slight pickle like notes, dried apricot and peach. However while they are present they are always close to being subsumed by the oily, thick hop bitterness.

So, as I’ve said, I enjoyed it – for the most part – but it isn’t without flaws. The mugginess of the hops is up to an almost sulphurous level – which may add a bit of spice to the thing early on, but feels wearing and overly charred by the end. The huge oily hops end up overwhelming the other flavours and makes it a bit one note.

So, while I enjoyed it, most of the enjoyment was in the first half rather than the latter – it really could do with being a 330ml bottle at most – it feels too heavy going for more than that.

So – I did enjoy it, but it still isn’t selling me on the NEIPA style over the more traditional interpretations.

Background: Not been quite sold on the New England style of IPA yet, though I am getting a handle on what it is now after some beers and some research. Since Odyssey a) Do awesome IPAs and b) Did a Black New England IPA that was interesting, I thought I would give their standard NE IPA a try and see how it went. So I grabbed this from Independent Spirit, put some Svalbard on the playlist and sat down to see how things went.

Brewdog: Hop Fiction (Scotland: India Style Lager: 5.5% ABV)

Visual: Pale gold. Small amounts of carbonation. Large white, mounded solid head that leaves suds.

Nose: Floral. Coriander. Light bitterness and hoppy character. Wheaty. Orange zest. Light lemon. Slight carbonation.

Body: Dry. Slight lemon cake. Some bitterness. Slight granite. Moderate hop levels. Some toffee to caramel if held. Light brown sugar.

Finish: Some bitterness. Cardboard. Good hop character. Lemon cake. Light orange notes.

Conclusion: You remember those “Backyard Brew” beers from a while back? Beers from a large brewer trying to pass themselves off as a faux craft kind of thing? Well, if you had handed this to me blind and told me it came from them I would not have been surprised. Not to say that this is terrible, but it is so very meh, which is a bad sign. Incidentally, unlike 99% of the population I am actually quite fond of the word “Meh”. Just some random trivia for you.

Anyway, like a lot of the early beers Brewdog did after moving to their new brewery, this feels over attenuated and too dry – losing what should be a refreshing lager character and instead giving slight cardboard notes and granite. So, a few definite down sides to this beer are immediately obvious.

On the up side this does have a fairly solid bitterness and a mix of light lemon and orange notes. A lot of the early brews at the new site also had massive loss in hop character as they dialled in the recipes, so it is good to see that this did not get hit with that problem on rebrew.

However, even the original version of this – going by vague memory – was only ok but not world shattering. This, more attenuated version, means that the positive notes are far from enough to make it a beer I can recommend. Not terrible, but when a faux craft brewer is turning out a better larger than yours, you have a problem.

So – not similar enough to the original brew to be worth it for nostalgia. Not good enough by itself to be worth grabbing. Just meh. Meh. Meh. Meh. So, cannot advise buying.

Between this and the terrible rebrew of 6% abv Punk IPA it really feels like not much effort was put into these rebrews. A great dissapointment.

Background: Was wondering what style to put this under lager wise, so I gave up and checked ratebeer – turns out they now have decided India Style Lager deserves its own category now. Since they managed to resist calling it an India Pale Lager like every other IPA variant name, I have no objection to this. Anyway, this is a rebrew of one of Brewdog’s original three beers which I grabbed from their online store. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. I had tried Hop Rocker back in the day, but not much and never got around to drinking it. Mostly grabbed Punk IPA back then. Speaking of Punk IPA, they also did a rebrew of the original 6% abv Punk IPA. It was terrible, far too over attenuated – looked like they hadn’t tweaked brew times and recipe to make it work with their new kit. So, I was a tad nervous if this was going to be shit as well. Drunk while listening to a bit of “Hate In The Box” – nice kind of electric punk goth mash up in feel.

Again I break from the usual beer and whisky blogging in the hope you will indulge me again. Not only is the 10th anniversary capoeira event in Bath coming up on the 9th and 10th of march but also someone has kindly made a promotional video for it.

You can tell it wasn’t me who made it as the vid looks great.

Anyone who can make it hope to see you there. If not, just enjoy the video. More info on the event can be found at http://bathcapoeira.com/

Capoeira Event

In a break from Beer and Whisky- For anyone in the Bath UK area there’s a special Capoeira event to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the group in Bath on the 9th and 10th of March 2013.  Capoeira is a great Brazilian mix of martial arts, music and dance. There will be Masters and Instructors from around UK and the rest of the world. There will be demos and classes suitable to all skill levels. So if you can make it, and are interested in Capoeira it would be great to see you there.

More information can be found at http://bathcapoeira.com/

The organiser can be contacted on 07783 59 69 17 or at gira.capoeira@gmail.com

No New Articles due to SOPA

I found out about the blackout a bit late in the day, but to do my bit there’s not the planned update today. I may not be American but I recognise SOPA as the ignorant and harmful bullshit that it is.

I urge those of you in the USA to do all you can to strike it down

http://americancensorship.org/

The Alcohol Aphorist

Holidays huh.

Another short downtime. This time for inevitable holiday family time. I’m taking a few notes though, so should have plenty for my return. Also working on something just a bit different which I hope you will all like. Just waiting for feedback from my trusted fellow tasters and if they give the thumbs up it should be online before new year.

A Slight Delay

Sorry for the lack of updates, my sense of smell has been shot with a minor cold which makes tasting notes somewhat difficult. Back to normal now and updates will resume shortly

 

Back To Normal Soon

 

Sorry for sparse updates, been a bit off colour which ruins any attempts at doing tasting. I’ve been making the back catalogue last as long as I could., should be back to normal soon

Back

Hello, been doing a run around Belgium past week, sorry for the lack of updates. Found a damn near beer Mecca in Gent and brought back some nice oddities, and have a good wodge of tasting notes backed up for you all.

Proper updates will resume soon, just sorting the comments section.

UPDATE: Since the event has now passed, anyone interested in Capoeira in bath should check out the link on the right hand side of this blog to the Bath Capoeira web page, this will have the latest information on upcoming events.

MAIN POST:

Something a bit different

There’s an amazing Capoeira event in Bath this year, I’ve been to the past years and they are always full of energy and axé, with masters of the art turning up. There will be demonstrations, rodas, a reggae night and lots more. Every day tends to be packed to the gills with events to take part in.

For those who don’t know, Capoeira is a Brazilian art which mixes dance, martial arts, music and self expression. It’s amazing to watch, and even better to be part of. So if anyone will be in the area, be it experienced Caporistas, or just interested newcomers, come along and enjoy.

Facebook page

http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=10150100188002731#!/event.php?eid=108791272532136

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