Tag Archive: 5-8% ABV


Kinnegar: One for Ronan (Ireland: Saison: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Caramel to chestnut brown body with a massive browned mounded head that leaves suds.

Nose: Malt drinks. Crushed peanuts. Cinnamon and orange skin. Perfume. Mild ground chocolate. Very milky coffee.

Body: Soft lemon and lime. Light cream. Rustic feel. Good bitterness and gritty hop character. Chestnut mushrooms. Smooth base. Malt drinks. Peppery. Very slight sweet sugar cane.

Finish: Peppery. Wheaty. Cornflakes. Moderate bitterness and light gritty feel. Soft lime. Charring. Malt chocolate drinks. Nuts. Slight yeast funk. Very slight sweet sugar cane.

Conclusion: An odd mix of several varied Belgian characteristics here in this beer. The smooth Belgian texture that is used well in a wide range of Belgian beers. The more rustic saison notes which match with a light peppery character. Then finally a level of hop prickle and bitterness that … is actually fairly odd for Belgian beers, even their more bitter beers don’t tend to express it in quite the new wave prickly bitter style like this does.

It keeps things interesting I’ll give it that.

Despite mentioning new wave hopping styles above, the best way I can describe the resulting mix is like a smooth Belgian saison meets a British best bitter. The hopping is prickly, but the overall feel of Belgian style meeting that bitterness is that kind of heavy and solid Best Bitter style, but with a bunch of Belgian twists.

The main flavours are in that robust middle – good bitterness, peppery spice, malt drinks and such. Nothing too unusual but well delivered. However there are some soft creamy citrus notes in there as well – more so early on, as he bitterness rises during the beer’s lifespan they end up pushed to hints around the edges. There is also a bit of the fun Belgian style with yeast characteristics in there giving light esters to a mild as can be sweet cane sugar touch. Not the most complex set of notes but covers the base set of bitter/sweet/etc pretty well. It more uses that varied set of textures to keep things interesting rather than the flavour.

So – it isn’t a classic – but it feels like a very polished remix of the saison and the bitter. It adds a few twists to each by matching them with the other, and it ends up more than the sum of its parts. A solid drinking pint for the pub, with a lot more to it than that term may indicate. Basically, the next level of a solid standby drinking ale.

Background: A beer brewed in memory of Ronan Walsh – I have to admit I do not know who this is but will raise a drink to their name. Was unsure on beer style for this – the label says “Belgian Amber” but also refers to it as a saison. In a pinch I’ve gone with Saison even if it is a tad atypical for that style. This was grabbed from Brewdog’s guest beer section and drunk while listening to some of The Kominas. Not much else to say at this point. Enjoy your drink!

Mikkeller: Nuclear Hop Assault (Denmark: IIPA: 8% ABV)

Visual: Apricot skin colour. A lot of carbonation. Hazy body and thin off white head.

Nose: Nettles. Greenery. Lime. Dried apricot. Dry. Slightly rocky bitterness. Heavy hop feel. Closed and musky. Dried passion fruit.

Body: Solid bitterness. Greenery and hop oils. Nettles. High levels of gritty hop character. Dried apricot and vanilla. Dry body. Light brown sugar sweetness. Tart lemon sherbet. Tart orange juice.

Finish: High hop oils. Heavy bitterness. Heavy hop character. Vanilla yogurt. Dried apricot. Dry in general. Slight squeezed lime. Pineapple air. Orange juice.

Conclusion: Ok, this lives up to its name – it feels on a hop level akin to 1000IBU but with a much drier, less malt led body against it, resulting in an overall harsher, hoppier and heavier beer loaded with bitterness.

Initially that is all you get. Hop oils, harsh bitterness and harsh hop character. Lots of it expressed with greenery and prickling nettles. With nothing to intrude into that bitterness it does hit hard. Not a beer for a lot of people then – but for hopheads you have to respect how it delivers raw hop bitterness with nothing in the way, without feeling just rough and undrinkable.

Time does give it another layer – but only just. So, let’s be plain. It is still a brutal hop bomb – but now there are a few other elements struggling to get out there. The first one noticeable is a dried apricot note -which matches the dry character well, and meshes well with the bitterness. The next few are more contrasting – lemon and orange notes, and a pineapple air – all which freshens the beer oh so slightly. It gives nothing near the freshness of, say, a New Zealand hopped IPA, nor the fruit level of the fruit smoothie style IPAs that are so popular these days. It just adds a little extra, a touch to take the edges off.

Without that extra note this would be an interesting, but only try one, assault of a beer. With the extra notes? Well, I think for most people this would still be try once – it is rough edged and unbalanced. However for people, like me, who have become a tad blasé due to over exposure to high hop levels – this is very nice. The dry character gives it some extra punch to surprise without making it utterly one note, or undrinkable.

So – not a super flavour range – but, there is definitely something here for a masochistic hop head. In a lesser brewer this would be undrinkable shit. From Mikkeller, it just about holds together.

Impressive and intense. Not for everyone, but achieves its goal well.

Background: Ok, this is called Nuclear Hop Assault. An IIPA made with Hybrid hops. From Mikkeller who made the awesome 1000 IBU. There was no way I was not going to try this, was there? Another one grabbed from Independent Spirit – This was drunk after catching up on some Progress Wrestling – they have seriously got me back into Wrestling in a big way over the last few years. So in a fine mood for an intense beer. I wanted equally intense music so put on Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip’s Repent, Replenish, Repeat. Utterly brilliant album with the haunting Terminal being a stand out amongst many great tracks.

Omnipollo: Buxton: Original Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie (England: Fruit Beer: 6% ABV)

Visual: Hazy lemon juice look with a thin white head.

Nose: Freshly squeezed lemon and traditional lemonade. Meringue. Milk touch. Apples. Squeezed lime.

Body: Tart lemon juice and lemon curd. Apple pie. Sugar dusting. Very fresh. Thick texture under the sharp front. Cream. Lime cordial. Tart grapes.

Finish: Lemon juice and pancakes. Squeezed lime. Peach and vanilla. Cream. Toffee ice cream syrup.

Conclusion: This is fresh, very fresh – lemony as all get out – yet despite that it is not overly acidic, nor sour as you would often expect with that fresh kind of lemon flavour. It is actually sweet, while still keeping that freshness and surprisingly creamy under the sharper front.

Not that lemon is the only note here – there is plenty of tart lime elements, and even a few sweeter fruit notes such as peach and apple. However, lemon definitely dominates, with lime as a close second. Anything else is way down the intensity list.

It is decent -fresh faced and pretty easy to drink. Not quite lemon meringue for me, nor quite ice cream – but there are enough calls to it that I can see why they picked the name. It is creamy, and as mentioned, very much lemon.

It isn’t the most complex thing though – shoot, barring the thick mouthfeel I would understand mistaking this thing for fruit juice. Alcoholic fruit juice admittedly – they don’t 100% hide that alcohol, but still fruit juice.

So, aye, super complex it ain’t. One for examining it ain’t. For something easy going, easy drinking and refreshing – sure! It is sweet, creamy and fresh – hits a lot of the instant satisfaction buttons there. So an immediately satisfying, tasty and fun beer – but with no depth under the surface. Good for a warm day, good for when you want to enjoy a beer but not get too deep into it.

Background: Ok, this is actually a beer that was conditioned with lemon juice. Huh, did not realise that – the bottle ingredients only list barley, wheat, oats and lactose – so I was surprised to find it listed as a fruit beer. Guess it explains how they nailed the lemon flavour so well. Anyway, I grabbed one of the ice cream series (easily recognisable by the walking poo on the bottle) tail end last year – so when I saw this one back in Independent Spirit it had to give it a go. Both Omnipollo and Buxton are rock solid breweries in my eyes, so a good background to this one. This was drunk while listening to Ritualz CDR. A haunting weird set of electronica I have not broken out for a while.

Wild Beer Co: Smoke ‘n’ Barrels: Winter (England: Smoked Dubbel: 7.4% ABV)

Visual: Very dark brown to black. Thin dark brown dash of a head. Some carbonation.

Nose: Sulphur and eggs. Lightly acidic. Bready. Malt chocolate. Smoke. Brown sugar. Creamy banana. Slightly dry.

Body: Sherbety feel up front into smoother back. Smoked meats. Brown sugar. Banana notes. Malt drinks. Slight chalk. Light tart grapes. Blackpool rock. Slight chocolate. Slight liquorice. Slight dry vinous influence.

Finish: Caramel. Smoked bacon. Hints of black cherry. Brown sugar. Light liquorice. Slight cherry pocked biscuits.

Conclusion: I came to this with a mix of nervousness and anticipation. Anticipation as Wild Beer Co’s Smoke beers have been improving with every release – and, better still, dark beers tend to carry smoke better in my experience. However there was nervousness as well – Liquorice seemed to be mentioned quite prominently in the description, and too much liquorice can really hurt a beer for me.

Thankfully the liquorice influence here is a small backing and rounding note. Instead this gives us something soothing, in a similar fashion to the chocolate and brown sugar touched Belgian dubbels but with a drier, slightly vinous base. This then has just a touch of Flemish bruin style being added to the mix. It results in an interesting mouthfeel and subtle cherry and tart grapes roundings to a very solid base.

The smoke, coming in as a sulphur to smoked bacon character is again a rounding note – giving extra weight and body to the beer. It is evident, but does not dominate. It feels a very balanced beer, all things considered. It even brings some banana and other fruity Belgian ester notes into the mix giving a lighter touch dusted over.

Probably could do with a touch of ageing – it can feel a tad chalky and fizzy at the moment, though that does settle to a smoother feel if held on the tongue for a moment. Any which way, could be polished with a few years I feel.

As it is it is a solid Dubbel, with lots of little tricks that make it atypical. Not an instant classic, but good, and I think it may have room to grow.

Background: I got an automated phone call today it said “With it being winter it is the perfect time to”. I have no idea what it said next. I hung up. Mainly because fuck automated phone calls, but also because it is Spring. If they get literally their first point wrong, why should I trust anything else they say? Anyway, this is a roundabout way of saying I finally got around to drinking the winter edition of Wild Beer Co’s smoked beers. I may have taken a while. It was a high abv dark beer, it was hardly like it was going to go off. Anyway this is *Deep breath time again* a Dubbel style beer, but with smoked malt, aged on liquorice smoked tart sloes in foudres that previously held red wine. This had been grabbed from Independent Spirit and drunk while listening to Bikini Kill. Only found out about them recently – angry and awesome music.

Verdant: Bloom IPA

Verdant: Bloom IPA (England: IPA: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Hazy apricot to gold. Moderate carbonation. Moderate white fluffy head.

Nose: Good bitterness and fluffy hop character. Lots of pineapple and green grapes. Some apple. Floral. Dried apricot. Vanilla.

Body: Creamy thick texture. Custard slice. Nettles. Hop oils. Kumquat. Passion fruit. Toffee. Kiwi. Milk. Floral. Marshmallow.

Finish: Grapefruit. Grapes and pineapple. Juicy peach. Moderate hop character and bitterness. Some hop oils. Bready. Passion fruit. Milk. Floral air. Lightly peppery.

Conclusion: This is a very creamy, thick and milky IPA. Which was unexpected as the can mentioned it had a “Stripped down malt bill”. Possibly they mean stripped down on flavour rather than body, letting the hops do the legwork. Anyway… This is not a common take, the milkiness and creaminess actually makes it feel malt heavy to me – but the milky character does mean that it feels very different to the standard toffee backbone you normally get with these. There are toffee hints but they are not the core here.

On top of that it has quite a floral character, and is an IPA with good level of hop bitterness and hop oils which gives an nice intensity against the soothing base. The hop oils especially work well as they intertwine with the creamy texture.

Under that you find the more traditional set of IPA notes – a mix of fruits – passion fruit, kiwi and pineapple being the most evident. Again the flavours are thicker and creamier than you would otherwise expect. There are fresh touches which keeps it from being heavy, but less fresh and tart than you would expect – generally in line with the character of the rest of the beer.

Overall it is a soothing feeling but big flavoured IPA. Solid in quality and a bit different. The flavours aren’t world shakers, but they do the job. A more relaxed feeling IPA than most but still solidly bitter – good, not great, but fits nicely at the end of the night when the flavours need to be big, and the thicker feel is welcome as a soother before sleep.

Not bad.

Background: Picked up this can about a week ago from Independent Spirit. Between then and now I drank my first Verdant beer at Small Bar and it was very nice – so went into this hoping for a decent beer. Not much else to add – drunk while listening to Ulver – The Assassination of Julius Caesar. A new album on me, very different to what I expected. Which pretty much is Ulver summed up in one sentance.

Cloudwater: Against The Grain: Make Apple Pie Great Again (England: Fruit: 6.3% ABV)

Visual: Very cloudy caramel brown to cloudy apple juice. Very large off white head.

Nose: Cinnamon and apples .. ok, basically apple pie with fresh apples and buttery pastry. Danish pastry.

Body: Apples and cinnamon. Ground ginger. Pastry. Peppery and some white pepper. Dried apricot.

Finish: Vanilla. Apples. Cinnamon. Lightly bready. Light bitterness. White pepper. Light cloves and sugar dusting.

Conclusion: Ok, I think I’ve mentioned before that apple seems to be a hard ingredient to use correctly in a beer. They tend to have too little effect, or end up artificially sweet, or such issues as that.

So, in case you were wondering – yep! This makes apple pie (In a beer) great (Again? For the first time?). Anyway, I think what makes this work is the spice they add which does a lot of heavy lifting for the beer. The cinnamon and ginger notes are well used here, and of course are so closely mentally linked with apple pie that it really makes that core apple flavour seem much more significant than the intensity would otherwise manage. Also that spice grounding means that the apple and accompanying vanilla and pastry notes don’t come across sickly sweet. This all feels very well planned.

I feel like they looked at all the cinnamon and clove influenced Christmas beer and used what was learned from them as a base to work from to make this. It really has that vibe. But with apple pies. Then again, maybe they didn’t – I don’t know how they brewed it, that is just the impression got from the beer itself.

Now you could call this a one trick pony – but that would be somewhat unfair. For one it delivers its concept spot on, and that is what they are selling this beer as. So criticising it for doing its job feel slightly unfair, even if that was true. As a second point, it manages to still feel beer like under the apple pie styling, albeit in the aforementioned Christmas beer style. Finally the spice also brings in some more unusual elements with peppery character mixing well with the hop bitterness to give a bit more edge to that aspect.

Overall, good concept, good learning from beer history, good beer that makes apple pies great!

Background: Ok, this one I am fairly sure is a piss take of Donald Trump. Then again I have been wrong before, so I will just say Donald Trump is an incompetent man child shit who sucks up to fascists. Anyway, this is a beer made with apple puree, apple juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and muscovado sugar. Drunk while listening to Evil Scarecrow: Galactic Hunt – love the over the top fun and pop culture referencing metal of these lot. This beer was grabbed from Independent Spirit. Yes, again.

Wild Beer Co: Cloudy Crowd (England: IPA: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: Banana coloured cloudy body with lemon juice edges and apricot coloured core. Inch of moderate white head.

Nose: Banana soft sweets. Apricot skins. Milky. Moderate hop character and slight pineapple.

Body: Bitty hoppiness. Dried apricot. Guava. Good bitterness. Milky back. Thick fruit juice feel. Vanilla. Prickly hop character later on. Slight chalk. Kiwi.

Finish: Mango. Slight cardboard. Solid bitterness. Slight rock notes. Guava. Exotic fruit juice. Greenery. Kiwi.

Conclusion: There seems to be a run on the cloudier, slightly gritty bitterness, big fruitiness IPAs these days. Considering how many get called “New England” style, possibly that is the defining character of those beers. A quick google seems to indicate yes for the cloudiness, but none mention that slightly gritty bitter mouthfeel. Will have to continue investigating and compare with similar ones that come out.

So, how does this one compare to the others of the type I have encountered. Middling. For one, despite the can advertising it as a low bitterness IPA, it has a remarkably big bitter kick in the finish. Now, this is not a flaw by me, but considering how it pitches itself, it may be something you want to be aware of, depending on your preferred level of alpha acid. Anyway, while the high bitterness in the finish ain’t a bad thing by me, what I think is a strike against it is that the bitterness is quite gritty and rough – which is something that needs a bigger beer than this to pull off well.

The body is moderately fruity and juicy – not as big as a lot of this type, but reasonable – pretty satisfying with a solid bitter backing. The aroma and body don’t quite let the juiciness roam though – it feels slightly restrained; Solid but not showy. It gets its best show just between the swallow and the bitterness of the finish – in the air of that moment a nice fruitiness does rise to fill the gap. The restrain then doesn’t seem to come from the hops, which seem to do the job, but possibly from the body being a tad drier than normal – slightly more towards APA that a good IPA.

So – despite my criticisms it is decently done and decently fruity with solid bitterness. Not one of the best beers, but sits just above average but let down by the rough finish that rides roughshod over what the beer should do best. Even that flaw gets less over time as more fruitiness does come to the finish.

A nice little promotion piece but not a must have beer.

Background: I’ve been a fan of Wild Beer Co pretty much since they opened a few years ago. Not every beer has been a hit, but they have never been dull and have done lots of cool experimental beers. So I was interested to see that they have jumped on crowdfunding to build a new brewery. Hope it goes well for them. Their beers deserve wider exposure. Anyway, this little beer, part of a two pack of cans promoting the whole “Invest” thing was grabbed at independent spirit. At a slight criticism, while they were in their cardboard box it was very easy to see info on investing – but pretty hard to see details on what the heck the two beers actually where. Anyway … this was drunk while listening to some of the spektrmodule music podcast for a varied set of tunes.

Brewdog: Semi Skimmed Occultist (Scotland: Stout: 8% ABV)

Visual: Black with dark brown edges. Inch of mounded, brown creamy froth head.

Nose: Light roasted nuts. Cashew nuts. Light milk. Quite clean. Milky coffee. Light greenery.

Body: Milky and creamy. Creamy chocolate to chocolate liqueur. Rich chocolate cake. Thick mouthfeel. Milky bitter coffee. Fudge. Vanilla.

Finish: Chocolate cake. Light hop earthy notes. Milky coffee. Scones. Bitter chocolate shavings. Vanilla.

Conclusion: This thing uses a shit-ton of ingredients to work out the one thing it wants to do, and then does it well. Basically this takes all the core stout elements spread over several beers, and epitomises them in a single beer. It takes a lovely thick texture, creamy flavour, varied chocolate and coffee notes, and sweet vanilla and just crams them together. It has a few other rounding notes, but basically this concentrates on the core stout concepts and does them very well indeed.

Strangely, I had no idea of this going in as the aroma announced pretty much none of that. In fact it instead brings in the one stereotyped stout style that the body missed -a rough edged nutty character. Overall though the aroma is pretty simple and gives no hint of the rich creaminess to come.

Warning then, since the aroma does not – this is a very sweet stout; Though it is delivered in a creamy, not a sugar shock way. It manages to wear the creamy chocolate styling alongside mild bitter chocolate and coffee opposition so that the base sweetness is big, but not sickly. In fact the biggest sweetness, and closest it gets to sickly is from the strong vanilla backing, it is quite sweet and slightly syrupy, but manages to to only appear for long enough to make an impact, not dominate the beer.

So, yeah, the oats, wheat, et al have all given this a fantastic smooth and thick mouthfeel so it can put on a lesson on how to do a luxury stout. There is nothing unique here, but it does everything well.

Background: Usual disclaimer – I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. Anyway, this is their most recent canned release with neat art. I’m not going to complain at that trend – I do like how they are making cans something that are visually appealing, which is seemingly a tad harder to do than with bottles for some reason. This is a stout (Possibly imperial stout – it is right on the line for me on that) made with (deep breath) wheat, oats, cocoa nibs, lactose, coffee and vanilla. None are too unusual, but it is rare to see them all shoved together in one beer. Anyway, due to having grabbed tickets to see NXT Wrestling later this year, this was drunk while listening to a one hour long version of Shinsuke Nakamura’s theme. Yes I am odd sometimes. However it is awesome, and so is he.

Stigbergets: API Lairepmi (Sweden: IIPA: 8% ABV)

Visual: Hazy, with a milky apricot colour. Moderate bubbled, yellowed head.

Nose: Banana. Creamy hop character. Milkshakes. Mashed kiwi. Vanilla custard.

Body: Pumpkin. Apricot and peach. Slight musty hop bitterness and light hop prickle. Banana and custard. Toffee. Slight kiwi.

Finish: Banana and banana yogurt. Popcorn hop feel. Light greenery and growing bitterness. Dried apricot. Buttery shortbread.

Conclusion: This is very easy going for an 8% abv beer, and, in fact, very easy going for an Imperial IPA. There is very little hint of the alcohol – unless you count the obvious additional sweetness from the bigger malt load as a tell, but in this case I do not.

As indicated above, flavour wise it, initially, seems pretty easygoing as well – feeling like sweet banana milkshake or smoothie. It even matches the character down to the creaminess and the kiwi notes that can be used to beef up a lot of smoothies. There are some other notes that complement this – peach and vanilla custard that really does make it feel like rich, full mix of milkshake and smoothie. The fruit feels full, and far from artificial in character.

However, the eagle eyed of you may have noticed I said “Initially” it was easy going – That is because the hop character does grow, as you would expect of an IIPA. Initially (there’s that word again) the hops are fairly light, which alters into a kind of popcorn texture hop feel, then growing slightly into greenery touched bitterness. It is never particularly heavy, but it does make sure that the beer is recognisably in the IPA range.

For weaknesses of the beer, and I’m not sure if this is just due to travel time to the UK, but the hops can feel a tad muggy, which is an aspect that doesn’t work well with the creamy smoothness and easygoing style of the rest of the beer. It does lead out into a kind of buttery shortbread style finish, which does work ok, so a reasonable trade-off, but one of the weaker elements of a good beer.

So – generally good – not a huge range, but works well with what it does. The hopped banana milkshake of the beer world. Feels like the beer take on a banana cocktail, albeit hopped rather than sugar shock styling – which works for me . Good times of soothing and chilling in the sun styled beer.

Background: Ok, it is no secret that I am a touch of a leftie. So, yeah the rise of the far right has been worrying the shit out of me. So, I must admit the concept for this beer touched a cord with me – a beer hoping for a shift to the left. Now, let’s face it – a beer isn’t going to change the world, but it is nice to see people standing up. Anyway, now I’m fairly sure a chunk of my readers are not lefties, and that is fine – I can accept difference of opinion – it is the massive levels of hate that come with the alt-right (aka fucking Nazis), EDL (Aka bigoted shits), etc that worry me. So, as long as you are not a bigot or someone who shits on the poor, etc, I’m cool with you. Also, yes I know the extreme left can have worrying views and acts as well – however since right now I am more likely to die by being impaled on a unicorn horn than them get anywhere near power, I’ll hold off worrying about that to another day. Anyway, this was grabbed from the Brewdog guest beer shop. Also, lovely metallic style art on the label – absolutely wonderful to look at.

Lawman: Elixir: Zig-Zig-BA: Sherry Halliwell (Scotland: English Strong Ale: 7.4% ABV)

Visual: Murky, hazy blond to peach skin. Virtually no head. Rim of bubbles and a thin dash of grey for a head.

Nose: Musty hops. Sour grapes. Peat smoke and bacon. Sherry. Soaked raisins. Sour stewed apricot. Very slight prunes. Fudge. Vanilla.

Body: Vanilla. Quite light texture, slightly watery when cool. Menthol. Sherry trifle. Light citrus undertone – pineapple. Cherries.

Finish: Menthol. Ash. Oatmeal. Raisins. Musty hops. Slight liquorice. Sweet pineapple. Smoked meat. Lemon cakes. Sherry trifle. Hopped bitterness.

Conclusion: Ok, this doesn’t work (Spoiler warning by the way!) but I respect the direction it is trying. It is just, well, it is a bit of a mess, but an ambitious mess. I’m not going to disrespect that.

This has a lot of vanilla laden throughout it – almost enough to suggest it was Bourbon barrel aged, rather than its chosen sherry ageing; but that is soon dispelled by big sherry trifle coming through clearly afterwards. In fact lots of sherry notes hit – with sherries and spice throughout. Underneath that there is some cloying hop character, in a slight citrus styled pineapple coming floating through. The hop character is kind of muggy though – that kind that can get old fast, and doesn’t deliver the fresher notes very cleanly. I think it is due to ageing the beer – time in the wood has given added complexities, but has worn out the pleasant sides of the hop character pretty quickly. Odder still this has smoke and sulphur stylings – moderately used, not heavy – but possibly in a kind of charred woods style? Any which way it gives a sulphurous real ale on tap touch to this.

All sounds interesting, no? What makes it a mess rather than an enjoyable beer is the slightly lighter texture – it is just slightly thin and watery. Not hugely so, but it means that the sulphurous element feel heavier than they should, and the musty hops are given too much emphasis. It interferes with what should be a complex rich ale. The sherry notes, the vanilla, all of them would benefit from more grip, and the sulphur and muggier hops would be mellow background notes with a heavier ale and so would work better.

A beer that aims for the stars, and with a thicker beer may have succeeded. I respect that, but it didn’t really work. Ah well.

Background: So, a Spice Girls reference. Huh. At this point the standard thing would be to bash the Spice Girls, but feh they did well for themselves with some harmless pop. Can’t really get too worked up about it. I think my music snobbery has worn off with old age. Enjoy what you like and all that, even if it isn’t my taste. Anyway- they call this beer a KK ale – a mostly forgotten beer style – which seems to be a heavily hopped, higher abv blond ale. So, that intrigued me, and a bit of Sherry Barrel ageing intrigued me more. So I grabbed it. Another Independent Spirit beer – got some other establishment beers coming up shortly. Decided to go with some appropriate music for this; So, of course, with this being Spice Girl linked, I was listening to Ihsahn -After. Real brain breaking stuff.

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