Tag Archive: Abbeydale

Abbeydale: Wanderer West Coast IPA (England: IPA: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy lemon juice at the edges to apricot skin main body colour. Thin, loose bubbled white head.

Nose: Lemon juice. Flour. Apples. Some prickly hop character and bitterness. Apricot.

Body: Peach. Good bitterness. Peach syrup. Apricot skin. Green feeling hop character. Slightly dry. Apples. Slightly resinous. Fudge.

Finish: Greenery. Good hop character and bitterness. Apples. Quite dry. Apricot skin. Slightly resinous. Kiwi. Crushed custard cream biscuits and a dry general custard touch.

Conclusion: I was surprised how cloudy this west coast style IPA was on the eye. Thankfully though there is no New England style IPA shenanigans going on here. It isn’t 100% in my preferred interpretation of of a west coast style, but it knows to make it bitter and kick a bit.

It is just slightly dry, not as much as you would expect from the style – there is a chewy fudge backing that shows the malt a bit more than usual, but still dry enough and it gives a base for a reasonably bitter and resinous character. Nothing too hardcore but, you know, bitter and resinous. That is what I am here for and they are doing the job right as long as they get that bit sorted, in my opinion anyway.

The bitter base is then a launch pad for a dry, apple character along with some dry apricot skin notes – a fruity but restrained experience. That said, there is a fruit syrup core to the whole thing that is sweeter and thicker than I would expect for the style, but despite that works pretty well here. It results in a sticky, fruity kind of hoppiness. Clinging but not so much that it gets harsh of dull.

While not a show stopper of an IPA this is a solid mix of bitterness, resinous character and fruitiness and does the job. It is just about dry enough for what I want, and gives a lot of flavour. Very solid indeed.

Background: Abbeydale used to be a brewery I knew for turning out more traditional ales. They seem to be experimenting a lot more these days. Their Wanderer series is bunch of different beers taking inspiration from things around the world – in this case the West Coast IPA which is a favoured style of mine. Single hopped with Citra, which is a classic of USA IPAs this was one I was hoping to enjoy a lot. Another one grabbed from Independent Spirit, I went back to the Animatrix album for backing music – I think I enjoyed the music from that even more than Animatrix itself.

Abbeydale: Last Rites (England: Barley Wine: 11% ABV)

Visual: Clear amber gold with bubbles around the rim of the glass.

Nose: Raspberries and syrup. Milkshake. Really fruity and sweet. Slightly sherbety, banana, toffee. Fluffy pavlova in style, with occasional creamy mocha around the fringes.

Body: Sweet, very malty and almost coffee like, but filled with passion fruit and pineapple. Sweet syrup, pears, fudge. Huge malt return for the backbone and a mint menthol styling.

Finish: Coffee and passion fruit, Kiwi, chocolate and light dustiness.

Conclusion:   This massively fruity beer doesn’t hide its abv, but at least tries to round it out.  It mixes up the large amount of fruit with traces of chocolate and mocha which come out if you hold it in your mouth for an extended period – a nice trick to slow down drinking of a heavily potent ale.

Good range and good flavour, very much in a dessert wine style, somewhat like the Samichlaus beer tried at roughly this time last year.

Its full bodied and very unsubtle, with a malt back that is closer to most IIPAs than to your expected barley wine style. It’s enjoyable, but does need to hide that alcohol a touch more.  Still in the better 50% of beers out there.

A good beer for post dinner, or with desserts for slow drinking at parties. Not the best crafted, a bit over alcohol fuelled, but still a beer with enough to make it worthwhile.

Abbeydale: Beerworks Doctor Morton’s Milk Of Amnesia (England: Belgium
White: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Steamed lemon yellow with a thin dust of a head.

Nose: Lemon curd, whipped cream, icing sugar. Meringue. Slightly sharp.

Body: Lemon, lots of wheat, quite mild acidity all things considered, Grapes and custard.

Finish: Lemon/Jiff lemon with bitterness intermixed. Cinnamon on apples and vanilla.

Conclusion: Refreshing, but without the accompanying sourness that often entails. In some points seems to call to the German Weisse to complement its natural Belgium style.

Nicely done, with the dash of cinnamon at the back significantly enhancing what would otherwise be too single note a drink. A well done English take on a wit bier, not a showstopper but satisfying enough.

In the end it feels like a sweetened lemon meringue of a beer, and that’s nice enough by me.

Abbeydale: Chocolate Stout (England: Stout: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: the lighter side of black with a bubbly brownish head.

Nose: Dusty, chocolate powder and coffee. Lighter than most stouts.

Body: Slightly thin, malty chocolate. The flavours work better in large mouthfuls. Roasted chestnuts. Sweet and treacle like in large enough gulps. Quite malty and slight bitter almonds.

Finish: Chocolate powder, dry powder. Slight bitterness and milk. Sweet at the end.

Conclusion: This beer has many great flavours but they only become evident when sizable gulps of the ale are taken.

This unfortunately reduces the ability to enjoy and take your time over the ale. A beer that should be appreciated is instead forced to be gulped away.

It is a fine enjoyable beer in its flavours but unfortunately deeply unsuited to a sociable drinking session.

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