Tag Archive: Curious

Curious Brew Lager

Chapel Down Winery: Curious Brew Lager (England: Premium Lager: 4.7% ABV)

Visual: Very pale yellow. Surprisingly small white head and low carbonation in the body.

Nose: Crisp. Resinous hops. Slight citrus. Lime. Parma violets. Grain fields. Butterscotch.

Body: Smooth. Slight golden syrup. Banana. Parma violets. Hop oils. Butterscotch popcorn. Light hop bitterness. Shredded wheat.

Finish: Hop oils. Parma violets. Banana. Butterscotch. Light citrus. Slight hop character. Dry.

Conclusion: Had a few odd thoughts while drinking this one. Mainly about butterscotch. The presence of too much butterscotch flavour in a beer is often looked upon as a flaw in the beer – the sign of an excess of Diacetyl and thus a flaw in the brewing process. Some even look at any butterscotch flavour at all being a sign of a problem with the beer, though most are not as strident and absolute as that.

The thing is, here the butterscotch is not just present, but a vital component that compliments the other flavours of the beer well. What we have is a sweet and thick lager beer with a light citrus character.

For the most part the thicker character means that it doesn’t seem as dry or crisp as many lagers. This is a mixed blessing, it allows the sweetness of the beer to develop in banana and Parma violets characteristics, but does mean it isn’t as easy drinking or thirst quenching as you would expect of a lager.

This is emphasised in the texture details below, a kind of shredded wheat malt base with popcorn fluffiness. It works well as a base for flavour, but the beer feels like it could do with that crisper note. Something to make the flavours come out cleaner and more refreshing. The beer is ok here but it doesn’t have either the depth of flavour of a complex ale, nor that real drinkability of a great lager.

Still, it isn’t a bad beer, and the sweet flavours balance themselves well, going down reasonably easily. There are no real bad elements, even the feared butterscotch works well, but it doesn’t have those elements that lets it stand against the top class of the style.

Background: It’s nice have beer fan relatives. This was brought up at Christmas by my sister and she let me take a bottle back to review. Many thanks sis (and Brother in law). This was refermented with champagne yeast and made with nelson sauvin hops. Sorry about the delay in getting reviews up, it’s been a busy week.

Curious IPA

Chapel Down Winery: Curious IPA (England: IPA: 5.6% ABV)

Visual: Just slightly browned gold. Inch of creamy bubbles an large amounts of carbonation.

Nose: Crisp hops and hop oils. Custard cream biscuits. Vanilla and vanilla ice cream. Quite fluffy feel.

Body: Good bitterness. Apricot. Pineapple and vanilla. Toffee. Creamy back. Hundreds and thousands. Prickly. Passion fruit. Greenery.

Finish: Light liquorice touch. Tart grapefruit. Bitter hops. Custard cream biscuits. Passion fruit.

Conclusion: I do like a good IPA, when faced with a set of unknown beers I will tend to go for an IPA, as they tend to be of good base quality, and, as mentioned in the background, they tend to give a good idea of how I will get along with the brewery. The IPA is my base go to beer.

So here we have Chapel Down Winery and Curious IPA, This initially comes in light with a quite delicate aroma, and I was started to get a tad worried as an IPA really should kick out the bitterness from the start. So I took my first sip and bam! There was the bitterness I had been hoping for.

The feel is thick and slightly creamy, bursting with passion fruit and apricot, with a slight touch of tarter fruit at the back. There is a very creamy base, all vanilla toffee and cream against the hop bitterness; It creates a rich experience backed by light greenery and hop oils.

In the IPA world there are IPAs I prefer to this one, Punk had more of a twist, Jai Alai has more complex flavour. This however is very pleasant mixing soothing cream with bitter hops for a beer I wouldn’t turn my nose up at.

As the beer goes along the tartness becomes more noticeable, an element I very much appreciate as it makes the beer more refreshing jus at the point the sweetness is getting quite heavy and the beer really needs that break.

Overall a very nice IPA. Nothing too unusual but very enjoyable and uses its thick texture very well to make it an asset to the beer. Well worth a drink.

Background: Brought up as part of a beer selection provided to the winter festivities by my sister and brother in law while I was up north. Yes, being a beer nut seems to run in the family). Many thanks! I’ve not tried anything from curious before so decided to go for their IPA – I tend to use IPA as a benchmark on how I’m going to get along with a brewery.

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