Tag Archive: Electric Bear


Electric Bear: User Guy’d (England IIPA: 9.4% ABV)

Visual: Hazy yellow to lemon juice. Thin white head and lots of small bubbled carbonation in the body.

Nose: Thick. Pine needles. Oily. Brown bread. Muggy thickness. Floral. Vanilla. Black pepper.

Body: Malt drinks and milky choc toffee. Prickly bitterness. Resin. Dried apricot. Harsh bitterness. Gunpowder tea. Soft grapefruit. Sulphur. Banana. Harsh at the back of the throat. Peach.

Finish: Peppery. Brown bread. Solid bitterness. Sticky feel. Bitter chocolate. Prickly hop character. Sulphur.

Conclusion: I’m having a hard time getting a handle on this one. It is interesting and wide ranging in its influences so I am trying to work out how to best describe it.

It seemed fairly standard in the aroma -thick, murky hop led thing with a few sweet vanilla notes backing. Very hop led, very aromatic, very floral.

So, yeah the body is different to that – remarkably sweet and malt heavy. I didn’t see that coming I have to admit. It is very east coast IPA based, yet somehow still quite dry which always feel more west coast to me, especially with a thick, resinous, pine needles and sulphur hop character.

No New England IPA influence in there though. Fuck NEIPAS. (I kid, I kid, mostly)

It’s also oily, and can be a tad overly harsh at time with a touch of hop burn noticeable amongst gunpowder tea and peppery notes, along with that aforementioned sulphurous character. However it also manages a fresh grapefruit like note under, and even some sweeter fruit notes as it becomes more manageable and gentle over time.

It is a tad rough edged, with that hop burn I mentioned, but that aside I like what it is pushing. The mix of floral and pine cone notes along with heavy hops and a hint of fresh release over a big malt base that manages to be dry yet sweet is a good mix. It does need some polish to get rid of the harsh edges, as it is a tad too rough edged to recommend as it is right now, but it is definitely on the right track and with some work this could be great.

Background: Not had that many Electric Bear beers. Which is odd, their tap room isn’t that far away. I really should hit it again. Anyway, this is a beer by one of their brewers – Guy – hence the pun name – a DIPA made with Amarillo, Citra and Azacca hops. Citra and Amarillo are old friends, but I don’t know much about Azacca so this should be interesting. An unusual malt bill as well with Extra Pale, Dextrin, Torrified Wheat and Oat Malt. So, yeah, went with odd music as well – found Bad Religion – Into The Unknown on youtube and put that on. Normally I try to avoid pirated music, but this album was never released again as it bombed so hard – going a kind of electro-prog-punk route that led to Bad Religion calling their next, pure punk, album Back To The Known to show they had moved away from that style. So there is genuinely no way I can pay to listen to it. Oddly, Into The Unknown is actually pretty good , I can see why people expecting hardcore punk hated it, but it is genuinely intriguing. The beer was grabbed from Independent Spirit BTW.

Electric Bear: Cradle Of Filth: Pale Countess (England: American Pale Ale: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Hazy, dark lemon juice. An inch or so of mounded white head.

Nose: Lemon juice to jiff lemon. Grapefruit. Crisp, lightly fluffy hop bitterness. Light vanilla. Fresh crusty white bread. Peach skin.

Body: Peach. Good bitterness. Crusty white bread. Slightly dry. Grapefruit.

Finish: Dry hop bitterness. Flour. Crusty white bread. Fairly high bitterness in general. Subtle apricot. Light lemon juice.

Conclusion: So, as I’m sure I have discussed innumerable times before, APAs can be a bit hit or miss for me. The comparatively lower abv means that they tend towards the drier, more attenuated end of the spectrum, which can make the hop usage kind of rough, while not paying off the same hop’s flavour promise.

However, done right that dryness can make for a dangerously drinkable beer, that shocks the taste-buds with a hop kick at the end. By this point you are probably shouting at me ot get on with it and tell you which of the two sides this falls into. Well, this one is definitely closer to the good side of things.

YAYZ!

Yeah, I drew that out a bit.

So, it is fairly dry, really encourages drinking then punishes you with bitterness. Highly hopped, but despite the high hop usage it distinctly a pale ale rather than an IPA – even the dryness is different to a dry west coast IPA. That has a very out of the way, dry malt character, while this gives a lot of grip to the ever present bitterness.

What makes it work is the use of the subtle but well picked hop fruity flavours. Subtle grapefruit tartness help keep it drinkable despite the bitterness. Occasional light peach sweetness gives release from that same bitterness and dry lemon notes ties it all to the dryness of the base beer. Everything is just what is needed to take what could have been a harsh beer and made it much more suitable.

It is solid, well balanced with what could easily have been too heavy bitterness. It doesn’t shout “Cradle Of Filth” but when do tie in beers ever really make you think of the musician that much?

Electric Bear have definitely upped their game since last time I did notes on their stuff.

Background: Ok, most important things first – this has the marking of “Order of the Flagon” on it. I have no idea what that is. I did some googling and got a bunch of roleplaying game links, natch, and one that was a Cradle Of Filth beer glass. So it s linked to Cradle Of Filth. Which I kind of already knew, what with this being a Cradle Of Filth beer. Which I possibly should have mentioned earlier. Yeah a beer made in collaboration with Cradle Of Filth. Cool. The brewer is Electric Bear, a Bath based brewery that I wasn’t much impressed with back when I first encountered them, however I’ve been to their tap-house a few times since then, and their beers have improved greatly. Hopefully this will continue the trend. For music there was of course only one band I could go with – Garbage! Their self titled album to be exact. What? Garbage are awesome. Anyway, another one grabbed from Independent Spirit.

Electric Bear Cherry Blackout

Electric Bear: Cherry Blackout (England: Imperial Stout: 8% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Thin brown head.

Nose: Black forest gateaux and chocolate liqueur. Tart cherries. Sweet chocolate fondue.

Body: Cherry liqueur. Brown sugar. Chocolate cake. Slick and smooth. Light milky coffee. Bitter chocolate. Vanilla. Black forest gateaux.

Finish: Chocolate cake. Low level bitterness. Bitter chocolate. Black forest gateaux.

Conclusion: Man, if only everything could live up to the nose on this one, a nigh perfect expression of fresh tart cherries and Black forest gateaux. It smells like a dessert drizzled in thick fruit liqueur. Stouty, fruity, sweet and stand out – it is excellent. Now, if only everything was as good as those first few moment…

A tad ominous sentence there, maybe a foreboding of bad sentences to come?

Actually, the main body is actually ok – solid chocolate cake with bitter cocoa and chocolate backing. A few rough edges are there with the brown sugar not quite integrated, but the main disappointment is how much the cherries fade out. They are still there as a backing tart liqueur style but it is the chocolate cake that blacks out most of the other notes. Larger mouthfuls do make more of that tart cherries but at 8% abv big mouthfuls are a bad plan for health. The bitter cocoa really leads the beer, still it isn’t all bad, as the beer warms the cherry does gain more foothold, but it never sparkles like it does in the aroma.

It results in a solid and yet still underwhelming beer. It is a solid chocolate cake stout, but it promised so much more and really needs to deliver on that promise to be worth the abv. Still, it is early days for the brewery and there is a darn good base idea for this, so if they can tweak it around the elements that work it could end up something very decent.

Background: Electric Bear are a reasonably new Brewery in Bath, and so I thought it was about time I should pull my thumb out and do tasting notes on one of their beers. I decided to go with this one, picked up from Independent Spirit, an Imperial Stout made with cocoa, brown sugar,vanilla and morello cherries. Drunk while listing to the band “Heck”. I saw that they were touring soon so checked out their free album Knockout Machine.

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