Tag Archive: Greece


Seven Islands: Dulce De Banana (Greece: Imperial Stout: 12% ABV)

Visual: Black. Dash of a brown head.

Nose: Banana syrup. Caramel. Licorice. Crumpets.

Body: Toffee. Chocolate liqueur. Banana syrup. Honey. Boozy core. Cream. Chocolate cake sponge. Toffee liqueur. Tiramisu.

Finish: Cream. Banana syrup. Chocolate liqueur. Chocolate cake sponge. Toffee liqueur. Sweet danish pastry. Hundreds and thousands. Blended whisky. Alcohol soaked sponge.

Conclusion: Ok, even more so that their PBJ dessert stout, this is a stupidly sweet, syrupy, mess. So, any which way, I couldn’t wait to get my lips around it.

Also the can image looks rude.

By far the banana is the stand out element – it just booms cheap banana syrup character. Probably not something that sounds appealing to most people, but I will admit I am enjoying its silly, sweet character.

Like their similar pastry stout PBJ this shows its alcohol in a boozy, kind of whisky like set of notes. Here it shows as a reasonable, if not special, quality blended whisky kind of style. An obvious alcohol character, but not a bad one – just very noticeably boozy. Again, it hasn’t been whisky aged, so is a very odd set of notes to find.

Apart from that there is a lot of toffee, and spirit soaked tiramisu style in a cream meets toffee meets alcohol meets everything else kind of mash of …. stuff.

I mean, you saw the can, maybe read the ingredients list, you kind of already knew what this offers, what you probably want to know is it actually any good? Well it is a sickly sweet, thick blended whisky touched .. thing. It could probably give sugar shock just by looking at it.

But that doesn’t answer the question does it?

So, erm yeah. Well it is chewy, and yet still fairly smooth – a decent mix for a mouthfeel. The alcohol, though whisky styled is not rough. For something that plays as cheaply sweet as this done, it is as polished as you will get for that kind of dessert beer trip.

So, cheap thrills, but well made for that. I enjoyed it. If you don’t automatically hate the dessert beer style, then you may have fun with it too.

Background: Soo, I had this a while back and did not do notes on it back then. I will admit, 90% of the reason I bought another was to do notes so I could share the can image with you. Back when Indie Spirit first got it in they put up photos of this and Boi Juice side by side. Which just goes to show they know how to sell beers to me. Another of the silly dessert stouts, made to try and duplicate an existing dessert. To try and do that this is made with … deep breath .. oats, lactose, banana, condensed milk, vanilla and chocolate. With all that I am surprised there is still room for the beer in there. Have been playing the Guitar Hero games again recently so went with Slayer: Reign In Blood for music. Incidentally – Fuck Raining Blood in Guitar Hero 3. Fuck it to hell.

Seven Islands: PJB Concoction (Greece: Imperial Stout: 12% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Caramel brown rim of a head.

Nose: Massive amounts of peanut-butter. Chocolate. Oats. Strawberry. Touch of liquorice.

Body: Strawberry crème to strawberry jam. Thick, milky chocolate to chocolate liqueur. Boozy alcohol. Toffee liqueur. Blended whisky. Peanut butter.

Finish: Liquorice. Danish pastries. Strawberry crème filled bitter black chocolate sweets. Bourbon whiskey. Boozy alcohol. Toffee liqueur. Alcohol air. Bourbon biscuits. Peanut butter.

Conclusion: Holy fuck this really smells of peanut-butter. Also chocolate. It is like the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups of beers. And yes despite being British I have eaten Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. They get everywhere.

There is also definitely the strawberry notes, not as heavy but definitely enough that this Is matching its core conceit well. Now it isn’t 100% on, being sometimes more strawberry crème than strawberry jam. Also you tend to get either the Reese’s chocolate peanut butter, or the strawberry crème filled quality chocolate sweets, rarely both at once, for most of the beer. It is only in the latter half that they really merge together, and truly match the idea of the beer, but that is nit picking.

Now, much as it does get the conceit, it isn’t all good news. The alcohol is very boozy – at its best it is like lower end bourbon, at its worst it has some of the rougher end of blended whisky feel and taste. Not 100% terrible, but it really doesn’t suit the feel of the beer.

Still, as a pastry stout it even has sweet pastry notes. Then again does PBJ have pastry? I always thought it was just peanut butter and jam in a sandwich. Is there a genuine pastry dessert PBJ? Is this I thing I never encountered?

Anyway, as an imperial stout it has some rough edges. As a PBJ beer it is fun despite the roughness. It isn’t going to win awards for brewing or style, but ya know what?

I had a laugh with it.

Background: Pastry/Dessert stouts seem to be getting a lot of shit at the moment. I guess I can kind of see why, the market is flipping flooded with them. It is kind of the NEIPA of stouts. However I kind of dig them, as long as it is an occasional treat. I think they have the advantage that they are easy to spot, unlike NEIPAs where often the first clue you get is when you pour from the can. Anyway, this is a Peanut Butter and Jelly/Jam inspired beer. By which I mean it is made with peanut butter, strawberry, Tahitian vanilla (which a quick google tells me is more fancy than normal vanilla apparently) and chocolate. Soo, yeah can see how they are hoping to get the PBJ flavours then. Seven Islands is a new brewery for me, and it is only when I googled that I found out it is from Greece, and not Canada as I first guessed. Interesting – not had much of an examine of their beer scene before. Anyway, another new beer from Independent Spirit. I went with Gogol Bordello: Trans Continental Hustle for background music while drinking. Anti immigration feeling is rinsing in the UK again, so a burst of punk energy against that was welcome.

Siris: Voreia Stout (Greece: Stout: 6% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Inch of creamy coffee coloured head with smaller bubbles in darker pools around the head.

Nose: Roasted nuts. Walnuts. Lactose notes. Bitter coffee. Fresh brown bread. Slight greenery.

Body: Bitter cocoa. Light liquorice. Bitter chocolate cake. Light chalk touch. Bitter coffee.

Finish: Bitter coffee. Slight charring. Earthy bitterness. Light peppery character. Bitter chocolate cake.

Conclusion: This is leaning on the more bitter end of the stout style. Smooth in texture, even slightly light at times in mouthfeel, but just creamy enough to give a good grip to some kicking bitter flavours.

Initially I was not too sold on this. It seemed to work a simple one-two punch of bitter cocoa and bitter coffee. Now, admittedly those are two very good strings to have in your beer bow, but it is a pretty basic set – you need more to flesh it out.

Now, I am changing that opinion over time. The beer is still sticking to those two main strings, but is is layering a lot of character within those two poles of flavour. The flavours are all about the bitter – the chocolate however is really selling the depth of a good block of unsweetened chocolate, and similarly the coffee is selling the bitter layers of subtlety a cup can bring.

It still doesn’t rock the top end of the stout set, but as a bitter drink it does reward your time. All this is underlined by an earthy, slightly peppery, bitterness in the finish; It preserves the purely bitter stout gimmick but adds flavours that are different enough that it is a satisfactory end to a sip.

So a beer without a huge range, but what it does have it works well. Could do with a slightly thicker mouthfeel but works as a solid, bitter stout that brings subtlety from what would often be straightforward bitter notes.

Not bad.

Background: A quick copy and paste from the last time I did this – I was gifted a free month subscription to Beer 52 recently by a mate – Many thanks! – so here it is. They sent a Balkans themed case of beer, of which this was one. Only had a few beers from that area – mainly when I was visiting Belgrade, so was an interesting box to go with. Would I recommend them? Well beer selection seems nice, they include a guide to the beer with some cool articles, so not bad. Warning however – they are an utter fucking dick to cancel. Yes I cancelled after the free box. My cupboard is scary packed at the moment. First world problems. The issue with cancelling the subscription is you sign up online, pause subscription online, but if you try to cancel – after several attempts to make you stay – they inform you that you cannot cancel online via their site. You have to call them, and be put on hold for ages with a painfully scratchy line that genuinely hurt my ears. I was ready to tell them to fuck right off, but I noticed that in smaller text they mention you can cancel by e-mail. Which I did. The person handling that was great, so cool. Did a lot to restore them to my good graces, so may use them in the future for a short while if they have similar interesting region based boxes. Still a crappy set-up though – if you have to make unsubscribing a hassle, then your service isn’t good enough to stand on its own two legs. Rant over. Put on Worriers – Survival Pop while drinking. Had seen them as a warm up for Anti-Flag recently and had grabbed the CD then. Poppier than my normal stuff in sound but with great lyrical work.

Kefalonian & Ithaca Microbrewery: Kefalonian Beer (Greece: Premium Lager: 5% ABV)

Visual: Yellow, clear. Massive white head and masses of small bubbled carbonation.

Nose: Vanilla. Wet cardboard. Slight sulphur eggs. Slight wheat. Orange fruit sugars. Slight banana and funky yeast.

Body: Moderate hop character. Fresh lemon. Light brown sugar. Slightly muggy hop middle. Prickly feel. Vanilla. Light orange jelly sweets. Slightly chalky. Banana. Cheese puffs.

Finish: Lemony. Popcorn hop feel and light bitterness. Slightly watery. Slightly chalky. Cardboard. Banana. Cheese puffs.

Conclusion: This is the more interesting side of meh and shrug compared to the pretty damn bad meh and shrug that was Mythos.

Like that beer, this has some rough notes. It is a bit chalky, a bit watery -which is admittedly an unusual mix. You usually only get one or the other. The aroma was a very bad first impression as well – seeming dull, and mainly giving wet cardboard notes.

However it turns out when you hit the body it does have some actual flavour in there. There is some lemon freshness, some orange notes, even a moderate hop character. Not world shaking but it is something, they are trying to put out an actual beer with flavour. As time goes on the rougher elements get more prevalent, with the dank wet cardboard notes rising, especially in the finish.

There is a slight funky character to it – kind of cheese puffs and banana. If the beer didn’t have the rough notes then I think these would be quite interesting and even give some play to the beer – with the rough notes however they bounce badly off each other so it just seems like a missed opportunity,

So, it does have some promise, some good notes but badly delivered. I cannot in any way recommend it, but unlike Mythos they do have something. If they do a heck of a lot of work with it there is an enjoyable beer in there somewhere. Until they find it however, I say avoid.

Background: The second of two beers Tony brought back from Greece for me – many thanks! This one from a Greek microbrewery, very interesting, hope it will be better than the macro beer that I tried before. Don’t know much about this – it calls itself “The First Kefalonian Beer” So that is a thing. To match the lack of knowledge on the beer I shoved music on random for this one – had no idea what I was getting.

Mythos Brewing (Carlsberg): Mythos Hellenic Beer (Greece: Pale Lager: 5% ABV)

Visual: Pale yellow. Large amount of small bubbled carbonation. Thin white head.

Nose: Mashed grain and wet rice. Mild palma violets note. Vanilla cream. Light hop character and bitterness.

Body: Vanilla. Slight brown sugar. Musty at the back. Slight palma violets and mild hop character. Rice crackers. Slight sugar dusting.

Finish: Dry rice. Some bitterness. Wet air. Moss. Vanilla. Some hop character. Rice cakes. Greenery and musty dust. Granite.

Conclusion: This is inoffensive for the most part. Kind of bland. If it wasn’t for a few rough notes at the back I’d even shrug and call it passable. Unfortunately, at the back there are some rough notes. So I can’t. Go figure.

Anyway, all this is predicated on it being a mass market lager that isn’t German, Czech or Polish. So expectations were low going in anyway. If I was expecting anything from it I may have been harsher.

So, I’ll come to the rough parts later – lets look at the rest. The base beer is fairly bland, kind of rice cakes with some vanilla and a mix of brown and white sugar dusting. Hop character is low and kind of musty. Nothing really to write home about.

Even that brings no worse than a shrug from me, I’ve had worse, but then in the late end of the beer to the finish it falls off the road. Dusty notes come up, slightly rough greenery, dry rice notes and such like. For a beer that main audience is one expecting inoffensiveness a rough, muggy, slightly rough tasting finish is a killer. It takes the beer from meh to pretty much avoid.

The thing is, even with this I can’t get up the energy to be annoyed by it. It isn’t Fosters style soda stream fizzy, it isn’t Tesco Value Lager level rank, It is just very dull and a touch badly made.

There really isn’t much to say if I can’t even be arsed to rant about it. The rougher side of dull and it gets worse as the beer goes on. So, avoid.

Background: This was a kind gift from Tony – many thanks! He was in Greece while I was in Germany and brought back a couple of local beers for me to try. Think these are my first Greek beers, so adding a bit more to my beer map! Always good. Anyway, don’t know much about this – had it chilled down on a far too warm day, while listening to Two Steps Form Hell: Archangel. I didn’t know if the beer was going to be epic, but I wanted the music to be.

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