Tag Archive: Mikkeller


Mikkeller Boon Oude Geuze Boon Bone Dry Mikkeller Selection

Mikkeller: Boon: Oude Geuze Boon: Bone Dry Mikkeller Selection (Denmark: Lambic Geuze: 7% ABV)

Visual: Hazy yellow gold. Massive white loose bubbled head. Quite a bit of carbonation.

Nose: Dry white wine. Crisp apples. White flour. Mixed oats. Champagne. Fresh white bread. Elderberry.

Body: Dry and very tart. Tart apples. Tart lychee. Tart grapefruit. Sparkling white wine. Sharp lemon juice.

Finish: Lychee and pineapple. Tart apples. Dry white wine. Drying. Lightly oaken. Squeezed lemon. Blood orange. Tart grapes.

Conclusion: Ok, yep, this is dry. They nailed that one. Oh, and tart. Tart and dry. Mission accomplished. So, it is dry, is it any good?

Well if feels very white wine influenced – dry (obviously) white wine is there, but also a hint of champagne thrown in as well. Very fresh up front, yet mouth drying as it goes out. However it allows itself a much fruitier flavour range than that description would lead you to expect. There are lots of tart and sharp fruits – apples, grapes, lemon, lychee, grapefruit. If you can name it, and it is tart, then there is at least reasonable odds it will be in there. Absolutely lovely tart flavours, but delivered utterly dry. Your mouth ends up sparkling, but oh so dry after you swallow it down.

It definitely follows the route of the more obviously flavourful recent lambics rather than the more subtle, texture playing, more traditional style of old. It doesn’t completely eschew that tradition though – due to the boon influence it really shines in the mouthfeel territory as well. While dry it is not desiccating and it has a pleasant sparkling fizzing feel without going to soda stream levels – it makes an excellent thirst quenching drink, yet also encourages you to drink more with the dryness – a fact that is dangerous for a 7% ABV beer.

Also, either I am getting really acclimatised to these lambics in my old age, or this is amazingly drinkable for such a dry, tart character. It actually feels accessible, despite the fact it has a quite extreme take on the style. Then again, maybe it is just that my tastebuds have been ruined by Cantillon. That could explain a lot.

Anyway, another excellent lambic. I would say, of the two, that Boon Black label has the edge for me. It has a slightly bigger body that makes it wow more for me – however this keeps closer to the original dry lambic conceit. Any which way, another absolute winner.

Background: According to ratebeer this is the same beer as Boon Black Label. According to 1) My tastebuds and 2) research done to confirm, this is not true. Though it is a close thing. The foeders of lambic used to make this beer did not use up all the lambic, so the remains were used to make Black Label. So same base set, but the proportions were different, resulting in a noticeably different beer. Going by my google they say Black Label should be more full bodied, which matches the notes I had done before looking at that, so sounds right by me. Grabbed from Brewdog’s guest beer section, this was drunk in silence on a warm day, chilled way down. Warning the cork pops out very easily, I barely touched it before it erupted in my hands. I had to drink this one quickly, it was coming up to its 2035 Best before date :-p.

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Brunch Big Blend

Mikkeller: Beer Geek Breakfast Brunch Big Blend (Denmark: Imperial Stout: 8% ABV)

Visual: Black. Massive dark coffee froth rock solid head.

Nose: Spiced grapes. Bitter chocolate. Strawberry yogurt. Cinnamon. Carrot. Bitter coffee. Vanilla beans. Bourbon. Cherries.

Body: Spicy. Paprika. Cherries. Bitter coffee and cocoa powder. Pepper. Tingling feel – spirity. Bourbon.

Finish: Bitter chocolate. Bitter coffee. Smoke and embers. Peppery. Vanilla beans. Bourbon. Rye crackers. Port.

Conclusion: Not as good as you would hope. Wow, that is a good start isn’t it? yeah, Well, I guess they are right – too many cooks do indeed spoil the broth. Now, it still has a lot in its favour. For one it is complex as fuck. A very complex fuck involving pulleys, diagrams and advance planning. I may not be very good at analogies. Anyway, yes, complex – I don’t think it could be anything but that considering its roots, but it ends up pulling itself in far too many ways.

An example? Well, for one the insanely complex coffee I loved in Beer Geek Brunch Weasel is there, but a lot of the subtlety is lost – there is a lot of spicy packed in at the high end of the notes and it covers up a lot of the base character there, while there is a sparkling spirit character at the base doing the same to the more complex chocolate notes. The tingling isn’t so much raw alcohol – it actually feels quite smooth on that front, but more tingling with the barrel ageing notes. So what is at its base a very smooth beer ends up feeling slightly rough as all the other elements clash with each other.

Now the base beer isn’t everything – you have to expect something to be lost as well as gained when barrel ageing is brought in, but it is a bad sign when you lose too much. So what do you gain? Well, one of the best things is that you get some lovely sweet cherries into the mix, which complement the coffee and chocolate perfectly. Fantastic as the ninth doctor would say if he were a pisshead like me. In fact the best is generally the sweet notes added to the midst of the bitter chocolate and coffee. The worst is probably the excess spicy character which hides more than it adds.

Still a solid, frothy, well textured beer at its base, but it tries to do too much at once.

Background: Grabbed at Independent Spirit, this is a mix of (deep breath) bourbon, brandy, cherry wine, cognac, tequila and whisky aged imperial stout. Think it may also be a mix of Beer Geek Breakfast and Beer Geek Brunch Weasel as well, but that is a guess based on the name. The abv is closer to Breakfast, but the imagery on the bottle makes me think they may haves used the same coffee as Brunch Weasel. Google hasn’t helped out much, so much of this is guessing. I deliberately didn’t refresh my memory on what barrel ageing had been used before doing the tasting note so to keep psychosomatic influences to a minimum. I adore Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, so have been grabbing many variants over the years. Drunk whilst listening to more ocremix stuff.

Mikkeller Crooked Moon Tattoo Stockholm Stout

Mikkeller: Crooked Moon Tattoo Stockholm Stout (Denmark: Imperial Stout: 8% ABV)

Visual: Black. Large creamy brown froth.

Nose: Crushed peanuts. Mashed figs and raisins. Malt chocolate drink. Black olives.

Body: Black olives. Bitter. Cloying. Sour dough and cream cheese. Very bitter black chocolate and bitter black coffee.

Finish: Bitter coffee. Brown bread and black olives.

Conclusion: Well, I often muse, (or perhaps mildly complain is more accurate) about the fact that a lot of recent imperial stouts feel like they are trying to be similar to what is popular at the time rather than carving their own identity. This is a beer that does not suffer from that. This is a beer that is odd. This is a beer that is very distinctive, not quite unique, but definitely taken the less walked road.

Now, with figs in this I was expecting this to lean towards the sweeter end of the stout scale. I was wrong. Damn wrong. This is bitter. bitter chocolate. Bitter coffee. Without contrasting sweetness when cool I actually find this more punishing that a lot of high alpha acid IPAs.

Bitter chocolate and coffee may not sound that unusual, in fact it may sound like every other Imperial Stout out there – however while chocolate and coffee may not be unusual the level of intensity is. What makes this odd is a cloying kind of feel and big black olives flavour – it makes it feel like the beer equivalent of that bread, oil and olives starter you get in some Italian restaurants. But in a stout. Go on, tell me that is a common thing. No, right? An odd one this. I have run into olive notes before, but never so intensely.

The actual expected odd element – the figs – well that only comes out when the beer warms, and not even that heavily then. However, boy is it needed. Without it the beer is too intense on the single, bitter, end of the scale. With it, it is still punishing but now more manageable.

It still feels a bit too lob sided for me, a bit over cloying and heavily olive dominated – but with the slight mashed fig sweetness I can respect it, if not overly enjoy it. Not one for me, but it is well made and I think it will be for many of you. If my notes have not put you off and you want something different then you may want to check it out.

Background: Made with figs, which is the main reason I grabbed it. That and the fact Mikkeller tend to be awesome with Imperial Stouts. Crooked tattoo look to be a bunch of guys who run a tattoo convention and they asked Mikkeller to make this beer for them for that. Bought from the ever reliable Independent Spirit. Drunk while listening to a bit of Within Temptation, which seemed to suit the mood for this.

Three Floyds Mikkeller Hvedegoop

Three Floyds: Mikkeller: Hvedegoop (USA: Barley Wine: 10.4% ABV)

Visual: Mahogany red. About half an inch of browned forth. Hazy body.

Nose: Cinnamon. Tangerine. Wheaty. Chocolate malt drinks. Toffee. Pineapple. Glacier cherries.

Body: Cherries. Malt drinks. Tangerine and white grapes. Light hop character. Light wheat thickness. Light bitterness. Some milky coffee. Lemon.

Finish: Moderate bitterness and hops. Toffee and malt drinks. Shredded wheat. Slight rocky touch. Light bitter coffee. Lemon touch.

Conclusion: Wheat wine. Sounds awesome. Unfortunately this is not quite the half way point between a hefeweizen and barley wine that those words call up. We could but hope.

Instead this is a fairly solid barley wine a like with a slightly thicker wheat influenced texture, though it does have slight lemon fresh characteristics like a good weisse.

The flavour leans towards the more hopped USA interpretations of a barley wine, almost all the expected elements of that are here – Bright citrus going from tart orange to grape and pineapple. beneath that is an oddly unsweet barley wine, more malt drinks or at times milky coffee rather than the more usual big syrup sweetness.

There is still some sweetness, but less than you would expect – possibly this is from the wheat, giving less residual sugar that a pure malted barley drink, but that is just a guess. I have no idea if that is how it works.

It’s a pretty solid beer, quite attenuated – the malt base tastes closer to the way I would expect an APA to be, with hop flavours closer to an IPA, and a texture like a weisse. It is an odd wee mix.

So, yes a solid barley (wheat) wine style. If this had more than just the lemon hints to the wheat then this could have been special, then again I don’t know if a true half hefe half barley wine is even possible. As is there are no regrets to drinking this beer, the attenuation is not my scene – and that is the main flaw to my mind, but overall it does not disappoint with big flavour and a lot to experience.

Background: The *goop series! A bunch of kind of barley wines, but brewed with a different adjunct. This one I did not think I would get hold of, a wheat wine from the early days of the series. I’m guessing they did another batch as it has started turning up again. The series has been pretty good so far, with some stand out entries, so I was looking forwards to this. Picked up from Independent Spirit. Drunk while listening to some Alanis Morissette – used to be a huge fan as a kid, still stands up in my old age – a bit more chilled than my usual far.

Mikkeller Black Speyside tequilla

Mikkeller: Tequilla and Speyside Aged Black 黑 (Denmark: Imperial Stout: 18.8% ABV)

Visual: Black (No surprise there). Thick browned froth head.

Nose: Strong spirit. Vodka and jelly babies. Toasted teacakes. Milky coffee. Cocoa. Light cherries.

Body: Tingling. Sweet chocolate fondue. Jelly babies. Bitter chocolate hints. Orange liqueur. Noticeable alcohol. Toffee notes. Burn on swallowing. Pear notes and strawberry late on.

Finish: Spirity. Very bitter chocolate. Tongue numbing. Smoke. Brown bread. Crème brulee.

Conclusion: How big is too big? And no innuendo please. Mikkeller black was always an intense one, utterly bitter black chocolate with no compromises. Always single minded. This? Well it is different, but even bigger and more intense.

Initially it seemed too spirity – there is a definite alcohol harshness and prickle, which, along with the immensely bitter chocolate finish, makes for a very harsh way out for this beer.

What I find interesting is how the barrel ageing has altered the main body – previously the chocolate was bitter as hell – now it comes in sweet and with an almost chocolate fondue style – this makes for a much needed contrast to the very spirit heavy influence, especially the harsh tequila alcohol air and slight smoke.

It is an odd mix, once you get used to the harshness there is reasonable depth to the main body, with the varied ageing adding different spirit, sweet and fruity notes to the chocolate body.

The finish however is a clumsy mess of harshness, where the main body has quirks – rough edges but in a charming way – the finish doesn’t work. A pity as it lets down the rest of the beer massively – especially as the finish lasts so long so it will be what you are experiencing about half the time.

So, I think they went a bit too big here, all the elements are trying to shout all the time and that means half the time you can’t hear anything but the loudest voice. So, it still has the impressive base of black, but there is too much clashing here. Not bad, but not really a refined beer, nor worth the price tag, So, especially at the insane abv, it doesn’t give you a better beer for it

Background: For anyone wondering, yes 黑 is the kanji for black. If it wasn’t obvious. Anyway, I have had black a few times, but never got around to reviewing it, it is a very bitter chocolate and coffee beer. So when I saw a double barrelled aged version at independent spirit I grabbed one. Well technically I grabbed two, one as a present for a friend. So that may introduce some bias into this review. Drunk while listening to Against Me! White Crosses which continues to grow on me. In fact the beer took so long to drink at the abv that I also listened to the Guilty Gear soundtrack as well. yes I took my time with this one.

Mikkeller Three Floyds Majsgoop

Mikkeller: Three Floyds: Majsgoop (Denmark: Barley Wine: 10.4% ABV)

Visual: Hazy dark gold. Medium off white head.

Nose: Peach. Digestives. Bubblegum. Milky. Soft hop bitterness. Soft lemon. Very evident from a distance.

Body: Peach and syrup. Lemon and cream. Very smooth. Malt chocolate and orange. Fudge, malt biscuits. Pineapple. Grapefruit. Kiwi.

Finish: Light bitterness and hops. Lemon curd. Peach syrup. The bitterness grows over time. Malt choc orange. Toffee and caramel. Orange, or maybe tangerine.

Conclusion: Damn. Normally I am wary about beers with adjuncts, they are usually the sign of someone trying to turn out a beer on the cheap. Then Three Floyds and Mikkeller do it.

Damn. Again. This reminds me of a halfway point between an IIPA and a barley wine. The hop flavour is absolutely huge, fruity, citrus, and such a range of flavours, but the actual bitterness is way down. The feel is much more towards a sweet smooth barley wine, with an emphasis on the sweet fudge like base.

The beer is so incredibly smooth – is this what corn is meant to do when it is not being used in a shoddy beer? Or is this just a show of the brewers amazing skill at their craft? This thing, at over 10% and while it tingles slightly, that is all you get from the alcohol – a tingle, not really much more than you would get from hop effects. You are aware of the alcohol but it never intrudes.

Yeah. Very impressive.

Frankly, at no point does this disappoint – The only thing I can hold against it is there have been similar, but just slightly better beers. Just slightly. Tiny amount. That is the worst criticism I can give.

Top notch.

Background: The firth big Mikkeller and Three Floyds *goop collaboration. Each one using a different extra ingredient, this time corn being the odd adjunct used. This is the version made by Mikkeller rather than the Three Floyds version as they both brewed a batch. The label on this is awesome – I will have to keep the bottle for a while. Drunk while listening to a bit of the Foo Fighters. Thankfully they seem to have given up denying HIV causes aids now, which put me off supporting them for a while

Beer Weak Brunch Weasel

Mikkeller: Beer Weak Brunch Weasel (Denmark: Stout: 4.8% ABV)

Visual: Black. Large frothy beige head, that descends quickly into a small covering of the base beer.

Nose: Cloyed cream. Smooth, complex, coffee. Praline. Chocolate liqueur.

Body: Chalky. Bitter coffee. Roasted. Nuts. Very bitter. Charring.

Finish: Chalk. Heavily roasted character. Bitter coffee. Charring. oats. Very bitter. Bitter chocolate.

Conclusion: Could it be? Could it really be? The awesomeness of Beer Geek Brunch Weasel – the intense complex coffee flavour and thick frothy texture – all at under 5% abv?

Somehow I doubt it.

Then again, Drink in the Sun and Snow exists, and I doubted that, so….

Well, the aroma is wonderful, lots of complex coffee – it is more traditional stout style, with that cloyed cream aroma, rather than the smoother BGBW style, but still you get the elements thick and showing that full on coffee character

So, a good start.

Dare I hope?

The first sip shows the major, and somewhat expected, difference between the two beers. The texture is – naturally- not as thick. It has more chalky character, but with still that massive complex bitter coffee. Here it is rougher and more intense due to the lack of a comparable sweet contrast and the lack of a thicker creamy texture. If anything this seems closer to Beer Geek Breakfast in influence and style.

It is more chalky and charred, but that core of coffee is there, uncontested and huge. It is definitely a different beer, but it shares the most important characteristics. There is some contrasting sweetness, but not much – the chocolate is bitter here, the texture is roasted, it is a much more traditional stout in a lot of ways and that makes it harsher edged when combined with the coffee.

Still, that coffee is awesome. It isn’t a patch on Brunch Weasel, and it is too rough with all the bitter intensity and lack of contrast. For a “Session” beer the flavour sure isn’t sessionable, but it is an ok one for slipping one into an ongoing session. I am impressed technically with what they have done here, even if it doesn’t all work.

An impressive accomplishment, and an ok beer.

Background: Beer reviews. Yes I should do them. Or at least write them up. I have a bit of a backlog, but took a break after the epic collabfest 2014 write ups. Can you blame me? Anyway, a lower abv version of one of my favourite beers of all time – Beer Geek Brunch Weasel. A stout made with high quality coffee beans.

Mikkeller Three Floyds  Blå Spøgelse

Mikkeller: Three Floyds: Blå Spøgelse (Denmark: Sour Ale: 7.7% ABV0

Visual: Deep black cherry red. Massive cherry yogurt coloured head that leaves lace.

Nose: Oats. Horse blankets. Black cherry yogurt. Blueberry pie and sugar dusting. Rice crackers. Mashed blueberries and pips. Musky.

Body: Sour. Twigs. Charred oak. Tart blue berry. Apple cider. Black cherry yogurt. Acidic at back. Lemon.

Finish: Tart blue berry. Spirit touch, Oak. Drying. White wine. Cider. Dried blue berries.

Conclusion: So, is this a blue berry lambic or not? I mean, it tastes like one, looks like one, even occasionally is referred to as one online – but most places seem to just call it a blueberry sour ale. Which is a bit more varied category. Hmm, it is very lambic like so I will treat it as one, while admitting that it may not in fact be one. That seems a fair compromise.

It isn’t like a blue berry lambic is unheard of – fairly uncommon, and definitely not one of the standard fruit for it, but not unheard of. Anyway, the base of this tastes like a very typical, competent, if not exactly to my style, dry lambic base. It is quite dry, with some sort of dry charred oak harshness. Not my favourite style – it reminds me a bit of Girardin which I never quite took to, however it is more mellow here. It is generally a mix of the harsher elements – all the dryness, tartness and oak, but delivered in a softer manner that takes off the edge. While not exactly my style, it is very competent and I find myself unable to complain too much. I’m not quite sure it works, but it doesn’t exactly hurt – it delivers what you expect, a drying lambic. So, we get to the more important question. How well does it handle the fruit?

While it is loaded with blueberries, it actually has quite a black cherry yogurt thing going on, the influence of the base lambic seems to make the darker elements of the fruit come out, and the less sweet notes, but there is no denying that the fruit has a massive presence. You very rarely get high or light notes, though when you do they come as a welcome relief, you get more the drying and dark, until you swallow. Then, in the finish, you finally get the distinct blueberry character – more like dried blue berries that you get in cereal, much more concentrated and intense. that dry, fruity finish lasts long after the last sip.

Overall it is very interesting, you get a lot of depth, but the slight harsh dryness of the base keeps it as only an interesting beer. It never quite lets you just relax and enjoy it freely, there is always a note of discord for me. A pity as the use of fruit is very well done indeed.

So, not bad overall, very different, but it is an expensive one for such a mixed review. So I can’t recommend it in general, despite the interesting characteristics.

Background: I’m a big fan of Mikkeller, and of Three Floyds – so this collaboration blue berry and oak aged sour ale was a must grab when it turned up in Brewdog’s Guest beer section. Drunk after getting back from a weekend at Alton Towers, with a battered, tired and happy body. I put on some Offspring, Smash to be exact, during this. Not my favourite band anymore but still fun.

Horizon Tokyo Black

Nøgne ø: Mikkeller: Brewdog: Horizon Tokyo Black (Norway: Imperial Stout: 16% ABV)

Visual: Black. Grey dust over it in the centre, and brown bubbles at the edges.

Nose: Real bitter chocolate. Real roasted nuts. Sour dough. Resin. Alcohol touch.

Body: Cherries. Chocolate liquore. Black cherry. Jelly babies. Bitter cocoa. Sugar cane. Orange liquore. Toasted tea cakes.

Finish: Bitter chocolate and milky coffee. Cream. Nuts. Alcohol air.

Conclusion: I was expecting to be mainly making jokes about this being a superfluous review, having already reviewed a different version of this. However, it turns out this is pretty different. This is heavier and darker, with more bitter flavours. It has some of the big sweetness, especially mid body where you get lots of fruit and jelly babies, but top end and tail it is much more raw bitter cocoa and coffee. It still had that noticeable alcohol air, but I think the heavier bitter emphasis helps offset that an makers for a better beer.

Here the sweetness mid body is a treat, not a sugar shock and, while it grow over time, the heavier sweetness doesn’t hit until the end when it is more manageable.

Overall this is a lovely imperial stout, like its Brewdog predecessor it could probably do with some time in a cellar to let the alcohol air lighten a little (I have tested with the Brewdog version, it works – two years in it was smooth as silky and lovely)

So a big gun of a beer, a bit alcohol touched, but apart from that a lovely mix of dark bitter chocolate and coffee, toasted tea cakes, dark fruit and jelly babies. Even better at 25ml it is the perfect size for beer of this strength. Now both versions of this beer I have had are excellent, but I will give the nod to the Nøgne ø version this time.

Which, considering my massive Brewdog bias, is saying something.

Background: Some of you may be thinking “Hold on, haven’t you revived this before?” In which case can I be the first to say … holy shit you have a good memory. I have reviewed the Brewdog version of this, which has slightly different abv This is the Nøgne ø version, so I thought it would be interesting to compare the two. Anyway, broke this open with a bit of “Rise Against”, because I finally pulled my thumb out and picked up one of their CDs.

Spontanrosehip

Mikkeller: Spontanrosehip (Denmark: Fruit Lambic: 7.7% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy apricot. Moderate white bubbled head.

Nose: Tart. Sharp lemon. Light earthy/ horse blankets character. Perfume. Radishes. Brown bread.

Body: Tart. Cooking apples. Sharp acidity. Cider. Radishes. Lemon sherbet. Light peach. Lightly rustic. Tannins. Light black cherry yogurt at back?

Finish: Earthy. Oats. Drying. Jiff lemon. Cider. Peanuts. Dried apricot. Radishes. Tannins. Grapefruit.

Conclusion: You know, I have no idea what rosehips taste like. At all. If I had to guess from this beer I would guess like radishes. I have this strange strange feeling that I’m not even in the right ballpark. Those of you who have tried rosehips feel free to start laughing now.

You done? Good, we can move on then.

The base beer feel is that balanced, dry and slightly sharp lambic with just enough rustic earthiness that you can recognise from Spontanale. It gives a mouth tingling feel from the dryness and a touch of cider like apples and lemon sharpness against it. Even the tannins elements are definitely still there.

Through that what is new? Well it feels, maybe, more vegetable like in the aforementioned radishes. The aroma is a bit more perfumed in style, and maybe a bit earthier. It is hard to compare directly as for all the similarities, spontaneous fermented beers tend to have some variance between batches anyway.

Visually it is much more cloudy, and you can feel that cloudiness in the texture as well. I would say it is a bit sharper, and it gains an apricot like sweetness. There is more fruit character, raspberry like in feel at times if not flavour. This could be me feeling around the edges of a fruit I have not encountered before, or just effects of the higher abv.

The fruit additions do seem more subtle than in most fruit lambics, it seems to more emphasise the base characteristics rather than add all new ones. Again that could be my inexperience with the fruit showing.

Overall it has enough to feel different from standard Spontanale, in intensity if not really in type. I can’t see anything that makes it that much better than Spontanale though. It is a bit more complex but trades off for a higher cost and abv. It is more intense in most ways, but I personally would not call than enough to pick it over Spontanale. You can make your own call on if it matters to you.

Background: I have never tried rosehip. Ever. I am a sucker for an oddity. So, we all know that the traditional lambic fruits are raspberry and cherry, with black cherry, strawberry and the like being outliers. Rosehip. Rosehip. That is so far off the beaten path that I just had to try it. So now I have. This was picked up from Brewdog’s guest beer selection. Mikkeller does not own his own Brewery, instead he makes the recipes and hires time and other breweries for them to be made. Which is probably a good plan with the wild yeast lambics which can quickly infect other brews from what I have heard

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