Tag Archive: Mild


Bredog All Day Long

Brewdog: Prototype: All Day Long (Scotland: Mild Ale: 2.7% ABV)

Visual: Burnished toffee colour. Half an inch of creamy off white froth that leaves suds.

Nose: Toffee and caramel. Good hops of citrus character. Moderate bitterness. Chocolate.

Body: Toffee. Grapes. Moderate prickling hop character. Malt chocolate. Soft elderberry. Pineapple.

Finish: Choc orange. Moderate bitterness and hops. Popcorn. Prickly. Slight greenery. Toffee.

Conclusion: Ok, let’s get this out of the way. Mikkeller’s Drink in the Sun is a way more awesome beer. That is just the way of the world. Ok they are very different beers, but they are both in the lower abv milieu. But, just because another beer is better doesn’t mean that this is bad though.

It is fruit, and yet mellow. It is at the higher end of the low abv beer range, and it sure does use that part well, the toffee and caramel malt flavours really come through. Even better that small amount of extra malt makes for a much better base for the hops to work from, in fact better so than the lower end of the Russian Doll range did – and they had a lot more malt to play with.

The hops themselves are a nice bitter prickle with grapes and easy going citrus. Nothing too intense – unlike, say Nanny State, but a nice complement to the malt which is the main deal -as is to be expected for a mild – even an unusual one like this.

It is pretty soothing, definitely more soothing than exciting, though it doesn’t exactly lack for flavour – more lacks in bite. Still, as a session beer you may want something more easy going.

I’m actually pretty partial to it – the extra malt is used well to give it a distinctly different style to their other low abv beers, and it works very hard to justify the extra abv it is using – and that gives a much more balanced beer. Well worth building on inb my opinion.

Background: A low abv beer from Brewdog as the third of the 2014 set of prototypes – Which is of interest to me, I love the high abv mad beers, but it is nice to have some choice at the lower end of the spectrum. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. This was drunk while listening to some Svalbard. Yes again.

Baby Anarchist

Art Brew: Baby Anarchist (England: Mild Ale: 3.2% ABV)

Visual: Reddened brown, massive ripe banana yellowed head. This beer pours very enthusiastically and leaves lots of sud rings.

Nose: Eggs. Sulphur. Hops. Funky yeast.

Body: Bitter. Malt chocolate. Pineapple. Cadbury’s crème eggs centres. Red wine notes at back, Cherries. Vanilla. Lemon sherbet and apricots.

Finish: Bitter hops. Eggs and mayo. Popcorn. Lots of dry bitterness. Malt drinks. Light citrus tartness and dry earthy hops. Vanilla. Crab apples.

Conclusion: This said to pour carefully and it wasn’t bloody kidding. Despite my careful efforts the head filled nearly half the glass with froth on first attempt. The first impressions, well first impressions after finishing the pour, were that it was slightly odd of aroma. There is quite an eggy sulphur tone that I’m not a hundred percent sure if it is an intended part of the beer or a mishap. Sulphur can be used as an interesting element in moderation, but it feels out of place here.

The main boy packs a good bitter punch and some nice tart notes that calls to the British interpretation of a brown ale, however overall it doesn’t really come together. There is a lot of elements, some citrus, some tart, some malt drinks, lots of hops, lots working in the beer, but none are really particularly prevalent and they don’t come together into any real narrative of experience.

Ok, there is one character throughout the beer, the fairly rough edged hop character, but it doesn’t have much charm to it. You can get some nice apricot and lemon flavours late on which helps, but you can’t rely on them. What is most fun is probably the back notes, the vanilla, chocolate and the like, but they never last long enough against the hops to catch the imagination.

Not terrible, tries so hard and pushes out so much, but a disappointing return to Art Brew. Guess I’ll just have to sink my sorrows with the beloved I Beer. Ah well.

Background: Art Brew used to be one of my regular brewers beers, back when they ran the Royal Oak. Back then the Oak was bloody awesome, and my usual hang out. Last I checked it was still ok, but had nowhere near the rotation of taps, nor as good atmosphere as back when Art Brew ran it. Ah well. Still, now you can get them bottled from Independent Spirit, it seemed a good time to return to the old friends and experience them anew. Drunk while listening to some History of Guns….again.

How to Disappear Completely

Brewdog: How to Disappear Completely (2013) (Scotland: Imperial Mild: 2.8% ABV)

Visual: Mahogany with a large chocolate dust coloured creamy head. Some suds are left as you drink the beer.

Nose: Kiwi. Toffee. Chocolate dust. Tiny touch of crushed charcoal. Bitter hops. Apricot. Digestives.

Body: Charred bitterness. Kiwi and passion fruit. Prickly. Peach. Malt chocolate. Green apples.

Finish: Bitter hops. Dry. Malt chocolate. Kiwi. Pineapple. Toffee.

Conclusion: Yay. Another entry in the lower abv beer set, though this one is a bit heavier than most, weighing in as it does at a whopping 2.8% abv. I know. Dangerous. However it does use that bit of extra weight to good effect.

The body has a slight chocolate taste to it with a good level of bitterness added. Not IPA level, nor early Nanny State level, but still prickling and vibrant. The hop flavour is interesting though, calling to the black IPA in style if not intensity. The heavier fruit flavours like kiwi and green apples comes through in that BIPA style giving it just a slight tart edge.

I’ve had this on keg and the texture feels slightly thin there, not quite delivering the flavour. Here on the other hand it has more grip which comes with a charring like touch but also much more robust flavour.

The flavour, as mentioned, is like a mini black IPA but not as intense. Bitter but more soothing than punching. Though that could say more about my ongoing immunity to hop bitterness rather than any characteristic of the beer. Very easy to drink despite the bitterness and robust flavour. It doesn’t bring that instant wow like 0.3% Drink In The Sun but holds up very well over time. A great entry into a difficult weight category and very sessionable.

Background: Ok, imperial mild is a very silly term, and basically a bit of a marketing fluff from Brewdog. Those of you who with to be a bit more serious pretend I just listed this as mild. Anyway, while I have been a Brewdog fan for a long time, coming across Punk IPA in their first year of Brewing, it took a bit of time to find their website, and the existence of their small run beer, so I just missed the release of the first edition of this. I loved the idea of a low abv high flavour beer which has been part of my search around “Drink In The Sun” and the like. So, when in 2013 they released a new version of this I grabbed it. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers. This was drunk while listening to a bit of Alanis Morissette. I was a huge fan of “Jagged Little Pill” in my youth, but never rated the second album. Listening to it now I think I really underestimated it, it’s got a lot more weight than I gave it at the time.

Smuttynose: Murrikan Mild (USA: Mild: 4.2% ABV)

Visual: Pale gold. Thin white bubbled head.

Nose: Stewed banana and pineapple. Tangerine. Light hops.

Body: Slightly thin front. Tangerine and then sour grape sharpness. Slight peach syrup. Mainly white grapes. Maybe cooking apples.

Finish: White grapes. Light hop feel. Little to no bitterness. Apple.

Conclusion: Ok, aren’t milds usually dark? Like brown to black dark? Bah, next you will be telling me there is such a thing as a black IPA or some madness like that.

This beer seems unfortunately to not only be mild but also slightly thin with an almost watery character at times. A pity as the slightly sour grapes and tangerine character is pretty appealing, just oft lost to obscurity.

Indistinct and thus slightly forgettable. A great pity as smuttynose usually turn out a good mix.  Then again, mild is a surprisingly hard style to do well, doubly so it seems when you flaunt all the prior expectations of how to do the style.

It keeps just enough flavour to not be awful, but doesn’t qualify as good. Ah well.

Background:  A Smuttynose beer brewed just for a UK beer festival. Woo. I would say in your face America, apart from the fact it isn’t very good. Which kind of ruins my gloating. Damnit. Well I may have put USA as the place of origin as that is Smuttynoses home turf, but it seems this beer was actually brewed in the UK, at the Wadworth brewery. Now I had to double check the beer style, as I was convinced it would turn out not to be a mild after all. However general opinion is, despite its light colour, that it is a mild. Go figure. Smuttynose impressed me with their Big A IPA so when I heard they were doing a beer for Weatherspoons beer festival I thought I would check it out. Now I respect Weatherspoons for bringing a reasonable range of ales and bottled beers to a wide audience for a cheap price. I just usually don’t like going there. The atmosphere just isn’t my scene. However they do get some good beers in so I do keep an eye on the place.

Note: As seen in the comments, we have had a representative of Arbor Ales come past who says that the beer in the photo is not in fact Omega. Odd. In that case I have no idea what this beer is. I shall leave this review up as “Possible mystery brew” for now and if I come across the beer again I shall grab a half to compare. If the beer tastes significantly different I shall re review, otherwise I shall note it has been tried and found the same. Thanks to Jon from Arbor ales for the info

Arbor Ales: Ω (Omega) (England: Mild: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: A very dark reddish brown. A thin dash of froth for a head that leaves quite the rim around the glass.

Nose: Dry malt. Slight ash.

Body: Creamy and a touch of bitter. Malt drinks. The bitterness grows, as does the introduction of slight resinous traces. Some sweetness.

Finish: Dry hop bitterness and charring. Hop oils. Quite the hop air.

Conclusion: I have to blame my fellow drinker Will for picking this up. He made quite a satisfied noise on trying his sample, and so trusting him I picked it up sight unseen.

more fool I.

Yeah that’s never a good start to a review is it

It’s a texture really, creamy, resinous, kinda charred.  The texture is actually quite good. If you added some actual flavour in it would be sorted. I know it’s a mild, but this is kinda taking the mickey.

The flavour is bland and done in broad boring strikes. A nice touch of bitter and charring but not much else.

Kinda dull. I was far from disappointed when I reached the end of the glass. Sort of a real ale take on john smiths.

Background: Originally called Festival Mild, this new name, whilst far cooler, gives less hint of what it is.  I was wondering if it was a pun on Alpha acids being the main hop bitterness component but I can’t see any link in flavour that would tie that together. Unusually I had not tried a sampler before ordering this as a fellow drinker had grabbed a pint and made quite a satisfying “mmmm” noise when drinking, which I had taken as recommendation enough. This review took up the last pages of my current notebook.

Banks: Mild (England: Mild: 3.5% ABV)

Visual: Reddened chestnut with a dust of peanut coloured bubbles. Quite a chunk of small bubbled carbonation.

Nose: Treacle. Black cherry and musty rooms. Chestnuts.

Body:  Slightly tart, hard pastry. Brown bread. Bitter. Some black cherry. Slightly watery. Chocolate maltyness.

Finish: Wet and slightly thin. Licorice as it dries out. Some bitterness.

Conclusion: Mild by name, kinda dull by nature. I’ve been starting to understand milds after trying a few that managed to stand out from the crowds. This on the other hand, doesn’t help the cause.

Slight in all its elements, plus tad watery at times makes it one that doesn’t grab you.  Now it isn’t so bad that it’s going to end up under the “Vile Putrid filth” tag, but if I didn’t pay attention to it, then it would quickly fade into the background.

When the flavours are most evident then it is the roasted nuts and dry licorice that stands out the most. A contribution that can work, but doesn’t do so here.
A mild beer, but more importantly, a weak beer in most ways.

Severn Vale: Monumentale (England: Mild: 4.5%ABV)

Visual: Deep chestnut brown to ruby. Only a thin sheen over the top.

Nose: Chestnut. Blackcherry. Red grapes. Slightly vinous. Treacle and milk chocolate.

Body:  Liquorice. Chestnut. Slight charring and sour wine. White grapes. Slight bitter chocolate. Milky drinks.

Finish: Vinous again, grapes, white initially then red as well. Slightly sour. Some malt drink and dry roasted peanuts.

Conclusion: A very vinous mild, which results in a mild that is not mild in flavour or comparatively, in ABV. However despite that the mild character is distinct, it seems like they have taken mild as a mould into which they can pour their new concoction, as opposed to a base which needs to be adhered to.

It works, it works very well, even if it may drop some of the intentions for the mild’s purpose, it works well enough that I don’t mind the oddness of its placing in the beer hierarchy of usage.  Its slight style twisting is playful and considering the abvs that pass for session ales these days I guess you could fit it nicely into that style. Me I’m happier with just the one to take my time over and enjoy.

As it pushes the style far from its roots you could argue that it lacks a root purpose, but I find it more to have spread to have many potential purposes as discussed above, and would stand as a standard “pint at the bar” to boot

A lovely wine like mild then with just enough chocolate and roasted to suit it to the ground.

Background: Drunk at the Royal Oak.  On research this was apparently originally intended to be porter, and is listed as such on Rate Beer. However it is now listed as a “Strong Mild” on the tap and the beer definitely has a lot of mild ale characteristics so I am listing it as such.  My ever so considerate friends decided to light up during this tasting note, which helped not a jot.

Vale: Black Swan: Dark Mild (England: Mild: 3.8% ABV)

Visual: Very dark brown, light dust of a beige head.

Nose: Slightly sour, burnt notes. Elderberry and slight roasted nuts.

Body:  Elderberry, bitter. Slight rough texture and brambles.  Blackberry and peanuts.

Finish: Smooth. Light bitter chocolate. Charring. Peanut air. Plain crisps. Faintest fudge and gooseberries.

Conclusion: Now sometimes I think I just don’t get milds, but I realise it’s not that, its just its such a damn hard style to actually do right and not mistake mild for dull as hell.

Now from that intro you may be forgiven for thinking I’m about to treat this beer as a repository for some bile I’ve been backing up, but you would be wrong. I mean, it’s not a super exciting beer, it is a mild after all, but it’s a pint that comes with its own snacks, or so it seems.

By that I mean it has nice subtle peanuts and crisps flavours that are light but add a nice character to the beer. Alongside the very slight sourness it does give enough flavour without breaking the milds intentionally inoffensive styling.

So as you may have guessed, not shocking great, but a beer with a very traditional pub character. One for drinking at the dartboard or over a pool game I think.

Background: So milds huh?  One I’m often wary of, though I’ve had enough good ones that I give them a try every now and then. In this case I was looking for something a bit lighter ABV for the night so thought a return to this style would be the thing to do. While taking the photo, Dylan kept trying to get a v sign into the shot, I think I did ok at keeping the publicity hound off the screen.

Arbor Ales: Inferiority Complex (England: Mild: 3.4% ABV)

Visual: Dark brown, thin frothy layer of beige head.

Nose: Milky chocolate and coffee, slight black cherry sourness and slight brandy cream.

Body: Burnt undertones, chocolate malt middle. Roasted nuts and light chalkiness. Perfume.

Finish: Burnt wood, oak. Slightly bitter. Red wine with sediment. Coffee granules. Long bitterness.

Conclusion: A pretty steadfast beer with a slightly flowery perfumed touch.  Its sets itself on the careful balance of not being too harsh or pushing any rough notes whilst still keeping itself interesting. Combine that with its ABV and that slight perfume refresher and we are looking at a beer with its eye firmly set on the session market.

Guess it could do the job, but I wouldn’t find myself jumping with joy at the opportunity.  It’s got a nice rounded roasted back and fresh finish, decent enough flavour, so I wouldn’t be weeping either.

Does the job, but not special.   Most of the quality comes in the finish.  The light done coffee and chocolate hold sits ground without getting annoying until that refreshing final lilt comes in.  A distinctly classy touch in an otherwise just ok beer.

Background: Arbor Ales can be a bit hit or miss with me, but generally they don’t tend to do terribly.  This one was tried in a fine local tavern with music and good company.  Mild ales tend not to be my favourite I will admit.

Brewdog: Edge (Scotland: Mild: 3.2% ABV)

Visual: A dark tanned brown with a cappuccino froth head that is solid and creamy.

Nose: Creamy, cappuccino and nutmeg. Cinnamon. Terrys chocolate orange (well the orange part if that makes sense), walnut and pineapple.   As the froth lightens the nose does likewise.

Body: Charring, solid bitter with just a hint of grapefruit hops. Malt chocolate. Slight rough texture. Good dose of popcorn texture/flavour and dry hops.

Finish: Bitter and charring, peanuts. Light pineapple, chalk, then the bitterness rides on in.

Conclusion: Mild as a style, has never really clicked for me. Mainly as when it succeeds in its aims the most it seems least like a type of beer I enjoy.

This however is a surprisingly solid pint, the Brewdog standard grapefruit and pineapple hops are weaved lightly throughout the solid bitter core. It’s a balanced malty and bitter body combined with low enough ABV to make for a sturdy session pint.

Doesn’t make me rave about the style, but definitely makes me re-examine what can be done with it.

 

(The usual Disclaimer: I am not 100% unbiased on Brewdog beers, but I do try my best)

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