Tag Archive: Robinson

Robinson: Beardo (England: IPA: 6% ABV)

Visual: Clean gold. Good amount of small bubbled carbonation. Thin mound of an off white head that leaves suds.

Nose: Pine fresh spray. Lime. Cardboard. Cake sponge. Wood polish.

Body: Sulphur. Some hop character. Popcorn. Cardboard. Kiwi. Cut apples. Malt drink. Solid bitterness. Slight chalk.

Finish: Kiwi. Vanilla toffee. Cardboard. Nettle tea. Some tannins. Gritty bitterness. Charring. Sulphur. Brown bap rolls.

Conclusion: What is it about otherwise good breweries turning out really dull and uninspiring IPAs recently? Though at least this one is recognisable as an IPA, even if it is not a good one. It has bitterness but just in a cardboard and charred way – it has hop character but kind of gritty and rough in that.

This follows through into the malt – kind of dull, some vanilla and some dull malt drinks. The fruit hop flavours that you would expect of a craft IPA are there in a green fruit way, but very underwhelming. The entire beer has a sulphurous touch in an old British IPA way, but without the rest of the British IPA notes that make that work.

It feels like a British IPA style, trying to do the USA style hops without changing anything else and therefore not getting the point of either. It is dull, flawed and rough edged. Admittedly still a better IPA than Indie Pale Ale, but like that has a lager feeling edge that weakens it, again without gaining any of the benefits of that style.

This is a genuinely bad beer – it takes the weak points of everything it is inspired by and puts in in one beer. It isn’t isn’t utterly ruined from the brewing standpoint – but from the combined elements it has that don’t work it becomes a very bad beer. Genuinely avoid this one.

Background: This was a birthday gift from my mate Tony. Many thanks. Even though it is shit 🙂 He did also give me other, not shit, beers. Robinson’s are generally a good brewery, but never really struck me as craft, so I was in mixed mind about this, obviously craft inspired, beer. Not much else to say put some No Doubt on while drinking. That is about it.

Robinsons: Old Tom (England: Old Ale: 8.5% ABV)

Visual: Chestnut brown to mahogany body that is clear and still. Thick off white head.

Nose: Raisins. Port. Sherry soaked fruitcake to Christmas pudding. Earthy hop character. Slight chalk. Vinous – sour wine.

Body: Christmas pudding. Charring. Bitter chocolate. Sour red wine. Slight chalk. Earthy hops. Cherries. Peppery. Sour grapes.

Finish: Christmas pudding. Sultanas. Bitter chocolate cake. Earthy hops. Peppery bitterness. Sour grapes. Dry.

Conclusion: Whoop! I’m on an old ale roll now after a long time without – this coming fairly shortly after Marble‘s barrel aged old ale. This one is less challenging and less complex as a beer, but also comes in at less than half the price while still being a fairly complex one – which is a reasonable trade off. This is a beer from my early days of experimentation and it seems that it still holds up.

This is less sour than most of the style, with only a light sour note matched with a real Christmas pudding style heaviness as its solid core. Matched with that a similarly solid British style early hop character – with a peppery character as well as the earth, grounding with moderate bitterness.

However amongst that grounded character, against the sour vinous elements with it you get a big fruitiness – a sultana packed fruitcake character that make up a big wodge of the contrast, but even here everything is just slightly savoury with only a few sweeter hints. It is amazing how they can push the Christmas pudding without making it feel overly sweet and also having such low sweetness without the overall character feeling dull. For all the chalk notes, peppery and earthy notes it still feels like it is not pushing the grounding notes overly heavily and because of that it feels like a complex and rewarding beer.

It is not up there with the more experimental old ales that have come since, but looking back it it, it blows my mind that a beer this good and non standard is so easy to buy in the UK. A beer you can buy in the supermarket that is an old ale that gives easy access to a world of flavour that most beers in the same place will not reach. Good as an accessible gateway into something different and good as a beer in itself.

Background: This was a Christmas gift from a colleague – many thanks. Old Tom is a fairly common beer to find in supermarkets, so was one of the earliest of Michael Jackson’s 500 Great Beers that I tried. So this is a bit of a nostalgia drink here. I saw The Eels were on tour again this year – unfortunately nowhere near me – so put on the Beautiful Freak album – a bit of nostalgia for me again. It matches up, right?

The Trooper

Robinsons: Trooper (England: ESB: 4.7% ABV)

Visual: Golden brown. Inch of toffee touched head.

Nose: Chestnut. Cumin. Light mild ginger. Light citrus notes. Lemon and apricot.

Body: Citrus. Apricot. Nutty back. Slightly thin up front but grows. Tart grapefruit. Lots of lemon sherbet. Some prickly hops.

Finish: Hop oils. Chestnut and lemon. Fresh feel. Lightly bitter. Peanuts hang around.

Conclusion: BEER? FROM A METAL SINGER. IF METAL MAKES BEER THEN WE SHALL MAKE BEER….METAL. Ok, ok, ill stop channelling Dethklok.

Now this beer is NICELY CITRUS, LIKE ….ok, ok, I’ll actually stop. This joke will get old fast, reading in all caps is a pain in the arse.  The beer is nicely citrus filled (like they have been plucked from the garden of eden revisited by necromantic hordes of fruit pickers) with a huge amount of fresh lemon mid body that keeps it very easy to drink, but balanced against a reigned in (blood) nutty backdrop.

Initially in the first few moments it seems slightly thin, not delivering the flavour well, but you find it builds up (as if the daemons of hell rising through a….ok, I think this joke is getting old as well, I’ll just do a normal review from now on) nicely over time. The flavours are refreshing and slightly sharp and somewhat sherbet like.

It is more a balanced beer than a big beer, the hops prickle, appropriately for a beer linked with Iron Maiden, but they aren’t the main focus and are quite mild compared to similar beers. The solid nutty back goes out way into the finish, which makes it probably the most present element.  The elements are always balanced, but never quite brings the wow factor to shine.

It is definitely and enjoyable and refreshing pint, with smooth citrus flavour, but it does not stand out, and is far from METAL!

No complaints, but no high praise either.

Background; A beer brewed in collaboration with Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden. Holy crap. I may be a bit of an Iron Maiden fan, so this instantly leapt onto beers I must try. I hadn’t realised this was out yet, until Mark gave me a heads up that it was available in Morrisons. So I headed over, grabbed a bottle, and a few other tasty treats to review at a later date.  Oddly I did not drink this while listening to Iron Maiden. Instead I drank in silence, to allow me to experience every song and live gig in my head so to transcend mere physical sound in appreciating their wonder. That bit may be a lie. I fact I left it silent as I play music on my computer and the day was so bloody hot that I wasn’t adding even a CPU core of heat to the mix. However I feel the original explanation sounds cooler.


Robinson’s Brewery: Build A Rocket Boys!(England: Golden Ale: 4% ABV)

Visual: Copper to gold. Large crisp head of loose bubbles that mounds in the middle. Lots of carbonation.

Nose: Crisp. Wheaty. Light caramel. Light crisp hoppiness.

Body: Nutty, malt and moderate bitterness. Malt drinks. Walnut. Light fudges sweetness. Touch of crystallised fruit sugar

Finish: Peanuts. Dry wheat hops. Slight hop oil. Fudge touch.

Conclusion: A very light and crisp beer here. A nice level of bitterness akin to that found in the decent German lagers, with just a touch of fudge and malt sweetness into a crisp wheat like finish. There is a very easy drinking quality to it, the bitterness refreshing but not bracing or assaulting.

It comes in as a competent beer, but I couldn’t find a hook to grab and appreciate it by. No elements really declares what the beer is all about. It seems close to a real ale interpretation of the Kolsch style. It is pleasant and with a simplicity in it’s balance of malt sweetness to hops. While the hop finish may be off putting to a lighter lager drinking it could make a good step stone to ales for those who are used to the hoppier lagers.

So, none too bad, but not one to get excited about. A nice but unassuming ale.

Background: The bottle top says “Robinson’s Unicorn Brewery, but all web searches just say Robinson’s Brewery so I’m going with that. This beer was the brainchild of the band “Elbow”, brewed at Robinson’s brewery and named after one of Elbow’s albums. Since I have been playing the end levels of Sonic Generations recently the name of the beer got that bloody annoying “Rocket!” sound effect stuck in my head. I won’t hold that against the beer though. This is one of a set of beers I found waiting for me when I visited the family back up north. Knowing I’m a beer nut they got a few beers in for me to review. You can’t beat a family like that can you.

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