Tag Archive: Wiper and True


Wiper and True: IDLES: Joy As An Act Of Resistance IPA: Collaboration Series 14 (England: IPA: 6.2% ABV)

Visual: Dark caramel brown, with visible sediment bits floating within. Thin off white head.

Nose: Palma violets. Fresh blackcurrant. Lime cordial. Black-cherry jam. Cake sponge. Light hop character. Strawberry.

Body: Palma violets. Cake sponge. Blueberry. Blackcurrant cordial.

Finish: Lime cordial. Blackcurrant cordial. Cake sponge. Palma violets. Light earthy bitterness. Slight rocky to charring notes. Pepper. Sage and generally herbal.

Conclusion: This doesn’t feel super IPA like, it owes more to the special ingredients and seems to just use the IPA character as a dry drinkable base to work from, albeit with a bit of cake sponge weight from the malt load.

The blackcurrant is tart and gives a lovely, natural tasting, fruitiness but that tartness the fruit brings make the body feel a tad lighter with it. You do get a lot for that trade off though – the flavours are fresh, backed by light herbal notes for some range.

While it is a good set of flavours it does feel like the base beer could pull its weight a bit more as the berry character is very dominant. What I do like in though is a subtle palma violet sweets style character, an element that adds a kind of noble hop like character throughout the whole beer. Now I know violets were used to make this, but I’m fairly sure violets don’t taste like the sweets palma violets. I think. Amy which way I love this slightly odd, sweet note and what it adds to the beer.

I have to admit I would like a slightly brewed up, slightly higher abv version of this. Something to give a bigger body to contend with the thinning the blackcurrant brings – but, I am still enjoying this as it is. Slightly light but still a drinkably dry body, nice fruit tartness and light herbal complexity really works for the beer overall.

So, it could be improved on, made to be a great beer , but as is it is solid, different and still worth drinking.

Also IDLES fucking rock.

Background: So, Wiper and True are rock solid with their beers – love them, The Kernal of the south west in my opinion. Loved them for ages. IDLES, the band, I only found out about within the past few months but now love also – their new album that this beer is named after is a work of anger and emotional vulnerability that spits in the eye of toxic masculinity with a mix of the Clash and post hardcore punk. So yes I was going to buy this when I saw it at Independent Spirit. Anyway this is an IPA made with hibiscus, blackcurrant and violet. Ok, not what I expected – as you can probably see from the bottle they list IBU, hop choice, malt choice, all the info you need to know about the beer, which I always appreciate. So I put some Spice Girls on while drinking this…juuuust kidding, Joy As An Act Of Resistance, natch.

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Wiper and True: Amber Ale: Red Orange (England: Amber Ale: 4.8% ABV)

Visual: Treacle to dark brown. Only amber hints at the edges. Large browned mound of forth head.

Nose: Malt chocolate. Bright oranges. Pine needles. Passion-fruit. Grape touch,

Body: Good bitterness. Palma violets. Vanilla toffee. Mandarin orange. Prickly hops. Gooseberry. Greenery. Light resin. Pine. General oranges. White bread.

Finish: Rye crackers. Vanilla toffee. Orange crème. Menthol notes. Mint leaves. Tangerine. Chocolate dust. Pepper.

Conclusion: You know, for a beer called an Amber Ale, this is murky brown as hell on the eye. I’ve seen bike and trolley filled ponds that were easier to see through than this. Still, I can live with that as the beer tastes bloody great.

There is an odd mix of a grounded hop character, pine and resinous hops which are used as a prickly, grounded base – which then put against a real bright burst of mandarin, tangerine, and just, well, orange notes.

On taste I would say it doesn’t fit quite under what I would expect of an Amber Ale either – for all that the style definition is loose in the first place. It has IPA style hop flavour in places, and a real ale ESB style use of malts. However, whatever the hell it is, it does well. The more down to earth malt usage brings out almost rye beer style dry spice and pepper – it pushes both the bright and the grounded characteristic out as far as it can without feeling overdone for a general drinking beer – and it manages to define them very well.

Really malty, really orange hopped with mild, but solid bitterness and prickly hop character. Just a tiny touch away from being a favourite, but genuinely a beer worth a try. You don’t get something that push the grounded and the bright so well without compromising either done so well often.

Wiper and True pull out yet another really good beer.

Background: Been a while since I have done notes on Wiper and True beers -still grab them regularly on tap when out and about, just never done notes. So decided to grab one of their Amber Ales again from Independent Spirit – W&T really seem to have the nack of the Amber Ales down pat. Wiper and True are one of those great quality breweries that use kind of generic labels so it is really hard to tell at a glance if you have tried the beer before or not. Ah well, it works for The Kernel, so should work for Wiper and True. Which reminds me, not done notes of Kernel beers for ages either. Anyway, put on the electronic mathcore oddity that is “The Algorithm” while drinking this. Not to everyone’s taste but weird intricate, computer sounding music that works for me.

Wiper and True Porter Plum Pudding

Wiper and True: Porter: Plum Pudding (England: Porter: 6.5% ABV)

Visual: Opaque black. Large creamy brown froth head.

Nose: Grated chocolate dust. Roasted notes and crushed peanuts. Slightly wheaty. Slight cloying sour touch. Mulled wine. Slight tart berries.

Body: Bitter cocoa. Roasted nuts. Coriander. Slight charring. Cinnamon sticks and light greenery. Slight sour berries.

Finish: Grated bitter chocolate and cocoa dust. Coriander. Light chalk. Cinnamon sticks. Toasted teacakes. Greenery. Slight tart berries.

Conclusion: Ok, I think by naming this Plum Pudding they were misleading expectations. Not too much, they were aiming for a Christmas theme it seems and this is a Christmas themed beer – but it feels more like mulled beverages than it calls to mind plum anything for me.

So – Setting myself a new rule 1- now I have mentioned that fact, and now I will here express mild disappointment in that fact – with that done, now I will look at it as how it works as a mulled spice beer and judge it as that rather than as a Plum Pudding beer.

Ok, now that is done, let’s split this into how well the porter base works, and how well the spice and pizazz on top of that works. The base is very solid – bitter cocoa and chocolate, slightly roasted with a well balanced mouthfeel. Not light, not thick – a good look when you are doing a porter rather than a stout, something smooth, but with just a bit of weight. It leans towards the darker, more bitter and charred flavours without being dominated by them. Not much in the way of sweetness and a surprising lack of coffee notes considering how popular that has been with porters for a while now. It, like a lot of Wiper and True stuff, is utterly rock solid and works its slight harsh edges well.

However the base, solid as it is, is not special. As just that I would be impressed but not enthralled. The spice is, well, the spice to the meal. I’m not a huge spice beer kind of guy, but here it is present while avoiding omnipresence. Kind of my preferred use for spice. Lots of cinnamon sticks in there – not sweetly done – kind of done drier, mixing in with coriander and greenery flavours that come out. Very much an understated mulled beer, which works a lot better than I expected it to on the first few sips.

On top of that there is even -and I don’t know if this comes from base malt, hops or extra ingredients – a light tart berries character that just about manages to keep the spice and dark notes from becoming too harsh.

So, not a … forgive me for this … not a plum choice (Oh I am going to hell for that one. And for being an atheist), but solid as hell, very high quality mulled style porter. Not quite must have, but you won’t regret giving it a go.

Background: Grabbed from Independent Spirit, this is one of my semi regular returns to Wiper and True’s stuff. They are a very solid one to return to and tend to go from good to exceptional. This is a porter made with mixed fruit, cinnamon and lemon zest. I have no idea if any of the mixed fruit is, in fact, plums. Not much else to say apart from I was expecting this to be at least good going in.

wiper-and-true-toast-collaboration-08-amber-ale-bread-pudding

Wiper and True: Toast: Collaboration 08: Amber Ale – Bread Pudding (England: Amber Ale: 6.4% ABV)

Visual: Overripe banana to caramel brown, with a murky, cloudy mid body. A mounded inch of toffee touched white froth for a head.

Nose: Bread and butter pudding to spotted dick (The dessert). Suet. Light strawberry. Fresh. Lightly milky.

Body: Strawberry and cherries. Milky. Cinnamon. Bread pudding. Moderate hop character and bitterness. Slight resin. Mild passion fruit and dried mango. Kiwi. White grapes.

Finish: Cherries in bread pudding. Semolina. Strawberry. Light bitterness. Light kiwi. Milky. Light pine and resin. Toast and dried mango. Hop bitterness grows. Slight hop oils and herbal character. Slight granite.

Conclusion: Wiper and True’s Amber Ales were the first beers of their that really brought them to my attention. Slightly resinous and herbal matched with red fruit sweetness – I bring that up as those are characteristics that this thing also wears on its sleeves. The bread pudding characteristics are more subtle. There is an added milkiness to the beer, and while it is subtle, the bread pudding character is still definitely there – but it it is more a backdrop for the fruitier elements.

I actually find the subtlety of the bread influence mid body odd as in the aroma it is pretty overwhelming. It is kind of raisin packed, but still definitely bread pudding. In way I am glad that the body has much more going on, as it would be a bit simple otherwise, but I am also mildly disappointed as I would loved to have seen more of what that characteristic could do. But, aye they probably made the right choice – if it had been bread pudding dominated it would have become wearing pretty quickly I guess.

This is pretty far from wearing or one note – good red fruit malt characteristics, subtle dried tropical fruit from the hops that rises up to dominate as it warms, nice bready backdrop and a very nice toast character to the finish. Combined with the aforementioned resin and herbal elements and the hop oil sheen it gives a lot to get your teeth into.

Frankly, you can’t go wrong with this beer. Amber Ale is a kind of hit and miss style for me – the style is pretty wide open to definition so often you are not quite sure what you will get. Here though, Wiper and True have, again, hit it out of the park. Am I disappointed it didn’t do more with the bread character? Yes. Does that make it anything less than an excellent beer? No. This is freaking great.

Background: I liked the idea of this one – Wiper and True working with Toast, who put their profits to try and fight food waste. It is made with brandy soaked raisins, and some of the malt replaced with leftover bread, and some lactose as well. An odd set. I refer to Wiper and True as The Kernel of the west. Very good quality and I highly recommend them. Drank while listening to The Algorithm: Brute Force again. They work well as drinking music for me – intense, but without words to intrude on the writing. The beer was grabbed from Independent Spirit.

Wiper and True Wheat Beer White

Wiper and True: Wheat Beer: White (England: Wheat Ale: 4.4% ABV)

Visual: Pale hazy lemon juice with large white mounded froth head. Moderate carbonation. The head leaves lace.

Nose: Jiff lemon. Key lime and fresh wheat character.

Body: Lightly earthy. Light lime and key lime pie mix. Kiwi. Pepper. Wheaty. Empty middle. Sulphur. Apricot. Soft lemon.

Finish: Earthy notes and bitterness. Wheaty. Light salt character. Kiwi. Sulphur. Apricot.

Conclusion: You know, if I had salt I would add a few grains to this. Chris from Independent Spirit has mentioned several times that it can help with weak mid body beers. I have never tested it but trust his knowledge on such things. Unfortunately I don’t currently have any salt. Yes I am a freak. I just don’t actually use salt that much so never have any in. Probably for the best for tasting note purposes. Adding extra bits may be cheating.

Anyway, as you may have guessed from the above, this has a thin middle. A pity as the aroma, though simple, promised a lovely mix of wheat character and green fruit hops. I mean, that is, in fact, the body you kind of get, backed by earthy and spicy notes – however most of the notes are very lightly done, and the body is slightly thin, which means that the earthy, simple wheat body dominates. I was hoping the loss of the other notes was due to excessive coolness, but I have given the beer plenty of time to warm and to no avail.

It really is just a case that the fruit notes of the aroma are there but too weak to do any good. It does feel like just a small raise in intensity would shove the whole beer from bad to decent or better. It doesn’t have to be super intense, just a a modest raise.

So, a rare beer from Wiper and True that I don’t like and in general a weak beer, so not that much to say here. It is sulphurous and earthy and even feels a tad watery, combine that with a slight salt note in the finish and it occasionally tastes slightly sweaty. So, not a good beer, very much not a good beer.

Ah well, no company bats 100%.

Background: I’m a big fan of Wiper and True, so much so I refer to them as “The Kernel of the west country” – not tried any of their wheat beers before. Was glad to get to use the wheat ale glass again – it is probably the least used of the three beer style designed glasses I was given at Christmas by craft beer sis. Drunk while listening to various Miracle Of Sound tracks.

Michael at Wiper and True Tap Takeover Beer Emporium

Hey everyone, sorry updates have been irregular, one of those weeks. The ever great Wiper and True did a tap takeover at the Beer Emporium and I got a chance to try a bunch of their beers, as well as chat with Michael of Wiper and True (Many thanks for the info and for the photo). No notes unfortunately, so I’ll do a quick summary as they were very interesting.

Wiper and True beers seem to handle cask and keg better than bottle, nearly every beer I’ve tried of theirs works just slightly better on tap. Milk Shake was there on cask, thicker and as such living up much better to its namesake. they had a new recipe Sorachi Ace IPA which I beg them to keep as the recipe, it was spot on, with more sweetness than before and excellent expression of the hop character. As a Sorachi Ace nut I may have drank more of that than I should that night.

They had Ella Amber Ale on – I’ve run into this one a few times – Ella is quickly becoming another favourite hop and it matches well with the Amber Ale, which seems to be a style that W&T really have a handle on. I’ll try and grab full notes some time as it is really fresh and fruity. To prove the point they also had a Rye and Citra Amber Ale which was even fresher and with wonderful feel. Seriously, if you see a Wiper and True Amber Ale try it, they have a rock solid record on these.

For something even more special they had a single keg of Sour Cherry on keg – tasting like a sour porter with cherries it was an excellent smooth and fruity nightcap. All in all a seriously good night. One Wiper and True member even took to serving behind the bar to really give the beer the personal touch.

Anyway, more notes, and hopefully a full article up next week. Enjoy your beer!

Wiper and True IMBC Gose

Wiper and True: IMBC: Gose (England:Traditional – Gose: 3.3% ABV)

Visual: Pale lemon juice. Huge tight bubble white froth for head, which leaves a lot of sud trails as the beer is drunk. Quite a lot of small bubbled carbonation to the body.

Nose: Sour cream. Lemon curd. Tiny sulphur. Coriander. Sour dough. Hard boiled eggs. Palma violets.

Body: Gentle mouth feel. Light lemon. Prickly feel. Salt and pepper. Soft white bread. Noble hop feel and bitterness.

Finish: Sour dough and wholemeal bread. Fresh. Some sulphur and boiled eggs. Pepper. Light salt. Light wheaty character. Hop oils

Conclusion: My third gose review! Compared to the last one this is a somewhat simpler beast to get a handle on. It this was a “normal” beer then it would be a gentle, slight lemony, summer beer, low abv, easy to drink, and easy going.

It isn’t a quote unquote normal beer. It is the eternal enigma of the gose, so…

What we have here is a beer with a cloyed sour bread aroma to it, slight sulphur, or egg imagery to it. It feels and smells like reigned in cousin of a whisky mash tun. Though of course, this is a much more enjoyable drink, and doesn’t knock you out if you breath in too hard. I assume. I will admit I didn’t test that last one for health and safety reasons.

It also has that salt character I am coming to link with gose, not heavily in flavour, but the fact that it is rapidly thirst inducing. It all makes for something quite odd – the flavour says easy and just mildly tart, but easy time you dip your head to the glass you are engulfed by big bready sour aroma that utterly encloses the environment you drink in.

It is a charming conceit, despite how unusual it sounds, it feels a bit like a working meal pint. Something to go with a ploughman’s sandwich, or other savoury foods, in the middle of the day. Despite being amused by it, I can’t see it slipping into a standard beer session, or having just as an easy going beer. It does feel like a good complement for food, but it doesn’t quite grab me as a beer by itself.

Again, I describe more that critique – this is not a favourite beer, but of the two “More traditional” gose I have had this is more open and easier to get a hold on. Possibly due to being the less traditional of the two. An experience, and a pint with a purpose, but not one I would have for general consumption.

Background: Continuing experimentation with the Gose style to try and get a handle on this rare style. Apparently this is the less authentic of the two I picked up – though I don’t have the experience on this style to comment. Anyway, drunk, with the now very common background of the Guilty Gear XX music. Picked up from Independent Spirit.

Wiper and True Doctor Strangelove

Wiper and True: Extract Coffee Roasters: Dr Strangelove (England: IPA: 6.8% ABV)

Visual: Hazy toffee brown. Inch and a half of toffee coloured loose bubbled frothy head.

Nose: Mild peach. Pineapple. Never heavy. Cold steeped coffee. Little spice touches, maybe spiced orange. Again everything is mild.

Body: Creamy toffee. Moderate to high bitterness. Spiced orange. Quite restrained flavours. Coffee touched malt backbone. Peach. Coconut. Very smooth.

Finish: Cold coffee. Blood orange. Jelly babies, but not that sweet. Apricot. Malt chocolate. Coconut.

Conclusion: You know, I may, very occasionally, I would like to emphasise – may – rant about the number of adjectives that now get used before the word IPA. However… This is so brown IPA it hurts.

Yes, I’m a hypocrite. Live with it.

It’s not just the coffee used that makes me say that. in fact the coffee is actually remarkably restrained in it. The coffee is there, especially in the finish, but generally it mixes with the malt base to create a soothing, solid backbone for the hops.

Now, the only brown IPA I have encountered before this is Pirate Badger Attacks -and despite some similarity between the two, I am more referring to this as a brown IPA because of how the coffee and malt seems to interact resulting in a more restrained hop flavours character.

Not the bitterness let me add, that part is pretty big, but the fruit flavours from the hops are more mellow, less sharp and obvious – more integrated is probably the best way to put it. It all creates a more subtle and layered beer. The fruit is peach and blood orange, which would normally be very fresh, but here it has none of the sharpness, and less of the obvious fruit sugars than you would expect. Instead, much like a lot of black IPAs, the character is much closer linked with the malt. Here you get a lot of sweetness from the malt side, and it feels like the individual elements are all part of that. Like the orange part of a choc orange if that makes for a good comparison.

Overall it is very impressive – light coconut undertones on a solid malt base with subtle coffee layers, big bitterness and integrated fruitiness. It feels like a complex beer and yet an ovaltine night cap and soother at the same time.

A use of coffee in a lighter beer that I actually enjoy. That is a welcome shock.

Background: Ok, and IPA blended with shots of Extract Coffee Roasters’ Strangelove espresso. That is by far not the weirdest idea I have heard. Wiper and True have been pretty damn solid so far, so I thought I would give it a try – though Coffee IPAs have not been much of a hit with me so far. There is a whole host of detail about the beers ingredients on the label, and the info that it is 55 IBU. It is quite a nice touch. Picked up from Independent Spirit, of course.

Wiper and True Sorachi Ace IPA

Wiper and True: India Pale Ale: Sorachi Ace (England: IPA: 7.1%)

Visual: Cloudy banana to apricot. Large tight bubbled froth head of a toffee touched hue.

Nose: Toffeeish malt. Lemon grass. Crisp hops. Bubble gum. Vanilla.

Body: Good bitterness. Greenery. Lemongrass. Tannins. Dry attenuated malt body. Sour cream. Dried apricot.

Finish: Lemongrass. Seaweed wrap. Bitter hops. Charring. Sour cream and chives. Malt chocolate. Toffee.

Conclusion: This is a pretty heavily attenuated beer by the taste of it. It reminds me as much of the style’s close cousin , the APA as it does an IPA. While, because of this, it lacks the sweetness of IPA Is Dead’s Sorachi Ace, it is probably equal in how well it manages to express the hop. Lots of lemongrass and general grassiness or greenery, along with that slight bubblegum weirdness.

There is differences in the expression, here, from the interactions with the attenuated base, it gets a slight sour cream and chives style which leaves you in shock as your dry mouth fills with this new flavour.

I do prefer the IID version, but this has a sheer balls out harshness to it that actually appeals rather than repulses. It isn’t a refreshing beer, quite the opposite, nor is it an easy drinking beer. I am however happily drinking away at it as it does horrible things to my mouth.

Maybe I’m just a masochist. Which would explain a lot. Like why I’m getting topped by a beer.

Or maybe it is just that this takes an already marmite crowd splitter of a hop and doubles down hard. For fans of sorachi ace this is harsh but fun, for people who were on the fence … well, this may not be for them. By which I mean run while you still can.

Now, there is some toffee sweetness but it gets drowned out more often than not. To my mind this is a desiccated, drying, grassy, lemon touched beer. It almost demands food accompaniment in order to contrast its uncompromising edges. While I prefer other beers, I have to respect that. Quality and full of character.

Background; You know, I can see what they are doing with the labels, having a label style by beer style rather than a different one for each beer. Makes it easy to pick out beers by style. Yeah. Great, but IT MAKES IT BLOODY HARD TO TELL WHICH BEER IS WHICH AT A GLANCE. I almost missed this, before noticing that as well as being an IPA, it was a sorachi ace IPA. I’m a big sorachi ace fan, and Wiper and True have been spot on with most of their beers. So I grabbed it. Drunk while listening to some Streets of Rage OCR Remixes. Because I never claimed not to be a geek. This was grabbed from Independent Spirit. Yes again.

Wiper and True Milk Shake Stout

Wiper and True: Stout: Milk Shake (England: Sweet Stout: 5.1% ABV)

Visual: Black. Still. Needs a good pour to bring up a coffee to ash coloured thin head.

Nose: Charring. Roasted character. Bitter. Milky, yet bitter chocolate mix. Vanilla and cream.

Body: Smooth. Sugared almonds. Treacle. Chocolate liquore. Roasted nuts. Black cherry. Cadbury’s cream eggs. Toffee.

Finish: Chocolate liquore. Vanilla and caramel. Black cherry. Cream. Bitter chocolate dust.

Conclusion: I think I need to ignore the milk shake name when doing this review. No, not quite ignore, there are chocolate milkshake elements. I just need to manage my expectations, that is all. It is a milk stout, it isn’t going to have that super thick milk shake like texture that the bigger beers can bring.

What it does bring is a slightly thin treacle and chocolate liquore feel that meets an actual chocolate and vanilla cream filled milkshake flavour. It has the taste at times, just not the feel. It is head scratching on how the two elements can stand side by side. The thin, treacle, more traditional milk stout elements are not bad, but alongside the bigger condensed cream and chocolate elements you cannot help but be a bit dissatisfied when they come out. They are by far the weaker side.

This review has been a bit of a downer so far, for a beer that, even at its low points, is still a solid milk stout. So, let’s try to remedy that by looking more at the positive points.

It has elements of very old school roasted stouts in the aroma, and a very good lactose take to the sweet end of the beer that tastes very milkshake, even when it doesn’t feel it. This mix of tradition and new style does show a balanced interpretation of the beer.

Overall it is a good milk stout, the weird thin treacle may let it down, but in general it is a beer that does the job.

Background: See that label. Fairly eye catching eh? Could recognize it at a distance? That seems to be the label for every damn stout Wiper and True do. Now I am a fan of their beers, but it is really hard to see what is new at a glance. Shoot, with the text on the side and small it is actually slightly harder than recognizing The Kernels brown paper bag style labels. At least each beer style has a different picture, so it is just the exact beer name that is hard to discern. Anyway, rant over, this is my first bottle review of a Wiper and True and was picked up from Independent Spirit of Bath. Again.

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