I can smell Hibernation Ale a mile away. And I can see it easily too, a deep luxurious muddy clay brown, infused with hues of red brick.
The long distance aroma is chocolate and cream with a whiff of pungent hop. The taste is dampened by a hint of Utterly Butterly that fades as the beer frees from it’s fridge temperature. It’s tantalisingly fizzy, the perfect carbonisation to hold the flavours, aroma and mouthfeel in one ready-to-go package.
This is one for autumn, equalling adept for curling up with or washing down a seasonal pizza. It’d certainly warm you up after a long autumnal walk, but it’s a strong one though, so best take it slow.
Hibernation slow…Read the rest of this entry » Tags: autumn, great divide, hibernation
There’s Belgian style IPAs (whatever that is) and then there’s Belgian Style IPAs (whatever they are).
This is the latter.
It’s sweet beyond belief, with a wispy wheat-led aroma that places a strong sense of doubt on it’s IPA credentials. But treat it like a lady and there’s a distinct hop bitterness to it that belies it’s Belgian façade.
To say this is a mix of styles is an understatement. To say it doesn’t work would be…wrong. It’s a fascinating beer. At various sips and gulps it showcases flavours of ice cream, bitterness, lemon and a hint of vanilla smoothie – all the product of Euro/US hops and Belgian malt blended into a very light sandy golden beer of mammoth taste and enviable sweetness.
All that and I don’t think I gave it a fair crack of the Roman whip, as I shared it on a train home from London with a stranger who may have become an acquaintance had I not lost their business card later on in the pub.
This is one for the beer hunters and I’m wasting no time in tracking down again.
Tags: belgian, belgica, great divide, india pale ale, IPA
Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Co.
Style: Belgian Style India Pale Ale
It all started with an off the cuff comment on Twitter (as so much does these days!). I mentioned on my personal twitter account that I had ‘some cracking beers in’ but wasn’t really in the mood for sitting with pencil and notebook. Not that I don’t enjoy sitting with an artisan beer disecting all of the tastes and fancy words I can conjure up, but I simply wanted to forget all that and just get lost in the beer.
Because I was contemplating some fantastic beers that I’d been waiting to open for some time. These were beers I’d heard about, read about and almost dreamed about opening.
A few other beer bloggers wearily heading back from beer festivals and Scoop singing the praises of BrewDog’s RipTide I headed for the beer cupboard but all I really wanted were my staple favourites to drink, beers I can always fall back on as discussed in my post on emergency beers – a Goose Island Honkers, a Brooklyn Lager and a Peroni Gran Reserva were exactly what I needed. But with encouragement from other beer tweeps and Reluctant I crumbled! Read the rest of this entry »Tags: atlanic ipa, bashah, BrewDog, IPA, little creatures, paradox, rip tide, stone, tasting, twitter, x factor
I should have taken more note of the hop image that dominates the label of Prima Pils. It’s not exactly inconspicuous!
Thinking this would be a typical pils with an American influence I wasn’t expecting the almost overpowering hop aroma that exudes from this beer.
Hops rule supreme throughout the taste as well, bold, floral, fruity with an abundance of resin punching over everything. The lupulin is strong in this one!
You can see (well, taste) the similarities with Victory’s Hop Devil, a monstrous and complex ale. Here too they are to put it lightly ‘on the strong side’.
This could be a great pils beer, as Hop Devil is a great (if unbalanced) pale ale. But the hops here are too much for me. Turned down a few notches this would still be hugely challenging to those that like there IBUs turned up high, but a bit more drinkable and actually more interesting than.
The trouble is that you don’t become attuned to the hops here, they get deeper as you drink.
I’d recommend this beer to any hop head, you have to try it, it’s an interesting and experimental addition to the pilsner style. But this ain’t a pilsner for those that like their Budvars or Urquells, and one that might just take you by surprise.Tags: hops, lupulin, pils, pilsner, prima, victory
A beautiful aroma wells up from this beer. It is resiny, citrusy and sweet, with a strong hoppy start and a deep malty flavour that takes over.
This beer – brewed by Odell Brewing Company is one of the most balanced pale ales – even just ales – that I’ve had for a long time.
And it comes with a little story behind the name too, a title which more than hints at it’s wonderful character (you’ll also notice the hint in the Latin name for the hop plant, Humulus lupulus).
Lupulin glands are the bits of hop leaves that contain the oils that impact hop flavour or hop aroma, and those glands are certainly put to masterful use in this beer.
And it tastes absolutely fantastic!
Despite being hoppy this isn’t overpowering, and it has a character that most beers can only pine for, with much more flavour than the summer ales that have been around in abundance over last few months. It tastes a little earthy, very fresh and sweet at times.
Already straight into my list of top beers (a list as changeable as a British summertime), a beer with instant class and a lingering impact.Tags: odell, pale ale, st lupulin
Hoppy, vibrant, refreshing and tangy to finish, Goose Island is a mighty fine American IPA. The Chicago brewers bottled ales are a staple of many of the best bars in the UK, with both the IPA and Honker’s Ale permanent fixtures at our work’s regular, The Cross Keys in Leeds.
American IPAs differ from their UK counterparts. I don’t think it’s all down to the fact I enjoy them quite a bit colder than I’d usually sample a traditional ale, but they seem to share a vivacious style that UK IPAs often don’t muster.
Does this mean they aren’t traditional India Pale Ales in that case?
In fact they may be more so, as an abundance of hops is one of the core features of a traditional India Pale Ales (the hops and strength acting as a preservative to keep the beer in good shape throughout the long voyage to India in the 19th Century) and many North America versions are far hoppier than British counterparts which have lost their hop-filled roots somewhat (with notable exceptions of course!)
Goose Island shares that hoppy optimism, leaving a satisfying malt feeling in your mouth that inevitably urges you to take another gulp. There’s fruit in there amongst the hops and malt, adding complexity. It is a balanced IPA, very enjoyable to drink and moreish to boot.Tags: goose island, hoppy, india pale ale, IPA, North American, US