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Archive for the ‘IPA’ Category

Brewery –          Quantum Brewing Company

Beer –                 Pale Ale

ABV –                 4.5%

Origin –              Stockport, England

Style –                IPA

Season –            Summer

Summer Evenings are the time for big hoppy ales to quench the thirst and excite the tongue, and Quantum’s Pale does the trick!

What first drew my attention to this ale was the fact that the hops that go in each batch are different and are chosen by followers on twitter! Ooooh how novel! But seriously engaging the drinker in decisions regarding the beer is genius! No wonder they claim to be innovative on the bottle!

This particular batch has Maryanka, Celeia, Chinook, Cluster, and Perle hops as it’s make up, but what matters most is that there’s a hell of a lot of them.

The nose is rife with them, floral yet crisp with hints of tropical fruits.

The heavy hop content give this beer all you’d expect of a good IPA. Robust bitterness contrasted by sweet passionfruit, fresh and invigorating. Not death by hops like other ales but not sweet and sickly. A far more balanced grown up IPA, and a 4.5% it’s not going to ruin your weekend! The finish has a developing bitterness that lingers, but it’s dry and cider like.

Slightly cloudy, bright, brilliant, fresh and inviting, a great ale, flavoursome but not daft and overdone.

 

 

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Brewery –           Coronado

Beer –                  Idiot IPA

Alcohol –             8.5%

Origin –              Coronado, California

Style –                American IPA

Season –           Spring

Apt name me thinks. Not for those who purchase this beverage but in reverence to the person who decided to hop the hell out of this ale. Whomever you are I salute you!

Okay let’s get the formalities out the way so we can get onto the elephant in the room.

One sexy looking beer. Golden Amber Orange, lively and vibrant with a white cloudy frothy overflowing head.

Citrusy and oddly spicy and tingly on the nose which I think is to do with the hops jumping out to grab your nose hairs.

Now let’s get down to business…

I have never tasted such a hoppy mother in all my life! It hits you like a headbutt, and I’ve got a 6 month old son so I know what a headbutt feels like!

Insanely bitter grapefruit tongue swelling flavours bombard the mouth with just a slither of sweetness keeping you from throwing in the towel.

It’s a mouth cleanser alright,; garlic gone, coffee cleared, onions ousted… a between courses palate neutraliser.

Its bitterness is so intense that it almost has a charcoal like finish; abrasive and crisp.

As you can imagine, Bitter would be the word to describe the finish, however there is a satisfying warming syrupy alcohol feeling that develops down the throat which helps contrast the crazy hoppy bitter madness!

Currently Hoppy the frogs most hoppy of ales!

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Brewery –          S.W.B

Beer –                  Cohort (Double Belgian Black Rye PA)

Alcohol –           7.5%

Origin –              Holmfirth, West Yorkshire

Style –                Black IPA

Season –           I haven’t a bloody clue

Another fashionable Black IPA, this time the Summer Wine brewery have their say with a Black Rye PA (yes, very clever).

Whilst other Black IPA’s are closer to their IPA routes, and tend to make me feel like they’re an off spin of the classics, this beer tastes more like a mix between a strong IPA and a traditional London Porter; A less subtle and more rip your face off type beer.

Pours blacker than black and don’t bother holding it up to the light, you won’t see through it! And the head is brown and clings to the glass like it’ll cling to your tonsils!

Surprisingly light and airy on the nose for such a dark ale, with the good floral, passionfruit late hop notes characteristic of a strong IPA.

Complex is a clear understatement when describing this ale. You’ve got your thick chocolate coffee flavours as a backbone, overlaid with citrusy, tropical fruit notes. The bitterness of an IPA but the thickness of a Porter.

It’s a bit off-putting and unusual to begin with as it assaults your taste buds but give it time and you will begin to understand and appreciate its individuality. Just don’t leave it too long as at 7.5% you may end up a bit worse for wear.

Not one for the traditionalists but I don’t think SWB will really care, as they’re all about pushing the boundaries, ‘tearing up the rule book’ as they put it.

A great example of just what can be done and a real pace setter when it comes to beer evolution. 

 

 

 

 

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Brewery –           Hardknott

Beer –                  Code Black

Alcohol –           5.8%

Origin –               Millom, Cumbria

Style –                 Black IPA

Season –            Autumn

Black IPA’s seem to be the fashion statement of 2012! Hardknott, Thornbridge, BlueBall, Moor, Stone, Rogue are all at it, but Hardknott recognise the fad aspect of it and flaunt it in their own hilariously honest way.

Pitch Black and Silky; this ale is sexy! and to top it off, a frothy, foamy, and clinging head.

Chocolatey and Hoppy at the same time, the nose is strong, complex, and enticing.

I think you can class this as Jaipur’s Dark Side! Peach Passionfruit flavours are contrasted by toasted bbq smokiness, making this ale exciting, unusual and distinct.

The finish is buttery with further toasted notes and has an underlying bitter-sweetness.

At 5.8% this ale is dangerously drinkable, exciting, intense, and packed full of flavour. I cannot recommend you try this enough.

 

 

 

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Marble – Dobber

Brewery –          Manchester Marble

Beer –                  Dobber

Alcohol –           5.9%

Origin –              Manchester, England

Style –                I.P.A

Season –           Summer

I know what you’re thinking… 5.9%,  IPA,   Central Northern English Brewery…. Yes my friends it’s another Jaipur challenger!

Looks the part with its orange amber colouring and hazy glow, topped off by its lively white frothy head.

Scents of Lily’s and other floral notes give it a light and airy nose. Hoppy undertones and sweet passionfruit help give it the extra depth.

A decent amount of carbonation give this ale a fresh, zesty, and lively mouthfeel balanced by its bitter hoppy backbone. Intense grapefruit, is a welcoming contrast to the sweet tropical fruit notes.

The finish is extremely bitter, to the extent that it provides almost a minty numbness leaving you begging for the next swig.

Solid, Satisfying, Thirst Quenching, Exciting, and packed full of flavour.

Jaipur or Dobber… it’s too close to call! Let me know which is your favourite?! 

 

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Brewery –          Blueball Brewery

Beer –                  Black Betty

Alcohol –           7.2%

Origin –               Runcorn, Cheshire

Style –                 Black IPA

Season –             Summer

It was my first trip to Kash Bar, Chester over the weekend after finding out that it is child friendly hoorah!

Stepped up to the bar and asked for a pint of Black Betty… didn’t realise the strength of it! Usually beers of this strength are served in half measures but like the Blueball beers, there’s no messing around! A pint you ask… then a pint you’ll get!

This is rich and smokey brown black ale, interestingly highly carbonated with a frothy cappuccino head, and served a beautifully sculpted Kash Challis.

Dark Chocolate, Smokey with hints of Coffee on the nose, and laced with deep dark fruits. The strong alcohol content is apparent in its aroma; sweet and punchy.

The mouthfeel is smooth but like all the Blueball beers I’ve tried thus far there is an appealing tanginess to the brew giving it a modern and vibrant feel. It coats the tongue, thick and silky but this increases the time the beer is on the tongue, intensifying the flavours; longer, and deeper.

The coffee and dark chocolate on the nose give way to liquorice and blackcurrant flavours with the solid strong alcohol content apparent throughout, and leads to a lingering and clinging sweet finish.

This beer is packed full of flavour; it’s exciting, gripping, thoroughly satisfying, and is scarily drinkable and sinkable at that ABV!

 

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Brewery –          Brooklyn Brewery

Beer –                  Local 1

Alcohol –           9%

Origin –              Brookyln, New York

Style –               Strong American IPA

Season –          Spring

I’ve wanted to try this beer for a good while now but at a tenner a bottle from Chester Beer & Wine, it’s quite an expense when the pennies are tight.

But you only live once and I finally took the plunge. I’d seen this beer in the ‘1001 Beers to try before you die’ beer bible my brother bought me for Christmas and it certainly lived up to my expectations.

At 9% this is one to drink slowly, thoughtfully, and with reverence, but it’s bloody hard to do with a beer this good. Perhaps this is why I have a slightly fuzzy head this fair morn.

A stunning looking beer; cloudy and bright, with a golden orange hue. Bubbly, lively, and vibrant.

Strangely aromatic on the nose bursting with citrus notes but with a slight hint of sweet bubblegum, and punch.

The first swig provides a hit of strong alcohol flavour that gets right to the back of the throat, but then the complex flavours kick in. Crisp Pear flavours make this ale surprisingly airy for its high alcohol content. A beautiful crisp and fizzy mouthfeel are a result of its high level of carbonation, but then this gives way to a vague spiciness with further apple and pear notes on the palate. The finish is crisp, cider-like and tart, leading to a warming alcohol finish.

Certainly one to savour, wonderfully satisfying, and a great example of an American take on a strong Belgian beer.

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Brewery –          Thwaites

Beer –               Indus IPA

Alcohol –          4.6%

Origin –            Lancashire, England

Style –             IPA

Season –         Spring

A great example of a classic IPA. Golden Honey coloured with a white head.

Whilst it’s a little non-descript on the nose, the deeply satisfying hoppy taste easily makes up for this.

It’s incredibly well balanced, easy drinking, thirst quenching and very quaffable. A great session ale with a long bitter sweet finish.

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Wye Valley – HPA

Brewery –          Wye Valley

Beer –                 HPA

Alcohol –          4.0%

Origin –             Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire

Style –               IPA

Season –          Spring / Summer

When I first poured this, I was amazed to see just how pale this ale is. Looked to light for my tastes but I’d heard good things about it so thought I’d give it a go…

Suprisingly cloudy to boot, I have never tried such an easy drinking ale. Smooth refreshing, zesty, with orangey notes toward the end.

Not particularly complex, which may put off the connoisseur, but I would suggest this to be the diffinative session ale… A blonde mild???

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Butcombe – Brunel 200

 

Brewery –          Butcombe

Beer –                  Brunel 200

Alcohol –           5%

Origin –              Bristol, Avon

Style –               IPA

Season –          Spring

What a looker! Dark Amber with a lively white head, it certainly looks the part.

Sweet Orangy with tropical fruit notes on the nose with a  hoppy bite to boot.

It’s quite a robust IPA at 5% with strong hoppy notes but an odd bitter grapefruit undertone, and a long bitter-sweet dry finish.

 I know it’s called Brunel but this beer taste like it has history behind it; a good depth of character, a strong hoppy backbone.  Well put together

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