Author Archives: 2hopheads

Omnipollo/Trillium ‘Covered in Puppies’ DIPA


imageGlassware: Shaker glass

Appearance: Beautiful mango/paw paw colour with a 10mm head that faded quite quickly. Lots of small refined carbonation that seems to just appear mid way out of thin air. Nice white sudsy rim around the glass.

Aroma: Tropical ripe fruit such as pineapple, paw paw, passion fruit, overripe mango, with sweet candied sugars, hop resin and citrus/mandarin. Slight dankness to the brew.

Flavour: Very smooth and delicious for a DIPA. It just seemingly washes over the palate effortlessly. The sweetness from the tropical fruit such as paw paw and caramel malts, and the candied sugars blend with the slight bitterness but the caramels from the malt balance out the bitterness quickly. Bit more of a citrusy component the more we consume, and this combines with a touch of dryness. Non dominant grapefruits on the back palate. Very mild spice tingle on tonsils after the brew has been consumed.

Mouthfeel: Super enjoyable for 8.1% alc vol. Body is medium and not overdone. Bitterness really blended. Carbonation is fairly low and enables quick sips. Moderate length on the palate.

Overall: Super enjoyable. Well balanced which is the hallmark for these +8% alc vol DIPA’s. You could very easily have two of these in a row due to the flavour and aroma profile. Not too bitter, not too sweet. Just right really. Excellent brewing.

The Alchemist ‘Pappy’s’ Porter


46118095_980866788764133_7950417895815643136_n“This dark mahogany ale has a great and delicious malt depth, yet is balanced with supple, energizing bitterness.”

Glassware: English pint.

Appearance: Very deep brown with a mountainous four finger head. Good retention with an absolute smattering of lace left on the glass.

Aroma: One whiff and we’re instantly reminded of our Beelzebub review last week! It has this distinct black IPA quality to it which is oh so American. Punchy pine resins, grapefruit and orange peel lift out with the roasty base of chocolate, charred malts, coffee and those slightly burned edges of a chocolate cake. There’s also a hint of dank weedy herbs in there too.

Flavour: If we didn’t know any better we’d say this was a solid black IPA. The way it hits the taste buds with a clean 50/50 ratio of hops to malts you wouldn’t think it was anything but! Sharp pine needle, pithy grapefruit and orange peel meet with slightly charred malts, dark chocolate and coffee upfront and are literally all still together when it finishes with a serious bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Dry and very bitter. Reasonably light on. Not much in the way of booze but it’s only 5% AbV so one could expect that.

Overall: We watched the 5 minute clip where John Kimmich summed up the beer. He states that he’s kept it traditional yet this is far from a traditional porter. Traditional in the sense of an American porter? Yes. English? No. That aside, it’s a bloody good black IPA oops! We mean porter 😉

Dollar Bill Brewing 2018 ‘Spring Parlay’ Farmhouse Ale


45805353_980392615478217_8420374870906372096_n“Sour blueberry and apple farmhouse ale. Lightly sour. A little bit funky with hints of blueberries and apple cider. Welcome to spring!!!”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Candy apple red with soft pink hues when held to the light. A 1cm head forms on top and works a fine lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: We get sour apple, cider, mild vinegar and citric lemon juice along with more subtle notes of candied fruits, red grapes and barnyard funk. Just a hint of the tart blueberries showing up late. It’s a crisp and refreshing nose, really lovely stuff.

Flavour: We’re tasting a kind of dry and spicy cider note upfront. There’s a healthy little acetic sourness pairing up with pink lady apples, angostura bitters, red grapes, blueberry and a delicate vinous accent. More of a dry musty-ness around the mid leading to a bone dry finish with dried apple, white pepper and yeasty esters for days.

Mouthfeel: Dry and lightly sour – more textural though. Perfectly carbonated with the 6.9% AbV neatly tucked away.

Overall: That’s a cracking Aussie sour, just enough to edge out the autumn parlay in our opinion. For such a small and relatively unknown brewery these guys are producing some quality offerings. Keep em comin!

Treehouse Brewing ‘Miles To Go Before I Sleep’ Imperial Milk Stout


45797682_979859385531540_4231071041767604224_n“Miles To Go Before I Sleep is an imperial milk stout brewed with a complex assortment of roasted malts, lactose, peanut butter, and chocolate. Miles To Go Before I Sleep is brewed for Lauren, because she loves peanut butter cups and I love her. She deserves the world. Miles To Go is a perfect beer to enjoy with a friend or a loved one. Please keep it cold at all times and enjoy it during a special moment of your choosing.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a dark brown cap. The head holds its shape well enough to leave patchy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: One word…incredible! The olfactory’s are inundated with sweetness, roasty malt, creamy vanilla and nuts from all angles. Reese’s peanut butter cups come to mind straight away followed by snickers and then butterfingers. Also getting toasted marshmallow, bounty bar and luscious caramel. Don’t think we’ve ever done a review where so many different chocolate bars come together in one aroma. Brilliant!

Flavour: Oh mumma! The transition from the nose is exceptional. The most fascinating part is how they’ve managed to condense everything on the nose in to a flowing and perfectly balanced flavour profile which glides over the tongue and in to an insanely smooth, moreish and decadent finish which draws out nicely on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth and balanced like a beer on a barrel. Co2 is spot on and the 9.1% AbV is ridiculously well hidden.

Overall: Easily the best beer we’ve had from Treehouse. There’s really no other words for it…this shit is amazing!

Monkish Brewing ‘Galactic Rhyme Federation Championship’ Triple NEIPA


45688902_979785188872293_8375898916893229056_n (1)“GALACTIC RHYME FEDERATION CHAMPIONSHIP ✨ TRIPLE IPA with just GALAXY hops (all new 2018 crop year)”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Turbid off yellow pour with a thumb of white head emerging on top. This would have to be the murkiest son of a beep we’ve seen to date.

Aroma: Super dank and juicy AF! As per usual there’s oodles of stonefruit, orange and pineapple, peach, apricot, papaya and even an intriguing line of coconut. It wouldn’t be an American NEIPA without the oats and creamy lactose either! There is a certain nose tingling warmth happening too – hinting at very subtle acetone and solvent.

Flavour: It comes on with an astringent booze burn…the hop bitterness is quite feisty as well! If your palate can get past it there are restrained brekky juice, stonefruit and herbaceous notes but they really are monstered by the excessive booze presence. There’s late pithy grapefruit and orange peel which only amplifies the aggressively bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Prickly and acrid…almost to the point where it’s not enjoyable. As we’ve made pretty clear the 10.2% AbV is way too harsh.

Overall: This is probably the first (and last!) time we’ve ever been so critical of a Monkish beer but the balance is all out of whack. Compare this to Insert Hip Hop Reference and we’re talking chalk and cheese!

Hudson Valley Brewing ‘Emissary’ Sour IPA


45700663_979453038905508_1891392039677853696_n“Sour IPA with raw wheat, malted oat, milk sugar, vanilla beans, and orange peel — hopped with Hallertau Blanc and Azacca.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Milky and super hazy light yellow pour with a fizzy two fingers head. It completely vanishes and no head equals no lace!

Aroma: Interesting. Kind of has an earthy tang going on with lots of apricot, peach, candied pineapple, kiwifruit, passionfruit, lemon curd and orange peel. It does have a hint of creamy lactose/oats along with dry grain husks and very subtle hints of white grapes. Not much sourness to it we must admit. Meh, we’re a little undecided at this point.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose. Mostly stonefruit-dominant i.e apricot, peach, rockmelon with a flutter of creamy orange. Getting a very mild sourness early in the mid but it’s easily overcome by the creamy vanilla, lactose and oats. There are hints of NEIPA-ish fruit juice developing late and finishing with soft floral peach and candied tropical fruit.

Mouthfeel: Light on, semi sparkling and uber refreshing. The 6% AbV is extremely well hidden with minimal lip pucker and IBU.

Overall: We’d say it’s about 70% NEIPA to 30% sour with a metric tonne of peach. Look it’s a reasonably good drop but it became a little difficult to finish….the peach flavours were very prominent and the sourness is practically MIA. Good but not great.

The Alchemist ‘Beelzebub’ American Imperial Stout


45622101_979288978921914_1952187868688416768_n“The intensely smooth and rich roasted flavor is complemented by the unmistakable pretence of hops. The bitterness is held in check, preserving the flavors of dark chocolate. This ale is aggressively dry hopped with Citra to cut through it all. Hail Santa.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Black with two fingers of brown head taking shape on top. It gradually reduced and hangs a sheet of lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: One of our favourite traits of an American stout is its similarity to a great black IPA. There’s a solid roasty malt structure which builds in to coffee, cocoa and mocha then there’s the distinct hop profile that cuts through the rich malts – in this case there’s pine, citrus and weedy herbs a plenty. Undertones of smoke, mild spice and charred earth also getting amongst it. Brilliant!

Flavour: Holy moly! It comes on with a delicious roasted note; coffee, cocoa, chocolate and subtle smoke before the bitter hop onslaught arrives! The middle is citric, spicy and piney which rolls in to super bitter yellow grapefruit, orange rind and lemon late in the piece. This palate-wrecking combination only intensifies as it draws out in to the long winded finish.

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth at first but it develops an aggressive bitterness in the swallow. 8% AbV and 90 IBU. Medium-full body.

Overall: Jeez there must be a fine line between black IPA’s and American stouts these days. Even for a black IPA this is insanely bitter. That aside it’s a quality drop it’s just very extreme.

Trillium Brewing ‘Storrowed’ Double IPA


45384635_978428752341270_5548859208243347456_n“Our latest Double IPA serves as a Public Service Announcement to warn against the Boston phenomenon of lodging a box truck under a low clearance overpass on Storrow Drive. While it’s a sporadic phenomenon that can snarl traffic for hours, Storrow Drive claims most of its victims during college move in weekend, typically around Labor Day. Be sure to heed the Low Headroom Warnings at the Storrow Drive entry points!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Deep cloudy apricot colour which tops off with a two finger head. It collapses to the rim with healthy lace following it down.

Aroma: First impressions are dank, juicy, pithy citrus and pineapple which at first seemed to be muted but she opens up as she settles in the glass. The hallmark lactose/creamy oats can be found along with an interesting hit of menthol. Cue the subtle malty sweetness and we have a fairly well balanced and highly aromatic nose.

Flavour: Proper juice train! Dank herbs, apricot, paw paw, sugary sweet nectar, pineapple, mango, orange and guava just to name a few. Gets super pithy midway…orange tang, mango rind, piney resins and lemon curd making way for a sweet, juicy and ultimately smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: Quite full and dense yet this gelatinous texture fills the mouth. Mild-medium co2 with an incredibly well concealed AbV (8.4%).

Overall: As far as Trillium IPA’s go this one would easily have to be up there with their best. Big breakfast juice bomb with crazy drink-ability once the AbV is factored in. Top shelf.

Cigar City ‘Argumentum Ad Populum’ BA Imperial Stout


45449517_977636522420493_3699999658467131392_n“If many believe it, it must be so.” That’s the succinct way to describe argumentum ad populum, an argumentative fallacy found often in both classical logic discussions and internet beer forums. Being amateur classicists ourselves, we at Cigar City Brewing avoid fueling fallacious arguments about anything, be it epistemology, idealism or barrel-aged beer. We present this apple brandy barrel-aged stout brewed with marionberries and black raspberries as a liquid monument to the dangers of fallacious arguments, both online and off.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Ominously black with a loosely held overlay. It forms a ring and struggles to produce any real lacing.

Aroma: The prominent scents are rich and intense – molasses, leather, espresso, dark fruits, plum, brandy and musky vanilla. One of our pet hates in a stout is acetaldehyde (usually a green apple/pear note) and these guys have flirted with danger by aging stout in apple brandy barrels but it just works! The soft fleshy tones of the apple brandy marry up with the roasty malt base beautifully! Trust!

Flavour: This unique fusion of berries, apple brandy and hedonistic imperial stout is just to die for. Sweet brandy and ever so slightly tart berries cut through the roasty, dark coffee flavours like butter. Something best described as cherry, oak, vanilla and treacle delivers a warm finish with a heavy roast, dark fruits and touches of the apple brandy barrels.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth yet bold and full bodied. Low co2 with the 13.7% AbV well tucked away.

Overall: Cigar City just keep producing phenomenal beer after phenomenal beer. We can’t fault this at all it’s simply top shelf stuff.

Dollar Bill Brewing 2018 ‘Autumn Parlay’ BA Wild Fruit Beer


45361696_977262619124550_571309252564484096_n (1)“Wild Fermented on Organic Cabernet Sauvignon whole bunch grapes from the Pyrenees. This slightly sour fruit ale sat on skins and stems for 6 months. This beer exhibits classic Cab Sav flavours of green pepper, tobacco and black cherries along with some tannins fro a dryer mouth feel.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Kind of dark purple affair with burgundy hues when held to the light. It forms a wispy purple coloured head which settles to a halo. Seeing a wet lace drag as we imbibe. Looks fantastic!

Aroma: Very pleasant, some vinous qualities, red grape juice and musty wine cellar at the top. Layers of mixed berries, aniseed, light earthy tones and red wine vinegar also present. Hard to go past this somewhat candied scent it’s almost like cherry lip smackers. Loving how the red wine tannins start revealing themselves as it warms. Solid!

Flavour: Quite interesting actually, hardly any sourness at all it’s mostly tart red berries, grape juice, woody oak tannin, earth, cereal malts, mixed berries and candied red fruits making up the bulk of it. Hints of funky and mild fruity sourness with just a touch of manky cheese late in the piece.

Mouthfeel: Light tannic texture. Minerals and soft bubbly froth complimenting it. Fine carbonation and a seriously well hidden AbV (8%).

Overall: We’ve had our eye on this brewery for a while so we were finally lucky enough to stumble across some at Oldfield’s in Gosford. Even though we’re not blown away we’re not disappointed, maybe we were expecting a bit more sourness. Nevertheless it’s a nice beer to suit this 30 degree Sydney arvo!

Monkish Brewing ‘The Realness’ Double NEIPA


45570108_977060825811396_4632042153365733376_n“Double dry hopped double IPA w/ galaxy & amarillo 8.0% ABV”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: It hits the glass with a ridiculous off yellow turbidity. Two fingers of loosely packed foam sit atop but eventually settles to a ring with spotty lace as we go.

Aroma: Unbelievably juicy, after trying a few Monkish NEIPA’s we’re confident in saying that they’re better than anything we’ve had from Treehouse and Trillium. There’s a huge concentrated orange juice note that jumps out of the glass initially. Then it’s wave after wave of mango, melon, pineapple, guava, citrus, lemongrass and paw paw. Picking up a hint of palm sugar in there too. Outstanding!

Flavour: Displaying a bit more aggression and laden with orange, bitter grapefruit and citrus peel. Tasting stonefruits and booze-soaked tropical fruit…albeit subtle and adjunct. Lightly piercing alcohol and peppery spice moving in to a slightly dank and weedy finish with assertive bitterness and warmth for days.

Mouthfeel: Warming, mineraly and rather light on which is remarkable considering its AbV (8% – very well concealed too we might add!). Co2 is spot on.

Overall: As we touched on earlier we reckon Monkish NEIPA’s outdo the likes of Treehouse and Trillium every day of the week. This one is no exception. Magnificent offering.

Burlington Beer Co ‘Uncanny Valley’ NEIPA


45355298_977041662479979_8381229873250697216_n“Uncanny Valley is an IPA hopped with Vic Secret and Citra hops. The bold new hop variety’s have a high oil content for a huge flavor impact of Ripe Mango, Pine Needles, Watermelon, and Stone fruit. The hop flavors wash over a balanced malt bill to hold up the bold hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Hazy AF! Brekky juice with a thumb of white foam perched on top. Decent retention with soapy lace clinging to the glass.

Aroma: Incredible uplift. Wafts of bright tropical fruits, stonefruits, mango, guava, papaya, peach, Frosty Fruits, grassy hop and pine in absolute abundance. Quite the juice bomb! There’s a fair floral perfume to it as well. Not much of a malt profile…oaty if anything, handing it that hallmark creamy accent along with lactose and vanilla.

Flavour: Just lots and lots of creamy citrus, fleshy stonefruits, pine, grassy green hops and herbal spice. Orange peel and grapefruit is introduced midway leading in to oats and dusty powdered vanilla and lactose. The finish is bitter, fruity and citrus-driven with a pithy and acetic back palate.

Mouthfeel: Creamy as. Smooth and medium-full body. Co2 is mild and the 7% AbV is well placed. 35 IBU – although low it shows through late in the piece.

Overall: This is a fine representation of the style that’s for sure. There’s only a small hop bill of Citra and Vic Secret but it’s very cool to see our very own Aussie hops playing a big role in an IPA from the likes of BBCo. A very tidy drop.

Noisy Minor ‘Echo Chamber’ NEIPA


45342219_976500882534057_7490121646498381824_n“Enter the Echo Chamber, where all your thoughts and tastes are validated by constant reinforcement, to the point where your ability for individual thought is as clear as mud. Like this beer. Inspired by the IPAs of the North East USA where one of our founders lived for 2 years, this IPA is generously hopped with Azacca, Citra and Melba added to the whirlpool and fermenter, then double dry hopped with El Dorado, Galaxy, Citra and Mosaic.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Bold amber with excellent clarity…we had to check the can momentarily, yep still says NEIPA?! It forms a short head which holds together and weaves a fine lace down the glass.

Aroma: Smells good! Clean, fresh and hoppy. Big impressions of pine, citrus, nectarine, white plum, guava, pineapple and unripened peach get amongst a semi sweet malt profile…mostly honey and caramel with a flutter of fresh white bread in the surrounds. Again we double take and it still says NEIPA on the can.

Flavour: Can’t quite grasp where they’re going with this. Upfront it’s nice and crisp, the hops shine through nicely bringing pine, citrus and some mixed tropical fruits…waiting for the NEIPA to arrive some time soon. Some underlining malt sweetness and booze warmth which finishes with a dry bitterness, citrus and sweet malts.

Mouthfeel: Quite full in the mouth, dry and slightly warm. Nicely carbonated with an assertive 55 IBU.

Overall: Let’s not beat around the bush there’s some real confusion here. On its merits it actually drinks like a decent Aussie IPA…it’s filtered, crisp and punchy yet it’s described as a NEIPA. This is literally the exact opposite of a NEIPA.

Jackie O’s 2017 ‘Oil Of Aphrodite’ BBA Imperial Stout


45238221_975976025919876_5952434908268855296_n“Oil of Aphrodite is an American double stout brewed with Integration Acres black walnuts  and Belgian candied syrup. English, German, American, and Belgian malts are accompanied by Pacific Northwest hop to create a sweet and rich spring board for deep nuttiness. Lay this beer down for a while and share with friends and loved ones.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a wispy head that snaps back to the rim. It still manages to coat the sides of the glass though.

Aroma: Like dessert in a glass! The olfactory’s are treated to a moreish fusion of brilliant barrel character, high end bourbon, coffee, vanilla, molasses, earthy nuts and spices, raw cacao, dark chocolate and a caramelly almost maple-esque sweetness. Some of that 12.1% AbV showing up as it warms. Unbelievable depth and complexity, but also balanced….just next level.

Flavour: Follows on from the nose with impeccable barrel character which gives rise to the bourbon, vanilla, caramel and spice. Nice and warm through the middle, some sharpness from the booze and molasses along with rich dark chocolate notes. The finish is again rich and luscious with lingering nuts and coffee on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Oily, sharp and well rounded. The 12.1% AbV provides some kick. Medium-full body with moderate co2.

Overall: Simply put it’s just a superb barrel aged stout. Overflowing with rich and intense aroma and flavour and lit up by a big AbV. A beer with attitude…we love it.

The Alchemist ‘Focal Banger’ American IPA


45216832_975707579280054_5217401867453071360_n“Focal Banger is an American India Pale Ale. We have a real love for IPAs here at Alchemist, and we strive to offer you the best hop experience that we possibly can. This beer is brewed using Citra and Mosaic hops and our favorite British malts. Truly an abundance of hoppy goodness…”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy, somewhat milky orange body which sports a thumb of finely beaded foam on top. There’s good retention and lace work as it subsides.

Aroma: We get a blast of fruity, piney and citrusy hops above a firm bready malt base. Slightly dank grassy notes, weedy herbs, florals, peach, subtle spice and earthy forest floor also coming through. We love it, we came in to it expecting another juice bomb but it’s not and we’re pleasantly surprised!

Flavour: Nice smooth entry with slightly dank herbs, citrus and mild tropical fruity hops following close behind. Developing bitterness, orange rind and grapefruit acidity rolling through the mid palate and on to the dry, aggressively bitter finish which offers pine and more citrus acidity on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Slightly astringent, warm and drying. Medium body and co2. 7% AbV and 90 IBU – both are only more than happy to reveal themselves.

Overall: Not actually sure why they’re so adamant about drinking from the can, it looks appealing in the glass…can’t say the same for some of the NEIPA’s getting around! Anywho, it’s an epic East Coast IPA with traits of West Coast aggression to it. World class stuff.

Jackie O’s ‘Oro Negro’ BBA Imperial Stout


45150046_975407865976692_463627116714393600_n“Oro Negro spawned from our unwavering compulsion to experiment. Infusing imperial stouts with spices, fruits, and wood has been a staple at our bottle releases since 2009. Oro Negro is the culmination of note-taking and listening to our patrons. Our cherished Oil of Aphrodite was aged in bourbon barrels and infused with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, habaneros, and cinnamon sticks. A refined stout filled with rich character and a touch of heat.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Solid black with minimal head. What’s left clings to the rim and posts a thin set of rings as we imbibe.

Aroma: It’s kind of interesting in the way that it hits the olfactory’s with an initial super rich sweetness but then tapers off in to the nutty, spicy and somewhat earthy tones. The barrels show up nicely too; adding a little kick of bourbon vanilla and oak. Getting that intense molasses, licorice and leather right down deep. Superb.

Flavour: We can really taste the spice…there’s certainly some chilli along with nutmeg and peppercorns. The walnuts present nicely too they hit a nutty sweetness but also an earthy accent comes in to play. Vanilla, chocolate, roast, a touch of bourbon and woody oak with a substantial warmth – more so from the chilli and pepper rather than the booze (12.1% AbV). Long drawn out finish which keeps the palate very warm!

Mouthfeel: Oily, warm and it holds up nicely on the palate. Medium-full body and moderate co2.

Overall: This was our first crack at Jackie O’s (well technically it is as we’ve only reviewed a couple of collab beers of theirs before). It’s very sleek, nicely balanced and really fun. Just an exceptional drop.

5 Barrel Brewing BA Golden Sour


45041836_973455586171920_7701176859114864640_n“Barrel Aged Sours are here! Two years in the making, this range of sours have been sitting in a variety of oak barrels, quietly evolving and developing their own unique characters and personalities. It is been an absolute pleasure to sample and observe how each barrel (not just beer) changes over time.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Nice bright golden body with a wispy overlay. It forms a loose ring around the rim with hardly any lace as we hook in.

Aroma: We’re getting a good dose of lemon and lime leading out. They’re supported by a neat little hint of orange sherbet, cheese, a good amount of funk and lovely oak tannins. Just a flutter of vinegar creeping in as well. That’s a cracking aroma and super impressive as we’re pretty sure this is their first attempt at barrel aging sours.

Flavour: Kind of loses a bit of that vibrancy it was showing on the nose. The lemon, lime, cheese and barrel complexity is there but it’s lacking the sourness and overall funk we’re looking for in the style. It does have a real effortless progression we’ll give it that…flows nicely in to the slightly dry and citrusy finish.

Mouthfeel: Brilliant, on par with some of the world class American sours we’ve been indulging in lately. It’s light, sparkling and uber crisp. Mild-moderate body.

Overall: We can’t help but feel that if the flavour had more depth this could have been up there with some of Australia’s best sours. In saying that it could very easily pass as a top shelf entry level sour though. Respectable drop.

Barebottle Brewing ‘Secret Path To Paradise” IPA


44852319_972389156278563_8191478316897665024_n“Like discovering a tropical paradise of juice, dank hops.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy orange with a healthy three finger head perched on top. It holds together well and works a blotchy lace down the glass.

Aroma: A substantial hop profile here…smells fresh as a daisy! Punchy citrus, tangy orange and ruby grapefruit, pineapple, freshly squeezed red apple juice, mango, banana and Frosty Fruits (we’re finding this to be a recurring scent in almost every good NEIPA we’ve had recently). Subtle hints of vanilla cream/lactose and that hallmark oaty malt bill that works in brilliantly. Top notch.

Flavour: A metric tonne of tropical fruit juice to the fore. Citrus and some stonefruit kicking around too. Picking up a hint of herbal spice that was MIA in aroma (either that or the big juice bomb was hiding it). Definitely getting the creamy lactose coming through, they really blend in with the oats nicely. Quite a dry finish with more fruits and citrus bitterness on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Smooth creamy texture…that bitterness developing in the swallow. Medium body and perfect co2. Right on the money!

Overall: Well well what a cracking beer! Loved the progression of it, it seemed to just get better and better. We mentioned in our last Barebottle review that we were waiting for their one beer to blow us away. We think we found it!

Cascade Brewing 2017 BA Blond With Apricots


44870736_972024276315051_384253410959949824_n“Apricot is a blend of sour blond ales that were aged in oak wine barrels for up to 14 months. Unfruited sour blond ale is barrel aged for over seven months before adding in more than 13,000 pounds of fresh apricots in tanks and barrels for an additional seven months of aging. The Apricot project has been pivotal in the evolution of Cascade Brewing’s identity as a producer of Northwest sour ales since 2007.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Apricot colour with a lacto haze…looks like a bloody NEIPA! It forms a wispy white overlay which instantly snaps back to the rim. Patchy dotted lace clings to the glass as we imbibe.

Aroma: Dead set spot on. The feature apricot sinks in to the musty oak and mild lacto sourness with absolute perfection. Literally smells like a freshly picked apricot. Delicate vinegar and lemon tartness, light florals, rockmelon, Swiss cheese and horse blanket making up the bulk of it. Picking up very subtle cracker malts at the base. Superb.

Flavour: Quite a heavy sourness comes on…high in citric acid, vinegar and lacto bacteria. As it tapers off the fleshy and somewhat tart apricot comes through with unripened rockmelon, woody oak, spice and pineapple. A late rush of vinegar and lacto funk along with barnyard and apricot finish with a musty and oaky dryness which sits on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: A chalky and somewhat powdery texture coats the mouth. Slightly prickly, lip puckering and tannic. Mild-medium body with moderate co2.

Overall: Certainly big on the sour front and the mildly tart and fleshy apricots present nicely throughout the whole experience…in effect handing a decent balance to it. It’s not their best but it’s still an impressive drop.

Wayward Brewing ‘Ripasso’ BA Farmhouse Ale


44823564_971834399667372_8351652460707708928_n“Ripasso is a technique where red wine is re-fermented on grape skins to give it added depth and intensity. We’ve applied this concept to a classic Belgian ale, fermenting it on shiraz skins from our friends at Tyrrel’s wines. We then aged it in shiraz barrels with a wild yeast blend for 6 months, further adding to its texture and complexity.”

Glassware: Stemmed tulip.

Appearance: Very interesting…it pours a bold crimson colour which reveal pink hues when held to the light. The short head collapsed to the rim but managed a wet lace drag down the glass.

Aroma: Beautiful candied berries, vinous grape juice, complex oak tannins and delicate barnyard funk making up the bulk of it. Kind of reminds us of opening up a fresh bag of Allen’s ripe raspberries. It’s fantastic we just can’t get enough of it!

Flavour: No where near as funky as we had anticipated, it’s almost a bit of an anticlimax. Upfront there’s a neat little fusion of grape juice, cherry and very mild barnyard funk which moves in to a more tannic mid palate. The finish is mild, fruit-forward and slightly vinous with reasonable length.

Mouthfeel: Light on, quite frothy with lifted co2. Mild-medium body. 5% AbV – neither here nor there.

Overall: We love the incentive and creativity of this beer and for the most part the execution was on point. Personally we’d have loved to see more vigour, maybe a bit more funk and more barrel flavour. But hey for 5% AbV they’ve done quite a good job. Not bad.