Toppling Goliath ‘Pseudo Sue’ American Pale Ale

Rating:

42106084_954308894753256_2928995459093495808_n“This single hop pale ale showcases the Citra hop for a well-balanced beer that is delicate in body with a mild bitterness in the finish. She roars with ferocious aromas of grapefruit, citrus, mango and evergreen. Pseudo Sue’s unique taste is clean and bright with just enough bite!”

Glassware: Shaker.

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden orange with a fair bit of suspended sediment. It forms a sturdy two finger head which persists and laced well.

Aroma: Without a doubt the Citra hop would have to be one of our all time favourites. Its natural high alpha acids along with its citrus, pine and tropical fruit profile invokes memories of the best IPA’s of yesteryear (before the haze craze!). Pseudo Sue also offers plenty of spicy lemongrass, unripened mango, herbal tea, pineapple and a light bready malt structure. Very nice indeed!

Flavour: The hops don’t provide as much intensity as the nose. The aggression and the bitterness are there but the flavours are slightly muted as they come through. The mid hits more of a stonefruit note as it leads in to the dry and bitter finish which carries spicy and piney notes in to the back end.

Mouthfeel: Fairly well in check for a big WC-style APA. Dry, maybe a little creamy. 7% AbV with a gutsy 45 IBU – both are quite well behaved though.

Overall: It’s a really well built beer. There’s a bit of conjecture around it’s category and rightly so. If it is an APA then it’s the biggest and booziest APA we’ve ever had. It portrays itself as more of an IPA…and a good one at that!

Firestone Walker ‘Pivo’ Pilsner

Rating:

41984659_953535621497250_6344763772573319168_n“Pivo Pils is a classically rendered pilsner with a West Coast dry-­‐hopping twist, showcasing stylistic influences from Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic. Lighter beer styles like pilsner have been hijacked by industrial lager beer in the United States, and it’s time for craft brewers to take it back. Pivo Pils offers impeccable balance with floral aromatics, spicy herbal nuances, and bergamot zest and lemongrass notes from dry hopping with German Saphir hops.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Clear gold with a two finger cap resting atop. Good retention and healthy lace as it ebbs.

Aroma: It has that classic pilsner base with semi sweet cracker malt, some corny DMS and a lovely floral bouquet. There’s a soft herbal undertone, spicy hops, grass and a light honey sweetness in support. Really crisp and refreshing. Hitting the spot on this warm spring arvo.

Flavour: Displaying more of its American traits on the palate – slightly lifted bitterness and more of a citrusy hop profile. Still tasting lots of that conventional Euro pils flavour though with its floral, spicy and semi sweet grainy malt structure. Strong carry in to the slightly bitter and herbal finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, snappy and nicely carbonated. Mild-medium body with the 5.3% AbV adding a little extra kick. Some bite from the 40 IBU as well.

Overall: One of the best things about this warmer weather is that these flavoursome and super sessional styles find their way back to our fridge. A welcome change from all of the heavy barrel aged stouts! It’s clean, tasty and highly enjoyable this one.

Bottle Logic ‘The Lost Colony’ BA Imperial Porter – 2018 Release

Rating:

41952217_953418091509003_7070920030816305152_n“Imperial porter brewed with pecans and walnuts, aged in rum and bourbon barrels with Madagascar vanilla, then finished with cacao nibs and toasted pecans.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Black as midnight with a foamy head perched on top. Reduction is slow eventually settling to a ring which decorates the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Wooowwww. Magnificent display of the pecans and walnuts. The vanilla accent is introduced nicely with the somewhat sweet and sugary notes from the time spent in bourbon and rum barrels also coming through beautifully. The 13.2% AbV stings the olfactory’s but that can be excused considering its weight. Really lovely, all the aromas come together to create this overall aromatic sensation!

Flavour: Very well layered. As expected the rum and bourbon barrels present firmly, the warming alcohol is strong and the roasty/charred malts bring up the bottom end. The mid keeps firm, roasty and boozy with the nutty profile adding a subtle yet toasty and earthy quality. The finish is dry, assertive and warm with a hint of vanilla and booze offering good length.

Mouthfeel: Thick, muscly and very warming. Full bodied. The 13.2% AbV is quite intense…would benefit from some aging!

Overall: Although it does need to be laid down for a while there is still a wealth of flavour to be enjoyed now. With time that booze burn will soften and all of those delicious nutty, vanilla and chocolate flavours will open up.

Epic Brewing Co ‘Brainless On Peaches’ Barrel Aged Belgian Style Ale

Rating:

41974813_953075751543237_5152036347858386944_n“We took our double gold medal winning Brainless® Belgian, added peach puree and aged it in French Chardonnay casks. It develops nicely as it warms displaying more fruit and wine.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Hazy orange pour with a finger of fizzy head over the top. It vanished within seconds with absolutely no lace left on the glass.

Aroma: Really pronounced canned peach and apricot lifting out. Lots of rockmelon, paw paw and guava, pretty much turning into a fruit salad once it settles in the glass. We get a little bit of cloying sweetness coming through which in a way exposes the lack of barrel character on offer. Quite underwhelming to be honest.

Flavour: It hits the palate with yeasty spice, tangy fruit, melon, peach and apricot…a bit of warmth from the booze in support. Not a lot else unfortunately, we detect a bit more oak as opposed to the aroma but it just seems to taper off in to a less than impressive finish with hints of stonefruit and earthy tang on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy but also a little thin and slippery. Mild- medium body. We will say this though the 10.8% AbV is rather well disguised.

Overall: We were contemplating a drain pour here but once we considered how much it cost and the rarity we pushed through. It’s just bland and very difficult to enjoy in our opinion. Average at best!

The Rare Barrel ‘Small Acts’ Barrel Aged Grisette

Rating:

41550908_950434335140712_7848702036475379712_n“Small acts nurture growth and exploration. Budding with notes of pear and honeydew alongside accents of freshly cut grass and crackery grain, Small Acts showcases the coexistence of a saison mixed culture yeast expression and a simpler grain bill.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Very light straw gold complexion which whips up a fizzy but wispy overlay. It quickly collapsed to the rim and offers little to no lace as we go.

Aroma: Light, floral and super refreshing. We must say it’s a welcome change from all the heavy barrel aged stouts and sours we’ve been indulging in through winter (needless to say it pairs well on this warm spring arvo!). Very similar to a saison in its leaning to notes of spice, hay, wheat, strawberry, kiwifruit and subtle lemon/lime juice. Somewhat dry, yeasty….champagne-like in its delivery.

Flavour: Follows the nose – quite clean with refreshing notes of lemon, pear, straw, grainy malt, subtle barnyard qualities and a gose-esque salinity. Mild tartness and gentle acidity bridges the mid and delivers a kind of dry, grassy and yeast spicy finish with a very delicate woody oak accent on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Light on, spritzy and ultra crushable. Mildly bodied with low AbV (4.2%). Probably should have held off until summer to drink this!

Overall: We will admit this is our first entry for Rare Barrel and it certainly won’t be our last! We’ll just conveniently ignore the slightly exorbitant price tag! Solid offering.

 

Barebottle Brew Co ‘Very Best Bad Things’ Double IPA

Rating:

41482753_950164178501061_7381278525153607680_n“In 1855, author Hinton R. Helper wrote, “California can and does furnish the very best bad things obtainable in America.” We’ve worked hard to develop a beer that delivers against that famous quote: a juicy, smooth, very drinkable double IPA that will make you glad you live in the wild west.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy AF! Kind of golden orange looking body with a well maintained cap on top. It hangs a sheet of lace down the sides of the glass. Looks good!

Aroma: Smells of freshly sliced oranges, tangerine and mandarin peel. Well supported by a litany of other tropical fruits i.e mango, pineapple, melon and papaya along with a herbal undertone…we’d say fennel as it offers a bit of spiciness as well. Apricot and a touch of oats as it settles in the glass. Lovely!

Flavour: We taste a wave of tropical and stone fruit wash over the tongue. Following on with orange citrus, pine and apricot that give a little rise to some warning alcohol. Some citric bitterness forming around the mid which leads in to the fruity and slightly herbaceous finish. Good duration in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Pretty well balanced. The bitterness is assertive but the oats hand the texture a smooth and well rounded profile. 8% AbV – reasonably well hidden. Medium body.

Overall: To be honest it didn’t really blow us away. On the upside though it does hit its mark – juicy, fruity, bitterness is nicely tucked away and the malt bill is creamy and oaty. It’s no Heady or Very Green but it’s still a fairly decent NEIPA.

Horus Aged Ales ‘Goshawks Territory’ Imperial Stout

Rating:

41367577_949477225236423_4225866104045568000_n“Imperial Stout with Almonds, Cacao, & Coffee added.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pours like thick sump oil with hardly any head. It forms a halo and leaves a streaky lace drag in its wake.

Aroma: Seriously rich, intense and menacing. Our first thoughts are Amaretto, muscovado sugar, molasses, raw cacao nibs and sweet espresso coffee. It’s also impossible to miss the fresh vanilla beans, dark chocolate, warming alcohol and profiteroles along with undertones of treacle, charred malt and a very faint hint of marshmallow. Divine!

Flavour: Unbelievably viscous but more incredibly it’s smooth, decadent and rather sweet at times. Upfront there’s a delicious fusion of almond syrup, sweet coffee, molasses, dark chocolate and charred malts. A booze warmth coats the mid palate then rolls in to a bitter, roasted but also sweet and spicy finish with excellent length.

Mouthfeel: Dense, soupy and almost edible! Full body and a reasonably well behaved AbV of 13.6%. A slow but highly enjoyable quaffer.

Overall: For its weight and concentration it is dangerously easy to put back. How they do it is beyond us it is simply genius. Although it’s not barrel aged we feel this would still age well…the booze and the general size of it would surely hold it all together. Brilliant drop.

Goose Island Beer Co ‘Madame Rose’ BA Belgian Style Wild Ale – 2016 Release

Rating:

41376746_948953301955482_8411068969561096192_n“Madame Rose is a crimson colored Belgian style brown ale fermented with wild yeast and aged on cherries in wine barrels. Layers of malty complexity, sour cherry, spice and wood notes make Madame Rose an ideal beer to suggest to Bordeaux enthusiasts and beer drinkers fond of Belgian Kriek and Flanders Brown Ales.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Deep amber almost light mahogany coloured body with a finger of finely beaded foam capping it off. It snaps back to the rim and leaves a spotty lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Nicely built up with dank cherry overtones, musty red wine barrels, oak tannins, farmyard, tart berries and a subtle hint of cocoa powder. Certainly getting a tangy red wine vinegar coming through along with a rather juicy blood plum character. As it warms it starts to reveal more of its malt profile which sits somewhere between toasty and wheat/grainy.

Flavour: It opens with a short and sharp burst of lip puckering sourness emphasised by vinegar and acetic lacto funk. It follows on with sour cherries, musty oak and a line of vinous fruit cutting down the middle. Again it hits a strong vinegary note late in the piece as it finishes slightly dry and tannic with a hint of green apple on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Fairly tart, dry and well weighted. Nicely carbonated with just enough booze (6.8%) to keep it interesting.

Overall: It’s like a lovechild between a kriek and an oud bruin. Displaying traits of both with its macerated cherry and hints of cocoa and toasty malt. A lovely sipper but a difficult one to session on.

Goose Island Beer Co ‘Lolita’ BA Belgian Style Wild Ale – 2016 Release

Rating:

41174950_948185455365600_2409089268480737280_n“Lolita is a pink rose colored Belgian style pale ale fermented with wild yeast and aged on raspberries in wine barrels. Aromas of fresh raspberries, bright jammy fruit flavors and crisp, refreshing body make Lolita ideal for beer drinkers fond of Belgian Framboise.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Amber body with a super fizzy head which disappears almost instantly. Not a skerrick of lace in its wake.

Aroma: Quite a complex little number. Lots of berries hit the olfactory’s…a mix of tart and sweet with a dense and jammy viscosity. The musty oak barrels present firmly along with an earthy stonefruit character – mostly apricot and peach. It has that funky farmyard/bretty sourness spiked with a tart framboise-like fruit profile. Lots of depth and complexity here, really impressive.

Flavour: Really well balanced. A slight rush of tart berries is casually softened by the complex oak tannins and earthy apricot. A bit of funky sourness and cheesy tang hinges on the musty cellared oak notes and vinous grape juice in the middle. Again we get berries alongside a touch of vinegar, medicinal cherry and acetic funk converging in a dry finish which endures.

Mouthfeel: Moderate intensity. Rather light on, spritzy at first becoming a little flatter as it warms. Mild-medium acidity, 7.9% AbV – well concealed.

Overall: It certainly doesn’t pull any punches. It offers a framboise-like sweetness, rich musty oak, tart berries, sour farmyard funk and hints of stonefruit. It kind of has it all!

Treehouse Brewing Co ‘Human Condition’ Milk Stout

Rating:

40952105_947416678775811_4464452997627248640_n“We are so pleased to present Human Condition – a beer that follows closely to our long running philosophy of presenting richly flavorful, thoughtful, and well crafted beers that neither tire or weigh heavy on the palate. This beer works perfectly as a companion to a cold spring evening spent dreaming of warm sandy beaches. In the breadth of the human condition, we hope that this beer can offer a moment of joy amidst the endless ups and downs we encounter as we make our way through this fortunate journey of life.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a big and pillowy three finger head perched on top. It holds together and weaves a fine lace down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: She’s sweet and super nutty! Picking up all of the usual suspects – vanilla, lactose, marshmallow, choc chip cookies, caramel buds and cocoa. We’re finding traces of lightly toasted coconut, mocha, toffee fudge and maybe just the slightest hint of Nutella in there too. So moreish!

Flavour: It comes on with out of this world decadence. Malt roast and mildly bitter mocha behind a plethora of dessert-like flavour; toasted coconut, choc chip cookies, caramel fudge, vanilla, marzipan, melted brown sugar and earthy spice. A coffee roast bitterness makes a late appearance and leads in to a sweet, nutty and creamy finish with excellent duration.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, luscious and creamy. Medium body with a remarkably well concealed AbV (7.9%). Very elegant.

Overall: We bought these milk stouts (Human Condition, That’s What She Said, Somewhere, Something and Hold On To Sunshine) as a package and my God they are stunning. Dead set these guys have it absolutely dialled in!

De Garde & Jackie O’s ‘With Friends Like These’ BA Wild Ale w Muscat Grapes

Rating:

40969237_947100962140716_406199864913821696_n“A Wild Ale fermented & aged in oak with late harvest Muscat grapes. Brewed & blended by de Garde Brewing in Tillamook, Oregon with special help from our friends at Jackie O’s. Enjoy with friends of your own. Do not drink bourbon with Brad.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Golden orange with a heavy haze. It forms a thumb of fizzy white head which gradually recedes to a film leaving a wet and streaky lace down the walls.

Aroma: Displays a fresh citrus profile i.e freshly cut lemon, orange peel, grapefruit and white grape juice (yes we know it’s not citrus but it ties in with it so well!). It has a distinct saison-esque spiciness, a bit like white pepper and woody spice…the latter maybe more of an adjunct scent from the time spent in oak barrels. Mild tartness, low acidity. Quite approachable!

Flavour: Super refreshing. Oodles of candied citrus, fruit tingles, sweet grape juice and orange peel upfront. The middle is where it’s at! It develops a delicious candy-like flavour – kind of like grape flavoured sherbet with a soft oak tannin and tart citrus notes in support. The finish is nice and smooth, fruity and revealing a barnyard mustiness on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Light on with a spritzy texture. Mild-medium body. Sourness/acidity is quite low. Very smashy for 6.4% AbV.

Overall: Outstanding drop. Although we love our muscat grapes the more subtle use of them here as opposed to ‘The Lucy’ is why we would favour it. That along with its approachable character and fine aroma and flavour. Very very impressive.

The Bruery ‘Grey Monday’ BA Imperial Stout w Hazelnuts – 2014 Edition

Rating:

40597852_946073802243432_7804558448506437632_n“Grey Monday is a special, limited edition version of our Black Tuesday imperial stout to which we’ve added hazelnuts to the barrels while the beer ages. Originally concocted for a molecular gastronomy dinner at a favorite Orange County restaurant a few years ago, this variation on our already popular stout was an instant hit both among the restaurant diners and our own staff, begging to be brewed again and bottled up.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Mostly black with a ray of light penetrating at the base of the glass. The pour aroused a cm crown which quickly snaps back to a ring. Minimal lace as we indulge.

Aroma: It’s ridiculously rich and indulgent, crammed full of booze-fuelled molasses, licorice, dates, port, dark chocolate and melted brown sugar. The years spent in bourbon barrels yields sharp yet alluring scents of caramel, oak, spice and just the slightest lick of vanilla. With everything that’s already going on we almost forgot about the hazelnuts…which to be honest are slightly drowned out.

Flavour: Like the aroma the richness and overall intensity is mind blowing yet it’s so damn tasty! The booze (18.5%) is immense but it eventually tapers off and the sweet dark fruits, bourbon oak, port, caramel, nuts and molasses begin to open up. A hint of malt roast, cocoa and plum/dates finish with more warming booze in the tail. Magnificent length on the rear.

Mouthfeel: Slick, sticky and super warming. Minimal co2 with expected alcohol astringency. One word….huge!

Overall: Like all Bruery beers this bad boy should be shared…unless you feel like downing 10+ standard drinks in one sitting! That aside the aroma and flavour profile is fantastic. Unbelievably complex but highly enjoyable.

Treehouse Brewing ‘Very Green’ Double IPA

Rating:

40875960_947020942148718_4725986784779960320_n“This classic Tree House Double IPA is created with a massive kettle and dry hop punch of Australian and American hops.  It opens in the glass with huge notes of ripe pineapple, pithy citrus, and dank saturated hops. As it warms it shows its depth and complexity. . . Sweet bits of malt intermingle with straight Tropicana. It has a soft but pointed bitterness and a rich, velvety mouth feel. She drinks much like Green, but with more of everything to love – including a greater potential to get carried away.  Proceed with caution!”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Super cloudy yellow complexion, really takes on that breakfast juice aspect. It holds a persistent three finger crown which dispenses a thick soapy lace as we imbibe.

Aroma: Again, it’s all about that brekky juice – pineapple, mango, guava, apple and orange. Stonefruit and apricot overtones along with some subtle grapefruit cutting through as well, a bit pithy in its delivery. Some dankness, maybe some creamy notes, light florals and a suggestion of oats and grainy malt at the base. The full package!

Flavour: A straight up juice bomb! Waves of creamy pineapple, guava and citrus wash over and make way for a somewhat dank and pithy middle. The grapefruit notes ramp up the citric bitterness before it shifts in to a smooth finish with plenty of floral peach, earthy apricot and rockmelon on the back palate. Decent length too, really going the distance!

Mouth feel: Creamy but also quite dry and pithy. The 8.3% ABV provides a nice warmth on the palate with an assertive bitterness in the swallow. Medium body.

Overall: We’ve tried our fair share of NEIPA’s and although a lot of them are good this one is in a class of its own. Anything from Tree house is as rare as hens teeth as they only sell them from the cellar door in Charlton, Massachusetts but luckily we have a mate who was willing to send some to us! Brilliant drop.

Treehouse Brewing ‘King Julius’ Double IPA

Rating:

40578300_945358142314998_1070123301168218112_n“King Julius is an American Double IPA brewed to be an exceptionally flavorful, juicy, and hop saturated beer without rough edges or abrasiveness. Its vivid citrus aromas give way to flavors of orange creamsicle, mango smoothie, and a bounty of fresh tropical fruit. We find it to be refined and delicate amid an onslaught of flavor. Originally brewed in 2012, King Julius is our endeavor to marry our past with what we aspire to be in the future.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Cloudy orange complexion. The head swells to two fingers and holds its shape really well. Healthy lace work clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Super fruity, tropical and laden with pureed mango, melon, pineapple, paw paw and apricot. Kind of has the breakfast juice thing going on but not as much as previous TH IPA’s. King Julius definitely displays a heady orange tang, kiwifruit, some herbal characters and a soft creamy oat-like malt profile. Maybe just a hint of peach skins too. Very nice!

Flavour: Follows on from the nose with its pronounced juicy notes of orange, melon, paw paw and apricot. Detecting a bit of warmth from the booze (8.2%) but it’s subtle and compliments the stonefruit notes rather well. The middle takes on a more citrus-forward role, adding to the slightly assertive bitterness which rolls in to the dry, resinous and pithy finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy initially then developing a snappy bitterness in the swallow. Co2 is spot on – detecting a very mild sparkle to it. Medium body.

Overall: Crazy sessional for a beer it’s size. We love Treehouse!

De Garde ‘The Lucy’ BA Wild Ale w Muscat Grapes

40243255_943403099177169_1820955100009463808_n“A spontaneous wild ale aged in oak barrels with late harvest muscat grapes.”

Glassware: Stemmed Tulip.

Appearance: Light straw gold with a soft haze. It doesn’t produce much head with the remaining foam retreating to the rim. Frosty lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Displaying that hallmark tart lemon along with punchy notes of wet pine, lime juice, floral perfumes and sour green apple. The muscat grapes are a very interesting (and clever) addition to this ale as it imparts a certain touch of exotic fruit like passion fruit and lychee. Minimal barrel character coming through but hey when there’s this much happening already it doesn’t matter!

Flavour: It opens with a short and sharp burst of acetic lemon, lacto funk and vinous fruits. More zesty notes of lime juice and pomelo carry it across the mid palate. Faint floral undertones and the distinct muscat grapes deliver a fruity finish with subtle dryness and musty barrel characters in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with a champagne sparkle. Acidity is mild-medium. Some tartness to it.

Overall: A very impressive wild ale, certainly leaning more towards a lacto tartness than a bretty/pedio funk. The addition of muscat grapes was well polished and the drink-ability must also cop a mention. Our first crack at this brewery and we like!

Beer Farm IPA

Rating:

40161764_943087239208755_5693416936864481280_n“An American IPA with a rounded malt character and a resinous hop profile. Mosaic & Citra hops bring out a pineapple and stonefruit aroma, complemented by the citrus spice of NZ Motueka. Pleasant but assertive bitterness on the palate, balancing out a light toffee malt character.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: Lovely bold amber colour with almost full clarity. It dons a thumb of foamy head which holds its shape and decorates the glass as we hook in.

Aroma: The hops do most of the talking. A somewhat mixed bag made up of Magnum, Mosaic, Citra and Motueka which impart lots of fresh citrus, tropical fruits, pine, berries, weed, candied lime and honeydew. As she warms a little the malt base opens up and provides a good balance with its sticky caramel sweetness. Showing lots of potential thus far!

Flavour: Pretty much follows the nose with a dominant showcase of hops and a brilliant use of sweet caramel malt to offset them all. It keeps a clean profile through the mid, taking on some orange peel and grapefruit bitterness which intensifies as it finishes on a dry, mildly acidic and bitter finish which carries nicely in to the tail.

Mouthfeel: Snappy and vibrant. Well carbonated with a nicely set IBU (50). The standout is the relatively low AbV (5.6%) though.

Overall: It has been a long time between drinks for us and Beerfarm and again they pass muster. Although it hasn’t bowled us over it has most certainly gained our admiration. It’s light and super sessional, full flavoured yet incredibly easy over the tongue. It’s just a really well brewed IPA.

Treehouse Brewing ‘Somewhere, Something’ Milk Stout

Rating:

40374928_943083579209121_4188707893836513280_n“This new American Stout is intended to complement the character of the season and the Thanksgiving tradition. We open this beer can serve as a lubricant to reflect and give thanks during this special time of year. Enjoy.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Mat black with a finger of tan foam on top. The head holds together well and weaves a fine lace down the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Totally jam packed with moreish scents of cold brew coffee, mocha, marshmallow, vanilla, chocolate sauce, caramel, soya crisps and marzipan. It develops a bit of sticky and rich molasses, licorice and toffee fudge as it settles in. Maybe some very subtle milk sugars creeping in too. Dead set these guys have it absolutely dialled in!

Flavour: Holy moly this is just next level. The palate is simply set alight with everything dessert; chocolate, coffee, caramel, vanilla, toffee, marzipan and cocoa. Then there’s this delicate hint of dark berries and roasted nuts just for good measure. A bit of a tickle from the 7.9% AbV moves in to the slightly charred and mildly dry finish which displays a long cocoa and coffee roast note on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat lean with hardly any chew to it – typical for a milk stout mind you. Moderate co2 and body.

Overall: Here’s another stellar offering from Treehouse. The way these guys pump out one epic beer after another is just unreal. We really feel for those craft beer fans living around the Boston area hey. Must be tough!

Trillium Brewing ‘Number 50’ Double IPA w Experimental Hops

Rating:

40205739_943003839217095_8072578426550091776_n“Moderately hazy golden amber in appearance, Permutation 50 offers a tropical aroma of diced pineapple, honeydew melon rind, tangerine, and mango. The palate bursts with notes of sweet clementine, pulpy grapefruit, kiwi, and lemon pith. Displays a full, creamy mouthfeel with an balancing bite of pine and black tea spice.”

Glassware: IPA glass.

Appearance: It pours a hazy deep orange hue with a pancake head which swells to a cm. Retention is good and lacing much the same.

Aroma: Smells of juicy tropical cocktail fruits i.e mango, paw paw, ripe pineapple and orange citrus with hints of ruby grapefruit and blood orange in support. There’s a lovely sweet malt structure at the base, somewhat buttery and honeyed and offering up a great balance. Fine aroma.

Flavour: Wow a sturdy sweetness meets the taste buds initially. Secondly we must commend them on the masking of the 9% AbV – it’s practically undetectable! Tonnes of those juicy summer stonefruits like mango, paw paw and melon with a flutter of blood orange, ruby grapefruit and tangerine. Again that malt base presents a buttery, sweet and honeyed profile and adds to the smooth well rounded finish.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth, silky and a little creamy. Body, co2 and IBU are all balanced like a beer on a barrel. Perfect!

Overall: One of the most smashy double IPA’s we’ve ever had. The remarkable balance, the concealed AbV and full flavour just adds to the faultless character of the beer. It appears this ‘Permutation Series’ is where it’s at!

Trillium Brewing ‘PM Dawn’ American Stout w Coffee

Rating:

40237223_942516619265817_8814741091602399232_n“In another exciting collaborative effort with our neighbors at Barrington Coffee Roasters, we bring you a bold American stout infused with cold-brewed coffee. PM Dawn exhibits an earthy, freshly roasted coffee bean and dark chocolate/mocha nose. The flavor profile consists of vanilla, hot chocolate, and caramel along with rich espresso. With a medium to heavy body, luscious mouthfeel, and light bitterness, PM Dawn is balanced and full, smooth with a drying roast character.”

Glassware: Snifter.

Appearance: Impenetrable black with a thumb of tan foam resting atop. The head is fairly well retained with healthy lace work down the glass.

Aroma: There aren’t many things in this world that smell better than freshly roasted coffee. Couple this with the aromatic notes of toasty malt, licorice, dark chocolate and dates and you have PM Dawn. There’s a fair amount of spice to it as well – mostly vanilla but with hints of clove and star anise. Just a touch of molasses sweetness poking through too. Lovely nose with great depth.

Flavour: Somewhat basic with the main elements at the forefront; pronounced coffee, dark chocolate, licorice and mild roasted malt which carry nicely through the mid. Some warming booze in the background along with a hint of fresh vanilla and a subtle molasses viscosity which leads in to a mild roasty coffee finish. Excellent length.

Mouthfeel: Quite thick, chewy and gelatinous as it comes up to room temperature. Discernible AbV (9%) with low co2. Medium-full body.

Overall: What begins as a straight forward coffee stout develops in to a rich and dense number that offers a fair bit of complexity. It’s nice and warming, plump and absolutely delish! A solid winter warmer!

Modus Operandi ‘Southern Hemisphere’ BIPA – Black label 3 of 3

Rating:

64DE2FB0-96BF-460A-952E-365D7023378CGlassware: Poured into a shaker glass

Appearance: Mat black with a dark cream, soapy 10mm head that fizzes due to the carbonation from below. Retention is relatively good, with the head bottoming out leaving a sudsy rim around the glass. As we drink there is patchy lacing down the glass at best.

Aroma: Lots of sweet roasted malts, caramels, smoke, chocolate, tropical hops like passion fruit, guava, spice, earth and resin. Smells similar to a Six Strings IPA and the Cascadian Howl by MO. Obvious Galaxy hops in here.

Flavour: Initial whack of bitterness and roasted malts, ash, dark chocolate, liquorice, and espresso. Not as sweet now on the palate. More drying and bold. After a few sips the initial bitterness eases off and the smoothness of the dark roasted flavours blends with the juicyness of the hops. We get pine, mild passion fruit, and also a touch of white wine and spice on the back palate. Good length and it allows you to savour it.

Mouthfeel: Touch of creaminess with a body that’s moderate only. The alc vol is 6.9% and it drinks amazingly well as it’s barely detectable. No IBU stated here. The bitterness and the savouriness alongside the sweetness work well.

Overall: This beer is a spin off of the US inspired Cascadian Howl, but using hops from Australia and NZ. It’s not as strong or full bodied as the Cascadian Howl but it’s just as delicious. There is just as much roast and the hops carry them really well. There is a touch more white wine but it does so in a subtle way that still allows the tropical hops to shine. Would buy again.