Total Score: 7.5/10
To Øl, gypsy brewers from Denmark who I’ve (surprisingly) never reviewed a beer of before, come almost as highly regarded as my favourite Danish gypsy brewer: Mikkeller. So it has been a while for me to get to To Øl (who I’m going to pronounce as “to-ol” because I have no idea what that O with the slash through it is and I’m too not-Danish-enough to find out) however I’m finally there with one of my favourite brewery-introductory styles, the ever face-punching American Double IPA. How will they fare versus Mikkeller or my favourite DIPA (Victory DirtWolf)? Watch this space to find out… err, or read the review just below this line… yep, just a little bit further down… there you go.
Poured from a 500ml can into a Duvel tulip.
A: Caramel-tinged hazed amber body with a decent (for 8.5% ABV) half centimetre off-white head that sticks around for a while, leaving lace scrawl as it recedes. One of the more impressive DIPAs I’ve seen in a while, though just a touch on the brown side colour-wise. 9/10.
S: Hop resin to the fore with a real piney/cannabis that mingles with green mangoes – ahh, my old friend Mosaic! Underpinning this solid hop hit is a caramel/biscuit malt base. Overall this is a proper West Coast DIPA aroma – clean with a bold hop character and some caramel goodness to balance it all out. 8/10.
T: Intriguingly flavour comes through with East Coast sweetness and tropical flavours: Mango, papaya, hint of pineapple. Piney/earthy notes along with the caramel base are there, however this is a West Coast DIPA that has done a U-turn on US Route 20 in Oregon and headed back to New England as some sort of flippant statement (not that I’m complaining). Apart from the almost candy-truck sweetness there is almost a lack of any of that 8.5% ABV – most impressive. Bitterness is very mild given the style. The only thing holding this beer back is sugar: Too much. 7/10.
M: Medium bodied, bit cloying because of that aforementioned sugar, with a light carbonation. 7/10.
D: Well my first To Øl brew and I would put it in the “not-great but also not crap” pile. Compared to Mikkeller so far it beats Cream Ale (which I thought was as boring as a yacht race in a lake of solidified jelly). It’s just not different enough to warrant the $13/can price tag here in Oz, if it was cheaper it would be alright (though I don’t think my pancreas can handle more sugar). 8/10.
Food match: Chargrilled beef to cut through that sugar, with grilled vegetables.