Revision Sparkle Muffin NEIPA

Total Score: 9.55/10 Pineapple1HopFlower1Orange1Nonicpint1

Northeast-style IPA? Guess ‘New England’ and ‘Northeast’ are interchangeable terms now? Yes, I lied. I said I would review Knee Deep Lupulin River next, however this can (canned 25 Jan 18) is about as fresh as a beer ever gets to Aus from the states, so it’s going to be a tasty beverage – Lupulin River can wait [1 hr, lol]. Sparkle Muffin is the first beer I’ve had from Revision Brewing, and most likely my first beer from Nevada, least I’ll know soon enough when BeerAdvocate bumps my number of US states from 15 to 16 [I can hardly even contain my excitement]. So without further ado let’s crack open a can of Sparkle Muffin, I said MEOW! Do iiiit.

Poured from a 473ml (US Pint) sized can into a nonic pint.

A: Pretty damn cloudy, total NEIPA look here with a pale pineapple yellow body and a nice billowy white head that leaves lace-work on the inside of the glass. Yep, this ‘ere is good NEIPA territory, a place you could settle down and call your own with little hops running around, nice. 9/10.

S: Tinned pineapple chunks, just like a certain renowned tinned fruit company in Australia used to do [or still does – haven’t had tinned pineapple chunks in a while]. Aroma is full of pineapple goodness, along with some of that fabled (for an Aussie drinking a US IPA) green resin hop character, hints of OJ, and a careless whisper [it’s a George Michael tribute mix playing in Castle Doc right now: “Guilty feet have got no rhythm…”] of biscuit malt supporting the hops. Top stuff this. 9/10.

T: I’ve got 2 words: Deschutes and Victory, as in: tastes like Deschutes Fresh Squeezed and Victory DirtWolf mixed together. Sparkle Muffin brings that tinned pineapple chunks bravado of DirtWolf, adds a touch of piney/citrus hops like Fresh Squeezed, and throws in fresh squeezed (not the beer, the real thing) OJ and a spicy/peppery back note. It has a nice green hop resin tinge to it as well, like a fresh IPA normally has, but it’s survived 2 months in the can without hop fade, which is quite admirable. Mid to light bitterness, as per the style. This is ace. 10/10.

M: The mouthfeel is superlative as well: Mid to heavy bodied with a creamy/dense carbonation – beats the Deschutes and Victory here IMO. 10/10.

D: Either it doesn’t take much to impress me or US beer reviewers are hard to please. Regardless I’m suitably impressed from the off by Revision, this is a stellar NEIPA, which BTW is more of an East meets West coast brew but what’s in a name? A beer by any other name would taste as sweet & bitter. 9/10.

Food match: Ooo, something with Vietnamese mint in it – Bun Cha salad FTW.


Knee Deep Breaking Bud

Total Score: 8/10 Biscuit1HopFlower1Pineapple1Nonicpint1

*presses play on AC/DC’s “Back in Black”* That’s right – I’m back! And, yes I’m even wearing black, well dark blue, but it’s almost black. I wanted to take a holiday from beer reviewing, my doctor wanted me to, my girlfriend as well, however there’s just too many good beers out there! (plus I work in the industry so really it’s a product knowledge thingy as well). So back I am, and if I’m being honest [yes, let’s try that whole honesty thing, I hear it resonates well with the readers] I’ve had a heap of new beers lately (in the holy name of product knowledge *choral ahhh*) and the first one to really grab my attention is Knee Deep Lupulin River. “But this is Breaking Bud” you say? Yes. Lupulin River is next up in my ever-growing army of beers TBR… will I ever stop??? [nup]

Poured from a 473ml (US Pint) sized can into a nonic pint.

A: Exceedingly clear (for an American IPA) golden body… been a while since I’ve seen a totally clear US IPA… didn’t miss them, just interesting to see one again after my NEIPA dayz. Head is white and billowy. It finishes with some lattice-work lace in the glass and splotchy bits on top. Looks ok, bit of a 6/10.

S: Aroma picks up the slack with a full west coast assertive hop onslaught – think piney/resin hops with a hint of pineapple, surprising green character for a 20th Dec 2017 brew date, and a faint whisper of caramel/biscuit malts and a woody tone. After so many NEIPAs of late this is a welcome change of pace in the aroma [and most likely the flavour as well]. I mean I do love NEIPAs, but God there’s a time and place for every beer style. 8/10.

T: Ahhh, noticeable hop fade, my arch nemesis. Well, I can tell you a fresh can of this would have been pretty damn tasty, but the last three months have not been kind to this can of Breaking Bud. There’s hints of the above hop characters (piney/resin/pineapple/green and woody tones) but the caramel/biscuit malts are ruling this roost now. On the plus side it’s less sweet than dry, this could have been a total malt bomb (as some hop faded brews can be) but the lingering aftertaste dries out the palate and leaves a nice hop resonance. Damn I would have liked this fresh. I would have probably given it an 8/10 here, so I will anyhow. 8/10.

M: Mouthfeel ain’t nothing special: mid to light, slightly creamy carbonation. 7/10.

D: Pretty damn drinkable though – aside from a medium(ish) bitterness – this goes down rather easy for the 6.5% ABV. I would definitely go another. 9/10.

Food match: Lighter SE Asian cuisine, rice paper rolls and such.



Rodenbach Caractère Rouge

Total Score: 8.9/10 Cherry1RedWine1Raspberry1Tulipglass1

#1,000 for reals this time. I’ve been squirrelling so much anticipation, ewe wouldn’t even believe, but bear with me – this is a massive milestone, let me crow about it [animal puns: success!]. 7 years ago I posted my first review on, and in that time I’ve had many many great beers, and in the last few years less and less crap beers. TBH I realised life is short there are too many beers out there for one man to drink (and review) so I’ve been sticking with the “good stuff”. Rodenbach Caractère Rouge: good stuff I’ve heard, plus I already love Rodenbach Grand Cru, seems like a no brainer. No, it isn’t my usual “what’s the BIGGEST (ABV) beer I can get my hands on”, but let’s give something different a go (yo!).

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy red fruit coloured body with a nice tight-packed salmon-tinged head that slowly dies back to a thin lace ring. A stunning seductress: “the coyote of the desert likes to eat the heart of the young and the blood drips down to his children for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and only the ribs will be broken…” mmm. 9/10.

S: Red currents, cherry, grape-aid, hints of vanilla, the aroma is quite sweet, very fruity, but this no doubt belies a tart flavour hiding within the flavour profile. Without question this is the most berry fruit I’ve ever encountered in a beer – it’s a pervading musk, like a female version of Sex Panther: “60% of the time, it works every time” [yes, it’s a Ron Burgundy night for me]. 9/10.

T: God damn this is a taste sensation. It’s upfront sugar: red current, cherry, raspberry, cranberry, grape-aid, hints of vanilla, then in comes that classic Flanders Red Ale sharp acidic tart overtone to cut through all sweetness and finish crisp and moreish. It comes with an acid reflux trigger warning: you will get reflux from this if you’re susceptible. Further sips make me question the amount of tartness in this brew – such a complex and beautiful homage to berry fruits, yet it’s a touch too sour IMO. Otherwise it’s a grand flavour profile. 9/10.

M: Medium bodied, hints of wateriness, with a heavy/dense carbonation. 8/10.

D: Sourness holds Caractère Rouge from being up there with Grand Cru, however we’re comparing a world class Fruit Beer with a world class Flanders Red Ale… made by the same brewer! Rodenbach are legends, for good reason, they make unique beers, and what might be too sour and acidic for me might be perfect for you, horses: courses. It’s all glorious, viva beer! 9/10.

Food match: Game meats with wild forest mushrooms and truffle (oh & an antacid).


Mikkeller 1000 IBU

Total Score: 7.4/10 HopFlower1Earth1CutGrass1Tulipglass1

Well, here we are! #1,000! Woo-Hoo! *releases streamers and balloons from ceiling above of everyone who reads this review – at great cost I might add – instantly* And what better way to celebrate review #1,000 than with Mikkeller 1000 Eye Bee U? Only it’s not my 1,000th review! Psyche! This is my 999th review. Truth is I was suggested Mikkeller 1000 IBU by some great people on BeerAdvocate, but in the meantime I found something better TBC soon. However now is the time for Mikkeller to shine. I’ve reviewed 5 Mikkellers so far, it would have been more but they’re both hard to get and expensive in Australia. One similar theme is concurrent with my 5 Mikkeller beer reviews: they’re all tasty. Expect the same from 1000 IBU.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: I was actually so surprised by how dark this beer was during the pour that I spilled some of it. Hazed deep caramel body – that can’t possibly be right!? I marvelled at the dark IPA as a beige head swirled into a non-existent patchwork of thin bubbles. This is a seriously dark IPA, and now my left wrist smells of beer. 7/10.

S: It smells like a rich resin run off from a bucket load of hops. Aroma is hop forward with notes of piney, resin, forest floor, juniper, hints of bitter orange… essentially the aroma of a hop bomb with little disregard of any malt base. Hey, it’s what to be expected from a 1000 IBU beer – which in case you were wondering is actually measured by the amount of hops added to a beer, not the end result: which is why some beers can say “30 IBUs” and taste stronger than a “200 IBU” beer BTW. 8/10.

T: Very hop-driven beer, though it’s got that real raw and earthy/grassy hop character that you get in a hop tea (hops in boiling water). It’s not as nuanced as I was expecting from a Mikkeller beer. The flavour is quite raw and unfinished IMO, it’s like a dare beer that Mikkeller didn’t develop further. Those piney, forest floor and resin flavours make it in too. Finish is drying, there’s very little in the way of malt flavour (caramel), with a final medium bitter orange hop note. 7/10.

M: Decent body (thanks oats!) mid to heavy with a creamy/dense carbonation – it’s heavier than most DIPAs at 9.6% ABV or above, plenty of hop oils too. 9/10.

D: Coincidentally this beer is my intro to Mikkeller IPAs, and it was shocking to see how dark it was, but overall it was disappointing as it’s such a hum-drum American DIPA, there’s not much to see here, and the craft of Mikkeller’s other brews is lost in this, all-in-all it feels like Mikkeller did this 1000 IBU on a dare. 7/10.

Food match: It’s not Thai-fresh, more of a Malaysian cuisine DIPA.


Nøgne Ø Gammel Jo

Total Score: 7.85/10 Caramel1DarkFruits1RedWine1Tulipglass1

Been awhile since I’ve reviewed a Nøgne Ø beer (July 11th 2017 to be exact), so I’ve been saving this Gammel Jo, which sounds like another name for “Grandma Jo” but is probably something else entirely in Norwegian, for some time. That time is now – only 2 beers away from the Everest that is #1,000. I’m a big fan of Old Ales too. Last one that really won me over to the style was Bacchus King of Denmark, which was amazing and I still have a bottle of it in my cellar – that will be an interesting bottle to open in a couple years indeed! Back to Nøgne Ø, I’ve always been a fan of their stuff, they rate as my second favourite Norwegian brewer after Haandbryggeriet, and their Imperial Brown Ale is hands down the best I’ve had of theirs – they’re definitely a dark beer brewer (brewing IMO better dark than light beers).

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Rich chocolate brown with a hint of cola hazed body, thin khaki head that immediately dissipates leaving a lace ring. Dense bubbles on the surface. Not really expecting much of a head but the way it disappeared so quickly, hmmm. 7/10.

S: Interesting lactic (think yoghurt) note upfront, mingles with toffee and caramel, decomposing red grapes with dark fruit character (date, fig and plum). Overall the aroma reminds me of Medieval banquet [yes I have a time-machine, not made out of a DeLorean, I went with a Mazda 6 – my flex capacitor only needs 60kph to activate the time circuits – true story, don’t try to independently verify it]. 8/10.

T: A rich tapestry of malts! Like the Bayeux Tapestry… only with malt (which I imagine would be rather sticky, and instead of “no photos” signs around it, it would have “no licking” signs). Flavours include the above: toffee, caramel, hint of red grape botrytis, date, fig and plum. Finishes a with a sticky date pudding sweetness and a slight hint of burnt bitter caramel. 8/10.

M: Mouthfeel is rich, medium/heavy, a bit cloying because of the sweetness, with a creamy/dense carbonation. It’s a bit of a rich beer all round it seems. 7/10.

D: Ouch! I think I just felt a stabbing pain in my pancreas, oh well – better keep drinking. Gammel Jo is a rich, luxuriant feather in Nøgne Ø’s hat. The only thing really holding it back from greatness is the sweetness – it’s sliiiightly overboard on the sugar content, and the East Kent Golding hops are barely enough to keep it in check (noble hops?! You need some mid-alpha range hops to balance out that sugar). Otherwise it’s game on Medieval-banquet Kong. 8/10.

Food match: I’ve said it like 8 times in the review: Medieval banquet!


Rogue Dead ‘N’ Dead

Total Score: 8.15/10 Honeycomb1Bread1Wood1Tulipglass1

I don’t know if I love Rogue Ales, but dammit I respect them! Their beers have ranged from the tasty (Chocolate Stout and Dead Guy Ale), to the bizarre (Voodoo Doughnut anything), to the outright stupid (Beard Beer – which of course was going to taste like a Saison because: wild yeast – duh!). Dead Guy Ale is my 3rd favourite Rogue Beer, and to date the only Maibock I’ve reviewed [even though I’ve been to Germany twice… I think I need to go again, in the interests of beer]. When I saw Dead ‘N’ Dead at my local I wondered “how can this be good? A whiskey barrel-aged Dead Guy Ale – why mess with something already quite tasty?”. Of course I bought it, curious cat that I am.

Poured from a 650ml US bomber sized bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Tequila sunrise coloured cloudy body with a nice firm 1 centimetre beige coloured head that leaves some crazy lattice-work lace on the side of the glass. Well, sir, I must say this looks… mighty appealing, one could say it’s ‘mightpealing’. 9/10. [oh yeah, BJCP says a Maibock should be clearer, lighter coloured, with a whiter head… sorry Rogue – I docked Dead Guy for this too] 7/10.

S: Aroma is a bit of a tapestry strewn with caramel malt, dark fruit (mostly fig, hint of date), woody & vanilla tones (thanks oak!), bready centre, and intriguingly: almond. Yep, an odd hint of almond. Hopefully no one is trying to assassinate someone else with cyanide and I happened to purchase the very bottle that was the poisoned chalice. I don’t think that’s a realistic scenario… still almonds aren’t a common aroma in beer [hmmm, indeed Watson…] smells like a tasty death regardless. 8/10.

T: Huh. Tastes almost identical to Dead Guy Ale [strange that]. Flavour comes across more bready, honeyed sweet, caramel and butterscotch (just like Dead Guy) with a richer/more velvety mouthfeel [that’s next Doc!]. Hints of wood, vanilla and a slight burnt caramel note are the only flavours that set it apart from Dead Guy. More of an evolution than a revolution then. Finish is drying. Still tasty. 8/10.

M: Mid, almost heavy-but-not-quite bodied with a thin but velvety and dense carbonation… mmmm, Dead ‘N’ Dead. 8/10.

D: It’s going to be close, real close… I love DGA, but D’N’D [there’s a D&D reference in there somewhere] is also good. Too many good things to drink, too little time to taste everything. Still DGA is a tad cheaper… so close… 9/10.

Food match: Gotta go German – Schweinebraten mit Knödeln again methinks.


Deep Creek Lupulin Effect New England IPA

Total Score: 6.55/10 PapayaMango1Pineapple1CutGrass1Nonicpint1

Well isn’t Deep Creek the little NZ brewery that could – last year they didn’t have a single entry in the GABS Hottest 100 Kiwi Beers 2016, but this year (i.e. 2017) they’ve got 4! Say what you will about the weird politics going on behind the scenes that allowed a beer like Gage Road Single Fin to reach #5 on the Aussie version of the charts this year – I mean WTF are people even thinking to vote Single Fin, a piss-weak Summer Ale over so many great IPAs?! Rant aside, Deep Creek Lupulin Effect New England IPA is #74 on the Kiwi Hottest 100, and I like the style, ergo: good times ahead (yo!). I thought their Double IPA was decent, bit of ethanol in the flavour profile aside, I’m expecting more of the same here (with NEIPA characteristics of course).

Poured from a 440ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Pretty cloudy, not the murkiest NEIPA I’ve seen, but it’s got a nice haze regardless, with a Jonquil yellow body and a 2 centimetre off-white sea foam head that crumbles away like nan’s scones [I miss nan’s scones…] leaving nothing. 7/10.

S: Aroma is a tropical fruit salad (papaya, lychee, pineapple) with a slight grassy hop character towards the end. As typical with the fruit salads that are NEIPAs the malt is barely perceptible (if you get a fresh NEIPA at least). Great tropical fruit aroma in this one, it’s nice and “IN YO FACE!” good work here Deep Creek. 9/10.

T: Oh dear! Deary dear! Dearest dearingtons! This is a real swing and miss brew! Flavour is just not up to task unfortunately (same with mouthfeel), comes across thin (flavour-wise) with the above tropical fruit flavours, no malt (wasn’t expecting malt irrespective) with that same ethanol note that their Lupulin Effect Double IPA has. The DIPA is tastier though, this is tropical-flavoured mouthwash. Finishes quite bitter too, against the NEIPA tradition. NEIPA TRADITION I SAY! *bristles* 6/10.

M: Yep, mid to light, watery for a NEIPA, with a thin slightly gassy carbonation – it’s pretty fresh too, no chance of secondary refermentation AFAIA [sadface]. 5/10.

D: What a roller-coaster of emotions: from the lows of missing nan’s scones, to the highs of “IN YO FACE!” aromas, then the lows of rest of this beer… plus NEIPA TRADITION! [I of course say this with irony as NEIPAs – as a style – haven’t been around that long] Personally I don’t think Deep Creek are ready to be rubbing shoulders with NZ giants like Garage Project/8 Wired/Tuatara/Epic/Yeastie Boys – they’ve got fundamental problems if this is their best NEIPA. 6/10.

Food match: Fruit salad… with beer? Go on, I dare ya.