Omnipollo Original Rocky Road Ice Cream

Total Score: 8.1/10 Nut1Chocolate1Vanilla1Tulipglass1

Omni-bloody-pollo! Yes, I promised more reviews from their brill Ice Cream series with Buxton, and here is Rocky Road. I’ve noticed some recent negative reviews of the Omnipollo Ice Cream brews and I feel it necessary to point out: a) This is a dessert beer, b) it will be sweet to the point of you booking a dentist appointment, c) that’s kinda the point of a dessert beer – to be sweet [or not to be sweet, that is not the question], and finally d) if you don’t like dessert beers don’t review/get them, there’s plenty of great stuff out there for everyone, don’t be negging a brew because “there wasn’t anything balancing out the sweetness” – read my points a-d again if it isn’t clear. To me, so far, Omnipollo’s dessert beers have been superlative, full-flavoured and borderline OTT with sugar – that’s a dessert beer!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: [copy/paste from the other Omnipollo Imperial Stout reviews]: Bold, dark, omnious, like the inky black vacuum of space. With a thin tan ring for a head. Darth Vader tried a new glove on this week and it wasn’t this black – impressive, most impressive. 10/10.

S: Peanut to the fore, hints of vanilla, milk/dark chocolate, hint of booze and marshmallow round out a rich dark aroma. It’s a loud and proud aroma, however I can tell you from previous experience that peanut flavoured beers can go a bit awry flavour-wise – it’s hard yards adding oily substances like peanuts to beers due to those oils rotting easily. Here goes the ultimate test for the Omni-guys. 9/10.

T: The peanut flavour is a touch off, but the rest of it works great, the body not so well (but we’ll talk about that next). Flavours of: Roasted peanut, marshmallow, vanilla, milk/dark chocolate, a touch of booze and a cacao nib bitterness in the finish. The overall flavour profile suggests Omnipollo are just getting a tad bit in over their heads (just a tad). It’s got too much going on – flavours coming from all angles, my brain is getting fatigued just thinking of the different flavours and how they even come together. Is it sweet? Yeah, but not crazy sweet, and there’s actually bitterness in the finish to balance it out. 8/10.

M: Mid to heavy bodied but the carbonation is non-existent and sad. 6/10.

D: Yeah even I admit that Omnipollo took this one too far. The flavour has too much happening, although the sweet/bitter balance is spot on, there is also a lack of body/carbonation that the other ones had. Still I did enjoy this. 8/10.

Food match: Need I even say Rocky Road? Yes? Well, ROOCKY ROOOOAD!

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BrewDog Pump Action Poet Stonefruit IPA

Total Score: 7.55/10 Peach1Orange1Grapefruit1Nonicpint1

Well, well, looks like BrewDog Elvis Juice has a new sibling in Pump Action Poet Stonefruit IPA… it’s no secret that I am a big fan of Elvis Juice, to me it is the best (and most consistent) fruit-infused beer. So expectations are very high indeed. A thing that a seasoned Elvis drinker (like me) notices right away is the higher ABV from 6.5% to 7.5%… Elvis was such a drinkable brew at 6.5%, my only concern is that at 7.5% Pump Action Poet might be a bit too on the nose [or tongue in this specific instance]… not the name though – Pump Action Poet, it’s another great brew name from BrewDog, hopefully they won’t get sued for this one… though that does look like Master Chief on the label… shhh, don’t tell Microsoft!

Poured from a 330ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Fairly hazed golden amber hue body with a nice white cappuccino foam head on top that compacts down to about half a centimetre. I declare this looks like a tasty fermented beverage! 8/10.

S: Fruity… stone-fruity. Peach and apricot rule this Pump Action Poet aroma! As advertised then. With notes of grapefruit, orange blossom and a thick biscuit malt base. Master Chief: “Reporting for duty!”. Wait, does the Master Chief even speak? I don’t ever remember hearing him speak. Regardless he has the soul of a poet I am now swayed to believe. 8/10.

T: Yep, stone-fruit for days – it’s carnival time in Georgia (the US state – not the Eurasian country). It’s a bit like an American IPA with some Southern Comfort – that extra 1% ABV does give it a slight spirit edge unfortunately. Other than a bold peachy character there’s a light grapefruit/orange citric backbone and a biscuit base underlying everything… however that spirit edge only serves to detract from the flavour overall. Still it’s good. Not great. Good. 7/10.

M: Medium bodied with a reasonably dense carbonation, not as gassy as Elvis, but then he did eat a lot of hamburgers… 8/10.

D: It’s no Elvis, but it delivers what it sets out to do on the can where it says “Stonefruit IPA” – it is definitely one of those. The whole spirity/SoCo vibe detracts from what could have been an easy-drinking fruit beer like Elvis. Elvis is a breeze at 6.5%, this is almost a chore at 7.5%, goes to show just how much of a difference 1% can make. However: there is a good beer in here. Oh yeah, not a fan of peaches, but I didn’t let that affect the score [I’m a mofressional]. 8/10.

Food match: This beer made me think of sashimi for some reason.

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Stone DaySlayer India Pale Lager

Total Score: 7.8/10 HopFlower1Peppercorns1CutGrass1Nonicpint1

Yepski: Stone DaySlayer India Pale Lager. I haven’t been a fan of this newfangled “India Pale Lager” style as hops and Lager don’t generally go well together for me (due to the sharp bitterness the hops seem to bring in all the IPLs I’ve tried thus far). But this is Stone. Plus it’s got a wee bit of age on it now so: hop fade. Maybe DaySlayer will be just the beer to slaaaa-ke my thirst. Either that or it’s going to be the shittest beer I’ve had yet from Stone, and damn that is one short list – Stone brew pretty awesome beers. Oooo, featured hops are Motueka and Amarillo – I love those guys. Scratch that stuff I said about how this might be Stones shittest beer: Motueka and Amarillo says otherwise.

Poured from a 650ml US bomber-sized bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Slight hazed golden straw body with a nice white cappuccino foam head on top. Bit ‘o lacing, bit ‘o head retention, she’s looking sweet – not literally sweet, figuratively sweet. 8/10.

S: Definite hop fade, oh well, it happens. Aroma is citrus notes, dry cracker and bread middle, peppery/spicy notes towards the back. Hint of grassy hops in the finish as well. S’alright, not quite the heady hop face-cannon it would have been fresh, but still decent enough. 7/10.

T: Hellooo! Piney and spicy/grassy hop characters right upfront, bit of a dry cracker/bread middle (as expected) with a peppery/herbal note towards the finish, which is mid to light bitterness, mellowed with age. Overall the flavour combo is interesting because it’s all grassy/spicy/peppery/herbal – it’s like eating a bowl full of rocket. I happen to love rocket (I eat it practically every day #superfood). Flavour-wise this has been the nicest IPL I’ve encountered – trust in Stone my friend! 8/10.

M: Medium bodied with a medium carbonation and even a smidge of creaminess, nice work. 8/10.

D: Would like to have tried this fresh, but I’m still working on my DeLorean-based time machine… soon I’ll have enough Plutonium to power that thing, till then I can wonder about the DaySlayer that might have been. However till then, the DaySlayer that is: is rather tasty. Tasty enough for me to consider buying another marked-down bottle of this from my local (you see it’s been reduced in price because of the best by date: win-win here) IMO this is a tasty beer with a bit of hop fade that I would def drink again. Stone you ripper! 8/10.

Food match: Hard to go past pizza when thinking of rocket.

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Stone 21st Anniversary Hail To The Hop Thief Double IPA

Total Score: 8.7/10 Orange1Peppercorns1Peach1Tulipglass1

Wow Stone Brewing is now 21 years old? That’s the legal drinking age in ‘Merica [the majority of the world is fine with 18 – for a country that is appallingly liberal with firearm ownership, among other things, it seems like an onerous restriction to have on civil liberties and freedom]. Anyhow, politics aside, Stone do manage to surprise me again and again with their brews, and this Double IPA is no different with a hop bill that includes: Magnum, Mosaic®, Pekko, and an odd little number called: Hopsteiner Exp 06300 (they’re really running out of hop names so they’ve resorted to using numbers as well now). So Mosaic® and Magnum? Had ‘em, love Mosaic®. Pekko is a new one for me, and Hopsteiner Exp 06300 – ??? Umm, yeah.

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

A: Nice ‘n cloudy with hop residue floating around – great sign for a DIPA! Body is a perfect safety-orange colour with an off-white head that slowly settles leaving splotches of lace on the side of the glass – she’s a looker this one! 9/10.

S: Orange peel, peppery notes, earthy/floral character, hint of mango, and a light caramel malt base tying it all together. The hops aren’t fresh (or they’re lacking in that “green” hop character) bottled in late July – that figures, so 2 months on it. Still there is enough hop character in this to still be noticed, and noticed well. It’s a solid West Coast DIPA aroma then. 8/10.

T: Eminently drinkable DIPA from the second it lands on the tongue till the very last sip (2 mins later) – what Stone have done here is what Stone almost always manage to do: Brew a great beer. Flavours are bountiful with: orange peel, peppery notes, earthy/floral character, hint of mango, light caramel & biscuit malt base, nectarine, and a slight piney note (there you are old piney). Balance is almost a perfect trifecta of dry/sweet/bitter – it doesn’t feel like it tips far in any of those directions. 9/10.

M: Medium to full bodied and creamy, tasty as brah! 8/10.

D: This is NOT a big hop onslaught of a brew – Stone has settled down a little in old age (for a craft brewery 21 is old). The fact that they haven’t gone for an all-out assault of hops shows that Stone are a dynamic brewer – they’re able to remain trendsetters because they don’t rest on their laurels. Even if that means pissing off some “hop heads” that seek more of the same, I say bravo to Stone for stepping back from that one-hop-manship machismo. Oh yeah, I also just realised this is 9.8% ABV: WTF are you hiding that alcohol Stone?! Seriously?! 9/10.

Food match: This is one versatile DIPA – steak, curry, chicken, etc…

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Omnipollo Original Ice Cream Pale Ale

Total Score: 9/10 Vanilla1Lemon1Flowers1Tulipglass1

It’s telling of this Omnipollo/Buxton ice cream beer collaboration that I ran out to my local and immediately bought the other two ice cream beers they had in stock – Texas pecan was an absolute ripper, and Omnipollo just have a way with dessert beers that puts them in my top 5 of dessert beer brewers (see if you can guess the other 4). Out of the 3 ice cream beers I have this is a bit more entry-level in style and ABV at 5.6%, so it’ll be interesting to see how much of a full-on, in-your-face brew this will be… though I’m guessing with the skills of both Omnipollo and Buxton combined I’m sure they’ve nailed the brief – both brewers are world class in their respective countries (Sweden and the UK).

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy AF – bit like a NEIPA at first glance – with a golden sunrise coloured body and a nice dense white head that sticks around well, excellent head retention, top marks! 9/10.

S: Floral and citric lemon hops mingle with a nice bold and sweet vanilla fragrance – this beer could in fact pass as perfume – great aroma. Though I do wonder how well citric and vanilla flavours go together as they aren’t often bedfellows. Also it’s not a greatly complex aroma, however for a Pale Ale it is ballsy, and I like balls. Big balls *ahem* yeah it’s good. 8/10.

T: Floral and lemony with a big vanilla hit – this is great! Though they should have called the beer “Original Ice Cream & Lemon Tart” because that lemon is unmistakable and detracts from it being a plain vanilla ice cream experience. The lemon also has a slight artificial character to it, though my palate does seem to be sensitive to lemon flavours (check out my Rogue Lemon Crueller review) so maybe I’m detecting an artificialness that others wouldn’t even notice. The sweetness in this is balanced perfectly (i.e. slightly sweet as I like it) with a wisp of citric bitterness. Wow, this beer goes down too easy! 9/10.

M: Medium bodied with a creamy dense carbonation – very smooth, Hall & Oates smooth “Oh-oh, here she comes, watch out boys she’ll chew you up…” ironically I suspect oats were used in this brew. 9/10.

D: Once again Omnipollo smash out another dessert beer hit, and frankly this one is dangerously more drinkable than Texas pecan, DA-AMN! The only downside is this doesn’t come in a 500ml can. Smashable stuff. 10/10.

Food match: Gourmet pizza – something with truffles and mushrooms.

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Omnipollo Original Texas Pecan Ice Cream

Total Score: 8.95/10 Nut1Vanilla1Caramel1Tulipglass1

O(h) m(y) nipollo! I have another Omnipollo! There’s more coming too. Omnipollo have made me their bitch to some extent – after trying their delicious and syrupy dessert brews I am a convert to the Omnipollo way. I had some sort of perverse Pavlovian response to seeing that pink walking poo (or soft-serve, it’s deviously unclear) on the label of this Original Texas Pecan Ice Cream, my mouth began to salivate and I had to get out of the bottleshop without leaving a puddle of liquid on the ground. Not true. Maybe. Anyhow, I made it out without the “wet floor – cleaning in progress” sign having to (possibly) be deployed. Now I have it, and another walking poo labelled Omnipollo bottle in my fridge (it has to be a soft-serve, it makes more sense that way… still a bold statement).

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Heavy black goop-like substance for a body, with a thin khaki lace ring and a spiral-arm galaxy dense bubble pattern on the surface. The density of this brew is remarkable in the least – quite enjoying presiding over this galaxy. Can’t wait to drink it. 9/10.

S: Nutty and caramel sweetness from the pecans mingles with a bold smack of vanilla (the ice-cream in the name) and naught much else. I hope they can balance out some of that sweetness in the aroma – right now it’s a B-double without brakes about to smash into my teeth… I’m bracing myself now. 7/10.

T: Yeah: No they didn’t balance out the sugar – my teeth have been smashed to a thousand pieces. However this is a dessert beer – let’s not forget that one BIG detail. Flavour is vanilla, caramel and nutty with a hint of cocoa and coffee bean. Very sweet, yes, but the balance otherwise, and the flavours present are unique and delectable. 10/10.

M: Heavy bodied, not quite Founders body again, but still rather heady and chewy with a nice tight carbonation driving it forwards – I’ve got to say Omnipollo are number 2 on my list of brewers that really bring a nice heavy body. Number 1 being obvious. 8/10.

D: Omnipollo, you magnificent bastards! This is an example of a great (and very-sweet-but-that’s-the-point-really) dessert beer. If I was dying in the desert I would not drink a dessert beer – that is my test for all dessert beers, and Original Texas Pecan Ice Cream passes that test with flying colours. 9/10.

Food match: It’s in the name brah!

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Bacchus Brewing Blackadder Goes Forth

Total Score: 7.6/10 Smoke1DarkFruits1Flowers1Tulipglass1

I’m a huge fan of Blackadder (the third series was my favourite) so seeing Bacchus embrace the genius that is Blackadder in the naming of one of their latest mad science experiments they call “beer” I was insta-sold on this. Reading the label got me more excited: “A traditional Scotch Ale with some cunning twists. We used Scottish Barley & infused the wort with heather tips. We then added Sinamar (pure malt extract) to turn it black & then spiced with a dash of Octomore Peated Whisky.” Shit yeah, this sounds like a brew so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel [Blackadder reference FYI]. The Bacchus beers are nothing if not interesting, which is why this is my 20th Bacchus review, keep ‘em coming Ross!

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Yep, she’s black as – darkest Scotch Ale I’ve encountered – looks like a Stout. The head was remarkable in its ability to almost immediately vanish, it was tan-coloured when it was there, now it’s just a body without a head (reminds me of Blackadder S1, Ep2 “Head” in that regard). 5/10.

S: Octomore peat comes through right away… there wasn’t much chance it wouldn’t come through – Octomore being the peatiest whiskey in the world. Hints of dark fruit struggle through that bold peat… I hope the other flavours come through – I mean I love peated whiskey (Ardbeg 10yro being a personal favourite) but I really want to get the heather notes as well. 6/10.

T: Flavour is go-oood though! Octomore peat comes through, though more a whisper rather than a roar, with a heavy dark fruit and brown sugar base, a touch of floral heather and a finish of earthy hops to help dull that heady sweetness. Smoky peat lives on in the aftertaste. The balance is pretty spot on for a Scotch Ale, and it’s borderline intense in flavour… hard not to give it top marks… further sips tip it over the line on the sugar side and it begins to cloy just a touch. 9/10.

M: Mouthfeel is a bit of a mess – mid to light, rather watery body, with a thin but dense carbonation – definitely needs more body. 5/10.

D: This is one of those brews where the sum isn’t the greater than the parts – there’s one part that really works (the flavour) while the rest falls a bit flat. It’s got a bit of a boilermaker warming effect to it as well. I like the flavour, though I’m a bit of a salty peated single-malt drinker so I can imagine the peat character could be a bit much for others. Not my favourite Scotch Ale though: Skullsplitter is. 8/10.

Food match: Probs go some game meats and cheese right now. Heart attack later.

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