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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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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Weißenoher Klosterbrauerei The Cannabis Club Sud

Total Score: 3.9/10 Corn1Tea1Coriander1Stein1

Here’s an odd one: hemp beer. Never had that before. However I’ve often described beers with a “cannabis” hop aroma/flavour before, so I’ll be interested in seeing if that rings true with this brew. The brewery that makes this is Weißenoher Klosterbrauerei, and so far I’ve only reviewed one beer from them: Bonator – which is a Doppelbock I quite enjoyed (rated that one rather highly) so here’s hoping The Cannabis Club Sud is up to snuff as well. True story: I once tried smoking cannabis, but I didn’t inhale as I imagined that might one day wreck my hope of being a US president… turns out only US born citizens can become the president, so yeah if anyone has any pot: I’m game.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a stein.

A: Almost clear, with a slight haze, yellow-tinged amber body with a 1 centimetre white cappuccino foam head on top. Not sure what to expect from a 5% hemp water beer but it looks a touch darker than most Adjunct Lagers so yeah… 5/10.

S: Aroma has a distinct hemp note (smells like a bag you might buy in a Bali marketplace) with a mixture of green herbal and dusty/earthy characters. There’s a dry grain character as well from the malt base. But otherwise this aroma is pretty stock standard Lager. I’m curious as to why they went in the Lager direction as a Pale Ale would have suited having hemp added to it more IMO. 6/10.

T: Bizarrely sweet upfront with corny/grain notes, pretty unpleasant, with a green vegetable mid palate, notes of hemp, black tea and earthy characters coming through, finishes with a slight herbal hit. The flavours are rather discordant and don’t add together at all. This isn’t the worst tasting beer I’ve encountered (Victoria Bitter still wins that dubious honour) but it’s not far off. The reason I believe is that the sweetness comes out of nowhere – when drier characters would work better with that green/herbal/tea taste that hemp adds. 3/10.

M: Mid to light bodied, very flat though, this could definitely use more carbonation… (or any carbonation). 5/10.

D: It was the best of beers, it was the worst of beers, it was the age of beerdom, it was the age of beerlishness, it was the epoch of wort, it was the epoch of brewing, it was the season of Ale, it was the season of Lager – in short, this beer is not a good beer in any Dickensian sense of the word, it is also no tragedy, though I won’t ever buy it again. What an odd, sad brew. 3/10.

Food match: Probably best not to entertain the thought of food with this…

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Omnipollo Noa Pecan Mud Cake

Total Score: 8.7/10 Chocolate1Nut1Smoke1Tulipglass1

OMFG!!! I got my hands on another Omnipollo! It’s like angels kissing leprechauns and throwing them at me for good luck – that’s how excited I am right now. This is going to be the MOFO (look it up Millennials) experience of a lifetime! Well, maybe that was a touch of hyperbole there – this is going to be the MOFO experience of a beer-time! Yes, better. So what do we know about Noa Pecan Mud Cake? It’s going to be a rich pecan liquid fudge no doubt. It’s brewed with artificial and natural flavours. You know what I reckon it will be like? My beer review #700: Mikkeller Beer Geek Vanilla Shake… and we all remember how well that went (TL;DR It was rather tasty). Anyway, ado’s? We don’t need ‘em.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours absolutely black – like a dying star, even light cannot escape it! No head, save for a thin tan line – like the ring of Saturn, or as Greeks knew him: Kronos – God of time – for within this murky glass of blackness no time passes. I am in awe. 10/10.

S: Rich chocolate mud cake, pecan fudge, and praline. The aroma of this brew is indeed powerful and confected – this is one sweet ride I’ve signed up to. This is one of the more heady aromas I’ve encountered in a long while, my compulsion here is to whiff it unending, but of course it is a beer – I must eventually drink it… but damn, this is outstanding. 10/10.

T: Thick as syrup, but gladly the sugar content is contained surprisingly well. In fact everything is rather contained, leading to a flavour profile that is less exciting than expected. Flavours of: chocolate mud cake, pecan fudge, and praline, mingle with a dark roasted char, a bit of smoke, and a finish adds a hint of bitterness. Compared to Beer Geek Vanilla Shake, and granted I had over a year ago, this isn’t quite as delicious. Plus there’s an odd fake marshmallow flavour in there as well. 8/10.

M: Thick, highly viscous, up there with Founders body in its viscosity, with an almost tack flat carbonation, but it works… a bit of carbonation would have given this a head and ruined the portentous view anyway. 8/10.

D: I think Selassie was my Omnipollo meal ticket. This is just a teensy bit… and I hate myself for saying it: too much syrupy goodness. HOWEVER – if you’ve ever read my reviews and thought “that Doc, he’s a bit of a wuss” this will probably be right up your alley. Me? I’m probably going lie down now… I’m feeling a bit dizzy, damn all of these Omnipollo theatrics! 9/10.

Food match: Chocolate pecan mud cake for comparisons sake.

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Wild Beer Breakfast of Champignons

Total Score: 6/10 Peppercorns1Coriander1Earth1Tulipglass1

These just landed at Black Sheep Newmarket and I was a bit curious as I’ve not tried many beers that have mushrooms in them (Garage Project VPA springs to mind). So colour me intrigued Wild Beer Co, which I imagine is sort of a purpley-gold colour, their labelling and style is reminiscent of BrewDog, which is hardly a negative thing in my eyes. If this brew goes down well I’ve been eyeing off that bottle of Gazillionaire too – which is based on the theme of a Swedish bun (who doesn’t like a good Swedish bun every once in a while, I go out of my way to IKEA for that shit). Back to Breakfast of Champignons, which is described as a Sour Ale on Untappd, I take it that Wild Beer Co only brew spontaneously fermented beers – I can dig that.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy amber/orange body with not much of any head, the little of which is white. Experience has taught me to expect no head from most wild fermented beers so this is neither here nor some other place (there). 7/10.

S: Great nose on this beer – quite unique, very earthy/spicy and herbal, notes of barnyard, pepper, musty yeast and literal damp dirt fill the olfactory senses. If you’re not a fan of wild yeast beers then: a) WTF did you buy this in the first place? And b) this isn’t going to be a great time for you… for me: I love this style of beer and I’m whiffing non-stop hey. 8/10.

T: Smacks you in the face with upfront tartness, like random spontaneous yeast beers generally do, was kinda hoping for a little less sourness and more of that earthy mushroom character as that was what drew me to buying this in the first place. Behind the veil of tartness there are not a great deal many flavours going on, it’s slightly peppery, musty and earthy. Finishes dry without any bitterness or sweetness, yep that’s wild yeast for you: All take, take, take, when it comes to sugar. Burps are not fun either… it’s one of my favourite hobbies too. 5/10.

M: Mid to light, a bit thin and watery, bodied with a flat carbonation… nope. 6/10.

D: This one goes into the “too weird for its own good” box for me. If they used a better yeast and maxed the mushroom and sweetness it might have been a winner, however the end result here is a beer that if you home-brewed it you would probably have tipped out, or struggled through (because you know – you calculate the exact amount of cents each bottle costs and you’re too poor to waste a batch of beer). Sorry Wild Beer, I’m now hesitant to try their Gazillionaire. 6/10.

Food match: Fish and chips to go with this vinegar brew.

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Moon Dog Ogden Nashs Pash Rash

Total Score: 7.8/10 Raspberry1DarkFruits1Coffee1Tulipglass1

Moon Dog, those crazy SOB’s, have previously brewed this Redskins (lolly, candy to Yanks – not talking about my favourite NFL team here) infused Russian Imperial Stout. It must have been good, because they’ve bought it back for another round. I like Redskins (the lolly and the NFL team), so really this was an instabuy brew which showcases Moon Dog at their best: Making crazy experimental beers. Not like the wishy-washy version of Moon Dog that created the forgettable Mack Daddy – that was a bit of a fail. Moon Dog – please remain the crazy purveyors of experimental fermented alcoholic beverages that you are, don’t become yet another faceless entry-level craft brewer. PS: I miss Jumping the Shark (not a metaphor).

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Darkness in a glass – darker’n a black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night. With a thin khaki ring where a head might reside had this beer not been rocking 8.8% ABV. Looks formidable, that’s how like my Stouts too. 8/10.

S: Raspberry notes from the Redskins mingles well with red coffee cherries, espresso and plum – along with hints of other dark fruits. Looking forward to this one – it’s got a bit of a forest fruits vibe going on. I guess that’s the way the whole durned human comedy keeps perpetuatin’ itself down through the generations. Westward the wagons, across the sands of time until we – ah, look at me. I’m ramblin’ again*. 8/10.

T: The Redskins come through milder than expected – it’s a raspberry note throughout the palate, however I was expecting this to be overly sweet, which it isn’t. Pleasant surprise really – as some of the last big ABV beers I’ve encountered have been too sweet. Rounding out the flavours are: Plum, coffee, dark chocolate and yep – you guessed it: Plenty of Raspberries. Finish is long and dry. Aftertaste lingers with that Redskins flavour, good stuff. 8/10.

M: Mid to light, very watery given the ABV, thin carbonation, needs work here. 6/10.

D: Moon Dog at their best – doing crazy shit… who else would have imagined Redskins would actually work in a beer? They actually give off a Raspberry flavour that tastes less artificial than other brews that use real fruit flavouring… I don’t want to name names but I could if pressed. In any case this was a surprisingly enjoyable, if watery, RIS that I would try again. 8/10.

Food match: Venison and other game meats – I can almost taste the combination!

*Yeah I watched Big Lebowski again for the 18th time, what of it?!

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Bacchus Brewing Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!!

Total Score: 7.95/10 Nut1Raspberry1Bread1Tulipglass1

If this beer doesn’t conjure up the crazy image of Brian the dog (of Family Guy) dancing with maracas in a banana outfit I don’t know what will. It’s “Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!!”, and another Bacchus brew for me to review – yes I’ve taken a shine to the mad science of Mr. Ross Kenrick and Co. Peanut Butter Jelly Time!!! (or PBJT!!! for brevity) is an American Amber Ale brewed with: Peanuts, raspberry, oats, lactose, and the usual suspects. I’m envisioning a cross between a PB&J sandwich and a jelly (jam in Oz) donut… oh yeah, and beer of course. Will it be as great as Snickers (and Barosski) my Bacchus favourites? Or will it be one of those Island of Dr. Moreau types that they sometimes release? My money is on the former.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hazed caramel-tinged amber body with a thin beige head that retains OK. Looks right for an amber ale, the body colour is rather appealing, so without much ado I’m going to tuck in now. 7/10.

S: Raspberry jelly (jam) straight up makes it come across as the stuff you spread on toast if you’re into that sort of thing (aint no toast in my life anymore). Nutty peanut hints remind me of Bacchus’s own Peanut Brittle Gose, it’s got that toffee note as well. Bit of bread in there as well. Aroma sits on the sweeter side of the fence and I wonder how Bacchus is going to balance it all out. 8/10.

T: First let’s get it out of the way: This is a sweet dessert beer. Now that we’ve addressed the sugar-coated elephant candy in the room, this beer is almost exactly as you would expect – it’s got: Peanuts, raspberry jam, baked bread, toffee, and a slight herbal bitterness in the finish to balance it all with that classic sweet/bitter dichotomy. On that point – it really is the bitterness that feels out of place, whilst at the same time being fairly essential to the balance overall. I mean it is a beer after all, we expect bitterness, but there’s something about the way it stands out here… a little too harsh methinks. But what a tasty (sweet!) brew otherwise. 8/10.

M: Mid to light, almost medium bodied, with a light but dense carbonation – one of the better mouthfeels in a Bacchus brew here. 8/10.

D: I liked PBJT!!! quite a bit, and if they get the hops sorted out – maybe use a different hop entirely(?) I think Bacchus will be on to a winner [winner, chicken dinner] here. Case in point: I managed to finish this beer (and the review itself) much quicker than normal – the sign of a great beer to me. 8/10.

Food match: Apart from PB&J sandys I would suggest tarts or caked goods.

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