To Øl Mr. Blonde 2018 Edition

Total Score: 8.1/10 Peach1Lemon1Raspberry1Tulipglass1

Boy-howdy* this is going to be fun! I’ve got a panel of great beers tonight from 3 of my favourite brewers: To Øl, Omnipollo, and one of the greatest of all: Mikkeller! So yeah I’m real excited to be bringing these reviews, starting with one of To Øl’s Reservoir Dogs series: Mr. Blonde (2018 Edition). I haven’t tried the original Mr. Blonde, however based on current reviews this Mr. Blonde is looking a bit more extreme (i.e. better!), a Gose-style with vanilla, peach and raspberry – yum!

Poured from a 500ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Wow, wasn’t expecting this – Mr. Blonde pours a cloudy amniotic-fluid pink-coloured body, with a wispy pink-hued white head that slowly settles to a nice tight 1 cm head leaving behind honeycomb lace-work. Looks great, and bizarre. 8/10.

S: Peach and raspberries for days, hint of vanilla too, along with a classic Gose tartness and a touch of salt. Pretty interesting interpretation of the style: there’s the classic lemony touch as well but the peach and raspberry really shine through… less so the vanilla but all in all this is a stellar Gose aroma. 9/10.

T: Sour lemon straight up and all over the palate – this is a reasonably sour beer, it’s not fantastically sour, however it’s definitely right there in sour territory. Which is generally not great for me (I’m not a fan of sour beers, however I can appreciate them regardless). The peach and raspberry that was quite prominent in the aroma has taken a bit of a back seat with the flavour, never mind that happens, however there are some great background notes of the above: peach, raspberry, vanilla, salt, along with pink grapefruit, Brett funk, and slight barnyard characters. 8/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a decent amount of carbonation, it is a 4.5% ABV Gose after all – so it was always bound to be a fizzer – it’s certainly to style. 7/10.

D: This is a real palate-cleansing ale that is well-balanced (though a bit too sour for my liking), refreshing, and typical of To Øl: a different take on a (now) well-worn style (i.e. Gose, which has really taken off as a style in the last 5 years). If I can say one thing about sour beers such as this one that has helped me over the years: as they warm the sourness abates slightly. For Mr. Blonde 2018 this has magnified just how complex the flavours underneath are – this is up there with the best Gose’s I’ve tried. 8/10.

Food match: Sharp cheese platter and an antacid or Vietnamese Bun Thit Nuong.

*Wow, I promise never to say “boy-howdy” again – this isn’t the 1950’s.

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Green Beacon 7 Bells Passionfruit Gose

Total Score: 6.2/10 Passionfruit1Passionfruit1Passionfruit1Tulipglass1

Oooo, this sounds like it might be an interesting segue of a brew from Green Beacon – 7 Bells Passionfruit Gose. First up – my experience with Gose’s are limited but ever expanding. I’ve found they generally taste a bit like Eno – that delightful salty/lemon antacid drink. Yep, Gose’s and Eno are strange bedfellows, but Eno is refreshing ergo Gose’s are too. This one has passionfruit too, so it should be a nice salty tropical summery brew then. Plus at 4.2% ABV it means you can drink even more at the BBQ your GF dragged you along to and still drive… eventually… yay! This can suggests 7 Bells is a part of Green Beacons ever-expanding core range (it’s not a printed label and is brightly coloured like their core range cans) however I reckon it’s a seasonal 😉

Poured from a 375ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: CLAAAASIC Gose look: cloudy pale straw body with an excitable white sea foam head that thins down to a snowy blanket on top. Well, well, Green Beacon have nailed that Gose look… then the head completely died. Still looks good. 8/10.

S: Passionfruit upfront, but it’s got a weird tropical Berocca (fizzy good, make feel nice tablets) character. Then it’s got yeast, not quite as bad as Edge Pomegranate Sour, but it’s a noticeable dusty tome (LOL!). Hints of sea salt, but interestingly no lemon – nearly every Gose I’ve tried has had lemon in the flavour profile. Hmmm, a bit too musty but not bad GB. 6/10.

T: Huh, passionfruit Eno… interesting… not as refreshing IMO as the original lemon Eno (sorry GB). Yeast is a bit on the prominent side, dusting its way throughout the flavour profile, salt also comes in a bit sharp, finishes slightly tart and mildly bitter. Other than that it’s a bit on the plain side. Ticks the Gose boxes though. 6/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light but spritzy carbonation and a lively tongue-feel (yeah that’s right – I said “tongue-feel”, I’m mixing that shit up yo). 7/10.

D: It’s definitely not the train-wreck that Pomegranate Sour was, but it’s probably the least refreshing beer I’ve had from Green Beacon, though pretty much all their beers hit “the spot” so it’s not a Greek tragedy that 7 Bells is a bit “meh”. TBH I’m not sure Green Beacon even needed to invent this new beer – not when they’ve got solid corkers like Uppercut IIPA, Whaler Blood Orange IPA, and Scrimshaw IPA sitting in the wings as limited release beers – FFS Green Beacon, pick any of those 3 beers to brew year-round and I will be able to die a happy man!!! Not that we’re not already spoiled for choice these days [shud-up me!]. 6/10.

Food match: Seafood for sure: Oysters with lemon juice, and Kilpatrick (no really).

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Omnipollo Bianca Mango Lassi Gose

Total Score: 7.2/10 PapayaMango1Lime1Lemon1Tulipglass1

Another day another Omnipollo, this time it’s their Bianca Mango Lassi Gose, which sounds brill (I love mango, it’s like my 2nd favourite fruit after watermelon). The combination sounds great too – tropical sweet mango mixing with the salty and tart flavours of the Gose style – what can go wrong? Not much when Omnipollo brew anything really. Last time out with Omnipollo was their Original Rocky Road Ice Cream, which is a dessert Stout, and before that was the first light beer I’ve tried from them which was the Original Ice Cream Pale – that was one of the better beers of 2017, so here’s hoping Bianca Mango Lassi Gose can deliver the goods like that Pale did.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Nice murky mango-coloured body with a thin white cappuccino foam head that hangs around as a patchy lace blanket. Love my beers cloudy so this of course gets the “Doc Hops Brand Seal of Approval” – you can only find it on products which meet the high personal standards of me, Doctor Hops. 8/10.

S: Wow, if you put a blindfold on me and asked me what was in this glass I would say mango lassi – it smells exactly like a traditional Indian mango lassi! For those unfamiliar with the aroma of mango lassi it is: sweet mango pulp, yoghurt, and a hint of salt. You pretty much nailed it again Omnipollo. 10/10.

T: Ok, was not expecting that – this beer is insanely tart, like a Warhead lolly (extremely sour candy from Australia), to the detriment of all the other flavours. My best guess is poor shipping practice and overfermentation in the bottle has caused this (though I did also activate the yeast when I was pouring it). Either way the true flavours are lost in a maelstrom of sour candy character. Background hints of mango, lime and salt in there as well. Damn what a disappointment. 6/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a decent amount of carbonation, a bit burpy this brew. 7/10.

D: Bit of a shame this brew was a massive sour bomb – I really wanted to enjoy some mango lassi flavours, which I’m a fan of, yet the sourness of this beer ruined those flavours. That said the aroma of this brew was right on the money – rarely do beers that are named after other drinks/food hit the mark as accurately as Bianca Mango Lassi Gose, however the real enjoyment of a beer for me is in the flavour – but if I could sit and sniff a beer all day this would be the beer. 7/10.

Food match: Antacid might be a valuable thing to have on hand here…

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Nomad Freshie Moka Coffee Gose

Total Score: 7.6/10 Coffee1Nut1Earth1Tulipglass1

Yo, yo, yo… wassup my main G’s? Been a while, yes – I took some time out after review #900 to rest my liv-actually I was just about to lie, I’ve still been drinking beer, just needed a break from writing reviews, you think this stuff just comes natural to me? Well, anyway, here’s another Nomad Gose, this one caught my eye because – coffee in my Gose? That sounds intriguing. I bit into Nomad’s pitch hook, line, sinker. As the label states “In Napoli they add a pinch of salt to their morning espresso”… never knew that, I might have to give it a go sometime. So I’m a sucker for coffee, I love it, and when two things I love come together… well that’s why I love coffee beers so much – it’s the best of both worlds (sometimes!).

Poured from a 330ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Easily the darkest Gose I’ve encountered – with a deep black/brown body and a splotchy mocha-coloured blanket on top. The head bubbles look reasonably dense, so the mouthfeel should be decent, cool as brah. 8/10.

S: Roast cold drip coffee mingles with coffee bean, and a nutty/earthy note, hint of salt as well. Some beers don’t even smell like beer to me anymore, and this is one of them – the coffee notes dominate the olfactory senses and we end up with an aroma that could only be described as “coffee soda”… that’s what it reminds me of: Those Asian cans of coffee – Mr. Brown I think it’s called. 7/10.

T: Cold drip coffee front/back/all over with a granular earthy/nutty character, a touch of malt sweetness (like the teaspoon of coconut blossom sugar I add to my morning coffee) with, yep you guessed it – sea salt. The sea salt gives this brew a palate drying effect which works well. Finish finds that fine line between bitter and sweet (and salty). Surprisingly delightful brew this! 8/10.

M: Mid to light – a touch watery – with a very dense (and unfortunately flat) carbonation. Here’s the weakest link of this brew: Lack of body and carbonation, it’s not a game-killer though. 6/10.

D: I liked this. It was slightly sweet, slightly bitter, slightly salty, and coffee all over – if you’re adverse to those things then steer clear, if not this is a tasty brew that I can imagine having as a breakfast beer. As far as Goses go(ses) this is probably one of the best – though it’s the least to style – one that I’ve had. Hopefully Nomad will make more so I can get my coffee/beer fix heading in to summer (which is apparently now in Queensland dammit). 8/10.

Food match: Not sure why but this brew made me want a cannolo… I need help.

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Doctor’s Orders Electrolyte Serum Rhubarb Wheat Gose

Total Score: 5.9/10 Bananas1Barley1Bubblegum1Tulipglass1

Doctor’s Orders, haven’t tried them before even though it sounds like the brewery was named after me: Doc. It isn’t though, my brewery name (when I open my own brewery) will be DöcBräu™ – and I will only be producing Ales, no Lagers thank you (too much effort IMO). Pipe dream aside Doctor’s Orders claim they brought the Gose style to Australia, and they could be right – Gose’s haven’t been around for long even though they were popularised in the states since before I got into craft beer. This Gose is made with rhubarb and wheat, which I suspect will make it similar to a Berliner Weissbier (with rhubarb instead of raspberry sweetness)… I guess we shall soon find out.

Poured from a 375ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy pale straw body, nice fluffy snow white head that compacts from a meaty 3 centimetres to a respectable half centimetre. I like the colour: pale straw is an appealing hue for a brew [rhyme intended]. 8/10.

S: Funky freak show! Salt, normally not a feature in any beer but most welcome in a Gose, comes through front and centre. Notes of banana and rhubarb, hint of bubblegum, barnyard yeast funk, this is could be mistaken for a child’s vomit at a petting zoo – but alas, it is a beer [I believe there was a vomit-flavoured jelly bean in Harry Potter – this is clearly the liquid version of that]. Shades of intriguing and bad mingle freely here. TBH it is what it is, which makes it hard to like/love. 5/10.

T: It really tastes a bit like a wheaty/funky Gatorade… what an odd brew. I’ve had Gose’s before (6 according to my BA account), so this isn’t simply a case of being unfamiliar with the style – this brew is a bit of a mess. Other notes of the above: salt, banana, rhubarb, barnyard yeast and an overall grainy character. Admittedly the more I drank the less bad it became… my taste buds probably surrendered to its weirdness. Again: hard to love. 6/10.

M: Body is alright though – mid to light, with a creamy dense carbonation (that’s the wheat for you – always bringing body). 8/10.

D: Not a fan, and I’ve had Gose’s I’ve liked before. This is the unholy marriage of beer and a sports drink – please heed my words. It’s still better than a Victoria Bitter though – so really let’s give Doctor’s Orders some credit. Also Gose’s are a tricky style: it Gose with the territory [been waiting to crack out that pun for a while now, cheers!]. 5/10.

Food match: This feels like something to drink after a workout session.

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Magic Rock Salty Kiss Gooseberry Gose

Total Score: 7.45/10 WhiteWine1Flowers1Kiwi1Tulipglass1

Sounds like a ride at an inappropriately-themed amusement park: “Magic Rock Salty Kiss Gooseberry Gose”… well that is one ride I would be avoiding at all costs. So back to Magic Rock, their High Wire Grapefruit Pale Ale wasn’t quite up to the standard of Elvis Juice, however this brew is a Gose, and I haven’t had a good Gose in like forever brah. Gooseberry also feels like a natural addition to the Gose style given their tartness of flavour. Thus far my Gose drinking experience has been akin to drinking numerous glasses of that delightful lemon-flavoured antacid beverage known as Eno (not to be associated in any way with Brian Eno, I understand he tried it once for a bellyache but that was it) hopefully Salty Kiss will be different.

Poured from a 330ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Positively murky AF Goldenrod body with a white sea-foam head that settles around half a centimetre – I’m liking this so far… love the yeast haze on this brew: it’s like pea soup on a cloudy day in a Turkish bath. 8/10.

S: Funky yeast character mingles with a fruity white wine note and floral accents – it is a pleasing aroma indeed. There’s a freshness in the fruit notes that carries throughout the nose, really moreish, and floral. I need more adjectives… it’s Gooseberry-ish. Yeah, I’m going to go with that. 8/10.

T: First off – doesn’t taste like Eno (hooray!). Salt upfront mingles with fruity/white wine/floral characters, then as quickly as these flavours arrive tart Gooseberry cuts in an slakes the palate like some sort of palate slaker… (it is too a thing!). This is probably the most refreshing Gose I’ve had yet – admittedly I haven’t had many Goses. Complaints? It’s a bit thin in flavour – at 4.1% this is to be expected. Still this is a reasonably moreish Gose – the fresh tartness of the Gooseberry really works well. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a thin but dense carbonation – kinda glad this isn’t too fizzy, don’t think it would work with the flavour profile if it was. 7/10.

D: Still getting used to Goses as a whole – such an odd flavour combination in a beer, salty/sour is more something you would find in a glass of Ayran (a Turkish salted yoghurt beverage) than in a beer… I haven’t fallen head over heels in love with it like some others, however I also haven’t been deterred like I have with the black-hole-face-puckering sour beers out there… or Macro Lagers in general [as if we don’t know that already!]. This is one I will come back to again. 8/10.

Food match: Grilled Kingfish with a garden salad and a slightly spicy sauce.

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Anderson Valley Briney Melon Gose

Total Score: 7.7/10 Watermelon1Lemon1GreenMelon1Tulipglass1

Walked into a local I hadn’t been to in a while and found they had some awesome Anderson Valley brews on their shelf, I guess that’s how it Gose these days [yeah I went there!] finding great brews is getting easier and easier. This one drew my eye straight away being a Gose with watermelon – I love watermelon, it’s probably my favourite fruit… yeah, let’s lock it in: Doc’s favourite fruit = watermelon! Such a clever mix too, salt and watermelon, it’s like a Greek feta and watermelon salad (one of my fortes). So this was an instabuy. Hopefully that melon comes through prominently, it won’t work for me if it’s too subtle.

Poured from a 355ml can into a Duvel tulip.

A: Hazed pale golden body with a bold white 1 centimetre cappuccino foam head that slowly withers down to a thin lace blanket. Looks good as far as Goses go… tongue twister there. 8/10.

S: Sea salt with an unidentified sourness… it’s somewhere neutral in the cherry/apple/melon spectrum. As with all the Anderson Valley beers there is an overtone of fresh clean mountain water… though that could be a subliminal picture planted in my mind by the bottle/can label (bear with dear horns drinking out of a mountain stream). 7/10.

T: BAM! This is easily the sourest Gose I’ve laid my tongue on. It hits right off with a sour melon note, follows through with sea salt, lemon and bitter melon finish. Really quite a tart beverage this one – up there with Lindemans Kriek Cuvée René (though not quite as sour). Too tart? For me a little, but you might have been raised sucking on sour watermelon Warheads – I was always the go-to for hot warheads. 8/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a thin but dense carbonation… no complaints here. 7/10.

D: Well this is definitely the least Eno tasting Gose I’ve had yet. Favourite Gose so far? That honour still goes to Bacchus Peanut Brittle Gose… however this is a close second along with HopDog’s Gose & The Pussycats. Overall I did end up enjoying this Gose though. Hmmm, this gets real briney as it warms… makes me think of oysters with sea salt and lemon juice… huh, that’s a good suggestion for below. 8/10.

Food match: Oysters with sea salt and lemon juice… did you try it yeah? Told ya it was a good suggestion!

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