62 / 100
So Google searches keep trying to tell me that this beer is interchangeable with Beer Geek Bacon, which Jez has reviewed, but they're several years apart and also 0.5% ABV apart, so I don't think that's true.
Anyway, Jez gave me this bottle and I shared it with Chris after he shared Heady Topper with me. A fair exchange? No. I'm sorry but I just don't have spare fucking bottles of Westvleteren 12 lying around for such contingencies. Jesus.
Pours a dark brown colour, really deep brown and holds to the edge. Head is beige, nice and foamy but sinks to just a thin cloud with some really impressive lacing. Looks like a pretty good stout.
Smells stouty. Quite roasty, with spicy coffee and some dark chocolate. Cacao nibs, espresso and maybe some dark char. Decent, pretty standard.
Taste is similarly stouty; dark and bitter with some bittersweet chocolate, and some coffee roast, with a bit of lightness late on the palate that turns it a little sour, just with that light flagging of the bitterness. Roasty and slightly burnt but very little smokeyness, which is disappointing. Largely just roasty and dark and burnt.
A little thin, but fairly substantial. Just for the intensity of the flavour it's a bit thin.
Drinks alright but I'm a little disappointed at the lack of smokiness, and otherwise its a fairly standard coffee stout with burnt roast character.
60 / 100
330ml can purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Pours a very hazy almost-amber colour, with a frothy, meringue-like head of very-just-off-white. Body is surprisingly light and supple, but it hols some pleasant, fine carbonation. Lacing is also great, forming in intricate swoops and streaks. It's a decent looking brew all up.
Nose is reasonable, but oddly generic. There's a kind of grassiness to the hop character which says little more than "hops". But it doesn't really say it plainly, or shout it commandingly; it kind of coughs it demurely into a dainty handkerchief. There's some malt to back it up, but when attached to the grassiness, it gives it a slight grain husk note. I'm actually not much of a fan.
Taste is a little better. Here, at least, there's a pleasant lightness to the body, and a balance between the flavours. The malt turns very slightly nutty (which is a character I often find in Mikkeller's IPAs), and this provides a fine foil for the hop bitterness. This is, again, generic when it comes down to it—but it's also not overdone, and there's harmony between the elements.
Feel is fairly light, but I quite like the lack of body for a beer that tastes like this.
Overall: it's certainly drinkable. But I have a similar concern with this beer as I had with the 10: the more hops you use, the more you end up with the filtered average of hop flavours. Some hops are characteristic, some can be used to complement each other, or create contrast with each other. But when you use as many as this, all you and up with is [generic_hops_character]. Oh, and a gimmick to put on your can...
250mL bottle purchased from Barny's in Alexandria.
Pours a very dark brwon, azure at the edge. No real head. Touch of bubbles around the rim. Not much to speak of: looks strong.
Smells boozey, strong. Roasty, with sweet oak notes. Mostly american oak; coconutty and not a lot of actual cognac. Decent. Ok but not amazingly complex for the strength.
Taste is syrupy at first, molasses and chocolate that then grows, big vanilla and coconut oak sweetness. Touch of coffee and some cognac that with sweetness comes off like a strong, fortified sweet wine. Touch of dark fruit on the back. Pretty decent, could dial up the cognac and be more enjoyable with more layers on there.
Thick, syrupy. Just a touch of alcohol warmth heat wise but very dry from booze on the back. Pretty good.
Drinks strong but pretty decent flavour. Tastes good too; not quite drinkable but not overpowering either.
I have no idea where I got this bottle from, except that it came from the back of my cupboard on Friday night. Shared with Andrew and Iain.
Pours a red colour, somewhat sedimenty. White head maybe pink tinged. Whispy with some lace trails. Interesting.
Smells boozey. Somewhat ethyl with brandy and cherries, some caramel and plum pudding. Sweet; boozey. Ok but a bit too pungent maybe.
Taste is very brandy, with a big vanilla sweetness. Then gets tart midway; turns raspberry and cherry and fruity, but weak and a bit insipid. Finishes hugely sweet: rice pudding with vanilla and creme anglaise. Also just a late resurgence of booze. Confused; not sure what it's meant to be and I'm not sure that it is, either.
Thin, fairly fluid. Faintest bite on the back.
Has moments that are nice throughout, but they're nice for different reasons and they don't work together at all.
83 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchased from Oak Barrel in Sydney. Cracked on a fine Thursday afternoon.
Pours a deep, rich and silky black, flowing from the bottle in a sinewy curve of ebon. Head is minimal, but exceptionally fine, and exceptionally dark; possible as deep a colour as the body of a regular, lesser stout. Body is very thick and rich, allowing for some of the most amazing carbonation I've ever seen: when tilted, this beer forms a wonderfully rich line of powdery bubbles that just stays completely still. I thought they were trapped on the inside of the glass, but then they do move—just slowly, ever so slowly. It's an amazing thing to watch.
Nose is thick and gooey and rich. Lots of thick melted chocolate tones, mingled with a high-cacao burnt quality and something kind of like cake batter. There's a touch of oxidation to it as well, that works well enough. To be honest, I don't get much barrel, or much tequila—I can imagine, for instance, a freshness from the agave aroma that would have been nicer when this was fresh—but it's still a fine aroma.
Taste is also aged, and there's a prominent oxidation character throughout, leaving the beer a little flatter and thinner than I expected. There's a metallic quality to the back that could be the remnants of the tequila. It adds a slight greenness to the palate which is otherwise quite smooth and dark. Roast is well-moderated, providing a solid backbone of dark bitterness, but never getting acrid or ashy.
The feel is still thick despite the oxidation—to be honest, it would take a lot to stop a 15% impy stout from feeling full and rich.
Overall, there's not doubt this is an exceptionally good beer. It's an intense beer, but brewed with the consummate skill that Mikkel Borg Bjergsø brings to all of his beers. If I preferred some of its stablemates to this one, it's only because its stablemates are some of the finest beers in the world, and George vs Brian really doesn't seem as though it's too far away from being in the same league.
77 / 100
The younger, more timid brother of the Beer Geek Brunch Weasel comes to us in a 330ml brown bottle from Slowbeer in Melbourne, containing a 4.8% ABV version of something purporting to be the kin of the much stronger BGB. Let's see how it goes.
Pours a deep brown, with a thick, frothy head of beige tinged with a touch of yellow. The body is quite fluid and light, and although the carbonation seems fine, it flows swiftly and with anarchic verve to the top of the glass when tilted, like the hissing bubbles on a troubled sea. Lacing forms in bone-like structures on the side of the glass. It looks as you might expect from BGB's baby brother.
Nose is very pleasant, here taking on much of the lovely sweet coffee-based characters of its predecessor. Quite a bright, fruity quality comes through from to coffee addition, which works with a much subdued roast sweetness to give a sense of fullness in the aroma. This is somewhat diminished by a very slight lightness towards the back—perhaps a slight carbonic character—that suggests a little more roast or a little less depth than you'd get in the full thing. It's still an extremely nice and coherent nose though.
Taste is also relatively well structured for the first part. Pleasant full-cream milk coffee runs broadly through the front and the mid-palate, giving sweetness but briskness, and a slight linger of raw granulated sugar towards the back. It does drop off rather quickly in the finish though, leaving it almost as though there's a touch too much roast bitterness, but really it's just because there's not a lot of true sweetness—only just a touch of vanilla sliding into the conclusion.
It's a nice brew. It is genuinely quite pleasant to get a beer with so much character packed into just 4.8% ABV. But it also engenders the question of why you'd prefer to drink this over the original BGB for any other reason. The characters are so similar, but in flavour it's almost in every way the lesser of the two. For what it is though, it's worth every percentage point of its ABV.
98 / 100
(Best of the Best)
Small, 250ml brown bottle purchased from Platinum Liquor in Bellevue Hill. Shared with my Dad on Xmas 2014.
Pours a deep black-brown, but remarkably fluid in the body. Head is a lovely fine and quite persistent crest of deep mocha brown that leaves some sheeting lacing. Carbonation is powdery but sparse—once again underlying the fact that the beer is deep. Looks great.
Nose is chocolate and dark and dank. There's a meatiness to it—a rich bouillon-like savoury character that is going to carry whatever else it cares to take along for the ride. And there's plenty to take along for the ride. It's slightly smoky, slightly salty, with plenty of rich fluid booze—brandy does come through above the steep, almost oppressive roast from the stout. God. This is so good.
Taste is everything that nose promised and more. Rich, meaty, savoury character, balanced with a thick stout-like sweetness, roast and a boozy metallic note. This is finished with a bright salty character that make it seem so easy to drink. But the finish is so smooth and slick—like the last breath of a fondue made from the darkest, highest percentage cacao chocolate you can buy.
The feel works in with this—it's supremely thick, but so supple and silky, it almost by itself gives a bright mercury-like quality that suggests macerated cherry.
This is a superb beer. This is without a doubt one of the best beers I've ever had. Perhaps my only disappointment is that I had the bourbon-barrel version of this beer first, which is, in my opinion, almost a perfect beer. But, this is a very, very close match.
81 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchsed from Leura Cellars. This appears to be something of a companion to Mikkeller's "Bog om Øl", their "Book on Beer". By my logic, that makes this "Beer on Book".
Pours a fairly deep orange colour, light in the body, with a frothy head of grey-tinged white that leaves good streaks of lace. Carbonation is thin but streaming and fairly persistent. Overall, it looks pretty good.
Nose is really excellent. Bright and crisp, with fragrant citric tones, and a sharper vegetative quality like you get from Kiwi hops. It adds a crispness and a vinous quality that really add to the refreshing aroma. It even turns slightly rubbery (in a good way)—like you get with a gueuze. It's a lovely quality to the beer.
Taste is also very good. Very clean and bright, with a pronounced but modulated bitterness that sits beautifully in lockstep with the lighter malt character. That crisp hop note sings through even as it warms a little, but is beautifully balanced especially when it's straight from the fridge—exceedingly refreshing stuff.
Feel is surprisingly a little thicker than it might be for a beer of this style. With the hops and the restrained malt profile, I was expecting it to be a bit drier and lighter.
Overall, though—cracking beer. This is a lovely, clean, easy-to-drink, but well-hopped lager. I only wish I had another one in front of me right now.
25cl brown bottle purchased and consumed at Erzbierschof Punkt in Winterthur, Switzerland.
Pours a deep brown colour, fine and silky in the body. Deep opacity and colour. Head is fine and thin in milk-chocolate brown, but leaves long languid streaks of lace. Beautiful fine, powdery carbonation. Looks very good all up.
Nose is actually fairly mild in depth, but with a robust toastiness—there's certainly not a lot of sweetness though, especially given the weight of the beer. Weirdly, there's a rather strong hop presence, giving a character almost of citric or tropical fruit. This, and a slight whiff of something corny makes the beer seem a little flabby. It's weird, but all up it's not unpleasant.
Taste is robustly bitter on the front, with a slight berry character coming through on the back, perhaps some blackberry or currants. There's a mild astringency to it as well, and there is a cached sweetness finally, but this is tempered quite a bit by the bitterness and the roast character. Finish has a fruity, vegetative quality. It's complex, but to be honest it's not the best use of all that complexity.
Feel is thick and lingering.
Overall, this is certainly a little harder to drink than it really should be. There's a harshness and a bitterness to it that doesn't seem to make sense. The George! is phenomenal, but by comparison this is quite hard to approach.
59 / 100
750ml corked and caged brown bottle purchased from Jane's Beer Store in Mountain View, CA. Brought back to Sydney, Australia where I shared it with Sam and Chris.
Pours a deep black-brown colour, but with a surprisingly light body that sits fairly thin in the glass. Head is a fine ring of pale brown around the edge of the glass. Specks of lace form around the outside of the glass. Looks reasonable, but it's pretty timid for the style.
Nose is quite pleasant. Light malty roast, with a slight funk around the edges. Hint of something slightly vinous and a little salty in places. Roast is fairly subdued all things considered, and there's really not much hint of the barrel except for the wildness. It's reasonable though.
Taste is light and fairly empty for the large part—as though the wilder notes have taken out all the body, but not replaced it with funk or acidity. Instead, it leaves the roast feeling rather empty on the top with a high-cocoa chocolate character devoid of sweetness. Very dry finish. Feel is very light with just a linger of roast coating the back palate.
Overall, this is bitterly disappointing. Beer Geek Breakfast is good, Anchorage is excellent, but the combination of the two is way below what I expected. This should be a really wonderful beer—and it just really, really isn't.
61 / 100
This may be the first Mikkeller beer I've had out of a can. Great medium, great brewer. What can go wrong. Purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.
Pours a really very deep reddish or solid amber hue, quite clear in the body with a bit of heft to it. Head forms a frothy mess initially but settles out to a relatively fine but minimal ring of off-white. Lacing leaves nice leopard patterning down the glass. Looks pretty decent.
Nose is heavy on malt, giving a honey and syrup sweetness that the hops really have a hard time cutting through. There's a light spritzy lemon character lending a suggestion of carob, and a faint pine, almost antiseptic note as it warms. I'm not overly enthused to be perfectly honest.
Taste is a little better, because there's a genuinely tough bitterness running through the centre, that manages to cut through some of the syrup. Nutty notes from the malt come through on the back giving a mildly savoury note like peanut skin when mingled with the bitterness. There's a thinness to the flavours overall that's a little disappointing though—I feel like some of Mikkeller's other IPAs have been far more subtle and complex.
Feel is fine: pretty rich in the mouth despite the dearth of flavours it expresses.
Overall, this is decent stuff at least. No one's going to deny that. It's just that it's a little underwhelming for a brewery with such a oeuvre behind them.
75 / 100
Tried on tap at GABS in Melbourne.
Pours a peachy golden colour with some mid-level hazing to it. Body is fairly solid. Head is fairly light and fine, bright white in colour, and only leaves slight patches of lace. Still looks reasonably good overall.
Nose is spicy and bright, clean but pithy. Pleasant sweet-sharp characters of marmalade mingle with a dusky dust and dirt aroma and some resiny wood. Nice.
Light, slightly astringent entry on the palate leads to more pithiness through the centre. Body is very clean and bright, allowing the hops to come through as slightly resiny and woody towards the back. Aftertaste has a long lingering bitterness. Feel is very light, but it's suitable for the style.
Overall, this is pretty nice stuff. Drinkable and light, but with stacks of flavour. I enjoyed it a lot.
75 / 100
Pours a pale champagne colour, almost opaque with the cloudiness. Head is white, a bit foamy, but a bit flat now. OK.
Smells Bretty and pleasant. Tart overall but a nice hit of battery malt. Vinous at times, some citrus, barnyard and thyme. Hugely appealing, in fact.
Taste is sweeter upfront. Vanilla notes that then get all that organic funk. Barnyard, hay, lemon thyme and pepper with a touch of champagne. Quite bitter on the finish, could use a touch more tartness, but otherwise very clean and refreshing beer.
OK body; inevitable pull from the yeast but pads itself well, mostly.
Not perfect, and has some slightly overblown flavours but it's a nice, funky beer that serves as a great refresher.
60 / 100
There are way too many of these beers. No, that's a lie. I actually love that every time I see a display filled with them there are still entries in the series I've not tried. This is the standard 330ml bottle, purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Pours a slightly hazy deep orange, with reddish hints when held to the light. Head forms a solid froth of off-white, but settles out the a ring with some pocked islands of foam across the top. fine body and powdery carbonation when tilted. Looks pretty decent.
Nose is soft with a bleary hoppiness that gives off a slight vegetative sweetness mingled with a surprising dose of maltiness—more malt indeed than I've noticed in some of the others in the series. The aroma is very smooth, giving a slight sweet herb character with some floral overtones. Despite this, it doesn't actually release much in the way of sharp resin or oil. It's decent though.
Taste is similar: soft bitterness only, giving herbal, almost noble overtones and a faint organic buzz on the tongue. That classic Mikkeller nuttiness comes through (I'm yet to have a beer in this series that I haven't noticed the nut character in), along with a slightly abbreviated hop bitterness towards the back of the palate. Finish empties out pretty quickly, leaving behind just a slight froth from the carbonation. Hmm.
Overall, this is decent enough, but I think definitely one of the weakest I've had, if not the weakest: it's just very generic in its flavours, and I don't feel like I'm now well acquainted with Magnum either. A space-filler in the series and no more for me.
85 / 100
Aw yeah. Mikkeller/Anchorage collaboration? You know it's going to be good. Purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne, shared with Sam and Rich.
Pours a pleasantly bright but cloudy yellow golden colour, with an initially frothy head of silky white. Body is actually a little bit lighter than I'd expect for 8% ABV, but it holds a fine bead pleasantly enough. Looks very good.
Nose is excellent: fresh and bright with clean neutral hops, laced with whiffs of funky, fruity and strangely sweet Brett characters. Slight savoury characters of beans and smoke—again, I'm sure it's the signature Anchorage Brett. In fact, it reminds me more than anything of a big fresh Jolly Pumpkin beer: bright and fresh, but with that obvious Bretted dankness to it. It's awesome stuff.
Taste is very clean and pleasant: bright clean hops through the centre of the palate and a very fine, slightly grassy, but mostly bold straight grain character lifting it through its paces. Plenty of funk comes out towards the back, giving a little shoe leather, horse blanket, oaten biscuits and a clean, very faint acidity that loses itself in the bitterness at the back.
Feel is also good. Light, slightly frothy, but bolstered by a clean acidity through the finish.
Overall: this is excellent. I think this is better than Anchorage's own Bitter Monk, although that was one of my least favourite of their (very excellent) beers. But this is a very solid basis weaved into Anchorage's signature magic. And it's an extremely good combination.
330ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne by my brother.
Pours a hazed amber hue, quite deep and quite dark (indeed, perhaps slightly darker than the others in the series), with a fine froth of yellowish film across the top that stays as a solid ring around the edge. Some streaky, soap-suds lace, and fine stremas of carbonation when tilted. Body looks solid. Overall, it looks pretty decent.
Nose is spicy with hops, with a very herbal, almost savoury tone to them. I get suggestions of rosemary and lavender, along with a slight nuttiness and some sweeter citrus: orange pith perhaps. Slightly earthy as well. It strikes me as the sort of aroma you get from high-alpha, low-oil hops, suggesting Bravo's better used just for bittering.
Strangely enough, the palate is a lot sweeter than I expected, with fruit characters of peach and a little marmalade coming through. There's still a prickly, herbal bitterness along the spine of the beer, but the body cocoons it meaning that it doesn't have the broad impact or the resiny bite on the finish it might have had otherwise. In the aftertaste are ghosts of those herbs: rosemary, perhaps a little thyme. It's pleasant enough.
Feel is solid enough: faintly round and smooth, with a carbonic percussion.
Overall, this is an okay IPA, but perhaps a lesser entry in the series. The hop really didn't wow me with anything it had, and in some senses it just didn't have the skills required: the aroma is too dank and herbal, the bitterness restrained (at least as it is used here). Certainly not one of my favourite Mikkeller single hops.
69 / 100
375ml green thick-walled gueuze bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Pours a deep, thick black colour, with an incredibly dark head of melted chocolate brown. Head stays pretty dense with bubbles, but becomes filmy after a while. Lacing is superb, and the body is remarkably thick for its weight. Carbonation is fine. Overall, it's an exceptionally good looking brew.
Nose is also exceptional. Dark and deep, laced with spice and wood. Tantalising chilli aromas come through, along with chocolate, fresh-roasted whole bean coffee and the sharp piquancy of tequila. Like chocolate molé in a glass.
Taste is also good, but certainly less impressive than the nose. Here, there's a decided lack of sweetness and body, and a decided surplus of roast character. Indeed, to get the colour so high, there had to be. Here, the delicate spices are trampled by the charred characters, and the sweeter chocolate darkness is sidelined. Instead, it feels quite dry and black for most of it's length, completing with a rather ashy tone on the finish.
Feel is smooth but crispened by the roast character, which almost seems to suck moisture out of my mouth.
Overall, I think this could be a lot better. A bit more body and sweetness could counterbalance the char on the palate, and allow the spice and delicate smoke characters to have a bit more influence. As it is, it's just a bit too much in one direction, when the look and the aroma promised so much more.
330ml brown bottle purchased from Leura Cellars as preparation for a Palisade-heavy beer we were planning on home brewing. Poured without the sediment.
Pours a deep red-flecked golden colour, almost amber in hue, with a frothy, off-white head of specks. Lacing is wavy, forming diminutive patterns as it falls. Decent body weight. Looks pretty good.
Nose is pretty muted without much true hop aroma. There's a little earthy greenness to it, mingled with a fairly substantial grainy malt character which works with and accentuates to organic, slightly woody characters of the hops. Slight rounded, sulphury tones come through as well, not unpleasantly, but different enough to the others in the range.
Taste is smooth and pleasant, with a very clean vegetative bite that persists throughout but doesn't become too prominent. Pleasing uptilt of bitterness on the back cleans it up, although it also turns slightly medicinal on the finish. Malt is present throughout but always subdued—while the Palisade doesn't have a truly big character that makes me feel like it has a personality of its own, it does get to show off what it's got here.
Feel is smooth and pleasant as well.
Overall, I think this is a decent beer, but it's probably one of the lesser Mikkeller Single Hop beers. This is probably due partly to Palisade itself, which seems a pretty neutral hop from what I've seen of it. In the end, do I have a sense of the hop though? Maybe. It's actually really hard to see what it has to say for itself, even though you feel like it's trying to say it as loud as it can.
77 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchased from Leura Cellars. Bottle conditioned. I left a good inch and a half at the bottom to avoid pouring the sediment.
Pours a deep golden colour, with good clarity. Head is fluffy and persistent, forming a very decent crest of yellowed-white atop the beer. Lacing is streaking and solid. It's a great looking beer.
Nose is a pleasantly quaint mingling of mild beech smoke and green-bottle euro skunk. Once it's swirled a bit the skunk disappears, leaving a deeper, grainier note and a darker smoke character that starts to get a little earthy, with truffle and mushroom coming through. Hops are quite muted, although that pleasant green generic European aroma does waft around in the background for a while. It's very pleasant.
Taste is also very good indeed. For the most part, it's a very well-made pilsner, crisp and clean, with a direct vector of hops through the centre. Later there's a slightly more pronounced bitterness, which blossoms into a strange, smoky back palate bringing a slight cured meat sweetness to the mix as well. Finish is very crisp with a punctuation point of hops making a clean break from the smokiness. The result is the aftertaste is extremely bright and light, without any lingering effects.
Feel just what you want: clean and crisp and light. Perfectly suitable.
Overall, this is an exceptionally drinkable beer with twists to give it interest. While it uses the smoke to interesting effect, at heart it's just a damn good pils, and it manages to stay that way despite the strange places the smoke takes it.
62 / 100
330ml bottle purchased from Camperdown Cellars, Kingston Rd in Stanmore.
Pours a pleasant, light amber hue with flashes of red. Decent clarity, but some disturbed, clumpy sediment. Head forms a solid froth of very pale yellow that settles to some firm foam and streaking lace. Body is solid and holds nice, fine carbonation.
Nose is initially fruity, with a touch of pithy lemon, and some grainy, slightly earthy and herbal characters. The earthy, herbal aromas win out trending towards medicinal or mineral in character. Some woody undergrowth tones come through as well. Malt is actually surprisingly subdued: usually these Mikkeller single-hop brews have a firm and noticeable malt presence. Slight detergent and crushed leaf character comes through as well.
Taste is pleasant enough, very much falling along the same lines as most of the rest of the series, with a slightly more pronounced bitterness that reminds me of the Tomahawk from the first set. Indeed, there's a sharp, green bitterness on the front palate, that stays strong throughout, only bowing a little to the subtle malty nuttiness that seems something of a Mikkeller trademark. Some citric mandarin character is noticeable on the front. Resin build-up is subtle, but means that there's a lingering aftertaste of bitter hop compounds that gets bigger the more you drink.
Feel is smooth, but sharpened by the hops.
Decent, but not one of my favourites from the series. Notably, this hop is bred for bittering, and that it does admirably. The high points were some of the interesting pithy fruit characters on the nose, but otherwise it somewhat overwhelmed the beer.
62 / 100
Will-AM-ette, to rhyme with "dammit", as I was taught in Portland, OR. This was a 330ml bottle purchased from Camperdown Cellars Kingston Rd in Sydney.
Pours a dusky amber colour, quite dark for an IPA, with a frothy, messy head of yellowish-white, that stays persistently even after the bulk of the froth has subsided. Lacing is excellent and intricate. Body is relatively light.
Nose is pleasant but generic. Green, slightly piney hops come through with a hint of sawdust, and some sharp bitter citrus notes. Some dusty grain husk characters come through a little, but seem interminably linked with the hops. A hint of perfume comes through with a sharp floral tone as well. It's pleasant enough.
Taste is also pleasant, but following much along the standard lines for an IPA: the Willamette provides a nice generic cushion, but doesn't really stand out on its own. Clean bittering characters right through the centre to the back, some nutty malt around the edges, some pithy citrus rind and a slightly medicinal character on the finish. Feel is drying and a little bit astringent.
Overall, this seems a lesser entry in the series to me. It has some pleasant characters, but it's all a bit thin and dull: I mean, I know I've seen it before anyway, but the Willamette really doesn't give anything away, and doesn't make me want to know it any more.
Pours a dark brown, with a glint or so of mahogany up to the light. Head is darkish beige, bit whispy but decent lace left around. Looks pretty good, although it could easily look better in all aspects.
Smells quite resiny, actually. Fair floral hints coming off that, with some citrus, pine and rubber. Mostly light, and even though it's deliberate, I'm missing something darker, more heavy or just earthier, as it all seems a bit unsubstantial. Nice, but I'd like more.
Taste is a bit better. Still a little light body-wise, but plenty of that resiny hop note upfront, with floral and woody, organic sap notes that transition smoothly into a long, bitter finish. Lots of astringency on the back, with charred roastiness and resinous hop oils competing for the bitter crown. A bit too much, really, kind of lemon pithy and doesn't quite clean up to make me want more.
Body is quite light for the style, but there's a presence by the end. OK.
Have had better dark beers, this one tastes quite heavy but not quite a full enough flavour to compensate for the weighty bitterness. Just a bit ashy and astringent. Not an everyday beer.
77 / 100
Pours a very dark colour, just hints of brown when held up to the light. Head is as good as they get - ochre colour, foamy and great retention. Lace is not very sticky but the beer just looks coherent. It just works.
Smells a bit odd, yeah. Spiritous, with big burnt, spicy undertones, but also a slight acidity to it. Definite espresso with nutmeg, plus some balsamic vinegar notes, and some strong Irish cream character on the back. Nice.
Taste is dark and roasty and spicy, but with a pleasant, almost tangy sweetness to it on the end. Lots of roasty espresso, peppery and some floral notes. Nice boozey sweetness on the back, hints of dark fruit, plum and raisins and a big maraschino cherry character as well. Big and bold and sweet, with a big booze character to it. Yeah, I like the mix of flavours. I like it a lot.
Smooth, full, not too harsh at any point. Amazing mouthfeel for the ABV.
Great big stout. Nice fruit, sweetness, roastiness. Yeah, there's a cracking balance to this.
81 / 100
Pours a deep, dark brown, almost black. Head is bubbly, ochre colour but quite pale, almost beige. Doesn't hang around in any serious way. Lace is good, not great. Overall though, pretty damn good.
Smells very pleasant. Slightly funky, with lots of roast behind it. Quite a nutty character, with caramel toffee, peanuts and a good belt of barnyard underlying the roastiness. Pleasant aroma.
Taste is rich and nutty mostly, lots of roast to it and quite spicy as well. Yeah, starts off quite sweet with caramel nuttiness and toffee as well. Develops roasty espresso notes heading towards a pretty damn smooth finish. Slight booziness, but it's all well-balanced with a quite spicy character coming through late, and it's quite well meshed in with the rest of the flavours. Nice, balanced, good and impressive stout.
Full, but smooth. Maybe gets a bit hot on the back, but otherwise goes down very nicely.
Nice stout - really rather mellow for how big it is, with nice roasty and spicy notes to most of it. Booze is there, but doesn't overpower any part of it. Very nice.
83 / 100
330ml bottle purchased from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA. Brett-fermented wheat IPA? Yep, I'm game.
Pours a mildly hazed bright pale yellow colour, with a rocky, large-bubbled head of white that settles down to some messy aerated lace and chunky film. Body is light and the carbonation is fine. Looks good.
Nose is lovely. Fresh citric and sweet hop aromas mingle with a greenness and an organic brightness from the brett. Plenty of apple skin, a little pepper, with some earthier organics coming through when it's swirled. It's quite pungent as well: the funk in particular is direct and slightly sharp. Lovely.
Taste matches very nicely with the other areas. Bright tart fruit characters on the front, softly diving into a pillowy wheat fullness like you get with a full-bodied hefeweizen. A prickle of hops on the back provides the next layer of interest, but it bubbles along with the funk to the end, leaving organic weirdnesses to foment and crash right through to the finish. It's anarchic but tamed.
Feel is relatively full, but subdued by the hop bite and a prickle of carbonation.
Overall, this is a really lovely beer. I really love the complexity, and I love the fact that the complexity is coherent. Moreover, it's extremely interesting: all of the characters that work together in such balance provide something unique at the same time. Marvellous stuff.
375ml green gueuze bottle purchased from Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.
Pours a pink-hued cranberry juice red, with a pale pink, frothy head that settles to a persistent film and solid lace. Body is light and clean, holding pretty full carbonation. Looks pretty decent.
Nose has plenty of gueuze-like funk to it. A big plasticky Brett note, mingling pleasantly with the kriek, pithy, fruity but tart and sharp intrinsically. There's a strange spiciness to it as well, almost a cinnamon character backing it up. To be honest, I've had some others in the series, and I remember them being more intense in the funk and the acidity. So far, this seems a little weak.
Taste is certainly weak. The acidity is just not there at all, although the sour cherry character does a strong job trying to compensate. Mild crispness comes from the carbonation, but there's really quite a lack of true lambic acidity. There's also a candy sweetness coming through: perhaps the cherry provides more sugar than expected, in any case, it feels much less sophisticated than it should. At the same time, there's quite a bitterness on the back—where the acidity should be, there's quite a bite that makes it less refreshing and less drinkable.
Overall, it's a decent kriek. There's a genuinely pleasant cherry character to it, and it's certainly less of a candy-beer than, say, Lindemans Kriek or Boon Kriek. But others in the spontan- series have been really quite intense and very lambic-like. Disappointingly, this doesn't really follow suit.
73 / 100
330ml bottle, with some wacky artwork performing the knock-knock joke whose punchline names the beer. Good work, Mikkeller. Purchased from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA.
Pours a deep brown, with translucent edges. Head forms a filmy laced top and a crisper ring of pale brown. Lacing is excellent, tight and intricate. Lighter than expected body, but it holds some nice fine carbonation. Looks pretty decent.
Nose is undeniably odd. Roasted, slightly nutty and quite brown malt tones, giving toasted bread and sweet brioche, mingled with a sharp, bitter-sour citrus tone—peely, dank and potent. Together it provides an earthy, organic character: not far from loamy soil turned with compost. It's rich and pungent, but slightly disconcerting at the same time.
Taste is dark. Indeed, the roast which was present on the nose didn't prepare me for just how sharply dark this was going to be. Bitter chocolate characters, coffee grounds and char are very prominent here, and I believe they're accentuated by the bitter citrus character. This character doesn't linger like hop acids would, but they set off the tastebuds to accept the bitterness from the roasted malts, so they have a similar effect. It's quite an intense experience, and an extremely interesting one.
Feel is light, but decent enough. It doesn't get in the way of the beer by any means.
Overall, this was an odd, but rewarding beer experience. The yuzu doesn't make its own flavour so noticeable, but it does accentuate and distinguish some of the flavours already extant in the beer. I'm not quite sure what to make of it, but I'm very pleased to have tried it.
74 / 100
330ml bottle from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA. Tried alongside the Saison version and the Brett. bruxellensis.
Pours a quite clear orange-amber hue, with a reasonably full and frothy head of white that leaves some streaky lace. Body looks reasonably light, and doesn't actually hold a lot of carbonation. Overall, it looks reasonably good.
Nose has a sticky, plasticky tone to it, but it's extremely muted. Slight papery aroma, a little faint greenness, some herbal tones. Overall, though it's really quite weak. Having tried the brux version just before it, this seems tame and weak by comparison—perhaps it feels a little like some of the best characters from this are missing, and some of the aromas present here are best served when mixed with the brux.
Taste is clean and clear, with a decent green funk which sits on the middle of the palate. Mild carbonic-like acidity runs the length, and allows the beer to finish very cleanly on the back. Again, it feels like this is just filling in some holes in the brux. The acidity and cleanliness of it is actually very pleasant though: without a true puckering sour character, it remains very clean and drinkable.
Feel is light and dry. It matches the beer nicely, and provides a very pleasant drinkability to the brew.
Overall, yeah, I like this. It's a lot less complex and a lot less flavoursome than the brux version, but it's also a little cleaner, fresher and more drinkable. Together, I feel like they make a complete package.
330ml bottle purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.
Pours a cloudy dull orange colour, with a mild head of white that eventuates in a mild ring and very solid lacing. Body has some weight behind it and it holds some large-bubbled carbonation when tilted. Overall, it looks pretty decent. Perfectly serviceable in any case.
Nose is powerful: lemony, green, almost skunky in places. It's quite fresh and bright: I wonder if that's truly due to the yeast though, or if this has been heavily late hopped as well. It seems like a shame to mask the yeast characters if so, but if not, this yeast is providing a really exceptional ride. As it settles, there's a danker character like wet cardboard, but it stays still fresh and bright above this. It's a lovely aroma.
Taste is a lot drier, with a clinging lemon bitterness towards the back, and a slightly organic funk that holds on to the finish. But yeah, boy is it dry. It clings with bitterness around the edge of a hollow tunnel, and the yeast tries vainly to provide much structure other than that the hops provide. But then, it's probably the yeast which has made this beer so dry.
Feel is also extremely light. I imagine the FG on this one is very low indeed.
Overall, there's some interest here, and the nose is really excellent, although I don't believe the base beer here is a really good way to show off the yeast. I'll reserve my judgement on the choice overall until I've tried a couple more, but in this one the yeast just makes for a very dry beer whose subtleties are lost amongst the hops.
78 / 100
330ml bottle purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA. Bought with two others from the series, the Saison and the Brett. lambicus.
Pours a rather clear orange-amber hue, with a filmy head of white that only sticks around as a ring. Lacing is excellent, forming intricate, artistic streaks across the glassware. Body has some weight, and holds a good deal of very fine carbonation. Overall, looks pretty good.
Nose is impressive. Big funky aromas from the yeast, giving a multitude of different flavours: peach, plasticky gueuze-tones, green apple skin, lemon dish cloth. It has an acidity noticeable in it as well, or at least the suggestion of acidity. Oh, it's very good: and this all comes from the yeast. Having just tried the Saison version, this one quite clearly gets its advantages from the yeast and the yeast alone. It's a funky bonanza, quite beautifully drawn.
The taste is also pretty decent, although it does suffer the same fate as the Saison did, namely that it's almost bone dry. Here, though, the yeast lifts it a little. Green apple flavours and a mild flat acidity help drive this forward, while the hops seem a lot muted by the funk. Carbonation seems to be a bit strong. In the end, it feels a better showcase of the yeast than the Saison version did: this has a lot of Brett-y characters and a truly wild genesis.
Overall, this is good stuff. This would actually be a pretty decent wild ale in its own right: the aroma in particular is superb, giving a full spectrum of impressive yeasty funk. And otherwise it's very solid. I feel like this gave me a good look at the underbelly of the yeast.
330ml bottle purchased from Leura Cellars. I believe I got through the entire first series of Mikkeller Single Hop beers, but since their resurgence and expansion, it's all seemed a little bit overwhelming—I decided it was time to make some inroads into the vastly expanded range.
Pours a deep burnished orange colour, tending towards a coppery amber hue. Head is yellow-tinged like a good IPA should be, and quite fine, if small. Lace forms in small patches around the glass. Body looks quite thick, and it holds fine carbonation, even though the carbonation itself is sparse. Overall, looks good.
Nose is dusty and slightly inky, with some brusque, slightly cutting acetone or minerally tones. It feels perhaps like something sharp but organic (perhaps pine or turpentine oil), but there's a really quite pronounced astringency to it: it feels a little bit like it's cutting up the inside of the sinuses. It's not altogether pleasant, but it's interesting to see.
Taste is surprisingly light: there's not a huge amount of biting bitterness—given the pungent tones on the aroma I would have thought that the character of the bitterness here would mirror it. There are still those vague mineral/ink tones to the beer, which leaves a pasty film on the back palate—not altogether pleasant. Malt is very muted, indeed, much more so than I recall in other beers in the series.
The feel is pleasant enough, smooth and riven with that fine carbonation.
Overall, this is a respectable IPA, but I don't believe Galena makes for a good single hop. The bitterness is brusque where it occurs on the palate, and astringently pungent on the nose. I don't see anything here that really enamours me of it.
330ml bottle purchased from Leura Cellars. I don't recall ever being specifically aware of drinking Mt. Hood hops before, so this will be an interesting experience.
Pours much like the other Mikkeller single hop beers: slightly hazed deep golden, tending towards a copper or amber hue. Head is a vaguely yellowish off-white, and froths up a little more than usual, forming some large bubbles that fizzle out. The result is a very fine film of quite fine foam. Lacing is tiny but spread out across the entire glass. Looks good.
Nose is pleasant: these hops seem to give a rather sharp shredded pine timber aroma, undertoned with sweet mild fruits. I get some pineapple, green apple and a little cherry, believe it or not. Malt is (as always in these beers), subdued, but the sweetness lingering in the hops gives rise to some phantom caramel characters perhaps where they mingle and latch on to the very mild malt characters. It's nice stuff.
Taste is a lot more muted: a little disappointing in fact. Weak faint sweetness moves to a choppy mid-palate that suggests some pine, some silt and a husky grain character heading towards the back. Some fuzzy carbonation gives a frothy feel to the finish. Hmm.
The aroma of this one is nice: it really has some pleasant characters that stand out a little bit from some of the others in the series. But it doesn't really follow through on whatever promise this provides. As a result, it's a little disappointing as a whole package, although it's still a reasonably put together IPA—just like the rest.
81 / 100
Pours a very dark brown, with glints of colour up to the light. Head is a good, deep umber, like whipped milk chocolate. Dense and creamy in consistency, leaving lacing that looks great. Dark, brooding and wonderful.
Smells spicy and roasty, with a good belt of a tartness as well. Nutty caramel, peppery shiraz and a minerally note as well. But yeah, that syrah note is really prominent and adds a massive boost to an already pleasant spicy, stouty aroma.
Taste is similar, but it seems a little weaker. Roasty and sweet for the most part, with some dark caramel and malted grain, that develops dark, charred wood and peppery spice, a hint of capsicum and a touch of sumac. Then on the mid-palate gets that organic fruity note, a touch of syrah, but it has more of a late-harvest character now, more sweet but at the same time a touch more refined, as if it's gotten pure fruit character in there with less fermentation. All very enjoyable, though, but I do feel it could still use more grounding. Sweetness is a very big part of this.
Full, complex texture, with nothing too thick. Does get quite dry at the back, and there's an unavoidable boozey note as well. Good, though.
Sweet, but with a great spicy dimension added, giving this a dynamic, enjoyable quality. Excellent beer.
88 / 100
Small, 250ml bottle purchased from Beer Cartel in Sydney.
Yep, it looks like the others in the series. Deep, dark black, with a crackling, and very dark chocolate brown head formed mostly from the perturbation of the body. Body is chewy and thick, and despite the apparent lack of true head, contains some fine dark carbonation. Moreover, swirling gives some serious legs and the fluid slides slowly down the inside of the glass. Awesome looking beer.
Nose is everything you want in a BGB beer. Big, rich and fluid, with soft tones of toffee and chocolate, and piquant tones of coffee and a spiciness like capsaicin. What's more, it's full, thick, rich and juicy, and caresses and embraces your nostrils with its sinuous potency. There's a volatile bite to it, quite possible from the cognac barrels, but the cognac doesn't provide too much flavour of its own—it just lets the wonderful flavours of the beer express themselves on their own.
The taste is just as good. Big, potent roastedness, with a sharp coffee overtone, all mellowed by the exceptional smoothness the comes from the residual body. Here, the cognac is perhaps a bit more noticeable: when the back end drops out a little, I'm left with a fragrant, biting and yet ephemeral spirit character: just like a refined brandy. It gives it a bit more oomph, and a touch of uniqueness.
Feel is everything you want. Smooth, but clear. Rich, but with a lilt and dance to it. It sensuous.
Overall, this is again excellent stuff, from an excellent series, from an excellent brewer. I feel a bit like this is a less distinct entry in the Beer Geek Brunch range, but that just means it's close to its rich, enjoyable core.
76 / 100
Bottle purchased from Plonk in Canberra.
Pours a hazed golden orange hue, closer to orange in the thick parts of the glass, closer to gold in the slimmer. Head is a frothy, extravagant monstrosity, coming closer to a big Belgian ale in size and volume. Lacing, as it collapses, is intricate: it looks like Hindi script. Body is fluid. Looks pretty good.
Nose is mildly fruity, but with some earthier deeper tones. Notes of rosewater, banana and crushed bitter herbs come through strongly, along with hints of overripe peach and white chocolate. It's an oddly fatty aroma: smelling sweet and thoroughly bad for you.
Taste has similar themes to the nose. There is a general sense of "yes, this is an IPA, but yes, it's also weird. By the way, no, you're probably not going to pick up what's so weird about it". More of those banana tones come through, giving almost a hefe estery character to the brew, along with a chalky bitterness, and a really, really long aftertaste that is spread and smeared along the length of the palate, leaving bitter herbs and brusque bush pepper. For all this, it doesn't feel harsh, and the feel probably helps with this: despite looking pretty light and liquid, it sticks to the palate and caresses it, while the flavour bombards it from above.
Overall, I'm again impressed with what Mikkeller can do with a style they've done so much with already. I always sit down with a beer like this and the sense of "Oh, *another* IPA from Mikkeller, what could possibly be different?". But they always provide a different and nuanced variation on the theme. And that's a mighty difficult thing to do.
81 / 100
750ml bottle purchased from Berkeley Bowl in Berkeley, CA.
Pours a very hazed, almost opaque orange-gold colour, with a solid and relatively fine just off-white head. Lacing is patchy, but very fine and intricate where it forms. Solid body, in fact surprisingly so when tilted. Looks good.
Nose is big and fruity, although it's hard to tell what comes from hops and what comes from the added fruit. Passionfruit certainly gets lost and confused with a bright, acidic and heady, almost spicily intoxicating hop fragrance, but the mango seeps in as a broad sweetness across the entire nose. Ooh. It's a lovely aroma.
Taste is light and clean, with a noticeable hop presence that never feels unbalanced. Although the malt character is very neutral, it has enough heft to survive and balance the beer. The fruit again gets masked somewhat on the palateâeither it mingles with a deep fine sweetness, or into the sharp, zingy, fruity hops. I feel like it's well-used nonetheless.
Feel is long but smooth. It works really well.
Overall, really great work, Messrs. Mikkeller. Always a pleasure trying something new from these guys, and they've turned what seemed like an interesting experiment on the bottle, into a thoroughly drinkable and approachable beer.
Oh, here we go. Mikkel with another of his experiments in a bottle. This one designed to pair well with Asian food.
Pours a rich, deep amber colour with steady bead feeding a very nice head, a few fingers thick with nice pockmarking on the top. Decent lace. Not sure about the colour for Asian food, but looks pretty nice anyway.
Smells quite tangy. Lot of lemongrass on there, developing an almost citric hop note. Plenty of nutty malt as well: quite a lot of toffee, peanut brittle, and a mild spice on the back. Not bad, but a bit sweet for my liking.
Taste is quite decent, but a bit bland. Starts malty and sweet with an increment of malty character: caramel, toffee and hints of peanut. Midway through it switches to spice, with mild lemongrass and just a tickle of peppery heat at the back. Quite a nice balance, achieved primarily by not going overboard with the flavours. Not bad.
A bit thin in the middle but on the edges, there's some body. Fairly smooth.
As for the question of how it matches with Asian food, well I drank this with a Thai curry and it was alright. It's complementary rather than contrasting or cutting, but yeah it's quite drinkable and not a bad pairing.
73 / 100
Thanks to @epiclurk for the bottle. Shared with @LaitueGonflable.
Pours a lovely deep black-brown, with a somewhat subdued, but very pleasantly dark brown head. Let's face it: it looks like every other Beer Geer Brunch beer. But that's always good: big, smooth, deep and luscious.
Nose is smooth and rich, with some subtle vanilla hints and a touch of booze, which sits above the deep dark roasty characters which form its basis. There's a genuine spiciness to it, which is odd. It's not a big nose, and it's missing some depth and sweetness, but it's decent enough.
Taste is solidly dark and roasty, with only the faintest flecks of the bourbon barrel, giving a slight upturn of oak, but very little in the way of true rich, smooth sweetness. Instead, it has a potent, and admittedly strong roasty character, and the intrinsic smoothness of the Beer Geek Brunch base, but I'm a little worried that very little is added by the bourbon.
Feel is smooth and rather clean. But with a pleasant depth. No-one could complain about that.
Don't get me wrong. It's a great beer. Just like any beer in the series. Unfortunately, I would have thought the bourbon barrel would have been better than the average, and in fact, it's below that. It's disappointing.
Pours a solid, deep brown colour, with lighter tones at the edges of the glass when tilted. Head forms frothy and full, like the mocha top of a chocolate fondue. Some speckled lacing around the edge of the glass. Body looks full, but quite fluid, and forms tight carbonation when tilted. Looks good.
Nose is mostly still dominated by the stout, but a sharp pine resin note comes through relatively strongly, giving a greenish twinge to the otherwise brown-black aroma. Still there are notes of coffee, roasted grains and a touch of coconut.
Taste is unusual, with a deep roasted bitterness topping a touch of sweetness, but not a lot. Instead, there's a sharp vector of hoppy bitterness towards the back, which has the twin consequences of making the roastedness more pronounced, and making the feel seem less full and thinner. The roast and the hops has the other consequence of leaving an odd dark floral flavour, like lavender or holly. It's very unusual.
I'm afraid to say that this didn't work for me all that well; the dark roast it not full enough to support the hops, or the hops don't mesh nicely with the stoutier flavours. It doesn't have the subtle synergy of a India Black Ale, and the hops blast through any vestige of it being a true stout. It makes it awkward, overly bitter, and oddly, despite everything, lacking in complexity.
Probably my least favourite of the Beer Geek series so far.
Pours a lovely deep dark black-brown colour with a fine, but filmy head of crema-coloured foam. Very pleasant static carbonation to it, forming as rivulets up the side of the glass as it's tilted. Overall, it's a really lovely look. Classic Impy stout look.
Nose is a little sharper than expected, with a banana leaf crispness, and perhaps just a touch of oxidation. It's a little disappointing, but this is several years old. There's a touch of whisky to it, giving it a hazy, slightly smoky character, but it's subdued and in some ways restrained from the true characters of the beer.
Taste is empty, and, I'm afraid exceptionally oxidised, giving a wet cardboard flatness. There's still the roasted stoutiness, but everything is squished and missing its depth and complexity. There is again a hint of whisky, but it's subtle, subdued and pushed out of the main even. Feel has held up well, with a lovely smoothness, and a clear balance on the palate. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a lot to work with.
If you have a bottle of this left, I hope it's survived better than this one. If not, drink it soon, because it's not getting any better. It's still a good beer from a good series. I just wish I'd drunk my bottle earlier.
85 / 100
Okay, first time I've done this for a while - reviewed straight from the bottle onto BeerAdvocate. Accompanied by "Born Slippy" by Underworld.
Pours with a massive, over-generous head. I sort of got a sense when I popped the cap that it would be a frother, but it seemed safe - until I poured it, that is. It's 80% head now after a bit of sinkage. However, the head itself looks magnificent. It's mocha-coloured, dense and tightly-packed, nice bubbles where it's needed, nice solidity as well where it's more suitable. Specks of lace are left behind as it sinks. Colour of the body is dark-brown. Seriously, if the head were tamed this would be a magnificent looker. But then, what man could tame such a head?
Smells pleasant, with large brett notes giving way to a lighter and airy tartness, with hints of grapefruit, barnyard, wet lucerne and guava. After the initial brett funk, the toasty malt notes come through, roasty and dark with charred wood, coffee grounds and a hint of spearmint. This manages to toe the line between roasty and masculine, and tart and fresh, really nicely. A cracker.
First taste is all head. Managed to get a little bit of the actual beer, and the beer is where all the roasted malt is at - quite roasty really, almost burnt, with espresso, wood smoke and some black pepper. There are hints of that saisony bretty funk, mostly where the head escapes into the mouth though - is it all aroma? - but it's pleasant and livens up the palate quite a lot. Organic, grassy and almost gives a meaty overall character to the roasty malt, but not at all stodgy. In fact, it's remarkably drinkable for its weirdness and darkness. Nicely spicy and funky overall, it's a real winner.
Mouthfeel seems a bit harsh at times, I think maybe the wild yeasts are left to their own devices a bit, and the body doesn't quite pad it out. OK if you're swilling it down, but if you're keeping it in the mouth to enjoy its complexities, I feel you'll be a bit let down.
Overall a cracker. Complex, really exciting and unusual, but maintains a drinkability that it's so easy to lose when you put together two gypsy brewers and let them create something weird. Top job.
79 / 100
Purchased at the International Beer Shop in Perth.
Pours a solidly pleasant murky pink-red colour, with an inconsistently frothy head of white. Head forms only in large bubbles and while it stays persistently, it's not the majestic head this style of beer needs. Body is very light, as I've seen with others in this series, leaving no persistent carbonation, and with a really odd fluidity to it.
Nose is actually quite marvellous: bright lambic funk gives a sharp metallic sheen to the fruit, which pops and crackles with a plasticky aromatic sweetness. I feel cranberries work really nicely here, as they give a fruity, bright fragrance, but don't suggest at any deeper sweetness. Perfectly tagged for a lambic.
Taste is crisp and really sharply acidicâvery reminiscent of a Cantillon Lambic, in a way that suggests similar cultures and yeasts. The cranberries touch the centre of the palate, leaving a sensation of licking the outside of the berries without getting to their core. Finish is redacted and constricted, leaving some tight lactic sourness, but a crisp and odd smoothness on the back.
Overall, Mikkeller give us a very refined lambic here, in the very same style as some of the most intense Belgian examples. The cranberry is a wonderful addition, in fact, as it mirrors and reflects the sour characteristics of the beer. I feel I prefer the layered effect that comes from a sweeter fruit addition, but this is one that works.
87 / 100
After some trouble getting my bottle cap to struggle with the larger-than-usual proper Gueuze cap, I manage to pour a lovely deep red-purple beer into my glass; a solid drop with a surprisingly decent heft in the body. Head is pinkish, and seems to form head and lace all in one, sitting in rings that continue right down to the body. Surprisingly, and perhaps a little disappointingly, it doesn't look particularly alive in the glass, sitting still and somewhat bereft of carbonation. Still, the colour is exciting.
Nose is bright, crisp and fruity, with a directly sour berry and grapeskin hit right off the bat. Mild Ribena characters come through, but the cassis character is a little muted compared to the general sour berry character. However, the bulk of the aroma is actually generated by the Gueuze-like funk, giving wonderfully complex tones of pepper, plastic, earth and hay, all tied together tightly and briskly into a direct package of acidic goodness. Genuinely close to the great Belgian lambics.
Taste is dry and acidic, with crisp funk and lambic tartness through the centre of the palate. Some tannic notes, and a berry tingle like dried strawberries. On the back, the ghost of the blackcurrants come through a little more, giving an aromatic sweetness (but no *real* sweetness), as the acidity inflects and dances on the tongue.
Feel is driven by the acidity, which is sharp and clinging on the palate.
Wow. Is there anything Mikkeller can't do? This is a top-notch fruit lambic, on a par with Cantillon in my opinion. It has really grasped the key points of the style and has put them together really beautifully. I can't wait to try the rest of the series.
100 / 100
Thanks very much to @LaitueGonflable for the sample.
Pours just spectacularly. It's chewy and thick from the bottle, pouring like tar: a deep black resinous fountain. The head, as it forms, is a thing of pure beauty. It's a deeply dark brown colourâprobably dark enough in its own right for the body of a lesser stoutâformed with solid, if large bubbles that stay strong enough on their own that you feel like they're tiny baubles of glass. The body seeps its way through back out of this as it settles, meaning that for the longest time, there's a fine gradient without any clear separation between head and body. Truly, I could go on for a long time about the appearance of this beer. Suffice it to say: it's extraordinary. To date, the most intoxicatingly enchanting beer I've ever seen.
And, wonderfully, this enchantment continues. On the nose, we have an incredible array of big, sweet, heavy stout characters, beautifully realised and really well put together. Bourbon is most certainly dominant, giving sweet, luscious gooey vanilla and oak characters, but the darkness comes through really beautifully, giving really good roasted coffee, a touch of char and some green leaf notes like tea and holly. It's complex, exciting and truly, truly good.
Taste is also wonderful. I mean, I could wax lyrical about all of the really nice stout charactersâcoffee, sweetness, bourbon, roast, slight charâbut it's gorgeous to note the other intriguing characters that lift it and separate it from the other truly great examples. Here we have more of that dark green leaf character: the holly or mistletoe organics, plus a tantalising hint of dark, acidic fruit like wild cranberries or lingonberry. This lingers onto the finish, leaving a tart cherry or wild fruit note that keeps layering subtle flavours long after the beer is gone.
Feel is sublime. Smooth and thick, and just plain gorgeous.
It's a very, very rare beer that comes along like this. This is a truly exceptional beer. A beer made with craft, finesse and forethought, and executed perfectly. This is truly one of the greatest beers I've had the privilege to taste. Mikkeller have done something extraordinary here, and have given me a beatific beer experience.
Pours a fruity red colour with soft, pleasant and feminine pink-tinged head - overly generous, but sinking nicely. Not much lace; fairly prominent bubbling of the head. Looks nice, full of seductive feminine wiles.
Smells totally of funky wild yeast - brett and Belgian esters. Musty basement, washed-rind cheese -only really a hint of that tart fruit note I was so looking forward to after the regular spontanale. Very funky and slightly musty, it's got all the hallmarks of a nice funky Belgian beer, but I'm just craving more fruit!
Taste is all tart and little of the funk, although it adds a nice anchor to the flavour. Yes, cranberry notes are distinct here, adding their characteristic tartness with a hint of sweetness underlying. Of course the yeast is the star here and it undermines it all with sharp acidity - citric almost - with a funky barnyard/corporeal kind of note late. But really, that acidity takes over, coating my teeth in a way I haven't seen since my first Cantillon. Sharp, but palatable. Pretty nice.
Pulls back on the mouth from the get-go and puckers up totally. Acidic, really; could have used more malt body to defend against the sharpness.
Good, sharp, acidic beer. Cleansing and fresh but just a little bit overpowering.
85 / 100
Pours a very, very dark...well it's black, isn't it? No other interpretation necessary. Head is ochre, a bit lacklustre but a quick swill puts life back into it. Lace is a bit thin; but looks good.
Smell is smokey like all else. Bacony goodness, with neat, wood-charred and yeah some pine needle as well. But hell, it's mostly that peat-smoked character - big, smokey, insane. I love it.
Taste is...insane. Big and stouty upfront, with dark mocha notes, loads of chocolate malt and espresso character on the assault. Then the Islay notes take over, firstly wood with massive oak that develops a burnt, charry, spicy peat note and then just so much smoke, meaty and bacony and a little bit sweet on the back. Look, it's the place where all good stouts should go. Delicious, really; lovely smokey notes and it's just well-constructed, with a lovely balance to it.
Full, stouty, with a dry boozey component mid-to-late; can't say I'm a huge fan of the texture, though it's not too bad.
Wonderful beer overall. Aged beautifully, drinking beautifully. Some combination here. Magnificent.
60 / 100
Pours an orangey gold kind of colour, clear all the way through, with off-white head, slight and a bit listless - just retaining a mild crown. Lace is nice, though.
Smells very pongy and funky. Big organic, vegetative character with a hint of washed rind cheese, floor polish and rotting greens. Hint of some tart fruit, but quite well hideen. Could use more tartness, less pungent funk. Smells a tad unbalanced.
Taste is more tart, and throughout the front palate, it has that nice, fairly crisp and slightly lemony acidity. The genuine funk comes through midway, quite vegetative but a hint of astringent citric rind. Back palate has a mild salty edge and takes on a corporeal edge. I really hate to be vulgar, but in all honesty it reminds me slightly... of... lady bits? Honestly. But a nice fruity twang overlies it and keeps that character from being off-putting.
Full body, not too much pull from the wild yeast but also leaves a little dry.
Fresh and spontaneous, but nothing amazing. I look forward to trying the fruit-edged versions of this.
98 / 100
(Best of the Best)
Served to me by @LaitueGonflable, and shared with him and @tobeerornottobe.
Pours a lovely thick black, with a ring of mocha-coloured foam around the edges. Unfortunately the head isn't larger, but it's solid enough, and the body is pleasantly fine. No lacing, but this is a heavy, minimally carbonated beer, and you have to respect that.
Nose. OK, I'm just going to say it: "Holy fuck!". It's like the blend of a big, deeply sweet and robust imperial stout and a peaty, smoky Scotch. It's an insane blend, and incredibly, stupidly good. The sweetness of the malt, the smokiness of the peat, the roast character giving it a black, sharp finality. Wow. What an incredible nose.
Taste is gorgeous. It has the smoothness of a big, supple American stout, but it's flavoured with a peppery, smoky and minerally Islay whiskey character, that gives it a depth and a craziness above its station. Fantastic smoothness throughout, and a lovely afterpalate of rich, roasted malt, which gives a bittersweet finish, and compliments the peat smoke characters on the mid palate. This is an outstanding combination.
Feel is smooth but supple, without a thickness that could potentially overwhelm or accentuate the sweetness too much.
What an awesome and unique beer. It's like a perfectly blended combination of thick, dark stout and smoky, sensuous Scotch whiskey. Sublimely drinkable, and utterly, utterly sophisticated.
61 / 100
Pours a brown amber colour with beige floaties. Head is uneventful with light cloud and nice sticky but thin lace. Not sure about the floaties but otherwise good.
Mega-hoppy nose, with lots of citrus notes; big lemony aroma with grapefruit, rosewater and sherbet. Not much else to it apart from hops, but decent. Not quite as pungent as I'd have though, which after drinking the 1000IBU Light I'm quite happy about, actually.
Taste starts tangy with hops that develop quickly and surely to produce massive hop-bomb palate. Bit of malt underlying provides welcome balance without being really noticeable on the flavour profile. Massively bitter beginning midway with decent floral notes, lots of citrus - lemon and grapefruit, sherbet, rosewater and slight ashy pull with deep bitterness. Too many hops still so I don't really love it, it's a bit overblown, but it's surprisingly drinkable for its big, aggressive bitterness.
Full body at the front but lots of dry pull on the back from the alpha acids. OK.
An experiment, more than anything, but having had the 1000 IBU light first I can safely say don't bother with that unbalanced mess and go with this, this is quite enjoyable for its extremeness.
74 / 100
Bottle split with @LaitueGonflable at Pumphouse Bar in Sydney.
Pours a very cloudy, and very sediment-laden orange-brown colour, although the brown possibly comes from the cloud and sediment. Very fine yellow-white head. Lacing is fine and grainy, sticking in patches to the glass. Very thick in the bodyâthe sediment sits heavily suspended. Looks pretty impressive.
Nose is livelyâbig, sharp, resinous hop characters with overtones of citrus. Lots of malt sweetness as well to cup and cradle it. Nice.
Taste is also good, but the bitterness is indeed pretty intense. The feel, more than anything help hereâit's smooth and creamy, and cushions the green, sharp, piney hop-resin craziness. The hop-slick sits on the back of the palate, lingering and making each sip seem more intense than the last.
I'd only had the 1000 IBU light to this point, and I have to say, this is way, way better, even if it does still goad and torment me. The feel really helps here, and the sweetness that does exist, while far from being the dominant character, does manage to claw back some decency.
41 / 100
Had at the Local Taphouse in Sydney for the Mikkeller Tap Takeover. This review somehow got lost by the wayside.
Pours a hazy amber-orange colour, with a filmy head of white. Minimal depth to the body, leaving it very fluid, although the carbonation is very fine and languid. Looks nice enough.
Nose is sharp, but a little sweaty and earthy, almost as though it were months or years old. I was expecting big tropical hoppy characters, but there are non to be had here. Very light, a bit thin and no sweetness.
Taste is very similar. Very light and crisp, but missing depth and flavour. A little hoppiness comes through on the back, but it's very generic and quite uninspired. It's actually extremely dull, and where it's not dull, it actually becomes a tad offensive.
Tropical punch? Wow, this is nothing like what I was expecting. A rare and disappointing miss for Mikkeller. It did nothing to stand out in the lineup at the tap takeover, and must get lost in the regular Mikkeller lineup.
78 / 100
Pours a coppery amber colour, quite red with off-white head, small bubbles with a thin crown left behind. Lace is decent but thin. Looks alright, but a bit stagnant, no carbonation to revive head.
Smell is hops mostly, fresh citrus with grapefruit, lime and quince. Sweet caramelly malt and touch of spearmint as well. Marmalade and just a hint of spicy coffee at the back give a slight peppery edge. Extremely appealing, and fresh.
Taste is intriguing. Starts with fresh fruity early hops: citrus and slight vinous character that develops into tangy mid-palate with distinct caramelly malt and touch of vanilla. Intrigue comes through late where the experimental nature of this beer meets fine craftsmanship. Hops flatten out into resinous bitterness that is complemented nicely by the roasty bitterness of the coffee, but the blend is so well balanced that it's hard to tell what you're tasting when; hop oils with phenolic notes, sherbet and lemon zest but roasty espresso hints as well. Strange palate but very enjoyable.
A bit too much carbonation and body is too thin to cover it. More malt for more body would be welcome but it's questionable whether it would throw flavour off balance.
You're a weird guy, Mikkel, but I wouldn't trade you back to your home planet for anything. This is a great beer.
77 / 100
Pours a pale gold colour, mild haze with small ring of bubbles marking where the head may once have been. Lace is OK. Looks alright I guess. The hall was nice and clean.
Smell is lovely and fruity. Plenty of passionfruit, fresh and seedy. Tangy with slight rosewater note, green peppercorn and lemon. Fresh, clean, excellent.
Taste is light and fruity. Quite sweet upfront with hints of peach and passion. Gets more floral midway with a nectar note, orange peel and a hint of sherbet. Really quite fruity - pips 'n' all - with a lovely profile, just clean with a sweep-under of hop bitterness at the back.
Decent body, with a bit of a pull but mostly clean.
Great pils - hoppy bitterness but clean and fresh. I could drink this all day.
77 / 100
Pours a burnished metallic coppery colour; white head, fluffy and webbed out with nice, thick lace. Looks good.
Smell is lovely. Tart with a nice organic funk to it - wet hay but also underripe peach, raspberry and some nice fresh grass clippings. Clean, crisp, fresh. I'm a fan.
Taste is quite sweet upfront. Caramel flavour with vanilla bean that lets some nice organic flavour build around the edges. Barnyard funk, touch of banana and peach, hint of mango as well and some burnt sugar on the back. Could use more tartness, 'tis a lot sweeter than I'd thought. But still very pleasant, with a good balance to it.
Swills well with good body. Some more fizz to cut through would be welcome.
Drinkable as anything, this beer, but it leaves me wanting more tartness.
Pours a burnished toffee colour with lovely, tight head retaining a thin crown with nice lace trails. Looks like an IPA should.
Whooo, wasn't expecting that nose. Mega tartaric tang with hints of sherbet. Woody smoke, some white pepper and an overlying lemongrass note. Could use more grounding, but good.
Taste is pleasant enough. Subtle caramel malt underlies the whole thing - detectable hops on the front that blossom with floral, citric notes from mid to back. Lemon zest, tangerine and pineapple then go bitter and resinous on the back with decent IPA characters, clean enough. Fairly par for the course overall.
Decent, smooth, full body. Pleasant.
Yeah, an enjoyable IPA, nothing overly special to note down though.
77 / 100
Pours a dark cola, hint of brown up to the light. Head is ochre, nice and dense. Lovely lace left behind; looks great.
Smell is coffee-esque with lots of toasty malt and chocolate notes. Yeah, cocoa with a hint of espresso. Spice, yes, but not a lot of smoke or chilli. Maybe just whispered suggestions. Nice porter smell though.
Taste is a good balance. Starts portery with toasted grain that develops cocoa and coffee on there with light roasty spice, dry-toasted cumin and coriander seeds. Hint of chilli on mid balances well with cocoa-rich chocolate nots and hint of smoke, then nice finish with a mild chilli heat to it. Very enjoyable, with the most bold flavours not overdoing themselves. Not to everyone's taste but I'm definitely a fan.
Thin on the feel, though plenty of substance to it.
Yeah, I like a good spicy dark beer. And this be one. This gives credence to the idea that chilli can be served with dark beer.
39 / 100
Pours a light burnished bronze colour with lovely fluffy beige head, retains half a finger with beautiful lace. Looks lovely.
Woah, tangy. Feel like I've shoved a whole lime up my nose. So fruity and sour and tangy, just massive, massive acid on it. Too much; I'm overwhelmed.
Taste doesn't take long before completely puckering up. Nothing much, just massive bitterness, so much acid. Puckering lime, unripe grapefruit, just wormwood and some star anise all just side-effects of overdone, mad-scientist hop bittering. Maybe worth a sip, but not pleasant and there's no nuance to it at all.
Feels OK, just so much ashiness from the hops it's hard to enjoy.
More of an experiment than a beer and yet there's not technique involved. It would take a lot of skill to balance such an insane amount of hopping, and there's nothing here to grab hold of.
Pours a burnished russet colour with pleasant off-white head, quite dense at the base but big bubbles on top, smooth cradle of lace. Very nice.
Smell is pleasantly hoppy. Light fruit notes with passion, lime, pine resin and some English toffee malt. Pretty standard pale ale smell, but pleasant.
Taste is less exciting. Decent malt upfront with toffee and pearl barley that gets savoury-umami almost - misway, with a light smattering of hops on the back. Mostly bittering, resinous and dank with a woody edge to it. Not hugely exotic or punchy; again pretty standard character that also commits the sin of unbalance: needs more malt presence as the hops seem to swim a bit at the end.
Thin, bit of texture on the back but needs more body.
A drinkable brew, but it's a crowded list of examples for the style and this one sits quite firmly in the middle.
71 / 100
Pours a pale golden colour with white bubbles for head. Not much lace. Looks a pretty standard lager.
Smells grainy upfront, organise with barley and grass clippings followed by big citric hops; lemon and grapefruit with tangerine edge and some lavender. Really pleasant.
Taste is similar; fairly subdued with grain giving caramelised barley and chia. Midway is where the hops get going, citric with hints of sultana and some sweet brown sugar late. Not bad at all; tangy and bitter on the back and fairly light.
Fairly thin, bit of a textured pull. Pretty bland, could have used more body.
Yeah, a light, drinkable brew. Nice flavours but clean and crisp.
58 / 100
Kicked off the Mikkeller Tap Takeover at the Local Taphouse with this offering.
Pours a pale champagne colour with fair amount of translucent cloud. Head consists of big bubbles, white, without much lace. OK.
Smells hoppy; lots of deep floral notes with pine, passion, citrus, cake batter, orange peel and a slight savoury whet note at the back. Mostly hoppy but really quite nice.
Body is thin, firstly. Palate is light, dry, with some champagney notes, slight wheat grain on the front. Gets bitter towards the back, resinous and citric notes, light with a weak orange flavour and slight woody hop notes. Resinous, light, very drinkable but thin and empty for the most part.
Pours an orangey-amber, head is whispy and bubbly, thin film mostly without much lace. Slight cloud. OK, not really impressive.
Largely resinous hop notes on the nose. Bitter with floral characters and a sour fruity character - unripe peach, banana, a little bit cloying but enough edge to keep me interested.
Taste is also very light and fruity, lots of banana with light peach and mango notes, all fairly smooth, but it's just one note through the palate. Underwhelming but a decent bitterness on the finish. Could swell more; it's really very subdued for an IPA. Slightly sour, kind of empty.
Bit of a tingle on the feel but mostly just fails to let its presence be felt.
Bit unimpressed and disappointed with this offering. Flavours are OK but just not enough for an IPA. Simple and a bit dull.
Pours a dark red colour, raisiny I guess. Light head when poured, disappears to nothing after a while. No lace. Decent colour, otherwise bland.
Woah, coffee galore, that's a pick-me-up. Deep roast on the nose but powdered coffee in character, largely sweet but with phenolic and spicy hints at the edges. Not much edge to it, but nice.
Taste starts our very weak, with hints of roast espresso but largely just watered-down toasty bitterness. Nothing really asserts itself until the finish and even thin it's a sheepish whimper rather than a yell. Weak, watered down with mild hints here and there of instant coffee. Really unimpressed.
Watery, not a lot of substance at all. For 7% I'm surprised at how weak and thin this is.
Really disappointed, especially after the wham of coffee aroma I got. I've had coffee from 7-11 with more flavour than this.
82 / 100
Pours a dark Hellish red colour with beige bubbles for head. Not much lace. Looks thin, but OK.
Smells sweet, complex, raisiny. Plenty of sweet sugars, with molasses, sherry and brown sugar. Slight peppery twang late spices it up. Really quite lovely aroma.
Taste is very enjoyable as well. sweet, malty from start to finish with brown sugar, English toffee and some port wine. Raisiny as well adding a squelchy fruit goodness to proceedings, but finished with a slightly crisp lager character that just clips off the sweetness. Touch of black pepper and cumin on there as well. Really enjoyable night finisher: would happily pair with my finest cigars.
Bit untextured body unfortunately, full and thick but could use more zip.
Lovely beer. A bit malt bomb to savour, lovely balance struck.
70 / 100
Pours a very pale straw colour with light haze. Head is a whispy cloud of white bubbles. Thin lace. Looks thin but OK.
Smell is nearly all hops. Hint of candied orange peel with some tangy wheat but mostly citric, with mildly resinous hoppiness. Wood, sap and lemon zest. Quite enjoyable.
Taste is fruity, light and pleasant; and yet complex. Orange/lemon compete on the front, with some tart wheat notes and light vinous character drying up. Touch of sweet white wine and then finish is all hops but lightly so, they just pop up at the end to cleanse with floral citric bitterness. No hang. Light, but very enjoyable.
Light, uninteresting body. Doesn't need much since the flavour is all there, but really there's not much at all.
Good wit, good beer.
41 / 100
Pours a dark amethysty-red colour with dense beige head that sticks around to a decent crown. Nice cradle of lace. Pretty damn fine.
Huge fruity nose, very candied with a blackcurrant and apple edge. Blackberry, cherry medicine, I could go on but yeah, it's definitely lacking something, needs more than just sweet fruit. Pretty poor and cloying, in fact.
Taste is similarly saccharine. Loads of fruit: apple, blackcurrant and black cherry with a slight weak cider edge and hardly any complexity to it, just sweet and a bit weak. Medicinal edge on the back but it falls short of being nicely phenolic or spicey. Really quite disappointed.
Full body, but not a lot of texture, just very simple.
It's probably hard to produce this particular fruit note from a beer but it just comes out as thinly sweet and under-fermented. Just not very enjoyable.
72 / 100
Pours a pale golden colour with whispy cloud of head. Not a lot of lace. Steady bead. Fairly decent.
Smell is rich and malty. Thick golden syrup malt overlain with hops for a slight salty aroma. Hints of seawater, oyster mushrooms and sharp orange zest. Intriguing, and I like it.
Taste is light on the front with a well-attenuated malt base. Biscuity with a touch of oatmeal, before hops take over - pine, lemon and orange with more mildly savoury notes, saltwater and fresh pine bark. Slight starchiness and also slight Benedictine-esque clout of booze late-mid. Again, intriguing and again I like it.
Not a bad bod at all for a lager, smooth but thick and a slight tingle to it.
A bit of an odd beer, but plenty to like and keep you drinking.
Pours a slight burnished copper colour, nice dense head of tiny bubbles that pops with fizz and a cradle of smooth lace. Not much bead. Looks alright.
Smell is tangy, fruity with a very slight funk to it. Citric with floral notes, nectar, raisin and candied orange on there. Rich malt underlying; nice.
Taste starts with malty notes, caramel mostly, that continue through to the finish. Gets richer and buttery midway with a smooth clarified butter finish. Balance tries to come from a slight tangy citric hop, more resinous at the back but it's just not very strong, just a lingering bitterness late. Pretty clean, with a peachy touch to it as well. Not bad.
Nice body, smooth but noticeable presence.
Interesting, enjoyable, but not quite all there.
On tap at the Local Taphouse for their Mikkeller Tap Takeover. 3 down, 17 to go.
Pours a vibrant and clear deep golden colour, with a very thick head of sticky off-white foam. Lacing is full and solid. Light body, but very suitable for the style.
Nose is crisp with hops, but also redolent with a crisp savoury/sweet character like smoky pork belly. Some greenness, some citrus and a touch of mild mitigated sulphur. Nice. The smoky savoury character disappears after a while, and I wonder if it was just the comparison to the last beer.
Taste is milder, but very crisp and light and pretty pleasant. Some crisp leafy hops, a bit of light grain and a sparkling and light finish. Very drinkable and light, would make a great quaffing beer.
Very decent brew. It's a mild style, but as usual, Mikkeller has loaded it with as much character as the style can possibly support.
44 / 100
Oh god. What a weird beer. It's a version of their 1000 IBU monster, brewed to only 4.9% ABV. It's a Double IPA without any body to support it. Had on-tap as part of the Local Taphouse Mikkeller Tap Takeover.
Pours a burnished, slightly haze orange-bronzey hue, with a very fine and full head of white foam. Pretty classy and static lacing. Looks good.
Nose is resiny and full, with big pickled orange characters and a sharp citric twang overall. It misses a lot of body and depth, but the sharpness is pleasant enough.
Taste is... Yeah, it's bitter. It's very solid, biting and astringent, and it really doesn't have a lot of body to balance it. It's sharp and direct and green and oh god it's bitter. It's a rather intense experience, and worse for not having any body to cushion it at all. Oh god. I think I'm going to die.
I'm aware that the human palate can't actually taste 1000 IBU, even if Mikkeller did manage to get it there, but they've certainly reached my limit with this anyway, and it's bare-boned and raw, with nothing at all to screen it. Probably the least drinkable beer I've ever had. But not the worst, by any means.
75 / 100
Had on-tap at the Local Taphouse in Darlinghurst for the Mikkeller Tap Takeover. On the home stretch, this was beer #16 of 20.
Pours a deep and dark black-brown, with a good fluidity to the brew, and rather light bodied. Head is firm and extremely fine, a lovely light brown colour. Decent lacing. Looks good.
Nose is sharp with coffee and rounded malt, giving a creamy sweetness to the beer. Hint of something savoury to it, but overall it's smooth and solid, with the coffee giving it an edge.
Taste is bright and rather light, but with a lingering coffee character on the back. Cleansing, sharp and crisp on the finish, but the smoothness on the front is really nice.
Very decent brew. It's perhaps a little lighter in body than it should be, especially for 7% ABV, but it's drinkable, and flavoursome and has a good deal of interest to it.
On-tap at the Local Taphouse in Sydney during their Mikkeller Tap Takeover. #7 of 20
Pours a bright and slightly hazed orange colour. Body looks fluid when tilted, but it has a depth and a thickness to it which traps carbonation. Head is very fine and pretty full. Looks very decent.
Nose is light and bright, but with a thicker roundness to it, suggesting the extra body. Hint of booze to it, and enough hops to pick it up and lift it properly into pilsener territory.
Taste is bright and pilsenery, for the most part, with hops doing their job well. However, later in the palate, the alcohol comes welling up, giving a slightly biting and raw heat that doesn't really do it any favours. Green and crisp, and in standard pilsener territory. And then bam! Too much heat.
It's a bit of a shame. It's a nice pilsener, that is somewhat ruined by ramping up the ABV. Could have been better.
On-tap at the Local Taphouse in Sydney's Mikkeller Tap Takeover.
Pours very clear, and quite dark for a wit, with very minimal head, just a ring of suds around the edge of the glass. Body looks very light, but it holds what little carbonation is there very heavily contained in the body. Looks pretty poor, to be honest.
Nose is an entirely different story, and a rather bizarre experience. Ripping sharp fruit character right from the start, with preserved lemon and green peach coming through strongly. Quite floral, sharp and rather sweet. It smells like wandering through the tropical fruit section of the market.
Taste is clear and crisp, with a good dose of that sharp fruitiness through the centre. Body is certainly lacking, and there's not enough to support very much, but the fragrance of the peach and lemon comes through nicely enough.
Very decent beer. Very light and refreshing, with some fragrant characters that don't overwhelm the palate. Not bad.
On-tap at the Local Taphouse for the Mikkeller Tap Takeover in Sydney. This was number 15 of 20.
Looks deep and pleasantly red, with a very full head of yellow-tinged ochre. Lots of retention. Minimal lace, but the colour and opacity is great.
Nose is... unpleasant. Really sticky and sweet apple cider character with a touch of booze to it and very little else. Sheesh. I dread to drink it.
Sickly and sweet on the palate, with astringent medicinal cherry and then a long, drawn out character of fermented apple. Despite this, the feel is quite thin and unpleasant.
Too much sugar in the wort! This smells like a fermented out sugar-drink. It's heavy, hot and unpleasant. This is not a great beer, and worse, it's a beer that gives the great examples of this style a bad name. Poor effort, Mikkeller.
On-tap at the Local Taphouse as part of the Mikkeller Tap Takeover.
Pours pretty cloudy, almost opaque, with a brownish red hue that almost obscures all the light. Head is full and rich and extremely fine. The cloudiness is almost insane, but otherwise it looks really good.
Nose is bright and light, with a generic West Coast hop character without being particularly robust, fresh or strong. It's a bit like a couple of photocopies down from the best examples.
Taste is again, bright, but a bit lacklustre. Some sweet fruit on the front, with a hint of the tropical and a slight green apple character. It's all ok--it works, it fits in style, but it's not a great example of it.
Eh, not bad, but a bit generic. Seriously, it's not a bad brew, but it just doesn't do anything exciting.
80 / 100
This is the bigger and improved Simcoe single-hop IPA, weighing in at 10.9% ABV. This one I had on-tap at the Local Taphouse as part of their Mikkeller Tap Takeover.
Pours a thick and heavy, cloudy burnished amber colour, with an extremely fine and persistent head of sandy white. Minimal lacing, but the body and static carbonation is gorgeous. It's a hefty looking brew.
Nose is delicious. Big raw and robust Simcoe characters, giving ripe grapefruit, sharp citrus and a raw, earthy and slightly organic, almost sweaty flavour. It's crisp and sharp, and probably one of the most genuinely hoppy beers I've had as part of the takeover. Really delicious.
Taste is very balanced--far more so than I expected. Very round and quite sweet body, with good weight behind it, but balanced with a citric bitterness and a slight crisp vector of sharpness to clean it out.
Really good brew, and I have to say better than the regular single-hop series. I love the extra body and depth to this, and the Simcoe does an awesome job of cutting through and balancing the sweetness.
78 / 100
Pours a deep and very opaque brown-black colour, with a very fine head of chocolate brown. Body looks almost yellow-oily on the edges. Very sharp and classy looking. Body is just a little lighter than it could have been, otherwise, this is top-notch.
Nose is crispy and dark, with a sharpness that maybe speaks to the smoky chipotle note. In some senses the smoke gives it a lightness, although this and the true charred nature of the roasted malt mingle meaning you can't extricate either of the characters. Nice.
Taste is really pleasantly smoky and dark, with a tingle of spicy chilli on the back of the palate. But it's subdued enough that in mingles with the smoke, the roast and the slightly astringnet bitterness, dancing on the palate and giving a zing to elevate the beer above any other.
Very nice brew. Very nice indeed. It has the classic Mikkeller elan, but with the lift of something sharp, weird and different. One of my picks. Good beer.
75 / 100
On-tap at the Local Taphouse for the Mikkeller Tap Takeover.
Pours a hazy reddish brown colour, quite bright, but also quite light. Head is a little frothy, but mostly filmy and slight. Body has some depth to it, pleasantly, but the colour and the head look a little bit dull.
Nose is brown and dark, giving some roasty grains and a hint of slightly meaty, slightly sweet characters. A little sharpness to it, that adds an almost spicy, slightly aniseed character to it. Not bad.
Taste expands on the meatiness, almost giving a slight smoke character, but balanced and almost nutty, with a pleasant round sweetness. Bitterness comes through on the end, giving a twinge of sharpness to finish.
Nice brew. Very decent. I can't remember how it went in bottle, but it's pretty decent on tap as well.
85 / 100
On-tap at the Local Taphouse during their Mikkeller Tap Takeover. #6 of 20.
Pours a hazed but very bright golden colour, with a ring of filmy white. Light body, crisp carbonation. Looks pretty great, and perfectly in style.
Nose is gorgeous: crisp, clean, green hops, with a touch of earthy grain to give a slight organic twinge to everything. Crisp, fruity peach, melon and bright citrus characters come through beautifully. It's fresh, bright and lovely. Reminds me of the awesome pilseners coming out of New Zealand.
Taste is similar. Bright, fresh and clear, with a pleasant biting citrus finish and loads of cleansing bitterness. Body is very light, and very suitable for the style, although they could almost get away with a little more.
Exceptionally drinkable. This is a lovely pilsener, and one I would be happy drinking very, very often. I wish this was my local beer.
83 / 100
On-tap at the Local Taphouse as part of the Mikkeller Tap Takeover. This was beer #10 of 20. Halfway there...
Smooth and light bodied, slightly hazy orange colour, with an initially crackling and vivacious head that settles down to almost nothing. Minimal lacing, and very light body.
Nose is sharp and funky, without a lot of true acidity, but with a really direct crushed green vegetation and an big organic funk. Green appleskin comes through, giving it a crispness that balances with the round almost classic Belgian yeast character.
Funky and raw and organic on the palate, with aromatic blue cheese, sharpness and a long funky grain character to finish with, like rye sourdough. It doesn't have a great deal of acidity or tartness to bite the palate, but it has that really big Belgian brett character all over it. Lovely.
Very, very nice wild ale. Very much on the Belgian side of things, without a lot of true acidity. More of the round Belgian funk and the organics of something like Orval.
71 / 100
On tap at the Local Taphouse in Sydney for their Mikkeller Tap Takeover.
Pours a bright but hazed light orange colour, with a very full, frothy and very solid head of white. Lacing reaches in fingering steppes up the glass. Decent body. Looks pretty good.
Nose is full and fruity, with big tropical characters and a touch of greenness. It's very pleasant, if not round or completely strong and robust. Not bad though.
Taste is a little rounder from the nose, giving a slight sweetness on which the sharper hops are balanced nicely. Together, they give a pleasant menthol note and a sharpness that cleanses the palate and invites you to take another sip.
Nice beer. A very mild, but very hoppy blend, in some way staying balanced in some paradoxical way. Nice.
60 / 100
On-tap at the Local Taphouse in Sydney, as part of the Mikkeller Tap Takeover. Yeah. This was Beer #8 of 20.
Pours a hazed, bronzey orange colour, with a filmy but fine head of white. Some slipped lacing around the top, but otherwise it looks pretty flat. Not bad, but not great, either.
Nose is bright and light, with some slight hop characters and a twinge of graininess. It's pretty mild and a little bit sweaty and funky. Eh.
Taste is light and mild, but pretty well balanced. Very pleasant bitterness on the back that clings to the palate. But it has a decent body to support it, giving a sweetness and some depth. The bitterness on the back has a tendency to get slightly medicinal on the finish, but otherwise, it's nice and well-balanced.
Not a bad drop, but a little bit tame for Mikkeller. It ends up being pretty dull and quite pedestrian.
On-tap at the Local Taphouse as part of the Mikkeller Tap Takeover. This was #12 of 20.
Pours a very cloudy hazed orange colour, with a frothy and slightly large-bubbled head of off-white. Decent lacing. Looks pretty good.
Nose is an interesting blend of hops and coffee. The coffee character gives a fruity, slightly underroasted coffee character, along with a big hit of green sharpness from the hops. Some pine comes through, along with a generic biting, cutting hop character.
Taste is interesting, but missing something overall. Certainly a hint of coffee bitterness, along with a fresher hop character. Quite a mildness to it overall, but the darkness gives it an oddity that is intriguing, if not all that awesome. Feel is pleasantly round and full.
A very interesting experiment, but an experiment it remains. It's a curiosity, but not something I really want to drink more regularly than that.
First beer of the day for the Mikkeller Tap Takeover of the Local Taphouse in Sydney.
A 2.4% beer from Mikkeller? It's an interesting concept.
Pours a clear and slightly hazed light yellow colour, with a frothy, but large-bubbled head of white. Very light body, almost watery and insipid. Lacing is anarchic and sticky at least. Not a bad looking brew all up, really.
Nose is great. Really fresh and bright tropical hop notes, with an underlying round wheat sweetness and a touch of butterscotch. With a swirl, it gains a slightly astringent greenness to it, sharper than the other characters, and biting through nicely.
Taste is a lot worse, but that's probably to be expected. It has very little to the body at all, meaning it sinks meaninglessly on the palate, and doesn't leave much of an impression. Some hop bitterness springs up on the back to try to revive it, but by this stage the grainy, watery thinness hasn't done much.
Not bad for a light beer, but the excess of hops just means that it feels unbalanced without any body. I know you have to do something to give a light beer some flavour, but better yet is to not brew a light beer at all.
83 / 100
I have a tendency to buy Mikkeller when I come to America, even though it's available in Australia. 1) Because it's much cheaper here than home and 2) Because Mikkeller is freakin' awesome. Sampled in New York, because it didn't make the cut of beers to take home.
Pours a deep, heavy red-brown colour, hazedâbut who knows what with. This almost looks as though the haze comes purely from the viscosity of the liquid, as though it's absorbing even the light which passes through it. Head is very fine, although falters to a ring of minute bubbles soon after pouring. Lacing is sheeting and thick, however. Looks excellent.
Nose is smooth and oaky, with big vanilla notes, and huge spiritous booziness. Oily hop characters cavort through the haze of booze fumes and sweet mellow malt. It's an impressively aggressive and beautifully melded aroma.
Taste is also good, but the sharpness of the booze becomes rather ragged and insistent here. Smooth vanilla does a good job of soothing the rawness, but the spiritous burn still flickers on to the back palate. Complex dark flavours dance around, giving a flash of roasted grain at various points, and giving hints of whiskey. Feel is smooth and delightful.
A very good beer, that is undoubtedly aided by the bourbon barrel vanilla characters, although the booze is hefty in this one. Share it, sample it, enjoy it.
I wish I had have saved it and shared it.
76 / 100
Interesting series, this one. I feel I'm missing out on the more characteristically unique elements by leaving the Brett and the Hefe until last, but it was interesting to see how different the Belgian and the Lager ones were. I'm expecting clean, middle-of-the-road fermentation from the American Ale yeast, but let's see what we get.
Fizzes rather vigorously on opening, however, the pour is viscous, and seemingly not over-carbonated. Body is a gorgeous red-orange hue, with a little bit of suspension causing haze. Head is full and thick, and leaves magnificent lacing. All things considered, it's an absolutely gorgeous looking beer.
Nose is very pleasantly hoppy, with flavoursome hop varieties giving gorgeously sweet tropical fruits. Minimal citrus and pine. Malt is malanced but bright, giving a supple warm sweetness underneath the hops. Gorgeous.
Hops on the palate lend a mild bitterness, with a green crushed vegetation finish. Otherwise, there are rampant grainy malt characters lending depth and body and that characteristic nutty flavour on the back. Very clean finish, with the palate drying out enough to let the hops have the final say.
Very decent beer, and the fact that I focused on the beer itself and not the characteristics of the yeast tells you what a smooth and clean yeast this is. What you end up with is a very fine and very drinkable Pale Ale (or really, verging in to American Strong Ale territory).
I enjoyed the beer for itself. Never mind the series.
I saw this recently at the International Beer Shop in Perth, and for some stupid reason didn't realise what the concept was, despite the rainbow label and the fact that it was stored in the fridge next to the rest of the single-hop series. When I saw it again at Star Grocery in Berkeley, CA (of course for much cheaper than it costs in Australia), the penny dropped, and I figured I should check it out.
Unsurprisingly, this looks very similar to the beers in the rest of the seriesâa bright orange-golden colour, with a fine head that leaves some sheeting lacing. Retention is not great, but is stays sudsy and consistent enough. Decent body, and very tight and fine carbonation. Looks good.
Nose is hoppy, but rather generically soâthe combination of the hops doesn't elevate this at all, but rather drags it back to the median. Some green vegetation, a hint of citrus, and a touch of grain to ground it. Really though, it smells of "hops", just a vague approximation of all the middle-of-the-road things they can be.
Taste is very similar, or at least in this vein. Clean, crisp hoppy characters throughout, but they don't stray beyond flavours such as vegetative, bitter, crushed leaf, resinâall these generic "hop" flavours without any nuance or flavours of their own.
Feel is smooth but light.
I loved the single hop series, and to be fair, I love that Mikkeller put them all together to make this beer. But in essence, this beer just exemplifies what the single hop series did so well, isolating and showcasing what makes hop varieties unique. When you put them together, you don't get some of alchemical synergy; you get mediocrity.
375ml green caged and corked bottle sealed with a plastic cork. Bottle purchased from Star Grocery in Berkeley, CA, a funny little grocery store, with a very small, but exceptionally well selected range of craft beer, particularly from Scandinavia.
Pours rather lighter than expected, a bronze-brown hue that is translucent at the edge, but which traps light at its black heart. Head is a sheen of yellow-beige, like the froth of light sweet crude oil. Exceptionally fine carbonation, when it forms, although the static nature of this beer makes it hard to imagine carbonation forming spontaneously. Looks good.
Intense and crazy nose even from several metres away. Big boozy notes which are tempered by a lovely sweet oaky character giving off coconut, vanilla, and a slight tannic acidity. Dark cocoa comes forward very robustly too, giving chocolate-rich overtones to everything else, which is already dark, sweet and mellow. Just gorgeous; so heady and robust, but so complex and intertwined. Fantastic.
Taste is... disappointing. Certainly particular disappointing over the promise on the nose. Here the depth and the sweetness just fall out as though the beer has a trap door. Big, roasted notes form the basis here, and even then, they're not full, or addressing the entire palate. Rather, we get a boozy entree riddled with an ashy back palate that feels thin and ends bone-dry. No depth, no breadth and certainly no complexity.
How very, very disappointing. To have a beer so fantastically delicious on the nose and so very thin and insipid on the palate. My guess is that Mikkeller was disappointed with this brew as well when they sampled it. I certainly would be.
Pours a dark red-amber colour, darker than I expected, and that goes for the head as well which is very dark beige - almost ochre in colour. Varying bubble size with some large ones belying its otherwise tight, dense appearance. Lace clings nicely in a ring of whispy foam. Bit of haze in the glass. Not bad but odd.
Smells pleasant, with lotza hops. Largely fruity and floral with a big aloe vera smell being noticeable at the front. Lots of citrus and nectar characters backing up, all undermined by a rich caramel maltiness that threatens at times to engulf the hops. Pleasant, indeed, but doesn't quite pack the whallop I expected.
Very rich, deep caramel malt on the front takes on flavour hops early; tangy and fruity with citrus and a burdock kind of note. Retains that aloe vera flavour on the mid - a fresh, vegetative flavour with a crisp tang to it, very succulent - where it's joined by the signature Mikkeller nutty malt and a rising hoppy bitterness. Very piney, woody on the finish, ending very dry, and making for tasty drinking, if not a thorough flooding with crisp hoppy goodness. Bitter hang takes on a touch of the ashy bitterness.
Quite carbonated texture but not harsh, just a nice tingly texture to cut through the noticeable malt body.
Overall a pleasant IPA, could have pulled back on the bitterness a bit and upped the flavour hop ante a bit more. It wouldn't strangle the IPA credentials but it would make for an overall more strikingly delicious beer.
77 / 100
Purchased from Platinum Liquor at Bellevue Hill. I believe this is the last of the Single Hop series that I have yet to try.
Pours like the rest in the series, a deep reddish orange colour, with a spectacular head of creamy ywllo-white foam. Lacing is good as always, leaving very intricate and tight patterns down the inside of the glass. Looks wonderful.
Nose is spicy with classic Chinook grapefruit citrus characters. Sharp and pungent, but balanced enough with the sweet malt characters to give a piquancy like sherbet. Very American in style (indeed, Chinook is probably one of the "most American" hops to my mind), so much so that it almost overwhelms me in a sense of nostalgia for the US West Coast. Nice.
Taste is quite intense, but still well-balanced. I was expecting a lot of astringency from a Chinook-only bittering schedule, but it seems that everything has been balanced out nicely for the extra alpha acids. Still that pleasant nutty Mikkeller character, with a biting, but not overwhelming bitterness through the centre. Clean and clear and green, but with enough malt backing to give it a basis.
Feel is smooth and clean, but with lots of body.
A very nice drop indeed, and probably one of the best of the series. I have to say that the increased intensity of the hops make this one a more exciting experience.
73 / 100
Pours black as black gets, impenetrable. Head is ochre; small bubbles and retains excellently. Fed by steady stream of carbonation, with great bead patterns up the glass. Lace is thick and cradles the beer like a precious orb that contains the essence of creation. Just beautiful.
Intense booze whiff hits the nose immediately. As I acclimatise, I get huge chocolatey aroma and a lovely rich spicy coffee aroma. Dark espresso with lots of aniseed, berries and orange peel. Still get that ethanoic whiff through it all though and that could be toned down a tad.
Taste is intense indeed. Huge dark roasty bitterness upfront with strong cocoa-rich chocolate, pepperberries and star anise. Develops a dryness complicated by spice on mid, then huge coffee notes added at the back, big pepper and dark coffee with just a hint of honey as well. Pleasant, but I feel there could be more sweetness to counteract the hot spice of the weasel coffee a bit. It's really quite a hot palate with a bit of a burning sensation.
I actually feel the carbonation as well which inplies it's either a bit thin in the body or just overcarbonated. The heat may just come from the weasel coffee, not the alcohol so much.
Overall a pleasant drop to finish the night. In truth I would prefer to be sharing this bottle with a couple of mates rather than tackling it alone, but it's still manageable and enjoyable.
Last Mikkeller Single Hop I had was the East Kent Goldings. So to contrast I'm throwing myself in the deep end of the pond - so to speak. Wrong coast, I know, but anyway.
Pours a bronze-amber colour; good amount of red in that spectrum. Head is quite enormous, 3.5 fingers thick and tightly packed, dense bubbles with only minimal sinkage on the top. Lace is beautiful and there is a small stream of carbonation. Damned fine-lookin' beer.
Smells very much of hops. Pleasant West Coast character with dominant citrus - lemon with a touch of sherbet. Some banana leaf aroma and a herbal tinge at the back, mint, thyme and lemongrass. Not as aromatic as some I've had, but nicely complex, and pleasant.
Taste does indeed grab you by the balls, as I'd have expected. A tight, savoury bitterness starts very early, almost before the caramel malt is able even to announce itself. Lots of mint grapefruit rind on there that allows for some tangy flavours to show through on the mid and again at the very end. Very much dominated by earthy bitterness; after the early mint spike, characters of tobacco and a whole heap of pepper in the bag. Decent body but it's able to dry out your mouth in one sip. Enough flavour and interest to keep me going though.
An agressive hop but used as sparingly as possible by Mikkel and, as a result, a palatable beer. But Chinook is a potent little explosive and let that be a lesson to you all: use sparingly!
Pours a bronzey gold colour with slight dirty haze, revealing a strong but slow plop of carbonation. Head is beige, decent when poured, developing nice craters on its dense surface, and some small but nick sticky lacing trails. Looks pretty decent.
Pleasant caramelly malt underlying, with prominent but not overwhelming hop aroma. Hops are equal parts citrussy and herbal, with a lemon tang and big whiff of mint. Pepperminty with a side edge of metallic brass and fresh-cut grass. Slightly stale in character, but plenty of aroma.
Taste is quite minty throughout. Bit of a peppermint bite on the assault, with a touch of rosewater that mellows heading towards the very nutty malt on the mid, touch of hazelnut and pecan. Hops begin quite early and are definitely unlike the hops I'm used to in flavour. Herbal, with mint, a touch of green tea and a side order of steamed greens that develops into a mildly peppery bitterness with a very dry finish. Bitterness is very mellow though, which I think is the key selling point of the hop, very austere and British with plenty of cleansing bitterness but virtually no bite. Pleasant and drinkable but nothing brash or arrogant about it.
Perfect analogy for the difference between Poms and Yanks here; it's not as in-your face and offensive as your west coast American hops but there's also something lacking in the excitement department.
72 / 100
Frothed up like a boy getting his first lap dance when opened.
Pours a burnished orange-amber colour with mild haze and a robust, steady bead feeding a big generous, puffy head of off-white foam, densely-packed bubbles up top and sinking around the edges. Pretty damn fine IPA look.
Smell is quite aromatic. Nice nutty malt base giving way to sweet floral hops, plenty of citrus on there with mild grapefruit predominant. Touch of pine resin and musk and a very slight solvent bitterness rounding off. Hops could be more forward, but otherwise a pleasant blend.
Hops are more forward on the palate. Noticeable nutty caramel malt base is quickly smothered by big citric hop burst, that rindy zest character coming through thick and fast with lemon/lime notes. After the initial fruitiness, a grapefruit bitterness backs up to cap off the mid, blending with a slight pine flavour on the back and a slight soapy note. Very puckering at the finish, reminds me why we typically use this for aroma and flavour and less for bittering. Bitter almost to the point of ashy at times.
Good healthy body, little bit of sizzle that is well-masked and padded by the maltiness. Goes down really beautifully given the bitter palate.
Yeah that bitterness is slightly off-putting at times but it's otherwise a very pleasant drop.
83 / 100
Pours a quite earthy burnt orange colour with metallic sheen. Head is huge and beige - surprisingly dark, really, sinking nicely on top with little craters and sparse webbing on the sides. Some trails of lace left behind. In black and white this beer would look incredible, but I think it's a tad dark for the style.
Smells cascadey. Ooh yeah. Lots of sweet caramel malt underlying the big hop notes. Masses of different levels of citrus coming off that. Sweet tangerine is dominant, with lots of tart lemon zest, a tartaric sherbety note as well as some beautiful tropical pineapple as well. Fruity zesty hop notes at their very best. Let's face it, Cascade aroma hops are just a winning formula.
Taste is nice, but not as nice as the nose. Light caramel malt note on the front, with a touch of brown sugar. Hops are noticeable early with a citric rind bitterness and touches of pine resin. Whispers of tartaric character and more earthy soil-like notes on the back. It's all very tasty, but the bitterness really rides the mouth like a bitch after it's all over. Reminds me why I tend to use cascade in conjunction with other hops for bittering. Flavours are lovely but there's something a bit dirty about that aftertaste.
Good body, holds itself well and slips down nicely if a little dry.
Yeah, Cascade in an IPA. It just works. I know it, you know it, Mikkel Borg Bjergsø knows it too, and hear he shows why.
70 / 100
Put this head to head with the Yeast Series: Lager.
Pours identical in colour to the Lager, a bright and hazed reddish bronze, shining pleasantly in the light. Head is fuller than the lager, and retains a little better in its yellowish tinged glory, although the lacing here is clumpier and looser. In the body of this one, there's a fair amount of yeast sediment, despite the careful pour. This one probably has a looser trub at the bottom of the bottle. Still looks good.
In contrast to the crisp hoppiness of the lager, this one comes across as much sweeter and slightly spicy. Big notes of syrup and some fruity esters coming through, like stewed plums and golden sultanas. Very rich and sweet - such a contrast between the two.
Taste is smooth and a little flat, although there's still plenty of syrup and spice to leaven it. The ABV is much better hidden in this one than in the lager, where it takes on a fusel astringent character. Here, it smoothly melds with the dried fruit characters. There's a slight hoppiness on the back which makes an interesting contrast, but for this style it sticks around slightly too long, when the fruity esters should be the main event.
A nice experiment, and a great way to show off the differences in yeast strains, but it also exemplifies how different styles of beer need their recipes tweaked to match up with the secondary characters of the yeast.
60 / 100
Put this head to head with the Belgian Ale from the series.
This one pours in an identical colour, a bright and slightly hazed reddish bronze colour, with a very fine head of slightly yellowish bubbles. Lacing is excellent, leaving intricate patterning down the glass in the pattern of Pascal's triangle. Lovely. Body is as thick as you may expect from an 8% abv beer, although this one certainly retains less body than the Belgian Ale. Still, it's a very good looking brew all up.
Nose is crisp and sharp, with a lot of hoppiness, and minimal malt characteristics. Compared with the Belgian Ale, which doesn't have a lot of hoppiness, I wonder how much of the sharpness is actually due to the clear crispness from the yeast. Still, it's pretty decent.
Taste is very clear for the most part, but with this brew it accentuates the alcohol character; the yeast really has trouble leaving enough body to match the ABV. Bitterness on the back from the hops, but this mingles with the fusel character to give quite a harshness on the back. Feel is light and crisp until the harshness makes itself felt.
This is definitely inferior to the Belgian Ale, which had its own drawbacks, but which was a more consistent beer overall. This one accentuates what a lager yeast does to a beer - it strips a lot of body, adds crispness and accentuates the other characters. But a lager yeast (or at least *this* lager yeast) really doesn't suit this style of beer.
Ah, once again I tread the Mikkeller single hop path. Let's see where Nugget gets us.
Pours a cloudy and rather deeply coloured amber hue, with a glistening and foamy head of yellowish-white. Lacing is complicated, but patchy, and the bubbling is rather large bubbled. Let's face it - it's about par for the course in the series...
Nose is initially subtly fruity, but the longer it sits, the more earthy and gritty the aromas become. Hints of tea leaf and leaf mold come through, but with a surprisingly sharp note like zesty grapefruit coming through as well. Milder in the aroma, and certainly darker, than many of the more aromatic varieties in the series, but it has a rather pleasant nuance to it nonetheless.
Taste is definitely quite different, giving a very earthy, but very pronounced and really quite astringent bitterness. It has the bite and strength of a big American bittering hop like Chinook, or Columbus, but rather redolent with the earthy and tannic characters of an English variety like East Kent Goldings. Makes it and interesting mix. The strength is such, however, that it overpowers the rest of the beer. I feel that however much this showcases the hop (particularly in regard to the other beers in the series), it needs more sweetness and malt to back it up.
Feel suffers a little as well from the exuberance of the hops, with the bitterness almost giving a cutting quality to the palate.
It's still a nice beer, and an interesting way to experience the Nugget variety, but it's not one of my favourites in the series. Then again, the difference is made clear in the hop variety in this beer, and that's what it was aiming for. That has to be worth something.
73 / 100
Seemingly, this pours darker than many of the others in the series, a deep burnished amber/copper colour, with a slight haze. Head is as full and boisterous as expected, though, and it leaves a good deal of clumpy lacing. Looks tasty enough, but, like I said, surprisingly dark.
Nose is, yep, full on with cascade, giving some piney citrus along with a dollop of sherbet or fairy floss sweetness. Quite zesty all up, and despite the colour in the body, the nose is all hops. Minimal contribution from the malt. Smells good.
Taste is perhaps a little more touched by the malt. At least, it has a very extended back palate that is redolent with sweet and very lightly toasted grain characters. But before this, the cascade comes through to impart a very piney and rather buoyant citrus bitterness on the mid. As it dies away, and the malt comes through, that classic Mikkeller character of slightly nutty marzipan gets the limelight, but here the grain notes start to overwhelm it rather early.
Feel is prickly and sharp on the front, although the body drops out quickly and then stays on in a lingering thinness to the back.
Cascade's a great hop, so it lends a certain panache to any beer. That being said, I'm not sure this does a fantastic job of showcasing it. So while this is a very pleasant beer to drink, I feel as though more could have been done with it.
79 / 100
Pours a lovely hazed orange amber, with a full and bountiful head of lovely crackling white. Head is very rocky, consisting of large bubbles, but this gives it some shape and texture. Lacing is sticky and intricate. Colour, tick. Head, tick. Haze, tick. This is a great looking IPA.
Nose is interestingly different from the others I've tried in the series so far, definitely more organic with the English hop variety. Citrus is still present, but with an earthy, leafy, tea-leaf tannic character to it as well that makes it feel darker and less buoyant. Quite fascinating.
Taste is also quite different to the usual Mikkeller single hop IPA. Here, the tannic bitterness from the English hops becomes very prominent, although it's not a particularly strong bitterness compared to the high-alpha American hops. Big earthy notes on the front, a bit of that classic nutty/marzipan Mikkeller character on the back. Feel is consistent with the others in the series, crisp and clean, but with enough body to support and showcase the hops.
I found this one to be one of the most interesting in the series, given that it uses a much different hop variety to the others. I have to say, I heartily approve. Indeed, I'm not sure I've had a better English-hopped IPA. Trust that Mikkeller would do a better job of it than the UK would.
It's a lovely brew, and the hops are different enough to give a really interesting experience.
75 / 100
Pours an orange-tinged golden colour with strong carbonation and a ludicrously sized beige head. Might be something wrong with my poor, but I highly doubt it. Sinks nicely, webbing out and uneven on top, leaves specks of lace behind. Decent IPA-look, shame about the over-exuberance of the head.
Smell is intriguing. Very fruity hops, with an appealing pineapple character and nice tartaric tang to it. Lemon sherbet and candied orange peel as well. Yeah, really pleasant aerated sugar character joins a nice tart, fruity hop bomb. Too many adjustives, but not too many hops.
Taste is interesting, but not as much as the nose. Nice malty notes on the very front; slight biscuity edge and hops take charge midway, giving fair fruity characters with citrus and pineapple at the forefront. Bittering comes through quite early - let's say late-mid - with a distinct peppery spice and a hint of capsicum. Finish is quite resiny, with a touch of waxy flavour to go with it. A robust bitterness, but a good one.
Good body, nice and thick to pad the carbonation. Almost chewy at times but with a good texture so as not to overwhelm with stickiness.
Maybe not an everyday drinking beer, but a good one.
70 / 100
Pours a burnished amber colour with modest off-white head; retains a thin crown and leaves some nice trails of creamy lacing. Slight sedimenty haze in the body with a steady but slow carbonation. Good IPA.
Smell is quite malty as well as hoppy. Strong caramel cakey aroma but a very strong, and beautiful - like Hugh Jackman *sigh* - hop aroma. Very citric, with a tang to it, and lots of peppery spice, lemongrass and coriander on there. Floral as well, with crushed rose petals and kaffir lime. Damn, man, melikes these Centennial hops very much.
Taste is a bit less immediately charming. Not a lot of noticeable malt, but hops dominate early with a very large lemongrass flavour, quite minty and herbal that gets slightly fruity on the mid; lime notes and a touch of paw-paw. Slight peppery spice on the back that runs quite fresh and light, but with a sting in the tail. There's kind of a mouthwashy cleansing quality to it, but it goes hand in hand with a sharp bitterness.
A little bit lighter in the body than I expected, makes way for a bit of carbonation texture, but not much. Quite enjoyable.
It's intriguing and pleasant enough, but I'm thinking I prefer my Centennial as an aroma hop.
77 / 100
I'm really quite depressed at how cheap beer is here in America compared to Australia. This was a bargain in Australian terms, so I figured it was worth picking up and sampling.
Pours a deep and opaque brown-black, with a crusty head of genuinely deep brown foam. Almost looked as though no head was going to form during the pour, but the carbonation streamed enough through the thick body to form a film. No lacing, but some decent static bubbling when swirled, which is impressive for a beer that clocks in only at 7.5%.
Nose is roasted and smoked in equal proportions. There's enough of the dark, charred robust characters to give you the concept of a genuine impy stout, but there's an extra level from the smoked character that remind you you're dealing with an entirely different beast. Coffee, if there is any, is overwhelmed by the smoke, leaving something dark, brutal and smouldering. This is not the subtle woodsmoke in a light German rauchbier; this is the full-bodied and unsympathetic smoke from the darkest burning charcoal of an extinguished arson attack. Brutal, but uncompromising.
Taste is very nicely done, in a way that demands respect. Definite dark roasted stout characters throughout, with a genuinely confronting charred bitterness to it. But it's accentuated with that lilting smokiness, which, rather than leavening the palate, seems to emphasise what a dark beat you're dealing with. Mouthfeel is slick, but light. Carbonation is almost non existent on the palate, leaving a smooth and clear experience.
It's as though they've worked out how exactly they can take an exceptionally robust stout to the next level. Yeah, we could just char the grains some more, but how about if the grains were still actually in the process of being burned? If you want a crazy stout experience, give it a go. It's certainly worth trying.
I only wish I'd saved this to bring back to @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe. They would have got a kick out of this. You probably will too.
75 / 100
Pours a reddish bronze colour, the colour of scorched earth, with stunning and generous off-white head that froths up crazy and exuberantly, giving nice bouncy reverse cascades as it puffs out. Sinks slowly, creating a few crater layers around the top and little specks of lace. Haze in the body obscures the slow, light carbonation. That's a damn good-looking IPA.
So what do nugget hops smell like? Largely fruity here, with smacks of tropical pineapple and a touch of coconut flesh. Some floral notes with lavender and jasmine as well. Slight metallic aroma lingering at the back, and all underlined by a sweet buttery caramel malt that sits back and lets the hops take centre stage. Very appealing.
Tastes quite fruity and floral to begin with, with hints of pineapple and paw-paw on there. Gets more floral midway with more of that jasmine character. Quite a malty note emerges mid-palate which has a slight toffee character and distracts slightly from the main event. The hops re-emerge late for the finale, and are really rather robust, with green tea bitterness blending with some herbal zing, a touch of metallic flavour as well as a slight soapiness. Slight citric twang where the flavour hops and bittering hops meet late-mid; otherwise a quite earthy hop bitterness, too robust to be orgasmically pleasurable but enjoyable enough to maybe induce a figurative erection.
Mostly smooth and velvety texture with a nice body, but a touch of carbonation sizzle which is unfortunately rough. Otherwise pretty OK.
I think a lot of the whole single hop series comes down to what is your favourite hop? I have to say I'm quite enjoying these little nuggets, but moreover I also think Mikkeller has constructed a very nicely balanced IPA, and if I got given this independently of the whole 'let's compare hops' idea, I would very much enjoy drinking it.
69 / 100
Pours a very nice reddish golden-orange colour, clear enough but with a touch of haze, and a full-bodied and rather creamy head of off-white foam. Lacing is good leaving tiny honeycombing patterns down the inside of the glass. Surprisingly thin body for something that's 7% ABV, but we can't have everything. Looks like a very decent American IPA.
Genuine American hoppy notes on the nose. Good citrus rind freshness and a clipped grass note that verges towards pine needles. All very classic characters from the hops used, but they're used well. Could use a more full bodied aroma, but the constituents are all there.
Taste is again pretty much on the money for the style. Big welling of slightly spicy grapefruit bitterness through the centre of the palate, that rises until it runs out of steam, ending as a reedy but prominent spike on the tongue. I think the body is indeed a little thin, so it tastes a little like crunching through some whole hop flowers, but there's just enough there to take the edge off it.
It's a refreshing drop, and a pleasantly hop-heavy one. On the palate, it's certainly on the more aggressive side of IPAs, but I feel it lacks a little in other areas, so you don't get the full spectrum of American IPA flavours that would make it superb.
Nice enough to drink though.
74 / 100
Pours a pale straw colour with slight cloudy haze and steady stream of bubbles. Head is white and pockmarked consisently on the top. Sinks slowly, leaving some lovely webs of lacing. Quite nice indeed.
Smell is quite fruity and sweet. A lot of banana to it as well as caramel and vanilla. Quite cakey, really, with some floury overtones. Slight tang rounds it out and imbues it with a freshness, but mostly just nicely sweet.
Tastes quite pleasant. A lot of sweet notes on the front with caramel, vanilla, then gets kind of tangy/fruity with bitter overtones on the mid. Hints of lemon and orange and a hint of banana, maybe some tangerine as well. Slight earthy bitterness late-mid is a very slight off-note, just slightly out of step with the rest, but finishes with good fruity notes and a pleasant, more drawn-out, subtle and refreshing bitterness. Yes all of those things.
A little bit thin on the feel, although there is a slight foamy texture to it. Not bad for the style, but there could be more body and I wouldn't be complaining.
A very nice drinking beer indeed. A very gentle drop, really - soft, sweet flavours that are pleasant and like being dropped into a vat of lightly whipped egg-white. This is the beer your Mother would brew for you when you're ill.
Pours a very dark brown, only a slight brown tinge when held up to the light. Head is virtually non-existent, maybe a few bubbles around the edge and a ring of foam left. Not great.
Smell is quite dark with a strength to it, quite smokey actually and a fair amount of oak as well. Yeah, lots of nice woody notes complementing dark roasty cocoa aromas well. Pretty good.
Taste is quite intense, with whiskey notes all over it. Very strong and boozey, firstly on the front with a crescendo of fairly sweet but smokey flavours, then gets quite intense with dark, roasty notes, espresso and unsweetened chocolate. Booziness returns on the back, but without the warmth, just a dry and oaky whiskey flavour with a highly attenuated grainy note. Pretty nice, but can't say I'm overawed. Could use more roastiness to cover the booze character.
Reasonably slick mouthfeel, not as full as it could have been, and leaves fairly dry. Not bad, but could have been better.
Yeah, some nice characters on this beer, not overdone. For an imperial stout it's pretty tame and drinkable.
76 / 100
German IPA? From Mikkeller? You don't need to tell me twice.
Pours a slightly cloudy pale yellow-orange colour, with a thick and frothy head of white foam. Lacing leaves huge pocked marked patterns down the inside of the glass. Extremely interesting.
Nose is full of spicy but vegetative German hop characters. Last beer I had that smelled quite as good as this was the Schneider Hopfen-Weisse. It has that genuine noble-hop freshness to it, but in such abundance that it comes across as American in its bombastic nature. Nice.
Taste is clear and lightly sweet, with that almost characteristic Mikkeller marzipan character on the front. Light bitterness throughout, but it never revs up to true IPA bitterness in my mind. Still, it's extremely clean and very refreshing. It's an absolutely lovely drop to drink.
Cracking drop of beer this one, and absolutely fresh and extremely drinkable. It's almost crazy how easily this goes down.
73 / 100
Pours a very pleasant orange-amber colour, with a frothy and solid head off yellowish-white foam. Lacing is superb. Head is fine and creamy. Body looks slightly weak, but otherwise it's a damn fine looking IPA.
Slight pineapple notes on the nose, quite sweet and fruity. Minimal citrus sharpness, and a round, soft base that keeps its subtle. Quite pleasant.
Taste is initially sharp with a biting marzipan character, before the sweet hops come through to clear it out with fruity bitterness. It's a really pleasantly soft hop character that mingles nicely with the biscuity malt character that forms the base. Very clean on the finish, although the languid body keeps it going for a while. Very pleasant.
A very nice IPA, and probably one of the better ones in the series. Nicely balanced and very nicely realised. A good, and extremely drinkable example.
Pours a pale straw colour, quite opaque and cloudy with decent white head being fed from below by steady carbonation. Leaves some specks of lace but not a lot. Acceptable, not amazing.
Nose is quite grainy. Hints of rice and corn on that with some light fruit notes, maybe citrus and pear. Yeah, sweet with a bit of a tang. Quite nice, really.
Taste is...curious. Fairly fruit on the front with some apple and pear characters and a lemon zest edge to it. Gets quite earthy on the mid-palate with a slight starchy character and a hint of soil. Develops a phenolic edge towards the back with a hint of aspirin and that attenuated-lager character. Fruit happily returns on the back, but is met by that medicinal bitterness. Quite good, I appreciate the oddness, but it doesn't amaze me.
Fairly thin body with some carbonation sizzle. Finish is quite smooth though, I guess that's the "creamy" aspect maybe? What the hell is it called a cream ale for anyway?
Yeah, not an offensive beer, some good flavours, a bit off-balance but fairly enjoyable.
77 / 100
Pours a very dark and slightly opaque black brown, with almost no carbonation. It looks extremely heavy and sludgy in the glass. Head is only a slight coarse foam of crusty bubbles. Not bad. Needs some head -- but given the ABV, the lack is perhaps understandable.
Big dark roasted characters on the nose. Very pleasant hints of oak and whiskey that give some depth. Bit of reddish sweetness to back it all together. Very pleasant.
Taste is extremely rich, very sweet and extremely boozy. Big vinous characters and a huge whisky or port spiritous burn. Slick and rich feel lets the palate mature over time, eventually yielding some sweet berry and heavy wood. Oh me oh my. This is an extremely complex and extremely flavoursome brew. Almost medicinal on the back, which lends just another layer of complexity. Wow.
This is a very strong, very aggressive and extremely complex brew. It's surprisingly drinkable for 17.5% ABV, maybe because every sip gives you another layer of complexity. You keep going back in anticipation of what you might discover next. Really wonderful.
73 / 100
What's with the machine guns on the label? Sorry, I felt that was an obligatory part of any review of this beer.
Pours a cloudy dull straw colour, very opaque with fine impurities. Head is fine bubbled but a little filmy, and the body is particularly watery, so there's certainly not a lot of lacing. Not bad, looks like it could be refreshing at least.
Nose is absolutely redolent with huge hoppy goodness, big fruity notes. Big tropical characters, with some musty phenols sneaking in to give some depth. Wow, that's quite incredible. Big and round and fruity, but also sharp and crisp. Delicious.
Taste is very pure and clean -- obviously the lager yeast makes an appearance here. Some grain sweetness on the front, before some musty cellar characters come through with a big punch of phenolic bitterness to cleanse it all away. Finish is lightly touched with almond essence. Feel is crisp and light, leaving excellent refreshment.
Wow, I was so underwhelmed by the look of this beer that it actually blew me away from my expectations. Very drinkable and extremely enjoyable.
Pours a thick and rather viscous black-brown, very much looking like crude oil. Head is completely absent apart from a couple of very large bubbles that stick like globs of air-soaked crude on the edge. Looks pleasantly thick and heavy, at least, but otherwise pretty uninspiring.
Big roasted characters; dark, crazy and black on the nose. Subtle notes of vanilla and oak, with an interesting underlying whiff of chilli heat. It's very dark and really quite interesting.
Taste is extremely black, charred and roasted, much like smearing charcoal on my tongue. Little sweetness, although the feel is rather satiny and slick, which lends it a comforting presence. Overall, though, there's not a huge amount of dimensionality to the palate. While it's robust, it's not particularly layered.
Not a bad drop all up. It has some character, some aggression and some interest. It's not as complex or as plain good as the best examples I've had, but it's a drinkable enough brew. The Weasel was much better.
71 / 100
Pours a light golden colour with nice off-white head, medium-dense and some pretty amazing lace hangin' around. Bead is steady, visible through very, very slight cloud. Looks good; lace is something else.
Nose has a distinct pong to it. Bit fruity with noticeable cherry notes and a berry tartness, plus a good leathery, leathery nip at the back giving just touches of a funkiness that is something other than just a bit tart.
Tastes a lot funkier than it smells. Lots of off-the-wall, unusual flavours abounding here. Cheese and leather combine with a musty kind of flavour and a slight citric twang. Finish has a slightly buttery edge with some lemon zest to it as well. Not really exploding with flavour, but there's hell lots of character to it. Overall, there's a genuine mould flavour to it, but it's uplifted so it's not too bitter, just a nice airiness late mid.
Decent body on the front, quite thick with a dry finish. Bit of a sizzle - not bad.
An interesting drop, very unique - largely for its funkiness, but even more for its surprising subtlety. Could I drink this every day? Yes. Would I? Probably not. Might be good paired with food and just for a casual sip.
76 / 100
Lovely idea for a beer, and it's beautifully packaged in paper. Bottle is caged and corked. Looks pretty good before I even pop it.
Satisfying thunk out of the bottle from the cork, the beer pours a pleasant, orange-golden colour, with a sturdy and fine head of cream-white foam. There's a little haze from disturbed sediment, although on first pour I tried to leave it clear. Lacing is good. Overall, looks an extremely fine brew.
Loads of oak on the nose, with tart hints of brett and a twangy citrus tone wavering behind everything. Bit of green apple skin and a fug of sweaty leather. It's a ripe old beer, this one.
Minimal tartness on the palate, which is surprising, but there are loads of soft fruit characters that give some of those vinous notes anyway. Green apple again, peach, and melon. Oak barrel noticeable. Bit of gritty bitterness on the back that shapes out the finish nicely. Quite a dry finish, very wine-like indeed. Mouthfeel is sparkling, and perhaps a little too lively.
A very interesting brew this one, and one I'm very pleased to have tried. Cheers to the guy at Platinum Cellars in Bellevue Hill for chucking this in to my last purchase. It's certainly a unique and exciting brew.
Pours a murky bronze colour, very flat and syrupy, just gluggy with minimal-to-no head. Leaves a cute ring of lace film around the top, but virtually nothing else going on. Frankly, it looks like our homebrew barleywine, as though the yeast is dead or dormant in the bottle. It looks thick but dull.
Smell is a bit of redemption, really. Very pleasant malt-bomb aroma, huge caramel and toffee with slight spicy phenols, mild chardonnay character with yeah, very distinct oak notes and a brandy fragrance as well. Strong, sweet, pretty pleasant. Could use more complexity. Frankly it kind of smells like our homebrew barleywine as well.
Taste is pleasant. Strong from the get-go but pleasantly sweet. Has a nice caramel malt flavour with hints of butter that descends into a pleasant red wine mid with more of that rich oaky flavour, red grape skin and slight overripe cherry notes, plus some plum I guess. Alcohol is noticeable but smooth and tempered, with a hint of spice, slight gin tinge to the booze, but yeah just warming with a hint of a bite at the back. Hint of bitterness lingers as well which helps the sweetness behave. Good, pleasant flavours, make for a smooth, rich ale. Nice on a winter night.
Hint of harshness on the back but otherwise what you'd expect. Lots of body, not a huge deal of texture. Not bad but not wonderful.
Alcohol is well handled, as is the palate overall. A nice beer, just lacks some of the finesse of other barleywines I've had.
On tap at the Local Taphouse Sydney.
Pours a slightly cloudy deep copper colour with a fine bubbled head of off-white foam. Lacing is excellent. Looks very decent indeed.
Nose is sprightly - rather citric, with a slightly sweeter candied orange character to it. Very hop-centric, as you'd expect, and I appreciate the opportunity to see Tomahawk in isolation.
Taste is extremely bitter even from the very front. Acerbic and sharp. The hop character has a slightly sweeter butterscotch character to balance it, but it's a rather poor foil to the resinous, robust bitterness. Mouthfeel is sparkling.
This was a rather tough beer. I appreciate Mikkeller's single-hop series, but this one does make me a little wary of the Tomahawk variety. It was extremely overblown, especially on the palate - and the fragrance isn't interesting or pleasant enough to make it worthwhile.
Not one of my favourites of the series.
88 / 100
Pours a very, very dark brown. Just a crack of brown shows through the black gloom when held to the light. Head is magnificent. Dark mocha brown, very dense and marshmallowy on top, small bubbles on the edge, retaining well and leaving absurdly generous sheets of lace. Perfect - a tremendous achievement of beer aesthetics.
Nose is intensely robust, huge coffee aroma with spiced charcoal strength. Yeah that intense roasted aroma, but sweet, and not sharp. Sometimes with strength comes a sharp alcohol spice that stings the eyes, but this is just rich, chocolatey coffee potency. Magnificently tempered.
Tastes strong and intense. Lots of dark, intensely-roasted flavour. Starts toasty with a touch of espresso bitterness on the front and then gets sweet, chocolatey on the mid and a bitter, strong, alcoholic roastedness returns on the back, mixes with hints of mint. But yeah, very strong coffee dominates, but is blended with other beautifully robust complexities. It gives me all the blackness I've lacked since my death metal days. Ash, coffee, black pepper, combined with a cognac strength, oh it's a wonderful, explosively flavoursome beer.
Feels like licking polished marble, smooth and cool, not a hint of alcohol jutting out. It's noticeable and thick but just not harsh. Beautiful.
Drinking this every day? Yeah, wouldnb't happen. Best enjoyed in a sipping way with a few friends, just fantastic stuff.
91 / 100
Yup. It's just opaque. A really deep black colour, even when held to the light. The head is thick, rocky and robust - a dark chocolate brown which laces in rivulets down the side of the glass. Looks phenomenal. Seriously, what a great-looking beer.
Nose is robust and flavoursome - a big roasted character with notes of oak, coconut, and light smoke. Certainly a lightly cured bacon type character mingling with all the rich dark roasted characters. But there's lightened notes all up in it as well - hints of rosewater and caramelised fruits. Oh, what a nose. Just wonderful. The complexity is amazing, and the characters are so exciting all together. This is a really amazing smelling beer. I want its babies.
Taste is also excellent. A big roasty character - coffee of course being dominant - sweetly melded with hints of things as diverse as crushed pine, raspberry, balsamic vinegar and robotussin. It's almost overwhelming with its depth, complexity and sheer strength. Mouthfeel is slick and full - but I almost feel as though it should be even thicker given the flavour. If there's one beer deserving of an overexaggerated body, it's this one.
This is a phenomenally good beer - but a heady one, worthy and needful of respect. It almost blows my mind with its depth and complexity. Not a beer to be taken lightly, but a beer to enjoy with a level of philosophical appreciation.
71 / 100
Pours a deep golden brown colour, clear with a bronze lustre. Head is generous but sinks, leaving a nice foamy cloud and nice streaks of beige lace. Quite nice, great foam.
Nose is a tasty, hoppy affair. Large amounts of classic Nelson Sauvin character, passionfruit with passionfruit seed, crisp green apple notes and pineapple with a slightly resiny bitter edge, but mostly fresh fruit aromas.
Tastes very hoppy right throughout the palate but with a distinct caramel maltiness as well. Starts quite tangy with slight citric twang, then malt comes through with cake dough, vanilla and caramel, hops re-emerge on the mid, providing more passionfruit seed, citric rind bitterness and a sappy, resiny character as well, especially on the finish. Nice and fresh, with a little bit of intensity with the bitterness on the back, but very pleasant overall.
Mouthfeel is a little bit fizzy. Good amount of body, but yeah, feels a bit frothy and aggressive in the mouth. The intensity lowers the chugging ability of this beer although it is a pleasant, tasty drop overall.
74 / 100
Pours a slightly hazed deep amber colour, with a very thick head of yellowish foam. Just the delicious look of a pleasant IPA. Head gets a little rocky after a while, but the lacing is pretty good.
Nice tropical hops on the nose, with a slight honey sweetness as well. Missing some of the more classic Nelson Sauvin characters to my mind. Very little capsicum and gooseberry - the notes which scream out NZ Sav Blanc. It smells rather like a muted Cascadian West Coast IPA.
Smooth entry, a round malt coating preparing the palate before the hops make their presence felt. Full fruity characters, finally a hint of passionfruit, with a robust, but not particularly strong bitterness on the back. The palate is better by far than the nose, and the balance is excellent, meaning it is exceptionally drinkable.
A shame in my mind that it doesn't really showcase the hop variety to the full. I've had other beer I feel do this for Nelson Sauvin better, and don't market themselves like this. But it is undoubtedly a very drinkable brew, and a pretty delicious IPA.
73 / 100
Pours a very deep and distinguished dark brown colour, with good clarity. Head is boisterous and frothy, leading to a very solid two fingers of mocha-white. Lacing is crispy shards of tight bubbling around the edge of the glass. The colour is wonderful, especially with the beautiful clarity letting in a little light. Looks very nice indeed.
Potently delicious nose, full of coffee-chocolate and roasted grains. Dark barley notes are prominent, with sweeter nuances giving depth of character. Even a little brash salty charred character coming through, along with a scintillating port-like alcohol hint. Very nice - rich, but refined.
Taste is also good. Initially roasted and dark, with a sprightly and robust bitterness, but this mellows considerably into a slightly sweet nutty character that sits on the palate. The construction is good - it feels as though it's inverted from the general stout/porter character of finishing bitter and dry, and the light, chocolate-nut sweetness the lingers on the finish is a pleasant surprise. Mouthfeel is a little weak, and a little thin. In some senses it goes with the rather lighter palate, but I feel a deeper, fuller body would have helped.
A very pleasant and very drinkable brew. It feels rich and heavy, but goes down very smoothly. A very tasty drop.
85 / 100
Pours a dusky red brown, the colour of a good port, with a sensational off-white head that is generous when poured, then sinks around the edge leaving a nice dense pillow of foam in the middle and some nice sticky lace. Nice steady bead as well. To my mind this is the perfect look for a carbonated beer.
Excellent smell as well. Lots of nice roasty malt notes, but not bitter, slight rankness to it like undercooked veggies. A lot of sweetness behind, with brown sugar and toffee notes tempting me in. Has a real scotch ale smell to it, really. Nice balance and good character.
Taste is far maltier, with a very noticeable grain character throughout the palate. Fair amount of roastiness, with toasted grain and burnt toffee coming through pretty much single file (one after the other, I mean), not too much rounded complexity around the edge. Slightly sour character comes through late, quite like a light coffee or unsweetened chocolate, and finish has a slight creaminess to it, but there is a roasty bitterness right at the back, just left as a tingle, and slightly medicinal in character.
A rich texture throughout, nice and robust for how alcoholic it is, and nice and smooth as it goes down.
A most pleasant drop, mild yet nicely flavoured, with a well-balanced palate that is easy to quaff. I'm intrigued now to try something else brewed at/by De Proef Brouwerij, as it shows a great deal of craftsmanship.
Pours a pale yellow colour with weird sponge-like cloud just sitting spirally in the body. Head is white and modest - unimpressive is probably a better word - and sinks quickly, leaving some nice sticky lace around, but not much head left. Looks a little bit boring, but I think the lace saves it.
Nose is a big funky affair, with a large number of quite "off" flavours vying for attention. Big smell of sweaty feet, with hints of lemon, grapefruit and cheese providing some backup that kind of saves it from smelling literally "off". There is a slight maltiness lurking as well, but hidden behind the funky front. Pretty sure I dislike this, but it's unique enough that I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
Tastes insanely funky. Big hit of strong, pongy brie hits you at the start and continues onto the mid. Very wild, with hints of rotting wood, leather, sweat and a big mushroom/umami kind of flavour as well. There is a slight sweetness but it's rendered quite tangy, and is present only on the front, before being throttled quite mercilessly by that huge funk. Finish is savoury and takes you right into the heart of funkytown. This is unlike anything I've ever had. It's offensive, but has lots of character and uniqueness one wants to like it.
Nice amount of texture on the feel with a perfectly fine body, it's certainly passable as far as mouthfeel goes.
Overall this beer is basically like having a child that has a triple whammy of Asperger's, Tourette's and Downe's syndromes, so it comes across as downright offensive and unlikeable, but it's so 'different' you kind of feel like it was put here to test your limits and is therefore a blessing in disguise. But I still can't really love it like I love my elder son, Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye.
81 / 100
Pours very dark, but brown around the edge when help up to the light. Pretty dark, on a scale of dark stouts. Head is pleasant beige with slight pink tinge. Sinks, leaving a thin ring of dense foam. Lace is unusual, sort of has a presence but it's thin and fleeting. Very interesting head, with an espresso crema kind of feel. Very good.
Nose is a sit-up and take notice burnt stout smell. Very bitter in its roastiness and with distinct notes of peat, peppery spice, and very strong dark coffee. Very strong and dangerous-smelling. But I absolutely love it, I just love really burnt, bitter darkness.
Wow, a lot of sweetness on the palate, didn't expect that at all. There's a very sweet berry-like character on that, which blends quite nicely with the overall burntness. Maybe a hint of cherry and blueberry, that emerges three times; on the very front, just before the mid and once just at the end, each time being either overridden, or complemented, by a pleasant dark, roasty espresso character that provides bitterness, but also nice spicy ethyl alcohol that really heightens your sense. Might be more successful if the sweetness weren't so prominent, because it's a bit too noticeable, and it seems a bit odd, with distinct sweetness and spicy darkness blending, but also clashing, in their quest for supremacy. I still love it though - I WANT those flavour to fight for my attention.
Smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Delicious, in a word.
Very pleasant, if sweetness were toned down this would be an absolute killer.
76 / 100
Pours a murky orange colour, delightfully cloudy with enormous beige head on top. Seriously, it's a 2:1 head-to-body ratio, sinking very slowly. Actually it could do with less, because my first sip will be mostly head. Lace is pretty spectacular as well. Gorgeously thick webs cling to the glass. Almost perfect looking.
Nose is pleasant and hoppy. Distinct floral notes with rose and geranium fragrances and a strong malty backbone. Hints of pine wood, citrus and honey, even honeydew melon I think as well. Slightly savoury aspects, like salted meat or something, just linger in the background. Interesting smell, but could use a bit more hoppiness because the complexities are nice, it just isn't strong enough to emit their full potential.
Taste is predominantly malty, actually, with quite an English flavour overall. A lot of lightly roasted barley, multi-grain bread, molasses and bitter nutes on there, with a slight sour twist towards the mid. Nice earthy bitterness with slight floral character but mostly resiny in character emerges towards the back, never craving attention but just swimming in the mouth at the back. It doesn't make a huge impression but I think this would be hard to do, because it would be so easy and tempting to overdo the bitterness. Has a slight sour character on the back, hint of nectar and lemon, and leaves a slight coffee dryness in conclusion. Nicely balanced, but could do with a bit more flavour. I think well-crafted, without being stunning.
Fairly full on the mouthfeel but not too viscous, as I said leaves a bit dry at the back, but pretty palatable.
Eminently drinkable beer. I feel like a lot of love went into this, and it's a bit of an oasis in the desert of "extreme".
73 / 100
Pours a cloudy light orange-brown colour, with a massively frothy and sticky head of creamy white foam. Lacing is great, and the tiny bubbled carbonation is a joy to watch. The head is particularly impressive, and this looks like a really excellent IPA.
Really nice American hop notes - I'm not aware of having had Warrior before, although I may well have in combination with something else, but it has some notes similar to Simcoe and Chinook - some pine and grapefruit bitterness and a slightly grassy note. Slight medicinal/crushed aspirin character.
This is clearly a beer designed to showcase the hops, and it does a good job. Hopefully this is classic Warrior - I feel I've got a handle on it now at least.
Smooth mouthfeel belies a palate rather lacking in body. Little sweetness, leaving a thin but sharply pungent hop bite through the centre. Quite grassy and green, but without much harshness, which is good. It's not brutal on the palate, and if it feels unbalanced through a lack of malt, I can almost forgive it for the fact that it's once again showcasing a particular hop variety.
Overall, I enjoyed this beer, if only for the fact that it gave me an educational experience. It feels a little like watching an instructional video as opposed to a blockbuster, but there's a time and place for that as well.
85 / 100
Pours a very deep and dark brown-black, with a slightly filmy, but incredibly fine-bubbled head of chocolate brown. The miniscule bubbling around the edges when it's swirled is divine. The body is obviously thick, evidenced by the static bubbling around the edges. It could be deeper and blacker, but otherwise this is an absolutely stunning looking beer.
Oh yeah, wonderful deep nose - a great mix of tannic bitterness, roasted grain, chocolate and leavened vanilla and coconut sweetness that prevents it from being overwhelming. Really delicious, and full of complexity - rumbling with darkness but also peppered with lighter notes that make it exceptionally and sweetly approachable.
Taste has is just right as well - the sweetness is if anything more noticeable here, and is balanced against the slightly acrid, roasted, blackened notes. Chocolate comes to the fore, along with melted toffee, and the bitterness just stalks through the middle, leaving a diffusing but omnipresent trail of black smoke. Really, by the end, I'm surprised at just how sweet it comes across. The huge alcohol content is minimally present, and I'm astonished how they managed to get this high an ABV and this level of residual sweetness together in the same beer. Perhaps, it's not as complex on the palate as on the nose - but damn it's impressive all the same.
If anything, the level of sweetness, while providing a solid canvas for the raging complexities of the brew, comes across slightly too heavily after more than half a glass. It somewhat hurts the drinkability in a way that the surprisingly high ABV does not. Still, it's an impressive beer - one of the sweetest and hence most unique Imperial Stouts I've had the pleasure to try. Serve it with a heady chocolate dessert that can stand up to it, or some citric fruit salad that can cut through it.
Pours a very light, slightly cloudy lemon yellow colour, with a fine but thin head of white foam. Lacing is pretty good. Looks very light in the body, but that's to be expected, and it goes with the other visual traits of the beer. Not bad looking at all.
Quite pungently sour on the nose. Big notes of green apple, and citrus, with huge funky barnyard characters. Aromatic, but not necessarily all that pleasant, in any case. Really unapologetically funky. About as raw and ragged as you get with brett. I have to respect that at least.
The taste is where it just catastrophically falls apart. It's so thin and devoid of character that I started to wonder if I'd imagined the funkiness on the nose. There's perhaps a slight bitterness on the front, but it disappears so completely I'm inclined to think the flavour is an apparition. A light unpleasant yeast funk appears out of nowhere sometime after the beer seems to be gone, but that's it. It's so bereft of flavour otherwise, that I find myself brutally offended. Mouthfeel is weak and limp - water has more character than this.
What a beer of contrasts. This is a beer that drew me in with a hint of tantalising mystery, then left me tied up on a bed with my wallet and passport stolen and no memory of how I had ever got into this sorry state. I have to say I'm bitterly offended by it in the end, and I really hope I can help someone else avoid it in the future. Beware.
Pours a pleasantly cloudy dark amber colour with a creamily filmy head of yellow-white bubbles. Lacing is really nice, with an excellent cascade of clinging bubbling around the glass. Head collapses slightly too readily, bit it's a very nice looking brew all up.
Some sweet lemon characters on the nose, and a bit of syrup, which is slightly cloying. Hints of funky grain characters, and a husky slightly roasted note which is unusual if not unwelcome. Perhaps a roundness like Belgian yeast, but it's not a very classic character. Hops are certainly muted, which is a surprise, and I'm not getting classic Simcoe characters. The grain notes are probably most dominant, and I find them slightly confusing.
Very light palate, with an odd mixture of caramel malt characters and biting but earthy hop notes. Finish is quite gritty with hops, and a slightly phenolic note, but there's an odd swelling of crushed fruit on the back, which comes along without any warning. I find it slightly rustic, and not all that palatable, but with enough complexity to keep my interest at least. Mouthfeel is spritzy.
I'm really not sure what to make of this. I can't say I'm overly enamoured overall. It's got odd darkly roasted notes that don't go with anything else, and I find it slightly jarring. It certainly doesn't showcase the hop as it should
57 / 100
Pours a brown-orange colour with an almost opaque cloud through it. Head is decent, cream-coloured and dense, leaving some nice sticky trails of lace, and retaining pretty well. Decent looker.
Nose is an interesting one. Very malty and not too hoppy for an IPA. Notes of chocolate, of all things, come first, with a fair amount of golden syrup and brown sugar. Maybe some slight citric notes, but yeah smells more like an American Barleywine than an IPA, only weaker. Not bad but underwhelming, and odd for the style.
Taste starts off quite bitter and pungent. A fair amount of acid with notes of musk, butter and passionfruit. Quite tangy towards the mid, some lemonade characters and some toasty flavours, but yeah, a real zing! to it, gives it a kind of soft drink flavour. Finish is a bit lacking, particularly as far as bitterness goes. Slighty cashew nutty flavour, and an earthy truffle finish right at the end, but doesn't really have the potency I want. Has more tang than bitterness, and as a result is less drinkable than it could be. Not bad, could definitely be better.
Leaves very dry although good texture until the end. Decent mouthfeel.
Overall I think it needs more; the trouble is the flavour and palate profile don't really "wow" me.
77 / 100
Thanks to BA chrism86 for sharing this one with me.
Pours a black as black colour, slightest brown tinge up to the light, looks like a really strong espresso shot, head is crema in appearance, ochre coloured, thin and dense. Some lace but not much. Looks good, but like a standard imperial stout - dark and thick.
Nose is strong and rich, with some distinct smokiness and a lot of rich chocolatey sweetness. Some obvious alcohol phenols aren't enough to smother the aroma, overall very rich, dark and pleasant. Appealing indeed.
Taste is quite intense at first, but actually intensely sweet more than anything. A lot of berry flavours, blue and black mostly, very jammy in character and almost approaching dessert topping thanks to syrupy thick mouthfeel. A strong dark chocolate flavour comes through on the mid along with a slight nutty character that blends well with phenolic alcohol spiciness that emerges later. Has a dessert wine sweetness at the back and creates a slightly dizzying effect, a very potent and robust stout, not for the faint-hearted.
Great thick feel, a little bit of a crust almost, if that makes sense, very chewy almost to the point of solidity.
Dangerous, dangerous beer. 17.5% and drinkable as anything. Very tasty.
77 / 100
Pours a slightly hazy amber-gold, not particularly bright, but the head is an excellent fine-bubbled frothy head. Lacing is truly excellent. Truly an excellent looking brew.
Lots of American hoppiness on the nose, lots of luscious fruit, citrus and a bit of pine or pepper. There's a vaguely undermining diacetyl character, but not huge, but it is really quite reminiscent of a west coast US IPA. Very nice.
Taste is also pretty true to style. An initial pepper/fruit/sweet hybridisation, which wells through a light acidic note before descending to a raw and very robust bitterness. Quite a high level of bitterness - I have to say it's one of the few beers I've yet had from outside the US that has the balls to bitter hop so heavily. Something for the Danish hopheads, and those of us outside who are lucky enough to get a hold of it. Mouthfeel is a big and sparkling adventure.
Big, bold and exciting - it doesn't quite have the freshness, and the balanced complexity of hop characters as some of my favourite American examples, but this is certainly one to savour and rejoice that we can get here in Australia. Nice.
74 / 100
Pours an apricot colour, almost opaque from sediment bomb that's detonated in the body. Head is voluminous to the max, irregularly bubbled and beige in colour, leaves a gorgeous Pollock canvas of lace down the glass. Colour? Tick. Cloud? Tick. Head? Tick. Lacing? Tick. Perfect 5? Oh, you better believe that's a paddlin'.
Nose is very pleasantly fruity with a lot of floral hop character, lots of passionfruit, pineapple, and some pudding sweetness. I love all the smells but there's not much more to it that fruit sweetness. Needs maybe a bit more acid. Or maybe I need some acid to enjoy it more.
Taste is pleasantly fruity with a tart edge to begin with, hops come in quite early and are quite resiny, creating a bit of a bitter hang that isn't unpleasant, blends well with a citric hop towards the end, again quite tart, actually almost tartaric. Nice lilt of flavour on the mid, finish isn't quite as potent as the mid, and has a slightly sweet edgeto it, in fact, which is a very slight turnoff.
Mouthfeel is a bit squelchy - full, but not thick, just a bit sticky as well. Pretty decent.
I'm very, very surprised at how high the ABV is here. I wouldn't have guessed it for the world. Very drinkable, dangerously so. If those little kinks in the finish were ironed out, this would be a very smooth, wrinkle-free beer.