61 / 100
33cl brown bottle purchased for me by Jez for Christmas, almost certainly from Slowbeer. This was one of our crossover picks that we each bought each other.
Pours a clear gold colour, mild bead. Nice and clear. Head is white, sparse but foamy thickness of about 1 finger remaining. Lacing doesn't really stick around. Looks fine; pilsnery.
Smells... odd, but quite nice. Good fruity sweetness with a big tangerine kind of character and some orange peel. Some big apple-pear byproducts as well. Underlined by an odd sweetness which I'm guessing is lactose (yes, lactose) and if I didn't know what this was I'd find it a weird character that doesn't belong. It doesn't feel like it needs to be there, at least.
Tastes quite similar, really. It's a weird drop and possibly a bit of a waste, because it starts and develops really well towards the mid, with a nice zesty lime and orange character upfront that gets a nice sweet candied orange peel character midway like a really fresh witbier. Touch of floral character as well, but then the fruit goes away and you're left with a residual sickly sweetness which feels a little tacky and cheap and circusy, in the end. Like not enough balance or other flavours to counteract so it's just a sugar overload. And I think with a different intention this could have been a very nice pils; even a sweet one but it could've been balanced better on the finish.
Decent body for the style; bit of a malty presence midway and nice and smooth but dry as it goes down. Pretty good.
Drinks alright, and better than the blueberry one. It's weird though, and tastes like it could have been a cracking, refreshing pils, if not for the lingering saccharine character. So it's an unnecessary gimmicky spin on an otherwise pleasant beer.
Bottle given to me by Jez for Christmas; shared with Father.
Pours a dirty golden colour; quite hazy for a pils. Head is a little fuzzy, light bubbles left and some whispy cloud on the top. Lacing is decent. Looks alright; yeah rustic and unspoiled.
Smells grainy, with a nice earthy hop bitterness as well. Nice sweetness to it with vanilla and toasty caramel characters, and a nice fruity ester mix of apple and apricot. A little bit dour to be honest; the sweetness could be amped up a bit to balance out the bitter aroma. But decent.
Taste is decent, too. Hints of caramel grain on the front that develops into some pleasant fruity hop esters, giving mostly apple and pear with a slight citric bitterness towards the back. Rest of the palate is grassy, slightly earthy and a little woody at the back. It's pretty decent, with quite a nice clean finish, just a little linger of light astringency that is a bit of a hang but not particularly puckering or drying. Ultimately yeah a slightly unfiltered, somewhat yeasty pils but quite clean.
Bitty, quite a pull on the back. Body is decent for the style but not astounding.
Drinks well; some character not overdone, finishes clean and quite refreshing.
60 / 100
Bottle given to me by Jez for Christmas 2017, shared with him and Father a few days later.
Pours a purply reddish colour; yeah the colours of blueberries in solution. Head has a slight purplish tinge to it as well but sunk to just a thin rim of bubbles. Lacing is fine. Looks interesting but not really inspired.
Smells weird. Very fruity and sweet with a big vanilla character, some buttery caramel as well as some berry sweetness - blueberries for sure, some cinnamon is big as well, and some mild cherry character. Smells very intriguing, with a good icecream character, fruit. Bit too sweet but does what it promises.
Tastes yeah a little weird. Has many of the same sweet characters underlying, with a creamy and vanilla malt character, touch of diacetyl but not harming the beer. The fruit over the top - predominantly blueberry, maybe some strawberry tartness as well - is actually quite acidic with a hint of infection. Doesn't last though and the finish is all sweetness, which cleans up that potentially unpleasant sourness but doesn't really all mesh together, and I feel the smell had a nice bouquet but the palate feels a bit disjointed and flawed in parts.
Mouthfeel is decently bold; a little bittiness on the back, but a good body otherwise.
Drinks weird, and the tartness midway is a bit off-putting and a bit too intense. The rest of the palate has a nice character and if it could have dominated it could be a pretty decent beer.
77 / 100
33cl brown bottle purchased for me by Sam for Christmas, almost certainly from Slowbeer. This was one of our crossover picks that we each bought each other.
Pours a very hazy, very pale straw yellow colour, with a frothy, white crest that does leave some reasonable lace. Carbonation is minimal, but fine-bubbled at least. Body is crisp and light. Looks decent for what it is.
Nose is honestly pretty special. It has a strong pineapple and mango character, probably smoothed out by loads of lactose sweetness. It's weirdly creamy, and thick, and you can almost smell the bloating carbonation. It's weirdly evocative, and I like that.
Initially, there's a smoothness on the palate, which allows the pineapple to come forward. This leaves a kind of buzzing sherbet character, almost like that kind of popping, fizzing candy that was popular in the 90s. It's slightly too sweet, you think, but then there's the lightness on the back, which clears everything out, and ensures there's no residual linger. Hmm. It's good.
This is a beer that shouldn't by any means work. It's weird, it's perverting the idea of a pilsener, and it's not even that complex. But I kind of love it. It's doing something really novel and unexpected within the confines of what actually is a beer. And that's rare for a beer to surprise me like that.
45 / 100
33cl brown bottle purchased from Slowbeer. Shared with me by Sam.
Pours a dark raspberry colour, with a pale, purplish head of coarse bubbles that effervesce into nothing. Carbonation gives up quickly too. Looks decent enough in colour, but the rest is a bit lacklustre.
Nose is distinctly odd. It smells like chocolate mud cake batter, with a dark acidity which you could just peripherally believe is blueberries. It's also buttery and fatty. Plenty of vanilla around the place too, but always with a weird lactic acidity. Hmm.
Taste is similar. There's a strong acidity here, which is quite strongly tied to the blueberry. This provides a discord to the base notes of chocolate and cream. There's also a weird, peppery lemon character on the back, which almost has tannic qualities. Feel is slick, but tartly cutting.
Overall, I'm not a fan. It's weirdly disconnected. The acidity and the creaminess are not a good match-it just ends up tasting infected. In the end, it feels like a cacophony of different things that don't actually provide any synthesis.
60 / 100
Pours a pale orange yellow colour, with fluffy thin head, some speckly lacing and good cloud in the body. Looks fairly good but a bit thin and pale.
Smells very interesting: rich pungent fruity hops - with rosewater/lychee giving musk sticks notes, some candied orange peel, touch of resin as well. Some light grainy malts but not a lot of body to it, it's all fruity/tangy hops.
Taste has a big grainy character upfront, big adjuncty note that has sort of oatmeal, and a touch of corn midway, then some big sweet fruit notes from the hops, giving apricot largely, with a touch of peach underneath. Slight linger from the malt that gives it a slight grainy but also somewhat metallic note on the back. Bit sweet and underwhelming in the end.
Light, touch of pull especially on the back. Mild carbonation tingle. Decent.
It feels a bit lacking in the body, with some too-sweet adjuncty notes. And the hops could do a but more bittering as it's otherwise very sweet.
69 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchased from Slowbeer. I love the design on these bottles.
Pours a slightly hazed, pale golden colour, with a thin ring of white bubbling around the edge of the glass. Carbonation forms in thin streams, but turns powdery when the glass is tilted. Body is fairly light. Looks decent enough.
Nose is really very pleasant. There's a definite mango note—but it's punched through with a sharpness from the salt in the gose, which gives it a bite like you expect from a fruity IPA. Indeed, it almost gives it a sharpness like Nelson Sauvin or Simcoe hops, turning to the weed-like dankness. I like it a lot.
Taste is also pretty good, but once you have that dankness in the aroma, I'm expecting a punchv IPA. Instead, we get a rather pleasant fruit character, laden with mango acidity, but sharpened by salt, which is very noticeable, and gives a really quite lively character to the brew. Finish is semi-sour, with lingering mango pith, in what's not a bad combination.
Feel is a touch too light—a little more creaminess would probably help promote the "lassi" character.
Overall, it's pretty good, but I think the blueberry version was vastly superior. It had more creaminess, and more dominant fruit, which was then set on edge by the gose characters. This is decent, but I think it ends up lessening the Bianca brand to some extent.
330ml brown bottle purchased from Slowbeer. Unadorned apart from a utilitarian black and white label and a smattering of black paint across the cap and neck of the bottle.
Pours an exceptionally pale greenish-tinted almost white. It's perfectly clear as well, which makes it look more like a light, dry cider or a particularly heady champagne. Carbonation is coarse-bubbled but voluminous. Looks pretty good.
Nose is rather savoury. There is indeed a noticeable salt character coming through, that gives aromas of oregano and olive. Under this is a slightly vegetative, organic character like Belgian yeast gives, and above it comes a weird elevated sherbet note. It's odd, and not entirely endearing.
Taste is similar. There is a pineapple note here, but it's so tightly connected to the salted note that it's easy to mistake it for something else. It only really comes through towards the back, dipping in and out of the carbonation, which is itself tightly coupled to a mild acidity—so much so that the acidity almost seems to come from the carbonation itself: like soda water. Hmm.
Feel is airy, frothy and quite thin—although the carbonation makes up for that for some reason.
Well, suitably, the bulk of my scores for this have been 3.5, which makes it a fairly average beer. It's certainly not bad, but "average" is "below average" for Omnipollo, who usually do much stronger beers.
81 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchased for me by Sam from Slowbeer.
Pours a frighteningly deep beet-red colour, actually more like crimson-turning to purple. Head is a thick and dark pink that leaves little specks of lace. Body looks fairly light and fluid, but the carbonation is very fine. Gotta love that colour.
Nose is bizarrely good. There's a bright, fresh fruity punch from what I can only imagine is dry hopping. I didn't expect it, but it smells great. There are undertones of blueberries though, and a slight whiff of tartness, but this melds into the hop character really pleasantly.
Taste is excellent, but forces another U-turn in my expectations. Here, the style is much more noticeable. There's a tartness from the blueberry, and a slight lactic character which does indeed suggest a little something like yoghurt. But then, on the back, we get a crisp, dry finish, punctuated by a judicious hit of salt. It cuts short any lingering aftertaste or potential weirdnesses from the lactic character. The feel is also just right—it's round enough on the front, but cuts out to a withering aridity on the back. This, surprisingly makes it incredibly refreshing, with just a ephemeral linger of blueberries in the aftertaste.
Wow, Omnipollo have hit another home run, with everything stacked against them. I'll admit I was skeptical, but they've not only won me over to the idea, they've proven that I was silly to ever doubt the idea in the first place. This is a cracking beer: unusual, but when all is said and done it just feels right.
81 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchased from Leura Cellars.
Pours a hazed, slightly dirty golden colour. Head is great: big white crest of very fine bubbles that leaves beautiful sheaths of lacing as it goes down. Carbonation is extremely fine through the solid but fluid body. Looks pretty great.
Nose is sharp and thick with hop resin, but with an earthy, dank character to the aromas. Slight pine, crisp and heavy, some mandarin skin, and perhaps just a hint of oxidation. The power is there though, and it does some wonderful things even with what it's got.
The taste is where this really hits its stride in a big way. Gorgeous sweet citrus entry, more mandarin and peely orange, before a really pleasant spicy, but nutty malt character comes through. Cleansing bitterness works with the malt note to provide a bubbling conclusion to the beer. Everything it beautifully integrated, and the hop characters are interesting and very tasty.
Feel is good. Thick and smooth but with some effervescence towards the back.
Overall, this is outstanding stuff. Very tasty, but with balance and cohesion. More, it's extremely interesting, and does some things beyond what you expect from a standard DIPA. Wonderful stuff.
90 / 100
330ml bottle purchased for me by @LaitueGonflable for Christmas.
Pours a beautiful hazed peach colour, with a full, frothy head of white, that sticks to the edges as persistent lace. Body is solid and juice, and hold a small amount of fine carbonation. That colour is lovely, and it's the main deal of the beers appearance. Looks wonderful.
Nose is fragrant with stonefruit sweetness, dusted with a slightly peppery overtone. Clean, fragrant hop resin sticks in the sinuses, while the solid sweetness provides richness and depth. Awesome. So fragrant, but well integrated, and pleasingly different from the stock-standard IPA.
Taste is delicious: big stonefruit juiciness again, with mellow preserved lemon, quince and lilly-pilly edges, bitten back by a crisp peppery finish. Sweetness forms as a beautiful nutty amalgam of hops and malt, leaving a sweet-savoury mid-palate that coasts into a comforting finish. Very nicely balanced indeed: juicy, rich and flavoursome, but checked and balanced and masterfully reigned in.
Feel is clean and light, but with a bestowed body to support the flavours on the palate.
Wow. I'm very much impressed. This is my first beer from Omnipollo, and it certainly shall not be my last. This is a superb IPA, up there with some of the best I've tried. It's so fragrant and delicious, but balanced and supremely drinkable. Extremely good stuff.