On tap at the brewery. For some reason I quite firmly remember this as a Russian Imperial Stout, but given it's aged in whisky barrels I'm calling it an American Imperial Stout. Because, in the end, it totally matters.
Pours a dark brown colour, with mocha head. Dense foam, lovely lace indeed. Slight wobble to it, like it's a bit thicker than normal. Looks good.
Smells malty and roasty. Slight coconut character, again nutty with some chocolate character and a mild bitterness, coffee related and maybe a touch of sourness. Pretty good.
Taste is fairly dark and strong for sure. Big sweetness towards the mid, with rich dark chocolate and some whisky character. Develops some roasty bitterness towards the back, some slightly flaxy character late with a bit of a dry whirlpool kind of note at the back like it sucks out the flavour a bit at the end. Has nice sweetness and nice booziness but just doesn't really finish with much impact.
Mouthfeel is smooth, maybe a touch too warm early mid but finishes quite well. Good body.
Drinks alright; has a bit of a dry bitterness that lingers at the back without it necessarily earning it, just sweet front and bitter back.
48 / 100
Pours a pale orange colour, cloudy. Head is white and dense with just a rim around the edge. Cloudy. Looks standard.
Smells mildly fruity, kinda creamy as well. Not much acidity and not a lot of character to the fruit. Yeah pretty unimpressive.
Taste is not that great either. Has a long berliner yeasty character that gets quite cloying. Touch of fruit to it, maybe some stonefruit but also just mildly citric. Not all that cleansing because of that strong spent grain and bread yeast character. Just not very impressive.
Mouthfeel is decent for the style, mainly because it's big. Like it's kind of cheating to throw way too much malt into this style and then laud yourself for it having a bulky body. It's decent, but not really a Berliner texture, and not enough pucker.
Drinks fine, but doesn't have a lot of character. Not that great really.
71 / 100
On tap at the brewery as part of a 4-beer paddle.
Pours a golden colour, small trickle of bead. Head is white, nice and foamy and sticking around well with small bubbles. Clear; looks good.
Smells tangy, with subtle pineapple and mango character. Touch of detergent, floral with some mild musk notes as well. Light, crisp, just a mild soap note that's not great.
Taste is pretty nice. Some good hop forward character, with some citrus notes- tart and zesty, then some richer pineapple and mango and passionfruit character. Nice and dry midway that then gets some sweet grain character late-mid. Finishes crisp, with a lingering tang. Pretty damn nice pils.
Mouthfeel is tangy, maybe a bit too dry on the back, it gets a bit arid late with no body to back it up.
Drinks well though. Could smash quite a large number of those.
On tap at the brewery.
Cloudy pale orange colour, amber. Head is white, filmy around the edge. Lacing is good, just generally looks good.
Smells hugely tropical. Big pineapple, banana, pawpaw and maybe some lychee character. Sweet with coconut as well, nutty and creamy. Has no real malt but it's pretty appealing and aromatic.
Taste is a bit lacklustre, mostly just tropical and it's a bit meek. Pineapple and passionfruit, touch of mango. Slightly bulky in the middle but then the finish is weak and doesn't have much to it. It's kind of in the style but also just the bare minimum to tick the boxes. Slight bitterness which is quite nice but yeah just not that impressive.
Mouthfeel is tangy, bit of pull; decent body. Feels alright.
Yeah it's not a bad drop but it's just tropical juice with a mild bitterness and not much else to it.
62 / 100
Purchased for me by Sam as part of my #fletchvent beer advent calendar. This was day #22.
Pours a murky amber colour, with a full, frothy and well-contructed head of pale foam. Decent streaking lace. Body is light, with fast-moving carbonation. Looks pretty good all up.
Nose is nice. There's a forward hop presence that gives it some brightness, but the body and structure seems to be based around the malt. To this end, it has a deeper, but slightly raw sweetness, like dark brown sugar. It has a slight spice to it, giving it undertones of stewed cherries with cinnamon. It's interesting all up.
Taste is a bit more basic. There's a warm and slick sweetness all around the palate, but otherwise there's a type of clanging melange of disparate elements. There's a pronounced hop bitterness, which works against some bready grain characters. Together there's a metallic note which sits awkwardly at the back of the palate. It's not bad, but it's also a bit uncontrolled.
Feel is slicker than expected from the body, with a fine buzz of carbonation.
Overall, yeah, I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. It has some nice characters, but the palate is a bit messy, and that harms the drinkability. It has the feeling of someone who doesn't exactly know what they're doing. Still, I'm pleased to have consumed it.
61 / 100
Day 5 of my #fletchmas advent calendar from Jez. Reviewed blind.
Pours a burnished orange amber colour, quite cloudy. Head is lovely when it frothed all over by the jizzing can, sunk after a while to a nice dense cream-coloured crown with dense sticky lacing around the glass. Looks pretty hot.
Smells resiny, in a big way. Hop oils with a touch of passionfruit and grapefruit upfront, some lingering pine resin behind as well. Slightly salty, slightly toasty caramel malt at the backbone. Could use a touch more freshness as it's just a bit on the dank side.
Tastes maybe a touch old; it's nice and fruity for the first couple of seconds in the mouth then it turns quite caroby, with a touch of stonefruit and lemon on the mid-palate and a crystallised orange character mixing with some dank resinous bitterness on the back. Distinct stonefruit too, which actually turns it a little sweet as the malt kind of lingers on the very back. It's all quite pleasant but I feel there's meant to be a bit of a sharp kick to the flavour that just isn't there; instead it's a little flat and I feel it's not meant to be.
Mouthfeel is full, and a little dry but really smooth midway. Quite a pull from the hops but a very substantial body.
Drinks well but it just feels like it's lacking energy. Taste is all there but the palate profile feels muddled and muted.
83 / 100
Choc-chilli porter, tried on tap at the K&B.
Pours a red-tinged cola colour, quite cloudy looking, with thin but nicely dense and creamy rim of beige head. Looks alright, and I think the pour was bad rather than necessarily the beer.
Smells of chipotle, and chocolate. Smokey character with a touch of vegetation, undergrowth. Dark but sweet and alluring chocolate underlying. Cocoa-rich but smooth. Maybe a touch meek but otherwise very enticing.
Taste is gorgeous. Big chipotle note upfront; smokey that develops some nice chilli heat running through the mid to late palate. Light caramel malt upfront that gets darker with some lovely rich bittersweet chocolate midway and underlines the whole finish. Lovely sweet-spicy interplay with a touch of pepper flavour, this silky chocolate character as well and some finishing roastiness. Really lovely, moreish palate.
Smooth, with the heat that starts to burn early on the finish and retains a nice lingering warmth that's really quite pleasant.
That's a cracker of a chilli beer. Lovely dark sweetness with plenty of biting spice but without going overboard, and intermingling it well with the other components. I want to try the sauce brewing range now.