Showing posts in category: 34

Style American Double / Imperial Stout · ABV 8% · 330 ml bottle
Brewed by BrewDog · Fraserburgh · Scotland
Read more www.brewdog.com

Once again I’m out on the patio, although this time the sun’s set. Inspired by the dark of the night I pop the cap on Riptide, an Imperial Stout by Scottish BrewDog prepared using marris otter, dark crystal, caramalt, chocolate malt, black patent malt as well as Muscovado sugar. To spice things up they’ve added First Gold and Galena hops.

Appearance 2/3

Surely enough the pour yields a dark side of the moon type of black at 65 SRM. A one finger mocha foam crown tops the brew for a while before dropping into a creamy lid.

Aroma 8/12

The nose is full of heavily roasted malts almost burnt, bitter dark chocolate and dark fruits, specifically raisins and wild cherries, ending in a mildly sour manner. Overall a powerful but not overwhelming aroma.

Flavor 15/20

Spot on Imperial Stout in style, the rum raisin, the intense chocolate flavors and roastiness is there yet its cut short. A brief and ashy flavor which takes a turn towards boozy, biting at the tongue. There’s a light dry and sour off-flavor half way through. Slightly dry, bitter and boozy finish…

Mouthfeel 3/5

A beer with a thick and heavy body. Heavily carbed, which really helps bring out the flavors over my palate. Aftertaste’s bitter like raw cocao powder, just a bit over the top actually. Liquid’s big, filling and short-lasting.

Overall impression 6/10

I was happily surprised as I took the first whiffs and sips, really not knowing what to expect from this beer. BrewDog’s put together a decent Imperial Stout and everything’s in place so to say. Yet although a well composed stout, at 8% ABV, it leaves me wishing for more depth and length in flavor and texture. The booze comes through too hard in some instances, disrupting the delicate balance. As a result of a weak malt back bone the bitterness also comes through too hard.

Total Score 34/50

Very Good – Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws.

Style American Pale Ale · ABV 4.8% · 330 ml bottle
Brewed by Gotlands Bryggeri · Visby · Sweden
Read more www.gotlandsbryggeri.se

I must admit, I’ve got something of a soft spot for Gotlands Bryggeri. Story-telling and location wise it’s no disadvantage being set up on the beautiful island of Gotland, no less being located in the pittoresque medieval town of Visby. I’m a fan of many of their beers, Wisby Pils to mention one.

My sister Daniella, who I’d like to think I’ve inspired to drink more craft beer, bought a box of 24 btls. One day she came by and gave me a hand full to enjoy, thanks sis! By the way, she also took the picture for this post.

Appearance 2/3

From the brewery’s distinctly unique bottle flows a effervescent dark amber brew with a reddish tint to it. The pour yields a finger of foamy off-white head which disperses within a couple of minutes leaving behind a bubbly lid.

Aroma 9/12

A light and fleeing malt note topped with typical American hops attributes like citrus, grapefruit, sandalwood and a distinct piney hop aroma. Dry bitter hops follow paving the way to a beautiful finale to this nose.

Flavor 14/20

First thing I notice is a dry bitter hop sensation. A dry bordering to alkaline, yes a bit sour and metallic. To be honest it makes me think of Aspirin effervescent tablets dissolved in water. The caramel malt flavor is weak and brief. The following flowery and citric notes too.

Mouthfeel 3/5

A light medium body with high drink-ability. Aftertaste is dry and slightly bitter but not much. Some of the Aspirin is found here too.

Overall impression 6/10

At SEK 17 (approx USD 2 1/2) a pop it’s a very affordable and solid pale ale. You definitely do get your money’s worth but there of course some things to wish for.

I love the fresh balanced aroma and the ease which this beer goes down. Flavor wise I did expect a fuller and longer taste. What I like the least though, is that alkaline/baking soda off-flavor. If they sort out that little detail I reckon they’d have one hell of monkey, I mean APA. As the beer warms the flavors becomes fuller, so be sure not to have it served at fridge temperature alright?

By the way, it goes great with spicy Asian stir-fried noodles.

When in Sweden order it by the box (24 btls) at Systembolaget.

Total Score 34/50

Very Good – Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws.

Style American Pale Lager · ABV 3.5% · 500 ml can
Brewed by Brutal Brewing · Vårby · Sweden
Read more www.brutalbrewing.se

Beer mail again! This time from the guys at Brutal Brewing, Spendrups’ department of innovation. Cutting open the styrofoam box I see two cans of beer logged between the protective walls. The last beer I had from Brutal Brewing was their X-mas offering the Chimney Sweeper. A beer that didn’t really sweep me off my feet but left me with a more positive attitude towards Brutal and their brew.

This time around they’re back with Sir Taste-A-Lot, a hoppy low-strength (aka folköl/low-point beer) pale lager, in my opinion this is a sign of Spendrups’ willingness to progress in the beer game. Seasoned with Magnum for bitterness and Perle/Amarillo for aroma let’s see what this dubbed beer does for me.

Appearance 2/3

Dunking half the can into my Anchor pint glass I get a fizzy dusky golden yellow beer with a three finger high head in a “discolored teeth” type of hue. The bubbles are small and tightly packed lending the head a creamy appearance. The head settles to half a finger leaving dry and sticky lacing. Promising…

Aroma 7/12

Characteristic lager aromas of bread and yeast, a rather soft bready nose though. Then some light Amarillo hops come through with a clementine/lemon profile. Also newly cut grass and sweet corn appear in the nose.

Flavor 15/20

Just like the nose the flavor kicks off in a classic lager maner; malty, bready with a tongue coating bittering hop presence. Accentuating the lager base is the aroma hops giving it a citrus and jasmine flower flavor. The dry bittering hops impart a faint cyprus wood taste too.

Mouthfeel 3/5

Big and malty liquid with a thin but bolder body than your average 3.5er. Whatever filling sensation there initially was fades quickly though. Small and tickling bubbles. The aftertaste is a lager style bitterness reaching down the throat.

Overall impression 7/10

Considering the company we’re in (widely available 3.5% pale lagers that is) this is damn good stuff. Although a bit wishy-washy it’s graced with a more than decent citrusy flavor palette. Plus a hop dryness which appeals to my taste. Yes people, this is the multi-dimensional beer from a major brewery that we have been waiting to embrace and enjoy. I hope it’s generally received this way because that would mean there’s hope for hoppier and tastier industrial beers in the future.

Sir Taste-A-Lot is a low-buzz beer and therefore available in many supermarkets across Sweden.

Total Score 34/50

Very Good – Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws

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Style Kölsch · ABV 4.8% · 500 ml bottle
Brewed by Cölner Hofbräu · Cologne · Germany
Read more www.frueh.de

Ding dong, it’s beer mail time! A couple of days ago a bottle of kölsch from the three brothers of Brekeriet in Malmö made its way to 99 Bottles’ mail box. With this beauty of beer under my arm I hopped on the subway to meet up with 99 Bottles’ other half, Joao Neves, in his home in the center of town.

So what is a kölsch? Many are not too familiar with the style itself. The beer’s origin is of course of Cologne (in German Köln), hence the name Kölsch. It’s a top-fermented beer which is then cold-conditioned (or lagered) to give it some of its special character. In order for it to be called a kölsch it has to be brewed within Cologne city limits, all according to the Kölsch convention of 1986. The beer is typically served in a Stange glass, a tall slender cylindrical shaped glass. We on the other hand were not foresighted enough to have our Stange glasses with us so a regular sized wine glass had to do.

Appearance 2/3

I get a loud hiss when popping the cap, the carbonation creating wild foaming when poured into the glass, yielding a two finger frothy head. With thirty seconds of retention the head’s gone leaving a creamy lid of tight bubbles. The liquid has the look and transparency of Champagne, cristal clear and strings of bubbles here and there. The beer itself is a golden apple juice/cider in color.

Aroma 7/12

Up front it’s fruity, pervasively acidic and fresh apples and pears. I also get some minute notes of boiled vegetables, particularly of corn. The nose is reminiscent of a dry English cider rather than your average beer, very alert and fresh. Malt and bread notes pop up too.

Flavor 15/20

“A strong malt backbone” to quote co-reviewer Joao. Following the malt is a fruity sensation full of tart and fresh apples and pears. Balancing the fruitier flavors is a Champagne type of dryness. Just around the corner is a light bready taste with cereal grains. Flavor wise there’s also a damp and frowsy quality too.

Mouthfeel 3/5

Champagne, champagne! At least as close as you get to it in the world of beers. A light and thin body verging on watery. This is to some degree balanced out by the fierce carbonation giving it that champagne quality. A zingy carbonation packed with small and biting bubbles. Adding to the Champagne similarit is also the dry feel of the liquid. Finishing it off is acrispand dry aftertaste.

Overall impression 7/10

Früh’s a clean and crisp brew with balanced flavors and a superb dry finish, partially bridging the gap between sparkling white wine and beer.

It’s also incredibly refreshing and therefore a “spot on” brew for a sunny spring or summer day. Früh Kölsch is both a true and very elegant thirst quencher if you will.

In Sweden, Früh Kölsch will be a part of the March release, being available in about 65 stores around the nation.

Total Score 34/50

Very Good – Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws.

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Style American Double / Imperial IPA · ABV 9.5% · 330 ml bottle
Brewed by BrewDog · Fraserburgh · Scotland
Read more www.brewdog.com

This is the collaborative effort where BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA and Mikkeller’s I Beat yoU are blended to form something of a hop monster. Following the blending the beer has been re-dryhopped making it a triple hopped IIPA, now what the hell is going on here?

Appearance 2/3

Once again we’re blessed with a Keith Shore drawn label. I normally find his naive and sloppy hand-drawn style very appealing, but on this one he simply goes a little bit overboard on the simplicity. Great color scheme but the artwork and typography disappoint me. That distressed vector-based BrewDog logo just feels out of place too.

What comes out of the bottle is a dark orange with hints brown in it. The liquid’s murky, this probably being hop haze, caused by the massive dry hopping. The fizz of the beer causes a thin foam lid to appear which is bright yellow in color. The walls of the speckled by lace.

Aroma 7/12

Reeks of bitter hops cones, yes a murderous amount of resinous pine and grapefruit. This here is Bitter and no Bollox. Trailing is just a hint of floral notes and as the beer warms I get more fudge and pineapple. Extremely dank and musty to my nose and I also pick up plenty of alcohol but not a enough to cause a burn.

Flavor 14/20

Stark hop character, loaded again and again with bitter pine, citric lime and grapefruit. The bitterness is verging on juniper berries. Somewhere in the shadows lurking is a heavy malt backbone with a tad of fudge. The alcohol comes through in a warming way in taste as well. I get a flash of metallic off-flavor.

Mouthfeel 4/5

Averagely carbonated with soft small bubbles dancing around the palate. The liquid is both hard and soft, can’t make up mind here. Mouth-punching bitterness in aftertaste, making my teeth rattle, honestly. Finally there’s a rewarding crisp and dry finnish.

Overall impression 7/10

Admittedly I had great expectations for I Hardcore You. A presumably beautiful collab between micro-giants Mikkeller and BrewDog. Sadly, this isn’t the case here.

In general this beer’s about sweetness, alcohol and bitterness, not reaching anywhere near the Barley Wine-like complexity of Mikkeller’s I Beat yoU. The triple hopping simply killed the flavors in favor of a mental bitterness.

When less hop-friendly people talk of the extremity of hops bitterness, they mean exactly this sort of beer.

So mirror mirror on the wall, who is the top IIPA of them all?

  1. Mikkeller I Beat yoU (43)
  2. BrewDog Hardcore IPA (38)
  3. Mikkeller/Brewdog I Hardcore You (34)

Availability through Systembolaget while stocks last.

Total Score 34/50

Very Good – Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws.