Showing posts in category: 41

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Style American India Pale Ale · ABV 6.5% · 355 ml can
Brewed by Oskar Blues Brewery · Longmont · Colorado · United States
Read more www.oskarblues.com

 
Odd really, I don’t know why I haven’t gotten to reviewing this beer earlier. I remember my buddy Danne ranting and shoutung about it before I got to try it myself at Bishop Arms on Bellmansgatan. This must’ve been three or four years ago. Since then I’ve had Dale’s on numerous occasions and always… well I think I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Anyways, Oskar Blues is one of those pioneering breweries that led the American craft-beer-in-a-can movement, being first in canning craft beer back in ’02. Dale’s Pale Ale, the first beer ever produced by Oskar Blues is named after the owner, Dale Katechis. I got this specific can of Dale’s in a beer trade with Manne of Manne’s Brygglogg. In that very same trade I also got one of his latest home brews, Sails Croft Ruination IPA. It’s a beautiful double India Pale Ale at 8.4% ABV which I accidentally but happily drank at my wedding party earlier this month, but hey that’s another story…

Appearance 2/3

Pours a saffron colored drink with about a finger of powder white head. It’s a beautiful head with bubbles that are of the same size. Neat!

Aroma 10/12

The malts settle on the ground like a picnic blanket, providing a strong and broad canvas for the the American hops, peach, resin and pine needle flavors. Fantastic nose on this one.

Flavor 17/20

Light bitterness up front. A Champagne-dry beer. Reveals apricots, peach, transatlantic hops, pine, oven-baked fennel and some sandal wood in flavor. The taste’s even and persistent, staying with me for a long time. It’s light yet complex beer.

Mouthfeel 4/5

Body’s on the lighter side of medium. Liquid’s light almost suspended in mid-mouth and pronounced like a ballerinas jump. The bitterness builds up to a medium, still very balanced in the aftertaste.

Overall impression 8/10

Some call it a boosted pale ale, some a light IPA, either way it’s one heck of a beer to me. Beeradvocate.com even calls it “One of the quintessential American hoppy pale ale’s of our time”. If you have the tiniest spec of skepticism towards craft beer in a can, this will most definitely rid you of those doubts. Personally I love this type of mellow yet hoppy pale ale. The dry bitterness which reminds me of Ska Brewing’s Modus Hoperandi is just fantastic, adding the needed character to a rather malty brew.

Get it at your nearest reputable bar or order it through Systembolaget!

Total Score 41/50

Excellent – Exemplifies style well, requires minor fine-tuning.

Style Vienna Lager · ABV 5.0% · 330 ml bottle
Brewed by Mohawk Brewing Company · Täby · Sweden
Read more www.mohawkbrewing.se

To be honest I wasn’t sure I was going to try many of the summer offerings at Systembolaget. The reason being I have enough beers in the cabinet to last me through the season as it is. Then one after another I read all these positive reviews saying how great Mr. Mohawk’s latest beer was. Well, I just had to see for myself didn’t I…

Mohawk Unfiltered Lager is part of a new breed of hybrid beers rapidly spreading across the globe. Simply put it’s a lager beer hopped just like an American Pale Ale. The twist on this one though is leaving the finished beer unfiltered, hopefully giving a richer and more vivid taste. Earlier this year Mohawk gave us Unfiltered Lager and with the summer here they’ve put out a lighter version of that beer with less bitterness and alcohol. Being a contract brewer, Stefan Gustavsson’s back at Slottskällans Bryggeri in Uppsala, him doing the thinking and they supplying him with the right tools to perform his magic. Open Sesame!

Appearance 3/3

The long-neck bottle produces a cloudy slightly darker shade of gold. Just short of a three finger tall head that’s off-white in color. Partial and random dry foam stuck to the glass wall.

Aroma 10/12

A rich and multi-faceted nose with the sweetness of honey and bee wax. Following is a hefty measure of exotic fruits intertwined with black currant leaves. Hovering is an intense floral aroma with a light tart twist. Happily enough I find non of the usual lager characteristics coming through from the barley.

Flavor 17/20

Up front floral hops, tonnes of tropical fruits, a great mix of mango, passion fruit, black currant and pineapple. In the back a mellow grapefruit bitterness slowly builds up. Very gulp-able yet the taste is so intense.

Mouthfeel 3/5

A light and at the same time rich and robust body. Carbonation’s all I can ask for really, giving a soft fizz just so you notice it.

Overall impression 8/10

It’s been done before, the lager-pale ale hybrid is nowadays a popular new addition to many breweries line-up. Yet not many manage to strike the kind of balance between the light lager body and hoppiness as well as Mohawk does it.

The greatest thing about this beer is duality of it. While being a great session beer for a beer geeks and others it can also serve as a gateway beer for the “uninitiated”, perhaps opening up the mind of the average lager lover to ales, stouts and what not.

Tomorrow’s Midsummer Eve and if you’re not helping out raising the maypole there’s no excuse not having an Unfiltered Lager in your hand. Do some last minute shopping and check availability. I’m sure this beer will prove as important to the success of the Swedish summer as ripe domestically grown strawberries!

Total Score 41/50

Excellent – Exemplifies style well, requires minor fine-tuning.

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Style American Double/Imperial IPA · ABV 9.4% · 650 ml bottle
Brewed by Green Flash Brewing Co · San Diego · California · United States
Read more www.greenflashbrew.com

Green Flash Brewery, a west coast classic like Dr Dre’s The Chronic, although rest assure this is not malt liquor. For the past 3 months I’ve been covering uncharted DIPA waters so when this baby sailed up against me I simply wasn’t going to let it slide through my fingers. Second mate, Marcus “The Quote Master” Andersson, is at my side as we embark on this journey, sailing towards a sunnier San Diego on an ocean of pale ale spiced with Summit and Nugget hops.

Appearance 2/3

The pour empties a transparent and still amber ale out of the bottle. Rising at the top is a two finger off-whitish bubble collar. The head’s got a airy and big-bubbled style to it and therefore settles to a finger relatively fast. A ring of curtains circumference the glass.

Aroma 10/12

Up front is a big bouquet of flowery notes supported by a semi-tart caramel, resin and pine foundation. The super intense pine and hop cone aromas meld perfectly with the cookie dough and caramel malt. Secondly I pick up citrusy fruits described most accurately as clementine and citrus limetta (sweet lemon). I first learnt about citrus limetta when my mother-in-law dropped by with a bag of them when we all had a cold. Accordingly they’re traditionally used for healing flus and colds in Iran. In Persian they’re called limu shirin (لیمو شیرین). In the nose is also a hint of loquat (Japanese plums) without the sweetness to it though, Marcus remarks. Majestically balanced aroma.

Flavor 17/20

I just got to say this first, this is one luxuriously smooth and creamy tasting beer. Off the bat, a honey dominated malt base pops forth. I get tons of American hop with a piney and dry grapefruit flavor, you know like the white, spongy and bitter membrane of the fruit. Following is the most ripe and tasty apricots, peaches and lemony/limey citrusy fruits you can imaging. Wow! So smooth and big a beer, yet the alcohol giving warmth and not a burn.

Mouthfeel 4/5

The content of this bomber bottle has a strong medium body but is despite this fact incredibly accesible and smooth. The liquid’s voluminous and sweet with a moderate carbonation made up of soft bubbles waking up the taste buds on the tongue. Distinct and corresponding bitterness in aftertaste.

Overall impression 8/10

To me this is more of an IPA than a text-book Double IPA but still an amazing ale. It has a classic West Coast IPA profile with an ABV of 9.4% that thankfully doesn’t wreck you palate like many other high alcohol and bitter IIPAs. Maybe they got their Green Flash Palate Wrecker to perform that trick…

The way the citrusy and piney flavors come together with the malt and bitterness is… astounding! I can do no more than agree with Mr Andersson when he exclaims – Balanced and silky smooth!, upon sipping the brew.

If this stuff was available in my bottle shop on a daily basis I’d be a regular to that shelf space. Still, if in Sweden, you can ordered this magnificent brew through importers Brill & Co. Just do it!

Total Score 41/50

Excellent – Exemplifies style well, requires minor fine-tuning.

Style American India Pale Ale · ABV 7.1% · 500 ml bottle
Brewed by Omnipollo · Stockholm · Sweden
Read more www.omnipollo.com

Omnipollo had a release-party for it’s new beer Russian Roulette at Bishops Arms (Linnégatan) some time ago. I went with a friend of mine, Per Backtröm to check out the festivities and to talk to the brewer of Omnipollo, Henok Fentie. The beer in question, Russian Roulette is a collaboration between Omnipollo and Evil Twin Brewing and was brewed at Amager Bryghus, Denmark late January 2012.

They produced two slightly different brews but released it under one collective name. First you got a Pale India Pale Ale and second you got a Black India Pale Ale. The name, Russian Roulette, derives from the fact that you can’t tell which one you’re going to get when you order one. A beer with a twist as they say.

Fortunatly we had the opportunity to taste both of them that night, but for the sake of clarity, I’ve divided them up into two different reviews, since they differ in both taste and flavor. First up is Henok’s brew, the lighter one of the two.

Appearance 2/3

Pours golden, slightly hazy, with a medium thick off-white layer of foam that settles pretty quickly, leaving a thin foam layer and lacing around the glass.

Aroma 11/12

The aroma on this one is off the charts! Could be that it’s fresh from the brewery, but I’m getting loads of fruits, like passion fruit, pineapple, strawberry, citrus. Very flowery, getting a pleasant elderflower aroma. Also has some slight dank and earthy notes that balance the sweeter one well.

Flavor 16/20

The taste is fruity, citrusy, grapefruit, herbal, grassy, in other words, very fresh flavor. Also has a fresh and crisp pilsner malt backbone, with some earthy and bready notes. It’s fairly dry with a moderate carbonation level and has a pretty strong bitterness that lingers on after a sip. But hey, that’s what you get with this much hops, right?

Mouthfeel 4/5

Light to medium body, very dry, feels very smooth. The carbonation is adequate, but could use some more to carry the many flavors.

Overall impression 8/10

This is a great summer IPA. Very light, clean, crisp, with loads of wonderful flavors. I can easily see myself enjoying a bottle of this beer at a bar with outdoor seating this summer. Just be sure to have the waiter bring out the bottle and hold it up towards the sun, so you know which one your getting.

We had a great time at Bishops, and were lucky enough to have the brewer himself Henok, give us the backstory of this beer and the brewing process he had together with Jeppe from Evil Twin, while we were enjoying it.

Too conclude a great summer (pale) IPA with loads of aroma and flavors.

Total Score 41/50

Excellent – Exemplifies style well, requires minor fine-tuning.

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Style American Double / Imperial IPA · ABV 8.5% · 330 ml bottle
Brewed by Oppigårds Bryggeri · Hedemora · Sweden
Read more www.oppigards.com

A bill and recipe by homebrewers Rick Lindqvist, Tomas Lundqvist and Magnus Ahlström which awarded them first prize at the Swedish Homebrewers Association Championships in 2010. By allowing Oppigårds to brew it, this prize winning ale was also made available to the general public. Let’s see what all the fuzz is about…

Appearance 2/3

A hazy peach ale headed by a short buttermilk-white top. Spotty dots and lacing clinging onto the glass for dear life. Retention of the head is about two minutes leaving a creamy carpet of bubbles.

Aroma 11/12

Brown sugary sweet malts with mostly apricots and some passion fruit. Densely hopped giving a very resinous aroma. Finally some alcohol stinging my nostrils a tad.

Flavor 16/20

Initially sweet then a raging hoppiness/bitterness that turns dry in the finish. I detect pine needles and red grape fruit at first mouth, then some additional citric fruits that have a rounder flavor, like nectarines.

Mouthfeel 4/5

Although not extremely sweet the sugars tend to make my lips sticky. The alcohol is well hidden and just enough to warm me up a bit. This is a very dry and bitter brew with an aftertaste that is even more bitter although not overwhelmingly so. The liquid is a smooth liquid one and the carbonation is soft.

Overall impression 8/10

The scarce carbonation and lack of sugary sweets make it difficult for the beer to carry the bundle of flavors all the way through which I hoped it would. Putting these matters aside, it still is, if not the best, one of the best double IPAs to yet come out of Sweden. It has an awesome aroma that’s for sure. I got to give to Oppigårds though, although they don’t produced the most extreme of experimental beers (which I’m sure is not in their business plan anyways…) they always deliver a rock solid and trust worthy version of the style at hand for the benefit of the wider market. This is microbrewery made Easy but not Simple. Check out their other beers reviewed on the site.

Total Score 41/50

Excellent – Exemplifies style well, requires minor fine-tuning