Showing posts in category: 42

Style American India Pale Ale · ABV 7.1% · 355 ml bottle
Brewed by Great Divide Brewing Company · Denver · Colorado · United States
Read more www.greatdivide.com

Time flies when you’re getting married and the kid comes home sick from day care like the millionth time, therefore the gap in posting on the site. Anyway it’s Saturday, the wifey’s away, the kid’s asleep and it just happens to be one of those ever so rare and beautiful summer evenings at 59° North latitude. Stockholm’s at its best so naturally I’m out on the patio slamming a dry-aged top blade piece of U.S. beef on the barbie. Accompanying the meat is potato wedges, coleslaw, Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle BBQ Sause and homemade salsa making it The Great American Dinner Plate. What better beer to wash it all down with than America’s Great Divide Titan IPA.

Appearance 3/3

Pouring into the footed beer glass is a perfectly clear amber barley beverage simply teeming with carbonation. A sturdy three finger head with a light yellowish color slowly settles to a two finger foam top leaving dry netted curtains on the glass.

Aroma 9/12

The smell of a robust and thick caramel malt foundation bombarded with skunky-funky piney American hops. Definitely some overlapping herbal and flora notes coming through. In the back I pick up some overly ripened lemon and lime. Eventually a stronger pine and as well resin smell appear. Although a great nose on the Titan I’m sure it has slightly waned off with time which ultimately effects the rating.

Flavor 18/20

Explosion is an understatement here. The flavor burst is a monster! The sweet caramel maltiness meets funky piney hops once again. A herbal taste overlapping slightly with a floral one. Trailing is a fruitiness comparable to pitted fruit like peaches. A substantial bitterness builds up as I sip on the brew, but nothing that really disrupts the balance of the flavors like in many other IPAs. The finale is a dry and crisp one.

Mouthfeel 4/5

Titan’s got a bold and heavy medium body, almost too heavy. The liquid’s got a creamy and sugary feel to it, hitting the bull’s eye of a perfect liquid. The few and very soft bubbles constitute a carbonation that lends just the right amount of help in distribution the flavors.

Overall impression 8/10

On the verge of becoming a Double IPA (don’t worry, mighty big brother Hercules is here to do that job) this IPA is packed to the breaking point with hops and sweet malts. Assertive? Yes! Aromatic? Hell yeah! Yet it’s relatively light on the bitterness. The ingredients of this beer all speak the same language resulting balanced yet complex dialog in flavor. Do you like IPA and yet haven’t had Titan? This needs to go on your beer bucket list. Titan is one of the reasons why I love and drink IPA!

Total Score 42/50

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

Style American India Pale Ale · ABV 6.8% · 355 ml can
Brewed by Ska Brewing Company · Durango · Colorado · United States
Read more www.skabrewing.com

I stumbled upon this beer a year ago. Didn’t really know anything about it at the time, but I bought it anyway, probably out of curiosity and because it had a pretty bad-ass label. It was summertime, and the ska-like attributes on the label seemed like a good match for some reason.

Almost a year later, me and Tobias went to Oliver Twist to have a bite to eat and and grab a beer. I saw this bad boy on the menu, and didn’t hesitate for a second. I remember it as being a pleasant and tasty beer, but wanted to try it out one more time to get a more definitive answer. So here it goes.

Appearance 2/3

Pours an amber color, with a deep reddish tone. It’s topped off with a healthy one-two fingers off-white foam, that settles pretty quickly, but leaves nice big curtains around the glass.

Aroma 10/12

Extremely nice fresh hop-aromas with traditional american IPA characteristics like Apricot, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Citrus. Very flowery, pollen-like sweetness, a bit of honey is in there as well.

Flavor 18/20

The flavor has many of the same characteristics as the aroma has, namely exotic fruits, floral and fresh citrus flavors. Which is followed by a hefty amount of bitterness. Grapefruit, pine, resin and orange zest. The bitterness is balanced out well by the sweeter and slight maltier flavors.

Mouthfeel 4/5

Light to medium mouthfeel, with an adequate carbonation level. Pretty dry, crisp finish. Has a very astringent bitterness towards the end, but it’s not overpowering.

Overall impression 8/10

I knew this was a good beer, but the second time around, it was even tastier. Really rich hoppy flavors, but still nicely balanced. Maybe it’s not for the faint-hearted, but for hop-lovers this is a real treat. I really look forward to try more brews from Ska Brewing Company, as this is the first I’ve tried from them. If you haven’t tried this one yet, I suggest you give it a go.

Total Score 42/50

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

Style American India Pale Ale · ABV 7.0% · 330 ml bottle
Brewed by Pang Pang Brewery · Hökarängen · Sweden
Read more www.pangpangbrewery.se

I’ve been excited to try this puppy out, ever since I saw the announcement on PangPang’s own facebook page. They apparently had it on tap for a limited time at Bishop’s Arms, but I didn’t have the chance to try it out then. Luckily for us, we managed to get a special delivery from the brewmaster himself Fredrik Tunedal.

After some Dick Tracy like activities, involving whispering secret passwords, we managed to get hold of a couple of samples of this much anticipated brew from PangPang. Me and my co-host Tobias, sat down a cold February night and shared a bottle.

Appearance 2/3

Pours golden orange, with a slight haze. We were debating whether it was a Hop haze or Chill haze, probably the former, but it’s hard to tell. The head is two fingers thick and bright white, it settles quickly but retains a thin foam carpet covering the beer.

Aroma 11/12

Berries, Berries, and even more Berries! Wow, what a sensational aroma. It literally oozes of different type of berries, Black current, blackberry etc. It also delivers passion fruit, mango, citrus. The aroma is slightly sour, but is balanced really with some more dank and earthy tones.

Flavor 18/20

The flavor continues, where the aroma ends, with a whole bunch of grapefruit, the berries also follow through, as does the wild fruits and citrus. It’s fairly dry, almost like champagne. Although an IPA, it has very comfortable hop flavors. Some IPA’s get carried away with the bitterness, but this one gets it just right IMHO. The flavor and aroma really comes through, good hop extraction!

Mouthfeel 3/5

A good medium body, that feels really smooth. The carbonation is there, but after a while, you long for a bit more fizz to help with the flavors. As described above, it has a really comfortable hop bitterness that lingers on after a sip.

Overall impression 8/10

What can I say? The expectations were set pretty high on this one, and yet PangPang came through and delivered! A great all around IPA, with it’s very aromatic berry-like aroma and balanced malt/hop flavors. We both noted some similarities with PangPang’s previous beer Puttin’ in Hours, but it still has its own distinct character. We also concluded that it’s probably a good introduction IPA for people not used to beers with high IBU’s. Overall a really great IPA, can’t wait to try it again!

So, where can I drink this one? Well, it’s available at the moment in very limited supplies at Marie Laveau, Oliver Twist, and Bishop’s Arms (Folkungagatan). If you happen to find it somewhere else, please share it with the rest of us in the comments. Cheers!

Total Score 42/50

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

20120110-222518.jpg

Style American Stout · ABV 7.5% · 355 ml bottle
Brewed by Dark Horse Brewing Co · Marshall · Michigan · United States
Read more www.darkhorsebrewery.com

I’d honestly never heard of Dark Horse Brewing Co before but then one day I stumbled upon a mention of it over at Good Beer Hunting and decided to buy their Blueberry Stout luckily available at Systembolaget at the time. It’s the third (out of five) installment in their Holiday Stout Series which include an oatmeal, cream, smoked and imperial stout.

Like the name suggests it made using all malted barley and blueberries. Along for the ride is none other than my staunch companion Marcus “Master of Quotes” Andersson.

Appearance 2/3

Simple and weird label wrapped around the bottle on this one. Well, out of it flows a black, dark as midnight on a moonless night during a blackout. Half a finger of brown head which holds up for a good while then settles into a creamy carpet. Sticky residual foam cling to the glass.

Aroma 10/12

My oh my what an intense bouquet! Like I could almost cut through it with a knife. Foremost I get roasted malts and coffee beans, then sweet American bluberries. The intensity is colosal, almost artifical, making me think of the blueberry pie flavor in Willy Wonka’s three course meal gum. There’s a medicinal sweetness, like cough syrup and traces of marshmellows too.

Flavor 17/20

First off is a sugar rush sweetness, drenched in blueberries. Trailing is massively roasted coffee beans, followed by a long mellow bitterness.

Mouthfeel 4/5

Very very velvety smooth a liquid. Hundreds of tiny soft bubbles make up an astonishing carbonation. Thick and viscous body all in all.

Overall impression 9/10

Still hours after the last sip of beer I can still trace back in memory to the exact taste of the marrying blueberries and coffee beans. Beer wise it was a very refreshing experience having something so far from the predominent flavors found today.

It’s a beer that roars of rich blueberries and coffee flavors, making it the perfect after-dinner drink. It’s not balanced but a brave and perfectly qualified attempt at something less prone to conformity. Now, if I could only get my hands on the other stouts in the series.

Total Score 42/50

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

20111120-072530.jpg

Style English Barleywine · ABV 9.1% · 250 ml bottle
Brewed by Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri · Nynäshamn · Sweden
Read more www.nyab.se

 
Matured for the past two years Bötet 2009 finally drops on us. After receiving several awards, gold at the Stockholm Beer Festival amongst others, I’m feeling pretty amped up and ready to pop the cap off the bottle. Well, let’s walk the walk and skip the talk shall we?

Appearance 2/3

A blotchy vanilla-white bubble lid skimming the surface of a clear and romantic copper-sunset colored beer. Scarcely any lace or streaks on the glass.

Aroma 10/12

I dip my nose into a world of marzipan and soft sugars, that of caramel and honey. The story then plunges into a sweet and sour spiral with the addition of tart plums and cherries. There’s plenty of good old warming alcohol giving it a sherry nose at the finish line. Noticable fruits are grapes and dates.

Flavor 18/20

Bötet is extremely smooth and intense, it almost hurts, pain in a good way. The malt and sugars make it through like marzipan and have a sticky quality to it. There are lot of aspects to the flavor, an interesting mix of plums, figs, bitter almonds and grape-juice. The most intense flavors retreat quickly, paving way for a minute bitterness.

Mouthfeel 4/5

A velvety, sweet and smooth liquid of a beer resulting in a sturdy medium body. The booze emitting a warmth like a hot water bottle. There’s a low carbonation buzzing in the background.

Overall impression 8/10

In many ways Bötet blew me away. This is a great Swedish barley wine. The style-defining flavor is immensly intense and precise like a marksman! This liquid God comes in handy little 25cl bottles which makes it the perfect after-dinner digestif during the days of colder weather.

Although not marketed as a Christmas beer I warmly recommed this beer for the Christmas holidays!

Bötet is available in a select bars and pubs around the country as well as in some bottle shops.

Total Score 42/50

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