We have also had the brewer's lectures recently, which sadly I was unable to attend, but many contacts have said how much I would have enjoyed and benefitted from them. I suppose a trip next year would be in order if possible! In other news, we have also seen Deva Brewery take over from Kash Taps and install their own stamp on the location near to Chester train station; there will be a piece written on this fairly soon, but suffice to say, it is worth making a trip to if you are nearby and worth grabbing some of the wares from the kitchen. I will of course, elaborate further when I have written my thoughts into a coherent piece!
Time for your eight beers for this month's review...
Cromarty Brewing Co. & Buxton - Comin' Thro' the Rye
Comin' Thro' the Rye is a deep, dark and slightly forboding red colour which carries a pinky beige to light brown head on top. It pours in a lively and frothy manner, but soon dies down and dissipates. The aromas are really inviting, with the rye, loads of cereal and biscuit coming through, along with some odder aromas of oil, bubblegum, coffee and gentle quantities of chocolate. The flavour base for this beer though takes things up a gear.
Lots of prunes, dates, raisins and other dried fruit come through with gusto, along with a backing of chocolate and coffee, some whisky, cereal and vanilla all poke through at various points in tasting, along with sneaky additions of spice every other mouthful. The body is everything you hoped and more, with a mouthwatering clean acidity along with a silky mouthfeel leading into a dried fruit driven, cereal laden finish; strong, flavoursome and mightily satisfying. There's a massively suspicious barrel-aged feel to this beer and it is a superb bit of brewing. Hopefully more of this will be made in future, it would be a travesty if not!
(Sourced from Great Grog Shop, Edinburgh)
The Kernel - India Pale Ale (Scans)
This version of The Kernel's IPA is a 6.8% strength, hazy, deep gold coloured brew with a good, strong and well retained white head upon the pour. The aromas are of unripe mango, lots of varied green fruit, gooseberries, some other less pronounced berry notes and a withdrawn backbone of cereal. The flavours are in a bit of contrast to the nose, with plenty of acidic and fresh raspberry flavour, along with an odd but enjoyable creaminess, giving a very summery feel to this beer. There are back up flavours of the usual tropical stone fruit, pineapple and melon, giving a very varied flavour profile throughout drinking.
The body is quite thick and chewy, leaving a cloying feeling on the palate, but also benefitting from a fresh acidity and lots of fizziness. The finish is fruity, carrying light amounts of cereal, but also lingering and providing a bit of a kick at the back of the throat on the way down. Different, enjoyable and quite complex in the grand scheme of IPAs and a hop profile which has piqued my interest.
(Sourced from Crosby Beer Bottle Shop, College Road, Crosby)
Siren Craft - White Tips
This 4.5% brew from Siren is a hybrid of a Witbier and IPA styles to give a 'White IPA' brewed with plenty of hops and an addition of citrus peel. White Tips pours with a hazy straw colour from the bottle and carries a frothy white head which is soft and retains well. The aromas are initially of wheat, citrus and then tropical fruit along with a slightly sweet or confected note, something akin to candied lemon, and dried fruits like papaya and guava.
The flavours are much less sweet and there are plenty of dry and bitter flavours, wheat, banana-ester tones and lots of lemon, lime and grapefruit along with hints of underripe mango and melon. The bitterness lingers well into the finish and this, for a relatively low abv has quite some length and significantly aggressive-bitter bite. The body is very mouthwatering thanks to a fresh acidity, gentle residual feel and good effervescence.
(Source from Crosby Beer Bottle Shop, College Road, Crosby)
Evil Twin Brewery (w/ 7venth Sun Brewery) - Citra Sunshine Slacker
This one pint canned Citra hop heavy brew pours a straw colour and holds a crisp white bubbly head thanks to the generous carbonation. The aromas are as would be expected with the use of a big headline hop such as Citra; lots of lemon, lime and gooseberries are present in the nose, along with fresh grassy notes and a very gentle hum of cereal lingering in the background.
The flavours are overtly driven by the citrus fruit, again the lemon, lime, and gooseberry mingle with notes of rhubarb and ripe tropical fruits along with some bitter and crisp hits of cereal, leading into a bitter and lingering finish. The body is light and the effervescence plays its pat, making this a very easy drink, despite a bit of bite on the way down the back of the throat. The finish has a lot of pine, tropical fruit and bitter lemon, making this a very easy and fruity proposition.
(Sourced from 23 Club, Hope Street, Liverpool)
Williams Brothers Brewing Co. - Roisin
This bright pink, but lightly hazy brew made in Alloa is made with Tayberries (a cross between raspberries and blackberries, so called in the Tayside area - making up 1.5% of each bottle apparently). Roisin carries a thin off-white head and has up front hedgerow fruit aromas; loads of blackberry and raspberries, along with a metallic malt tang and a jammy but almost winey-backnote.
The flavours are of raspberries, floral notes, strawberry conserve and blackberries along with a malt bitterness and slight metallic tang alluded to in the bouquet. It drinks pretty much like a straight up fruit beer; acidic, refreshing and not too sweet, delivering a very berry-fruit driven finish which tickles on the way down, being very fizzy and quite thin. This is probably a great gateway type beer for usual cider drinkers to convert from their fruit infused ciders over to a malt based brew.
(Sourced from Bottle Baron, Edinburgh)
Cheshire Brewhouse - Bushtucker Hop
Bushtucker Hop is a pale ale, hopped using antipodean stock in the form of Tasmanian (currently very sought after for it's produce due to a clean environment, for hops and for grapes used in wine) Galaxy and Sylva hops. It pours a hazy pale gold colour and has an off-white head which is generous given the substantial levels of carbonation. The aromas are floral, orangey with some hints of lighter tangerine and clementine along with a touch of biscuit.
The flavours are of acidic orange and tangerine along with some floral honey and bitter red fruits. The mouthfeel is light and carries a sharply acidic kick but light effervescence along with a gentle residual element. This leads into a finish which is bitter, dry and quite woody that carries quite a high level of acidity, though it does feel a little rough on the throat and towards the back of the palate, it remains an interesting pale to drink.
(Sourced from Holborn Trade, Malthouse Business Park, Ormskirk)
Red Willow - Perceptionless
A canned foray into the realms of the New England style IPA from Macclesfield's Red Willow; it's an attractively packaged 6.6% strength beer and looks the part too. Perceptionless pours a murky, deep gold to burnished orange colour and carries a thin white head which disappears quite quickly following the pour. The aromas are in keeping with the style, with lots of juicy, sticky and overripe tropical fruit, lemons, oranges and juicy, fresh and acidic hints of pine.
The flavours are pretty diverse and abundant; there's orange, mango, gooseberry, tangering, melon, pine and floral honey that all come through at some stage. Things do change a bit as the beer warms up through drinking, with a shift to slightly funkier flavours. The mouthfeel is very slick, fizzy and initially a bit thin but there again, it changes down the drink with things gradually becoming more rounded. The finish is strangely tangy with savoury notes, plenty of fresh acidity and a little bit of a coarseness on swallowing, as with the rest of the structure and aroma, it really is driven by the juicy fruit hop character that lingers for a good while. Great bit of brewing.
(Sourced from Holborn Trade, Malthouse Business Park, Ormskirk)
Aegir Bryggheri - Dag Sitrus Pale
An American Pale style Ale brewed by Norwegian outfit, Aegir and one that presumably is going to have a big citrus presence. Dag is an amber to burnished copper colour and has a thin white head, which is initially very lively on the pour. The aromas are hoppy and malty in equal measure; so there's orangey and lemon notes which sadly seem to fade rather quickly down the drink, giving way to more of a toffee and candied or floral honey character. The flavours are pretty simple, with elements of orange, wood and toffee but seemingly not a huge amount else.
The body is enjoyable; rounded and slightly slick with plenty of effervescence, although the finish on Dag is minimal, relatively short, woody and toffee driven, it's quite enjoyable to drink and has a pleasant if pretty simple structure. A good simple meal beer, maybe pair this something along the lines of fish and chips.
(Sourced from Booths, Burscough)