As you maye have gathered, things have been a little slow lately due to overriding commitments, so much so that writing time has been very limited. BUT, fear not, there will be a glut of new articles coming along over the next few weeks, a mixture of reviews, interviews, launches and other bits and pieces which are mostly beer flavoured. I'm even quite excited by it all myself if I am being totally honest! Around the UK, there have been a few festivals which have titillated many, judging by conversations I have been having, including another successful session for Craft Beer Rising.
Here in Liverpool, things are gearing up nicely for the Craft Beer Expo in June (for which tickets are now on sale and I will hopefully have some preview news I can share with you over the coming weeks), Black Lodge is moving forth with experimental brewing and other events, Higson's rejuvenation is on the cards (though quite in what form remains to be seen), the CAMRA AGM is in town, alongside a beer festival being held at the currently dormant Cain's/Higson's Stanhope Street site and there is also the fanfare surrounding Dead Crafty opening on Liverpool's Dale Street; for which you are best tuning in to their social media and website to keep abreast. There is much to consider.
So what's new this month for your dose of ElectroKemistry? Well, we've moved back onto some simple beer bottle blog reviews for now, last month's spread on Crosby Bottle Beer Shop marked the end of that run for the time being; but thanks to all the shops I covered on Merseyside for being amenable to me, my camera and questions. As ever it's another eight beers with tasting notes and pairings where possible that have been presented for your delight.
Onward... for the beers!
Buxton Brewery - Pic Tor
A 5.9% Passion fruit sour and pale ale, which is excellently fresh, golden to straw coloured and packs in a lot of fruit. The aromas of Pic Tor (so named after another location on the Peak District landscape that the brewery so often draws naming inspiration from) are overtly of gooseberries and passion fruit along with with some gentler biscuit notes, the final note in the aroma finish is an unusual slightly toasted or even burnt note.
The flavours are of biscuit, twinned with lots of sharp, unripened and green fruit along with the passion fruit still being a massive presence (as expected), touches of gooseberries and citrus. The body is very light, but carries a gently cloying finish which carries on the fruit drive along with a gentle nudge of cereal and biscuit. Acidic and palate cleansing, but still pleasant.
(Sourced from Tap and Bottles, Cambridge Walks, Southport)
Cheshire Brewhouse - Sorachi Ace
This limited edition Sorachi Ace hopped pale ale is part of the Cheshire Brewhouse 12-bar blues series of beers, it comes in at 5.8% and is a light amber colour with a light cobweb white head with good lacing. Using, as can be guessed from the name, the very divisive Sorachi Ace hop. The aromas of the Sorachi come in with full hop character of coconut, vanilla and light fruit along with some bass from the malt in the form of raisins and some caramelised orange notes. The overriding hit is similar to that of 'Nice' biscuits (by virtue of the coconut, vanilla and cereal combination).
The flavours come through in a similar theme, with malt, oranges and touches of vanilla. The body is fairly full and slightly cloying with a touch of residue. The finish is bitter, coconutty and lightly acidic. Oddly, it does taste that this is more malt driven than would be expected from a sorachi ale, though the bitterness is good the aroma is a little lacking the oomph expected when using Sorachi.
(Sourced from Holborn Trade, Malthouse Business Centre, Ormskirk)
Kiuchi Brewery - Hitachino Nest Beer XH (Extra High)
A beast from the east at 8% and carries a body of deep red to amber with a lightly cloudy appearance. This strong ale claims to use not only additional malt for its strength, but also additional hopping to bring some balance. The aromas are driven by the malt profile with layers of cereal, dark malty caramel, some sweet honey and touches of red fruit are also present on the nose.
the flavour carries through almost identically as the aroma, with some soft and bittersweet malt flavour nestling alongside the red berries and some candy floss - not massively sweet, but their is a fair amount of residual sugar. The mouthfeel is full and thick, but despite a good effervescence, retains a very gentle character in the mouth. The finish is, as would be expected with the residual sugar, slightly sweet and very malty.
Perhaps some additional hopping on top of the additional hops would have brought a bit more balance to this ale; although enjoyable it also feels a little clumsy.
(Sourced from Booths, Burscough)
Chorlton Brewery - Citra Sour
Although Chorlton are now canning all their beers as opposed to bottling, this was one I picked up just before Christmas and following on from the rather impressive Meet The Brewer at The Clove Hitch with Mike from Chorlton, it doesn't disappoint. At 5.7%, this is a lightly hazy golden sour and hopped ale with a soft white head. The aromas are very full and ripe with green apples, lemon and touches of wildflower perfume around the edges along with a meadowy and cut grass smell. The flavours are massively fruit driven, with oranges and lemons high on the profile, touches of light malt, lots of green fruit and grass.
This is sharp and refreshing, as such the body is very clean and crisp with a thin mouthfeel; it's actually rather elegant in the context of some of the sours brewed at Chorlton.
The finish is dry, brief and lightly fruity but still very balanced despite the high acidity. Great bit of brewing and would pair very well with oriental mango salsas or salads and chicken.
(Sourced from Source Deli, Ormskirk)
AND UNION – Summer
A very light expression of a German wheat beer, this colourful and stylishly packaged golden 5.5% wheat beer carries a light white froth which is retained fairly well. The aromas are rather perfumed, very lemony and carry a hum of candied peel sweetness around them, most wandering into territory reminiscent of a lager shandy. The flavour is much more in keeping with what would be expected from a wheat beer; light lemon, touches of other citrus fruit, lime leaves and spice in the form of allspice, cloves and pepper.
The body is actually very, very enjoyable, despite being quite light in the mouth, there is a rounded creaminess that leads through into a dry and gentle finish with touches of some green fruit. Cleansing with little residue, the acidity is quite high leading to a refreshing take on a wheat beer; perfect for drinking at your barbecue!
(Sourced from George Wright's Beer Emporium, Cambridge Road, St Helens)
Summer Wine Brewing Company - Diablo IPA
A bold IPA which is brewed using a backbone of English malt and then fortified using a combination of Citra and Chinook hops to give a bright, clean looking yellow to straw body and a lively white froth, the body also has some chill haze present. At 6%, this IPA has some very pleasant aroma qualities, with layers of lemon, pine, mango and touches of wood. These aromas give way to flavours of unripened tropical fruit, plenty of wood and pine; peach and melon also come through along with some crisp cereal notes. The body is resinous but quite light, with a bit of residue.
The finish is pine driven, aggressively acidic but fresh which lilts back into the fruity qualities, leaving something behind at the sides of the tongue and also towards the back of the palate. Fruity, tough and still rather enjoyable. Would pair pretty well with oriental salads, through to game and stronger flavoured red meats. Another pretty solid effort from the Summer Wine Brewery.
(Sourced from Source Deli, Ormskirk)
Hardknott - Elixir of Invincibility
Though there is a disclaimer on the label that this won't make you invincible, it is supposedly bolstered by lots of New Zealand grown hops and brewed to 7.3%. The elixir is a deep golden colour with strong carbonation, which in turn gives a well retain white froth. The aroma set is pretty standard for an IPA, with cut grass, pine, white stone fruit in the form of melon and greengage along with some touches of mango and wood.
The flavour is very much pine driven along with a lot of unripened green and stone fruit and though there are touches of malt, the balance feels a little unwieldy - with the acidity leaning on the tart side without any florality or sweetness to level off. The body is full and round for this IPA, with residual character and dry finish which does hang around for a bit. The finish has some slightly biscuity character, some reminiscent notes of candied peel, but not a lot of florality or fruit. It generally feels as though it is lacking something, mainly that fruity dry punch that New Zealand hops so often deliver.
Would work with salmon fishcakes and fresh vegetables though.
(Sourced from Source Deli, Ormskirk)
Bad Company (Brewing and Distilling Company Limited) - Comfortably Numb
A golden pale ale, brewed in the fertile brewing grounds of Yorkshire, which boasts that it punches well above it's 3.8% weight. Though the lack of carbonation gives a fairly weak and poorly retained head, it doesn't set this ale back too much. The aromas are of plentiful tropical mango and pineapple along with touches around the edges of wood and lightly toasted malts.
The flavours all but directly translate, giving a feeling of sharp, unripened but nearly sweet fruit with balanced malt presence and a gentle bitterness. The body is light, twinned with the lightly residual character on the finish, this is a juicy, balanced and fruit driven beer which has a pleasing amount of the aforementioned presence in the finish. Impressive and drinkable, given its initially disappointing lack of carbonation.
(Sourced from Londis, Penny Lane, Liverpool)
Now that is your lot for this month, pay close attention to Twitter or the ElectroKemist Cuisine Facebook page for updates… you’ll have some goodies in store soon!!
Cheers for now!