Bunker Brew Co

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Northern Monk – Patrons Project Coffee Porter 1.02 -7.4%

Patron’s project from Northern Monk Brew Co.  featuring the talents of local U.K artists. This edition profiles Tom Joy and his photography from the crashed DC3 in Iceland, with the beer being a local collaboration with North Star coffee using beans from the Costa Rican San Isidro region.

Decanning gives a sweet almost smoked aroma of toasted coffee and rich dark chocolate. The pour is near darn perfect. A jet black pour generates a superb mocca brown head that remains fluffy and creamy throughout. Subdued citrus aromas now punch through and release deeper flavors of berry and dark fruits. The taste is moderately bitter with fruity berry and chocolate, yet surprisingly multifaceted. The coffee is a flavour powerhouse that compliments the malt like the berry flavours and serves almost perfectly. The reinforcing effect of the coffee presence works seamlessly with the thick oily mouthfeel texture, reminding you of just how complex a porter can be. Spectacular! 

Northern Monk Patrons Project Coffee Porter

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The Plant Room & Northern Monk – Midsummer Peach & Apricot IPA – 6.0%

From The Plant Room & Northern Monk Brew Co comes their Midsummer Peach & Apricot IPA at 6.0%. A seasonal series from Northern Monk. De-capping gives a subdued fragrance of peach and citrus aroma hops in a pleasant and understated floral mishmash. The pour is lively and nicely carbonated for the style. The pour is a hazy orange with particles of fruit or yeast suspended in the beer, giving a nice snow globe effect. Head generation was initially very good with semi decent retention, for a fruit heavy beer this is quite impressive, leaving a thin skin of white froth throughout the duration. The taste works brilliantly in conjunction with the peachy apricot aroma which develops into a more sweet beer as the glass warms. The underlying bitterness is very IPA-ish and doesn’t pull any punches. The beer has a very good mouthfeel and thick texture. For a fruit IPA I quite liked this one as it wasn’t overbearing or just a fruit punch in the face. I could still pick up the malt and citrus through the fruit, and to actually get the fruit flavours coming through and not having fermented out completely, is quite an achievement.

Northern Monk Midsummer Peach & Apricot IPA

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Saltaire – White Christmas Ale – 5.8%

From The Saltaire Brewery comes their White Christmas Ale at 5.8%. Described as a light coloured ale with a touch of orange and spice. De-capping the beer gives virtually no aroma other than a slight mulled wine ‘musk’. The carbonation is relatively low compared to what I was expecting. The beer is a deep amber/orange colour with no head or retention. Body is quite good, slightly oily. The taste is bland, not much malt coming through, citrus flavours do emerge after a while but are hardly anything interesting. The spice doesn’t come through at all, followed by a slightly sweet and bitter cloying aftertaste. Nasty.

Saltaire Brewery White Christmas Ale

 

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Northern Monk Brew Co – Strannik Imperial Stout – 9.0%

From The Northern Monk Brew Co comes Strannik Imperial Stout at 9.0%. De-capping gives a subtle aroma of dark fruits and berries. A very compact carbonation generating little head but leaving a nice thick white/brown skin. Dark fruits continue to dominate throughout the life of the beer with hints of coffee and dark roasty chocolate. A nice deep bitterness lingers throughout. Overall reinforced by a thick body and mouthfeel followed up by a subtle toffee and chocolate aftertaste. Joy!

Northern Monk Strannik Imperial Stout

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Spencer – American Trappist Ale – 6.5%

From the American Trappist Spencer brewery comes their Trappist ale at 6.5%. De-capping gives a nice sweet and invigoratingly familiar yet fresh aroma of grass and citrus. An aroma not unlike the expected belgian noble hop variety. The pour is a hazy orange with good carbonation, leaving a thin white skin. The beer is bottle conditioned! (yay!) the taste is borderline sweet with hints of orange and citrus with an excellent body, mouthfeel and appearance. The aftertaste is smooth with a good compact carbonation. For me, a really good take on a belgian style. The alcohol is well hidden but warming in the aftertaste with just a little hint of bitterness. Excellent stuff!

Spencer American Trappist Ale

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Saltaire – XS Imperial Stout – 8.9%

From The Saltaire Brewery comes XS Imperial Stout at 8.9%. De-capping gives a sweet heady wine like aroma with subtle coffee and chocolate suggestions hitting the nose. Completely black in appearance and annoyingly no head generation at all. Minimal carbonation accentuates the bitter sweetness of the ale, bringing out the flavours of the sweet maltiness and bitter chocolate. Overall, fairly pleasant and full bodied. Lacking a bit of carbonation for my liking and the lack of a creamy head is a big let down for me.

Saltaire XS Imperial Stout