From the guys at Magic Rock Brewing comes Tap Type American Pale Ale at 6.5%. A superb little American Pale Ale. The pour is ultra hazy, light bright and inviting. A thin white uneven skin dances on the beer top. The aroma is complex citrus, mango and peach. I’m so pleased about the mosaic hop presence in this beer, it really strikes through the flavours. There is little maltiness, and a moderate bitterness that builds as the brew goes on. Spicy citrus fruitiness is apparent with some sweetness that reinforces the base malt to produce something that is simply stunning. Light and breezy refreshing yet strong and punchy. Experimental and forward thinking as always from Magic Rock. I detect hints of chalky yeasty bitterness emerging at the end, a taste not too similar to drinking the bottle conditioned yeast from the dregs of the bottle. In my eyes. Excellent stuff.
From Magic Rock Brewing comes Human Cannonball 2017 edition at 9.2%. De-canning gives a dangerously dank, resinous & citrus sherbet hop aroma. The pour is massively cloudy with a big fizzy ‘bubbly’ carbonation and head generation. The initial taste is similar to pure orange juice with a massive pith aroma hit, followed by an aftertaste of sucking on raw hop pellets. Overwhelming in every sense of the word, this is completely over the top!. The ABV creeps through to say hello throughout the brew, despite the massive hop aroma and taste, bitterness is fairly underwhelming (in comparison to the aroma). The hop presence in this brew is simply astounding. It permeates every aspect adding overwhelming citrus and mango, peach and melon in one fuckton of flavour. Never had I had such a massive OD of hops since last year’s brew. not cloudy this year, but by golly, this keeps getting better and better, but approaching that pleasure/pain barrier……
Hop City IPA at 6.2% is an exciting collaboration between Cloudwater Brew Co, Northern Monk Brew Co & YCH Hops. This IPA was pretty hard to get hold of, and now I know why! The label is quite iconic and oozes Northern Monk canning techniques….(removable label). Now for the beer. De-canning gives an aroma of ultra fresh citrus hop with a hint of sour yeasty influence. The pour is ultra haze, deep and golden with a lovely carbonation profile that supports a great thick white head generation, surprisingly good for a canned ale. The taste is fruity, with a hint of sweetness and low bitterness in the aftertaste. Somehow this beer remains amazingly refreshing and light despite the relatively high ABV . Mouthfeel is both full bodied and oddly light and fresh at the same time. The light malt presence lets the hop shine in this wonderful hoppy marvel of an IPA. More like an over hopped APA, but completely gorgeous all the same. WOW.
Het Kapittel Watou Abt from Van Eecke at 10.0%. De-capping gives a sweet aroma with a good noble hoppy aftertaste. A good head generation leaves a semi white head retention. The taste leaves a thick and creamy mouthfeel with hints of belgian spice and subtle hoppiness aroma. Remarkably Wonderful. Not strong tasting at all for the ABV, with no fusels present, no warming heat. Tremendous!
A collaboration beer from Cloudwater and Against The Grain. Make Apple Pie Great Again is a 6.3% beer. Decanning gives a instant aroma hit of Cinnamon and nutmeg. The pour is fairly lively with a decent carbonation and settles quite murky at the same time. The head generation is full with a off white dirty appearance. The secondary aroma of apples pokes its head through the cinnamon as the beer settles. The body is a bit watery for the ABV and the carbonation is big bubbled like a really poor cidery homebrew. A distinctive sweetness pushes its way onto your palette to accentuate the disappointing mouthfeel. The beer is perhaps a bit too complicated, and there is clearly too much going on for me to appreciate. What a strange mish mash of ideas. I’m all for experimental brews in the context of beer, but there’s too many spice additions, and the presence of apple here to make this strange beer remotely palatable.
From InBev Belgium comes Leffe Rituel 9° at 9.0%. Unfortunately I can’t say too much that’s good about this one. The aroma is nondescript and a little sweet with no hop or malty presence which is very odd. The taste is overly sweet and sugary, also no head with next to no retention. Medium to thick body with a cloying sweet aftertaste. Not an over achievement from Leffe. Adjuncts seem to play a major part and is overwhelmingly apparent.